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Login Name Post: Walker issues        (Topic#307388)
BillinOregon 
Cannon
Posts: 6467
05-12-18 05:28 PM - Post#1684355    


Other than needing to start an exercise program to be able to lift the damned things, are the drooping Walker rammers really correctable with judicious filing and stoning of the rammer spring?
I had been eyeing the lighter, more practical dragoons when I got sidetracked with research into the activities of my great-great-grandfather. I found he enlisted in Captain Highsmith's Company D, of Col. Jack Hays's First Regiment, in Austin on May 1, 1847.
Here is an eyewitness account of these "rangers" in Mexico City in December of 1847 from the first volume of "Firearms of the American West":

The rangers probably had a full complement of the guns (Colt Walkers) before the year was out. General Ethan Allen Hitchcock, who saw them in Mexico City in early December of 1847 wrote that "Hays's rangers have come -- their appearance never to be forgotten. Not in any sort of uniform but well mounted and doubly well armed: each man has one or two Colt's revolvers besides ordinary pistols, a sword, and every man his rifle."

Kinda piqued my interest in the Walker again -- even with all its faults.

 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26563
Zonie
05-12-18 05:47 PM - Post#1684359    

    In response to BillinOregon

I frinkled around with my Walkers loading lever spring but I could't see much if any difference when I gave up.

The lever doesn't fall with every shot but it does at least once while shooting a full cylinder load of 6 shots.

I wasn't shooting max loads when this happened and I suspect the lever staying in place a well as it does is due to this more than anything I did with the nose of the spring.

The loading lever falling problem is just due to a poor design. That's why it was one of the first things addressed in designing the Dragoon.
Just Jim...



Edited by Zonie on 05-12-18 05:49 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
BillinOregon 
Cannon
Posts: 6467
05-12-18 06:15 PM - Post#1684366    

    In response to Zonie

Thanks Jim. I hear mixed reports on just how effective/ineffective the rammer fix seems to be. Here's the thing: to shooters today, this falling rammer seems like a dreadful bar to effective use of the firearm. But it is possible that in 1847, in the heat of the Mexican War, a dragoon or ranger gladly accepted that he might have to slap that rammer on his thigh or saddle to re-seat it in return for the tremendous horse-killing power the Walker provided. I'd sure take a Walker over a Paterson in that kind of combat!

 
wulf 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1642
05-12-18 10:26 PM - Post#1684428    

    In response to BillinOregon

I have heard that the original wasn't as bad as
now days are, but I don't really know. I dovetailed
a front catch like an 1860 Colt and fitted a catch
in the end of the rammer. Never had a problem after
that. Looked like it was supposed to be there.

 
AZbpBurner 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1738
AZbpBurner
05-13-18 12:38 AM - Post#1684460    

    In response to BillinOregon

A tiedown piece of rawhide or even a stout rubberband will hold the ram lever in place while shooting ...

 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26563
Zonie
05-13-18 12:56 PM - Post#1684527    

    In response to AZbpBurner

I Hereby proclaim the Rubber Band as being a Period Correct method of holding the loading lever on a Colt Walker while firing the gun.

According to the link below (which is rather interesting reading),
"On March 17, 1845, Stephen Perry of the rubber manufacturing company Messers Perry and Co, Rubber Co Manuf London patented the fist rubber bands...".

Now, I seriously doubt that anyone during the mid 1800's ever really used a rubber band to hold up their loading lever but the technology was available.

http://www.versteegde.nl/History_of_Elastic_and_Rubber_Bands...
Just Jim...



 
Hairy Clipper 
40 Cal.
Posts: 202
Hairy Clipper
05-13-18 01:20 PM - Post#1684531    

    In response to Zonie

Back in the 1970's my little brother, The Almost Original Bad Bob, had a Walker of more current production from Italy and I do not remember whose work it was, but, it, too, had the flopping loading lever problem. I was allowed to shoot it and frankly, it was annoying enough that I would have sent it down the road right then and there. TAOBB was much more tolerant of poor functioning firearms than I am and he kept it for several years. A leather shoe string was utilized with the ends tied together in place of them newfangled rubber bands we read about now in the news print.

 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4921
05-15-18 12:06 PM - Post#1684782    

    In response to Zonie

I'd bet a leather boot lace or saddle strap was so employed on a regular bases though!

