Walker colts

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by whiskey, Apr 2, 2009.

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  1. Jan 1, 2010 #21

    William McConagher

    William McConagher

    William McConagher

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    Right now, I've been shooting a friend's Walker... I originally wanted 1851s or 1858s but after firing his, I fell in love with it.

    I've asked him the same question, and he said minus the parts that wear over time, such as the nipples, some springs, etc... the gun is built rock solid.

    Think of it this way, the Walker was over-made for the power, hence its size. That was then, today, with our modern forgings, it's even stronger.

    he did recommend one slight tuning though. He said to go with Treso nipples for the gun, the standard size that fits all cap&ball uberti's, and then to file down, slightly the hammer to match the nipple face. Sometimes they aren't matched which can aid in messing with the nipple or hammer. His don't even "clink" anymore if you dry fire them, barely any contact... just enough for the cap. :grin:

    They're sweet guns. Also, DO NOT lighten the mainspring! Very bad for cap&ball revolvers because it'll possibly cause a backfire, or at the very least cause the gun to shed caps into the cylinder even worse than normal because of the lack of tension in the hammer.

    Also, if you feel like firing some stout loads, create a neat buckskin cover for the barrel/lever... the one on my friends is Native American influenced with some wampum beads (did I spell that right?)and looks very nice... as an added bonus it keeps the lever up!

    hope this helps!

    I've had some experience now with these guns, nowhere near a ton. Luckily in a week, I'll be picking up my first one! :thumbsup:
     
  2. Jan 1, 2010 #22

    redwing

    redwing

    redwing

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    Thanks for the post, Will. I bought a Uberti some time back still in the box. I plan to shoot it when the weather gets better. I also have a Rogers&Spencer Target I have never shot. Seems like us old Flint Lock Shooters are slow about using modern guns. :grin: Thanks
     
  3. Jan 1, 2010 #23

    William McConagher

    William McConagher

    William McConagher

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    no problem. the first re-enactment group I joined is a pirate group based out of southern california. Great group, and there I used flintlock exclusively... so when it came to SASS it was a huge technological advancement to me just to have a rotating barrel and caps too!

    Glad I could help, let me know about the Rogers & Spencer too, I've thought about picking one of those up as well. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Feb 14, 2010 #24

    markstark

    markstark

    markstark

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    The Walker Colt was discussed in 45, and fully designed by June 22 by most reckoning.
    As usual during war ,it was fast-tracked into production. The revolvers were commisioned to be built by Eli Whitney Jnr in July.It doesnt make sense that no one would have accsess to the finished pistol till the entire 1000 were ready. Colt would have grabbed some of the first ones thru to test and gift to influential persons as was his habit surely?....Having said that the confusion between pepperbox,Walker and Patterson
    and the fact that the observer was not a firearms type seems to indicate it was not a Walker..
     
  5. Feb 14, 2010 #25

    markstark

    markstark

    markstark

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    Sorry I should have clarified that was designed by June 22 1846
     
  6. Feb 28, 2010 #26

    pargent

    pargent

    pargent

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    Good to see another QUEENSLANDER!!!! on here. :hatsoff: :thumbsup:
     
  7. May 27, 2010 #27

    guad42

    guad42

    guad42

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    Pt1

    Some years ago while doing both personal research and research for a television program I was working on, I did a lot of study on the Walker. I do not know where the "1845" date in conversation here comes from, as I believe the earliest meetings between Colt and Walker were in the Fall of 1846. The Mexican War was already on and some historians contend that Walker himself was one of the few people to actually use his namesake model before the War was over.

    Walker, a veteran of the Seminole campaigns of the 1830s, later became one of Jack Hays' Texas Rangers. During that time, he was a participant in the fighting between the then Republic of Texas and Mexico, is believed to have survived the imprisonement at Perote and the so-called Black Bean incident.

    His first recorded fight where revolvers are concerned was at Walker's Creek (no relation) in 1844. Hays' rangers used some Paterson's in this engagement, during which time Walker was wounded. It is believed that the original source of the Texas Paterson's was the Texas Navy (yes, Texas had its own Navy and even more surprising to many its own Marine Corps).

    Anyways, during the first months of the Mexican War, Walker led a unit of Rangers in Zachary Taylor's Army. Some of these men were armed with Patersons.

    The ranger unit was disbanded that same year and Walker was appointed to the rank of Captain in the US Army and was to command a unit of Mounted Riflemen. It was while spending 6 months back East, from late 1846 to Spring 1847, that Walker met with Colt.

    By now Colt was on somewhat hard times as a gun maker. The Paterson was long out of production, even the machinery used to produce the weapon was long gone. Colt had to start over, which may in part explain the Eli Whitney connection.

    After their meeting(s) Colt and Walker continued to correspond. While working on the above mentioned project I received copies of some of their correspondence from the Texas State Archives.

    Con't in Next Post
     
  8. May 27, 2010 #28

    guad42

    guad42

    guad42

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    Colt and Walker exchanged letters for some time. Walker is even believed to have met with President Polk at this time and discussed the weapon with SofW Marcy. The letters are interesting, written in a friendly manner; "My Dear Captain," begins one.

    The letters discuss the gun design to some extent and even the pommel holsters to be designed to carry them. I may have this correspondence still, and if so will dig it up next week and post portions of it here for any interested parties.

    Walker returned to Mexico, this time under General Scott, and participated in the campaign through Central Mexico...without his "Walker Colts". Most historians seem to suggest that Walker only received his personal brace of these large pistols in early Fall 1847. In any event he was killed at Huamantla in October of 1847. This action occurred after the fall of Mexico City, during a phase of the Mexican War in which most of the final fighting was against insurgents.

