Western Re-Enactment In The United Kingdom
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The Mighty Colt Walker Lives Again! - By "Poncho"

~ The Colt Walker Pistol ~

'Colt Walker', 'Whitneyville' or 'Walker-Colt'; whatever you call it, it was the first of the truly great Colt revolvers and by far the biggest. The 1847 Walker weighed in at a mighty impressive 4.6lbs and had a 9inch barrel. It came with a hefty punch too thanks to its .44 calibre tube and huge chambers that were capable of carrying 60grains of black powder. Indeed, the Walker-Colt remained the most powerful production handgun in the world until the introduction of the .357 magnum over eighty years later! The history of the gun goes all the way back to Colts first revolving pistols - the 1836 Patersons. These five shot, low powered pistols were first used by the newly formed Texas Rangers and they proved their worth when captain Jack Hayes and his small band of 15 Rangers took on and defeated over 80 Comanche in 1845.

The Rangers killed over half of the Comanche with the aid of their new Paterson revolving pistols. One of the men at that battle was a young captain by the name of Sam Walker. Walker realised the potential of such guns and soon got in touch with his namesake, Sam Colt to see if he could make a bigger version of his Paterson. But, Colt had bad news for Walker; he had gone out of business because the little pistol had not sold in sufficient numbers. Undeterred, he persuaded Colt that a larger calibre model of his brilliant Paterson would be a sure fire winner. Colt himself, agreed and together they designed the Walker-Colt. The rest, as they say, is history. A rather sad footnote to the story is that Captain Walker was killed shortly after receiving his pair of Walkers from Sam Colt in a skirmish with the Mexicans. The guns were returned to Colt shortly after.

~ A Schematic View Of The Walker Colt ~

ARMI SAN MARCO

This famous Italian manufacturer of fine reproduction black powder revolvers, have come up with a magnificent version of the Walker that is almost exact in every detail. It's all here from the 1847 date stamped on to the right hand side of the frame to the famous battle scene on the guns massive cylinder. Until recently though, the gun has only been available as a part one firearm, but, all that has just changed because it is now anyone can own a working version of this gun thanks the ASM and Brocock.
It retails for around £250 and is chambered for the TAC (Tandem Air Cartridge) in .22 calibre and is just on the right side of the legal limit for air pistols in the UK at a little over 5foot/pounds. This 'air pistol' is a seriously good fun to fire and is surprisingly accurate.

I say 'surprisingly' because the ASM-Walker is such a good replica that it retains the originals rather crude sighting system. These consist of a brass blade foresight and a V notch cut into the hammer serves as a rear sight. As you may have gathered, it is not a precision target pistol by any stretch of the imagination! But it was never intended to be, so fairs fair. The originals were close combat fighting guns; the Brocock reproductions are superb fun guns, reasonably accurate and great can crushers. If you are looking to put a hole in the middle of a bulls-eye target at fifty paces, then forget the Walker. But, if you want to smash tin cans and destroy chalk targets at twenty yards and have a great time doing so, then this is the gun for you. Yes, it is expensive to buy, but once you become the proud owner of this fantastic revolver, you will find that it is very cheap to feed and it will, with a little TLC now and again, last you a lifetime.


If, like me, you are at all interested in the guns of the Old American West, then you will love the Walker and want to own one immediately. Indeed, I liked the gun so much that I purchased one for myself. Armi San Marco and Brocock are to be congratulated for having the bottle to introduce this gun to the UK shooter. I believe that they will sell a awful lot of these guns as the sport of A.C. Historical Pistol & Rifle shooting starts to take off here and they deserve to. If you fancy yourself as a modern day Josey Wales, empty out your piggy bank and get down to your local gun shop today!

DETAILS:

The gun is finished in a pleasing overall deep blue and the frame is colour case hardened. It has a brass trigger guard and steel back strap as per the original. The engraving is quite well done on the cylinder and has clear lettering. One thing you will notice is the absence of the word 'COLT' on the banner. I can only assume that this has been done for legal reasons. Overall, I feel that the finish could have been a tad better as there are one or two rough bits around the ramrod housing and in one or two other places, but this was the only fault I could find with this superb gun.
Top marks: 8/10.

If you wish to see real versions of this gun in action get hold of the following films:
True Grit, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Long Riders, Lonesome Dove & Geronimo! There are many more, I'm sure, but they are the obvious ones that spring to mind.

PONCHO.
Copyright Steven J.C.Forber. 2002.

If you would like information about the Shootists AC Historical Pistol & Rifle Society, contact me at the following e-mail address: ponchosteve@blueyonder.co.uk

N.B. Since this article was written, the U.K. government has decided to 'ban' the T.A.C. system. No one knows when this new legislation will come in to force but it will be soon. Therefore, if you want to own one of these pistols, you are advised to purchase one ASAP. It will be legal to own a T.A.C. gun purchased BEFORE the ban. But, the government may want you to register it or apply for a 'new' type of firearms certificate.
I will keep you posted of any future development (s)
Poncho. June 5th. 2003.


 

 

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