Cased factory engraved colt root in caliber 28. Serial 21xx with the letter I after the serial number indicated that this gun left the factory with ivory grips.
Beginning of the production of the third type. Rare gun.
In my opinion what we have here is an excessively rare specimen.
The Third Model is always of the .31 caliber, has always a fluted cylinder and a "common" marking on top of the barrel. The retaining pin to the cylinder arbor and its screw are both located on the left side of the frame. The loading aperture is slightly bevelled and the markings
"Patented Sept 10th, 1850" stamped in one of the flutes. This patent refers to the fluted cylinders and has nothing to do with Root.
The Second Model is always of the .28 (.265) caliber, has a round cylinder with a cabin and indian scène and is the only model that has the pointed hand in front of the barrel marking. The retaining pin to the cylinder arbor enters the frame from the left, while its screw enters from the right. The loading aperture is not bevelled. the cylinder shows the old marking "Colt's Patent n° (serial number) in a banner on the side of the cylinder scene.
What we see here is a revolver that shows all characteristics of the Third Model (pin and screw, bevelled loading aperture, but featuring a 2nd Model barrel and a 2nd Model cylinder, the .28 caliber, and the 3rd model patent markings stamped in the cylinder.
This is evidently an original make and the gun is most probably factory engraved.
In my modest opinion it is a special order, for as far as I know, this kind of hybrids has never been recorded, even in John Fluck's Monograph.
Moreover, its serial number 21XX makes the mystery about the serial number sequences in that model even deeper. I've got a 2nd Model in my collection, serial# 4090, certified first year of production, that should be anterior to this one.
Note that the original name given to that model by Colt was "New Model Pocket Pistol", while collectors call it "Colt Sidehammer 1853 Root Model", since the original Root patent was issued in 1853. The name "Colt 1855" is erroneous. Colt took over the patent from Root in 1855 and started production in 1856.
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