Walker vs Ruger ROA


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ChasMack
January 16, 2013, 12:59 PM
I have a chance to get a Uberti Walker new. I have a Ruger Old Army I have yet to shoot so I have not looked up what sort of loads to use for it. I was wondering how the 2 revolvers compared in terms of how hot a load can be used, accuracy, shootability ( I know the Walker is kind of heavy) and any other pluses or minuses. If it's a wash I may just save my money and not get the Walker ( that's the practical part of my mind, the rest really wants it :) Thanks for any help!

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Jim K
January 16, 2013, 01:17 PM
The Walker can hold more powder than the ROA or any of the smaller .44's. But the Walker is not just "kind of heavy", it is heavy! Too darned heavy for me. It might not bother you, but if you haven't held and fired one, it is something to consider.

Jim

Malachi Leviticus Blue
January 16, 2013, 01:26 PM
Get the Walker now before they are banned!

But seriously, go for it they are two different revolvers completely. You will enjoy both.

Jim K
January 16, 2013, 01:29 PM
It is worth noting that the reason for the 1860 Army was that the Army wanted a revolver that was lighter than the Walker/dragoon and was willing to sacrifice performance. So Colt took the Navy frame ... and we know the rest.

Jim

rodwha
January 16, 2013, 01:44 PM
I, too, have an Old Army, and have considered a Walker for hunting with as it has a 60 grn capacity vs 45 grns. But I've heard accounts of the wedge getting battered badly by the max loads.

I have no concerns with loading full loads of Triple 7 powder in my Ruger, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea to do in a Walker. If the load should be reduced then it's not that much powerful than my Old Army as it would be about 50 grns of powder. If full house loads may batter the wedge it will need to be further reduced. Now it's no better than my Old Army, which has adjustable sights.

The weight wouldn't bother me despite being a little guy as it would be primarily used from a blind.

I still like the history and look of it, and haven't marked it off of the list. But it is last...

ChasMack
January 16, 2013, 02:09 PM
OK...some good food for thought! I wish I knew someone who had a Walker, I'd love to see what it is like in my hand. From the scales I have the ROA weighs about 1 1/2 lb less than the Walker. Then again my wife has a club thing going on with Cabelas, then I have some coupons and they are on sale! May be a deal to good to pass up. I got my Pietta Remington 1858 from Cabelas about 1 year ago and saved almost $60.00 off the normal price. If I shot hot loads from the Walker it would be to try it out, see where it shot then maybe hunt with it....which would be a hoot. I am assuming from above posts that the Walker does not take much punishiment.

Acorn Mush
January 16, 2013, 02:28 PM
ChasMack, my brother has a Walker replica and it is fun to shoot, but at 60 grains per shot, we are burning 360 grains of powder per 6-shot cylinder. From our viewpoint, that is a lot of powder for an afternoon of paper punching or can dancing. Shooting full charges once in a great while is fun, but for regular practice, the ROA with 30 grains or less is all we need. YMMV.

Heck, go ahead and get the Walker anyway!:evil:

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
January 16, 2013, 03:06 PM
I LOVE my Walker. Such a fun gun. I like the weight and heft of it honestly. I really want a ROA too, but haven't owned one as of yet. I do own many various cap n ball guns and love them all, I vote buy it so you have both. I seriously doubt you'd regret it. Just because you can put 60 grains in it whenever you want doesn't mean you always have to :evil:

Patocazador
January 16, 2013, 03:56 PM
A little bit off topic but not much .. I saw an "Antiques Roadshow" program where a fellow had a "genuine" Walker, he thought. The expert said that there were very few made and that only a handful survived to this day. I believe he said he only knew of 7 of them that were genuine and this fellow's was not.
He made a comment that most of the people who had them in the Mexican campaign discarded or traded them due to their size and weight. This sounded like his opinion and not fact but who knows???

