Author Topic: ?? About Altering 1860 Army from 44 Colt Inside lube (.429) to 44 Colt (Heeled)  (Read 875 times)

Offline C. Note

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Hello CAS Friends.....

This is for any gunsmiths.......

1) Is the rebated cylinder chambers on the currently made 1860 Army 44 Colt Conversions drilled through straight or on a slight
     angle, in relation to the bore? Are the chamber throats smaller in front for the Modern(.429 dia) 44Colt?

2) If chambers are straight and smaller, is it possible to have the chambers reamed out to accept the 44 Colt Outside Lubed heel based
     bullet of approx .451/.452 dia?

3) Can the barrel just be replaced with standard percussion barrel ofapprox .451/.452 groove diameter and everything work properly?

Thanks. I really want to use the Heel Based 44 Colt Cartridge. If there are better or just other options, please advise.

Jason
Sass 2029

Am already running a Remington in 38 Long Center Fire Outside Lubed.

Offline 45 Dragoon

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Why not just use 45C conversion cylinders? The bore is already correct.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com
Follow me on Instagram @goonsgunworks

Offline C. Note

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Because I am a no good, low down, sgraggly sheep herding purist, who wants to use original heel based .44 Colt ammunition,
like I do with my Remington Navy conversion, in 38 Long Center Fire Outside Lubed

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Offline Abilene

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Uberti factory conversions have the cylinders bored in a straight line, not at an angle.  Their cylinders are slightly larger than original and percussion cylinders to accomplish this and to have the .44 Spcl/Russian rims and 45 Colt rims fit. 

Uberti percussion barrels will not fit on the cartridge conversions.  You could buy a .45 Colt conversion barrel to put on a .44 conversion to get the bore you want.  I'm not sure what you would need to do with the cylinder as I've not messed with heeled cartridges.

Offline C. Note

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I guess what I want I will just have to have made. The cylinder chambers for the 44 Colt need to be bored straight through with a uniform diameter of the cartridge case. The O/S diameter of the bullet is the same as the case……for 44 Colt, the ogive is .451/.452 while the heel, which inserts into the case, is .429/.430.

I know everyone will say, Just use 45 Colt. Well, the guns were never chambered in 45 Colt and I am a purist, at heart.
Was hoping that I could ream the cylinder of a modern 44 Colt and install a percussion barrel, but I guess that won’t work.

Online Coffinmaker

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 :)  JASON  ;)

Your project is do-able.  Just not the way you want to do it.  The 1860 reproductions are ALL made for .45 Round ball (.451) and the barrels are so bored to match.  There are no .44 Colt cylinders being made.  Your only choice for an 1860 percussion conversion to 44 Colt would be a custom made cylinder (expensive).  You might want to talk to Walt Kirst about that.  Just throw money at it.

Next avenue would be to start with a Uberti Richards/Mason conversion in .44 Russian/Colt(modern)/Special.  Then have the Cylinder bored through for .44 Colt original.  I am unsure if the .45 barrel for the Uberti R/M conversion will retro to the .44 R/M Frame.  Again, Just throw money at it.

You may also want to talk to "Hoof Hearted" aka Gary Barnes about your desired result.  Understand first, there is no "reasonable" in "Conversion" so prior to seriously embarking on your pursuit, I suggest you take your broker to lunch.  Make it a really GOOD lunch.  Trying to be a Purist to over a century ago, gets real expensive.


People ARE hazardous to Yer Health!!


Offline C. Note

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Just called Taylor's parts dept......of course, answering service. Wanted to ask about the retro fit of the barrels. They offer both cals in their parts listing. Reaming the cylinder chambers and replacing the barrel would seem the least expensive route.

I have a Pietta 1860 Army percussion, that I am thinking of sending to Gary. I haven't yet talked to him about the project, but would
probably have to be a full-up custom job.

I have an older John Gren converted Remington (44 Russian) and an R&D converted Remington (38 Long CF Outside lubed)....both of these done back in the 1990s. I can finally make proper ammo for the 38 cal.

