Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: Numbered from 1341 to 8,000
  • Date of manufacture: 1848 to 1850
  • Total production: 7000
  • Length of barrel: 7½ inches
  • Caliber: .44
  • Weight: 4 pounds 2 ounces

Colt First Model 1848 Dragoon Percussion Revolver

The Colt Model 1839 Shotgun was manufactured circa 1839 to 1841 in Paterson, New Jersey. A limited total of approximately 225 were manufactured and serial numbered in their own range from 1 through to about 225. The caliber was 16 gauge smoothbore with a large 6-shot cylinder measuring 3½ inches in length. This compared to a 2½ inch cylinder on the Model 1839 Carbine. The cylinder is roll-engraved with three panels and Colt markings. The barrel is round without bevels at the breech. Barrel lengths varied between 24 inches and 32 inches and made without attached loading levers.

The barrel address is found on the right side of the barrel lug and reads: ‘Patent Arms M’g. Co. Paterson, N.J.-Colt’s Pt.’ with a snake and star terminal at each end. The shotgun features the same mechanism as the carbine with an exposed hammer. The serial numbers are found on various parts but the carbine should be disassembled to make a full check. The metal parts are blued apart from the barrel which is browned with a Damascus twist pattern. The stocks are varnished walnut.

This unpopular model as can be seen by the low production run has become a rarity to collectors today and therefore very collectible. The failure of the Paterson Arms Manufacturing Company cut short the possibility for success for this model.

As with most Colt firearms there are always exceptions to the rule and the 1839 shotgun can be found with special barrel lengths outside the 24-32 inch criteria. Stocks are sometimes found with deluxe wood and also checkering has been encountered.

For in-depth reference on Paterson longarms see ‘The Paterson Colt Book featuring the Dennis A. Levett Collection’ by R.L. Wilson.

More Colt Percussion Dragoons

The Colt Third Model Dragoon Revolver was manufactured from circa 1851 through to 1861. A total of about 10,500 were produced in this period in a serial range from about 10701 through to about 19600.

Colt’s Second Contract Dragoon was manufactured in 1848 and serial numbered in a range from 2001 through 3000. Approximately 1000 are thought to have been manufactured by Colt to replace defective Colt Walker Dragoon revolvers that were sold to the U.S. government.

The component parts for the Colt Hartford-London Dragoon percussion revolver were manufactured in Hartford using Third Model and also some Second Model Dragoon parts (mainly the square-back trigger-guards).