1874 New York ENGRAVED COLT Open Top .22 Pocket PEARL GRIP LETTERED Antique
Colt’s Answer to SMITH & WESSON’S No. 1 Revolver
Here we present an antique Lettered Colt Open Top .22 Rimfire Spur Trigger Pocket Revolver, made in 1874 in Hartford, Connecticut, with a production run from 1871 through 1877. The Colt factory letter states it was shipped on June 17, 1874, to Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham of New York, New York. Schuyler, Hartley & Graham was the largest firearms dealer in the United States in 1860. Jacob Rutsen Schuyler (1816-1887), Marcellus Hartley (1828-1902) and Malcolm Graham (1832-1899) incorporated their company on March 1, 1854. In 1876 Schuyler retired from the company and by 1880 they changed the name to Hartley and Graham. These were firearms dealer giants and many of their guns got special treatment before leaving New York for various destinations.
These revolvers were made for self-defense. They were introduced in 1871, shortly after the Smith & Wesson held Rollin White Patent expired, opening the floodgates to a hungry market that had been dying to fully implement metallic cartridge firearms loaded into a totally bored through cylinder. From 1857 to 1869 Smith & Wesson had exclusivity with these concepts and rightfully dominated the marketplace. The idea was to provide the commercial market with a very small and concealable firearm.
Not everyone was a cowboy and carried Colt’s Single Action Army. Many civilians may not have carried if not for something that they could stick in their pocket, purse or muff, much like today. The Open Top was relatively successful for a time, with 7 shots of .22 rimfire, but production ceased by about 1877 due to very stiff competition from a plethora of companies making similar but cheaper versions known today as “Suicide Specials”.
The overall condition is near fine. Period nickel finish. The action is excellent. The bore is patinated with good rifling. The solid mother of pearl grips are in great shape. Numbers match. Formerly owned by M*A*S*H actor Gary Burghoff.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 2-3/8 inches.
Caliber: .22 Rimfire (Short, Black Powder)
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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