In 1871, Colt employee Charles Richards was awarded a patent for
converting Colt percussion models to breech loading cartridge revolvers.
The Richards cartridge conversion was an instant success. On July 2,
1872, William Mason, another Colt employee, was awarded a patent for an
improvement to the Richards model. Conversion models remained popular
with cowboys (many originals will be found with imprints of fence
staples on the butt) even after the introduction of the 1873 Colt®.
This was due to the low cost of conversion models.
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