Author Topic: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!  (Read 21481 times)

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2020, 12:47:28 PM »
That would work great on a 5-stage press.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #61 on: January 15, 2020, 10:51:13 AM »
Just received word that the next run of 1851 .38 LC Konverters are in production.  Should have the second one, and get the 4" 1851 converted by the end of the month.  Then the test will begin!!!!
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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #62 on: January 15, 2020, 10:59:13 AM »
Tuolumne,
this is a great thread. Following it with interest.
I know Oklahoma Tom and Johnson Barr use crimp dies in various calibers for heeled bullets, so I've been curious about a How-To for .38 Long Cot in C&B revolvers.

Thanks for presenting this information.

RCJ
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #63 on: January 15, 2020, 11:09:29 AM »
Thanks!  I was never a fan of heeled bullets until I got Bernie's (OWBM) .38 long Colt crimp die.  It is amazing, and heeled bullets are cool.  I paint some LEE Alox lube in the groove and bearing surface and let it dry.  Makes me wish I had a .44 Colt that uses heeled bullets.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #64 on: January 15, 2020, 03:48:41 PM »
That crimp die does sound mighty cool. I don't have anything that could use heeled bullets or I'd have one, too. Mebbe I'll have to think about another conversion one of these days.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2020, 09:56:44 PM »
Update:  Finally should be back on track.  The one Kirst cylinder I had had an out of spec chamber that was splitting cases.  I sent it back to Walt.  He advised that from the date code, it was a very old stock from a prior machinist that he had briefly subcontracted to, that regularly had QC problems.  Somehow this one had missed the recall and scrap heap.

Well, production of the 1851 Konverters has now caught up, and two sets (one for the 7.5" and one for the 4") are on the way.  I have modified both 1851s with loading channels, and fit the ejector to the 7.5".  I will have to modify the ejector for the 4" as it is a little too long for the 4" barrel.

Ammo is loaded up, both HBWC and Bear Creek 140 grn heeled.  One cylinder has the new .357" throat, and the other has the optional .375" for heeled.  I am going to see if there is any difference in accuracy with hollow base coming from either cylinder. 

Cylinders should be here tomorrow (Monday).  Pics soon.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2020, 11:52:08 PM »
Looking forward to your progress.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2020, 10:25:26 PM »
All set and ready to go for the range test.  It will not be for another week, though, as I am flying back east to meet my son at Gettysburg, PA for a 5 day father/son vacation there and Washington DC.I used to be a Civil War re-enactor, and have been to a number of battlefields (Lookout Mountain, Pea Ridge, and Vicksburg).  Gettysburg, though, is the holy grail.  It is to a Civil War re-enactor what the Vatican is to a Catholic school boy!  He is a fire chief, and is attending the National Fire Academy (the equivalent of the LEO's FBI National Academy for fire chief officers).  He bought my ticket and booked the rooms.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #68 on: March 09, 2020, 12:05:46 AM »
Go have a great time. That's real history, there.  8)

Looking forward to your test results, too.

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Offline Major 2

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2020, 11:55:49 AM »
I too was CW Reenactor ( mounted Cavalry) Gettysburg is indeed the epidemy.

I've been many times , lived there 6 months while filming "Gettysburg"  (another 6 in Hagerstown Md. filming "Gods & Generals" )
several reenactments the 118th  120th 125th and 130th. and several day trips with the boss lady.
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2020, 03:09:35 PM »
I am having to hit pause on the project.  I am in the high risk category (67+ with Leukemia and Asthma), so I am hunkered down at home per California governor's order.  In addition both local range's have now shut down be the governor's order.

I am set to go, with a wide assortment of hollow base wadcutters loaded in .38 Long Colt cases, and have both a long and short barrel 1851 converted with Kirst Konverters. They Konverters were out of stock until last month, but I was able to convert the second 1851 when it came in. After finally finishing the conversions the test was then delayed, however, by my moving to a new house and a trip to Washington DC and Gettysburg.

Here are the two Kirst Konverted guns:  I still need to modify the 4" barrel's ejector as it is too long.
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
CO. F, 12th Illinois Cavalry  SASS # 6127 Life * Spencer Shooting Society #43 * Motherlode Shootist Society #1 * River City Regulators

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2020, 03:28:18 PM »
Thanks for the update. Stay in and stay healthy.

I suspected the virus business was putting a damper on this project. It's good that you have it all ready to go for after things settle down.

Looking forward to seeing how you shorten the ejector on the 4" one.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #72 on: April 25, 2020, 01:10:28 PM »
Shortening the ejector is a challenge.  I may just try to find a 4.5" Sheriff barrel for it if I keep it.  I also wish it had either a standard 1851 grip or the Birds head Thunderer grip instead of the Pinkerton one it has.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #73 on: April 25, 2020, 01:27:21 PM »
What about just going without an ejector? You can push the casings out with a stick or plastic zip tie.

Years ago I had a Single Six with a grip that had been bobbed off much like the Pinkerton grip. It certainly wasn't all that comfortable. I can see what you mean about a Thunderer or Navy grip. Is it cost effective to get a Thunderer backstrap and grips?

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #74 on: April 25, 2020, 01:38:26 PM »
VTI doesn't carry the Pinkerton, and a standard grip and back strap run about $80.  If I keep it when I finish the article, I may go that route with a 7.5" barrel  to have a pair of 7.5s.  I have to admit that the 7.5" 1851 is even sleeker than the 1860 Saber River.  I do say, though, that my current main match pair are hard to beat.