VA27
January 16, 2013, 05:51 PM
I sold my ASM Walker to fund a ROA. I don't regret the ROA (I have 2 now), but I do regret selling the Walker. It was just fun to shoot, even filling the chamber to the top and mashing a ball down on it. Smoke+fire=fun!

It would take a lot of shooting to loosen one up I think, so I wouldn't worry too much about that, and if it turns out that you don't like it, it won't be hard to move.

FiveStrings
January 16, 2013, 07:02 PM
My first BP revolver was a Walker. As others have said, there's nothing else like it, and it's not for everyone. There is a great thread on this forum (the "Walker Club") that has many pages, posts, and pictures about this great gun, and I'd recommend spending some time reading there.

Acorn Mush makes a great point about powder consumption shooting the max loads of 60 grains. That max load makes for a fun trigger pull experience, but it is not the most accurate load for that pistol, and shooting that load too often will make your Walker suffer. I battered two wedges into oblivion and almost launched the barrel assembly before I finally settled down and stuck with a 45 grain regular shooting charge (using Goex or Pyrodex and .454 and .457 round balls).

If you have a chance to get a Walker in good condition and at a good price, by all means do it. Compare to your ROA at your pleasure. Lot of pleasure to be had doing so.

Jaymo
January 16, 2013, 10:36 PM
Walker = 4-1/2 pounds of BOOM!! stick.

ChasMack
January 16, 2013, 11:01 PM
Well, I made the leap and soon I'll be the proud owner of the Monster Walker! I am looking forward to getting it (2 week wait). Does anyone have any good ideas as to what holster would hold this canon? Gus on "Lonesome Dove" had a good one. I had a handmade holster made by a fellow down here do one for ROA...he does nice work...$90.00. Just not sure if he could do it...should be able to but I won't know till I go see him. Might take half a cow!

Jaymo
January 16, 2013, 11:07 PM
Skip the holster, and get a buttstock.

Zeke/PA
January 17, 2013, 04:20 PM
My Buddy has a Walker which I have shot on occassion and truthfuly I like my ROA better.
The Walker is heavy and DOES pack a wallop.

MCgunner
January 18, 2013, 08:55 PM
But seriously, go for it they are two different revolvers completely. You will enjoy both.

Best answer. :D For HUNTING, the Walker had better be a 1.5" at 25 yards shooter, what it'll take to equal the ROA, and the ROA doesn't seem picky about loads. It tosses my 220 Lee cast HP or RN over a full compressed charge of 777 out the muzzle at around 1300 fps and into 2" at 25 yards. That'll take down any deer in Texas inside 50 yards and I wouldn't wanna be a hog on its receiving end, either.

I've yet to fire a replica gun that can match the ROA's accuracy. Simple as that. It's am amazingly accurate and strong revolver, but of course, it wasn't available to the Texas Rangers, though if gun laws here go the way of New York, I guess it could be an option for them. :D

dprice3844444
January 23, 2013, 06:14 PM
i like my ss roa's,they are dishwasher safe for cleaning

4v50 Gary
January 23, 2013, 07:45 PM
Of the two, I'd go Ruger Old Army. It won't cause you to limp after a day in the field.

rem1858
January 24, 2013, 11:22 PM
I sold my Walker and 1858's and kept the best and most accurate of them.
The ROA.
The Walker was fun, but too heavy.
I dont know about other ROA owners but I can load 50gr of Pyro P under a wad and round ball in her and it is a handful.
The loading lever will drop once in awhile, just like the Walker(but the Walker drops it almost everytime with anything close to 60gr)
The ROA literally "rings" when you touch it off with that 50gr's and it is very accurate.
Would have no problem hunting with it at close range(under 50yds ish).

Clarence

Gatofeo
January 25, 2013, 12:24 AM
Hodgdon, which makes 777, does not list loads on its website for the Walker.
However, it lists a maximum of 35 grains for the Ruger Old Army. This is with a .457 ball and felt Wonder Wad between powder and ball.

Hodgdon notes:
Triple Seven is a high energy product designed to provide the muzzleloading hunter with higher velocities when used in the same VOLUME as blackpowder. To duplicate a blackpowder load velocity using Triple Seven, you must decrease the powder charge by 15%.

