This is hands down, one of the finest of the ultra-rare and popular Colt Walker Revolvers. From all accounts garnered from those that have examined it, this gun is considered the best condition B-Company example known to exist, and in the top 5 - 10 Walkers in terms of its condition and originality.
Walker Colt Revolver B-Company No.8 first came to light to the collecting fraternity after being examined by Henry M. Stewart Jr. in 1964. It has since changed hands several times including twice at auction. I first examined this revolver with a full disassembly at The Texas Gun Collectors Associations' (TGCA) 2003 - "Parade of Walkers", a gathering of these rare revolvers that brought roughly 60 Colt Walker Revolvers and their owners from around the world to participate in the event, 40 - 50 of which were given "certificates of participation" to include this example. The barrel lug is a pleasing light brown fading to gray patina with traces of original blue near the right side wedge entry, bottom of the barrel and protected areas. The round section of the barrel is a bit lighter and has a few slight areas of corrosion. Rammer retains slight traces of smokey gray or silvered case colors in the most sheltered areas. Cylinder is a light gray/brown patina & retains almost all of its cylinder scene as seen in our photos. Frame retains generous amounts of silvered case hardening with scattered spots of fine roughness. Hammer is a dark patina with light pitting around its nose. Trigger guard & front strap are a medium mellow brass patina and backstrap & buttstrap are gray metal color with some light hammer marks on bottom. Grip is sound with light nicks & scratches, showing moderate wear with a medium patina and shows clear inspector cartouches. Both the "N" in NWP (Nahum W. Patch) left grip and the "T" in WAT (William A. Thornton) right grip are slightly worn at the front/bottom. Mechanics are fine, strong bright bore with moderate corrosion.
It would be virtually impossible to improve on this Walker as only a handful are considered better and most collectors keep them for a lifetime. It is of the quality that is rarely encountered. It has a track record of selling at auction for $431,250.00 in 2006. Since the 2006 sale of this Walker, records have been broken in prices for these revolvers of condition, with the highest prices reaching $940,000 in 2008 for an identified example in supreme condition and a spectacular sale at $1,840,000 in 2018 (the only known cased example). It is important to note that the best of the best are always desirable and always command the highest prices. When a Colt such as this comes on the market, it is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you are looking for what is certainly considered the highest levels of museum quality condition in a Colt Walker Revolver, your search could be over.
***** IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WALKER OWNERS AND COLLECTORS***** It is important that I clarify exactly what these TGCA "certificates of participation" represent. The President of the T.G.C.A. at the time, Mike Clark of Collectors Firearms, appointed a committee of 4 recognized authorities on Colt Walker Revolvers and their Accessories to examine anything brought to the "Parade of Walkers" for display. Articles consisted of guns, holsters, flasks, molds, loading tools, photographs and newspaper articles. Mike appointed Bobby Smith, Paul Sorrell, Bobby Vance and myself, all T.G.C.A. board members at one time or another as the 4 members to examine the submissions. After a discussion with legal council, it was decided by the committee and Mr. Clark that the certificates could not make mention of, nor guarantee the authenticity of any item submitted for display. We were simply allowing items to be displayed at "our approval" and signed their documents as such.
We disassembled each and every Walker presented to the committee and scrutinized every part and feature of each gun and/or accessory. Some were original guns with extensive repair or freshened markings. If the majority of the gun was deemed "original", the gun was approved for participation and the owner received a "Certificate of Participation". If the gun was a total reproduction or the bulk of the gun consisted of reproduction parts, it was refused. These documents do not represent appraisals of authenticity or value. This policy eliminated any future problems that could have risen from making mistakes and/or offending those who were not permitted to participate by the committee. Since this event, I have seen several sales advertisements for Colt Walker Revolvers stating that said revolvers for sale are accompanied with "Letters of Authenticity" from the T.G.C.A. "Parade of Walkers" committee. I would point out that these letters are not "Letters of Authenticity" and should not be regarded as such as one or more parts may be repaired or replaced.