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#6400867 - 08/09/16 04:31 PM The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers
mikei Online   content
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Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 1258
Texas Rangers Talk Colt Revolvers






If you've ever spent any time poring over congressional reports, then you have experienced the literary equivalent of breaking rocks in a prison yard.



I really feel for those nineteenth century typesetters in the government printing office, assembling yawn after yawn from individual letters. It's a job Sisyphus would consider unrewarding.

But sometimes you come across a nugget of pure gold...and it makes it all worthwhile.

Below are some excerpts from a report to the United States Senate by Senator Thomas Jefferson Rusk of Texas (formerly Secretary of War of the Republic of Texas) regarding the reliability and efficacy of the Colt revolver during the late Mexican War.

Imagining a Texas Ranger without his Colt is like imagining a samurai without his sword, and these excerpts illustrate the high regard the Texas Rangers had for the new-fangled weapon.

The Rusk report was instrumental in overcoming the last resistance of the government to fully adopting the Colt revolver. By 1853, Samuel Colt was one of the largest manufacturers in the world, when just seven years earlier he himself had been the entire firm.

Probably the most amazing thing about the excerpts you are about to read is that they don't appear to have been reprinted or even quoted in the last 160 years. So, here they are. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Quotes from the Rusk Report
on the Colt Revolver - 1849




General Joseph Lane: "I think I can say as much for and about this formidable weapon as anyone now living, except Col. Jack Hays, of Texas. I have seen them tested in several severe and bloody conflicts, when a few men, armed with Colt's revolver, were equal to five, and in several instances to ten times their numbers. No weapon is equal to it. In close quarters one man is always equal to three or more. I know the use of it well, and would recommend that all mounted forces be armed with them."

Colonel Jack Hays, Texas Rangers: "I have had a good opportunity of testing the utility of Colt's pistols during the late Mexican War, and feel no hesitation in saying they are superior (in my opinion) to any other now known for cavalry. The danger of accidental explosion has been obviated by the late improvement. They go off clear. The cylinders revolve with great rapidity, and the distance they carry a ball (I mean the conical ball) is indeed surprising. Soldiers should be practiced in the use of them. They soon become easy to the hand; the aim you wish to draw can be easily caught; and when placed in the hands of those who understand the proper use of them, they are unquestionably the most formidable weapon ever used in battle. I therefore concur fully in the opinion that they can be used with the same advantage by the regular as volunteer forces."

Captain G. H. Tobin, Texas Rangers: "As to the objection raised by persons who have had no experience in the use of these arms, that they may not stand exposure, I would relate the following fact: Major Ben McCullough with 16 men, in returning to Texas, after the capture of Monterrey, in an encounter with the Comanche Indians, lost one of these pistols, after having discharged three chambers. Three months afterwards, he and I, and some others traveling over the same ground, found the pistol, where it had lain exposed to the storms of the whole season, and putting new caps on the two loaded chambers, they were discharged as though they had been loaded but the day before."

Commodore E. W. Moore, late of the Texas Navy: "I take pleasure in stating that, while in command of the Texas Navy, I had an excellent opportunity of testing the efficiency and durability of these arms. The Texas volunteers of war were armed with Colt's pistols and carbines, which were on very frequent occasions exposed in boats and bad weather, and I unhesitatingly assert that they are as little injured by exposure to the weather as the common musket or ship's pistol. Of their efficiency, I think it useless to say anything. The Colt's pistols, used by the Texas Rangers before annexation, were all supplied from the navy, after they had been in constant use in that arm of the service upwards of four years; and I know some of these arms that have been in constant use for nine years, and are still good. I have seen the recently improved model which has several alterations or rather improvements, which make it a better arm than those I had in use in the Texas Navy, which were among the first manufactured by the inventor."

The report also noted that:

Major Ben McCullough of the Texas Rangers, recommends that they be adopted to a certain extent among the regular ordnance materiel of our service; considers them as preferable to all others for mounted light troops in Mexico. Says they have been in use among the Texan rangers for ten years, and that their efficacy has been fairly tested. Has at this time in his possession one that has been used for ten years without being repaired.

Captain Samuel H. Walker of the Texas Rangers, considers the revolver as the only good improvement he has seen; instances the defeat of eighty Comanches by Colonel Hays and fifteen men, as a particularly striking incident to show their value, in which fight forty-two Indians were killed.

Finally, there are the words of Major G. W. Kendall, Aid to General Winfield Scott:

"Colt's heavy pistol is the very best ever invented, for use on horseback. No Texan ranger considers himself equipped without one of them."




Edited by mikei (08/09/16 04:33 PM)

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#6401078 - 08/09/16 07:03 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: mikei]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 19228
Loc: Corsicana
up

The Rangers made Sam Colt immortal....
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Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6401202 - 08/09/16 08:16 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: mikei]
Colt W. Knight Offline
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Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 2036
Loc: West Virginia
Thank you for posting this article. Great stuff

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#6401219 - 08/09/16 08:25 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: Colt W. Knight]
Marc in Bastrop Offline
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Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 709
Loc: Bastrop County
Originally Posted By: Colt W. Knight
Thank you for posting this article. Great stuff


Agreed!
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#6401262 - 08/09/16 08:40 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: mikei]
jeh7mmmag Online   happy
gramps

Registered: 11/01/04
Posts: 12624
Loc: Colleyville, DFW, TX
Just a bit of history to go along with Colts story and the Texas Ranger Walkers improvements. Made a fine weapon for it time.

