Author Topic: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question  (Read 3044 times)

Offline Rube Burrows

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1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« on: March 18, 2023, 09:57:02 AM »
My first pair of conversions are a pair of 1851 RM Conversions in .38 with 7.5" barrels.

I then picked up a pair of 1872 Open Tops with 5.5" barrels in 45 Colt. I find the Open Tops to be so light and handy with the 45 hole in the barrel taking out a lot of the weight.

I then picked up a pair of 1851 RM Conversion in .38 with 5.5" Barrels. They are very nice in the hand and shoot pretty good too. They are noticably heavier than the 72 Open Tops, having a lot more metal in the barrel section.



I have really been wanting to add a brace of 1860 Colts to my collection but I am unsettled on if I want the 8" or 5.5" first.
I have never had any 1860s for some reason so I am not personally familar with the Army grip but they seem like they would feel great.

The 8" guns look great from the pics I see. Sometimes when I see photos of the 5.5" they look disproportionate so my main question is as follows; Those that have the 5.5" barrel version of the 1860 Conversions....... Does the gun feel ballanced and proportionate?

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Offline DeaconKC

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 06:38:55 PM »
I've got 5 1/2 and 4 5/8 45 Colt RMs, and I love the way they handle. The shorter barrels are much easier handling when re-holstering the guns on  a stage. I have XXL paws and really like the way the Army grips fit my hands, the Navy size grips just a little small feeling to me. I regularly switch Navy grips for the Army size grip.
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Offline Rube Burrows

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2023, 09:07:09 AM »
I've got 5 1/2 and 4 5/8 45 Colt RMs, and I love the way they handle. The shorter barrels are much easier handling when re-holstering the guns on  a stage. I have XXL paws and really like the way the Army grips fit my hands, the Navy size grips just a little small feeling to me. I regularly switch Navy grips for the Army size grip.

Thanks DeaconKC. I am leaning towards my first pair of 1860s to be 5.5".
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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #3 on: Today at 07:12:52 AM »

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2023, 09:46:32 AM »

 :)  Hi guys  ;)  :D

Please allow me to jump (LEAP) in on this one.  Pretty Please!!  I am a "Conversions" kind-0-guy.  In fact, ALL of my match Suppository Guns are conversions.  Well, accept for my Open Top Chameleons.  Anyway:

I don't care for Navy pattern grips.  For anything.  ALL my guns have the Army pattern grips for a better gripping (swell pun hey).  Since ALL Pietta Cap Guns are built on the 1851 basic frame (as are Colt .36+), the grip swap was super easy.

I don't care for long(er) barrels.  Never met a barrel too short as it twer.  My conversions are .45s on Pietta guns.  Post conversion, I cut the barrels to the same length as the Ejector Housing (Kirst Konverter) which results in a 4 1/4 inch barrel.  The balance of this combination is superb.  Most wonderful.

At one time I owned a pair of really nice .38 1851 factory conversions (Uberti) even though I don't like Uberti.  Barrels cut to the Ejector Housing naturally.  those guns also balanced superbly.  I would still have them but I have migrated to all .45s and I find my 45 conversions have slight better balance.

The difference in weight between an 1860 Conversion Barrel and an 1851 Conversion barrel is academic.  Same same within an ounce or two.  Balance is also same same although I find the balance of a larger 45 bore to balance a mite better.  YMMV

Same same applies to Uberti built conversions in the various barrel lengths.  I haven't looked at the offerings from Cimarron lately, but Cimarron use to offer the Uberti conversions in 4 3/4, 5 1/2 and 7 1/2 inch barrels.  ALL of mine are a tad shorter than 4 3/4, but Say-Laa-Vee.  Fun comes in many different packages!!

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Offline Rube Burrows

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2023, 11:06:02 AM »
:)  Hi guys  ;)  :D

Please allow me to jump (LEAP) in on this one.  Pretty Please!!  I am a "Conversions" kind-0-guy.  In fact, ALL of my match Suppository Guns are conversions.  Well, accept for my Open Top Chameleons.  Anyway:

I don't care for Navy pattern grips.  For anything.  ALL my guns have the Army pattern grips for a better gripping (swell pun hey).  Since ALL Pietta Cap Guns are built on the 1851 basic frame (as are Colt .36+), the grip swap was super easy.

