By Thomas E. Wessel
1 Disassembly of the Colt Root should not be attempted, due to the fragile and intricate nature of the parts, unless absolutely necessary. Should disassembly be required, commence by depressing the cylinder arbor retaining latch (33). On some models, a screw is used to retain the cylinder arbor (21). Withdraw arbor from rear of frame (8) and remove cylinder (9). Remove screw (18) and grip (19)
3. Loading lever latch pin
5. Loading lever latch (ball type)
6. Rammer pin
9. Cylinder (nipples integral)
11. Hammer screw
12. Hand pin
13. Trigger spring
15. Hand spring
17. Mainspring retaining pin
18. Grip screw
20. Mainspring tension screw
21. Cylinder arbor
22. Cylinder arbor sleeve
25. Cylinder stop
26. Cylinder stop spring
27. Trigger screw
28. Stirrup pin
31. Cylinder stop screw
32. Side-plate screw
33. Cylinder arbor retaining latch
34. Arbor retaining latch pin
35. Arbor retaining latch pin spring
The basic patent covering the Colt Model 1855 revolver was granted to Elisha K. Root on Dec. 25, 1855 (No. 13,999). Root had joined the Colt firm in 1849 and was made shop superintendent. A gifted inventor, he designed many of the machines which made possible the mass production of Colt firearms and had much to do with the design of many Colt arms. Root eventually became President of Colt's upon the death of Samuel Colt in 1862. Root died in 1865.
The Model 1855 revolver, commonly
2 Next, remove mainspring tension screw (20—arrow) and drift out mainspring retaining pin (17). This will relieve spring tension on moving parts
3 Continue by removing (A) trigger screw (27), (B) side-plate screw (32), and (C) cylinder stop screw (31). Tap out side-plate (30), then using a small screwdriver or punch as a lever, flick (D) mainspring free of stirrup (24)
crevice between hammer (10) and frame, and tap gently. This will pry off hammer which is usually hard pressed in place on the sear (29), which may now also be removed from left side of frame. Trigger (14), trigger spring (13), cylinder stop (25), cylinder stop spring (26), hand (16), and hand spring (15) may now be dismounted. Removal of these parts is obvious once the side-plate is off, but removal sequence is important called Root Model by collectors, was made in cals. .28 and .31, and only at the Hartford, Conn., factory established in 1855. None was made in Colt's London factory, although some were made in the Hartford plant for the English trade and were stamped "Address Col. Colt—London".
According to James E. Serven's Colt Firearms 1836-1960, the AVi" barrel revolvers are found only in cal. .31, and always with round barrels. The revolvers with VA" barrel may have round or full fluted cylinder, round, or octagonal barrel, 3 different devices for holding the cylinder pin, and 2 types of cylinder engraving. Standard stocks were of varnished walnut, but ivory was also used on some guns. Some presentation Model 1855 revolvers have grips made from the famous Connecticut Charter Oak.
Model 1855-type revolvers were the first Colt revolvers to have a top strap over the cylinder and a screw-in barrel. They also were the first use by Colt's of the creeping-type loading lever.
5 Unlatch loading lever (2) and push down until rammer pin (6) is seen through hole in front portion of frame (arrow). Drifting out of rammer pin will permit removal of loading lever assembly and rammer (7)
6 Reassemble in reverse order. When replacing mainspring retaining pin, it is necessary to compress mainspring to align groove in spring with pin hole in frame. Accomplish this by placing a small block of soft wood, shaped to contour of backstrap, and felt padded on surface which bears on backstrap. Using a woodworker's clamp, from which the button has been removed, apply to mainspring as shown and compress until pin hole (arrow) is clear, then insert mainspring retaining pin, and replace mainspring tension screw (20) ■
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