The Colt Revolver was the first true multi-shot pistol to be accepted into modern culture. Not only was it revolutionary in its design, it allowed for westward expansion in America. The two most important impacts of the Colt Revolver was its ability to allow the expansion of the American west as well as the introduction of the concept of a multi-shot firearm into the culture of America.
The west was not a friendly place for Americans. Early frontiersmen dealt with hostile Native Americans and Mexicans, bandits, snakes, and buffalo. The Colt Revolver allowed one individual to fend off multiple attackers easily. Not only did the Colt Revolver aid in the protection of pioneers in the west, it became an important tool for the military. A good example of this is the Texas Rangers who were usually outnumbered by hostile natives in Texas. With the Colt Revolver, the Rangers were able to fend off forces that were numerically superior to them, while inflicting heavy casualties. The Colt Revolver allowed peace of mind for its carrier in the West, no matter the situation.
The concept of a multi-shot weapon was new in the 1830’s. Today we find the idea of a gun that could only fire one shot backwards and somewhat silly. Not only did Colt impact the general public’s perception of fire arms, he affected how war was actually fought. Colt firearms have been the sidearm of choice through much of American military history, ranging from the Colt Model 1860’s use through the Civil War to the Colt Model 1911A1 in World War II. As a testament to Colt’s simple yet effective design, Colt Revolvers are still used today, ranging from private use to security forces. War and life as we know it could be very different if it wasn’t for Samuel Colt.
Image source here
The Colt Revolver played a crucial role in American history, not only allowing for westward expansion due to its combat capabilities, but for the basic self defense of western pioneers and citizens. Additionally it has changed the face of armed combat with the introduction of multi-shot firearms and thereby altering the way wars were fought and won. Without the Colt Revolver, America and its armed forces would look quite a bit different than what we see today.
Image source here
Jeff Kinard, Weapons and Warfare: an Illustrated History of Their Impact: Pistols, (Santa Barbara California, ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2003)
Ibid, 82, 209-211