which dragoon is best and why? How much powder do they take? How do they compare in size to the walker or 1858 Remington? Are they better than the walker?
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December 25, 2006, 11:19 PM
I have the Whitneyville and 3rd model Dragoons. The Whitneyville is the model created after the Walker and before the 1st model Dragoon. Also, the Whitneyville Dragoon has the Walker frame, but has the shorter barrel and cylinder, like that found on the 1st through 3rd model Dragoons.
I like shooting the Dragoons more than my Walker, 1858s, and 1860s. The 1858s and 1860s feel like a bb gun to me compared to the Dragoon. It's up to you what model you want. I shoot 40-45 grains out of my Dragoons. That's all I shoot in my Walker too. That's alot compared to the 25 grains in a 1858 or 1860. I have so many ball and cap revolvers. I am selling my new unfired Uberti Whitneyville Dragoon and Cimarron 1st model Dragoon on Gunbroker. Anyone interested?
December 25, 2006, 11:36 PM
25 grs. in a 1858? I load mine with 40, (.44 caliber) and 20 in my .36 navy, but that is besides the point! :) I was eying a 2nd model for myself for awhile, but I ended up getting a new rifle.
December 25, 2006, 11:44 PM
It's been a year since I have loaded my 1858 with powder. I bought an R&D conversion cylinder for both my 1858s and have fired cowboy loads through them ever since.
December 26, 2006, 12:49 AM
The Dragoons can be very accurate. 2nd Model Dragoon, made by Uberti. The load was 40gr Goex 3FG, lubed wad, 457 rb. Distence was 25yds. Shot standing offhand, two hand hold. The other pistols are to show the size difference.
I was glad to see this post. I thought that I was the only one that has a "thing" for Colt Dragoons. I am in the process of converting two 3rd models to .45 Long Colt. I have got the mainsprings lightened up so they have a great hammer pull and have got the cylinders machined. The .45 cartridge looks like a BB in a boxcar in those huge cylinders. Need to machine the conversions rings yet and get the ejectors done. I hope they shoot as well as the one that is shown with the targets. Love these big pistols.
December 27, 2006, 11:46 PM
the round center ring is 12" across.
Paterson, Walker, 3rd Dragoon: The paterson is roughly Navy/160 army size
December 28, 2006, 12:20 AM
I need to go shooting with you sometime Mec, you have all the cool guns! :)
December 28, 2006, 01:10 AM
My local gunshop has a nice used Whitneyville Dragoon for sale- I think that I'm going to take a closer look at it.
Can a Whitneyville Dragoon be loaded with 60 gr. like a Walker?
December 28, 2006, 05:16 AM
The Whitneyville has a slightly shorter cylinder. It should take 50 grains, like the other Dragoons. :)
December 28, 2006, 01:52 PM
What would you look for to determine if a Dragoon is a 1st model or a Whitneyville?
December 28, 2006, 02:16 PM
The Whitneyvill will have grips shaped like the Walker above. It will also have oval cylinder notches.
December 28, 2006, 02:17 PM
I'm by no means an expert, but I know the Whitneyville has the Walker frame with blued backstrap. The 1st model will have a brass back strap.
December 28, 2006, 02:27 PM
Main differences are that the Whitneyville has the barrel, shortened cylinder and loading lever of a 1st model, as well as oval bolt stops, but the frame and grip are the same as the Walker. Made up for Colt by Eli Whitney Jr. in small quantities as an interim improvement on the Walker, and originals are very scarce. See below for a comparison between a Walker and 3rd Model Dragoon.
December 28, 2006, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Are the oval cylinder notches mechanically inferior to the rectangle notches?
Are any of the Dragoon models superior to the others in terms of reliability?
December 28, 2006, 02:54 PM
Colt thought there was enough of a problem with the oval stops that he redesigned them; all Pattersons, Walkers and Whitneyvilles have them. Personally, I've put hundreds of rounds thru' my Walker and have never had a problem with cylinder indexing, but I do prefer the rectangular stops with the lead-in groove just for GPs. I like my third model Dragoon quite a bit. It's still a large horse pistol, but has all of the refinements of the later model Colts, such as rectangular bolt stops, rounded triggerguard, better loading lever, etc.
