Author Topic: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP  (Read 799 times)

Offline Long Johns Wolf

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Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« on: December 03, 2023, 05:38:42 AM »
Howdy from Germany,
Are these little 5-shooters SASS legal as main match pistols?
Are there any modifications required?
How about this semi-rimmed ammo?
Lead bullets are mandatory I assume.
Which loads are recommended?
Thanks,
Long Johns Wolf
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Offline Abilene

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2023, 12:50:30 PM »
There was a discussion on this on the SASS Wire a few years back.  I think it was determined to be not SASS legal.  I don't recall if it was because of the 380acp chambering not being a commonly available pistol caliber, unlike the 9mm, 45acp, and some other conversions that are legal.  Or it may have been because there is no provision for lowering the hammer between chambers, which would make it a 4-shooter (although that might be legal if you loaded the 5th on the clock - I don't recall).

Offline Johnson Barr

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2023, 03:07:09 PM »
  The .380 ACP cartridge is not 'semi-rimmed', you might be thinking of the .32 ACP which is semi-rimmed.

  I shoot one of these as a main match pistol at NCOWS matches. NCOWS allows 5-shooters if and when the hammer is down between cartridge rims. That being said, NCOWS does not allow .380 ACP cartridges. My 'work-around' was to use .38 Short Colt cases run through a .380 ACP sizer and loaded with APP powder and a .356 RNL cast bullet. This trick requires turning the short Colt case rim diameter down just a tad so that it will clear the 'extended' cylinder ratchet. It still has a pronounced rim and proper head stamp.

  Thinking back on the original SASS discussion; the bigger problem had to do with that crazy rule about 'smoke' volume. Not so much an issue with NCOWS. A case full of blackpowder is a case full of blackpowder. 
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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #3 on: Today at 10:56:47 PM »

Offline Long Johns Wolf

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2023, 10:08:11 AM »
Thanks, Gentlemen,
Your innfo helped me a lot.
Long Johns Wolf
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Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2023, 11:00:09 AM »
Mine is a total turd. I'd hate to know I had to defend myself with it.
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Offline Abilene

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2023, 11:57:04 AM »
Mine is a total turd. I'd hate to know I had to defend myself with it.
Can you elaborate?  I haven't heard too much positive nor negative about them.

Offline Cheyenne Logan

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2023, 04:46:34 PM »
My son, Cody has one........with the standard 6 inch barrel, it shot way high......the barrel was shortened to 3.5" and a new post sight installed (factory sight) and it shoots dead on.....wish they could import them with the correct barrel.  That 38 Colt work around answers my question of how hard would it be o convert to the proper cartridge, which isn't hard at all.

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2023, 04:51:27 PM »
Can you elaborate?  I haven't heard too much positive nor negative about them.

Hey Craig, I just cleaned out a clog in my septic system, so I'm adept at handling turds, you can send it my way!  ;D

Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2023, 11:05:46 PM »
Can you elaborate?  I haven't heard too much positive nor negative about them.
It doesn't carryup right, usually needs help. It unloads itself while I'm shooting it. Shoots about nine feet high. I think they were cut out and sewn up wrong.
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Offline Long Johns Wolf

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2023, 02:14:44 AM »
The pistol came from the factoy with the 3,5" barrel.
No problems at all shooting the little sucker with jacketed factory ammo at CAS distances up to 15 meters.
POA = POI using the factory front sight.
No issues with cartridges or empties blocking the cylinder.
Long Johns Wolf
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Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2023, 01:17:43 PM »
The pistol came from the factoy with the 3,5" barrel.
No problems at all shooting the little sucker with jacketed factory ammo at CAS distances up to 15 meters.
POA = POI using the factory front sight.
No issues with cartridges or empties blocking the cylinder.
Long Johns Wolf
They had to put the longer barrel on them to get through US import laws. Which is pretty dumb. They should have put an ejector and a gate on it.
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Offline Johnson Barr

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2023, 07:22:35 PM »
Open loading ports were quite common on pocket pistol conversions. Trick is not to point them to the sky while cocking the piece. Tilt the pistol below horizontal while cocking; Bob's yer Uncle. The original itty-bitty front sight is the 'shoots high' problem. My old eyes couldn't see the damn thing for shyte! I replaced it with a Pietta 1851 Navy cone sight from Dixie Gun Works. I also open-up the hammer notch to reveal the new front cone sight. I'll post some pics next week when I return home from my current road trip. 
The longer barrel was necessary to get it through the 'Saturday Night Special' importation bans. The ban is based on 'points' assigned to overall size, weight and modern cartridge (.380 ACP) chambering.  Same silly regulation that stopped Walther PPK importation. They created the PPKS; slightly longer grip and barrel length to pass the regulation.
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Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2023, 12:29:25 AM »
As I said, the problem with mine isn't unloading while cocking, it's unloading while shooting.
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Offline Johnson Barr

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2023, 09:08:22 AM »
  I have never shot anything but the modified .38 Short Colt cases and blackpowder in mine. My friend Bryan tried factory .380 and suffered the the same live round auto eject. On closer inspection he found that factory charges caused the hammer to bounce back slightly under recoil. The 'bounce' caused the hand to rotate the the cylinder just enough to line up the loading port and pop the round of the next loaded chamber out during recoil. Possibly the issue stems from the use of a arbor end recoil spring. Uberti did a not so good trick in that where the end of the arbor that the wedge passes through is tapered and does not contact the barrel arbor hole snugly. My guess is that they tried to use this loose tapered fit along with the small coil spring between the bottom of the barrel arbor hole and the end of the tapered arbor to act as a sort 'shock absorber' to stop the hammer bounce/cylinder rotation problem. I discarded the 'bounce spring' and shimmed the arbor hole for proper frame to barrel lug fitment. Then tigged 4 small spots around the tapered arbor end and stoned them to get a nice no wiggle fit to the barrel arbor hole. 
  Bryan went with the .38 Short Colt case modification and used a reduced .380 ACP smokeless powder charge. This combination seemed to stop the 'hammer bounce/auto eject' problem. He made no changes to the Uberti arbor end spring assembly.

 
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Offline Abilene

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2023, 05:49:38 PM »
Johnson Barr, excellent description, thanks.

Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Colt 1865 Pocket Navy Conversion .380 ACP
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2023, 06:56:26 PM »
I think the spring is Uberti's cheap attempt at a short arbor "fix". I've done one one of these for a local customer.  Of course I removed the spring and installed a proper spacer for the arbor to contact. He says it shoots well with no problems.
  Funny how the manufacturer seems to not understand the item they've been producing for so long. The "spring"  is definitely no fix, a wedge under tension is  ( rigid frame) .  .  . 

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