Gun Specifics:

  • Date of manufacture: 1856 to 1864
  • Total production: Approx. 4,435
  • Length of barrel: 21 to 37½ inches
  • Caliber: .36, .44, .56 and ultra rare .40 and .50
  • Address: ‘COLT’S PT. / 1856’ and ‘ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’
  • Weight: 8 pounds 8 ounces, depending on barrel length.

Colt Model 1855 Revolving Carbine

An estimated total of only 4,435 were manufactured in the Hartford factory circa 1856 to 1864.

On the .36 and .44 caliber carbines the barrel address on the top-strap reads ’COLT’S PT. / 1856 and ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’ and on .56 caliber carbines it reads ‘COL, COLT HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.’.

They came with a six shot fluted cylinder for the .36 and .44 caliber and a five shot fluted cylinder for the .56 caliber. It is very rare to find carbines in .40 or .50 caliber. All carbines except the Artillery Model do not have a forend stock.

Metal parts are blued with the hammer and lever case-colored. The walnut stocks are varnished for civilian sales and oiled stained for military contracts. Some examples have lanyard rings or swivels. Sights are usually of the military type.

The round barrels with semi-octagonal breech come in lengths of 15, 18 and 21 inches. The .56 caliber Artillery Model variation has two barrel bands on the forend and a 24 inch barrel fitted with the saber type bayonet.

The “British Carbine” in .56 caliber is found in the 10000 to 12000 serial range. It is British proofed, with brass trigger guards and butt-plates and barrel lengths ranging from 21 inches to about 30 inches in length.

The identification of this model is rather complicated so therefore 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.

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.

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.