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Author Topic: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle  (Read 7532 times)

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Offline Prospector

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1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« on: November 13, 2014, 09:56:14 PM »
Does anyone here have a 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle?  Have any of you fired one? 
I was watching an episode of "Have Gun, Will Travel" today.  Usually, the characters use the usual Colt peacemakers and Winchester lever actions in these westerns.  But in this episode, I noticed thab Ben Johnson is carrying a revolving rifle.  They did not show a good close-up of the rifle through most of the episode.  I figured it was a Remington.  Then near the end, they showed a close-up of it and that is when I could see that it was a 1855 Colt Root Sporting Rifle.  Here is the episode.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O54h1MZe5p4

On a side note, another famous, rare gun is mentioned in that Episode.  Richard Boon describes the ammo (maybe a paper cartridge?) for a "Walker Colt, 1838 model".  Well, you learn something every day.  Leave it to Hollywood to invent new (old) guns.  There goes Hollywood again messing up history.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Sam Colt was still making his Patterson Revolver at that time, and had probably not even heard of Sam Walker yet.  I wonder if the director or producers ever received any mail from someone in the real world informing them that the Walker was made in 1847, not 1938?  I doubt that they would care even if they found out the truth.
 
Back to the Colt Root.  Here is a good video on the Colt Root, by someone who I find does a pretty good job of getting history straight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYVaX4p_XlY

« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 02:00:13 PM by Prospector »

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 06:21:07 AM »
That's a new one to me...I never seen one before.
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Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 06:25:02 AM »
Only seen clones in a catalog at one time.
I have the Remington revolving carbine.
It's ok to shoot, but a bit awkward in how you hold it.
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Offline Prospector

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 02:04:40 PM »
DD,  do you remember which catalog it was in, or who the maker was?  It would seem like a neat replica to own.  Yes, it does seem like it would be awkward to shoot.  In the Have Gun, Will Travel episode I posted the link to above, I noticed that Ben Johnson was obviously not familiar with the correct way to hod the rifle, because he held the forearm with his off hand as a person would do with other types of rifles.  It is a good thing they were firing blanks!

Offline Pat/Rick

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 04:11:43 PM »
DGW had 'em for awhile but the repro's only lasted a short while. IIRC the manufacturer was palmetto.

"Bull Harris" (Arthur Hunnicutt), in El Diablo With John Wayne carried one also. The movie refrained from any historical referances however.

Didn't Spencer make an attempt at a model or two also? Maybe I'm just thinking about something that wasn't (?).  Seem to recall a revolving shotgun as well...... guess I'll do a search this weekend and refresh the old memory bank.

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Offline Classanr

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 07:15:21 PM »
DD,  do you remember which catalog it was in, or who the maker was?  It would seem like a neat replica to own.  Yes, it does seem like it would be awkward to shoot.  In the Have Gun, Will Travel episode I posted the link to above, I noticed that Ben Johnson was obviously not familiar with the correct way to hod the rifle, because he held the forearm with his off hand as a person would do with other types of rifles.  It is a good thing they were firing blanks!

Highly unlikely he fired one, even with blanks.
There'd still be the gasses at the cylinder face.
Most likely, the "shooting" was done in post-production, even in those day.  Oh, wait, was Ben wearing a long-sleeved something?  They'd put a protective wrap under his sleeve after he touched off the first blank.
In B/W films, to make "smoke" all you had to do was scrape away the exposed emulsion for a few frames.  Presto, very believable "white smoke".
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Offline DD4lifeusmc

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2014, 07:33:28 PM »
DD,  do you remember which catalog it was in, or who the maker was?  It would seem like a neat replica to own.  Yes, it does seem like it would be awkward to shoot.  In the Have Gun, Will Travel episode I posted the link to above, I noticed that Ben Johnson was obviously not familiar with the correct way to hod the rifle, because he held the forearm with his off hand as a person would do with other types of rifles.  It is a good thing they were firing blanks!

What pat /rick said.  Pretty sure it was in one of the flyers they mailed a couple years ago IRC  it was made by Palmetto
They sometimes come up on auctions
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Offline Prospector

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 07:48:02 PM »
Thanks guys for the information.  When I replayed the part where Ben fires the rifle, I thought I saw the flash of hot gasses from the cylinder gap   If they faked him firing it, then that is what I call attention to detail.  I doubt that the editors would think of adding that detail,  but I may be wrong.

Offline Prospector

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 12:27:20 AM »
I looked at that portion of the video again.  There is a closeup of him firing the Colt Root at 21:26, and to me it surely looks like realistic burning powder coming out of the cylinder gap.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 12:33:16 AM by Prospector »

Offline Classanr

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 10:52:27 AM »
I looked at that portion of the video again.  There is a closeup of him firing the Colt Root at 21:26, and to me it surely looks like realistic burning powder coming out of the cylinder gap.

Agreed.
Good image there.
Probably fired doing the shoot, as you state.

Here's why I think it was actually fired:
1. Looks like he's using the "hold the loading lever down" technique, careful to avoid any fingers around the front of the cylinder
2. His left elbow is out like a chicken wing, his forearm at right angles to the gap
3. He has a coat and a long-sleeve something underneath the left-arm coat sleeve
4. Is that a glove he's wearing on his left hand?
5. Observing the image as a past director, I'd say the talent is deeply concerned about getting burned.  Again.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 12:28:21 PM »
The one on the show would have been an original.
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Offline Omnivore

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 02:41:40 PM »
For what it's worth; Walker did use the Colt Patterson, before suggesting to Colt that he make a larger revolver.  So somewhere there is, or was, "Walker's Colt", which would originally have been a Patterson, as opposed to the later "Colt Walker".

There's also a Root-designed revolving pistol from Colt's, also from the circa 1855 peroid, and so the enclosed frame revolver is also a Colt's design.  One wonders why they didn't make more of them in pistol form, and in larger calibers.
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Offline Pat/Rick

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2014, 10:14:07 AM »
Just a thought,  are revolving rifle's responsible for the leather cuff's that were worn on the wrist/forearm?

Seems they might be a quick fix to the gases and or debris from these type's of firearm's. Is there any real protective uses for them in the cattle or horse ranching profession? Was it a neccessity that was later to become fashion? Hmmmm..................


Hawg, the show's of past had alot of really neat old gun's in them! I've often wondered what happened to many of them. I still cringe whenever I see an episode of Wagon Train or ______(?), when a trapdoor is dropped or thrown in the dirt when somebody get's "shot".  Sure would like to have had the money to buy a few.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 10:25:47 AM by Pat/Rick »
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Offline Hawg

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2014, 03:29:07 PM »
Just a thought,  are revolving rifle's responsible for the leather cuff's that were worn on the wrist/forearm?

Seems they might be a quick fix to the gases and or debris from these type's of firearm's. Is there any real protective uses for them in the cattle or horse ranching profession? Was it a neccessity that was later to become fashion?

They were worn to protect the wrist and forearms during roping, branding, stringing fence wire etc. and to keep shirtsleeves from fraying.
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Offline Pat/Rick

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Re: 1855 Colt Root Revolving Sporting Rifle
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2014, 07:03:47 PM »
There's a Palmetto repro on Gun Broker now for $2,250.  I'll likely get leather cuff's before one of them !

They'd look pretty snazzy when I'm out back with the goat's!  Not much roping involved though, just shake a container of feed and they're all over ya, LOL!

Wouldn't be bad to have a remington carbine, be a bit of fun. Sure doesn't have the lines of the Colt's Root though.
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