Colt Open top 1876
Colt Open top 22:1876: Smith and Wesson created a strong market for small cartridge revolvers with their 22 caliber Model number 1. Naturally, once the Rollin White patent expired and the market opened up, Colt made a play for the same market.
The resemblance of these little guns to the Colt open frame pistols of the cap and ball era is clear. Flipping a latch in front of the cylinder is all that is required to remove the barrel assembly and then the cylinder.
While such easy disassembly might speed loading, unloading would slowed by the fact that there was no aid provided for cartridge extraction.
More than 100 thousand of these pistols were made between 1871 and 1878 when Colt discontinued production of the model.
By that time the market was being swamped with many similar little pistols. Such small caliber single action spur trigger guns came to be known as suicide specials and were made by many large and small manufacturers.
Roger Papke (Etats-Unis)
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