My cap-and-ball ones are the 2nd Generation Colts, which are well on their way to becoming collectors’ items in their own right. When gathering data for my now out of print book Shooting Colt Single Actions, I set up chronograph screens right out our downstairs door. Inside the house I would carefully weigh each black powder charge put into the cap-and-ball sixgun chambers so as to get the most consistent chronograph numbers possible. Only a few steps outside were required then to shoot over the screens.

Yvonne was working in her flower garden safely around the corner of the house while this process was ongoing. She hardly noticed what I was doing until I fired the Colt .44 Walker. After its six rounds were gone she stuck her head out and said, “What the hell was that?!”
I’m sure enemies of our country in the late 1840s thought the same thing. Not only was the first Colt Walker revolver our first repeating military handgun, but it was extremely powerful to boot. Its chambers could hold up to 60 grains of black powder, which was a standard charge for the .58-caliber rifle-muskets of Civil War fame. That pushed out a 148-gr. round ball to almost 1,200 fps. These are from my chronograph figures, not guesswork.