Colt 1855 Sidehammer percussion revolver, cal. .265 in, commonly called .28 in., rifled octagonal barrel 74 mm (3 1/2 inch) long screwed into frame with 'creeping' loading lever attached.

Made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co, Hartford, Connecticut. Serial number 27904. The serial number is above the accepted range produced for this calibre model with serial number 26,000 ending the year of 1861. Subsequently, beginning in 1860, the model was produced with a round barrel in cal. .31in. It seems likely this is an example of a late production model being produced in1862 alongside the new caliber models.

Physical Description

Five chambered fluted cylinder, sheath trigger, solid steel frame, pin style front sight, wooden grips of one-piece construction, knurling on hammer is of typical London style framed in an inverted U, however it is unclear whether any Sidehammers were produced at the London Armoury. Action is defective.


Also known as the 1855 Pocket revolver or Root's Patent after the engineer and Colt factory foreman, E.K. Root, whose patent of 1855 illustrated a prototype pistol with the distinctive side-mounted hammer, the 1855 Sidehammer was produced in a total of seven variations, including two calibres and various other configuration differences. Markedly different in its overall configuration from earlier Colt firearms, the barrel was screwed into the frame, rather than being attached via a wedge key as had been the practice across the Dragoon series, 1849 Pocket and 1851 Navy models. Also new were the introduction of the side-mounted hammer, one-piece grips, spur or sheath trigger, lacking a triggerguard, and 'creeping' loading lever. Hereafter, all Colt percussion revolvers with the exception of one were produced standard with the creeping lever. The Sidehammer never gained the popularity afforded to the 1849 Pocket model and as a result production ceased in 1870, two years before that of the latter model.

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