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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / 19th Century
  • Language:English
  • Pages:140
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781543989403

Colt - Smith & Wesson: A Clash of Arms

by Robert Swartz

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Sam Colt made a fortune by adopting emerging technology to create the world’s first practical repeating firearm. Oliver Smith and Dan Wesson made a fortune from what they denounced as an “abortion of an invention,” after they used it in an illicit scheme to establish a monopoly on the breech-loading revolver. Their remarkable stories are told with fresh insight informed by startling revelations from long-lost files.

It all comes together with the production of what Dick Salzer calls the most underappreciated Colt revolver, the Open Top .22. For the first time, this gun in its several types and many variants is studied in lavishly illustrated detail.


This book discusses the critical events and discoveries that dominated the development of firearms, from the introduction of gunpowder to the West in 1258 to 1877. Particular attention is paid to Samuel Colt's invention of the world's first practical repeating firearm and the subsequent fight over the patent for the modern breech-loading revolver that was controlled by Smith & Wesson. Included are recently unearthed and startling revelations that will have historians reexamining much of what they thought they knew.

What they’re saying:

Dick Salzer, editor Arms Heritage Magazine. Unearthed and told here is the sordid story of the legal tribulations between Rollin White, Horace Smith, Daniel Wesson and the Colt Company, led at the time by Richard Jarvis. Also, detailed are the history and variations of one of the most underappreciated pistols in the Colt pantheon—the diminutive .22 caliber “Open-top” revolver. This oft-ignored pistol has a surprising and important role in the Colt story and best of all, decent specimens can still be purchased at prices that don’t break the bank.

Kurt House, former editor The Rampant Colt. I heartily recommend this book to the Colt collector, and indeed, to anyone interested in the evolution of firearms in America.

About the author
Bob Swartz is a retired lawyer. Originally from Los Angeles, he now makes his home in San Antonio, Texas.

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