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Name This Revolver

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by jeadams, Apr 1, 2011.

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  1. jeadams

    jeadams Member

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    This is a photo of my GG Grandfather around 1862 after he had joined the Confederacy. I posted this on another forum and some started debating what type of revolver it is that he is holding. I had never put much thought into it until now. Below is the information from his pension records from the state of Texas.


    Joined - Co. C 1st Texas Partisan Rangers Cavalry in Wood County Texas July 17th 1862. He Served until the end of the war & surrendered at Marlin, Texas on April 1865. It states that he was transferred to post duty in April 1863 in Shreveport Louisiana. (According to our family stories it has been said the he had survived the “Yellow Fever or Small Pox” and was posted to a military hospital in Shreveport Louisiana.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Appears to be a Walker to me...basing this on cylinder length and loading lever

    and look at where he has his finger....lol...
     
  3. Noz

    Noz Member

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    I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn but that looks like a Dragoon to me.
     
  4. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    Closer Picture

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Texas Moon

    Texas Moon Member

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    I'd say a Dragoon. 1st or 2nd Model.

    Looks like the tip of the loading lever is a bit too close to the muzzle to be a Walker. Picture isn't clear enough to make out a lever latch.
    Those old timers used a lot of prop guns in those studio type photos so it could be a Dragoon without a latch. Maybe thats why the gun is sitting on his arm(to hold the lever in place?)

    Another clue is the lack of a ball loading port on the barrel below the wedge.
    On a Walker the loading port is is on the same side as the wedge screw. On a Dragoon the port is on the side opposite the wedge screw.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  6. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    I tried to clean it up a little

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  7. makos_goods

    makos_goods Member

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    Nope, not a Walker... Barrel is too short, cylinder is too short, wrong bolt notches and there is a loading lever catch there if you look.

    Noz and Texas Moon are correct. I'd say a 2nd model. If you blow the cylinder up it appears the bolt notches are rectangular with a small lead-in It has the square trigger guard so it smells like a 2nd model.

    Texas moon is also correct about the picture being reversed, not only is the pistol backwards (wedge and cap loading port) but his coat buttons and overlap are backwards.

    I don't think it is Confederate copy, it's definitely not a Dance and most of the Sherrards (which were the most faithful in appearance) had the rounded trigger guard, most but not all. I have seen Sherrards with square trigger guards, but they had a very odd lowered hammer spur and the barrel block was different. Most probably a Colt's 2nd Model Dragoon.

    Regards,
    Mako
     
  8. jeadams

    jeadams Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
  9. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    That's a single action. It's not cocked.

    ...and "his"?

    Looks like a middle aged woman to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  10. Curator

    Curator Member

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    Keep in mind that the photographers who set up these photo sessions often had "props" with which their customers were posed. The pistol is a first model Dragoon or 1848 Colt Army revolver. In the early days of the War between the Stated this was a bit more common than the 1860 Army Colt.
     
  11. Curator

    Curator Member

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    Small point overlooked--these pictures are also a "mirror image" due to the way they were produced so the pistol is showing the left side.
     
  12. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    To my untrained eye, the bolt stop cuts look oval with no lead in to me. That would make it a first model. But, I could be wrong, in which case Makos would be right.

    FM
     
  13. 72coupe

    72coupe Member

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    Cool photo. 2nd Dragoon.
     
  14. makos_goods

    makos_goods Member

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    Curator,
    About the Model...
    1. All Dragoon models from 1st to 3rd are 1848s. The Model preceding it is sometimes called the Colt Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon or the Colt Walker Transition Dragoon. They were produced in 1847.
    2. It is not a 1st model, from the features we have identified it as a second model (there is a remote chance it is a Confederate copy, but in this case we will apply Occam's Razor). Read the posts before yours.

    That was not overlooked, once again read the posts before yours. I believe Texas Moon may have edited out his comment this afternoon.

