Autry National Center

Cutaway Second Model Dragoon Revolver

right side

right side

1850; no serial number
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

Cutaway, or skeleton, arms were used to demonstrate the mechanics and special features found on Colt firearms. Very few cutaways were produced, and they were never marketed. The idea originated with Samuel Colt, and this Second Model Dragoon was the first revolver to receive such treatment. Records indicate that Colt used it in a lecture he gave before the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, in 1851. Colt’s lecture highlighted the ingenuity of his revolvers and the advanced techniques used to manufacture them. The lecture was so successful that Colt was elected an associate member of the institution. Within a year, Colt established a London production factory on the River Thames, the first by an American manufacturer outside the United States.

  • left side

    left side
  • trigger mechanism 1

    trigger mechanism 1
  • trigger mechanism 2

    trigger mechanism 2

  • Painting of Samuel Colt with his certificate attesting to associate membership in the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, in his right hand

    courtesy of Connecticut State Library
  • An engraving of Samuel Colt’s London armory circa 1853

    courtesy of Connecticut State Library


Jeffrey Richardson
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Web Development

Gary Cannone

Electronic Cataloging and Imaging

Marilyn Kim, Vlasta Radan, Carmel France, Rebecca Menendez, David Benitez, Susan Eisenstein


Marlene Head

Special Thanks

Greg Martin, R. L. Wilson

4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 Phone: 323.667.2000

© 2015 Autry National Center of the American West. All rights reserved.