I don't care for long(er) barrels.  Never met a barrel too short as it twer.  My conversions are .45s on Pietta guns.  Post conversion, I cut the barrels to the same length as the Ejector Housing (Kirst Konverter) which results in a 4 1/4 inch barrel.  The balance of this combination is superb.  Most wonderful.

At one time I owned a pair of really nice .38 1851 factory conversions (Uberti) even though I don't like Uberti.  Barrels cut to the Ejector Housing naturally.  those guns also balanced superbly.  I would still have them but I have migrated to all .45s and I find my 45 conversions have slight better balance.

The difference in weight between an 1860 Conversion Barrel and an 1851 Conversion barrel is academic.  Same same within an ounce or two.  Balance is also same same although I find the balance of a larger 45 bore to balance a mite better.  YMMV

Same same applies to Uberti built conversions in the various barrel lengths.  I haven't looked at the offerings from Cimarron lately, but Cimarron use to offer the Uberti conversions in 4 3/4, 5 1/2 and 7 1/2 inch barrels.  ALL of mine are a tad shorter than 4 3/4, but Say-Laa-Vee.  Fun comes in many different packages!!

Remember:  People ARE hazardous to Yer Health!!

I'm a 45 guy also. Thanks for the info on your conversions. I personally have seemed to have settled on the 5.5" length as my favorite. Of course I have a few Rugers with the 4 5/8" barrels and those are nice but I love the conversion guns more than the Ruger/1873 style.
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2023, 08:55:01 AM »

 :) ALSO  ;)

When it comes to my conversions, at my age, it's not necessarily how well you shoot, but how GOOD YOU LOOK doing it  8)

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2023, 11:16:06 AM »
I'm a 45 guy also. Thanks for the info on your conversions. I personally have seemed to have settled on the 5.5" length as my favorite. Of course I have a few Rugers with the 4 5/8" barrels and those are nice but I love the conversion guns more than the Ruger/1873 style.
This is a good choice, especially if you are going to do some CAS matches. 5.5 balances well and is easy to move quickly from target to target. 8" is the coolest looking and fun to shoot but for a match, maybe not quite as quick. Shorter is great for maneuverability and speed on the clock but (my personal opinion, here, and probably just my childhood Western movie indoctrination showing through) they loose something aesthetically. At CAS distances, any length is accurate enough.

Looking forward to seeing what you get. AND seeing the leather you make for them. ;D

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Offline Rube Burrows

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2023, 05:18:05 PM »
This is a good choice, especially if you are going to do some CAS matches. 5.5 balances well and is easy to move quickly from target to target. 8" is the coolest looking and fun to shoot but for a match, maybe not quite as quick. Shorter is great for maneuverability and speed on the clock but (my personal opinion, here, and probably just my childhood Western movie indoctrination showing through) they loose something aesthetically. At CAS distances, any length is accurate enough.

Looking forward to seeing what you get. AND seeing the leather you make for them. ;D

Thanks Marshal. You know I will be making something for them to ride in once I ever get a pair.
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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2023, 06:21:54 PM »
Thanks Marshal. You know I will be making something for them to ride in once I ever get a pair.
Outstanding!

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Offline Abilene

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2023, 10:37:23 PM »
Well now, balance and especially aesthectics are both highly subjective, so ya gotta go with what you like.  I have had and still have some 7 1/2" guns, both SAA and conversions, but I shoot the shorter barreled conversions more.  Yes, because quicker to handle for CAS.  In fact, my smokeless main match guns now are 4 3/4" '51 conversions.  But I do love the look of the 5 1/2" guns.  But then, my hands are small and so I like Navy grips and trade army grips for Navy.  IMO (again, subjective), shorter barrels with Army grips don't look quite so good.  As for '60's, I like the look of the Richards more than the Richards-Masons due to the barrel shape.  You seem to prefer a .45 for the '60, so this wouldn't affect you, but both the Richards and R-M '60's from Uberti that are in .38 are actually '51 frames and cylinders with Army grips and barrel.  I took advantage of that to change a '60 Richards to a '61 Richards by simply changing to Navy grip.  I also changed a .44 Richards grip to Navy, which isn't authentic but I don't care and the originals could have been changed as well if someone preferred the Navy.  I know longer barrels were much more common, but that's okay.  I do like the aesthetics of the 5.5" Richards.  And yeah, if you get a Richards vs a R-M '60 then you will HAVE to make new leather since the barrel probably won't fit in anything else you have.  But hey, no problem for a leather worker!  :)

