Walker vs Dragoon

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tom e gun

Mar 30, 2011
Northern California
So someday I hope to own either a Walker repro or a Dragoon repro and I am wondering which to set my sight on. I know many people on this forum own one or the other or even both of these, so I was wondering about what people thought of one model over the other. I like both but i like that the Dragoons have the loading lever catch compared to the walker not having one and I have heard the horror stories of a falling loading lever jamming up and possibly damaging a Walker. Any thoughts on this? Pros and Cons of each model?
I can't imagine what "horror" stories you may have been told about falling Walker loading levers:confused: but they aren't true. Yes, they can temporarily jam the revolver, as in preventing the cylinder from turning when you attempt to recock for your next shot. The remedy is to simply raise the lever. It may be an inconvenience but it is really no big deal. If it happens too often for your taste, there are posted tips about stoning the notch of the retaining spring to improve its grip on the lever, or you can just tie it up with a leather string. As far as possible damage goes, I don't see how it could happen. As the lever drops, the rammer will just go into the mouth of the chamber in the 6 o'clock position and be stopped by the ball, or by the lever hinge contacting the frame if the chamber is empty. Either way I doubt you are going to see any damage whatsoever.

If I am wrong about this, somebody please correct me. I have only put about 100 rounds through a Walker in my entire life.
so i guess horror stories was a bit strong term, my fault, it has been some time since i had read information about them and i "misremembered" my info, my apologies. and now i am that much more informed on the subject, thank you for the post Acorn :)
The loading lever drop on Walkers can be an issue. Especially at full power loadings or with older guns that have a weakened spring.
Not a big deal.
Several things you can do.
1.) reduce your powder charges. Less recoil this way.

2.) Buy a new loading lever spring. Replace the old one.

3.) SLIGHTLY bend the loading lever spring to better engage to lever. Very simple and easy fix.

4.) Use a simple leather thong or metal clip to hold the lever in place while firing.

The Dragoon is just a more refined Walker design.
Not exactly what you asked for, but perhaps this will help:
Like the others, I don't view the 'dropping lever' on the Walker as a problem - it's just one of the characteristics of the gun. And it can be corrected. Bending the spring has never worked for me but stoning the top of the catch on the end of the spring has worked.

Walker pros: one big mother gun, period. Big boom, lots of smoke. Recoil from essentially rifle charges is virtually non-existent - what other handgun can you shoot rifle loads with and not have to deal with heavy recoil?

Walker cons: heavy. I mean HEAVY. You could shoot big loads all day with no ill effects from recoil but your forearms and shoulders will ache from holding it up. No way to shoot 'duelist' stance (one handed) accurately. And not cheap to shoot - it eats powder like a cannon. Which it is. Also eats holsters alive. You need an expensive, heavy, strong horsehide leather holster AND belt to carry this thing around.

Dragoon pros: accurate, long distance shooter, once you get used to holding 6:00 or even lower. Handles big loads well, although can't hold as much as the Walker. Big boom, lots of smoke, and lighter than a Walker. If you have a good holster you can actually carry, and shoot, this thing most of the day.

Dragoon cons: well, it isn't really a Walker, now is it? Almost, but just not quite. Yeah, it can rattle the dentures more than an 1860 Army, but once you've touched off a full chamber Walker load, it just doesn't have the same, I don't know, oomph.
Walker pros: one big mother gun, period. Big boom, lots of smoke. Recoil from essentially rifle charges is virtually non-existent - what other handgun can you shoot rifle loads with and not have to deal with heavy recoil?

Wow, I think I want one!
Walker on top, 2nd Model Dragoon on bottom. Both are great fun. The Dragoon is more "refined." The Walker has more historic appeal, as it was the original from which the Dragoon evolved. Eventually, you need one (or more) of each!

thank you mykeal, legionaire and berkley for the great picture comparisons and information! very helpful indeed :) i never knew there was that much difference in the cylinders and its interesting to see different angles and perspectives of the models. how many models of dragoons are/were produced? 3 right? what are the differences between those guys? once again thanks for all the great info guys.
how many models of dragoons are/were produced?
Tricky question. If you were to ask Sam Colt, I think he'd say one. Or maybe two if he included the Whitneyville Dragoon, which was a hybrid Walker with shorter barrel and cylinder. Colt didn't identify different models, and in fact the differences we now use to make model distinctions were actually phased in as parts were used up, rather than at a certain serial number like one would expect with a 'new model'.

