Google+ Badge

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Colts Revolving Shotguns:

I'm exposing my ignorance again - but until reading 'Chancy' by Louis l'Amour I'd never heard of these guns - The Model 1839 and Model 1855.

I'd heard of revolving rifles for sure - but had no clues at all about these early percussion shotguns.

Model 1839.

Maybe that's because they were a bit dodgy to use - with the habit of powder leakage causing all cylinders to go-off together in a "chain-fire" when one cap was struck! - Kaboom.

Model 1839 Detail.

Again - maybe the later Model 1855 made as rifles, carbine and shotguns was better.


The late Louis L'Amour was an accurate Frontier Historian and his books are generally known as realistic and factual. Our hero Clancy in the book certainly is using his Colt Revolving Shotgun quiet effectively.

The Model 1855 shotgun seems to have been made in 10 gauge, 16 gauge, and 20 gauge.

So rather slow to re-load, - Keep your hand away from that cylinder gap flame, and kiss your ass good-by if you get a chain-fire. - Apart from that they look great.

Circuit Judge  45 Colt /.410 -A Modern Revolver - Shotgun.
The 'metallic' cartridge has made shooting so much safer and more convenient eh.
Circuit Judge Open For Re-Load

Below is an interesting and honest test of this wee revolving carbine - are they permitted as imports into NZ?

PS: from Rod

Hi Marty
The only safe way to shoot ANY revolving long arms is to have your support hand on the trigger guard and not on the fore-end.  This avoids the many high-velocity small particles that come out of the cylinder gap.  A chain fire in a percussion revolver is not dangerous from the pressure point of view and will do no damage to the gun.  If, however, the shooter has chosen to put their support hand on the fore-end then that is a different matter altogether!  In my younger days I experienced a couple of chain fires with an old .44 Colt 1860 Army, caused by not putting a good seal of bullet lube over each projectile.  It is the flash over from the cylinder gap that causes chain fires, not anything to do with the caps which are protected by a steel fence.
As a matter of interest, .56 cal. Colt revolving carbines were issued to the Otago Goldfields Mounted Police in 1864 (sadly, I haven’t located any around here!), and also the NZ Government purchased some .56 Artillery carbines about the same time.  They were all ultimately withdrawn because of injuries caused by multiple discharges, something that could have been avoided with proper training (where have I heard that before!).< o:p>

Marty K.