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Author Topic: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder  (Read 471 times)

Offline Hawg

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2019, 02:26:14 PM »
Captainkirk, that s  great to have such a question!  YES!  Colt struggled with this!  There are letters from him complaining of 'lack of supervision . . problems with quality.'  There is also docs showing the complaints of workers, clearly feeling pressured to get the product out , , complaining of the cylinders being too hard and breaking their tools, asking for the steel to be annealed more etc.  All of it leaves an easy opening for funny business.

This brings an interesting thing. Some argue in favor of Signature Series citing that 'Colt didn t  make the original Walker either . .'.  The big difference is Colt   w a n t e d   E. Whitney to make it (with full quality oversight/responsibility). Where CBAC went to Colt asking if they could make them (no Colt liability).  B i g   difference.  Basically the same way the Belgians 'Breveted' Dragoons back in the day. Colt stipulated that the Belgians couldn t  sell them within his patent domain. So shades of grey are there.

There is a lot of info revealing horrendous neglect/quality by the workers, and how they went to extremes in order to cover up the poor work so the piece would pass proofing.  Can you believe it?!  I think Mike (45Dragoon) states something about working on an original 60 Army, and discovering the internals to be very poorly machined etc.

Curious, I wonder if there are any failed (grenaded) cylinders out there?

Yeah Hawg, all it takes is a slight adjustment in the carbon content, and it becomes something else.  Good point.

IMO a 3rd gen is about as much a Colt as a Chinese cigarette lighter with a Colt logo is a Colt.

Colt contracted the Belgians to make 51 navies.

There may be a few exploded Walker cylinders in a box in a back room at the Smithsonian or someplace. A lot of the rangers claimed exploded Walker cylinders so they could keep the guns but undoubtedly some of them did explode. As far as 1860 cylinders I've seen pics of complete guns with blown cylinders but I don't know the story behind them. They could have been blown with smokeless powder years later. I never heard of anybody digging one up. I've read stories and seen pics of split 1860 barrels so you would think somebody somewhere would have dug an exploded cylinder by now but if they have I haven't heard of it.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2019, 10:42:53 AM »
Makes one wonder about how much truth might be (or not!) in those rumors about the exploding cylinders.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Hawg

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2019, 12:53:48 PM »
Makes one wonder about how much truth might be (or not!) in those rumors about the exploding cylinders.

There were 109 damaged revolvers returned after the war. AFAIK the records make no distinction as to what the damages were but the ones with exploded cylinders were included. So I'm guessing there weren't very many.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Krylandalian

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2019, 10:15:40 PM »
Even Sam Colt said   ' . . the bursting of cylinders . . may have happened . .'.

He wrote this in a letter after the Rusk WH Dragoon blew up (Senator Rusk, being a huge fan of Colt s  arms asked Colt for a new holster pistol so he could impress the nay sayers. He asked for one of good quality.  DoH! ), blaming the ORD dpt for overcharging the pistols with too much powder  ' . . enough to burst a six pounder . .'.

Actually there were   m a n y   Dragoons and Navys that had their cylinders and barrels failed.  Many complaints to Colt, sending pistols back for repairs etc.  Especially the military.

The numbers of failures were fairly consistent with the Walker failures. Only a little less really.  After around 1851 the quality radically improved.

Offline tljack

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2019, 06:54:44 PM »
Makes one wonder about how much truth might be (or not!) in those rumors about the exploding cylinders.

There were 109 damaged revolvers returned after the war. AFAIK the records make no distinction as to what the damages were but the ones with exploded cylinders were included. So I'm guessing there weren't very many.


I am guessing that you are already aware of Colts' loading recommendation of 50 grains of powder. The conical bullets were called "Picket bullets". The concept of a revolver was a new thing to many of the users. Traditions tell us that they often loaded the Picket bullet with the "pointy" end toward the grip and the flat end toward the barrel. This would cause tremendous pressures especially if they used 6o grains of powder.

On the subject of Walkers, For a long time I did not know that all Walkers were shipped with the cylinders in the white and the "8" in the "1847" over the loading lever was upside down. i.e. the small part on the bottom! Thinking if the cylinders being white, I will pos a picture of one of my Walkers with the cylinder in the white. I think it looks pretty nice.


Terry
I Love the Smell of Burning Black in the Morning

Offline Hawg

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2019, 07:58:07 PM »
I am guessing that you are already aware of Colts' loading recommendation of 50 grains of powder. The conical bullets were called "Picket bullets". The concept of a revolver was a new thing to many of the users. Traditions tell us that they often loaded the Picket bullet with the "pointy" end toward the grip and the flat end toward the barrel. This would cause tremendous pressures especially if they used 6o grains of powder.

I don't think you can get 60 grains of powder under a picket, even loaded backwards.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Krylandalian

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2019, 11:46:58 PM »
That s  right Hawg.  The original Walker 'elongated half ounce ball of 32 to the pound' was a lot bigger than the Picket style from the Pedersoli Colt mold today.  Which is only about 175g.

I used to fire them from ASM Walkers I used to have.  47g allowed the snout to be flush at the chamber mouth.

Something interesting,- The added weight of that monster seems to have equalled an additional 10g powder just because of the mass effect!  Getting it out the bore.

Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Original Walker 'iron' cylinder
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2019, 08:04:47 PM »
I wonder if the powder was finer grained, like 4F, and you were measuring by weight instead of volume, maybe then you could get 60 grains in under a Pickett?