Tag Archives: colt walker

Texas Names the Most Texas Revolver Ever as Offical State Handgun

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last weekend signed a resolution forwarded to his desk by the Texas lawmakers that makes the original 1847 Colt Walker the official handgun of the Lone Star State.

A hulking 4.5-pound 44-caliber revolver, the Walker was so-named after famed Texas Ranger Capt. Samuel Walker and only about 1,100 of the handguns were manufactured by Eli Whitney for Colt. Some 1,000 were promptly sent to Texas– two for each Ranger– and 100 leftovers for the commercial market. The gun was a collaboration between Walker and Colt, based on the latter’s earlier .36-caliber Paterson design, a five-shot revolver that weighed only half of what the Model 1847 would.

Samuel Colt (American, Hartford, Connecticut 1814–1862) Colt Walker Percussion Revolver, serial no. 1017, 1847 American, Whitneyville, Connecticut, Steel, brass, walnut; L. 15 1/2 in. (39.37 cm); L. of barrel, 9 in. (22.86 cm); Cal., .44 in. (11 mm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of John E. Parsons, 1958 (58.171.1) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/24844

More in my column at Guns.com.

Putting the ‘Navy’ in the 1851 Colt

Samuel Colt launched his revolutionary revolver business in 1835 but within a decade started to see his products increasingly knocked off and the brand diluted by counterfeit and very much unlicensed clones.

Colt’s solution to helping make said cloning harder to pull off successfully was to introduce a series of scrollwork to his revolvers, specifically around the cylinder. His Model 1851, for example, had a naval scene.

Detail of Colt Model 1851, Serial No. 2, in the collection of the Met, note the naval combat scene on the cylinder. Some 215,348 Colt Navy models were produced. (Photo: The Met/Open Access Image)

But what naval scene was it?

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Guess how much the Danish Sea Captain went for?

Remember the big .44 Colt Model 1847 Walker I wrote about a few weeks back? The one that earned its moniker due to its first owner, Capt. Niels Hanson, who bought the gun in New York while in port and brought it back to Europe with him where it was passed down through his family and collectors in Denmark for over a century?

The Cap’n

Well-documented over the years, the revolver was billed by Rock Island Auction Company as the only known original cased Colt civilian Walker percussion revolver in circulation. When the gavel dropped on the rare hog leg, it hit the $1.84 million mark last week– a world record for a single firearm sold at auction.

More in my column at Guns.com

Meet The ‘Captain

In their upcoming April Premier event, Rock Island Auction is set to offer a trio of desirable Colt wheel guns including a “Fluck” Dragoon, a military-marked Eli Whitney Walker and a civilian model fit for a Scandinavian skipper.

The rarest of the three, the only known original cased civilian Walker in circulation, is referred to by collectors as the “Danish Sea Captain” due to its first owner, Captain Niels Hanson, who purchased the massive gun in New York while in port and brought it back to Europe with him where it was passed down through his family and collectors in Denmark for over a century.

The ‘Captain. (Photos: RIA)

The ‘Captain. (Photos: RIA)

According to lore, the gun even survived being buried in a garden by its then-owner during the Nazi occupation of that Baltic country during WWII.

The estimated price for this rare .44-caliber bird, which has been extensively documented over the past 80 years? How about somewhere between $800,000 and $1.3 million.

More on the big Dane and the other Colts in my column at Guns.com.

More Colts than you can shake an auction paddle at

Rock Island Auction has over 500 Colts up for their September Auction including 40 Pythons (!) and a bunch of really nice rares such as a Third Model Hartford London Dragoon, “D Company” Walker Model 1847, and a set of Model 1851 Navy “Squarebacks.”

This is my favorite, though:

Click to big up

Stamped with “U.S.” marks and a silver-gray patina, this Single Action Army in .45LC includes a rare “Ropes” type flap holster of the type used during the Spanish-American War. If a gun could talk…

Rare “Thumb Print” Colt Walker coming up for auction: $700,000

Rock Island Auction Company is having their annual Premiere Firearms Auction May 2-4 in Illinois. The company moves thousands of guns a year but this auction is reserved for their “magnificent, diverse, and investment grade firearms. Among the 2800 items up for the gavel are a Fitz Colt owned by Clyde of Bonnie and Clyde, an extremely rare Smith-Condit prototype semi-automatic rifle, probably the nicest 1898 Schwarzlose I’ve ever seen, and a functional US Army Gatling Gun (with carriage).

However, perhaps the nicest of the lot is the revolver that could be a piece of living history– the Thumbprint Walker.


Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com