I would not exceed 35 grains in the Walker, regardless of what you are told by anyone other than Hodgdon.
After all, Hodgdon makes the stuff. It has the ballistics lab with sophisticated equipment to measure pressures. Hodgdon also has the trained people to interpret the data obtained from the tests.

Cap and ball revolvers lack a cartridge case (duh) to measure and obtain even the merest inkling of when you're generating dangerous pressure.
Typically, the best indicator is when the copper caps fragment into numerous pieces because of high pressure coming back through the nipple.
Increase the pressure and the hammer may be blown back to half cock. Increase it even more, and the nipple can strip its threads and fly back at your face.
These are all high-pressure instances.
Nipples with flame channels too large will also cause caps to fragment badly, but won't force the hammer back.

With the above in mind -- especially the lack of a cartridge case to measure after firing -- any estimation of pressure is pure guesswork.
Just because your revolver takes the load doesn't make it safe. It may take a dozen shots, or a hundred, but high-pressure loads can and eventually will damage or destroy your revolver.

The Walker was quickly replaced by the Dragoon because of its faults. It is hardly the epitome of cap and ball revolver design, but rather closer to a prototype from which much was learned.
The Dragoons that followed it had better catches for the rammer, and reduced capacity chambers. The metallurgy of then was inferior to today's, but even the best steel has pressure limits.

Stick to black powder if you must load the Walker's chambers with as much as they will hold. Hodgdon 777 is not designed for experimentation by shooters; it must be used as specified.
Those specifications are based on measured pressures, not guesswork.

Skinny 1950
January 26, 2013, 03:26 AM
Using a full chamber of Goex FFFG my Walker clocked 1135 Feet/Second, the Walker was noted for blown chambers so Triple Seven is out of the question.

58limited
January 26, 2013, 02:17 PM
Well, I made the leap and soon I'll be the proud owner of the Monster Walker! I am looking forward to getting it (2 week wait). Does anyone have any good ideas as to what holster would hold this canon? Gus on "Lonesome Dove" had a good one. I had a handmade holster made by a fellow down here do one for ROA...he does nice work...$90.00. Just not sure if he could do it...should be able to but I won't know till I go see him. Might take half a cow!

This person has a McCrea rig listed on his page (belt, holster, buckle, and pouch). I called him last fall and it cost $275.00.

http://www.bbgcustomleather.com/BBG_Samples.html

I have only shot my Walker a couple of times but have thoroughly enjoyed it. Target grouping at 25 yards was not great but the problems were mostly with me, the shooter. 1. I was not using a rest and, yes, the gun is heavy and fatigue sets in quickly. 2. I haven't shot a pistol of any kind for quite awhile so I'm out of practice. Plus, I basically aimed center mass and fired, I didn't take a lot of time with each shot. All six rounds hit the silhouette though and would have seriously injured or killed whoever was hit.

I hope to shoot more soon and will try to be more serious about accuracy to really gauge how the Walker performs. I was using 50gr FFFg and a .454 round ball. I have a Picket bullet mold and will play around with them as well.

In addition to primitive metallurgy, one theory I have heard explaining the reason for the rupturing of Walker cylinders was that the conical Picket bullets were loaded backwards, thus creating a "shape charge" effect that directed pressure back into the cylinder.

A little bit off topic but not much .. I saw an "Antiques Roadshow" program ...
He made a comment that most of the people who had them in the Mexican campaign discarded or traded them due to their size and weight. This sounded like his opinion and not fact but who knows???

I heard the opposite - the Walker Colts were issued to the United States Mounted Rifles, Capt. Sam Walker's unit, in the Mexican-American War and most avoided turning them back in they liked them so much. They were designed and used as a horse pistol - holsters were mounted on the horse, they were usually not carried on the person in the War. Their purpose was to be able to put down your adversary or his mount with one shot and they could be used as a club as well.

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