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Colt Ring Lever Rifle
Colt's First Revolver was a Levergun!
The first revolver ever produced by Colt's Patent Arms Mfg. Co. at it's plant in Patterson, NJ was the Number 1 Rifle otherwise known as the First Model Ring Lever Rifle. Made during 1837 & 1838, only about 200 were of the First Model were produced. It was available in .34, .36, .38, 40, and .44 calibers with either an 8 or 10 shot cylinder. Barrels were 32" long octagonal and were made both with and without the loading lever attached.
The rifle was a standard percussion (cap and ball) firearm that was operated by pulling the ring lever which turned the cylinder and cocked the hammer. Thus, while the gun falls under the category of "Revolving Rifles" it also is a type of "Lever Action Rifles".
The First Model Ring Lever Rifle is distinguished from the Second Model Ring Lever Rifle by having a top strap over the cylinder.
In addition to not having a top strap, the Second Model Ring Lever Rifle was available only in .44 caliber though one did have the choice of either an 8 or 10 shot cylinder. The Second Model also came with either a 28" or a 32" octagon barrel. In addition it could be had with or without the loading lever attached.
The Second Model was produced from 1838 until 1841. About 500 were made.