The NRA celebrates the spirit of the holiday season in our 12 Days of Firearms series! To kick off the month of December, we’ve handpicked 12 legendary firearms found in the galleries of the NRA Museums, showcasing one each day for 12 days.
Building off of his successful revolver design, Samuel Colt created this revolving rifle for longer-range uses in 1855. His first attempt at a revolving rifle dates to the 1830s, but it wasn't successful like his handgun was.
Even though the military considered the rifle to be too complex for the average soldier and was never officially adopted, some examples did find their way onto the field of battle during the Civil War. This particular example is attributed to Col. Hiram Birdan's U.S. Sharpshooters.