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 LOT 1286
Rare and Highly Desirable Presentation Cased Early Production Two- Digit Serial Number 16 Colt No. 5 Holster Model “Texas Paterson” Percussion Revolver - Serial no. 16, 36 cal., 7 1/2 inch octagon bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Samuel Colt and the Colt revolvers owe their fame in large part due to the brave men of Texas in the 1840s. The historic Paterson revolvers are directly connected with the early history of Texas, especially the Texas Rangers. To secure their freedom and territory, the Texans needed Colt’s revolvers, and Sam Colt needed the Texans for his business to succeed. Only approximately 1,000 No. 5 Holster Model “Texas Paterson” revolvers were manufactured by Samuel Colt’s Patent Arms Manufacturing Company in 1838-40. The No. 5 Holster Model is similar to the later Colt Model 1851 Navy in size and power but were the largest of all the Paterson handguns and marked a significant increase in overall firepower compared to the single shot pistols commonly used in the period. While a small number were manufactured, these revolvers received significant use on the Texas frontier. They achieved fame due to their use by Captain John Coffee Hays and the Texas Rangers on the frontier in the Southwest.
In addition to fighting for their independence from Mexico, the Texans
in the 1830s and 1840s were fighting off attacks from another menace in the north: Comanche raiders. Though the Texans had tenuously secured independence from Mexico in 1836, the Comanche were still the rulers
of much of Texas, especially across the plains and launched frequent
raids. Hundreds of warriors participated in many of these raids, greatly overwhelming the Texan settlers. Nonetheless, settlers continued to press on into Comanche territory. The Texas Rangers were formed to defend
the frontier but were a small force in the 1840s. Samuel Colt provided an answer for the superior numbers of the Comanche: five-shot Colt Paterson revolvers. Bandera Pass was the first time Colt’s revolvers truly showed their utility in battle. Around 50 Texans held their ground while being assaulted by hundreds of Comanche warriors. At Walker’s Creek, Colt’s revolvers were demonstrated to be particularly useful in running battles on horseback. The Comanches were used to fighting men with single shot firearms and could draw their fire and then descend upon them before they could reload or overwhelm them with fast firing bows. Captain John Coffee Hays and 14
of his rangers fought an estimated 40 to 200 Comanche in the battle. After avoiding being drawn into a trap, the Texans attacked the Comanche on horseback, fought off two counter attacks, and then pursued the Comanche in a running fight with Hays calling on his men to use their revolvers at
close range yelling: “Crowd them! Powder-burn them!” Comanche losses
are estimated to 20-50+ killed while the Rangers lost one killed and four wounded, including Samuel Walker who took a thrust from a lance to the body and was expected to die but lived on to fight in the Mexican-American War. The Paterson revolvers were also used by the navy of the Republic of Texas during the Texas-Mexican Wars in the early 1840s. Patersons also saw limited use outside of Texas by the U.S. Army in the Seminole Wars, and, even after the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company closed, they appear
in newspaper articles, including in an article about two men in Mobile, Alabama, dueling with “Colt’s pistols” and exchanging four shots in 1844.
Colt’s Paterson, New Jersey, based Patent Arms Manufacturing Company failed in 1842, but the Texans kept on using their Colt revolvers, and they wanted more, especially with the outbreak of the Mexican-American War. The war broke out following the annexation of Texas by the United States. Samuel Walker based on his experiences with the Paterson revolvers spearheaded the genesis of the formidable Colt Walker revolver in collaboration with Samuel Colt. The revolver launched the rebirth Samuel Colt’s firearms business and his tremendous business success.

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