The Model 1851 Colt Navy was one of the most popular and widely used sidearms of the war, and was standard issue for all naval officers. It was also carried by field officers in many infantry and artillery regiments. It had an octagonal barrel with a bead foresight and a six-chambered cylinder, and weighed 39 ounces (1.1kg). It fired a .36 inch (9.1mm) caliber ball or conical bullet and was capable of reasonable accuracy at 50 yards or more in good hands. With the hammer at half-J cock, the cylinder could be turned freely until an empty chamber was positioned beneath the rammer under the barrel. Powder was then poured in, followed by a ball, which was all then rammed home by the lever-operated rammer. A percussion cap was then placed on the nipple at the rear of the cylinder, and the cylinder was then rotated to the next I empty chamber, and so on until all six were ready for use.
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