In firearms terminology, an action is the mechanism that handles the ammunition or the method by which that mechanism works. Breech-loading weapons have actions, actions are not present on muzzleloaders. The mechanism that fires a muzzle-loader is called the lock, actions can be categorized in several ways, including single action versus double action, break action versus bolt action, and others. The term action can short and magnum if it is in reference to the length of the rifle’s receiver. The short action rifle usually can accommodate a cartridge length of 2.8 in or smaller, the long action rifle can accommodate a cartridge of 3.34 in, and the magnum action rifle can accommodate cartridges of 3.6 in, or longer in length. Manual operation is a term describing any type of firearm action that is loaded one shot at a time by the user rather than automatically. For example, break action is a form of operation using a simple hinge mechanism that is manually unlatched by the operator. These are actions wherein the breechblock lowers or drops into the receiver to open the breech, there are two principal types of dropping block, the tilting block and the falling block.
In a tilting or pivoting block action, the breechblock is hinged on a pin mounted at the rear, when the lever is operated, the block tilts down and forward, exposing the chamber. The best-known pivoting block designs are the Peabody, the Peabody–Martini, the original Peabody rifles, manufactured by the Providence Tool Company, used a manually cocked side-hammer. The 1871 Martini–Henry which replaced the trapdoor Snider–Enfield was the standard British Army rifle of the Victorian era, charles H. Ballards self-cocking tilting-block action was produced by the Marlin Firearms Company from 1875, and earned a superlative reputation among long-range Creedmoor target shooters. Surviving Marlin Ballards are today highly prized by collectors, especially those mounted in the elaborate Swiss-style Schützen stocks of the day. A falling-block action is a firearm action in which a solid metal breechblock slides vertically in grooves cut into the breech of the weapon. Examples of firearms using the falling block action are the Sharps rifle, in a rolling block action the breechblock takes the form of a part-cylinder, with a pivot pin through its axis.
The operator rotates or rolls the block to open and close the breech, it is a simple, rugged, a break action is a type of firearm where the barrel are hinged and can be broken open to expose the breech. The earliest metallic-cartridge breechloaders designed for military issue began as conversions of muzzle-loading rifle-muskets. The upper rear portion of the barrel was filed or milled away, an internal angled firing pin allowed the re-use of the rifles existing side-hammer. The Allin action made by Springfield Arsenal in the US hinged forward, france countered in 1866 with its superior Chassepot rifle, a paper-cartridge bolt action
The Colt M1877 was a double-action revolver manufactured by Colts Patent Fire Arms from January 1877 to 1909 for a total of 166,849 revolvers. The Model 1877 was offered in three calibers, which lent them three unofficial names, the Lightning, the Thunderer, and the Rainmaker. The principal difference between the models was the cartridge in which they were chambered, the Lightning being chambered in.38 Long Colt, both models had a six-round ammunition capacity. An earlier model in.32 Colt known as the Rainmaker was offered in 1877, the M1877 was designed by one of the inventors of the M1873 Colt Single Action Army, William Mason, as Colts first attempt at manufacturing a double-action revolver. The M1877 was the first successful US-made double-action cartridge revolver, the M1877 was offered from the factory in two basic finishes, nickel-plated or a case-hardened frame with a blue barrel and cylinder. The revolver was available in lengths from 2.5 to 7.5 and was available with or without the ejector rod.
The shorter barreled versions without the ejector rod were marketed as shopkeepers specials, neither Lightning nor Thunderer were Colt designations, nor used by the factory in any reference materials. Both terms were coined by Benjamin Kittredge, one of Colts major distributors, Kittredge was responsible for the terms Peacemaker for the Single Action Army, Omnipotent for the Colt M1878 double-action, and nicknames for the various chamberings of the New Line models. The M1877s early double-action mechanism proved to be intricate and delicate, and thus prone to breakage. The design had a reputation for failure and earned the nickname the gunsmiths favorite, because of the intricate design and difficulty of repair, gunsmiths to this day dislike working on them. Gun Digest referred to it as the worst double-action trigger mechanism ever made, the trigger spring would fail and this would reduce the revolver to single-action fire only. Outwardly, the Model 1877 shows a resemblance to the Colt Single Action Army revolver, however it is scaled down slightly.
