- Date of manufacture: 1856 to 1864
- Total production: Approx. 9,310
- Length of barrel: 21 to 37½ inches
- Caliber: .44, .56 and ultra rare .64
- Address: ‘COLT’S PT. / 1856’ and ‘ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’
or ‘COL. COLT HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’
- Weight: 9 pounds 10 ounces. Depending on barrel length
Colt 1855 Military Rifle and Rifled Musket
Approximately 9,310 examples of this model were manufactured circa 1856 to 1864 at the Hartford factory. They came with a six shot fluted cylinder for the .44 caliber and a five shot fluted cylinder for the .56 caliber. Examples in .64 caliber are ultra rare and worth a premium. They are found in the first one hundred serial range in smoothbore or with a 31 5/16 inch rifled barrel.
On .44 caliber guns the barrel address on the top-strap reads ‘COLT’S PT. / 1856 and ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’. On .56 caliber guns it reads ‘COL. COLT HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’.
The round barrels with semi-octagonal breech come in many lengths including 21, 24, 27, 31, 31-3/16, 31-5/16, 37-5/16 and 37-1/2 inches.
Metal parts are blued with the hammer and lever case-colored. The walnut stocks are oiled stained. Some barrels have a socket for an angular bayonet and some have a socket for a saber bayonet. Some are U.S. marked and some are not marked. There are also variations with regards to trigger-guards, sights, frames, barrel lengths, bayonets and caliber.
This model can be confused with the Full stocked Sporting rifle and identification is rather complicated. It is advisable to check out specialist information to establish the model and put them into their correct category.
For in-depth reference on Colt Model 1855 Root Revolving rifles, carbines and shotguns see ‘The Book of Colt Firearms- 3rd Edition’ by R.L. Wilson or ‘Colt Rifles & Muskets from 1847 to 1870’ by Herbert G. Houze. For values, check out ‘Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms… and their values’ by Norm Flayderman.
More Colt Hartford Longarms
This model was the first production longarm made at the Hartford factory. It was manufactured circa 1856 to 1859 with a total of approximately one thousand being made serial numbered from 1 to 1000.