Black Powder Pistol

Discerning Shooters’ Black Powder Pistol and Black Powder Revolver Depot

My thanks to Michael Shepherd of for permission
to reproduce the photo of an English Turnaround Percussion Black Powder Pistol

Dale Calder who hails originally from Whangarei, New Zealand has had an interest in handguns including black powder pistols over many years.
He has now reached a point in his life where he would like to indulge that interest further by participating in the firing of reproduction
black powder revolvers and pistols here in Auckland, the City of Sails, where he is currently residing.

Black Powder Pistol Fetches Record Price

Posted by admin on October 10, 2008 under black powder colt, black powder pistol, black powder revolver, Walker Colt

Black Powder Pistol collectors would dearly love to showcase this rare black powder revolver which sold for a record price at auction recently.

This news item in Outdoor Life’s News Hound with J. R. Absher quickly had my attention riveted.

“1847 Colt Walker .44 Fetches $920K at Auction

A pristine, corrosion-free Colt Walker .44 black powder revolver (ca. 1847) sold at auction in Fairfield, Maine to an unknown bidder yesterday for $800,000 (plus a 17 percent auction commission).

The sale reflected the most ever fetched for the model, of which fewer than 170 are believed to exist. It was also the highest price ever paid for any type of Colt firearm.

The black powder cartridge pistol was sold with the original powder flask, issued at Vera Cruz to Private Sam Wilson in 1847.

The gun’s owner, Montanan John McBride, 80, said he decided to sell it at auction because his family had no interest in historic firearms and wanted to use the proceeds to purchase property. The gun previously belonged to McBride’s great-great uncle.

“It was a painful decision,” McBride told the Kennebec (ME) Journal newspaper. “The family would rather have land than pistols. I can understand that. I don’t necessarily agree with it.”

A spokesman for the auction company’s firearms division said the price commanded for the pristine Colt was all about condition. There was not a spot of rust or oxidation on the massive, 9-inch barrel–or anywhere else on the gun.

“This is a military gun that normally is found in relic condition,” said Wes Dillon, “What we are seeing here is a unique opportunity in the gun-collecting world.”

Known as one of the most powerful handguns in history, the original Colt Walker had an overall length of 15.5 inches and weighed approximately 4.75 pounds. It held 50-to 60-grains of black powder and shot a conical 220-grain bullet or .44 cal. roundball.

By comparison, the original .45 Colt cartridge used a 250 grain bullet and 40 grains of powder. The Walker stood alone in repeating handgun ballistics superiority until the introduction of the .357 Magnum in 1935.

Only about 1,100 Walker pistols were made during a short production run in 1847. Its namesake, Capt. Samuel Hamilton Walker, a war hero who fought in the Texas-Mexico wars, collaborated with gunmaker Samuel Colt to create a pistol suitable for the Texas Rangers and the U.S. Dragoons.

Capt. Walker wrote in 1847 that the gun was “as effective as a common rifle at 100 yards and superior to a musket even at 200.”

Besides the fact that relatively few of the pistols were manufactured in the first place, a contributing factor in the scarcity (and value) of the Walker Colt today is that many of the guns were damaged by mis-loading. When it was introduced, few men had ever seen a revolver–much less shot one–resulting in burst cylinders and the accidental firing of all six chambers at once”.

Sadly your chances of procuring another such revolver are virtually non existent, even if you had that sort of dosh to procure it. Not to say however, that you cannot acquire your own replica of this exceptional, historic black powder pistol.

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One Response to “Black Powder Pistol Fetches Record Price”

  1. Randall Hurd Says:

    Now that CCW is nation wide, I’ve been watching an explosion in revolver sales. People are gaining interest in Black Powder and iam one of them. Being a small arms instructor in the Army for the Battallion I’ve become very proficient in pistols. I got my first BP 1851 Navy last week and have done a lot of study on the way they handle, load and shoot. After stripping down and repairing most of today’s manufactured pistols and rifles I find it really easy to understand the functioning of the old BP Guns. Seeing this original pistol that was given to a private over 150 years ago brings even more of a special interest on my part. I know my Gun Collection that I have going now will soon have a Mix of BP Antiques and Replicas. And Hopefully some originals. I know now what to look for and in my next of the woods it wouldn’t surprise me picking one up at a Garage Sale at a good price. With the right markings on a garage sale special, it would take an awful lot to spoil my interest if I find one.
    Thanks for sharing this article. I wished I were able to shoot that pristine pistol.

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