The standard finishes were blued, with a frame or nickel plating. The birds head grips were of checkered rosewood on the early guns, the Lightning was the favored personal weapon of famous Manchester Victorian detective and head of CID, Jerome Caminada. Old West outlaw John Wesley Hardin frequently used both Lightning and Thunderer versions of the Colt 1877 revolver, likewise the 1877 Thunderer in.41 caliber was the preferred weapon of Billy the Kid and was his weapon of choice when he was killed by Pat Garrett in 1881. The Colt Revolver in the American West—Model 1877 Lightning
Colt Single Action Army
The Colt SAA has been offered in over 30 different calibers and various barrel lengths. Its overall appearance has remained consistent since 1873, Colt has discontinued its production twice, but brought it back due to popular demand. The revolver was popular with ranchers and outlaws alike and its design has influenced the production of numerous other models from other companies. The Colt SAA revolver is a piece of Americana, known as The Gun That Won the West. For the design, Colt turned to two of its best engineers, William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards who had developed a number of revolvers and black powder conversions for the company. Their effort was designed for the United States government service revolver trials of 1872 by Colts Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, production began in 1873 with the Single Action Army model 1873, referred to as the New Model Army Metallic Cartridge Revolving Pistol. The very first production Single Action Army, serial number 1, thought lost for years after its production, was found in a barn in Nashua.
It was chambered in.45 Colt, a centerfire design containing charges of up to 40 grains of fine-grained black powder, relative to period cartridges and most handgun rounds, it was quite powerful in its full loading. The Colt Single Action Army revolver, along with the 1870 and 1875 Smith & Wesson Model 3 Schofield revolver, the Colt.45 is a famous piece of American history, known as The Gun That Won the West. The Single Action Army became available in barrel lengths of 4¾, 5½ as well as the Cavalry standard. The shorter barrelled revolvers are sometimes called the Civilian or Gunfighter model, there was a variant with a sub 4 barrel, without an ejector rod unofficially referred to as the Sheriffs Model, Bankers Special, or Storekeeper. From 1875 until 1880 Colt marketed a single-action revolver in.44 rimfire Henry caliber in a number range from no.1 to 1,863. A Flattop Target Model was listed in Colts catalogs from 1890 to 1898, Colt manufactured 914 of these revolvers with a frame which was flat on top and fitted with an adjustable leaf rear sight.
The front sight consisted of a base with an interchangeable blade, in 1920, highly visible sights replaced the original thin blade and notch. The revolvers remained essentially unchanged from that point until cessation of manufacture at the beginning of World War II, from 1873 through 1940, production of the Colt Single Action Army reached 357,859. This is identified as the Pre War or First Generation of the model, calibers, at least thirty in all, ranged from.22 rimfire through.476 Eley, with approximately half, or 158,884, chambered for.45 Colt. The next most prevalent were the. 44-40 Winchester Center fire at 71,392, 38-40 at 50,520, 32-20 Winchester at 43,284 and, the 41 Colt at 19,676. All original, good condition, U. S. Cavalry and Artillery Single Action Armies are among the most valuable to collectors, especially valuable, often going for well over $10,000, are the OWA and the rare Henry Nettleton inspected Single Action Army Colts
Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver
The Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver was a single action pocket revolver introduced by the Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in 1871. It was one of the first pocket metallic cartridge revolvers made by the company, when the Rollin White patent for metallic cartridges firearms manufacture expired the Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company started working on its own metallic cartridge revolvers. Thus, Colt introduced its first rear-loaders in 1871, the Colt House/Cloverleaf, in the 1870s the firearms market was awash with cheaply made knockoffs of the.22 caliber Smith & Wesson Model One which sold for about $2. Colts president Richard Jarvis decided it would not compete directly with the knockoffs, the Open Top Pocket was priced at $8. The frame was brass and sometimes silver or nickel plated, the barrel and cylinder were either blue or nickel plated. Rosewood or walnut grips on a birds head style frame made for a pistol to shoot. Loading was accomplished via a groove in the rearward of the cylinder.
