View Full Version : Colt 1847 Walker Question

The Silver Bullet 1719
November 30, 2002, 01:19 AM
Hello all, I would like to know if yall can help me identifying a Colt 1847 Walker. It is my deceased uncles and I found it today. I would guess its a real Colt, but I don't know anything about antique guns. On the cylinder it has an engraved ship scene with the following things: Colt's Patent No. 12496, and Engraved by W.L. Ormsby NEw York and Engraved 16 May 1845. On the Top of the barrel it has Address SamL Colt New York City. It is color-case harderend, and has below the cylinder again Colt's Patent. I would VERY much appreciate any help yall can give me. Thanks so much.

November 30, 2002, 09:23 AM
I am sure that there are others on the forum who can.

What ever you do... Don't sell it until you have found out for sure what you have..

You may have unearthed every gun collectors "Holy Grail"


Jimmy Mac
November 30, 2002, 10:20 AM
If it is the real thing it is worth a fortune. Several thousand dollars.

They made 1,100 of these.

1,000 for the Army and 100 for the public.

I do not remember the exact number buy very few are known to still exist.

Jim Watson
November 30, 2002, 11:01 AM
The Blue Book says that documented survival of Walkers is 10 -12%. Meaning that there are maybe 130 REAL Walker Colts known to be around. Book value starts at $50,000 and goes up. Way up.

A military Walker will have a letter for one of the five companies, A, B, C, D, E, and a serial number in several locations around the gun.

Because of its fame, historical significance, and rarity, there are more fake Walkers than real. Even the real ones are subject to upgrading. Elmer Keith said he once owned A company no 90, a battered, buffed, and reblued wreck with barrel cut to 6 inches. He traded it off and saw it again years later looking like new. There are scratch-built fakes, conversions of later Dragoons to Walker configuration, and untold numbers of old copies and modern clones with the Belgian and Italian proof marks removed.

You need an expert.

November 30, 2002, 12:53 PM
Does it look 155 years old? or mearly 30 years old (or less)?

If it's an original, it will look it's age. Even the finest originals are covered in "patina" (very light rust) and look more brown than blue.

If the bluing is clear & shiney, then it's a modern Colt reproduction.
Which is still a nice blackpowder handgun to have!


Old Fuff
November 30, 2002, 01:23 PM
The previous advise to consult an expert is right. If (and this is a big "IF") you have one of the original Walker Colt's it could be worth up to $100,000 or more in the condition you describe.

Having said that, I don't think this is what you have. You did a good job describing the gun but didn't include a serial number. That will be found on the bottom of the frame in front of the triggger guard. You should leave off the last two numbers and state it like this: 12xx with xx where the last two numbers would be.

The original Walkers made for the government were numbered 1 to 1000. In addition, 100 more were made for civilian sales. these were numbered 1001 to about 1100.

Back in the 1980's the Colt company made some additional (modern) Walkers and serial numbered them from where they left off. You indicated that your gun's cylinder had the number "12496" on it. If that is the full serial number (it would have to agree with the one on the frame) I would say you have one of the 1980's modern reproductions - approximately the 1,496th one made. That would explain why it has so much of the finish - something I wouldn't expect on an original.

BUT (and this is a big "but") since I can't examine your gun get all of this checked out. I would start with the Customer Service Department at Colt in Hartford, CT.

One more thing. If your gun does turn out to be A Colt reproduction don't feel to bad. It's still worth more then a common Italian copy.

The Silver Bullet 1719
November 30, 2002, 02:41 PM
Hello again, I have received information from someone that it may be a Colt 1851 Navy instead of a Walker. I have included a close-up picture to help also. BTW the serial number is 12xxx.

Old Fuff
November 30, 2002, 03:38 PM
Your picture is helpful. A Walker has a half-round/half-octagon barrel and is .44 caliber. The Navy Model has a full-octagon barrel and is .36 caliber.

An original "Navy" in the 12,000 range should be a "Third Model" (serial numbers 4,200-85,000) and have a small ovel shaped trigger guard rather then a squareback. The squareback trigger guards should have ended around serial number 4,500.

I think your gun is a modern reproduction, probably made by Colt. However keep in mind that I have not examined the gun, just looked at a picture. This being the case it should be examined by someone who is a knowledgeable antique Colt collector to confirm my judgement. It is not impossible, but improbable, that an earlier squareback trigger guard was used on a later revolver. Colt never junked usable parts no matter how old they were.

December 16, 2002, 07:50 PM

December 16, 2002, 08:54 PM
I am no expert on Old Colts but yours looks entirely too nice to be a gun ~150+ years old.

Just looking at your picture I would say that you have a Colt, made by Colt sometime in the last 20 years.

I have an authentic Colt Walker made by Colt in this Century. It is not 150 years old but it is a real Colt (as opposed to the Italian Uberti reproductions that are the most common and popular black powder guns). Mine is a Signature Series, is signed by Sam Colt in gold on the back strap, says Address Sam Colt New York City on the top of the barrel and the cylinder is engraved with what is probably a picture of Col Sam Walkers Rangers in action in Mexico.

It is a very high quality, beautifully blued modern version of the original Walker. And it is a blast (literally) to shoot.

Mine will still whip a .44 caliber lead ball out the barrel at well over 1200 feet per second and the nice thing is that because it weighs over four pounds it is quite pleasant to shoot! I can fill the chambers up (50 to 55 grains!) with as much black powder as will fit and still leave room for a wad and a ball and it is quite safe because of the modern metalurgy. Because this was my first (and only black powder gun) I called the Colt and spoke to a fellow in their support group. He assured me that I could not over load the chamber and just cautioned me to put a bit of crisco over the loaded chamber bullet to prevent chain fire.

If you verify that yours is a Colt Signature series version, you owe it to yourself to go shoot it. Finding an experienced BP shooter to help you will be easy. There are a few safety precautions with BP you will want to learn prior to shooting the gun and you will have to shoot it outside (enormous smoke cloud). It will give you a great appreciation for what the old timers had to deal with.

Forgetting everything I have said above, if you do indeed have an authentic 1800's era Colt in that condition it is worth a lot of money but I have never seen an old gun look that pristine.

Alex Johnson
December 17, 2002, 11:11 AM
In the extreme unlikelyhood that it is an original Walker in that condition, you would have a pistol that would bring well over a million dollars on the auctionblock.

June 4, 2004, 07:40 AM
I realize that this is an old thread, but just in case you haven't determined yet what you have, I'll chime in. The grip on your revolver--notice how it's square where the backstrap meets the frame? Walker grips were rounded at that spot. If it has a half&half barrel rather than a full octagonal barrel, my $.02 is that it's a 1st or 2nd Model Dragoon. Original or repro is a question better answered by someone besides me.