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Rube Burrows

1851 Conversion or 1860 Conversion

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Like the title says, I am wanting to get a pair of Conversion revolvers because I love the look of the cap and ball pistols and even have a couple that I enjoy shooting. I am kicking around the idea of either the 1851 or 1860 conversions and would love to hear the pros and cons of them. 

 

If you have them or had them what did you like about them? What did you not like? 

 

These will have to be ordered in my area and I have not been able to get out to a match in a while so I am not able to try them out first. I know that is the best way but I just want input and I will decide from there. 

 

I have a pair of 1851 Navies that I like. I have never shot the 1860 or even the 61. 

 

Thanks in advance as I am sure this has been asked before but I could not located it in the search. 

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Depends on whether you have large or small hands.  The 1860 grip frame is larger while the ‘51 and ‘61 frames are the same size as the 1873 Colt grip frame. 
 

I have all three models and prefer my 1861 Navies with Richard Mason conversions to .38 spl.  The ‘60 Armies’ grip frame is uncomfortable for my hands.

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My experience is based on drop-in cylinder conversions.  The .44 to .45 Colt work pretty well since the bore diameters are very close.  For the same reason,  a .32 S&W Long conversion of a .31 cal c&b revolver works pretty well.  I have not worked with a .36 to .38 Special conversion but understand that hollowbase bullets are required to fill the larger .36 bore.

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Posted (edited)

I don't have big hands. I like the fit of the 51 and the 73. I have never tried the 1860 though. I think I like the 1851 Richards Mason conversion like in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma. Those have the loading gate on them which would be nice. 

 

Does anyone make a current 1861 Conversion? I don't see it on Taylor's or Cimarron's site unless I am overlooking it. Or would that just be a conversion cylinder? 

 

 

Edited by Rube Burrows

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As was previously stated, the '51's have a grip frame similar to the 1873 Colt single action.  The '60's have a larger grip.  While I have both, and shoot both, but...if I had to choose, I would go with the '51.  I shoot .38 long Colt in mine, and not .38 special, but one could shoot both, and even .38 short Colt.  Also, the '60's have an 8 inch barrel, and the '51's have a 7 1/2 inch barrel, so you have to take that into consideration.  Recoil is lighter, too, obviously, with the '51.  I reload with 3F black powder, and have not used smokeless in mine, but many choose to do that, and that is fine. 

My vote would be for the '51. 

 

My Two Bits.

W.K.

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1 hour ago, Rube Burrows said:

....Does anyone make a current 1861 Conversion? I don't see it on Taylor's or Cimarron's site unless I am overlooking it. Or would that just be a conversion cylinder? 

 

 

No, Uberti has never made a '61 conversion....OR HAVE THEY?  Ever since Uberti started chambering the 1860 Richards-Mason, and later the 1860 Type II, in .38 special, they have used the '51 frame and cylinder (non-rebated) along with the 1860 barrel and Army grip.  The 1861 has the same barrel profile as the 1860.  Therefore, if you buy a Type II in .38 and change the grip to Navy, you have created a '61 Type II conversion!

DSC04500small.jpg

DSC04504small.jpg

 

Otherwise, you could put a Kirst Konverter in a '61.  That is what this next one is, along with the Kirst ejector.  This gun has not had the barrel relined, but with my regular smokeless .38's it has shot about 5 matches with no misses.

ShoulderStockScrewMod-3.jpg

 

Now, if you happen to like octagonal barrels, your best choice is the '51 Richards-Mason in .38.  Otherwise you'd have to buy a "reb .44" and a conversion cylinder.

 

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I had a pair of 1860 replica Colt Army C&B revolvers when I first got into this sport about 9 years ago. I purchased Howell 45 Colt conversion cylinders for them. The pros were they were very cool looking, smooth, and fun to shoot. The cons were they were kind of a pain to load and unload. You had to be very careful of the cartridge OAL as the cylinders were on the short side and if the bullet tip was ever so slightly past the end it would bind on the barrel. I loaded and shot 45 Schofield in them because of that issue. Lastly the firing pin heads mushroom with the amount of shooting we do, which can cause misfires. Although I purchased hardened firing pins they would still mushroom, albeit not as fast, but you needed to check and maintain them after every shoot. For some fun and a change of pace once in awhile they are a lot of fun. As your standard CAS pistol not so much. I ended up eventually trading them in for a set of Uberti 1876 Cattleman in 45 Colt.

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14 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 

No, Uberti has never made a '61 conversion....OR HAVE THEY?  Ever since Uberti started chambering the 1860 Richards-Mason, and later the 1860 Type II, in .38 special, they have used the '51 frame and cylinder (non-rebated) along with the 1860 barrel and Army grip.  The 1861 has the same barrel profile as the 1860.  Therefore, if you buy a Type II in .38 and change the grip to Navy, you have created a '61 Type II conversion!

DSC04500small.jpg

DSC04504small.jpg

 

Otherwise, you could put a Kirst Konverter in a '61.  That is what this next one is, along with the Kirst ejector.  This gun has not had the barrel relined, but with my regular smokeless .38's it has shot about 5 matches with no misses.

ShoulderStockScrewMod-3.jpg

 

Now, if you happen to like octagonal barrels, your best choice is the '51 Richards-Mason in .38.  Otherwise you'd have to buy a "reb .44" and a conversion cylinder.

 

Thanks for the run down and photos. Always better to see different ones as I am reading. 

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I have been shooting a pair of 7.5 inch 1872 open tops and 1860 conversions for a long time (the 72s since they came out).  They point like nothing else and I really enjoy them, especially if I shoot one handed.  I know some folks have had issues with soft firing pins but mine have had no issues.  I would encourage you to try some different models and see what feels good to you.

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72 Open tops are def. on my list. Thanks. 

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