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Guns in the Civil War

Colt Walker & Dragoons

The forty four caliber Colt Walker and its successor the Dragoon models are the largest of all Colt revolvers and close to the largest hand held revolving firearm ever made.

44 Walker

Only 21,000 of the 44 Colt Walker and its variations were made, making it a rare gun in the Civil War.

Anything larger then this never achieves mass production. At 4 pounds, 8 ounces, the Walker weighs nearly twice as much as nearly all large revolvers, ancient or modern. The massive weight put it into holsters carried by the horse instead of worn by the man. It could be loaded with as much powder as was used in some muskets.  Like the other Civil War cap and ball revolvers, it is fired with percussion caps. It was more powerful than any other revolver of its day, and is more powerful than most modern pistols.

This heavy pistol carries the name and was developed at the request of Captain Samuel Walker of fame with the earliest Texas Rangers and the United States Mounted Rifles. It saw service in the Mexican War. The Walker put Colt back into production after the financial failure of the first factory.

Total production of the original Walker was about 1,100.  Walker-like Dragoons were produced later, bringing to the total production of both to about 21,000. Production ceased with the large orders for the Civil War which totaled half a million of other revolver models for Colt. The sheer disparity in the production volume made the Walker a rarity in the Civil War.

Newly made replicas are available, including from Dixie Gun Works.  For more information, see "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms ...", or "Colt Conversions" by Bruce McDowell.

Technical Information

Length 15 Inches
Weight 4 pounds
Caliber Forty Four * (.451")
Bullet Weight 138 grains
Power Charge 55 grains
Muzzle Velocity 1200 feet per second
Muzzle Energy 450

*

More About Civil War Guns

 

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Emory Hackman

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