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Facts About Colt: History, Locations and Information

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 11:55 AM

The history of Colt Manufacturing Co. is dotted with facts that depict America’s history as much as that of the firearms company.

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Samuel Colt was born in Hartford, Connecticut in July, 1814, and despite being the mind behind the production of some of the most iconic and well-made guns ever made, it wasn’t until years after his death that the Colt name became what it is today.

The following facts about Colt help shed light on how the company gained a reputation as the best gun maker on the planet.

Early Inspirations
At age of 18, Samuel Colt began drawing inspiration for what would become a manufacturing empire when he took a job on a sea ship headed to Calcutta. According to samuelcolt.net, young Colt drew inspiration from the mechanical properties of a ship's steering wheel and soon formed a block of wood into a prototype.

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Upon his return, Colt’s father, unimpressed but willing to help, provided the funds to get the ball rolling and after filing the required patents, the “Colt Paterson” soon appeared. Though this initial effort never made it big, by 1847, the military was onboard and the “Colt Walker” became what samuelcolt.net called “the most powerful handgun ever created at that time.” A new manufacturing plant, the “Colt Armory” and an influx of big contracts from the government provided Colt with the nexus of a commercial success that continues 160 years later.

The Mexican-American War
Things weren’t perfect from the start. Christopher Klein at History.com writes about how after some early failures, Colt guns began to prove their mettle during the Mexican-American war, which started in 1846.

Texas Rangers already knew they were using a great gun leading up to the war and raved about the Colt five-shot revolver, having used it for years, as indicated by correspondences between Texas Ranger Captain Samuel H. Walker and the company.

“Without your pistols we would not have had the confidence to have undertaken such adventures,” History.com quoted Walker’s thoughts about the Colt gun.

Once U.S. Army soldiers got their hands on Colt revolvers, the legend spread, and soon Walker and Colt were collaborating on the design for the .44-caliber version. Government contracts began pouring in.

Tag-team with Browning
Already a master of the revolver, Colt teamed with famed American gunsmith John Browning to produce the M1911A1 .45 ACP service revolver, a gun that saw widespread use in both world wars and many more.

In service since 1911, 28 foreign nations have a adopted use of the short-recoil, seven-shot brute, and the 1911 was the sidearm of choice was the standard U.S. issue all the way up to 1986 before it was replaced by the Beretta M9. Still popular, the 1911 has not been completely phased out and remains in use by some special force units even today, according to MilitaryFactory.com.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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The history of Colt Manufacturing Co. is dotted with facts that depict America’s history as much as that of the firearms company.
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Monday, 20 April 2015 11:55 AM
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