ref: AP104

Colt New Line .30 cal

The 1870’s saw a plethora of small personal defence revolvers popularised in the US and small arms manufacturers like Colt and S&W, as well as neighbourhood workshops with no names at all, raced to get these little pistols onto the civilian market.

These personal-carry pieces – sometimes referred to as “Saturday Night Specials”¬† or “Suicide Specials” were usually made as 5, 6 or 7 shot in small rimfire calibres such as .22, .30 and .32. Common finish was polished nickel although some blued versions were produced.

Ours is the Colt New Line in .30 rimfire which was one of an 11,000 production run by Colt at its Hartford, Ct factory between 1874 and 1876. It was a follow-up to the successful seven-shot  .22 rimfire New Line Revolver of which 55,000 were made in the four years from 1873.

Ours is in very good physical and mechanical condition with varnished walnut “Birds Beak” grips and a seven-shot fluted cylinder.

This pistol and its many period copies and look-a-likes represent and era of personal-carry pistols; deserving of their category and place in the collector’s portfolio.