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Colt second model Dragoon percussion revolver

Date: c 1850
Overall: 50 x 330 x 140 mm, 1.8 kg
Medium: Wood, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Revolver
Object No: 00029485
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This six shot 44 calibre Colt revolver was made in the United States for civilian issue. It features silver on its trigger guard and strap. It is the largest of the Colt revolvers and was very popular during the 1800s largely because of its innovative design feature that allowed multiple shots without constant reloading. This gun was discovered under an earthen floor in a shed at Ballarat. The Independent California Rangers Revolver Brigade preferred this type of gun and it is possible it may have been used in the Eureka Stockade rebellion in 1854.
    SignificanceThis colt revolver is representative of popular gun weaponry in the mid 1800's. It highlights the Eureka stockade in 1854 and tension between miners and the Victorian government at the time.
    HistoryDuring the 1850s the Colt was a popular and innovative hand held weapon consisting of a revolving cylinder that contained five or six bullets. Prior to this invention there were only one or two pistols designed for hand held use. The majority of those manufactured were purchased by the United States military.

    In Australia, the colt was the preferred weapon for miners at the Victorian gold diggings. In 1854, dissident miners called on Boston-born businessman George Francis Train to send them $80,000 worth of Colt revolvers to Ballarat. The entrepreneurial Train declined their request as no payment had been included. Only six days later he leased six wagons to the government for transporting troops to Ballarat.

    Expensive gold licenses and variable returns had created resentment amongst the miners towards the Victorian colonial government. In 1854 tension simmered as diggers refused to pay for the gold digging licenses. On 3 December violence erupted as miners exchanged fire with troops from within a stockade at Ballarat, Victoria.

    During the 20-minute battle 25 miners and one soldier were killed. Government troops stormed the miners' stockade with diggers defending themselves with revolvers and rifles. Many were killed or injured in the opening volley. The Eureka stockade has been immortalised in Australian folk history and is a favourite topic of poets, novelists, journalists and filmmakers. As a result of the conflict, the Miners' license fee was abolished and replaced by an annual £1 fee known as a miner's right.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Colt second model dragoon percussion revolver

    Primary title: Colt second model Dragoon percussion revolver

    Related People
    Manufacturer: Colt

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