1847 Walker Capacity


January 11, 2013, 02:18 PM
In this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsJMUYjEDyw) the historian claimed that the Walker could be crammed with up to 90 grns of powder. Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought he said that charge with a 200 grn conical.

Does it hold 60 grns without compression? That's the amount I thought a Walker could hold with a RB.

What was the grade of powder used with these back in '47?

What was the common projectile, RB or conical, for the Texas Rangers?

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January 11, 2013, 07:40 PM
I have a Walker and a Ruger 44 mag and I can tell you that the video is not correct. A 44 mag is significantly more powerful than a Walker. 60gr of FFF is about the most you can put in the cylinder with a .454 round ball. The Walker was no doubt the most powerful handgun in it's day but certainly not a 44 mag.
In the 1930's, the development of the 357 mag finally surpassed the power of a fully loaded Walker. But for what it's worth, the Walker was the most powerful revolver for almost hundred years. When you shoot one, it usually gets everyones attention.....:)

January 11, 2013, 07:50 PM
An unaltered replica Walker cylinder chamber can hold from 55 to 60 grains depending on its chamber diameter. ASM Walkers usually have .447 diameter chambers and they can be loaded with a tiny bit more than 55 grains of FFg black powder. Uberti Walkers have mostly had chamber diameters of .453+ or - .001 depending on the year they were made. I can get about 60 grains of FFg in the chamber and still seat a .454 round ball flush with the cylinder face. Ream the chambers to .456 (Uberti groove diameter) and you can get 65 grains of FFG and a round ball. Conicals need a bit more room to seat correctly so less powder is required.

January 12, 2013, 02:48 AM
I never verified the spout on my flask, but it was supposed to be 30gr. Three charges would fill the chamber on my Armi San Marco and still allow a round ball to be seated. LOTS of flash and BANG. Wish I'd kept it.

Driftwood Johnson
January 12, 2013, 03:25 AM

The 'historian' did not know what he was talking about.

In his book Shooting Colt Single Actions, Mike Venturino lists the following data for the Walker Colt with a 148 grain .457 diameter round ball.

Goex FFg-------60.0 grains---1,152 fps---32 fps variation
Goex FFFg------60.0 grains---1,171 fps---20 fps variation
Elephant FFg----60 grains-----856 fps----42 fps variation
Elephant FFFg---60.0 grains---962 fps---149 fps variation
Pyrodex P-------40.0 grains--1,150 fps---299 fps variation

The Goex data is comparable to modern 357 Magnum ammunition in power, not 44 Magnum.

January 12, 2013, 04:40 AM
Well 60 gr. was enough to burst the cylinders on the originals, which is why they made the Dragoon cylinders shorter. With modern steel we don't have that problem.

January 12, 2013, 06:02 AM
i have filled the cylinders right up to the top and seated a round ball on top... but i found it a bit easier if you stop a few mm short. 60gr is dead on the right amount to seat a ball without any trouble with needing to compress it too much.

if you try to get any more than 60gr in there youll just end up with black powder everywhere...

January 12, 2013, 06:51 AM
Having used Walkers, 357s and a lot of other revolfvers, I always thought it odd that folks say the Walker was supreme until the 357 came along in 1935. The 45 long Colt, with black powder, gets 950 fps (+/-) from a 71/2" barrel. And that witha 260 grain bullet.

January 12, 2013, 11:50 AM
Info. about the original Walker bullets and bullet mold are on these pages:

Gun Review: The Walker Colt
Posted on May 20, 2011 by Mike Cumpston


Initial planning called for the Army to issue two pistols to each mounted soldier, along with a single powder flask, bullet mould, and a combination tool (screwdriver, cone wrench and spring compressor).

Colt Walker Late Transition Dragoon Bullet Mold --Extremely Rare--


The mold itself represents the final evolution of the Colt Walker Bullet Molds...
...The mold is also very similar to the early Dragoon molds with one exception. The brass body has a funnel built over the conical mold cavity. The Walker transition and the 1st Model Dragoon do not have a heel or a grease groove inside the conical bullet cavity.

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