Decision time Colt 2nd Gen 1st Dragoon vs. Uberti Walker


June 11, 2013, 03:37 PM
For the past few weeks I have been working on a local guy to accept my $500 offer for a "new" Colt 2nd Gen 1st Model Dragoon with the correct box and all the factory paperwork. So deal. He has yet to budge off his near $700 price. I admit I do dig this shooter as a weekend shooter, not collectable, but the fact that I can get a letter from Colt does intrigue me, just not $200 worth.

In the meantime I saw that Cabelas has the Uberti Walker on sale for $420.
Given that the original 1st model Dragoon was an improvement, technologically, over the original Walker and that the 2nd Gen is likely made of better materials than either the original Walker or Dragoon and the same could possibly be said regarding the materials in the Uberti, I am at a crossroads.

Which would you guys choose? The Colt 2nd Gen 1st model Dragoon for $700 or the Uberti Walker for $420. The difference does pay for a lot of bp, rbs, and caps.

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June 11, 2013, 06:04 PM
I have a 2nd gen, 1st model dragoon and an Uberti Walker. There is lot to like about them both.

It was great that my dragoon was lettered by Colt . . . but as the internal parts are not identical to any current production replica. I am a bit concern about using it as a regular shooter. Given my limited resources, this is as close I probably will ever get to owning a real Colt so I don't regret the purchase.

The Uberti Walker on the other hand, is taken out to the range every chance I get. Granted its fit and finish is not quite as nice as the 2nd gen. Colt, but knowing that replacement parts are readily available sure does make for some guilt free shooting. I have to admit, it is just a fun gun.

My $0.02 . . . Pick the current production replica for now, leave the 2nd gen. Colt for another time.

June 11, 2013, 07:29 PM
I have a Colt Dragoon and that's a nice gun so i like Colts. In the case of getting a shooter, I'd get an 1860 Army clone. They are a lot better shooter than a Walker, or a Dragoon, for that matter.

June 11, 2013, 07:41 PM
The Walker.

Texas Moon
June 11, 2013, 07:55 PM
I vote for the Walker.

1.) It is less expensive.

2.) Parts are easily available. The Colt parts are near unobtanium.

3.) Walker handles larger charges = More BOOM! :D

4.) In the end why do any of us shoot these archaic beasts? For fun of course. So getting a model you can run hard without worry is just that much more fun.
I have two Uberti Walkers. I've fired both of them several thousand times. Yes, I've had a few spring breaks but they're an easy fix. Having a gun I'd be afraid to shoot for fear of it breaking would ruin the fun for me.
I've tried the 51 Navy, the 60 Army, the Trapper, 1858's, and I always come back to the Walkers.

June 11, 2013, 10:48 PM
The Walker.

I will make some Colt fans angry with my comments, but here goes. I owned one of the Colt cased sets of 1860 Armies, the Cavalry Commemorative, and I owned the commemorative US Grant and General Lee 1851s. They were all beautiful on the outside. But they were just made to look at. My more recently manufactured Ubertis and Piettas were better finished on the inside, had better trigger pulls out of the box and were more accurate shooters.

If the Colt mystique is important to you, spend the money. I proved to my self that the name is not worth it, at least in percussion guns. I have a Diamondback .22, a Diamondback .38, and a Cobra that I treasure. They are fine guns made when a Colt was really a Colt. The second generation percussion guns, not so much.

June 11, 2013, 11:41 PM
Thanks pards. I was leaning towards the Walker for the parts/maint issues. Basically the same reason Ive stayed away from the signature series colt shooters.

Capt Quahog
June 13, 2013, 01:46 AM
A few years ago, I went to a gun show here in Pennsylvania and bought a well used 2nd Generation COLT 3rd model Dragoon for $200. The barrel was a sewer pipe but I didn't care because the appearance of the revolver gave the impression of being war worn. It was a COLT too with all that cool address labeling and such.

Anyway, we placed that COLT branded reproduction with a Uberti Dragoon revolver in a side by side close up examination. Had always heard that the COLT 2nd generation Dragoon pistols had been actually manufactured by Uberti. Another rumor suggests that Uberti in Italy produced components with the guns being completed in the United States at the COLT plant.

There were slight differences in the COLT and Uberti Dragoon pistols such as dimensions in the back strap. Also, the cylinders though close in appearance, simply would not interchange between guns. That may have been caused by minor differences in final assembly machining. Anyway . . . no final conclusion was made.

Foto Joe
June 13, 2013, 08:07 AM
Don't buy either....

