Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: 1 – 1,000
  • Date of manufacture: 1838 – 1840
  • Total production: 1,000
  • Length of barrel: 4 to 129 inches
  • Caliber: .36 (Five shots)
  • Address: ‘Patent Arms M’g. Co. Paterson N.J- Colts PT’ with a snake and star finial at each end.
  • Weight: 2 pounds 8 ounces depending on barrel length and with or without loading lever.

Colt Paterson Holster Model Percussion Revolver AKA: No 5 Texas Paterson

The Colt Holster Model Paterson Revolver No. 5 also known as the “Texas Paterson” was manufactured circa 1838 to 1840 in Paterson, New Jersey. A total of approximately 1000 were manufactured serial numbered in its own range from 1 through to 1000.

This is the most desirable and prized of all Paterson revolvers due to its size and relatively heavy caliber. It came to fame in late 1840 through Captain Jack Coffee Hays, who along with about fifteen Texas rangers all armed with Paterson rifles and pistols fought off a large war-party of about eighty Comanche Indians killing or wounding more than forty of them. This was an expensive gun at the time of manufacture costing $35. The standard Model is identified as follows:

Large size frame; Barrels marked: ‘Patent Arms M’g. Co. Paterson N.J.-Colt’s Pt.’ reading breech to muzzle; Octagonal barrel lengths from 4″ to 12″ (standard 7½” and 9″) with rifling of eleven grooves and lands; .36 caliber with folding trigger; with (scarce) or without an attached loading lever; five shot cylinder roll engraved with the decoration of the stagecoach holdup scene including the word COLT.; rear of the cylinder were squareback (seen on early examples without loading lever) although the majority were rounded (later and usually seen with attached loading lever); varnished walnut two-piece flared grips; early examples without loading lever normally have a blued barrel, frame and cylinder with casehardened hammer and examples with loading levers have a blued barrel and cylinder with casehardened frame, hammer and loading lever; serial numbers stamped on all major parts (the revolver needs to be disassembled to observe serial numbers).

As with most Colt firearms there are always exceptions to the rule with some engraved examples known, inlaid silver bands and also those with silver-plated back-straps and frames, ivory or mother-of–pearl grips and case hardened hammers and loading levers when present. Values depend on condition, rarity and provenance. Some specimens are cased.

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

More Paterson Percussion Era

The Colt Belt Model Paterson Revolver No. 2 was manufactured circa 1837 to 1840 in Paterson, New Jersey. A total of approximately 400 were made and serial numbered 1 through 850 along with the No. 2 Belt Model which shares its serial numbering.

The Colt Pocket or Baby Model Paterson Revolver No. 1 was manufactured circa 1837 to 1838 in Paterson, New Jersey. A total of approximately 500 were made and serial numbered 1 through 500. This was the smallest revolver manufactured by Samuel Colt. The standard Model is identified as follows.

The Fourth Model Ehlers pocket revolver or Improved No. 1 Pocket Model Small Size Frame is a separate model from the Colt Pocket or Baby Model Paterson Revolver No. 1 revolver. It was manufactured circa 1840 to 1843 in Paterson, New Jersey by John Ehlers who took over the Paterson company after it went bankrupt.