Colt Holster Model Paterson Revolver (No. 5)

The five-shot .36-caliber Paterson revolver became famous for its use on the western frontier. It is sometimes called the "Texas" Paterson because of its association with the Texas Rangers. This piece was filed as an example in the U. S. Patent Office about 1840. It is stamped with the Serial Number 414 on the frame and Serial Number 222 on the cylinder.
This revolver was kept at the Patent Office until its transfer to the Smithsonian in 1908.
Object Name
revolver, percussion
Date made
ca 1839
Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 1 3/4 in x 13 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in; 4.445 cm x 34.29 cm x 13.97 cm
overall: 5 in x 13 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 12.7 cm x 34.925 cm x 3.81 cm
Place Made
United States: New Jersey, Paterson
ID Number
patent number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
National Treasures exhibit
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


"Were the frames of the experimental or prototype pistols made by John Pearson, Sam Colt's gunsmith, made of a single piece of metal or were they made up of three plates? A left and right plate and a center plate that extended down to the handgrip? Why is ask this question, is I have what might be an experimental, the frame is made up of 3 pieces as described above. It is my belief that the first or original frame was composed of pieces, then when they had the cut out correct for the interior mechanics, they were able to make the frame into a single piece. Am I right on my supposition?Thank you in advance for the information - Michael Desparte"
"You may be correct. It is not inconceivable that the frame of some of the experimental Colt models, produced by either Pearson or Chase, were made with several pieces, but all of Colt’s early drawings and plans call for a one-piece frame. David MillerArmed Forces History"

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