Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: Overlapping with the Baby Dragoon from
  • 12,000 – 340,000
  • Date of manufacture: 1850 to 1873
  • Total production: Approx. 326,000
  • Length of barrel: 3 to 6 inches
  • Caliber: .31
  • Address: Several variations including:
  • Weight: 24 ounces. Depending on barrel length.

Colt Model 1849 Pocket Percussion Revolver

The production of the Colt Model 1849 Pocket revolver in America commenced in 1850 and continued through to 1873. This was the successor to the Baby Dragoon and a total of approximately 326,000 ’49 Pockets were manufactured at the Hartford factory. The serial numbers overlapped with its predecessor from the 12000 serial range through to 340000. There are many variations of the 1849 Pocket but the basic pattern was as follows. It was in .31 caliber with an octagonal barrel with the majority having loading levers (the Wells Fargo models are found without levers) and came with different barrel lengths of 3”, 4”, 5” or 6”. It is found with five or six shot cylinders in specific serial ranges with large and small oval trigger-guards. The barrel and cylinder were blued with the frame, hammer and loading lever casehardened. The back-strap and trigger-guard were mainly silver-plated brass but some were steel and blued or silver-plated. The grips were of one-piece varnished walnut or select burl walnut, ivory on engraved or special order guns. Other finishes include silver-plating, gold-plating and a mixture of both. One Pocket #181885 is known with a gilt silver finish.

There are several barrel addresses including ‘ADDRESS SAM’ COLT/NEW-YORK CITY’, ‘ADDRESS SAM’ COLT/HARTFORD CT’ and ‘ADDRESS COL. SAM COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA’. On a few is found the one or two line address of ‘ADDRESS.COL: COLT./LONDON’. On engraved and special order Pockets, hand-engraved ‘SAML COLT’ is often encountered. The frame was stamped on the left side of all revolvers with ‘COLTS/PATENT’. On engraved and special order Pockets, hand-engraved ‘COLT’S PATENT’ is often encountered. The cylinder had the roll design of the stagecoach holdup scene. From 1850 to 1873 there were many changes and variations made of trigger guards, loading cutouts, loading lever latches, sights, hammers, muzzles, finishes, engraving, etc.

One variation is the ‘Wells Fargo’ model which was made with both long (approximately 4200 according to Jordan & Watt) and short frames (approximately 2200 according to Jordan & Watt), small rounded brass trigger-guard, mostly three inch octagonal barrel (some four inch barrels are known) and without loading lever. Beware of fakes. It is estimated that no more than three thousand one hundred Colt Model 1849 Pocket revolvers were engraved in various styles of engraving by different factory engravers such as Gustave Young. Many Colt Model 1849 revolvers were cased.

Philip Boulton of Southampton, England has collated and recorded a survival rate of at least 2.59% of the original production of Colt Model 1849 London Pocket revolvers. For in-depth reference on the Colt Baby Dragoon revolvers see ‘Colt’s Pocket ’49, it’s Evolution, including the Baby Dragoon & Wells Fargo’ by Robert M. Jordan & Darrow M. Watt.

More Colt New Model Army and Navy Percussion Revolvers

The Colt Model 1848 Baby Dragoon Revolver was manufactured in Hartford from circa l847 through to 1850 with a total of about 15,000 produced. Serial numbers are found on all major parts and range from 1 through to about 15500 overlapping with the Colt Model 1849 Pocket.

The Colt Model 1851 London revolver was manufactured in London at Samuel Colt’s only manufacturer outside the U.S. from 1853 through to 1857. The revolvers were numbered in their own serial range from serial number 1 through to 42,910.

The Colt Model 1849 London Pocket revolver was manufactured at the London factory from circa 1853 through to 1857 with its own serial range from 1 through to approximately 11000. The quality of the London Pocket was thought to be better than its American counterpart.