Mar 012013

In what was dubbed an “Improvement in Fire-Arms,” Samuel Colt was granted a second patent for what was to become known as the Colt Revolver on February 25, 1836. It is United States Patent number X9430. This patent, in combination with another issued in August, 1836, protected the technology necessary to produce the Colt Paterson. Why was the Paterson so different? It had a revolving cylinder that contained multiple bullets. Prior to Colt’s invention, hand held firearms relied upon a one or two-barrel flintlock technology. Unlike the firearms used in the Revolutionary war, it was “breech-loading” which meant that the bullet was loaded from the rear of the barrel. Its trigger actually folded which was later deemed to be a flaw. It had to be partially taken apart in order to reload the weapon. The six step reloading process was cumbersome, and several of the routine carry modes were dangerous as well. The Paterson was given its name because it was produced in Paterson, New Jersey. Colt dreamed a developing firearms that were created on an assembly line and had interchangeable parts. While this particular weapon did not have interchangeable parts, it was commonplace to carry a second preloaded cylinder. His dream led to the founding of the Patent Arms Company. As Colt continued to develop improved technology, production of the Paterson ended in 1842.


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