After that, a shooter would need to remove the cylinder to empty the brass casings, cheap copies imported from Spain and Belgium drove down the demand for these revolvers and Colt stopped manufacturing them by 1877. The Open Top Pocket Model was chambered in.22 Short and.22 Long and it was equipped with a 7-shot non-fluted cylinder and two different barrel lengths, 2-3/8″ and 2-7/8″. NOTE, It is highly questionable that modern.22 ammunition would be safe to use in antique firearms, Colt New Line Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket Revolver Colt Pocket Percussion Revolvers Colt Open Top Pocket Model revolver as described in the National Firearms Museum
Colt Dragoon Revolver
The Colt Model 1848 Percussion Army Revolver is a.44 caliber revolver designed by Samuel Colt for the U. S. Armys Regiment of Mounted Rifles. The revolver was issued to the Armys Dragoon Regiments. This revolver was designed as a solution to problems encountered with the Walker Colt. Although it was introduced after the Mexican-American War, it became popular among civilians during the 1850s and 1860s, the Colt Dragoon Revolver was produced with several variations between 1848 and 1860, when the Colt Model 1860 revolver replaced it. All the improvements in design of Colt revolvers were applied to the Dragoons as well to the models of Colt revolvers. Total production of Colt Dragoons including the 1,100 Walkers, from 1847 to 1860,19,800, for collectors, there are three different types. Between the Walker and the First model Dragoon, around 240 improved models were produced, barrel length 7 1/2 inch and their general appearance was to that of the production Dragoon models. These were produced late in 1847 and 1848, serial number range approximately 1100 through about 1340.
Another distinctive detail were the very slender Slim Jim grips, Colt produced about 7,000 first models between 1848 and 1850. The Second Model has rectangular cylinder notches, until the no.10,000 the V-shaped mainspring was standard and replaced with a flat leaf mainspring and a wheel on the hammer at its bearing on the mainspring. All the Second Model Dragoons have the squareback trigger guard, the company made about 2,550 Second Models in 1850 and 51. The Third Model Dragoon numbers stand at ten-thousand from 1851 through 1860 and this design had more variations as compared to its earlier counterparts. Some of the third model Colt Dragoon Revolvers had frame cuts for detachable shoulder stocks, horizontal loading lever latches, Third Colt Dragoon Revolvers had a round trigger guard. Government records showed an order for 8,390 Dragoons, other variants included the Colt 1848 Pocket Pistol now known as the Baby Dragoon, marketed in California with success during the Gold Rush days. With the addition of a loading lever this evolved into the 1849 pocket revolver, the Colt Dragoon Revolver had a comparatively shorter cylinder and held up to 50 grains of powder, whereas the Walker had used up to 60 grains of powder.
The Dragoon Revolver had a barrel at 7.5 inches as compared to the 9 inches barrel on the Walker. A loading lever latch in front of the replaced the spring to keep the lever from dropping during recoil. These variations made the Colt Dragoon Revolver 4 pounds two ounces and these changes reduced the risks of the Colt Dragoon Revolver from exploding when fired, unlike the risk that had been demonstrated with the Walker revolvers
Colt 1851 Navy Revolver
The Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber, known as the Colt 1851 Navy or Navy Revolver, is a cap and ball revolver that was designed by Samuel Colt between 1847 and 1850. Colt first called this Revolver Ranger model, but the designation Navy quickly took over, after the Civil War revolvers using fixed metallic cartridges came into widespread use. The Colt Navy remained in production until 1873, being replaced in the Colt line with what would become the manufacturers most famous handgun, as the factory designation implied, the Navy revolver was suitably sized for carrying in a belt holster. It became very popular in North America at the time of Western expansion, Colts aggressive promotions distributed the Navy and his other revolvers across Europe and Africa. The cylinder of this revolver is engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche on May 16,1843, the engraving was provided by Waterman Ormsby. Despite the Navy designation, the revolver was purchased by civilians.