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2023, 11:17:21 PM »
Abilene, I must say that those 4-3/4" barrels do look good with the Navy grips. I like both Army and Navy grips and those do look tempting.

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Offline Abilene

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2023, 11:26:31 PM »
Abilene, I must say that those 4-3/4" barrels do look good with the Navy grips. I like both Army and Navy grips and those do look tempting.
Marshall, those are the 5 1/2" Richards.  These are the 4 3/4" '51 R-Ms:

Offline RRio

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2023, 06:34:15 AM »
Abilene, I must say that those 4-3/4" barrels do look good with the Navy grips.

Yes they do.
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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2023, 06:37:51 AM »
Marshall, those are the 5 1/2" Richards.  These are the 4 3/4" '51 R-Ms:

Abilene, did you strip the finish off, or did that come in the "white"?
                               
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Offline Abilene

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2023, 08:18:21 AM »
nickle. 

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2023, 08:44:06 AM »
Thanks Marshal. You know I will be making something for them to ride in once I ever get a pair.
You can send any "prototypes" or "test models" to DeaconKC's Home for unwanted holsters. They will be loved and fondled... ::)
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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2023, 09:04:47 AM »
Marshall, those are the 5 1/2" Richards.  These are the 4 3/4" '51 R-Ms:
Ah, mighty nice there, too.

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Offline Rube Burrows

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2023, 09:05:56 AM »
Well now, balance and especially aesthectics are both highly subjective, so ya gotta go with what you like.  I have had and still have some 7 1/2" guns, both SAA and conversions, but I shoot the shorter barreled conversions more.  Yes, because quicker to handle for CAS.  In fact, my smokeless main match guns now are 4 3/4" '51 conversions.  But I do love the look of the 5 1/2" guns.  But then, my hands are small and so I like Navy grips and trade army grips for Navy.  IMO (again, subjective), shorter barrels with Army grips don't look quite so good.  As for '60's, I like the look of the Richards more than the Richards-Masons due to the barrel shape.  You seem to prefer a .45 for the '60, so this wouldn't affect you, but both the Richards and R-M '60's from Uberti that are in .38 are actually '51 frames and cylinders with Army grips and barrel.  I took advantage of that to change a '60 Richards to a '61 Richards by simply changing to Navy grip.  I also changed a .44 Richards grip to Navy, which isn't authentic but I don't care and the originals could have been changed as well if someone preferred the Navy.  I know longer barrels were much more common, but that's okay.  I do like the aesthetics of the 5.5" Richards.  And yeah, if you get a Richards vs a R-M '60 then you will HAVE to make new leather since the barrel probably won't fit in anything else you have.  But hey, no problem for a leather worker!  :)

Thank you for the information. Yeah, I would def want to get them in 45 because I have four 1851 RM Conversions all in .38.

Those pics your posted are very beautiful revolvers. Like the white grips on yours also.

I will have to study more on the differences between the Richards and Richards-Mason 1860s.
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Offline Rube Burrows

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2023, 09:14:03 AM »
You can send any "prototypes" or "test models" to DeaconKC's Home for unwanted holsters. They will be loved and fondled... ::)

 ;)
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Offline Abilene

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Re: 1860 Vs 1851 Conversion Question
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2023, 02:16:53 PM »

Those pics your posted are very beautiful revolvers. Like the white grips on yours also.

I will have to study more on the differences between the Richards and Richards-Mason 1860s.
The grips are "'magnatusk" from Arizona Custom Grips on ebay.

The 1860 Richards and R-M's are identical except for the barrel and ejector assemblies (except the ones in .38 as noted above).  The R-M barrels are similar to the '51 R-M except being round.

 

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