Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: 1 – 225
  • Date of manufacture: 1839 – 1841
  • Total production: 225 approx.
  • Length of barrel: 24 to 32 inches also special order lengths.
  • Caliber: 16 guage with six shot cylinder.
  • Address: ‘Patent Arms M’g. Co. Paterson, N.J-Colt’s Pt.’ with snake and star terminal at each end.
  • Weight: 9 pounds 4 ounces depending on barrel length.

Colt Paterson Model 1839 Percussion Shotgun

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 Paterson Percussion Longarms

The Colt Model 1839 Carbine was manufactured circa 1838 to 1841 in Paterson, New Jersey in .525 smoothbore caliber. It proved to be the most popular of all the Paterson longarms and highly regarded by Sam himself.

The Colt First Model Ring Lever Rifle was manufactured circa 1837 to 1838 in Paterson, New Jersey. It was Colt’s first production firearm before he started manufacturing his pistols a few months later.

The Colt Second Model Ring Lever Rifle or Model No. 2 Ring Lever Rifle was manufactured circa 1838 to 1841 in Paterson, New Jersey.