• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

1873 Colt Revolver

1873 Colt Revolvers
NPS Photo

1873 Colt Revolver

Calibers: .45 Long Colt

Barrel Length: 7 ½", 5 ½", and 4 ¾"

The weapon most identified with lawmen in the old west. The 1873 Colt revolver was the second pistol produced by this company to shoot a metallic cartridge. These pistols were available in thirty different calibers. Like the most of the previous Colts, it was single action and held six rounds. This pistol was loaded through a loading gate in the rear and each round had to be extracted one at a time using the ejecting rod. These came in various barrel lengths with the most common being 7 ½, 5 ½, and 4 ¾ inches. This pistol was made in continued production from 1873 to 1941.

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Did You Know?

Park staff and volunteers demonstrating using lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the cannon's primer

The soldiers who came to Fort Smith in 1817 were still using some 18th century technology and drill. The cannon was discharged using a lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the primer, which originally was loose powder or a turkey quill filled with powder.