 
DoubleDeuce 1 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3136
05-15-18 12:35 PM - Post#1684790    

    In response to BillinOregon

I recall seeing a brass clip somewhere, to hold the lever in place. It didn’t look bad. It slid over the barrel and lever. It didn’t interfere with the front site.

If you can’t find any period correct rubber bands, you might look into some authentic double sided tape...

 
BillinOregon 
Cannon
Posts: 6467
05-15-18 05:45 PM - Post#1684838    

    In response to DoubleDeuce 1

Deuce, now that you mention it, it seems I have seen a clip arrangement somewhere as well. Need to clear the bats out of the data banks ...



 
hawkeye2 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2354
hawkeye2
05-15-18 06:17 PM - Post#1684852    

    In response to DoubleDeuce 1

I bought one of those (Walker Colt Black Powder Revolver Loading Lever Clip...Generation 3 - Copper) off eBay a couple of years ago and don't see them there now. It consisted of 2 pieces of copper tubing soldered together. Both are lined with a fuzzy material and the top one is cut to slide past the sight. The shortcoming is that I have a snug molded holster and the devise stays in the holster when I draw the gun.

 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4921
05-15-18 07:50 PM - Post#1684868    

    In response to BillinOregon

I'm looking for a beater that needs rebuilt so I can learn the gun inside out.
I read about Walker one time that had a latch installed on the lever end that reportedly worked beautifully.
I would kind of like to do the same but making it small and as un-obtrusive as possible. The idea I'm kicking around is a spring and plunger in the pointed end of the loading lever and a small perpendicular post in the barrel with a detent hole drilled for the plunger nose.

 
hawkeye2 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2354
hawkeye2
05-15-18 10:15 PM - Post#1684892    

    In response to M.D.

Get the loading lever latch, spring, pin and barrel stud for a Dragoon and modify the end of the Walker lever to take them, looks period & professional.

Edited by hawkeye2 on 05-15-18 10:17 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
azmntman 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5549
azmntman
05-15-18 11:44 PM - Post#1684900    

    In response to hawkeye2

Never held one but maybe H/C velcro could be used to keep the lever up

 
Curlyhair 
32 Cal.
Posts: 27
05-16-18 10:29 AM - Post#1684946    

    In response to azmntman

The tiny hairbands my granddaughter buys by the bag ful (look like pencil sized rubber bands - come in different colors - clear and black are great)really work well, practically invisible and are easy on and off.

 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 26563
Zonie
05-16-18 01:20 PM - Post#1684966    

    In response to Curlyhair

I have several books that show some of the very few Whitneyville Hartford Dragoons or, the Transitional Walker revolver as some people call it.

These were made right after the original Walkers had been made around the first part of 1848 and they were made mainly from left over pieces of the original Walker production.

What is interesting about them is they all seem to have a loading lever catch, very much like the catch's used on the First Model Dragoon.

Rather than having the pointed end of the loading lever as seen on the original Walkers, they have a spring loaded release with a small projection under the lever. The release mates with a notched leg that hangs down from the bottom of the barrel.

Based on this, I suppose if a person could get a replacement lever and latch from a !st Model Dragoon they could modify their Walker to use it.

I'm just guessing but because the Mexican/American war ended in Feb. 1848, these modified guns wouldn't be correct for Walkers used during that war.
Just Jim...



 
Gene L 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1448
05-16-18 06:36 PM - Post#1685003    

    In response to Zonie

Based on what I read some time ago, the Rangers of the Walker would often tie the loading lever with a thin strip of leather. It's not like they needed instant access to speed reloading the beast. I can't remember where I read this, maybe the NRA magazine.

 
curator 
45 Cal.
Posts: 561
curator
05-16-18 10:24 PM - Post#1685020    

    In response to Gene L

Yup, I got tired of the Walker lever-drop and made a loading lever latch myself. No big deal! easy fix.

Edited by curator on 05-16-18 10:26 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
BillinOregon 
Cannon
Posts: 6467
05-21-18 10:17 AM - Post#1685633    

    In response to curator

Gene, I'd sure love to see a period reference to the use of a leather strap or thong to hold the Walker lever up.

 
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