December 28, 2006, 03:03 PM
Last question..........Yeh right;)
Colt vs. Uberti, is the price difference justified?
December 28, 2006, 03:37 PM
opinions differ, but mine is... absolutely not
December 28, 2006, 03:47 PM
My Colt BP pistols are some of the finest guns I have ever handled. Fit and Finish is excellent; the bone-case hardening on the frames is beautifully done, and the high-polish blue is just gorgeous and long-lasting. Actions are crisp and accurate. All markings on the guns are painfully correct, from the "COLT'S PATENT" on the frame to variations of "ADDRESS COL SAML COLT NEW YORK US AMERICA" on the tops of the barrels. All major parts are stamped with a matching serial number, as were the originals. In fact, they are as exactly like the originals as is possible, with just a few minor differences so that they cannot be passed as an original gun. Colt considers them to be an extension of the original production, and has serialized them as such. Altogether superb weapons.
They are made up of parts manufactured by Uberti and finished either by Colt (so-called "Second Generation") or by a Colt licensed representative ("Signature Series"). Most of the Ubertis I've handled are fine guns. True, they don't quite stack up to the quality of the "Colts", but they're close enough to be excellent guns in themselves (compare the photo I posted of my Signature Series guns above with the photo posted by Mec. I'm assuming these are Ubertis).
Bottom line is that the "Colts" are very fine if you want one of the best BP guns available; especially if authenticity is a factor. If all you want is a reliable pistol that will give you many years of shooting fun, then I'd say get the Uberti.
BTW- as a personal aside - I would stay from the Piettas just because they mark the damn things up too much. Not to say they're not good guns... It's just that every time I see that "made in Italy" stamp on the side of the barrel it makes me shudder... Just my personal opinion, you understand...
December 28, 2006, 10:52 PM
I sort of feel that way too, about the italian stamps. I can understand also people wanting Colt repros. I have one myself. My only bicker, if it is a real bicker at all, is the price differentiation. I think that everyone mostly understands that they are Hi Grade Ubertis with Colt markings.
I'm just sort of the kind of person that thinks that if Chevy puts its emblem on a Saturn, (both GM) but with a better fuel injector... it is still a Saturn. Others will call it a Chevy and even spit and fume about it. (We could compromise and call it Chevy's version)
But if the fuel injector is a 25.00 part, marked up by Chevy 5,000.00, the price isn't what makes it a chevy. And one has to be careful if one wants to say the emblems and decals make it a chevy. Cuz then, we can put chevy emblems on Fords and call them Chevys.
Whatever it is that makes a Chevy a Chevy, is the same thing that makes a Colt a Colt.:evil:
hehehe... this is always an interesting discussion.
But I give up. I don't want any hostility being started on my account.
December 28, 2006, 11:01 PM
I have 3 3rd Model Dragoons. Two are ASM and one is an Uberti. I prefer the Uberti as it looks nicer and seems smoother with its action, but I have to admit that the old ASM's are pretty good guns too.
I would think that modernly, an Uberti or Cimarron, would be the best bet. I am not even sure if Pietta is currently making any of those models.
I use 45 grains when I am at the range with them. All of mine shoot a little high at 25 yards. No... actually MORE than a little high. I have yet to go out and see if 30 grains will bring the strike down into a normal range.
December 30, 2006, 04:59 AM
Another way of looking at it is this:
If it looks like a Chevy, is marked as a Chevy, and Chevy calls it a Chevy, then it's a Chevy, even though most of the parts are made in Japan.
If it looks like a Toyota, is marked as a Toyota, and Toyota calls it a Toyota, then it's a Toyota, even though most of the parts are made in West Virginia.
If it looks like a Colt, is marked as a Colt, and Colt calls it a Colt, then it's a Colt, even though most of the parts are made in Italy.
