Samuel Colt and the beginning of revolvers

Revolver is one of the most famous piece of weaponry. It is till this day associated with Wild West and American freedom. In 50s of 20th century, Melchior Wańkowicz was describing the south of United States of America as a land of revolvers, which were living the legend of Samuel Colt. The creator of new revolver, was considered a hero, one of the few men that created the America as the country we used to know today. Even if from his times, many things changed in weaponry, it is hard not to appreciate his construction.

Samuel Colt was born in 1814, in merchant family. Engineering was his true passion, and above all he was fascinated in guns and military technology. After the failed trials to improve torpedoes, he started to work on the revolver. First constructions of such type existed since 17th century, however they weren’t failsafe and therefore their popularity was not great. The work of Colt changed that situation. 

Ambitious American boy has had only 16 years, when he created a prototype of his first revolver. However, he was not happy from the result. During next years he was working on developing his construction and was performing numerous tests. Finally after five years, he decided that he achieved what he was intending to do, and right away got his patent. In 1835 he got a license in USA and Great Britain. 

Although he was only 21-years old, he founded Patent Arms Manufacturing Company, a company that was creating weapons according to his ideas. First manufactured revolvers were called Texas. Equipped with five-round barrels, they were sold with additional clip, which was created to fasten the usage of such weapon.

From the very beginning, revolvers created by Colt had a very good opinions. They were considered a revolutionary invention. However, initially such weapon was rejected by American army. The barrier was in high cost of producing the weapon. That’s why Colt decided to work more on his own. He was using the fact, that his weapon was popular in regions, where people were still fighting native Americans. There, the high price was not an issue, while the great speed and efficiency of weapon did made a difference. That’s how a legend of gunslingers and their revolvers emerged.

History of Samuel Colt is not lacking the staple of American dream – bankruptcy. With the beginning of 40s, his company fell. However, five years later, young entrepreneur founded Colt’s Manufacturing Company. He managed to deal with the issue of big price with the mechanization of production. Earlier, revolvers were costing roughly 200 dollars (with their much bigger value back then), when after new methods of fabrications, that price fell to 25 dollars. Simultaneously, Colt created two new versions of revolvers. In time, his company started to produce other types of weapons, but to this day, his name is associated with revolvers. 
And revolvers are a part of American culture. As Melchior Wańkowicz once mentioned – in 50s of 20th century, Colt attached to a belt was a common part of southern fashion. Cut holsters were incorporated, so the wielder could shoot with his gun without actually drawing it. Accurate shooting in such manner was considered a good ability and a true sign of gunslinger or bounty hunter from those times.