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Cartidge Conversions prior to 1868

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I was watching The Last Stand at Sabre River (great movie by the way) a few weeks ago which takes place in 1865. In one of the opening scenes a local family gunsmith explains to a cowpuncher how they modified his Colt to be a "custom made precision firearm" by "altering the hammer/cylinder installing a side ejector rod to punch out the empty shells."

My questions is this: would un-official cartridge conversions be available this early by various gunsmiths with the right know how or were such modifications not widespread until the Thuer style or later Richard-Mason conversions of 1868(ish) to 1871?

Follow up question: Are there any sources that show that cartridge conversions would have been done this early?

Being a movie I appreciated that they explained why most of the actors were using cartridge guns in 1865 even if I had to suspend disbelief due to historical accuracy.


Reverend P. Babcock Chase:
Howdy Citadel,

Just a guess, but maybe converted to shoot the Henry rimfire round.

Rev. Chase

Dave T:

--- Quote from: Reverend P. Babcock Chase on October 27, 2021, 01:16:30 PM ---Howdy Citadel,

Just a guess, but maybe converted to shoot the Henry rimfire round.

Rev. Chase

--- End quote ---

That's about the only way it would work.  The idea a "custom gunsmith" could modify a gun to his own design begs the question: where is he or his customer going to come up with ammo, or even brass?



Both good points, this is a fun one to ponder for me even if it is highly unlikely.

I would imagine using the .44 rimfire used in the Henry would pretty much limit conversion choices to the 1860 Army or possibly the Dragoon. I would assume that if this was done at all it would have started in the Eastern side of the US to accommodate the ammo/brass supply issue. 

Now you've got to go rewatch the movie while looking for a clear view of any ammo to see if centerfire or not.  ;D


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