Michael Helms

Colt Cloverleaf

When Smith & Wesson’s patent on the bored-through cylinder expired in 1869, manufacturers were free to adopt that design pattern into their own pistols. Like everyone else, Colt did this with reckless abandon, and one of the pistols to emerge from this was the “Cloverleaf.”

Aptly nicknamed for its cylinder that had a cloverleaf profile, these odd and rather clunky revolvers were manufactured from 1871 to 1876. It chambered the .41 rimfire cartridge, whose snubby dimensions make it a source of fascination for some gun collectors.

Read More »