Only 37 are Known to Still Exist! Alderfer Auction Announces the Sale of U.S. Model 1847 Colt Walker
November 13, 2018 – Alderfer Auction announces that an original U.S. Model 1847 Colt Walker No. 122 will be among the highlights of its Firearms Auction on December 18. The revolver is attributed to the C- Company of the Texas Rangers. Only 37 of these rare and historically important revolvers are known to still exist.
Provenance dates back to 1943 when it was discovered by the editor of the Texas Gun Collector’s Association. In 1953, it was owned by William H. Robinson Jr. or Gloucester, Massachusetts. In the Texas Gun Collector’s Association Newsletter #30, Mr. Robinson used his ownership of the gun to become a member of the club. In the 1960’s, the Colt appeared in Norm Flayderman’s Gun Catalog #77 under listing 1166A. In the listing it’s quoted as “One of the best specimens we have come across in virtually untouched condition.” Over half a century later, the revolver was found in a box on an estate in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
In October, 2018, the Colt was authenticated with a letter by Herb Glass, Jr. of Bullville NY, Firearms Consultant and Honorary Curator of the West Point Museum. Herb is known throughout the world for his knowledge of Colt Walkers.
Mr. Glass’ review of the revolver:
“As requested, I have examined U.S. Model 1847 Colt Walker Revolver C Company No. 122. This examination consisted of complete disassembly and careful examination of all parts. As a result, I find this gun to be genuine Colt Walker in fine ‘untouched’ condition, the known provenance of which dates to 1943 when it was discovered in Austin, Texas.
Markings are crisp and excellent throughout; only the cylinder scene is faint with traces overall and a couple of areas more clearly visible. The pressure ridge is clearly visible all the way around and the company number is clear and distinct. The cylinder is a lovely untouched dark brown patina; indeed all steel parts are the same excellent untouched patina.
The wedge and loading lever plunger are very old replacements, done in the period of the gun’s use. These, two very minor interior parts (trigger/bolt spring and hand) and three screws are the only replacements; all date from the period of the gun’s use. Only the (always replaced) loading lever retaining spring is a modern replacement, crudely staked in. The gun is otherwise completely original; all parts properly and distinctly numbered to match.
As stated, all steel parts are the same excellent, untouched dark brown patina. Metal surfaces are generally excellent; just a few minor dings and some areas of very light roughness mostly on the barrel assembly and loading lever. Interestingly, the left side frame pinhole in the barrel breech was factory drilled too deeply, creating a tiny hole at the normally blind end.
The company number on the left barrel flat and ‘US/1847” on the right are crisp, clear and distinct. The barrel address is likewise excellent, with just a hint of light roughness around it. The bore has some roughness and rust but retains significant sharp rifling.
The frame, with sharp company number on the left, is the same lovely patina with smooth metal, sharp unworn edges and all internal numbers in their proper places. Mechanics are excellent and screws are generally unmarred. As stated only three screws are replaced; forward trigger guard, loading lever plunger and one backstrap screw. These were replaced in the period of the gun’s use.
Brass trigger guard and front grip strap are an excellent unpolished patina with the usual tiny dings and scratches of use. The steel back strap is the same excellent, untouched, dark brown patina as the other steel parts with well-marked company number on the butt. The original grips, nicely numbered in the usual location are quite worn and rounded at the butt edge with a 7/16 inch chip replaced at the left toe and a larger (5/8 x 1-1/2) chip well replaced at the right side frame juncture. There is a loose chip (3/8 x 1-1/4) at the left side frame juncture, original and all there – but only held in place by the frame and trigger guard.
In summation, this is a fine Walker, far above average for these guns which generally saw long hard use with many parts replaced in the field during their service. Sadly, many of them have suffered from modern ‘improvements’ to enhance their value. This gun can truly be called ‘untouched’ in that regard and is virtually completely original.” – Sincerely, Herb Glass
Alderfer Auction’s 600+ Lot Firearms Auction includes other rare firearms and will be held Tuesday, December 18th. Offline items will start at 9:00 AM followed by online items including the Colt at 1:30 PM. The auction will accommodate live, online, phone and absentee bidding. The auction listing will be available at www.AlderferAuction.com.
Alderfer Auction is conveniently located in the suburbs of Philadelphia between New York and Baltimore at 501 Fairgrounds Rd., Hatfield, PA 19440. For more information visit www.AlderferAuction.com or call 215-393-3000.