Colt Dragoon

1 – .44 Caliber Colt Dragoon

By Museum of Northwest Colorado

Weighing in at 4.2lbs, the .44 caliber Colt Dragoon was a beast of a firearm. Designed in 1848 for the US Army as an improvement to the 1847 Colt Walker — designed from a collaboration between famed firearms inventor Samuel Colt and Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers — the Dragoon is not only one of the earliest Colts, its one of the earliest revolvers.

Any Dragoon is considered scarce today. This particular Dragoon on display in our extensive firearm collection (a first model, serial #2068 manufactured in 1848) has a story behind it as well. It belonged to Thomas Corless – a well-known Mormon pioneer. He used it in the defense and battle at the Mormon outpost, Ft. Lemhi, near Salmon, Idaho, in 1858 against Shoshone and Bannock Indians. Corless is quoted as saying that after the battle he noticed a bullet had passed right through his tie. The fort was abandoned and the Mormons escaped to Salt Lake. It was the only settlement the Mormons lost to hostile opposition in the State of Deseret.