    So yep… it is most probably a studio gun, but it is most probably a 2nd Model Colt Dragoon which is what the original poster asked about. And yes the print is a laterally reversed daguerreotype, because to get one in the correct orientation required copying the image a second time, that was an additional cost and most people didn’t get it done.

    Regards,
    Mako
     
  15. makos_goods

    makos_goods Member

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    FIngers,

    Look at this image. I know it's very blurry but it looks way too wide for a 1st model. Remember the picture is reversed and the lead-in will be on the top edge instead of the bottom. Now look at the bottom circle, do you notice how you can see into the slot and you see the back wall f the slot? You could only do that if there was a lead-in. I could be wrong, but it is my best guess based on the photo.

    [​IMG]

    Your friend,
    Mako
     
  16. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Member

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    I fliped it around

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    Makos,

    The picture is so blurry it's hard to tell. The blow up in post 4 looked like ovals to me; but the blowup in your post 15 they look more square. So, you're probably right in it being a 2nd Model. If the photo was taken in 1862, it couldn't be a T&S or a Dance since they weren't made til 1863-64.
     
  18. Captain*kirk

    Captain*kirk Member

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  19. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I am going to go with a Dragoon of some sort. What can be seen of the guard looks like it is squared off so that makes it a ?? Model.

    jeadams

    You have the photo, is the revolver still with the family?
     
  20. makos_goods

    makos_goods Member

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    Captain,
    Leech and Rigdon didn't make a Dragoon size pistol. Their pistols were all more or less Navy size frames and from all reports they were all in .36 caliber.

    Dragoons were popular in Texas, there was a mind set there that was epitomized by Capt. Walker when he was working with Colt designing the pistol we now call the Walker. He wanted a pistol "that could kill a Comanche, or a horse."

    And Fingers caught something I should have based on the date. The 1862 time frame pretty much relegates the pistol to being a Colt Dragoon. The Confederate copies weren't in production yet.

    Regards,
    Mako
     
  21. makos_goods

    makos_goods Member

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    Strawhat,
    Basically 4 Colt Dragoon sized pistols were sold with the squared trigger guards.
    1. The Walker
    2. the Colt Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon or the Colt Walker Transition Dragoon
    3. 1848 Dragoon Model 1
    4. 1848 Dragoon Model 2

    Unfortunately for Jeadams I'd bet Yankee paper money that the pistol was a studio pistol. Sibley's command was short on everything includiung uniforms and weapons. Most of the men provided their own. Unless he owned that Dragoon before the war he probably carried a Shotgun or rifle. Secondly if that was a family heirloom he probably would have offered that information in his first post.

    Regards,
    Mako
     
  22. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

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    Yup, 1st or 2nd Dragoon.
     
  23. 72coupe

    72coupe Member

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    In the 1840s and 1850s Texas was in full scale war with the Commanches. Every Texan that was West of the 98th meridian needed a pistol capable of outranging a group of Commanches on horse back.

    The Texas Rangers and citizens on the frontier were aquiring Dragoons as quickly as they could.
     
  24. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I was looking at those leather straps and wondering if he is wearing something like a Sam Brown rig to allow him to use that 2nd Model Dragoon as a belt pistol rather than hanging it over the sadle pommel. I tried to look under his right hand between his leg and the table to see if there was a holster there but things got to blurry and blocked.

    Mybe it is a saber belt but how many of Selby's guys had sabers?

    I am jjealous in that there are no pictures of my great to the nth in 1861 with 1st FL CAV. I understand it was unusual to be armed with anything but a single shot shotgun brought from home among those guys. BTW he did not choose to go home and be a Cracker COwboy after his one year commitmrnt but stayed thhhough Bentonville with one Infantry Regiment or another and then "lived" at Ft. Mc Henry untl after the war. His/our family in more southern FLorida did not know he survived the war until 1964. You see a dying budy ask him to drop by and see the widow just on the florida side of the georgia border on the way home and.....she stopped being a widow. He just never got around to writing.his folks.

    -kBob
     
  25. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    The pronounced forcing cone and distance between cylinder and barrel lug=Dragoon.
     
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