Colt Model 1860

guns colt 1860

Historians consider the Civil War to be the first modern war, with cutting-edge technologies like the telegraph, the train, dirigibles and repeater rifles, which were a serious step up from single-shot flintlock muskets. Most of the U.S. gun factories were in the North, including the Colt factory in Connecticut. That's how the Union got the Colt Model 1860. It was a muzzle-loaded cap and ball, so it wasn't as easy to load as modern cartridges. But the cylinder allowed for six shots, providing Union soldiers with a competitive edge over single-shot flintlocks.

First published December 8, 2014: 3:07 PM ET

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