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?? About Altering 1860 Army from 44 Colt Inside lube (.429) to 44 Colt (Heeled)

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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!!

C. Note:
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.

Black River Smith:

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.


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.

C. Note:
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.


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