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SN B COMPANY NO 25. Cal. 44. One of the most rare and desirable of all Colt firearms is the Walker pistol. These massive 4 lb. revolvers were manufactured in 1847 in a quantity of only 1,000 to arm mounted troops for the war in Mexico. Subsequent to the military contract of 1,000 revolvers, Colt assembled an additional 100-104 civilian model Walker revolvers. The Martial Walker revolvers were marked Company specific from Company A to Company E with various numbers assigned to each company. Company B had approximately 175 revolvers so marked. Company B is also the unit commanded by Capt. Samuel H. Walker, the inspiration to Samuel Colt to produce these revolvers. Capt. Walker was killed at Chapultepec, Mexico in 1847 during the war. The first shipment of Walker revolvers to Mexico was only about 220 units with a 2nd shipment of 280 revolvers arriving about a week later on Oct. 26, 1847. Out of the first shipment, 6 revolvers were reported stolen. Upon arrival in Mexico these 496 revolvers were issued to various Companies including Company A, B & C which included 394 pistols issued to the Texas regiments under Col. John Hays. The 2nd shipment of 500 was delayed and did not arrive in Mexico until the war was nearly over and were not issued at that time. When the war was over the Walker pistols that had been issued were recalled and turned in at the Vera Cruz Depot on May, 8 1848. Of the 394 pistols issued to the Texans, only about 316 were turned in, with many of those missing lost in battle and others simply stolen or retained by Officers of the various Companies. The 3rd shipment of 500 pistols had been held in a New York depot until Colt provided flasks & molds and in March 1848 were shipped to the Vera Cruz, Mexico depot and in Nov. 1848 all were shipped from Mexico to the Baton Rouge Arsenal and along with the other turned in pistols were subsequently shipped to San Antonio. Many of those Walker pistols at San Antonio were issued to various units operating in Texas and were issued to the 4 companies of the Dragoons and 3 companies of Infantry assigned there to fight Indians, bandits, and outlaws in the region. In April 1850 these units were ordered to turn in their Walker pistols in exchange for Dragoon revolvers. Many of the Walker revolvers were then issued to Texas Rangers and some friendly Indians. In Feb. 1861 the San Antonio Arsenal was seized by the State of Texas, including all remaining arms & accoutrements and turned over to the Confederacy. It seems likely that all those seized arms would have been issued to Confederate troops for use during the Civil War. Very few Walker pistols survive today in any condition with any orig finish. Such a revolver today is a great rarity and seldom ever seen today.

This revolver appears to be generally orig and most respects with 8-15/16″ oct to rnd bbl with altered German silver front sight and left hand address on top flat. Right side of bbl lug is marked “US / 1847″ just over the wedge screw. Wedge is an unmarked replacement. Cylinder is 2-7/16” long, 6-shots with oval stop notches and the hole on one land between nipple recesses for a single safety pin. The SN is found on left side of bbl lug, left side of frame and buttstrap. The abbreviated number “B COMy No 25” is found on the trigger guard and partially visible on the cylinder. The number “25” is found on left side of front strap, under the grip, inside toe of grip and on the cylinder. The number on the cylinder arbor was obliterated during the cleaning process. The frame to bbl lug mating surfaces have been lightly filed to tighten up the space between the cylinder face & forcing cone and very likely the frame pins were replaced at the same time and the rear face of the forcing cone was filed flat which accounts for the 1/16″ shorter bbl. The slight alteration on the front of the frame obliterated the “25” which is normally found in that area between the frame pins. The tip of the rammer handle has been reapplied and an area on the bottom of the bbl, about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4″ from the muzzle shows evidence of a dovetail having been filled. This information is verified by a photograph of this revolver along with its consecutively numbered mate which appeared in a Gun Report article by Herb Glass which shows this revolver in the top position with a different rammer handle and Navy style latch. The photograph is identifiable as this revolver by the rust patterns on the bbl. Pistol is mounted with its orig 1-pc walnut grip that has repaired heels and an old coating of varnish. Cylinder retains traces of the orig pressure ridge and a few spots of vise marks around the circumference. The T-lever latch spring is a modern replacement. Accompanied by a note by the very well known dealer/collector, the late Paul Sorrell which lists the provenance for this pistol. Also accompanied by a 10-page letter from renowned Colt researcher and author, the late Larry Wilson. Additionally accompanied by a Certificate of Originality from the Texas Gun Collectors Association “Parade of Walkers” dated Spring 2003, certifying the authenticity of Colt Walker SN B COMPANY 25. This is a fine, authentic Walker revolver with very few, minor alterations and would be suitable for any collection or museum display. PROVENANCE: 1951- Gerald Fox collection; 1952- listed on the “Quick List”; 1953- Herb Glass; 1955- pictured TGCA Magazine; 1957- Herb Green collection; 1999- Brian Bossier collection; 2001- Greg Martin; 2003- John Berra collection; The collection of Robert Roughton. CONDITION: Very good to fine, matching numbered as noted above. Bbl & bbl lug are a light, mottled gray/brown patina with heavy blood pitting on both sides of the bbl & rammer handle. The markings on both sides of the lug are clear and legible. Frame is a matching mottled gray/brown patina with clear markings. Cylinder is a matching patina with light, very fine areas of pin-prick pitting and some flash pitting around the nipple recesses. Pressure ridge is visible around most of the circumference and the SN is partially visible. Trigger guard has a few light nicks and shows a dark mustard patina. Backstrap is a matching gray/brown patina with completely legible SN on buttstrap. Grip with its repaired heels is otherwise sound with a couple of small nicks in the front edges and retains most of its restored finish. Mechanics are fine, strong sharp bore with fine pitting. 52328-5 JRL (100,000-150,000) – Lot 1124

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Auction: Firearms - October 2017
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.