Gun Specifics:

  • Date of manufacture: 1857 to 1864
  • Total production: Approx. 1,500
  • Length of barrel: 24 to 30 inches
  • Caliber: .36 and .44
  • Address: ‘COLTS PT. / 1856’ and ‘ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’
  • Weight: 8 pounds or more depending on barrel length

Colt Model 1855 Half Stock Sporting Rifle

Between one thousand and fifteen hundred Half Stock Sporting rifles were manufactured circa 1857 to 1864. Most were made in .36 and .44 caliber with a few manufactured in .40 and .50 caliber.

The barrel address on the top-strap reads ‘COLT’S PT./1856 and ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’. The walnut stocks are varnished or oil finished with metal parts blued with case-colored hammer and lever.

This model has a six shot fluted cylinder and a round barrel which is semi-octagonal at the breech end. The standard rifled barrel lengths are 24, 27 and 30 inches. There are some special variations with regards to trigger-guards, sights, frames and adjustable set triggers. There are some great examples of engraved and presentation pieces known.

The serial numbering for this model is rather complicated and it is advisable to check out specialist information to date these longarms and put them in the right 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

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.

The majority of revolvers were blued with casehardened hammer and loading lever. The grips were of one-piece varnished walnut or select burl walnut, ivory on engraved or special order guns. The most sought after grips came from the famous Charter Oak tree.