This is a Colt Walker Model Revolver, .44 caliber percussion, marked “B COMPANY No 163” that was manufactured in 1847 was formerly part of the renowned William M. Locke collection and is pictured and described on page 43 of the 1973 edition of “THE WILLIAM M. LOCKE COLLECTION”. This revolver is also listed by serial number on page 79 of “THE COLT WHITNEYVILLE-WALKER PISTOL” by Robert D. Whittington III and pictured and described in an advertisement in the July 1980 issue of “THE GUN REPORT”. The Colt Walker Model revolver was designed in 1846 by Samuel with suggestions by Captain Samuel H. Walker of the U.S. Mounted Rifle Regiment. The “B Company No 163” revolver was part of a contract for 1,000 Colt Walker Model revolvers signed by Secretary of War William L. Marcy on January 6, 1847. Colt had no manufacturing facility, so he assigned the contract to Eli Whitney Jr., who manufactured the U.S. Contract Walker Model revolvers at the Whitneyville Armory in Hamden Ct. The U.S. Contract Walker Model Revolvers were marked with A-E Company designations with the serial number beginning at “1” for each company. Companies A-D revolvers were numbered from 1-220 and the Company E revolvers were numbered from 1-120. The 1st Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers received the initial issue of 214 C Company marked Walker Model Revolvers at Vera Cruz, Mexico on October 19, 1847. On October 22, the Texas Mounted Volunteers were issued 180 additional A and B Company marked Walker Revolvers. Company C of the U.S. Mounted Rifles was issued 100 A and B Company marked revolvers on November 19, 1847. The remaining 500 Walker Model revolvers were issued to the 2nd Dragoon Regiment and federalized Texas Rangers on the Texas frontier between 1849-1850. Virtually all of the U.S. Contract Walker Model revolvers were used in the Mexican War or on the Texas frontier and saw hard service in the field. In 1984, Robert D. Whittington identified 150, which is now above 175 surviving U.S. Walker Model revolvers. The massive Walker model revolver has a half-round barrel with nickel-silver front sight blade. The wedge enters the barrel lug from the right side. The loading lever has a rounded end and is held in position by a T-shaped spring mounted on the bottom of the barrel. The 2 7/16 inch, six shot cylinder has oval cylinder stops and a single locking pin. The trigger and cylinder stop screws do not pass completely through the right side of the frame. The frame has cut-outs at the back that match the forward contour of the one-piece black walnut grips. The brass square-back trigger guard has a distinctive flared bottom. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped “ADDRESS. SAML COLT. NEW-YORK CITY” reading from the breech to the muzzle. “U.S./1847” is engraved on the right side of the barrel lug above the wedge slot. “B COMPANY No 163” is engraved on the left side of the barrel lug above the wedge slot, on the left side of the frame and on the bottom of the back strap. “B COMY No 163” is engraved in smaller letters on the trigger guard ahead of the bow and in even smaller letters on the cylinder. “163” is stamped in very small numerals on the underside of the cylinder pin. The wedge is numbered “29”. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Ranger and Indian fight scene and “MODEL U.S.M.R./COLT’S PATENT”. “W.L. Ormsby Sc. NY” is roll-engraved below the cylinder scene. A small “P” sub-inspection mark is stamped on the front of the trigger guard base to the left of the screw and on the bottom of the trigger guard. Traces of the “WAT” Ordnance final inspection marks are visible on the lower left side of the grip. The condition is as follows:
This is a solid example of a restored Colt Walker revolver. The barrel has a pleasing silver-gray patina; surfaces are smooth with traces of mild pitting on the lug near the breech. The markings on the sides of the barrel are crisp as professionally recut. The 1980 GUN REPORT description states that the end of the loading lever and the loading lever T-spring are replacements. The sides of the loading lever have some scattered mild pitting. The very good frame has a mottled gray patina with light mild pitting on the recoil shields and sides. The re-engraved company marking on the left side of the frame is sharp. The sides of the hammer have moderate pitting. The re-rolled replacement cylinder retains most of the Ranger and Indian scene and all of the markings are mostly clear. The front and rear faces of the cylinder show minimal pitting and the safety pin remains intact. The brass trigger guard is very good with an attractive patina and crisp company markings and inspection marks. The back strap has an even brown patina with sharp re-engraved company markings. The grip is good; the edges of the butt are rounded from handling. This is a solid representative example of one of the most desirable of all U.S. martial pistols. The revolver has provenance from the William M. Locke collection which in and of itself is desirable to collectors as he was probably the most noted Colt Collector of all time! This revolver would compliment a Colt or U.S. martial arms collection and will hopefully reside in your collection for many years.