I thought I’d start off with a post combining two of the three fields of focus for this blog: firearms and Civil War reenacting (although who knows – I might be able to sneak in something drink related somewhere along the way).
This is a replica of the Colt Dragoon revolver made by Uberti. It is .44 caliber, has a 7 1/2-inch barrel, weighs 4 lbs. 2 oz. (at least that is what the originals weighed – I haven’t weighed this Uberti yet), and can load up to 50 grains of black powder.
The Dragoon was the second revolver manufactured by Colt, following the popular Walker revolver, and included several improvements on the Walker design – namely, the shorter barrel and frame, the inclusion of a latch for the loading lever (the Walker had none and was notorious for dropping its loading lever under fire), and reduced chamber capacity, eliminating the annoying tendency of the Walker to explode under its full charge of 60 grains.
There were three variations of the Dragoon. The 1st Model was produced from 1848 to 1850, the 2nd Model from 1850 to 1851, and the 3rd Model from 1851 to 1861, at which time the Dragoon revolver was superseded by the Colt 1860 Army revolver, which fired the same caliber ball from a lighter and much more compact frame. Each model included various small improvements over the preceding model.
This gun is a replica of the 3rd Model Dragoon, which can be identified by the rounded trigger guard. The trigger guard on the first two models was flat on the back, just like the Walker trigger guard.
These revolvers gave a tremendous advantage in firepower to the men who wielded them. Until the end of the 1850′s, Colts revolvers (of which the Walkers and Dragoons were the most powerful) were the only mass-produced handguns that allowed more than one shot before reloading. Texas Rangers were reported to prefer these guns to their single-shot rifles, claiming effective accuracy at over 100 yards.
Samuel Colt was a stickler for handsome-looking guns…
and made factory engraving standard on the cylinders of almost all of his early revolvers, the exception being the revolvers with fluted cylinders (you’ll see an example of this in a week or two).
Of course, we had to test it on the range!
A gun this heavy is very easy to shoot. It was a ton of fun!
So next time you’re watching the Duke battle it out on the silver screen, try grabbing a shot of whiskey in one hand and a Colt Dragoon in the other (see, I did manage to get a drink in) – it’ll give you a whole new perspective. See y’all next time!