Comparing a Uberti to a Colt is like comparing a Chevy to a Cadillac or a Toyota to a Lexus; all start from the same source, but that's where the similarity ends!
That doesn't mean I agree with the prices being asked for the "Colts" these days, but I guess that you do have to pay for quality. Have you priced a Caddy or a Lexus lately?
That's why I drive a Plymouth (made in Japan).
December 30, 2006, 07:27 AM
Colt 1st Dragoons have oval cylinder notches too.
Second generation Colts use a cylinder, barrel, and backstrap sourced from Uberti. Other parts were made by Colt. The "C" series, 2nd Gen. guns were made in Hartford, at the Colt factory.
"F" series 2nd Gen. Colts were made from the same parts, but production was moved to the old Iver Johnson factory in NJ. The guns were then sent to Colt for final inspection, and marketing.
The Third Gen., or "Signature Series" guns, were made at the Iver Johnson factory, entirely of Uberti parts, under license from Colt. The manufacturer was Colt Blackpowder Arms Co., which was not owned by Colt. It was owned by Lou Imperatto, who was Colt's largest distributor in the US. (all info from an article in Guns and Ammo)
IMO, the Colts are worth the price difference, depending on the model. You can usually get a 2nd or 3rd Gen. Colt for $500 or so. Many of the Italian guns are well over $300 these days. The Colt Walkers (2nd or 3rd Gen.) tend to go for $800 or more, which is a little steep, but they (Colts) are much better made, and they use much better steel for lock parts than the Italian guns. They don't break like the parts in the Italian guns, either.
Just ask Pohill. :D
December 30, 2006, 08:06 AM
Just ask Pohill.
Something tells me, Mr Burk, that you're a' funnin' with me - no one seriously asks my opinion of anything, and you did zoom that Spiro Agnew quote right over my head...(by the way, those "nabobs of negativism" that Agnew spoke of were right...right?)
But...I do think that the Colts are better made. And, you can get a deal if you look around.
December 30, 2006, 08:26 AM
The Nabobs were right. I never did know what the hell a Nabob was, exactly. Spiro was a colorful speaker.
No, I wasn't funnin' with you this time. I remember your commenting, recently, that your Signature Series Colt was "trouble free". :D
SJohns, I wish someone would make a six shot .45 cylinder, especially a gated one, for these also. I used to think that the rear of the cylinder was too narrow. But I'm pretty sure these Cimarron conversions are all six shot, so I guess I was wrong. It would be great if Uberti & Pietta would make conversion cylinders. It would make life easier.
December 30, 2006, 08:35 AM
It's the little :D that made me wonder.
Yeah, the Colt Colt is amazing, it really is. I'm looking at a cased Colt Colt 1851 Navy .36 (with accessories) for $415. I can't figure out why it's so cheap (inexpensive). I keep hoping it will sell, so I won't be tempted, but it was still there yesterday...
December 30, 2006, 12:17 PM
Buy it. Call it a Christmas present to yourself. I strongly believe that everyone should get themelves a Christmas present. That's a good price for a Colt Colt.
Do you know if it's a 2nd or 3rd generation ?
Also, speaking of conversions, they make really beautiful ones at www.armsportllc.com. Take a look, everybody.
December 30, 2006, 12:30 PM
Not sure if it's a 2nd or 3rd generation. It's unfired and was unturned until I picked it up. ooops
December 30, 2006, 12:43 PM
Thanks guys. I went back down to Cabela's in Dundee yesterday and placed an order to place an order ( no thats not a typo ) for a Uberti 3rd or 2nd model Dragoon. They are supposed to call me sometime in the future with price and availability. I have no doubt that the Colts are better, but I have to use up some gift certs. and it's not like anybody called the Ubertis a FORD or anything.:D
December 30, 2006, 04:52 PM
Because you're going to fire the hell out of it when you buy it, right? :cool:
December 30, 2006, 10:28 PM
Now that it's no longer unturned, I think that they should offer you a discount on it! :)
December 30, 2006, 10:35 PM
This store in Maine has some pretty good deals. They have new Uberti Walkers & Dragoons for under $300, used Rugers for $310 and up, a bunch of Colt Colts (2nd generation and Signature Series), Remingtons, Starrs and even some antique original revolvers. Sometimes I think they don't know what they have - they sold me a used Spiller & Burr for $120, but they advertised it as a Whitney copy in brass (which is what the S & B was originally). Interesting place.
