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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  SCORRS (Moderator: Bull Schmitt)  |  Topic: Howell Conversion Cylinders 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Howell Conversion Cylinders  (Read 4869 times)
Scorpion
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« on: April 06, 2010, 12:30:08 pm »


Howdy all,

I just saw some Howell conversion cylinders. Anyone have experience with them? I have not heard of that brand before. I know of R&D and Kirst but not Howell. Oh, I have Pietta 58's.

Thanks - S
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Hedley Lamarr
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 02:05:39 pm »

R&D was owned by Kenny Howell.
R&D is no longer R&D, it's now named Howell.

Same great quality, different name.
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Hedley Lamarr
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Diamond Dan
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 07:15:56 pm »

 Have one that doesn't go to full cock on three of the chambers ; anyone give me a fix other than taking to a smith.  Thanks
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Raven
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 09:05:41 pm »

Diamond Dan,
If you are not a qualified Gunsmith unfortunatly the best answer is to take it to a qualified single action smith.
Not your local parts replacer or a smith who works on modern guns!
If you dead set on not taking it to a good smith you need to start at the beginning and trouble shoot your problem.
Question 1. does it have any problems with the original percussion cylinder ?
If it does not - the problem is not with the gun in it's self. It is also unlikely that the conversion cylinder is defective as they are made on CNC machinery = if there is a problem with the ratchet it probably effects the entire batch and R&D will be recalling them.
But the revolver may still need some timing adjustments to work well with the conversion cylinder.
Unfortunatly contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as no gunsmithing required.
The following steps are required to fit a new cylinder
1. Dissassemble the revolver
2. install the hammer and hand, and the trigger and conversion cylinder - no bolt or springs
3. Rotate the hammer to full cock and engage the trigger. Look through the bolt window to see if the bolt notch lines up with the window.
4. If the cylinder rotates past the window the hand must be shortened. If it does not rotate up to the window the hand must be lengthened.
5. Check that each bolt notch lines up in the window.
6. If the bolt notches line up in the window when the hammer is all the way to the rear but the trigger will not engage then the trigger is too long.
7. Make sure the bolt fits in each notch. If it needs to be narrowed narrow it on the side that is closest to the center of the gun - keep the sides parallel.
8. If the bolt is unlocking properly and the cylinder is rotateing to full battery and locks the cylinder without the trigger engaging the hammer = then the trigger is probably to long.
This covers the basic things that can cause your revolver not to engage at full cock.
Complete timing is much more envolved

As you can see it gets pretty envolved. There is a very good book by Jerry kuhnhausen on timeing single actions. With time and patience and a pile of spare bolts and hands you can teach yourself how to time and fix your revolver

Again I believe your best option is to have a qualified gunsmith resolve your problem. Many people have a distaste for gunsmiths as it is easy to CALL YOURSELF A GUNSMITH. You will notice that I have repeatedly used the phrase QUALIFIED GUNSMITH.

Send your revolver to the retailer you bought the converter from as their reputation rests on customer satisfaction.
I am the Kirst Company Gunsmith but if you need I would be happy to resolve your problem for you. Our cost for installation on an R&D type conversion is $65 + $20 return shipping and turn around time is under two weeks.

Raven
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Diamond Dan
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 08:01:21 am »

 Raven,Thanks for all the details; Its a project gun with short barrel and birds head type grip frame. Not sure if I'll atempt to work the cylinder or not. Thanks again Diamond Dan
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Cookie
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 09:03:53 am »

I just bought a pair of Howell cylinders from Midway. Actually I bought them one of at a time, and the second one was delayed over a week because of a shipping error. (Will never shop at Midway again, but that's another rant.)

I got them in .45 Colt for a Pietta NMA. They hold 6 rounds, and have a fluted cylinder design. They look sweet. I think of Pale Rider every time I load them. 'Course, in my case, it's "Round" Rider.  Grin

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.

Actually that's a funny / sad story - the RO must not have been paying attention, because he thought I finished the stage. Actually my gun jammed up on the last round. I was busy fiddling with it, and he told me to holster it, and move to the unloading table.

So, being a greenhorn, I did what I was told and went to the table with a loaded gun in my holster. The guy at the table pitched a fit, and wanted to give me a SDQ, but the RO said it was his fault and I didn't get penalized.  Roll Eyes
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Goody
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 03:16:31 pm »


So, being a greenhorn, I did what I was told and went to the table with a loaded gun in my holster. The guy at the table pitched a fit, and wanted to give me a SDQ, but the RO said it was his fault and I didn't get penalized.  Roll Eyes

Just a quick note. A round left in a pistol is a miss only, unless it resides under the hammer. Good on the RO for getting your back. But you should not be afraid to speak up on the line.
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willyboy
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 10:45:08 pm »

I just got mine back from Kenny himself. It took two months because my pistola was made in the '70's, and he had to dig up some old tooling, but the 'smithing was superb, the cost was less than forty dollars to have it hand fit by the maker...why go anywhere else?
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2011, 09:54:22 am »

I'm glad you had a good experience!
Many have not Sad
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Driftwood Johnson
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 01:00:19 pm »

Diamond Dan

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.

Quote
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.

Cookie

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.
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Thats bad business! How long do you think Id stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If hed pay me that much to stop robbing him, Id stop robbing him.

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Bishop Creek
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 11:28:34 pm »

I had cylinder pin grooves cut by a gunsmith and I find that they make a big difference. During one trial, I was able to fire nearly 100 rounds of .451 round balls from my Remington without binding by lubing the cylinder pin grooves with Lube 103 and by using a homemade beeswax wad pressed on top of 28 grains of Goex black powder below the lead ball. The lubed cylinder pin grooves worked nearly as well with my .45 Long Colt Kirst converter.

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Cookie
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 03:24:31 pm »

@Bishop - Nifty idea. The cylinder binding is the only issue I have with my Remingtons. Looks like you've got a pretty good solution here.
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