Colt 1855 10-Gauge Revolving Shotgun

In 1855, Colt introduced a new revolver unlike the others in their lineup – it was a side-hammer design with the cylinder stops built into the axis pin instead of the cylinder. They then proceeded to scale the design up into revolving rifles and shoguns in several calibers. The revolving shotgun model was the least-produced, with only about 1300 made between 1860 and 1863. This example is in 10 gauge, and has five chambers in the cylinder.

Hi guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons calm imean I’m here today at the Rock Island Auction house taking a look at some of The guns that are coming up for sale and They’re June of 2015 regional auction And I’ve been slowly working on trying To take a look at every major revolving Rifle and shotgun that’s been produced Because you know they’re an interesting Little subset that did not last very Long if you don’t take into account some Of the ones Taurus is making today so I Have two here to take a look at the one That is actually for sale in this Regional auction is this one this is an 18 55 Colt revolving shotgun this Particular one is a five shot 10 gauge Gun pretty huge and it’s in pretty rough Shape now before we take a closer look At this what I figured I would do is Just for comparison’s sake show you what What these originally would have looked Like coming out of the factory this one Is actually 20 gauge same exact model It’s a Colt revolving shotgun this will Be coming up for sale in a later Premiere auction but I thought it’d be Worth taking a look at this Just because this tells you how nice These guns really were out of the Factory Whereas this 10 gauge has seen a very Hard life but we’re going to take a

Closer look at its internals what’s kind Of interesting is that these are the Exact same mechanism as the 1855 route Revolver that Colt made well I just Actually go straight into bringing the Camera back here and let’s take a look At what makes this one mechanically Unusual so why don’t we start with the Ramrod that was an interesting new idea That Colt actually Elijah rout the Colt Employee who designed this system it’s An interesting idea that he came up with This is the first of Colts ramrods That’s actually what’s called a creeping Design where instead of just being a Single pin and pivot this actually has a Rack and pinion so that the whole lever Moves backwards as it cycles and it Gives you more leverage that’s certainly Important when you’re ramming a Humongous 10 gauge charge but they also use the Same system on the 1855 pistols and on Later pistols well now moving to what is A bit more mechanically fundamental to The gun This is actually a side hammer system so Instead of the hammer coming out the Middle of the frame the hammer is bolted On the side or screwed on to the side it Works just like a regular hammer like so But what the side hammer allows you to Do is have the access pin come out the Back of the gun instead of the front so

Put that in we have a button here that Releases the cylinder and we have a set Screw now in this particular gun this is A replacement set screw and it’s a Little bit too long it makes it easy for Me to loosen it that’s loose there then When I push this button I can pull the Cylinder axis out the back and then the Cylinder comes out now typically when we Look at a revolver cylinder what we Would expect to see are a series of Ratchet marks around the back of the Cylinder so that you have a hand that Pushes up on one side and causes the Cylinder to rotate incrementally on on Roots system that they use in the Shotgun they did it kind of the other Way the ratchets are actually on the Cylinder axis pin these are pretty Heavily worn but you can clearly see What they are now the pin has these Flats milled into it right here and they Are tapered and then there’s a matching Set of tapered flats in the cylinder so When you put the access pin in it’ll Only go in in the proper orientation and Once it’s there the cylinder and the Cylinder axis are locked together that Allows the hand to operate on the access Pin instead of the cylinder itself to Run the gun now there’s one other Component that you need typically on a Revolver you need a hand to rotate a Cylinder and then you need a stop catch

To lock it in position when it’s firing So normally you would see notches on the Cylinder for the stop and we don’t have Those either once again we have them on The axis so these square notches right Here right there right there etc there’s Five of them because there are five Cylinders So this square block is the cylinder Stop it’s spring-loaded so it’ll go down When the gun is cocked like so and then Our hand is located right here so you Can see the hand travels up and down Normally you would see these two parts Sticking out the front face of the Cylinder here but because they work in The back we’ve got nothing here it’s Just a flat surface and all the working Bits are back here in the gun so that’s An interesting way to an interesting and Different way to run a revolver right so One other typical problem with revolving Long guns of all sorts is that you do Have a cylinder gap right here so if you Put your hand on the forearm as one Would typically do you’re going to get Spray out the cylinder gap that’s going To hit you in the arm and this was a Universal problem for revolving long Guns now a lot of people ask why didn’t They just put a metal shield here to Stop that that’s what Taurus does today And it seems that would work very well Well I think I finally found the answer

To that question and it is Sam Colt did Actually experiment with a shield here And what he found was that the shield Reflected a lot of the blasts and the Sparks back towards the cylinder and in His estimation anyway it significantly Increased the occurrence of chain fires Where more than one cylinder would fire Simultaneously and that is worse than Just having some lead and some gas spit Out cylinder gap and I think that is the Reason that none of these revolving guns Ever long guns ever had a big shield to Protect the users forearm instead what One is told to do is simply hold the gun Back here with both hands it kind of Negates some of the purpose of a Revolving one gun but it’s better than Getting your arm chewed up so ultimately Only about 1100 of these guns were made Between 1860 and 1863 as with all Revolving long arms they ultimately Proved unsuccessful and not particularly Popular these were made in several Different calibers this one is 10 there Was also 12 and 20 And I believe also 16-gauge standard Barrel lengths were in three inch Increments 27 30 33 and 36 inch and of Course Colt also made a rifle version of This which is a little bit better known Because the army did buy a number of Those so but we’ll take a look at a Rifle version in a later video well

Thanks for watching guys I hope you Enjoyed the video one of the nice things About these regional auctions is that Sometimes they give you an opportunity To pick up a representative sample of a Gun that’s rare and expensive enough That you couldn’t probably afford one of The really nice ones so if that’s the Sort of situation you find yourself in And you would like to have an example of An 1855 Colt revolving shotgun this one Is coming up for auction at the end of June if you check out the link in the Description text below that’ll take you To rock island’s catalog page and you Can see their photos and their Description for what it is and if you’re Interested you can place a bid online And best of luck to you and winning it Thanks for watching

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