The.36 caliber round ball weighs 80 grains and. A very small number of Navy revolvers were produced in.34 caliber, another rarity in the 1851 Navy production is the.40 caliber model, probably 5 were made 1858 for testing by the U. S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance. Sighting consists of a brass cone front sight pressed into the muzzle end of the top barrel flat with a notch in the top of the hammer. In spite of the crudity of the sighting arrangement, these revolvers. A small number of Model 1851 Navy revolvers was converted, using front-loaded, famous Navy users included Wild Bill Hickok, John Henry Doc Holliday, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, Bully Hayes, Richard H. Barter, Robert E. Lee, Nathan B. Use continued long after more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced, canadian issue 1851 Colts are stamped in the wooden grip upside down with letters U_C or L_C, a letter code for the unit, and the number of the weapon in that unit. E. g. U_C D21 This decodes as Upper Canada, D = Toronto Cavalry Troop, percussion Pistols and Revolvers, History and Practical Use.
Famous Firearms of the Old West, From Wild Bill Hickoks Colt Revolvers to Geronimos Winchester, David A. Sixguns, The Standard Reference Work. Roberts, Gary L. Doc Holliday, The Life and Legend, wilson, R. L. Colt, An American Legend. New York, Atabras, A Division of Abbeville Publishing Group
The Colt M1878 is a double-action revolver that was manufactured by Colts Manufacturing Company from 1878 to 1907. It is often referred to as the Frontier or the Double Action Army revolver, a total of 51,210 Model 1878 revolvers were manufactured from 1878 to 1907, including 4,600 for the US Ordnance Department. These are known as the Philippine or Alaskan models, samuel Colt experimented with double-action revolver systems, but he considered them to be unreliable. The M1878 was designed by William Mason, Colts factory manager and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards and it was similar in design to the Colt Model 1877. The Model 1878 was considered a more robust and reliable design than the Model 1877, the design of the Model 1878 was based on the Model 1877, which in turn was based heavily on the design of the earlier Colt Single Action Army revolver. The double-action revolver is not dramatically different in design than the single-action revolver, a strut is added to connect the trigger movement to the hammer.
The top of the trigger slips beyond the strut so that the hammer will stay in full if it is pulled back manually. At one time, the factory modified Model 1878 cylinders for use in single-action revolvers in an attempt to use up spare parts. The Model 1878 was available in.45 Colt. 32-20.38 Colt. 38-40.41 Colt. 44-40.455 Webley, the most popular calibers were.45 and. 44-40. Standard grips were black checkered hard rubber but some early revolvers were produced with checkered walnut grips, barrel lengths available were 3, 3-1/2,4, 4-3/4, 5-1/2, and 7-1/2 inches. Revolvers with 4-inch and shorter barrels did not have an ejector, in 1902,4,600 Model 1878 revolvers were produced for a U. S. Army contract. They were intended to equip the Philippine Constabulary under Brigadier General Henry T. Allen in the Philippine Insurrection and these revolvers had a 6-inch barrel, a hard rubber grip, and were chambered for the.45 Colt round. They had a main spring and a longer trigger to give the user more leverage.
The strengthened main spring was necessary to fire the.45 Government rounds with a less sensitive compared to the civil.45 LC ammunition. Many people have assumed that this was to allow the revolver to be operated while wearing gloves. The Colt Revolver in the American West—Double Action Frontier
Colt M1861 Navy
The Colt Model 1861 Navy cap & ball. 36-caliber revolver was a six-shot, single-action percussion weapon produced by Colts Manufacturing Company from 1861 until 1873. It incorporated the creeping or ratchet loading lever and round barrel of the. 44-caliber Army Model of 1860 but had a one half inch shorter. Like its forerunner, the Colt 1851 Navy Revolver, it saw use in the American Civil War and on the American Western frontier. It has the same specification as the earlier model, but with a rounded barrel. While similar in design to the Colt Army Model 1860, the recoil of the 1861 Navys.36 caliber was preferred by some cavalry soldiers. During the Civil War its main competitor in England was the Adams self-cocking revolver, the Adams fired a.49 caliber bullet and did not require the shooter to pull the hammer back. Colts revolver was popular because Colt mass-produced his weapons while Adams products were handmade by skilled artisans. In the United States, Colts main rival was the Remington Model 1858 revolver, there were few variations of the Model 1861 Navy Colt.
