Breechldrs Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle

Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
I was curious, so did a little research on Colt rifle chain fires. What happened with the Colt Rifle during combat was that the soldiers would spill powder into the nooks & crannies around the cylinder wile reloading. Apparently, it was quite something when the spilled powder cooked off. To prevent this, some commanders ordered their men to only load one shot at a time. An additional element was the lead shaving that has been referenced in this thread which was very painful.

While it could be very effective, a board of inquiry found the faults far overshadowed the benefits. Surplus Colt rifles sold for $42.

The Machine Gun, George M. China, 1851.
Just like the Maynard tape primer, I'm amazed they didn't find a work around.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Getting back to the caps that can jam the revolvers....if you recall in the old movies, the pistol-wielding guy would fire then lift the gun over his head, cock it, and then fire again. Before I had ever fired percussion guns, I thought these movie actors looked absurd doing that. The fancy-schmancy prissy show-off with all the unnecessary theatrics of lifting the gun above his head/shoulders to cock the gun. What I later learned (from books, and in practice), is that "lift-and-cock" motion was an effective way to avoid the spent cap jamming the revolver. The caps would fall out the top of the gun (the top of the cylinder was now on the downside after the "lift"). Whereas when the gun is cocked without lifting, the cap can fall, by gravity, into the revolving mechanism and the hammer mechanism and jam it.

The Remington New Model Army was far less prone to this (by design, as I recall, though I can't recall the specific design improvements) than the Colt, so I don't bother doing the "lift-and-cock" with m y Remington. I can't recall jamming up my Remington with a cap, whereas I don't want to recall all the frustrating moments when a cap jammed my Colts (Army, Navy, Pocket). So now I look like the show-off movie guy (I still think it looks prissy), but I have way less cap jams.
The little buggers are inspirational when they go down your collar.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
There has been a lot of "can, might , could , would and possibilities etc" in this thread about chain fires so far. Is there any documentation that it actually happened? I'm guessing it did happen.
If you will refer to my post in this thread, it contains the source of chain fires & what officers did to mitigate them.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I watched a documentary about chickamauga and a segment spoke about this rifle. It seemed to preform well at snodgrass hill , so I was wondering what were the faults with the rifle and why was it not issued in larger volume. Was the model used at chickamauga a carbine or a longer barrel ?
Bruce Nichols in his book about Guerrilla Warfare in Missouri wrote about one instance where a company or so of the 1st Missouri Cavalry Union was outnumbered by a large group of bushwackers but drove them off with the Colt Revolving Rifle.
Apparently no other nations was impressed with the Colt Revolving Rifle and it was not exported in any significant numbers.
Leftyhunter
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Bruce Nichols in his book about Guerrilla Warfare in Missouri wrote about one instance where a company or so of the 1st Missouri Cavalry Union was outnumbered by a large group of bushwackers but drove them off with the Colt Revolving Rifle.
Apparently no other nations was impressed with the Colt Revolving Rifle and it was not exported in any significant numbers.
Leftyhunter
The Colt factory was only producing 350 of them a month.
 
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