By Ian V. Hogg
Booklet via Hogg, Ian V.
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Extra resources for The complete handgun : 1300 to the present
It is not without interest, in view of the description of frame designs given above, to note that Colt produced a solid frame pistol in 1857. This weapon was designed by Elisha Root, Colt's factory superintendent, and featured a solid frame with the barrel screwed in (as in Tranter's patent) and with an unusual side-mounted hammer, from which feature it is usually called the Root S i d e - H a m m e r Model , though its official factory n a m e was the 'New Model Pocket Pistol'. Another new feature was the adoption of the 'sheath trigger or 'stud trigger in place of the usual type of trigger.
T h e principal object seems to have been variously either to protect the pan and its contents from rain, or to produce a weapon of cleaner aspect and one which had an uncluttered top surface to allow easier aim and less likelihood of snagging it when withdrawing it from a holster. T h e obvious objection to the design was that as soon as the cock struck the upside-down frizzen, the pan was opened and the powder fell out, but in practice it was found that the shower of sparks ignited the falling powder and the flash invariably went through the vent to fire the pistol.
However, it also introduced the principle of automatically voiding the patent after the third or seventh year unless renewal fees were paid, though the full term of protection remained at 14 years. As a result more inventors were encouraged to take out patents: if, within three years, they were unable to interest a manufacturer they could allow the' patent to lapse, avoiding further expense. If, on the other hand, they found the idea had some profitable application, then the renewal fees would be paid and full protection continued.
The complete handgun : 1300 to the present by Ian V. Hogg