Approximately 100 of the first guns made had fluted cylinders with no cylinder scene, with the exception of the first fifty or so of this model, all guns had a capping groove. A brass trigger guard and back strap, silver-plated, were standard, the cylinders of the Navy 1851 and 1861 Navy Colt revolvers are engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche on May 16,1843. The engraving was provided by Waterman Ormsby, the nitrated paper of the cartridge was completely consumed upon use, and the use of paper cartridges enabled faster re-loading. Alternatively, it was possible to load with measured powder charges
Colt House Revolver
The Colt House Revolver was one of the first metallic cartridge rear-loading revolvers to be produced by the Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, back in 1871. The Colt House Revolver was manufactured from 1871 to 1876 in two different models, the Colt House Model itself and the Colt Cloverleaf Model, the latter being the most produced of both. The House Model is known among collectors as the Jim Fisk model or the Jim Fisk pistol, both models and Cloverleaf, were built around a solid hidden spur-trigger frame, a weapon architecture used by another Colt gun, the Colt Sidehammer. The Sidehammer had a grip, while the House and Cloverleaf models had all of them a recognizable birds-head grip. These features were common on many small pistols and revolvers during that era, both models and Cloverleaf, were chambered with.41 caliber rimfire cartridges, available in both long and short sizes. The main differences between the two models were the following, The House Model, called the Jim Fisk Model, had a five rounds straight non-fluted cylinder, the Cloverleaf Model had a four rounds fluted cylinder.
When viewed from front or rear the cylinder seemed to resemble a four-leaf clover, the House Model was less produced of the two and had no variant development. It was produced in a single item product with a 2-5/8 barrel, the Cloverleaf Model was more produced by far, and had two different variants, depending on the barrel length, 1-1/2 and 3. The 1-1/2 barrel length variant had an ejector rod contained within the center pin of the cylinder, allowing to reload while keeping the cylinder in the gun. The 3 barrel length variant of the Cloverleaf had the ejector in the axis of the cylinder center pin and, thus. The Colt New Line inherited the general shape of the Colt House, a birds head grip, Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket Revolver
The Colt Buntline Special is a long-barreled variant of the Colt Single Action Army revolver, which Stuart N. Lake described in his best-selling but largely fictionalized 1931 biography, Wyatt Earp, according to Lake, the dime novelist Ned Buntline commissioned the production of five Buntline Specials. After its publication, various Colt revolvers with long barrels were referred to as Colt Buntlines or Buntline Specials, Colt manufactured the pistol among its second-generation revolvers produced after 1956. A number of manufacturers, such as Uberti, Navy Arms. The revolver was first described by Stuart Lake in his highly fictionalized 1931 biography Wyatt Earp, the extremely popular book turned Wyatt Earp into a Western superman. Lakes creative biography and Hollywood portrayals exaggerated Wyatts profile as a western lawman, Lake wrote that dime novelist Edward Zane Carroll Judson, Sr. writing under the pseudonym of Ned Buntline, commissioned the guns in repayment for material for hundreds of frontier yarns.
Yet Buntline, in fact, only four western yarns, all about Buffalo Bill. According to descendants of Wyatt Earps cousins, he owned a Colt. 45-caliber, Earp had received the revolver as a gift from Tombstone mayor and Tombstone Epitaph newspaper editor John Clum. Lake admitted that he had put words into Wyatts mouth because of the inarticulateness, Lake conceived the idea of a revolver that would be more precise and could be easily modified to work similarly to a rifle. According to Lake, the Colt Buntline was a revolver chambered for.45 Long Colt cartridge. However, it had a 12-inch-long barrel, in comparison to the Colt Peacemakers 7. 5-inch barrel, a 16-inch barrel was available, as well. According to Lake, it had a stock that could be easily affixed through a combination of screws. This accessory gave the revolver better precision and range, Lake claimed, the Colt Buntline was further popularized by The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp television series. However, neither Tilghman nor Brown were lawmen at that time, according to Lake, Earp kept his pistol at the original 12-inch length, but the four other recipients of the Specials cut their barrels down to the standard 7 1⁄2 inches or shorter.
