The Colt 1851 Navy Revolver and Colt Single Action Army, or Colt Peacemaker are single-action revolvers used extensively in the United States during the latter half of the 19th Century. Together, they were the Mid-Range weapons of the Jesse James gang, while the 1873 Colt Peacemaker was the Mid-Range weapon of Crazy Horse. The Colt Bisley revolver was also the Mid-Range weapon of Pancho Villa.

Colt 1851 Navy Revolver

Colt 1851 Navy Revolver
  • Range: 100 yards
  • Ammo: .36, .38 and .45
  • Magazine: 6 rounds
  • Weight: 1191 g (42 oz)
  • Length: 355.6 mm (14 in)
  • Action: Single Action revolver
  • Users: Jesse James gang

Colt 1873 Single-Action Army Revolver

Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army
  • Range: 50 yards
  • Weight: 2 lbs, 5 oz
  • Length: 13 inches
  • Cartridge: .45 Colt
  • Action: Single Action revolver
  • Feed System: 6-shot Cylinder
  • Users: Crazy Horse and Lokota Warriors


The rapidfire capabilities of the Colt revolvers, coupled with their decent accuracy in the hands of an expert, made these firearms a must-have for any lawman or outlaw. Thanks to Colt's aggressive marketing, their revolvers saw widespread use around the world, and remained popular even as more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced. The Colt did have some problems though; the cartridges were often of medicore quality at best, and often caused the gun to jam. The gun is also clumsy, and time consuming to reaload. In addition to Jesse James, they boasted many other famous users, including Wild West lawmen "Wild Bill" Hickok and Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, John Wesley Hardin, Tom Horn, Australian bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly, and lawmen Bass Reeves.


In Jesse James vs Al Capone

Jesse James' Colt 1851 variant pistols were tested in a recreation of a 19th-century bank, where they expended 12 rounds and made three multiple-hit kills in under seven seconds, with a drawing time of one quarter second. Among the recorded kills was a bullet wound through the cheekbone and brain stem, and a bullet wound which severed the left ventricle. The Colt 1851 pistols were also tested on horseback simulating the vehicles of his time. The Colt pistols shot three of the five targets, two kill shots and a disarming arm wound. The edge was given to the Thompson due to its ability to put more rounds into its targets.

In Crazy Horse vs Pancho Villa

The Colt Bisley was tested against the 1873 Colt in ballistics performance and eliminating five targets with six rounds without hitting a horse. The Colt Bisley had a muzzle velocity of 1168 fps while the Colt 1873 had a muzzle velocity of 997 fps but caused more internal damage. In the second test, both guns had a 5/6 hit ratio with the 1873 Colt scoring a 3/5 kill ratio in 21s to the Colt Bisley's 2/5 kill ratio in 17s. The edge was given to the 1873 Colt for its longer barrel and higher damage.

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