Author Topic: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update  (Read 2124 times)

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My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« on: July 19, 2018, 11:24:32 pm »
Well..... I bought a 5.5" PIETTA 1851 IN .44 during the Cabela's blow out sale as a Kirst Konverter platform.  I contacted Walt, got a 5 shot 1860 Gated Konverter (which fits the .44 Caliber 1851), and an 1851 ejector rod assembly.  My thought was to have something "A little different" to pair up with my Uberti 1860 Colt Type II Richards.  Life is good.  I figured I would cut the loading channel myself, since I did it once, 12 or 15 years ago on both an 1860 and an 1858 for Kirst Gated Konverters.

I put the Konverter in and it actually indexed perfectly right off the bat. Then the problem surfaced.  I loaded the cylinder with 5 .45 Schofield empty cartridges, and I could not get the wedge in even a little.  After much fussing, I found the clearance between cylinder face and back plate was .010" too close to allow the rims to fit.  Not only did that prevent the barrel from from seating enough to set the wedge, it moved the indexing star forward, .010" away from the hand.  That made the hand hit the face of the star.  Even Milling .010" off the front of the cylinder (not too terrible) would not fix the problem because the indexing star is too far forward.

I got ahold of Walt, and his 100%, no BS guarantee kicked in.  I sent the Konverter and the pistol back to him.  He confirmed my assessment 100%, and on further checking discovered the subcontracted machine shop had apparently messed up that particular clearance on this entire batch.  He is working with Gary (Hoof Hearted) on a fix, but Gary just moved to new digs, and hasn't set up the shop yet.

Hopefully they can get it sorted out.  The two Konverters I had before were drop in and worked 100% right out of the box.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
CO. F, 12th Illinois Cavalry  SASS # 6127 Life * Spencer Shooting Society #43 * Motherlode Shootist Society #1 * River City Regulators

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 04:18:44 pm »
Update! ;D

Got the 1851 back from Walt.  Stuck five primed Schofield cases in it, and it worked great and timed perfectly.  Because of the problem surfacing, Walt is arranging a different machine shop and assembly procedure with tighter (no pun intended) quality Control.  He guarantees, that the problem was taken care of with the new production. 

I have used Kirst Konverters before  about 10-12 years ago, in 1860s and 1858s.  They worked perfect.  He is no longer associated with fabricator who let the dimensions vary.

Now I need to cut the channel for the loading gate.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
CO. F, 12th Illinois Cavalry  SASS # 6127 Life * Spencer Shooting Society #43 * Motherlode Shootist Society #1 * River City Regulators

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 11:05:11 am »
Teaser!

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update LOTS OF PICTURES!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 11:17:48 am »
Started with 1851 .44 caliber Pietta Sheriff model.



Added Kirst gated .45 Konverter and 1851 ejector rod



Took a dremel and seven 5/8" emory drums



Centered it on the loading gate's hole for the cartridge, and keep grinding out.  It could be done with 4 or 5 if you used them up, but I switched as soon as I noticed the grinding slowed.



Notched the bottom of the ejector to give the wedge retention spring a place to catch the barrel



Checked clearance regularly as I grindded.



Touched everything up with cold blue





Then had a happy ending!

« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 09:42:12 am by Tuolumne Lawman »
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Offline Abilene

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 11:49:07 am »
Cool!  When ya gonna shoot it?

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 12:39:47 pm »

Yeah!!  What Abilene Said   :D   When ya Gonna SHOOT it  8)

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 03:00:20 pm »
Shot it this morning when I sighted in my newly built 7.62x39 AR15 at the local range.  The 1851 is a hoot.  Windage is great, but at 25 yards in is 24" high at least!  I think I will install a front sight blade from an 1872 Open top if I still have it.  That itty bitty brass bead on the barrel is a dismal front sight.  VERY COOL, though!

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
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Offline Abilene

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 04:59:22 pm »
Uberti started putting taller brass posts on the '51 conversions a few years ago.  My earlier two sets of them had the little nub front sights but the 4 3/4" barrel I recently put on one of them has the taller sight.  It measures .19", might be able to fit one of those to a Pietta?  Don't think it will bring it down 24" though!  :)

Offline Tornado

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 07:41:09 am »
Great job TL.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 07:41:28 pm »

I pull ALL those little itty bitty "nubs" off my '51 barrels and dovetail in some nice blade (I make my own) front sights I can see.  I also open up the minuscule "v" in the hammer nose.  The OEM sights may be correct to model but they SUCK!!

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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 08:13:50 pm »
Took the new girl to the local match and put her through the paces.  Zero misses (though one popper didn't quite go down). and no functioning problems, and timing was perfect.  It raised a lot of eyebrows, and everyone thought it was a really neat little gun.  ALMOST makes me want to replace the Richards with an 7.5 in barrel 1851 with a Kirst, but it would be more expensive than buying the Richards Type II~ 

Besides, I shoot the Richards Type II really well. At the match, on one stage I shot a soup can at 25 yards with the second shot!  VERY few of the "fast gunners" could hit it.  You had to hit the can before engaging the close in poppers.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2018, 09:47:13 pm »
Wow, I took it to pattern it.  It shoots 7-8" high at 10 yards!  :o  I really need to replace that tiny brass point with a blade.
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Re: My 1851 .44 Pietta/Kirst update
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2019, 10:13:04 pm »
In retrospect, thought I should mention some thoughts on the 1851 with either a Kirst or R&D cylinders.  Since they are black powder firearms, it is best to shoot black powder cartridges, or maybe light Trail Boss loads.  My 6.0 grains of Trail boss is probably on the high side for a Pietta open top BP conversion.  While in my Uberti cartridge conversion 1860 (beefier than the Pietta), I have no qualms with that 6.0 grain TB load, I think when converting the open top Piettas, back down.  In a solid frame Remington, I see no problem with the 6.0 grains, though.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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