My .44/45 pair



my .36/.38 pair

TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2020, 01:57:47 PM »
All set and ready to go for the range test.  It will not be for another week, though, as I am flying back east to meet my son at Gettysburg, PA for a 5 day father/son vacation there and Washington DC.I used to be a Civil War re-enactor, and have been to a number of battlefields (Lookout Mountain, Pea Ridge, and Vicksburg).  Gettysburg, though, is the holy grail.  It is to a Civil War re-enactor what the Vatican is to a Catholic school boy!  He is a fire chief, and is attending the National Fire Academy (the equivalent of the LEO's FBI National Academy for fire chief officers).  He bought my ticket and booked the rooms.

Update:  Gettysburg was an amazing place.  Truly hallowed ground, with the spirits of the past just below the surface.  We stood on top of Little Round Top one evening looking out over the Devils Den and Peach Orchard, and the next evening on top of Cemetery Ridge looking over the killing field where Pickett's ill fated charge occurred.  It was an ethereal experience in both cases.

Covid Virus reared its ugly head, though, and all of the museums in Washington DC (our next stop) closed our last day in Gettysburg.  We did the monuments in the national mall, but cut our trip short as they started cancelling flights.  Good thing, too, as it got really weird really fast!
TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #76 on: April 25, 2020, 05:35:15 PM »
A 7-1/2" bbl certainly makes a nicely balanced iron. With the $80 grip switch, it definitely would make a good second pistol. Maybe with the barrel cut down to 6-1/2" just to be different? That would also get rid of the loading lever catch on the bottom of the barrel.

Glad to hear you got as much historical site visiting in as you did before things went awry. Glad you got while the getting was good.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #77 on: July 28, 2020, 10:36:52 AM »
This is the text of the email I sent to the participants in the project.  It is not confidential, and I consider the hive here  resource/sounding board.  No surprises except splitting cases on the heeled bullet loads, apparently do to my using an excessive crimp.

After months of COVID delay. I finally did a range day within the .38 Colt Konversions. All shooting was done free standing, using a Weaver stance.  Range was 7 yards, typical SASS revolver target range.

Summary:

1)  Black Hills factory .38 Colt. .357," 150 solid base RN: From both a 4" and a 7.5" .375 bore gave minute of dinner plate accuracy, with ALL bullets key-holing and tumbling through the targets at 7 yards.  Useless for practical purposes in BP revolvers with .375" bore converted with centerfire cylinder, regardless of whether the cylinder has a .357" or .375" throat.

2) Black Hills factory .38 Special 148 HBWC.  From the 7.5 " with the .357" throated cylinder did a 3.5" group, and from the same revolver with the .375" throated cylinder did a little better at 3".

3).  Bear Creek 140 grain .375" heeled bullets over 3.7 grains Trail Boss, crimped with OWBM's heel bullet crimp in Black Hills .38 Colt cases.  These cases split (no other cases in test split), but I attribute that to my using too severe a heel bullet crimp.  The rupture started where the wrinkle in the crimp occurred.  The same powder charge with a 148 grain HBW set forward 1/4" in the same .38 Colt case did not rupture.  Groups were 1.75" to 3.0" from the test gun, with the 4" EMF 1851 giving the best group.

4) 148 grain HBW set forward 1/4" in the same .38 Colt case, with 3.7 grains Trail Boss gave 2" from the 7.5" barrel using the .357" throated cylinder, and 2.5" when using the .375" throated cylinder.

5) 148 grain HBW set forward 1/4" in the same .38 Colt case, with 3.3 grains of Unique gave 4" from the 7.5" barrel using the .357" throated cylinder, and 3.0" when using the .375" throated cylinder.

6). Several other powders were tried (WW231, Bullseye) and gave results essentially the same as Unique

A) In ALL cases, whether from .357" or .375" throat Kirst cylinder, Hollow Base  Wadcutters seemed to obdurate into the .375" bore to give as good of accuracy (or bretter in some cases) than the 140 grain .375" heeled bullet.  Groups were consistent and the holes cut crisp and round, with no evidence of tumbling or keyholing.

B) Barrel length (4.0" or 7.5") did not seem to have any effect on this obduration.

C) The hollow base loads, while not quite as accurate as the 140 grain .375" heeled loads, were certainly accurate enough for SASS use.

D) The tests show that hollow base bullets work well in both .357 and .375" bore revolvers.

E) (FOR JEFF) The expense of commercially loading .375" heeled bullets is prohibitive, and appeals to the somewhat limited market share of converted revolver shooters. OIn the other hand, the 150 grain, hollow base round nose bullet (of the original 1892 Army loading of the .38 Colt produced into the 1960s) would be attractive  to both SASS shooters shooting .357" bore revolvers and SASS shooters shooting .375" bore conversion revolvers.

F). (FOR WALT) There was no consistent difference in accuracy from the `.357" throated cylinders to the .375" throated ones.  It would be easier to simply produce all the cylinders with the .375", rather than in .357" with the .375" being special order.  The production being in .357" eliminates traditional shooters )like myself) that may load the original style heeled bullets.




TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #78 on: July 28, 2020, 10:59:48 AM »
Thanks for the great summation. That's very useful information.

Since RNHB bullets work well in either .375 or .357 bores, those would  be the way to go for a commercial load. I know I would choose those to reload for them.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: The Black Hills / Kirst / EMF .38 Colt ammunition project begins!
« Reply #79 on: August 17, 2020, 05:05:23 PM »
Sent the .357" throated cylinder back to Walt to change for a .375 so I can shoot heeled bullets from both.  Sort of made up my mind to switch to my .38 Colts as main match pistols for awhile. I am kinda goofy over the 140 grain heeled bullets... they look so....old timey!

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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