    It has been said that by the time Walker was killed, he was the only officer or soldier in his unit armed with the big Colts. Thus, militarily the Walker did not contribute greatly to the outcome of the War, but was rather a developing technology as a result of the conflict.

    Within a year or so the Walker was rendered semi-obsolete by the so-called Transitional Walkers, and the Dragoons. There is one known photograph of Gold Rush era civilians in which one is clearly wearing what could be a Walker in a form fitting holster (see Packing Iron).

    The development of early American revolvers is fascinating. But unless you're a lucky Ranger with a pair of the rare Patersons or an even rarer Walker; most consumate pistol packers of the day would have transitioned from flint and cap lock single shot pistols to either pepperboxes and right to Dragoons or Navys.

    -Sam Dolan
     
  9. May 27, 2010 #29

    Enfield1

    Enfield1

    Enfield1

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    I live in Columbus, Georgia. This town is right on the state line that we share with Alabama and the border is the Chattahoochee river. Just over the river in Phenix City there used to be a Pawn shop/sporting goods store called "Davis Sporting Goods". It closed down in about 1998 or 99. I really enjoyed shopping there because they carried black powder. Under one of the glass cases was the rusty, fused together hulk of a Colt Walker revolver. This fascinated me. The store owner stated to me that it was dug out of the river, here. There were not many sold to begin with and for one to have been lost in this river always stumped me. Our claim to fame here is being where the last land battle of the civil war was fought. It was on April 19th, 1865 after the surrender at Appomatox. Wheeler's cavalry travelled west through Alabama and swung east through Phenix City, known at the time as "Gerard, Alabama" and then across the bridges into Georgia. Soldiers in Columbus put up as good a fight as they could, but 1842 Springfield smoothbores simply could not compete with the Union's Spencer Carbines. I like to think that the Colt wound up in the river then, but I have no idea.
     
  10. May 27, 2010 #30

    guad42

    guad42

    guad42

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    Minnieball,

    An excellent story, and perhaps yes, the revolver may have belonged to one of Wheeler's soldiers in the action you've just described. Its plausible anyway. However, it could have ended up in the muck at some other point as well. Who knows. If guns could talk...

    One thought though, I am not sure how many of Wheeler's men would have been armed with '42 Smoothbores at that stage of the war. While many '42s and other earlier weapons were carried by Confederates of all stripes throughout the war, even right up to the end, I do not think that so large a body of troops would all have been armed with the same model smoothbore musket; especially the Cavalry, which for the CSA would have been armed with everything under the sun, and probably more single-shot carbines, musketoons and shotguns than anything.

    While the April 19th action is certainly one of the last land actions of the War; it is often agreed upon by historians that the last land battle of the Civil War was the Battle of Palmito Ranch, Texas in May of 1865. Here a mixed bag of Union Regulars and Volunteers engaged a similar mixed bag of Confederates under the famous Texas Ranger RIP Ford.

    The action is often regarded as a Union loss. It is also famous because Pvt. John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana Inf. is considered that last land KIA of the Civil War.

    -Sam Dolan
     
  11. May 27, 2010 #31

    Enfield1

    Enfield1

    Enfield1

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    Yes, May of 1865 would certainly have been later than April. As far as the smoothbores go, I was referring to what a lot of the conferderates would have been carrying, but yes, it would have been a "hodgepodge" of arms. The JP Murray carbine was manufactued here, but the site is completely covered over with new structures as well as asphault and concrete. So much for metal detecting there. :(
     
  12. Jun 2, 2010 #32

    TFoley

    TFoley

    TFoley

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    I, on the other paw, use the traditional All-American US Mail rubber band on MY second-series Walker, #1816.

    tac
    Supporter of the Cape Meares Lighthouse Restoration Fund
     
  13. Jun 10, 2010 #33

    nilo52

    nilo52

    nilo52

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    I Shoot A 3rd Mod. Colt dragoon By uberti And Am very Happy with It Over All, Except the Latch On The Loading Lever. Mine Always Disengages And Drops The Lever. I Shoot 40 grains With A .454 Ball And A wad That I Lube With my Own Making. It Is Very Accurite At 25 Yards(Bulls Eye) When I do My Job Right. Does Anyone Know How To Fix The Latch Problem ?
     
  14. Jun 10, 2010 #34

    Sharps1863

    Sharps1863

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2018
  15. Jun 10, 2010 #35

    oldwolf

    oldwolf

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    My Dragoon latch spring is brand new and it exhibits the same behavior.

    What I need to do is remove the spring and go to a hardware store and buy one with the same dimensions, but have a higher spring factor (K factor).

    Seems like you could probably find a spring source online too.

    The other way would be to insert a short spacer in the spring hole. That would increase the spring force on the latch (would not change the K factor though). But, you would have to make sure you didn't reduce the stroke length to the point the latch would not clear the barrel lug.
     
  16. Jun 11, 2010 #36

    madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder

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    Uberti has a problem with the latch on the Dragoons, many have complained about the falling lever. First try and file to slot on the latch deeper, if that does not fix it a heavier spring is needed. A member at TFL has springs used in electric guitars that work perfect. My Whitneyville Dragoon is good at 35gr but drops at 40grs.

    RE: Walker and his Colts. From what I have read the Colt Walkers made to trip to Mexico territory and arrived three days after the death of Capt Walker.
     
  17. Jun 12, 2010 #37

    nilo52

    nilo52

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    Thank You For The Info. I Will Try To See If Filing The Notch A Wee Bit Will Fix The Glitch First, Then If No Joy I'll Try The Spring Replacement. Thanks Guys ! :thumbsup:
    Nilo52
     

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