SOLD FOR: $2705
Make: Colt, 3rd Generation “Signature” Series
Model: 1848 Dragoon, 3rd Model
Serial Number: 36401
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Action Type: Single Action, 6 Shot, Percussion
Barrel Length: 7.5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short, coin silver colored, blade at the muzzle end of the barrel. The blade has some silver tarnish. The rear sight is a “V”-notch integral to the hammer, which can be used when the hammer is cocked.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one piece black buffalo horn with hand engraved bust of “Cochise” on the left panel. There are light handling and storage marks. There is a small amount of natural openings on the bottom of the right grip as this is horn material. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in about Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright, the rifling is sharp. There is fouling debris from storage in the bore. In this writer’s opinion and for the age, this bore rates a 10 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 98% of its metal finish. The metal shows light surface scratches on the muzzle of the barrel and top flat of the revolver barrel. The cylinder has a curved scratch in the 24K gold finish. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are deep and cylinder engravings are defined. The gold plated decorations are excellent. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine Plus to Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up tightly when fully cocked and the barrel has no play. We did not fire this firearm. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with a matching serial number Colt Blackpowder Signature Series box with foam inserts.
Our Assessment: Cochise was a Chiricahua chief and one of the most famous Apache leaders to resist U.S. expansion into western America. His tribe lived in present-day New Mexico and Arizona, and as they began to feel pressure from both the Spanish and Mexican peoples, they grew increasingly uncompromising, until at last the Spanish implemented the Galvez Peace Policy to encourage Indian dependence on the colonial government. When Mexico gained control of the area, the policy was dropped, and the Native Americans resumed their practice of raiding to acquire provisions. In response, the Mexican government conducted several military operations to nullify the Chiricahua threat. During these attacks, Cochise’s father was killed, and he was himself captured but later exchanged for Mexican prisoners.
A temporary peace had been established when the United States acquired western lands in 1850, but as settlers continued to pour into the area, the Apache began to feel threatened once more, and any attempt at negotiation ended with the disastrous Bascom Affair of 1861. A group of Apaches had raided a local ranch and carried off a twelve-year-old boy, and Cochise, all the while protesting his innocence, was brought to the nearby Army base and blamed for the crime. The officer who had invited him into the encampment attempted to arrest him, at which Cochise jumped up and fled, slashing through the tent walls with his knife. Cochise escaped, but several of his relatives were held for ransom and later killed. The deaths of his family members further turned Cochise against the Americans, and he led a relentless eleven-year assault that resulted in the murders of hundreds of settlers and essentially cleared Arizona of white men and Mexicans alike. He joined with his father-in-law, powerful Chihenne-Chiricahua chief Mangas Coloradas, in several raids against the Americans, and while many died on both sides, the U.S. government was primarily concerned with the impending Civil War and therefore had few resources to offer those fighting in the West, giving the Apache a strong advantage.
Finally, in 1862, Cochise’s followers abandoned their former guerilla tactics, meeting a troop of California volunteers led by James Carleton at Apache Pass. Their weapons were no match for those of the soldiers, however, who arrived bearing cannons that the Indians had never before encountered. Mangas was captured and later murdered under pretense of a peaceful parlay. Cochise took his men and continued their raids against American and Mexican settlements until 1872, when the Apache were driven into the Dragoon Mountains and a treaty finally established. After making peace, Cochise retired to the newly established Apache reservation and passed away two years later. Cochise County, Arizona, is named after him.
This is a 3rd Generation “Signature Series” Model 1848 Dragoon, 3rd Model revolver made in 1997, also referred to as the “C”-series. This however is an extra notch of special being designated as a Cochise Commemorative Dragoon. While some forgings or small parts were supplied by subcontractors, all of the completed pistols were produced to Colt’s strict specifications and quality control with final inspection performed by Colt, with the result that despite some work being performed outside the Colt factory, collectors tend to regard these revolvers as original Colts rather than reproductions. The Colt 1848 Dragoon was designed as an improved version of the 1847 Walker with a shortened cylinder, barrel, loading lever lock and various other improvements with each subsequent model. The Dragoon model was originally phased out of production and military use for the 1860 Army. It has a six-shot cylinder and a 7.5-inch round barrel. The revolver features a blued frame, a blued steel barrel, a one-piece black buffalo horn grip with a hand carved bust of Cochise and cylinder engraving of a “Ranger and Indian” scene. The cylinder and trigger guard is 24K gold plated, along with running horse motif, crossed tomahawks and a plains buffalo in 24K gold plate. This 3rd Generation 1848 Dragoon is an awesome revolver with strong mechanics, a bright bore, tight fit and all serial numbers matching. This commemorative was limited to only 500. If you are a fan of Colt Dragoons, percussion revolvers or the American Civil War or Frontier era; this revolver is for you!