Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1164: Colt Walker Revolver 44 percussion

Auction Date: September 12, 2014

Historical and Rare Walker's C Company Marked U.S. Contract Colt Walker Model 1847 Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $100,000 - $150,000

Historical and Rare Walker's C Company Marked U.S. Contract Colt Walker Model 1847 Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Walker
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 percussion
Barrel: 9 inch part octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 4110
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 76
Class: Antique

Colt Walker Model revolver manufactured in 1847 by the Whitneyville Armory. This revolver is marked "C COMPANY No. 172" on the left side of the barrel lug, left side of the frame, bottom of the trigger guard and butt. It is one of 220 C Company marked Walker Model revolvers and was originally intended for issue to the U.S. Mounted Rifle Regiment. The C Company revolvers were shipped to the U.S. Army Depot at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in September 1847. On October 19, 1847, 214 C Company marked Walker Colt revolvers were issued to the First Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers commanded by Colonel John Coffee Hays. Known as "The Texas Devils" the Texas Mounted Volunteers used their Walker Colt revolvers in a number of actions against Mexican irregular forces operating between Mexico City and Vera Cruz. Of the 394 Walker revolvers issued to the Texas Mounted Volunteers only 191 revolvers (of which 82 were serviceable) were turned in at the Vera Cruz Depot when the regiment was mustered out of federal service on May 8, 1848. The serviceable revolvers were sent to the Baton Rouge Arsenal where they were subsequently issued to Texas Rangers and the 2nd Dragoon Regiment. All of the C Company Walker revolvers saw hard service in Mexico and on the Texas frontier. This revolver is one of the 38 surviving C Company Walker revolvers listed on page 80 of "THE COLT WHITNEYVILLE WALKER PISTOL" by LTC Robert Whittington. In addition to the C Company marking on the barrel, frame, trigger guard and back strap, the right side of the barrel lug is stamped: "U.S./1847" in two lines above the wedge slot. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY" reading from the breech to the muzzle. "172" is stamped on the front of the frame between the barrel lug pins (this makes this the 172nd Walker produced as the C Company Revolvers were the first produced). The massive, 2 7/16 inch cylinder has oval stops and a single safety pin. The frame has the distinctive cut-outs at the back for the forward contour of the grip. The brass, square back trigger guard has a broad bottom and the trigger slot is curved at the front and square at the back. The half-round/half-octagon barrel has the T-shaped spring to secure the loading lever. The revolver has one-piece, walnut "Slim-Jim" grips.

Rating Definition:

About good. The revolver shows very well executed professional repair to some components (commonly associated with these rare revolvers as they were used hard and put away wet).The barrel address has been re-stamped and the barrel has been stretched with the loading lever being a replacement. The metal surfaces have a silver-gray patina with moderate pitting on most components typical of issued and used Walker revolvers. The edges of the frame capping cut-out and recoil shield are battered. The cylinder has moderate to heavy pitting; the percussion nipples show heavy flash-pitted. The number "100" is stamped in small numerals on the side of the cylinder. Note the common practice of the day was to boil the cylinders for cleaning. It is common for military revolvers of all makes to have mismatched cylinders as little attention was paid to matching numbers. In fact original cylinders for Walker Revolvers are scarce in and of themselves as over packing chambers was common, causing the cylinders to crack and sometimes explode. The brass trigger guard has a dark, untouched patina with dents and scratches. The frame, grip and trigger guard screws are original with marred slots. The walnut grip is in fair condition with moderate handling wear. Five period hand serrations are present on the right grip stock which allow the imagination to wonder of the exploits of the original Texas Ranger who was issued this revolver. Colt Walker Model revolvers are rare and historic firearms that are highly desirable in any condition. This revolver almost certainly saw action with the Texas Mounted Volunteer Regiment during the Mexican War and may have been retained by one of the Texans at the end of the war for use on the Southwestern frontier. This rare and historic Walker revolver would be the centerpiece of any collection of American firearms.

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