Today's replicas are produced in three models. The First Model has a square back trigger guard, a vertical loading lever latch and oval shaped bolt notches on the cylinder. The Second Model changed the bolt notches to a rectangular shape with lead-in cuts; it retained the square back trigger guard and vertical loading lever latch of the First Model. The Third Model used the new rectangular bolt notches with lead-in cuts, changed the trigger guard to a round back and changed the loading lever latch to the horizontal design.
If it's really a brand new Uberti 3rd Model, then yes, $295 is a very good price.


The pictures are not of a 3rd Model - that's a 2nd Model. Still, the price would be a good one as 2nd and 3rd Models, and even 1st Models, go for the same money. But I'd be suspicious of someone posting pictures of a different gun than they are selling.

Second, the box and paperwork don't go with the gun? That's wrong, especially if, as they say, the paperwork is for the cartridge version! The cartridge version is a GCA 68 firearm and requires an FFL transfer to purchase. And they state an FFL is required higher up in the listing.

He does offer a 3 day inspection period, which is good.

I'd be asking him to explain the wrong pictures (and require him to provide pictures of the actual gun being offered for sale), explain the paperwork problem (and refuse to accept paperwork for a cartridge gun when the gun is really a percussion gun), and explain the reason an FFL transfer is required (and refuse to agree to that).
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thanks for the heads up mykeal. i'm trying to find someone willing to trade me a walker or dragoon for a cartridge firearm. i have several i want to part with and trying to utilize a trade since money is tight right now.
I noticed on the Dixie Gun Works website that the recommended black powder charge for a Dixie Walker is 22 grains of 3F. So, in order to make that BIG boom that many people report, the gun must be loaded way beyond this recommendation?

What is the maximum safe powder charge for a Walker?

Both the ASM Walker and the Uberti Walker can, like any steel framed black powder revolver, safely fire a full chamber of black powder under a round ball. 22 grains is way below the optimum (most accurate) charge for any Walker, as well as being way below the maximum safe charge.
Seems that all the new b/p revolvers have very low suggested loads, probably a lawyer thing. I bought a kit rifle in 54cal a few years ago and the suggested load was 40gr 1F, I was already using 40gr of 2F in my ROA. For the rifle I started with 54gr and settled on 80gr for the best accuracy load with the Lee REAL conicals.
Maybe it is just me but I like the 3rd Model the best if you are actually going to shoot it. The square back trigger gaurds beat up my knuckles.
A falling loading lever can not damage your Walker,yes it can jam cylinder action,but not a big deal,just push it up.If you do not want even one falling,just put rubber band and problem is solved.It is heavy gun so recoil from 50gr (.50cal flintlock rifle load) load is not hard.Dragoon have loading lever catch and is good if you want smaller gun than Walker is.If you have very small hands I do not recommend Walker,I received it as gift when I was young,and was surprised how the gun was heavy and big,so I had some problems in handling it.Both are great guns,and you won't regret buying it!
Jeez, why not just ask Ford or Chevy? Harley versus Jap bikes? Or did the right side win the War of Northern Aggression?

From a historical perspective the Dragoon was a MUCH more successful firearm. Only approximately 1,100 Walkers were ever produced. Let's just say the originals had some "issues".

I've owned both and each has it's own personality, strengths and weaknesses. The down side to both is as Mykeal stated, "They eat a lot of powder". Both are a LOT of fun to shoot if you've got a full powder flask and a half full can in your box to refill with.

My preference is for the Dragoon. It has some refinements to it that appeal to "me", your results may vary. Choose which ever one that looks back at you and says "Pleeease take me home with you". Should your relationship with that particular gun be less than you expected, sell it and get the other. Or...just keep it around and make it jealous by bringing home it's younger or older brother.

Keep in mind that "used" versions of both are out there for reasonable prices and that Uberti "Is Not" the be all and end all of Italian manufacturers. Each gun, no matter who put their name on it can and does have it's own personal attributes and faults. Case in point, my Dragoon is one of the much maligned ASM's. It's one of the most trouble free and smooth guns that I own.

Have fun and no matter which one ends up in your hand, make sure that you post a couple of pictures of it.

And remember, Dragoon, Dragoon, Dragoon, Dragoon, Dragoon................
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