1839, American History Museum
Samuel Colt’s breakthrough design led to domination in the West
The five-shot Colt Paterson was the first modern revolving pistol. Patented in 1836 and named for the New Jersey city where it was made, the gun had what would later be considered design flaws—the trigger, for example, remained hidden until the gun was cocked. But in 1844, the Texas Rangers found that the Paterson shifted the balance of power against their Comanche foes.