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Several accounts of the first use of a Colt handgun (the Paterson) in battle. Each account is followed by the url to the article from which it came.

In the Spring of 1844 Hays organized a Company and I joined him. We had several raids after Mexicans and Indians. One day Hays and eleven of us was riding up the Los Puntos near where the Nat Lewis ranch now is. We saw 5 Indians near a thicket, remarked to Hays that there was more near by, we then went a round to the other side of the brush and come in on them and about sixty of the red devils come out of the brush onto the prairie when we opened fire on them. It was a fight for 10 miles, at times they would stop and form in line and charge through our lines. That was the first fight that Colt's pistols was used. They would charge three in a line, the first expecting to be shot while the other two used their lances, but when we kept on shooting they commenced running but they fought so close that we did not get airy a one though we got 21 horses and saddles. Some horses had shields and quivers containing their bows and arrows, also lances and paint. We had, but two men hurt, that was Sam Walker and Ad Gillespie, they were both speared the next day. We found five and killed them all, got one man killed--Peton Foar.

Armed with these new revolvers in 1844, Captain Jack (John Coffee) Hays and his company of 14 Texas Rangers took on a party of 70 Comanche on the Pedernales River. He led his men on a desperate charge straight into the Indians, and though the company suffered some losses, they killed 30 Comanches and drove off the rest. The Comanche expected the Rangers to go into the typical defensive position, not to attack with weapons that fired again and again without pause. The war chief later sent a message that he was moving farther West. He said, "I will never again fight Jack Hays, who has a shot for every finger on the hand." In a later engagement at Walker Creek, against even greater odds, his company hit the Comanches and were in among them, dealing death at close range before the Indians could react. That fight signalled the beginning of the end for the proud Comanche.

Many of the Paterson Colts purchased for the Texas Navy were ultimately used by the Texas army and in various quasimilitary expeditions. They are known to have been involved in the Council House Fightqv at San Antonio, as well as in the Texan-Santa Fe and Mier expeditions.qqv Most significant, however, were those revolvers reissued to units of the Texas Rangers.qv Among these border horsemen the Colt revolver first won its reputation as a weapon ideally suited to mounted combat. Using Paterson Colts purchased in 1843, Col. John Coffee Haysqv commanded a Ranger contingent in several uneven battles against depredating Comanches. Most notable was the contest in which Hays and fourteen rangers charged and routed nearly eighty Comanche warriors in a running battle along the Pedernales River in July 1844. Other victories against considerable odds at Nueces Canyon and Enchanted Rock reinforced the report of the Colt revolver's firepower. All of the forthcoming Walker and Dragoon model Colts (some 21,000 revolvers) carried a cylinder scene commemorating the so-called "Hays Big Fight" on the Pedernales. Colt himself came to call the Paterson Holster model revolver the Texas Arm, and present-day collectors generally refer to it as the Texas Model or Texas Paterson.
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