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300.304 COLT DRAGOON CIVILIAN - full Hand engraved

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An artistic single piece from the collection of Dr.G. - a hand made piece from an Italian Engraver - 40 Years Partnership HEGE-Uberti

The Colt Model 1848 Percussion Army Revolver is a .44 caliber revolver designed by Samuel Colt for the U.S. Army's Mounted Rifles, also known as "Dragoons." Although it was introduced after the Mexican-American War, it became popular among civilians during the 1850s and '60s, and was also used during the American Civil War.
Third Model Dragoon Circa 1850, over contemporary Pocket Model variation for scale

The Dragoon was produced because of the problems of the Colt Walker revolver. These problems were the Walker's large size, four and a half pounds and the (sometimes) unsafety cylinders. The Colt Dragoon Revolver had a comparatively shorter cylinder and held up to 50 grains of powder and a round ball. It had a shorter barrel at 7.5 inches (some later revolvers 8 inches) as compared to the 9 inches barrel on the Walker. A loading lever latch in front of the lever replaced the spring to keep the lever surely from dropping during recoil and prevented jamming of the revolver. These variations made the Colt Dragoon Revolver 4 pounds two ounces. These changes reduced risks of the Colt Dragoon Revolver from exploding when fired.

In the troublesome events that led to the Civil War, Colt Dragoons became extremely popular. In the beginning Colt Dragoon Revolver were issued for the U.S. Army's Mounted Rifles. They were carried in pommel holsters on the saddle. The Colt Dragoon Revolver gained popularity among civilians in the Southwest where many had served in the Mexican-American War. The Dragoon became a master weapon for civilians who hailed it as a powerful weapon of the time.

Famous users included Joaquin Murietta, the California resistance fighter (or bandit, depending on perspective), Charlene (Charlie) Parkhurst, California teamster and, probably Harriet Tubman of the underground railroad. Parkhurst, while driving freight, was confronted by two bandits whom she dispatched with the Colt Holster Pistol. According to Harper's Weekly, James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickock arrived in Springfield, Missouri carrying a Dragoon though it is generally accepted that he used a Navy in his street duel with Davis Tutt.
The Colt Dragoon Revolver was produced between 1848 and 1860, when the Colt Model 1860 revolver replaced it. The Dragoon was produced in three different types. The names were First Model, Second Model, and Third Model Dragoons. Government records showed an order for 8,390 Dragoons. The First Model Colt Dragoon Revolver has oval-shaped cylinder notches, a V-type mainspring and a squareback triggerguard. Colt produced about 7,000 first models between 1848 and 1850. The Second Model had rectangular notches. Until the no. 10 000 the V-shaped mainspring was standard and then replaced with a flat leaf mainspring. All the Second Model Dragoons had the squareback triggerguard. The company made about 2,550 Second Models in 1850 and '51. The Third Model Dragoon numbers stand at ten-thousand from 1850 through 1860. This design had more variations as compared to its earlier counterparts. Some of the third model Colt Dragoon Revolvers had frame cuts for detachable shoulder stocks, horizontal loading lever latches and folding leaf sights. Third Colt Dragoon Revolvers had a round trigger guard. Other variants included the Colt "1848 Pocket Pistol" now known as the Baby Dragoon, marketed in California with success during the Gold Rush days. With the addition of a loading lever this evolved into the 1849 pocket revolver (see Colt Pocket Percussion Revolvers)

The Dragoon was the large bore colt revolver until introduction of the 1860 Army Revolver - based on a Navy-sized frame rebated to accommodate a cylinder with .44-inch chambers.


Specific References

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