The Paterson design was Colt’s first foray into the firearms market which was ultimately successful and led to the dynasty still in business today. The large heavy caliber No. 5 Holster Model was the most practical of the Paterson revolvers. Use of these revolvers by Texas Rangers Jack Hayes and Samuel Walker created the association between Colt revolvers and the western frontier and established Colt revolvers as an effective handgun. They were a functional design that saw hard use on the frontier. Total production was approximately 1000 revolvers manufactured between 1838-1840.
Initially this 5-shot revolver was produced in .28 caliber, with a .36 caliber model following a year later. As originally designed and produced, no loading lever was included with the revolver; a user had to disassemble the revolver partially to re-load it. Starting in 1839, however, a reloading lever and a capping window were incorporated into the design, allowing reloading without requiring partial disassembly of the revolver.