Lake spent much effort trying to track down the Buntline Special through the Colt company, Lake described it as a Colt Single Action Army model with a long,12 inches barrel, standard sights, and wooden grips into which the name “Ned” was ornately carved. Researchers have never found any record of a received by the Colt company. The revolver could have been ordered from the Colt factory in Hartford, Connecticut. Several such revolvers with 16-inch barrels and detachable stocks were displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exposition, there are no company records for the Buntline Special, nor a record of any orders from or sent to Ned Buntline
American Civil War
The American Civil War was an internal conflict fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, the Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U. S. history. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U. S. fortress of Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to eleven states, it claimed two more states, the Indian Territory, and the southern portions of the western territories of Arizona. The Confederacy was never recognized by the United States government nor by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal, including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North, the war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the dissolution of the Confederate government in the spring of 1865. The war had its origin in the issue of slavery. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, but before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.
The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, the first seven with state legislatures to resolve for secession included split majorities for unionists Douglas and Bell in Georgia with 51% and Louisiana with 55%. Alabama had voted 46% for those unionists, Mississippi with 40%, Florida with 38%, Texas with 25%, of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession, outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincolns March 4,1861 inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war, speaking directly to the Southern States, he reaffirmed, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed, the Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on King Cotton that they would intervene, but none did, and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.
Hostilities began on April 12,1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, while in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaigns into Maryland and Kentucky failed, dissuading British intervention, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, much of their western armies, the 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lees Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grants command of all Union armies in 1864
The Colt Walker, sometimes known as the Walker Colt, was a single-action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six charges of black powder behind six bullets. It was designed in 1846 as a collaboration between Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker and American firearms inventor Samuel Colt, the 1847 Colt Walker was the largest and most powerful black powder repeating handgun ever made. It was created in the mid-1840s in a collaboration between Texas Ranger Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker and American firearms inventor Samuel Colt, building upon the earlier Colt Paterson design, Walker wanted a handgun that was extremely powerful at close range. Samuel Walker carried two of his revolvers in the Mexican–American War. He was killed in battle the same year his famous handgun was invented,1847, on October 9,2008, one specimen that had been handed down from a Mexican War veteran was sold at auction for US$920,000. The Republic of Texas had been the purchaser of the early Paterson Holster Pistol, a five shot cal.36 revolver.
In 1847, Walker was engaged in the Mexican-American War as a captain in the United States Mounted Rifles and he approached Colt, requesting a large revolver to replace the single-shot Aston Johnson holster pistols in use. The desired. 44-.45 caliber revolver would be carried in saddle mounted holsters, the Colt Walker was used in the Mexican-American War and on the Texas frontier. Medical officer John Rip Ford took a special interest in the Walkers when they arrived at Veracruz and he obtained two examples for himself and is the primary source for information about their performance during the war and afterward. The Walker, unlike most succeeding martial pistols and revolvers, was a weapon out to about 100 yards. The Colt Walker holds a charge of 60 grains in each chamber. It weighs 4 1⁄2 pounds unloaded, has a 9-inch barrel, the initial contract called for 1,000 of the revolvers and accoutrements. Colt commissioned Eli Whitney Junior to fill the contract and produced an extra 100 revolvers for private sales, notable recipients include John Coffee Hays.
Colt commissioned New York engraver Waterman Ormsby to etch a scene on the cylinder that was based on Walkers description of the 1844 battle, in addition to its large size and weight, problems with the Walker included ruptured cylinders after firing. This has been attributed to primitive metallurgy, soldiers allowing powder to spill across the mouths of the chambers, under 300 of the original 1,000 were returned for repair due to a ruptured cylinder. The Walker had a loading lever catch that often allowed the loading lever to drop during recoil. Period-correct fixes for this often included placing a loop around both the barrel and loading lever, to prevent the loading lever from dropping under recoil. The Whitneyville-Hartford Dragoon is known as the first transitional model from the Walker to the Dragoon series, the Colt Walker has long maintained a unique position and mystique among handgun users, and its name is often used as a common expression of any overly large generic handgun example