Chapter 1.6.1.3 – Currently Recognized Miniatures of Colt Family of Dragoon Revolvers

The Colt M1848 Dragoon models were a backbone of Samuel Colt's military sales during the years 1847 through 1861. Like the Walker pistols the Dragoons were made for the use of the U.S. Mounted Rifles. Back in the days such soldiers were termed Dragoons. This explains the name of these handguns. 

Evolution of the Colt 1848 Dragoons display photographed at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum (from left): 1st Model, 2nd Model, 3rd Model & 3rd Model with matching shoulder stock

Comparative view of two Colt 1848 Whitneyville Hartford Dragoons (top down): 3rd generation Colt #12674 (1996 production, courtesy Michael Mayer Collection) vs. plain Jane Uberti miniature #PM126

Views of two Colt 1848 Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon miniatures, note loading lever with catch (from top): #PM126 in "Cowboy" grade quality vs. #PM87 in "Prestige" grade quality with gold inlays and ivory grip

Close-ups of fancy embellishment of Colt 1848 Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon miniature #PM87

References

1. Wilson, R.L.: THE BOOK OF COLT FIREARMS THIRD EDITION, 2008

2. Western Movie: BANDIDAS, 2006

3. Western Movie: TRUE GRIT, 2010

4. Western Movie: DJANGO UNCHAINED, 2012

 

March 4, 2020/WDN

Cylinder Engravings Dragoons: All of the Colt Walker and Dragoon models, their Uberti replicas and miniatures alike carry cylinders roll-engraved with Ormsby's Rangers and Indians fighting scenecommemorating the so called Hays Big Fight on the Pedernales. 

Due to their shorter cylinders on the original Dragoons, their Uberti replicas and miniatures the top part of the scene is incomplete compared to the bigger Walker.

No Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon model was discovered in any of the western movie data bases. However, a few regular production Dragoons were found. Like in BANDIDAS were Sam Shepard as Bill Buck2) carried with longer custom fitted barrel, lead character Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross in the 2010 version of TRUE GRIT3) or Jamie Foxx as Django Freeman in DJANGO UNCHAINED.4)

1.6.1.3.1 Colt 1848 Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon: Between the Walker and the 1st Model Dragoon, ca. 240 "improved" pistols termed Colt 1848 Whitneyville Hartford Dragoons were produced in the fall of 1847 after the completion of the Walker project. This short lived transitional variant of the family of Dragoon pistols shares the general appearance of the later production Dragoon models, see chapters 1.6.1.3.2 to 1.6.1.3.4 below for details. 

With their improved Walker features the Whitneyville Hartford Dragoons are also the first Colt arms produced at his new Hartford factory. Hence, these earliest Dragoons are the rarest of the regular production models of the Colt Dragoon line of pistols. 

Many standard and reworked Walker parts were used in their making. These in combination with improved new parts made for pistols of varying specifications.1)

Comparing features of Uberti Colt 1847 Whitneyville Walker #PM2 (top) and Colt 1848 Whitneyville Hartford Dragoon #PM87 (bottom) minitures: Shortened Walker frame and grip combined with Dragoon barrel/loading lever/cylinder assembly

Contemporary drawing of early Colt 1848 Dragoon Model

Two pictures for reference: 2nd gen. Colt 1st Model Dragoon #26467 (1980 Courtesy Erwin Gräber Collection)

1.6.1.3.3 Colt 1848 2nd Model Dragoon: Produced from 1850 to 1851, square cylinder stops, sqareback triggerguards.

Two pictures for reference: 2nd gen. Colt 3rd Model Dragoon #20974 (1975, Courtesy Erwin Gräber Collection)

Allegedly the Colt Dragoon miniatures were among the last ones produced by Uberti at the very end of the company's miniature production. Only some 200 of these miniature Dragoons were made. This makes them also one of the rarest models of the family of Uberti miniature Colts.

Variants of the Whitneyville Hartford Dragoons have surfaced on both sides of the Big Pond. To date the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Models have only been reported from the U.S.A..

The Dragoons are the heaviest revolvers manufactured in the evolution of the Colts. They share a 7,5" barrel, six-shot cylinder and hard hitting .44 caliber.

1.6.1.3.2 Colt 1848 1st Model Dragoon: Produced from 1848 to 1850, round cylinder stops, squareback triggerguards.

Two pictures for reference: 2nd gen. Colt 2nd Model Dragoon #28298 (1981 Courtesy Erwin Gräber Collection)

1.6.1.3.4 Colt 1848 3rd Model Dragoon: Produced from 1851 to 1861, square cylinder stops, round triggerguards. 

A few of these 3rd Modell Dragoons were fitted with folding leaf rear sights on the barrel lug, 4-screw frames with notches in the recoils shields and buttstrap to attach a wooden shoulder stock transforming this combo to a short carbine.

 

We are looking for specimens of these 1st, 2nd or 3rd Models Dragoon for the Hunzinger Collection. Just let us know at wn@american-frontier-miniatures.com if you wish to sell one, please.