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"Root Rifle"
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Author:  NearSighted [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  "Root Rifle"

Seeing as how I am amazingly unhappy with the Spanish repro Colt revolving rifle I found at a second-hand store I have been looking around to see if perhaps someone made a better reproduction.

Dixie Gun works has something here that caught my eye...then made me wonder. The Root Rifle advertised there at first appears very similar the Colt as I know it, but there are differences. The Root has six chambers in the cylinder while the one that I associate with the sharpshooters only had five. The area forward of the cylinder and under the near sight is also larger. Other small details like the placement of the strap swivels are also notable.

Still, they appear 95% the same. Same rifle, different brand names, like the T.V.'s from China?

What is the history of this rifle? Are they in fact the same rifle with modifications? It was my understanding that Mr. Root was at one time an employee of Colt, or that Colt bought him out or purchased this design from him.

Most importantly, would this be an appropriate rifle to buy to represent the sharpshooters (as display, I imagine, I can't picture how we'd use this thing at a park demo)?

Even more importantly than that...if this is appropriate for the sharpshooters to use, who among you is going to buy it for me for Christmas? ;)

Author:  David Rider [ Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

They are decent. Here are the main differences to an original:

They are 6 shot .44 caliber vs. 5 shot .56 caliber
Barrel is about 6" too short for a Berdan Version.

Author:  BrianTWhite [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

I want a Colt Root rifle so bad I can taste it....but I have to admit that I'd rather save for a quality original rather than purchase an undersized repro. Then I'd have to lay awake at night wondering about just WHERE am I going to be able to use it!

Author:  NearSighted [ Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

David Rider wrote:
They are decent. Here are the main differences to an original:

They are 6 shot .44 caliber vs. 5 shot .56 caliber
Barrel is about 6" too short for a Berdan Version.


Ah...I see, not spot on. In that case I shall save my money and continue to be horribly envious of that original that you bring out to the events! ;)


BrianTWhite wrote:
I want a Colt Root rifle so bad I can taste it....but I have to admit that I'd rather save for a quality original rather than purchase an undersized repro. Then I'd have to lay awake at night wondering about just WHERE am I going to be able to use it!


I hear you, Brian, but I feel that I'll not be able to afford an original any time soon...unless I sell some internal organs... :) ...

Author:  David Rider [ Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

I do know where there is another one, when you are ready.....

Author:  Snuffy [ Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

I saw the .44 model in dixies catalog too. I guess I'll take this off my wish list. Don't need to farb things up before I even get started.

Author:  Bill Skillman [ Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

Fellow Sharpshooters,

Actually Brian and I got the opportunity to hold and examine a repop Colt-Root owned by a member of the 21st Ohio Infantry (reenactors) at last year's Mansfield, Ohio Civil War Collectors Show. I found the arm to be (surprisingly) well made. The owner had fired it both live and blanks and held up both hands showing he still retained all 10 digits. He did say that one had to use a modified hold (the second hand wraps around/supports the trigger pulling hand) or firing from a rest. The owner acknowledged the compromises made by the Italians to the original Colt-Roots, but he was still pleased with it.

Unfortunately, the value of my home is falling faster than the prices of original Colt-Roots or Berdan Contract Sharps. So you will find Dan, Brian, Mike and I likely as not with hands in empty pockets drooling over the originals again at this year's Mansfield CW Show.

Bill Skillman
Randolph Mess (Brian, we got to come up with a new Mess name--I keep misspelling Gov. Randolf, er Randolph)-USSS

Author:  Jboring [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Root Rifle"

I'm going to talk to my gunsmith about something like this. Just to see if it is possible for him to make an exact copy. Does anyone have a set of blueprints that they can confirm are legitimate? I trust that my gunsmith is also a good enough machinist that he might very well be able to pull it off.

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