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McClellan's Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

McClellan's Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver

Catalog #: 32016B    Accession #: 68019
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Maker

Colt (Manufacturer)

Samuel Colt was as much a salesman as he was an inventor. The terms Army and Navy were a marketing strategy, Army meaning .44 caliber and Navy meaning .36 caliber. They have nothing to do with which service used them. After the Civil War, it was said of Sam Colt, "Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal." Colt's success story began with the issuance of a U.S. patent in 1836 for the Colt firearm equipped with a revolving cylinder containing five or six bullets. Colt's revolver provided its user with greatly increased firepower.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 5" H x 13.25" W x 1.5" D

Physical Description

United States Colt M1861 Navy revolver, .36 caliber, backstrap is engraved “Maj. Gen. G. B. McClellan / with Compliments of Col. Colt”.

General History

This lighter, smaller caliber Navy model was popular with ranking Army officers, including General George McClellan.


Keywords

Country: United States
War: Civil War
Service: Navy
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