Not to undermine the good information that Raven sent you, if it wuz me I would send the gun to Tayors.
Taylors is the main distributor for R&D cylinders, at least they were when I bought mine. At the time I bought the R&D cylinder for my old EuroArms Remmie, Taylors had a policy that they would fit an R&D conversion cylinder to your gun for free
. I sent them my old EuroArms Remmie, they fitted a Pietta style R&D cylinder to it, then sent it back to me. I only paid for the cylinder, and the shipping down to Taylors.
I had a couple of conversations with the gunsmith at Taylors at the time. He took a new R&D cylinder that had not had its locking slots cut into it yet. Then he mounted my gun on some sort of fixture he had for duplicating the position of the locking slots on the original percussion cylinder. He then cut the locking slots into the Pietta cylinder to match the position of the slots on my percussion cylinder. He also had to shave a little bit off the front end of the new cylinder for it to fit properly on my gun. He then sent my new cylinder out to be reblued. He had to wait until he had a batch of stuff going out for blueing, but it did not take very much time. The beauty of this system is he did not have to alter the lockwork of the gun at all, so the original cylinder still drops in and the gun is still perfectly timed for it.
I dunno if Taylors still offers this service, but they did when I bought the R&D cylinder for my old EuroArms Remmie. Even though I bought the cylinder directly from Taylors, I seem to remember they were offering the same service no matter where you bought your cylinder. It is certainly worth a phone call. http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/index.tpl
If Taylors no longer does this for free, Raven's price of $65 plus shipping to get it fixed sounds very reasonable. He is correct, there is no such thing as a true drop in part, but R&D does an awful good job and the majority of their cylinders do drop right in. But sometimes a little bit of extra TLC is needed.
As for how they work - I've only shot about 200 rounds through them, so it's a bit early to say anything. But so far, so good.
EXCEPT, I did have one of them bind up on me at the first stage last Saturday. But given my excitement, I suspect it was user error.
You may have discovered the one shortcoming of the 1858 Remmie. Were you shooting Black Powder? With Black Powder, they tend to bind up more than any other revolver I have fired Black Powder through. It is because of the lack of a raised bushing on the front face of the cylinder. Fouling blasted out of the barrel/cylinder gap tends to be blasted directly onto the cylinder pin, causing it to bind. Most other revolvers have a raised bushing on the front face of the cylinder to prevent this. The raised bushing is positioned to deflect powder fouling away from the cylinder pin. Since the R&D cylinders have to fit in the same space that the percussion cylinders do, the front face of the cylinder is the same as the percussion cylinder and there is no raised bushing. I find that after two cylinders full of Black Powder rounds, my Remmies will bind up completely. So everytime I take the cylinder out to reload it, I wipe off the face of the cylinder with a damp cloth. This helps keep them rolling. I have also cut some grooves in my cylinder pins and keep them loaded with bore butter or something like that to help keep the cylinders rolling.