Quote:
Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers had acquired some of the first Colt revolvers produced during the Seminole War and seen first-hand their effective use as his 15-man unit defeated a larger force of 70 Comanche in Texas. Walker wanted to order Colt revolvers for use by the Rangers in the Mexican-American War, and traveled to New York City in search of Colt. He met Colt in a gunsmith's shop on January 4, 1847, and placed an order for 1,000 revolvers.[26][27] Walker asked for a few changes; the new revolvers would have to hold 6 shots instead of 5, have enough power to kill either a man or a horse with a single shot and be quicker to reload. The large order allowed Colt to establish a new firearm business. Colt hired Eli Whitney Blake, who was established in the arms business, to make his guns.[28] Colt used his prototype and Walker's improvements as the basis for a new design. From this new design, Blake produced the first thousand-piece order known as the Colt Walker. The company then received an order for a thousand more; Colt took a share of the profits at $10 per pistol for both orders.[28]

With the money he made from the sales of the Walkers and a loan from his cousin, banker Elisha Colt, Colt bought the machinery and tooling from Blake to build his own factory: Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company factory at Hartford.[29] The first revolving-breech pistols made at the factory were called "Whitneyville-Hartford-Dragoons" and became so popular that the word "Colt" was often used as a generic term for the revolver.[27] The Whitneyville-Hartford Dragoon, largely built from leftover Walker parts, is known as the first model in the transition from the Walker to the Dragoon series. Beginning in 1848, more contracts followed for what is today known as the Colt Dragoon Revolvers. These models were based on the Walker Colt, and in three generations slight changes to each model showed the rapid evolution of the design. The improvements were 7 1⁄2-inch (190 mm) barrels for accuracy, shorter chambers and an improved loading lever.[27] The shorter chambers were loaded to 50 grains of powder, instead of 60 grains in the earlier Walkers, to prevent the occurrence of ruptured cylinders.[27] Finally, a positive catch was installed at the end of the loading lever to prevent the lever from dropping under recoil.[27][30]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Colt
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#6401282 - 08/09/16 08:50 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: mikei]
jeh7mmmag Online   happy
gramps

Registered: 11/01/04
Posts: 12624
Loc: Colleyville, DFW, TX
And Ranger Walker was killed before he received the improved Walker Colt revolver shipment

Quote:
Military[edit]

Walker arrived in Texas in 1842, when he took part in the defense against the Mexican invasion led by General Adrian Woll. He then joined the Texas Rangers in 1844 under the command of Captain John Coffee Hays. Promoted to the rank of captain, he later led a Ranger company in the Mexican–American War with General Zachary Taylor and General Winfield Scott's armies.

Walker was involved in, and was a survivor of, the Black Bean Episode.

Walker Colt[edit]





Colt Walker Revolver
Walker is best known as the co-inventor of the famous Walker Colt revolver, along with arms manufacturer Samuel Colt. Walker is said to have self-funded a trip to New York to meet with Colt and proposed to him the concept of a weapon based on the then-popular five-shot Colt Paterson revolver, with many enhancements such as adding a sixth round. By 1847, the new revolver was produced. The United States Mounted Rifle companies were provided with the new weapons, which proved to be extremely effective.


Death[edit]

On October 9, 1847, Walker was killed in Huamantla, in Tlaxcala, while leading his troops in the Battle of Huamantla during the Mexican–American War. He was struck down by a shotgun (escopette, variously escopeta) round fired from a balcony, although popular legend often has claimed the weapon was a lance.[3]

In 1848 his remains were moved to San Antonio. On April 21, 1856, as part of a battle of San Jacinto celebration, he was reburied in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery in San Antonio.

Walker County, Texas was renamed for him after the original namesake, Robert J. Walker, sided with the Union during the Civil War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hamilton_Walker
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#6401301 - 08/09/16 09:01 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: mikei]
Creekrunner Online   happy
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Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 7152
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
That fight with the Comanches was by what is now Sisterdale (a few miles from my house). I believe Walker was in the fight. First time a Colt was used in battle, I'd always heard.
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#6401428 - 08/09/16 10:20 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: Creekrunner]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
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Originally Posted By: Creekrunner
That fight with the Comanches was by what is now Sisterdale (a few miles from my house). I believe Walker was in the fight. First time a Colt was used in battle, I'd always heard.


The Battle of Walker's Creek was the impetus for the eventual adoption and dominance of the revolver design of Sam Colt. The Paterson 5 shot revolvers in .36 caliber were the pistols used in that battle. As posted above, improvements to the design suggested by Sam Walker resulted in the manufacture of the Walker Colt in 1847, soon followed by the Colt Dragoons (3 models) and the 1851 Navy revolver.

The Colt train was by then unstoppable and the rest is history.

The sketch on the cylinder of the Walker revolvers was Sam Walker's rendition of the battle.


Edited by Nogalus Prairie (08/09/16 10:54 PM)
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Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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#6401457 - 08/09/16 10:36 PM Re: The Colt Revolver and the Texas Rangers [Re: mikei]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
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Loc: Corsicana
In the 1844 Battle of Walker's Creek, though the Comanches had suffered heavy losses, they continued to fight hard as the Rangers pursued them. Though Captain Hays was a masterful Indian fighter and tactician, the Rangers found themselves with almost all of their pistols empty as the pursuit caught up with the indians just as Chief Yellow Wolf was regrouping his remaining warriors for a counter assault. "Anyone with a ball left in his pistol?", Hays shouted. "I have one left, Cap'n!", Ranger Ad Gillespie yelled. Hays rode up to him and said, "Shoot the Chief!"

Gillespie spurred his horse into the indian group abreast of Yellow Wolf's horse and shot him dead with his last remaining ball. Demoralized, the rest of the Comanches fled the field.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: REALKILLER
That's the way I hunt don't know many that do. If a deer gets buy me I will try to run him down. Ive killed a bunch that way.



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