Unblinking Eye
                                     Kolb Baby Hammerless


The Kolb Baby Hammerless Revolver

by Ed Buffaloe

Foehl & Weeks 1891 Patent

Henry M. Kolb and Charles Foehl of Philadelphia founded a gun works under Kolb’s name in 1897 to make small pocket revolvers based on earlier patents by Foehl and Charles A. Weeks dating from 1889 to 1896. Their first effort was the Baby Hammerless shown here. The same gun had been previously manufactured by Foehl & Weeks under the auspices of the Columbian Firearms Manufacturing Company, also of Philadelphia, between 1896 and 1897 (they were making other guns as early as 1891-1894). The Columbian Baby Hammerless revolvers are rather scarce compared to the Kolb brand.  The Kolb Baby Hammerless is marked “PAT. FEB.2.92-FEB.4 96, BABY HAMMERLESS, PATENTS PENDING”.  The Baby Hammerless was chambered for the .22 short, and held six rounds.

Kolb also made a slightly larger 5-shot .32 rimfire version of the Baby Hammerless, albeit in very small quantities; and he produced “The New Baby” .22 top-break revolver with birds-head grips, and later a nearly-identical “Model 1911” with flat-bottomed grips. All of these guns are scarce.

Foehl died in 1912, and soon after Reginald F. Sedgley became manager of the company.  In 1916, Sedgley bought out Kolb and the business became R.F. Sedgley & Comany. Sedgley continued to make the Baby Hammerless, and also continued to make improvements and changes to it until about 1930. Guns manufactured by Sedgley had an S on the grips rather than a K.

The gun shown here had both grips broken.  I was able to repair them with black epoxy putty, which you can easily see on the rear portion of the left side grip.  The gun must have been reasonably well made, as it still functions despite its age. This one is serial number 475, so I assume it is fairly early production.


Pistols of the World, by Ian V. Hogg & John Walter.  Krause Publications, Iola, WI:  2004.
“R.F. Sedgley, Inc.,” by Pete Dickey.  American Rifleman, June 1984.

Copyright 2008 by Ed Buffaloe. All rights reserved.

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