Happy birthday, Samuel Colt! The father of the single action revolver was born 198 years ago today.
The story goes that Samuel caught a freighter for Calcutta at an early age. During the voyage, he carved his idea for a single action revolver out of wood. Upon his return to the United States, he contracted a manufacturer to produce his invention.
Colt's first revolver was the Paterson, followed by the now legendary Walker, designed for the Texas Rangers working in Mexico and along the border. After the famous Paterson came other great Colt revolvers, including the 1851 Navy and the 1861 Army.
Sam Colt passed away in 1862, just eleven years before the introduction by his company of the most historical Colt of all — the 1873 Model P, also known as the Single Action Army. As most students of handguns know, the SAA is one of the most recognizable revolvers in existence. The first generation SAAs were manufactured from 1873 up to the beginning of World War II, when all of Colt's manufacturing tools were needed to produce military firearms for the war. This sixty-seven year run produced 325,000 Colt single action revolvers in countless variations.
Let's salute one of the most famous gun designers of all time! Feliz cumpleanos, Sam.