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Colt Model 1848 (Baby Dragoon)

United States (1848)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Colt Model 1848 (Baby Dragoon) Five-Shot Percussion Revolver.

 Entry last updated on 2/17/2018; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Colt Model 1848 (Baby Dragoon)  
Picture of Colt Model 1848 (Baby Dragoon) Five-Shot Percussion Revolver

The Model 1848 Baby Dragoon was intended for the civilian market as a lighter-weight, more compact form of the full-sized military-minded Dragoon model of 1948.

The success of the Colt Model 1848 "Dragoon" line (described in a separate entry) prompted Samuel Colt to design a civilian-minded derivative that was more compact and lightweight. This became the Model 1848 "Baby Dragoon" which carried the same general shape and configuration as the full-sized Dragoon with a redesigned front-end managing an octagonal barrel assembly of 3", 4", 5" or 6" length. The same percussion cap actuation system was retained through the chamber was now of a five-shot, .31 caliber design. (original Dragoons were .44 in caliber). Baby Dragoons featured a square-backed trigger ring as seen in the Dragoon First and Second models, a spur trigger on the hammer and a downward-curving pistol grip. 15,500 Baby Dragoons were produced from 1848 into 1850 and, despite their civilian-minded design elements, were pressed into service during the American Civil War due to a need for all manner of small arms in the war.

The Baby Dragoon preceded a whole line of compact, lightweight handguns intended for the civilian market under the Colt brand label.
Any available statistics for the Colt Model 1848 (Baby Dragoon) Five-Shot Percussion Revolver are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin and manufacture(s) involved in bringing the weapon to market. Other qualities showcased are related to physical values such as the internal action, available calibers / chamberings, weight and lengths. Global operators are also presented in A-to-Z format as are any model variants available to the series.
Colt Model 1848 (Baby Dragoon) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 1848
Type: Five-Shot Percussion Revolver
Manufacturer(s): Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company - USA
Supported Mission Types
Frontline Infantry
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Attachment Weapon
Internal Design, Weight and Dimensions
Firing Action: Percussion Cap; Repeat Fire
Available Caliber(s): .31
Ammunition Count / Feed: Five-round rotating cylinder
Overall Length: 175 mm (6.89 in)
Barrel Length: 150 mm (5.91 in)
Sighting Assist: Iron Front and Rear

Operating Performance
Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 5 rounds-per-minute (rpm)

Operators List
Confederate States; United States

Model Variants
• Model 1848 "Baby Dragoon" - Base Series Designation