Despite being over a century old, Lane Wilkins' Colt 1892 chambered in .38-40 still shoots like a dream. It has been passed down through his family for generations, and he plans to pass it along to his son to keep the tradition going.

First Double-Action Revolver

colt 1892 family heirloom storied gun
Despite having over a century of good, honest wear and tear, this Colt 1892 still shoots like a dream. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

The Colt 1892 was the first general issue double-action revolver with a swing-out cylinder. Wilkin's believes his Colt was produced around 1905. Despite having seen heavy use, it's still in excellent shape. It has the original pearl grips with the Colt emblem. It has the original sites. "They think that it may have had a longer barrel on it, but it was cut off," he said.

That's the only possible modification. Collectors sometimes cringe at modifications on old guns, but not Wilkins. He has no intention of selling it. It simply means too much to him.


colt 1892 family heirloom storied gun
Hank Sharp was considered to be an American folk hero. (Illustration from the book by Virginia Rogers)

The reason for this is that it was owned by a lawman and rancher named Hank Sharp at the turn of the century. Sharp lived in Apache County in eastern Arizona. He was considered to be somewhat of an American folk hero. He once roped a Sonoran grizzly that was taking down cattle on the ranch where he worked. He gallied it off to his saddle and shot it with the Colt.

"The bear was actually skinned and given to the ranch owner. He was an Englishman. The bear can be seen in Buckingham Palace," said Wilkins. Quite a story.


colt 1892 family heirloom storied gun
They don't come much prettier than this. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

If that wasn't enough, the same Colt was used by his brother around 1999 to shoot an 8.5-foot mountain lion. He treed the cat and shot it from about 30 yards.

So Wilkins has a deep attachment to the beautiful gun that not only has its fair share of wear and tear but also a rich history. What's nice is that it's not so fancy that he doesn't still fire it. He takes to the range quite often. "It shoots like a dream," Wilkins said. "It means a lot to me, and I hope to pass it down to my son one of these days."

That's one lucky boy.


colt 1892 family heirloom storied gun
A thing of beauty. (Photo: Ben Philippi/
revolver barrel loading graphic