December 31, 2006, 12:56 AM
Hi Mike! Hi Folks...
Actually, if you can use a lathe, I have been thinking that the 44 cylinder can be cut down to the right length and the chambers can be reamed to 45 colt. (or maybe a 45 Schofield sized cimarron cylinder could be reamed out.) All I am saying is that they can conceivably be home grown.
Mec or Old Dragoon would know if this could really be accomplished.
I have some cimarron and uberti parts here that I have considering turning into a a conversion on an 1860. I still won't get to it for awhile, but I am gathering parts. I am going to have to grind the heck out of this frame for it. But it came to me as a rattle gun anyway. (loose cylinder pin)
Cimarron made that new 1860 Transition Model. I had the bucks before Xmas and couldn't find one. One local shop said they could order one but didn't have a catalog. So I directed them to Cimarron's website and of course they wanted to charge me top dollar. I told them: I guess I won't be buying it here then. The same people that charged me 75.00 to transfer a Cimarron 44. Jerks. I thought they'd help a repeat customer. Especially since they stung me so hard the first time.
I have a signature series 60. I like it but don't shoot it. I cost me 500.00 plus postage. It feels nice and the action seems good. But I do my own work anyway. (for better or worse) I was thinking I'd like to trade it for a 61 for conversion purposes.
The thing in my mind tells me that so many people think these are real colts (yeah I heard you guys... no insult intended) and it is this imaginary thing that makes its value. So I haven't been sure if I wanted to shoot it or not. Another possibility is that if I can do this uberti right, then I can do a conversion on the colt. And once the parts are available for that Cimarron Transition model, then I'll have the factory 45 Long Colt cylinder.
I also have to remind myself, that if I remember right 45 long colt opentops weren't made right? They were 44 conversions if I have been reading right. So I don't really know about that.
But Mike, as far as 6 shot conversion kits being made... don't hold your breath. The main customer base is SASS folks. Sass has rules and all those guys are abiding by it. River Junction last year had a 6 round in the white 45 long colt gated kit. They took it down when I was ready to buy one. I emailed them about it and Walt Kirst himself answered me and said that by Spring (this year) they would be available again. But it never appeared.
I think possibly the problem might be cylinder stress. Maybe they're blowing up or cracking. Mybe there are problems getting the brass to not overlap? I don't know.
I don't buy the others because they only have 5 cylinders and I want authenticity. If I played SASS, I would comply with SASS. But I won't comply because someone MAKES ME.
Does anyone own a new "harley"? I do. Have you ever owned a real one? I have. hehehe:evil:
December 31, 2006, 01:00 AM
Have you seen those sites with those original colts and conversions? Those guns are really tempting. Some of them look like they're begging to be fired some more. I can't believe the condition some of them appear to be in.
Little out of my budget line too, but one can always dream...
December 31, 2006, 09:15 AM
Sjohns, shoot the Signature Series 1860 and then you'll see the difference between that and, say, a Pietta (my Pietta 1860 is a good gun, but...)
They are made better, they look and feel better, they shoot better..and yep, you pay for it.
In an antique shop the other day I saw an old cylinder sitting on a shelf, marked "1851 Colt Navy conversion cylinder." They want $60 for it. I'm still tempted - why, I don't know. Man, that thing has some history.
January 1, 2007, 06:44 AM
I just realized that I kind of mixed up two different threads here. The other thread was about conversions. Oops.
