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Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle, Side Hammer, Serial number 8127: American black walnut butt stock with old repair at wrist; steel butt plate with sliding opening for cleaning rod; shoulder sling swivel at bottom is missing; brass trigger guard with steel trigger; steel frame with exterior side hammer; .56 caliber five shot fluted cylinder with five percussion cones; 37.5" long round steel barrel with octagon breech section; adjustable rear sight is missing; blade front sight; wooden forestock (charred from 1994 museum fire) with steel barrel band (middle barrel band is missing); cleaning rod under forestock and loading lever underneath. All steel has turned a uniform gray brown. The .56 caliber military model, first produced in 1856 and the first repeating arm purchased by the government. Approximately 7,000 rifles were purchased by the government during the Civil War, 1,000 of them were issued to Berdan's Sharpshooters in 1862. The 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry used them with devastating effect at the Battle of Chicamauga in September 1863. The rifle was later universally condemned when it would occasionally chain fire the cylinders and result in severing the fingers or left arm of the soldier firing the weapon. See "Col. Colt's Revolving Rifle" American Rifleman March 2004 Vol. 152, No. 3 January 2008: parts saved during restoration, see bag in object folder and wood stock in storage with rifle.
Rifle -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Fire damage -2005

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009