revolving museum


Replica Colt Model 1851 Dragoon single action revolver presented to the Russian Czar and Ottoman Emperor.

In the 1854 Samuel Colt center picture) ordered the production of two heavily decorated Colt Model 1851 Dragoon single action revolvers, which were decorated by master engraver Alvin A. White.  Each revolver featured a portrait of George Washington on the cylinder and the Marquis de Lafeyette on the frame.  Each were heavily decorated with gold inlays and intricate scroll work engraving.  One was presented to Sultan Abdulmecid I, Emperor of the Ottoman Empire (left picture) and Czar Alexander II, Emperor of Russia.  Both leaders were adversaries during the Crimean War, and the purpose of the gifts were to celebrate the end of the war.

The revolver gifted to Abdulmecid II is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Cased Percussion Pepperbox Revolver from England dated about 1830 display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds

Sold by Thomas Fletcher of Gloucester, gunsmith, this six-shot revolver was purchased complete with all the items needed to load and maintain it. The name of the weapon came from the rotating barrels. They resembled the household pepper-pot of the 19th century.

Fear and Loathing in Chiraq

One of Caleb’s favorite things to do when he visits a new city is to find a place where all of the “locals” eat. This is usually a pretty safe bet because he mainly travels to Asian cities for work, and Asian cities, on a whole, are not that dangerous — for an adult male, at least. I want to make a funny joke about ninjas but I can’t think of any.

This morning, he landed in Chicago for a trade show, and immediately headed to the South Side, where he had read that one of the best barbecue joints in the city is located.

I called him a few minutes ago to say hello, and he didn’t pick up the phone. A few minutes later, he called me back. “Hey!” I said.

“Hey,” he whispered. “I’m shaking.”

“You’re what?” I asked.

“I’m shaking.”


“Dude,” he said. “The South Side is not safe.”

“Duh,” I reminded him.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard some controversy about Spike Lee’s new film, “Chiraq” — a title which, if you haven’t read about it, implies that the South Side of the city, sometimes called the “Murder Capital of America,” is a war zone akin to Iraq. This has pissed off a number of people, and as far I can tell, spawned a number of fawning and revisionist rebuttals. Even the Wikipedia page for “Crime in Chicago” contains phrases like, “crime rate in Chicago has been the subject of substantial hyperbole.”

In 2012, there were more homicides in Chicago than there were U.S. troop killings in Afghanistan.

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Colt Model 1855

The Colt Revolving Rifle was the first repeating arm to be adopted by the US military, and in terms of rate of fire, it was a truly revolutionary weapon which proved its worth when tested in combat during the American Civil War. The revolver design was ill-suited for a rifle however. Even when working correctly, the left arm and hand of the user were exposed to the escaping gasses from an imperfect cylinder seal, and there was also the danger of a ‘chain fire’, where all the powder in the cylinders ignited at once, with obvious consequences…

(NRA Museum)