Another reason why the Signature Colt Colts work better, and have smoother actions, is because everything was hand-fitted by REAL AMERICANS.:D
I'd also be willing to bet that Colt Blackpowder specified a better grade of steel than Uberti was using in their own guns. Cimarron did that when they began selling Uberti guns under their own name. They also paid Uberti a little extra for better fit & finish. I believe Taylor's has a special arrangement of some sort with Uberti, also.
Speaking of Uberti, have any of you ever seen an Uberti World Class gun? I haven't, so I was wondering how they stack up.
At the risk of veering OT, Happy New Year, guys! :)
It is an Armi San Marcos that was used by a friend of mine as a wild west show gun at various county fairs.
It has a ding on one chamber of the cylinder, and I am not firing it. Does anyone know if it can be reamed back out to spec on that chamber? It can't be dented more than 001.
I was shooting 40 grains of pyrodex RS at 10 and 25 yds with a 451 round ball.
My best group was a string of 5 inside my palm size at 25yds. It shoots a bit high, as per usual, but I was impressed by its consistency.
And while most of my guns shoot, this on *detonates* It made people stop and stare at me. I think I am going to get another eventually.
January 4, 2007, 11:15 AM
I may be repeating myself, but check out www.armsportllc.com. They have a 3rd Dragoon conversion, and a Walker conversion, both Richards-type. The Walker is scary looking, but good scary. Really, could you imagine staring down the wrong end of this thing?
January 4, 2007, 08:38 PM
My understanding is that those folks or that guy does some very high quality work. Did you look through that picture gallery?
He's probably well known to the SASS folks.
January 5, 2007, 06:36 AM
I did look through the gallery. I'd love to have one of each. I really like the Squareback Navy, too. Oh hell, I like all of them, but if I ever get my hands on a 2nd Gen. '51 Navy, that's where it's going. :D
January 6, 2007, 01:58 AM
Someone mentioned making a conversion. If you want to convert a Walker or Dragoon or 1860 Army to 45 Colt the cylinder walls get paper thin or thiner at the cylinder notches and the case heads are to wide for the ratchets at the rear of the cylinder. It's not safe to do a conversion of the above mentioned guns unless a new wider diameter cylinder is made. Can't use the original percussion cylinders for a conversion. It's been done but I believe the do'ers haven't measured the thickness left at the notches. The Uberti made 1860 conversion to 45 Colt has a non-authentic wider diameter cylinder made for it. In the old days Colt did rework some 1860 Army cylinders to be used for conversions but....they realized pretty quick that they were not wide enough even for 44 Colt. That's why they made new cylinders for the conversion of the 1860 Army. A Walker or Dragoon can be converted to 44 Colt with the original cylinder but the chamber throats will be oversize for the bullets and the barrel needs to be lined or the use of heeled bullets is needed and be "blackpowder only". The original 1860 Army Colt used heeled bullets because of the 45 barrel and the need to convert to 44 Colt because of the cylinder being small at the back half. The 44 Colt has the smallest case heads of any of the 44's and that's why. It was designed to fit the 1860 Army conversion. The Walkers and Dragoons can be converted and use 45's in the original cylinders if the index ratchet teeth are repositioned to be between the chambers instead of in line to the center of the chambers as they were in line with the nipples but the chamber walls get paper thin in the cylinder notches. There were cases with the conversion of the 1860 Colt Army even to 44 Colt(not 45 Colt) using the original cylinders where the bolt spring actually could drive the bolt through the cylinder notch wall and into the chamber. That's thin. Anyway I've read an article where a hobby gunsmith converted a Dragoon to 45 Colt and even fired it using round balls and blackpowder in the cases. Even with blackpowder in the cases and the use of lead round balls there is a good amount of pressure generated. I'd just as soon use one of those "drop in" conversions to 45 Colt in a Dragoon or Walker and be safer. Side note...I know it's possible to convert a Walker to 44 Special (or 44 Colt).The barrel needs to be lined though. It would be more authentic to use 44 Colt for a conversion since that is the cartridge that was available back in the day.
January 7, 2007, 03:59 AM
Thanks Rifle, for the info. That's interesting and something to think about.
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