In the opening months of the Mexican War Sam Colt’s 1836 Patterson revolver in the hands of the Texas Mounted Rangers proved itself worthy in battle and demands for the pistol got the attention of the U.S. Government. When Captain Sam Walker of the Rangers publicly praised pistols Colt contacted him saying that with a military contract he could produce all the revolvers needed to win the war. He also said he could sell them for $25 dollars apiece at the same time he asked Walker for suggestions on improving the weapon.
Walker was then able to convince President James K. Polk and Secretary of War William Marcy. Despite arguments from the Ordinance Department, a contract was drawn up to produce the weapon with Walker’s improvements. The pistol was a massive piece weighing 4 lb. and 9 oz.. It fired six rounds with a 9-inch barrel that could be loaded with up to 57 grains of black powder. Walker, killed in action in 1847 didn’t live to see the huge success the Colt-Walker Model in winning the war.
The revolver would undergo several more improvements over the next few years culminating in the legendary Colt Peacemaker in 1873 whose basic design, described as having “more curves than a dance hall girl” hasn’t changed to this day.