Author Topic: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?  (Read 1366 times)

Offline fortyshooter

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44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« on: September 27, 2023, 01:20:37 PM »
Hey guys has anyone taken the Uberti/Colt 1872 OT in .44 Special and made a conversion cylinder for .44-40?

Reason for me is I recently picked up a nice Winchester 1892 that was made in 1895 and chambered in 44.40. Shoots really well if you load a .430 bullet and wanted a companion SA revolver
for it. Looking at what I have in my collection is a Ruger Flat Top .44 Special which I can get a new cylinder made for it or my 1872 OT in 44 Special. I like the look of the OT as it closer to looking the period.  I do have a 38 Special cylinder for it which could be "possibly" chambered for 44-40. Looking at the measurments  the case dia. of a 44-40 is about .010 larger at base than a .44 Special which should still leave enough cylinder wall for strength of standard 44-40 loads. The case head diameter is about .010 larger than the 44-40 and I have a good .030 of room before the case head would stick out beyond the cylinder O.D.  Case head thickness is same so no issue there.  Cartridge OAL for 44.40 is 1.580 as I load them and the 44 Special cylinder OAL is 1.608 so if I use a tight crimp hopefully bullet jump would not lock it up with typical Cowboy Action loads.

What do you think?

Offline Abilene

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2023, 04:29:48 PM »
Springfield Slim reamed a 44 Spcl OT cylinder to 44-40.  If I recall, it wasn't perfect but was perfectly useable.  If he doesn't see this and chime in, you could send him a PM.

You might find some discussions about it, most likely on this STORM forum.

Offline fortyshooter

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2023, 07:00:16 PM »
Thanks! I have a small machine shop but the cost of the roughing and finish chamber reamer is over 300 bucks. Haven't a shop yet that can do the job using my 38 Special cylinder.

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #3 on: Today at 05:51:02 AM »

Offline RoyceP

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2023, 07:24:35 PM »
So I went the other way. My Uberti Cattleman is originally a 44 WCF gun. I bought a new cylinder chambered for 44 Special from Numrich. I think the new cylinder was $150 plus shipping.

Offline Abilene

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2023, 07:27:13 PM »
I think you can rent readers. See what Slim says

Offline Rube Burrows

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2023, 02:27:58 PM »
Hey guys has anyone taken the Uberti/Colt 1872 OT in .44 Special and made a conversion cylinder for .44-40?

Reason for me is I recently picked up a nice Winchester 1892 that was made in 1895 and chambered in 44.40. Shoots really well if you load a .430 bullet and wanted a companion SA revolver
for it. Looking at what I have in my collection is a Ruger Flat Top .44 Special which I can get a new cylinder made for it or my 1872 OT in 44 Special. I like the look of the OT as it closer to looking the period.  I do have a 38 Special cylinder for it which could be "possibly" chambered for 44-40. Looking at the measurments  the case dia. of a 44-40 is about .010 larger at base than a .44 Special which should still leave enough cylinder wall for strength of standard 44-40 loads. The case head diameter is about .010 larger than the 44-40 and I have a good .030 of room before the case head would stick out beyond the cylinder O.D.  Case head thickness is same so no issue there.  Cartridge OAL for 44.40 is 1.580 as I load them and the 44 Special cylinder OAL is 1.608 so if I use a tight crimp hopefully bullet jump would not lock it up with typical Cowboy Action loads.

What do you think?

Just saw one of your videos last night where you were shooting the 44 special. Great looking revolver.
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2023, 02:36:11 AM »
Thanks! I have a small machine shop but the cost of the roughing and finish chamber reamer is over 300 bucks. Haven't a shop yet that can do the job using my 38 Special cylinder.

My Good Forty

if you have your own machine shop, why not make your own "D" reemer?

should work fine for 6 chambers....

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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2023, 08:05:25 AM »

 :)  FORTY  ;)

The Open Top is proprietary to Uberti.  They (Uberti) are the only folks that make cylinders for the open top and only in commonly chambered cartridges, as .38 Special, 44 Special 44 Colt and 45 Schofield & 45 Colt. 

As was mentioned, Springfield Slim has re-chambered 44 Special cylinders to 44-40.  It is a tight fit for the case head but doable.  The easy(er) route is to rechamber a 44 Special cylinder.  All you would be cutting is the actual chamber.  Throating is hopefully already done.  Then you have the challenge of matching the chambering of the Open Top to the Chambering of the Rifle.  44 Special cylinders are usually available from VTI Gunparts or Taylors or Cimarron.

It's a very doable project.  Just throw Money at it!!   8)

Offline fortyshooter

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2023, 08:24:04 AM »
Thanks for the help guys but I have changed direction on this project.  I found a new Uberti Old Model 1873 6 shooter in .44-40 in the old original finish...call it aged 100 yr. look... that should go very well with my 128 yr. old Winchester 1892. Should be here next week.

Offline Hair Trigger Jim

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2023, 09:08:40 AM »
That sounds like a great combo!

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2023, 08:14:33 AM »

 :) Harrumpff  ;)

Piker  8)

Offline RRio

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2023, 04:28:33 AM »
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Offline FriscoCounty

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2023, 10:59:57 PM »
I have done it.  The problem is that the .44 Special cylinder is narrow.  There isn't a lot of tolerance for increasing the bore by .01" near the head and increasing the rim by 0.017".  I wound up having to tilt the reamer by a couple of degrees to keep the reamer from damaging the rachet. 

It was way back when Slim was doing it (we are in the same club) and I forget how much of a cant I had to do.  I wound up making a jig to hold the cylinder at the right angle, mounting the reamer in a drill press, and manually turning the reamer. 

The .44 Special cylinder is spec'ed for a rim of .518+.012, the .45 Colt .516+.012, and the .44-40 .535+.012. 
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 44 Special OT .44-40 conversion?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2023, 11:58:07 AM »
I have done it.  The problem is that the .44 Special cylinder is narrow.  There isn't a lot of tolerance for increasing the bore by .01" near the head and increasing the rim by 0.017".  I wound up having to tilt the reamer by a couple of degrees to keep the reamer from damaging the rachet. 

It was way back when Slim was doing it (we are in the same club) and I forget how much of a cant I had to do.  I wound up making a jig to hold the cylinder at the right angle, mounting the reamer in a drill press, and manually turning the reamer. 

The .44 Special cylinder is spec'ed for a rim of .518+.012, the .45 Colt .516+.012, and the .44-40 .535+.012.
The slightly angled chamber is how Howell Arms does their 6-shot 45 Colt drop-in cylinders to get 6 shots in them. It works good.

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