Autry Museum of the American West

Model 1855 Half Stock Revolving Sporting Rifle

left side

left side

Circa 1857-1864; serial number 1340
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

Colt’s revolving handguns had a tremendous impact on the American frontier, but Colt’s revolving longarms were not as successful. Colt’s rifles, shotguns, and muskets were plagued with several key weaknesses, including gas leakages, multiple discharges, and mechanical failures. Strong competition from Winchester and Henry repeating rifles was another factor that contributed to slow sales. The revolving longarm that saw the most use in the American West was probably the Colt Model 1855 Half Stock Revolving Sporting Rifle. It was used by mountain men, hunters, traders, and even some of the United States Cavalry stationed in the West. This exotic specimen was custom-made to accommodate the tubular scope, which was used for sighting but not for magnification.

  • right side

    right side
  • rifle detail

    rifle detail


Jeffrey Richardson

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

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