Sold For: $2,106
Model: 1855 Sidehammer Model 2 Pocket Revolver (aka Root Model No. 2)
Serial Number: 9020
Year of Manufacture: 1856
Caliber: .28 Caliber
Action Type: Single Action, Sidehammer Percussion Black Powder Revolver
Markings: The barrel’s top flat is marked “COLT’S PT. / 1855” followed by “ADDRESS COL. COLT / HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.” and the barrel’s bottom flat is marked “9020”. The cylinder is faintly marked “COLT’S PATENT” and more clearly beneath “9020”. The “Cabin and Indian Scene” can partially be made out on the cylinder’s circumference and the rear face of the cylinder is marked with a “G”. The face of the recoil shield is marked with a “B”. The underside of the grip frame is marked “9020”. We have not removed the loading lever, hammer or grip to further search for markings.
Barrel Length: 3 ½” Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a mortised cone. The rear sight is a “V” groove in the top strap visible when the hammer is cocked.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The one piece grip is “U” shaped as seen from the bottom and made of smooth walnut. There are some handling and small compression marks in addition to missing two very tiny chips from both sides of the heel. They appear to have retained virtually all of their finish. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition for a pocket revolver that is over 150 years old.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is distinct, almost sharp. There is some erosion in the bore including a ring of pitting about half way down the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 40% of its metal finish. The left side of the revolver shows the most finish, particularly around the hammer screw. The barrel and loading lever show a brown patina. The cylinder’s roll engraving is barely present, but features can definitely be seen. The screw heads show signs of use, yet remain nearly sharp. The markings are clear except as discussed. There are certainly handling and compression marks, but none of the pitting so often seen on old black powder arms. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition as an antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder pin is removed to the rear, the hammer pivots from the frame’s right side. It has a solid frame and a rear sight similar to an 1873 Single Action Army. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: A modern reproduction fitted case is provided with accessories. The case is well constructed of walnut with brass hinges and brass locking clasp with the key provided. The exterior has some light handling marks and what appears as water spotting. The interior is partitioned and lined with blue velvet. The velvet has some marks from where the revolver and accessories rest, but is primarily in Fine condition. There is an eagle brass powder flask that appears original and has a beautiful dark patina. There is an original Colt’s Patent bullet mold with a ball cavity and a conical cavity.
Our Assessment: “The Book of Colt Firearms” by R. L. Wilson has a discussion of this type of revolver on pages 146 through 153, including photos of an original fitted box and a clear reproduction of the cylinder’s engraving. This is a great find, the revolver has matching serial numbers on the barrel, cylinder and grip frame. The Colt bullet mold is from the period, perhaps the powder flask as well. The modern handmade fitted case is extremely well done and similar to the original shown in Wilson’s book. This is a rare opportunity to own a solid frame Colt that predates the Model P; don’t let this one slip away.