KOLB, HENRY M.
Later made by R.F.S
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Over a quarter-million diminutive folding-trigger Baby Hammerless-type revolvers were made in the U.S. from the late 1890s through 1930, first by Henry M. Kolb until 1912, and then by R. F. Sedgley, Inc. This general style of revolver was popular in Europe, where many models by various makers are sometimes lumped together as “velodog” revolvers. However, the only comparable American made gun was the Iver Johnson Petite, with only a small number produced. The Kolb guns typically have a K at the top of their hard rubber grips, and the Sedgley guns an S. Some early guns found with twining vines in that area of the grips may have been made by Columbian Firearms Company. They were offered in two frame sizes. The small-frame models were only 4” overall, with a 1 5/16” barrel and held six .22 Short cartridges. The rarer large-frame models were 5 ¼” overall with a 1 ¾” barrel, and held five .32 S&W short cartridges, with a very rare later variation made for eight .22 Long cartridges. Most guns were nickel plated, with around 15% blued. Most had hard rubber grips, but around 25 percent of them had pearls. Several models and variations are identified in the definitive work on the subject, Baby Hammerless Revolvers by Frank M. Sellers. These may be compiled into six general groups: First Model – solid frame, birdshead grips, both small frame and large frame made. Model 1910 New Model – solid frame, square grips, both small frame and large frame made. Transition Models – similar to solid-frame square grip Model 1910, with a MODEL (YEAR) marking on the topstrap as minor changes were made. There are 8 different (YEAR) dates ranging from 1910 to 1924. Ejector Models – similar to Model 1910 and Transition Models, except with a star ejector to extract cartridge cases. These are also marked MODEL (YEAR) on the topstrap, with the (YEAR) dates ranging from 1924 to 1930. New Baby – top-break, small frame. Trade name Baby Hammerless revolvers are relatively scarce, but include Western Arms Co. and Konqueror in the large-frame models. There are currently few differences in the values of the many small-frame variations. Large-frame guns will bring about double what a comparable small frame will bring. Engraved guns, or guns with purse holsters, will bring a premium. Pearl grips and blued guns in nice condition will bring a premium. All variations are somewhat delicate mechanically, and non-working guns will bring less than those that function properly.
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