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No one seems to remember that the Paterson revolvers and the Walker were the wonder weapons of their time. One could fire 5 or 6 shots in less time than it took to reload the single shot muzzle loading pistols of that period. In fact, if one were carrying a spare loaded cylinder for their Walker, they could replace the cylinder in their Walker in less time than a muzzle loader could be loaded and capped! That was one h*ll of an advantage in a fight!!!!!
 

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As I remember the Walker Colt held the title of most powerful handgun until the .357 came along in the 30's. Correct me if I'm wrong. I also understand that they had a nasty flaw with some of the revolvers blowing up from full charges. I wonder if these horse pistols were holstered on the horse? Carrying one around would get pretty heavy after while. I would think the more elegant Patterson would offer more accurate fire while at a dead run on a horse. I understand that the Walker was developed as a replacement for a carbine and pistol, but I wonder what the actual soldiers thought of it.
You are right about the Walker being the most powerful hand gun made until the .357 Magnum came about. They were issued in pairs along with a powder flask and a single cavity bullet mold. The bullet mold made a conical shaped bullet - which caused quite a bit of trouble.
Many of the Texas Rangers were unfamiliar with conical bullets and loaded them into the cylinder up-side down...When that, combined with a 50+ grain powder load, the cylinders blew out. I think this was the cause of most of the Walker failures. Of course, if the Walker failed for some manufacturing fault Colt would have to replace the gun at his expense. Thus, most exploded cylinders were reported as being due to faulty metal!
You are also correct in that Walkers are too heavy to be carried on the hip. The original Walker holsters as issued, were double holsters that were draped over the horses neck in front of the saddle.
 

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I understand that Eli Whitney Jr. was under contract from Colt to produce a few for presentation models. Does anyone know if they were in the same S/N range as regular production?
When Sam Colt got the Government Contract for a Thousand pistols, he had no manufacturing facilities. He was completely out of the gun business.
So, he sub-contracted the manufacture of what was to become known as the Walker Colt to Eli Whitney, Jr. (the son of the inventor of the cotton gin) who had a firearms factory just north of New Haven, Conn. The contract given EW was for 1,100 guns: 1,000 for the Government and 100 for Sam Colt. The Gov't pistols were numbered Company A, B, C, and D,
numbers 1 to 250. The extra 100 guns were serial numbered 1000 to 1100. The next Colt serial number range of 1101 up were for guns made from excess Walker parts and parts made by Colt in Hartford. These guns were used by Colt to replace Walkers that failed in the field. For more info, consult The
Book of Colt Firearms by Wilson.
















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