Laurent: The Colt .45 was adopted in 1873 and ammunition in .45 Colt caliber was manufactured for it by Frankford Arsenal. Two or three years later the army procured the S&W Schofield revolver chambered for the .45 S&W cartridge. The S&W could not chamber the longer Colt round, so the army standardized on the S&W cartridge and for many years government service revolvers used the shorter Smith round. Production continued at least into the 1890s for American government use in its .45 revolvers. Commercial production of the Schofield round was much less common than the longer and more powerful Colt, and its use was mostly restricted to the S&W revolvers, which were never very common to begin with. JG

Following the Civil War, the US Cavalry was armed with Colt and Remington percussion revolvers. With the conversion of some revolvers from percussion to metallic cartriges (44 cal) some units received them but the primary issue was still the percussion pistol.

The first new Colt .45 revolvers did not reach government hands until 1874. Distribution after that was sporadic and depended on where the individual units were stationed. As late as mid 1875 some Cavalry companies still carried Remington 44 percussion revolvers in their inventory. The Government acquired the final 1000 .45 cal revolvers in fiscal year 1876 and most units were armed with them by the summer of that year.

Some officers continued to carry percussion revolvers into the late 1870s because they still questioned the reliability of the new pistols.


hello not to argue but to learn ill answer this with a question. didnt after the civil war the army issue remington rolling block pistol chambered in the 50 cal inside primed cartridge?


It’s true that most of the 50 Cal Remington pistols were purchased by the Government but it’s not clear exactly when and how they were issued. A single shot pistol would make a very poor Cavalry arm and I’ve never seen anything that would indicate that they were issued as such.

Someone more knowledgeable on Infantry, Artillery, etc arms can probably answer.


Remchester: Yes, Remington made rolling block pistols in .50 caliber, in fact for two different .50 caliber cartridges for the army and the navy. Number made was small and few seem to have made their way to the frontier, where even in 1865 the multi-shot revolver was perceived as a Good Thing. JG