Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver

Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver
Type Revolver
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designer William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards
Designed 1871
Manufacturer Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company
Produced 1871–1877
Number built 114,200
Barrel length 2-3/8 and 2-7/8

Cartridge .22 Short, .22 Long
Action Single-action revolver
Feed system 7-shot Cylinder

The Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver was a single action pocket revolver introduced by the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in 1871. Introduced a year before the Colt Open Top (a model from 1872) and two years before the Colt Peacemaker and the Colt New Line(both introduced in 1873), the Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver was, alongside the Colt House Revolver, one of the two first metallic cartridge rear-loading revolvers manufactured by Colt's. It also was one of the first pocket metallic cartridge revolvers made by the company.[1]

History and design

When the Rollin White patent for metallic cartridges firearms manufacture expired (c. 1870) the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company started working on its own metallic cartridge revolvers (Colt had previously been manufacturing the so-called Richards-Mason conversions). Thus, Colt introduced its first rear-loaders in 1871: the Colt House/Cloverleaf and the Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver.[2]

In the 1870s the firearms market was awash with cheaply made knockoffs of the .22 caliber Smith & Wesson Model One which sold for about $2. Colt's president Richard Jarvis decided it would not compete directly with the knockoffs; that its .22 would be of Colt quality. The Open Top Pocket was priced at $8.[3]

The frame was brass and sometimes silver or nickel plated. The barrel and cylinder were either blue or nickel plated. Rosewood or walnut grips on a bird's head style frame made for a comfortable pistol to shoot.[2][4]

Loading was accomplished via a groove in the frame rearward of the cylinder and early models incorporated an ejector rod until 1874. After that, a shooter would need to remove the cylinder to empty the brass casings.[2]

Cheap copies imported from Spain and Belgium drove down the demand for these revolvers and Colt stopped manufacturing them by 1877.[2][4]


The Open Top Pocket Model was chambered in .22 Short and .22 Long. It was equipped with a 7-shot non-fluted cylinder and two different barrel lengths: 2-3/8 and 2-7/8.[2]

See also


  1. Flayderman, Norm (17 December 2007). Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media, Inc. pp. 105–106. ISBN 0-89689-455-X.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Tarr, James (18 November 2013). Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-4402-3747-8.
  3. Traister, John E. (1994). Antique Guns: The Collector's Guide. Stoeger Publishing Company. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-88317-175-2.
  4. 1 2 Taffin, John; Michalowski, Kevin (24 April 2005). The Gun Digest Book of Cowboy Action Shooting: Guns Gear Tactics. Iola: Gun Digest Books. p. 106. ISBN 0-89689-140-2.

External links

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