Would like a real 44 Colt.

Thanks for your insight.

Offline Black River Smith

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Jason..,

Lot of very good information already given.  I have thought this through after I bought the Richards Type II conversion in 44Spl and shoot 44 Spl, 44Colt and 44Russian in the same cylinder and barrel as is.  I am happy with that.

Now, here is the most direct solution to your problem and desire.  1st go buy the pistol you want in 45Colt.  Then buy a second cylinder in 44Spl.  Then bore it through 'by yourself', because most likely a gunsmith, justifiably wouldn't do it, because a 44Mag would fit in that finish cylinder.  Then load your heeled bullets and fire through the correct 0.454 bore.  Then when you are done having fun put the original 45Colt cylinder back into the pistol and sell it.  Destroy the bored out 44 cylinder because it is not legal to sell with the pistol.

Hope this helps you understand what you are desiring.  But it is a fair desire to have or want to experience.  But it must be made by you; for yourself; and then not sold to anyone else.  Because it becomes a (re)manufactured firearm and must be licensed with the ATF as such if sold.

Good luck.

PS -- this statement will self-destruct in two days.
Black River Smith

Offline Abilene

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I can't speak to the legalities that BRS mentions, but basically do what he said.  Yes, the .44 and .45 barrels are interchangeable on the 1860 Richards-Mason and the Type II Richards guns. (note if buying used: some of the earliest Richards Masons had a different barrel and cylinder which will not fit any of the later guns at all).  You could either buy the .44 Spcl gun, modify the cylinder and buy a new .45 barrel for it, but cylinders are a lot less expensive than barrels so better to do as BRS says and buy the .45 gun and a spare 44 Spcl cylinder to modify.

Offline C. Note

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I figured that could be done, as long as the chambers are straight. Hadn't given the notion to the 44 Mag cartridge, but if cylinder is chambered only for 44 Colt, then the mag case rims would not fit. But am sure some ambitious fool would figure a way to do it.....just because.

On Taylor's parts page, there is only a $50 difference between the barrel and the cylinder. Am currently looking at a couple of
"44 Colt" marked revolvers, as candidates.

Thanks for the ideas.

I was thinking possibly even a Kirst style, 2 pc gated cylinder, which could alleviate the worry about the longer mag cases. Though
not entirely "authentic", I could fill my wants, with such a set up.

I need to call Gary Barnes, as he mentioned he could discuss the possibilities.

Thanks to all y'all.

Offline Abilene

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The old Armi San Marcos cylinders were 44 Colt only, because they were same size as originals and therefore 44 Spcl or Russian rims would not fit.  But Uberti cylinders are all big enough for the larger rims.  Some earlier Uberti conversions had the cylinder which would only chamber 44 Russian or Colt, but that was due to the way the chamber was cut, not due to rim size.  Those could be reamed out to 44 Spcl.  Many conversions that were marked 44 Colt on the barrel had cylinders which would already chamber the Spcl, but people just liked to have a gun that said 44 Colt on the barrel.  Most of those cylinders would already chamber a 44 Spcl, but some needed to be reamed for the extra length.

Like Coffinmaker said, many things are possible with enough $$.

Offline Bunk

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Entering the world of heeled bullets is an adventure and takes some special crimping  dies.
Not inexpensive dies as a matter of fact,and there is not a big selection or sources of bullets unless you cast your own
Remember you are jumping back to late 1860's brass/copper case cartridge technology.
That is my experience, and experience is a hard teacher.
I am available for consultation
 Hold center
Bunk

Offline C. Note

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Hello Bunk,
Thanks for thereply.

Am familiar with the heel based bullet cartridges.

I have a Remington Navy conversion to 38 Long CF Outside lubed,that I load for. I've only had to buy the crimp die from Old West Bullet moulds.....Ibuy the bullets already made.  Will have to cast 44 Colt, but want to experiment with the ErasGone Johnston & Dow conical.

No big deal. If it were easy, everyone would do it. It's the Hard, that makes it great....and challenging.


 

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