An ally to Samuel Houston during the Texas Republic period, John C. "Jack" Hays was a brilliant officer of the unconventional Texas Rangers company and a staunch supporter of Texas against Mexicans and Indians. His five-shot Navy Colt Paterson revolver was rightly terrorizing the enemy ranks.
In 1846 the integration of Texas into the United States of America revives the war with Mexico. Colt's firearms are the best. Hays sends Captain Samuel Walker to discuss it with Samuel Colt.
The result of the meeting is the development by Colt of a heavy and steady six-shot revolver of which the US army orders 1,000 units. It will be known as Colt Walker after the death in action of the young officer in October 1847. For the trade 100 Colt Civilian Walker revolvers are also produced with serial number range 1001 to 1100.
In the emergency Colt had not restarted his plant and subcontracted the production of the Colt Walker to a Whitneyville CT gunsmith. The ultimate joint project between these two workshops is a lighter revolver. 240 copies are produced, in part by reusing components from the Walker. This short-lived model is known as the Colt Whitneyville-Hartford Transition Walker Dragoon revolver.
A significant set of arms related to Hays has just surfaced. They will be sold by Heritage in Dallas on December 10. I list below the three major lots.
Lot 40173 is the number 1001 of the Civilian Walker. It seems almost certain that Colt offered the first Civilian pair in June 1847 to Hays who had been even more than Walker the trigger for restarting his firearm business.
Lot 40174 is a Colt Transition in a good condition with some repairs in period that do not alter its originality. It is kept with its complete accessories in its case. Colt inscribed it to Colonel Hays in December 1847. It is a very early example of a Colt revolver engraved for presentation.
Lot 40175 is a sword offered to Hays in 1848 by the State of Texas for his conduct during the war.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Civilian Walker Colt : $ 310K
Transition Colt : $ 430K
Presentation sword : $ 62K