[Guest Post] The Walker Colt – by A. Uberti

[ I am pleased to present this guest post written by Wayne Watson. Wayne blogs at Oswald Bastable’s Ranting and New Zealand Back Country ]

Uberti’s 1847 Walker Colt

A volunteer in the U.S. Army at the begining of the War in Mexico, another tall hero emerges from the Legendary Texas Rangers, Captain Samuel Walker. Experienced with the advantages of a repeating arm in combat, Walker teamed up with Samuel Colt in 1846 to develop what was to become the most sought after of the Hartford Model Colt percusion revolvers. As a Texas Ranger and Dragoon officer, Walker knew first hand that the early designs that Colt had produced were the key to an even more awesome light cavalry sidearm. The combined knowledge and experience of Walker and Colt brought out the first six-shot .44 caliber revolver, successfully arming a growing nation with a firearm it desprately needed and sealing the Army contracts that would pull Colt out of bankruptcy and secure his future. Captain Walker died in October of 1847 at the Battle of Juamantha, Mexico, but his legacy lives on in all Single Action revolvers and is honored with the Uberti Walker revolver, an exact and faithful reproduction of the original. ~from the Uberti Website

I fell for this hog-leg, when I first picked one up from a display at the Wairarapa Pistol & Sports Shooting Club- Trail’s End 2004. The New Zealand Uberti agent, Neil Hayes, promises that every customer will go away smiling after firing one of these!

Certainly that has been my personal experience and that of every one I have loaned my Walker for a try.

There is always the appeal of the biggest, loudest and most powerful hand-howitzer that makes the red-blooded shooter just HAVE to fire that piece. The beauty of the Walker is that it won’t leave you with torn thumb webbing, sprains or strains and medical bills! It WILL get folks peering into your bay to see what on earth you are shooting!

True to the original, The Walker has its faults- fortunatly the metallurgy is not one of them. The loading leaver does sometimes drop when firing, a problem corrected in the Dragons. I found that this can be fixed by dropping the charge back from 60 to 55 grains, but a simple fix for those who have to fire full house loads (and why would you buy a Walker if you weren’t going to) is to tie it up with a short piece of leather thonging- no doubt as the Texas Rangers did.

The sights are basic,but that doesn’t stop this shooting iron from delivering some grat groups- I have shot 2′ groups at 25 yards, which is about as good as I can do with any non-target pistol. I evem manage to hit out 1/2 sized buffalo sillouette at 200 yards three times out of five- on a good day!

Wayne’s Walker Colt

The Colt degign is a breeze to strip and clean. My method is to tap out the wedge, remove the nipples and place cylinder and nipples in a tin can with a little household detergent.

I then pour boiling water through the barrel and IMMEDIATELY spray liberally with WD-40- though the barrel and everywher else. Helps to have a rag to hold the hot steel!

The cylinders are scrubbed with a small bottle brush, then the water is drained and cylinder and nipples get the WD-40 treatment. Speed is the trick- rust sets in FAST.

From there it is wipe well and lubricate with a good quality oil, with a good quality grease on the arbor pin. Don’t spare the cleaning cloth- it’s cheap enough!

Four years later, My Walker still looks like new and it gets PLENTY of use.

This piece of history is available here in New Zealand for $595 NZ.

It is just too depressing for me to look up a US list price, so I will leave that to you!

Wayne Watson
New Zealand

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • KG

    Good post. Are these reviews by Wayne going to be a regular thing?

    • KG, this post was part of a guest post series I am running at the moment.

  • Cornelius

    That’s a nice lookin’ gun. I had one when I was a teenager. It came as a kit – some of the parts were rough-cast and needed filing and assembly. It was a great project and loads of fun to shoot. Enjoy!

  • Jeremy-Austin-TX

    Nice post. I own a Remington 1858 (Pietta – sold at Cabela’s for around $200). For those interested in trying out black powder (I love it!) there are a few tips to make life easier:
    1.) Making “cartridges” is easy. Instead of loading naked, you can get thin papers from a beauty supply shop (forgot what they were really for, but a box of 1000 costs $2US). Using a wood mandrel you wrap the papers to basically turn them into little cups roughly the size of the chamber of the pistol. Measure and pour the powder into the cup and drop a ball in. Then twist it off and dab a little craft glue on the top to hold it. IF you do this, bring out a brass pin to dig out the paper remains from the cylinder if they don’t come out on their own.
    2.) Bore butter is your friend. One problem with naked loading is when firing one round the explosion can sometimes catch another chamber and fire it. Yes, obviously this isn’t safe. They make wads to pack in there to stop this but they can be expensive if you shoot pretty regularly. Instead, get a medium sized dental syringe with a plastic tip (1-2mm opening at tip). Fill it with bore-butter and use it to fill the edges of each round after packing it in. If done right, it stops the firing round from igniting another round.

    I also use Bore Butter after cleaning the gun to oil it. You MUST clean the gun immediately after a day of firing it. Like Wayne said, to clean it just pull it apart and drop it in a small bucket with detergent (I’ve used Palmolive dish soap). Dry everything and immediately oil it and any metal surface on the gun. Also, I shoot real black powder (Goex 3f) and have not shot pyrodex.

  • Matt Groom

    I’m not sure what kind of papers they use in beauty shops that Jeremy described, but I know that Zig-Zags, those little papers they sell in Bodegas all over the country for rolling ‘cigarettes’ work very well for paper cartridges. They even have a little adhesive side to help them stick to themselves when rolled on the dowel, and they burn up Okay. If there’s a convenience store in your neighborhood, they probably sell these, but they probably cost more than the papers that Jeremy described.

  • Greetings from Texas,
    Like Wayne I fell in love with this revolver at first sight. The only excuse I can give for not having my own yet is real life keeps interfering with my gathering of neat firearms. I never pass up the chance to shoot those belonging to friends. According to the books it was the most powerful handgun in the world until 1935 when the .357 came on the market.
    I would add one suggestion to Jeremy’s paper cartridge formula. See if you can find a vendor of magic supplys. Flash paper makes wonderful paper cartridges with nothing left to dig out of the cylinder.

  • Lance

    Looks like a nice addition to my copy Colt 1851 Navy.

  • Bore butter is great stuff! As well as preventing flash-over it will also keep fouling down. Use of an over-powder wad or grease over the balls is mandatory at my range.

    It is also real easy to make- just melt beeswax and add vegetable oil (about 1/4 the volume of the wax) and mix.

    A bit of experimenting is needed to get the mix you need for your climate.

    It also is good for wood polish, leather, chapped lips and hand cream (so says the wife who helps mix it up!)

  • (god help me, I couldn’t resist)

    If you don’t grease your balls, your pistol will get very angry with you.

    • DrStrangegun, LOL

  • I was waitng for that!