NRA Home NRA Media
Join, Renew, Contribute

Sam Colt’s Canteen Gun Stock

clay museum_flat

Great innovations seemed to come naturally to Samuel Colt. Whether detonating his underwater electrical mine in the Potomac River or becoming one of the first American arms makers to utilize the assembly line production system, Colt demonstrated a true gift for invention and marketing. On Jan. 18, 1859, Colt received patent No. 22,627 for his handgun shoulder stock design that incorporated a canteen. Colt also credited Jefferson Davis with the idea, and later presented Davis with an engraved Colt fitted with a canteen stock. Only a limited number of these shoulder stocks with integral reservoir were produced. Yet for the lucky soldier in the American Civil War who possessed one of these Colt percussion revolvers with its matching canteen stock, the combination allowed the carrying of an additional supply of water, or perhaps more potent liquors.

The National Firearms Museum presents over 3,000 historic firearms, including guns that helped found America, guns from significant battles and events, and even those that won international recognition in competitive shooting sports. Visitors can view over 600 years of arms history in the museum’s extensive galleries with free admission daily (donations appreciated). For more information, check out the museum website, e-mail or call (703) 267-1600.