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Old October 8, 2005, 09:32 AM   #1
Low Key
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Join Date: September 4, 2005
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I've been looking at the Dragoon and drooling, (wanting one whenever I can afford it), and I am wondering, what is the difference between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd model?

My wishlist for 2006:
Ruger New model stainless vaquero
Colt Walker .44
Dragoon .44

I'll have to spread out my purchases or my wife may beat me to death with the Colt Walker.

BTW: Whats on your wish list?
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Old October 8, 2005, 10:12 AM   #2
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The Walker began to evolve as soon as the first 1100 went into production. There were transition guns using Walker parts. The first model kept the round cylinder/bolt notches, I believe the second model had oval ones and the square notches with lede came in with the third model. The earlier ones had the same curved mainspring as the patterson and the third model came out with a single plain flat spring like the navy, army, pocket model et al.
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Old October 8, 2005, 05:12 PM   #3
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"The Colt firm was revived with the introduction in 1847 of the "Walker" model "Walker" model in (nominally) .44 caliber, which saw use in the Mexican War of 1848. These were namedd after Captain Samuel Walker of the United States Mounted Rifles, who had used Paterson models, and contacted Colt with suggestions for improving the arm. The resulting behemoth had an overall length of 15.5", a 9" barrel and weighed approximately 4.75 lbs. It could be loaded with a .45 caliber round ball, or a conical weighing 220 grains. Powder charge was 50 to 60 grains. The ballistics were superior to any cartridge arm until the introduction of the .357 Magnum in 1935. By comparison, the original .45 Colt cartridge was loaded with a 250 grain bullet and 40 grains of powder.

The Walker had several flaws which needed to be fixed. Most seriously, there were metallurgical problems which led to a number of the guns exploding when they were fired. This contributed to the very low survival rate of this model, of which only about 1000 were made. The loading lever was held up by a spring latch, which unfortunately would often release the lever under the influence of recoil, causing the cylinder to bind. The sheer size of the piece made handling cumbersome. Despite these drawbacks, the Colt Walker was superior to the single shot muzzle loading pistols of the era, as well as the relatively few competing repeaters. It was enough to keep Colt's in business.

The Walker was replaced by the .44 caliber Model of 1848 Holster Pistol, A/K/A the "First Model Dragoon." This was slightly smaller than the Walker, at about 4.5 lbs, and was provided with a positive latch for the loading lever. A key identifying feature is the oval-shaped cylinder stops.

The cylinder engravings on the Dragoons depicts a battle between Indians and the U.S. Mounted Rifles (A/K/A Dragoons).

The Second Model Dragoon came next, and differed in details like the square cylinder stops and loading lever latch.

The Third Model Dragoon, produced 1858 - 1861, is relatively rare. The main identifying feature is the leaf rear sight mounted on the barrel. These pieces were cut for a shoulder stock, which when fitted turned the revolver into a carbine.
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Old October 9, 2005, 06:53 AM   #4
Low Key
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Thanks for the info!
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Old October 10, 2005, 11:14 AM   #5
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A friend of mine found a cylinder from a 2nd model on his ranch near Abilene, Tx. It had square bolt notches without the lead in cut. I imagine whoever dropped it was in a hurry at the time. This was Comanche country.
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