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Author Topic: what were the faults with the walker colt.  (Read 5779 times)
dane with no name
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« on: August 26, 2003, 05:28:45 AM »

In unforgiven little bill tells the true story about english bob in the bar, and says that the walker colt were prone to blow up.
I had a talk with a friend about old guns, and i mentioned the thing about the walker colt.
My friend is somewhat of a gun-nut, and had we lived in the U.S. he would have been a prime member of the NRA, but he couldnt tell me why the walker colt would blow up. He thougt it might be some weakness in the design, but he wasnt sure.

Anyone out there, who could tell me???
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KC
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2003, 06:26:01 AM »

The .44 caliber Walker model Colt was, at the time (they were originally manufactured in 1847), "the most powerful handgun in the world." It weighed 6 lb. 9 oz. and featured an elongated cylinder that could fire a powder charge of 57 grains ... this huge charge, and perhaps also the grade of steel used, made the weapons prone to explode in the shooter's hand, as Little Bill observes.


The subsequent model, known as the Colt Dragoon, featured a shorter cylinder and improved low carbon English steel.

My information is taken from Civil War Pistols, by John D. McAulay (1992). When D'Ambrosia sees this, he may have a more detailed answer for you.
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D'Ambrosia
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2003, 05:11:39 PM »

What KC has stated above is right on of course...

I only have this to add...

The biggest problem with them were metallurgical problems (KC stated above) which led to a number of the guns exploding when they were fired which is why only about 1000 were made (very rare, vary valuable!). The loading lever was held up by a spring latch that was known to come “undone” while discharging the weapon.  While firing the Walker “sometimes” the spring latch would come loose causing the loading lever to loosen, causing the cylinder to become un-stationary for a split second and become unaligned with the barrel.  This “not being stationary” during discharge could create all kinds of problems.  If the cylinder comes unaligned with the barrel during discharge it would send powder, charge, shrapnel of the load, gas, flame, etc into the barrel frame which is now in the way because of the series of events described above. This would cause the cylinder to seize up and causing the gun to become useless, not to mention your hand being scorched and possibly maimed.   That’s the best I can do…  



Despite this drawback, the Colt Walker was superior to the single shot muzzle loading pistols of the era, as well as the relatively few competing repeaters.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2003, 08:29:31 PM by DAmbrosia » Logged
dane with no name
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2003, 02:10:27 PM »

thanks for the reply KC and DAmbrosia.
You both made my day, (especially when i tell my friend why it would blow up) ;)
he isnt much of a internet surfer, but it shouldnt surprice me if the eastwood board gets a new member in the near future  8)
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John Omohundro
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2003, 06:59:48 AM »

KC and DAmbrosia:

You were pretty much dead-on with your assessment of the Walker Colt, with one exception:
The WEIGHT.

According to most sources, including "THE GREAT GUNS", by Harold L. Peterson & Robert Elman, the Walker Colt weighed between 4.25 and 4.5 pounds, depending upon the source you consult. The later First, Second, and Third Model Dragoons weighed slightly less, but ALL weighed about 4 pounds each.
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KC
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2003, 10:28:02 PM »

Thanks, John, and welcome to the Board. You obviously know a lot about guns! I don't know where I got the figure I gave in my reply to Dane with No Name; the source I cite there, Civil War Pistols by McAulay, gives the weight of the Walker Colt as four pounds nine ounces (p. 24). This is also the figure given on p. 187 of R.L. Wilson's The Peacemakers. Perhaps I mistyped!  :-\
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