Near mint, .28 calibre, Colt Model 1855 Root Side-hammer Model 2 Pocket Revolver s/n 16731, manufactured circa 1857. It has a 3 ½ inch octagon barrel, with two-line Hartford barrel address with pointing hand motif and Maltese Cross at each end. The five-shot cylinder has the cabin and Indian scene. The nipples are integral with the cylinder. The barrel, frame, including the integral back-strap are blue and the hammer is case-coloured. This fine revolver is complimented with one-piece varnished walnut grips. Overall it is in excellent plus condition, with 95% plus original finish and in good working order. It deserves to be cased.
The Colt Model 1855 Root Side-hammer percussion Pocket Revolver or Colt New Model Pocket Revolver was manufactured from 1855 through to 1870 in both .28 and .31 caliber. It was designed by Samuel Colt even-though it was named after Elisha K. Root who was Colt’s factory foreman and general superintendent. The Root revolver was Colt’s only percussion handgun built on the solid frame principle and featured a side-hammer, mounted on the right side of the frame, a spur trigger, a cylinder pin entering from the rear and one-piece grips secured to the back-strap. The Root revolver does not have a trigger-guard. There are minor variations of the loading lever catch, rifling, frame etc. throughout the production.
The majority of revolvers were blued with casehardened hammer and loading lever. The grips were of one-piece varnished walnut or select burl walnut, ivory on engraved or special-order guns. The most sought after grips came from the famous Charter Oak tree. Examples are known with a silver or gold–plated finish.
A total of approximately forty thousand Root revolvers were manufactured in .28 caliber from serial number 1 through to approximately 30,000, circa 1855 through to 1861. The Model 2 in .28 caliber, is found in a serial range from s/n 476 to s/n 25000.