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Login Name Post: book on making early Colt revolvers        (Topic#307183)
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6744
04-17-18 03:11 PM - Post#1680160    


Anyone interested in the history of the manufacture of early Colt revolvers will enjoy this little book describing it by Sam Colt. There is a fascinating description of the factory and its functioning written by Charles Dickens in an appendix, page 29. The book is:

"On the application of machinery to the manufacture of rotating chambered-breech Fire-arms", Samuel Colt, 1855

https://books.google.com/books?id=QnkDAAAAYAAJ&q=1955#v=...

Spence

 
smoothshooter 
45 Cal.
Posts: 986
04-18-18 09:45 PM - Post#1680442    

    In response to Spence10

Here's a question I like to ask from time to time that has never failed to stump the panel:

What packaging did Colt ship their civilian-purchase pistols in?

I have even asked several very serious Colt collectors at gun shows this auestion and almost invariably their mouths drop open as they realize they have never given it a thought until I asked them.
I have never even seen an old photograph of a percussion Colt box, outside of special wooden cased ones. I have no reason to believe they were all shipped in wooden presentation cases.


Edited by smoothshooter on 04-18-18 09:47 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Raul 
32 Cal.
Posts: 37
04-19-18 12:48 PM - Post#1680554    

    In response to smoothshooter

Mind blown!

 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26295
Zonie
04-19-18 05:41 PM - Post#1680610    

    In response to smoothshooter

I have no doubts the commercial versions of Colt's pistols were shipped in wooden boxes with thin separators between the compartments. The separators look a lot like flocked, very heavy poster board material.

The compartments did not have lids on them and served to keep the gun with its various accouterments from bumping into each other.

The corner joints on these boxes were simple butted joints or miters. None appear to have been dovetailed although dovetails and finger joints were commonly used on wooden boxes at the time.

Containers like this with the pistol, a small bullet-mold, a powder flask and other items like bullets, caps, nipple wrenches are shown in books like, "*C*O*L*T*, AN AMERICAN LEGEND", by R.L.Wilson, and "COLONEL COLT LONDON", by Joseph G. Rosa © 1976.

Most if not all of these containers were made from walnut and had a hinged lid and either a COLT instruction sheet or the label of the gun store which sold the pistol on the inside of the lid.

These boxes are not the fancy "cases" Colt also shipped his guns in. Many of the presentation cases had several compartments with lids and the separators look like they are made of much thicker material. These cases often had fine material linings in them.

This isn't surprising to me because the Colt pistol was considered by Colt to be the best revolver in the world so it should rightfully be sold in a fine box.
I don't think Colts ego would have allowed him to do less.

One should also remember, even cigars and other low cost items were often sold in wooden boxes.
I even remember my mom buying salted cod fish in wooden boxes so, why shouldn't an expensive Colt pistol come in a fine walnut box?
Just Jim...



Edited by Zonie on 04-19-18 05:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
smoothshooter 
45 Cal.
Posts: 986
04-21-18 01:15 PM - Post#1680857    

    In response to Zonie

But have you actually SEEN ONE?
I could be mistaken, but I did not think every Colt percussion revolver left the factory with a set of accessories.


 
crockett 
Cannon
Posts: 6283
05-16-18 09:25 AM - Post#1684934    

    In response to smoothshooter

I wonder if any ads from the time exist that might mention such. I always figured most civilian pistols were shipped in bulk to a store that sold firearms. A box crate with sawdust- etc. Guns in a bag nested in the sawdust.

 
cigarmitch 
36 Cal.
Posts: 57
cigarmitch
05-16-18 10:07 AM - Post#1684941    

    In response to crockett

I have seen what is said to be an ordnance Dept box that shipping 10 Colt Army Revolvers. It checks all the boxes, but I have only found one view. I assume it had dividers like the musket crates, appears to be about the size of ammunition boxes, and shares a lot of the same construction details.

Here is a link to the photo I am referring to:
http://www.mcpheetersantiquemilitaria.com/10_field_equip/10i...
Cigar Mitch
mid 19th Century Powder Burner



 
Obi-Wan Cannoli 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1225
Obi-Wan Cannoli
05-16-18 10:16 AM - Post#1684943    

    In response to smoothshooter

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah...

Most (all?) Colts were not this elaborate, but they were still an expensive item and people needed the things to maintain and operate them. I will eat my boots if anybody can provide evidence that a wooden box with accessories was not the norm.


 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26295
Zonie
05-16-18 01:33 PM - Post#1684968    

    In response to cigarmitch

I have no doubts that the military received their shipments of Colt revolvers packed in bulk containers. That is why I was very specific in saying, "commercial versions of Colt's pistols" in my post, above.

As I mentioned, even things like salted cod fish were packed in wooden boxes back in the 19th century and thru at least the first half of the 20th century.

Based on this and the numerous photos I've seen of Colt pistols, each in their own, not very fancy wooden box I believe all of the commercial revolvers were shipped in wooden boxes.
Just Jim...



 
smoothshooter 
45 Cal.
Posts: 986
05-16-18 05:08 PM - Post#1684994    

    In response to Zonie

But have you ever SEEN ONE?
Or a picture of one?

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6744
05-16-18 06:18 PM - Post#1684999    

    In response to Zonie

  • Zonie Said:
I have no doubts that the military received their shipments of Colt revolvers packed in bulk containers.


From the link above:

"For there is a new government order for the Baltic ; and as fast as they are finished the pistols are sent away, packed in deep cases that look very large indeed, considering that they are only for five-and-twenty single pistols each. But the conical balls and bullet-moulds, powder flasks and percussion caps take up more room than the pistols themselves."

Spence


 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26295
Zonie
05-16-18 11:14 PM - Post#1685022    

    In response to smoothshooter

  • smoothshooter Said:
But have you ever SEEN ONE?
Or a picture of one?


As I said earlier in this topic,
  • Quote:

"...The compartments did not have lids on them and served to keep the gun with its various accouterments from bumping into each other.

The corner joints on these boxes were simple butted joints or miters. None appear to have been dovetailed although dovetails and finger joints were commonly used on wooden boxes at the time.

Containers like this with the pistol, a small bullet-mold, a powder flask and other items like bullets, caps, nipple wrenches are shown in books like, "*C*O*L*T*, AN AMERICAN LEGEND", by R.L.Wilson, and "COLONEL COLT LONDON", by Joseph G. Rosa © 1976..."



When I said "the compartments did not have lids on them..." I am trying to describe a wooden box with several thin separators forming compartments for the pistol and the other accessories that came with it, and yes, there are many photos of these in those books.

As I also said, these boxes were not the fancy kind that the high dollar, engraved pistols were in.
The only thing that could be remotely thought of as being special about them is they usually had a inexpensive lock on the hinged lid on the side opposite the hinges.
Just Jim...



 
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