When it's right you'll know it. Search the pawn shops and if you weren't in Illinois I'd say search gun shops and eventually you'll find something that jumps up and says "Take me home and play with me." Although there are those out there who swear that the Walker is the be all and end all of Black Powder revolvers I'm afraid that I much prefer a Dragoon. On the other hand, you're the only one that knows what you truly want, if that Walker really talks to ya then by all means give it a good home, the worst that can happen is you decide that you didn't really like it that much in the first place and put out a feeler on THR and of us BP junkies takes if off your hands.;)

Willie Sutton
June 13, 2013, 08:45 AM
Let's break it down into the two different questions that are being asked at the same time:

Dragoon v/s Walker

Colt 2nd Gen v/s Uberti

Dragoon v/s Walker: Having shot and collected just about every model of Colt reproductions, let me say this: The more recent the design, the better the design, and that goes from beginning to end. Colt WAS improving the designs and at the very beginning (Paterson v/s Walker, Walker v/s First Model Dragoon, etc., etc) the improvements were very real. The Third Model Dragoon is a LOT better revolver than a Walker *to use*. The best shooters in a .45 are the 1860 Army. So when you compare a Walker to a Dragoon, you are really looking at design differences that do make a difference. The lack of a loading lever latch on the Walker is a real oversight. Yes, I *know* that you can carefully file the spring latch to simulate a real one, and that you can use a rawhide loop to be "authentic", but... it's a design oversight. The Dragoon fixed that. And the Walkers shoot best with the same loads that a Dragoon is shot with. Loading 60 grains in a Walker is something you do once for fun, and that's about it.

Colt 2nd Gen v/s Uberti: Having many of each, as well as several Centare (Belgian) Colt-clones: The Colt 2nd Gen is better than the Uberti in one way, and that is arbor length. Uberti's need to have their arbors lengthened with any of a number of methods in order to be fitted correctly and to shoot properly. Once correctly tuned they are world class revolvers. The Colts are correct out of the box. A Uberti is a fine revolver, read up on arbor length correction, spend an hour, and you will have an excellent shooter.

So, you have two different things to consider. Pick what suits your mood best. Seems to me that the Dragoon is going to be more pleasing to shoot than the Walker (I shoot both) and that the Colt will be fitted better "out of the box". Price difference: You will reduce the Colts value by 30% or more the first time you shoot it.... is the shooting worth it to you, or should you just shoot a Uberti that will not depreciate? You could just go and order a Uberti Dragoon, as a thought... and have a $400 shooter of the more modern design. If you are going to do that, frankly I'd just order up a Uberti 1860 Army, but that's just me.

Bottom line is that save for cost, there's no comparison between a Colt 2nd gen Dragoon and a Uberti Walker. The Colt wins hands down in both design and execution. I guess that's why it's $300 more... ;-)

And no sane LGS owner who can read Gunbroker would sell the Colt for $500.



June 13, 2013, 11:21 AM
Well pards...ya got me pondering again. I like the Uberti Walker since supposedly my ggggpaw acquired one from a friend in his Ranger company to whom it was issued in Vera Cruz during the Mexican war. He carried that with him to the California Gold Rush and came back a wealthy man. Maybe I'll buy both.;-)

June 13, 2013, 11:38 AM
That's what I did Elhombre. I bought both. The Uberti 1860 to pound out some rounds and have fun with. The Colt, placed in a glass case, coveted and cleaned regularly and only used in those special cool, crisp fall days during hunting season.

Pics to follow, but only if you like to see some.:)

Fingers McGee
June 13, 2013, 12:36 PM
What Willie Sutton said +1. Although, while not typical, my 2007 model Uberti 1861 Navies have correct arbor length and shot POA out of the box.

June 13, 2013, 02:06 PM
Howdy, Fingers maybe you can help me with this observation as a Colt man.

My research indicates that the event and participants on the Walker's cylinder as engraved by Ormsby never really happened. While the cylinder was engraved to commemorate Captain Jack Hays and his small company of Texas Ranger's early 1840s victory over a much larger force Comanches in the Hill Country outside of Austin using Colt revolvers (i.e. Patersons that Hays obtained from the Texas navy), the Walker cylinder engraving depicts uniformed US Mounted Rifles (dragoons) in forage caps and striped cavalry breeches fighting in this engagement. Not only did US dragoons not take part in this engagement and could not have used revolvers (they were not issued on a widespread basis to the military until after the Mexican war with the advent of the 1st dragoon model), Rangers were true frontiersman and citizen soldiers, who had no official military issue clothing or equipment. Only during the Mexican War did the Ranger affect a "uniform" of sort: a red flannel or buckskin shirt and sometimes buckskin pants. If a Ranger was lucky he was issued a Walker and bullet mold at Vera Cruz, since the army QM reportedly only issued one revolver out of the set of two, since the set only included 1 bullet mold. Many rangers that left with the columns from Bexar brought their own weapons from home: Colt Paterson from the previous decade if they served then, or more likely a brace of large caliber horse pistols in a pommel holster, a rifle, and/or a shortened sxs English scatter.

Obviously, the engraving on the Walkers was a calculated marketing ploy by Colt to sell more revolvers to the Army in the post Mexican War period of US expansion, which he obviously did. He could say to the army: "Look what you can do in the future with the same hostile threat the Rangers met 10 years ago with my old design."

Your thoughts on my observation would be greatly appreciated.

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