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H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

Cap and Ball conversion, the other way around.

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A random thought occurred to me this morning.   Would it not be interesting if there was a "reverse conversion" cylinder that you could drop into a Colt or a Ruger and use it cap and ball style every once in a while?

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I'm trying to imagine how that would even work with with a firing pin on hammer nose or in frame.  How to transfer blow to a percussion cap?

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

I'm trying to imagine how that would even work with with a firing pin on hammer nose or in frame.  How to transfer blow to a percussion cap?

 

Maybe instead of traditional nipples and caps there'd be a recess that you drop a pistol primer into?

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Take a look at the Uberti 1873 Percussion, which is what you're thinking about.  It says the cylinders are not interchangeable with 45 Colt cylinders, but that could be because of the hammer.  There may be other internal part differences.

 

BTW, if I read it right, the 1873 Percussion is not allowed in SASS Frontiersman (percussion) categories.

1873 Percussion.JPG

Edited by Diamond Jake

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2 minutes ago, Diamond Jake said:

Take a look at the Uberti 1873 Percussion, which is what you're thinking about.  It says the cylinders are not interchangeable with 45 Colt cylinders, but that could be because of the hammer.  There may be other internal part differences.

 

BTW, if I read it right, the 1873 Percussion is not allowed in SASS Frontiersman (percussion) categories.

 

You are correct about the allowance in Frontiersman. There are other differences that would preclude changing to a 45 caliber cartridge firing gun. These guns have a different frame size to combat this specifically.

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18 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Maybe instead of traditional nipples and caps there'd be a recess that you drop a pistol primer into?

 

I had a concept in mind to design a "modern" cap and ball revolver for use as self defense in places were cartridge handguns are prohibited.  I figured take a large frame stainless double action. (Ruger Redhawk like.)   Make a cylinder that would take 209 primers. Use some kind of packaged projectile and solid black powder propellant.  Maybe could eject the spent 209 primers.  Maybe not. Stuff from the front of cylinder. 

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2 minutes ago, Goody, SASS #26190 said:

 

You are correct about the allowance in Frontiersman. There are other differences that would preclude changing to a 45 caliber cartridge firing gun. These guns have a different frame size to combat this specifically.

 

I bet a lot of the sales of this gun go to countries that don't allow people to buy cartridge guns without significant infringement.  Hence the requirement to make it basically impossible to convert.

 

I really meant to get one of these in your hands, if possible, and take a good look at what they did to make it work.  If you have the machinery/tools to convert a cylinder of the right size, you may be able to just switch hammers and cylinders.

 

The tough part would be enclosing the rear of the cylinder strong enough to withstand the pressures, and allow the cones to be screwed in.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

I had a concept in mind to design a "modern" cap and ball revolver for use as self defense in places were cartridge handguns are prohibited.  I figured take a large frame stainless double action. (Ruger Redhawk like.)   Make a cylinder that would take 209 primers. Use some kind of packaged projectile and solid black powder propellant.  Maybe could eject the spent 209 primers.  Maybe not. Stuff from the front of cylinder. 

 

Personally, I'd just get an 1860 Snubnose "Avenging Angel" with birdshead grip.  

 

But the engineering challenge is fun to think about.  It sure would be a unique gun.

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22 minutes ago, Diamond Jake said:

 

Personally, I'd just get an 1860 Snubnose "Avenging Angel" with birdshead grip.  

 

But the engineering challenge is fun to think about.  It sure would be a unique gun.

 

1706771884_Pietta51Yany44Jan2020.jpg.ba78874061b2f435e89dab5171e52aeb.jpg

 

I have this Dixie Gun Works Pietta Yank 44.  But it takes an experienced cap gun shooter to reload.  My concept "modern" gun would be far faster to reload without tools.  

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8 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

1706771884_Pietta51Yany44Jan2020.jpg.ba78874061b2f435e89dab5171e52aeb.jpg

 

I have this Dixie Gun Works Pietta Yank 44.  But it takes an experienced cap gun shooter to reload.  My concept "modern" gun would be far faster to reload without tools.  

 

That looks nice.  How much does that sucker weigh?

 

I'd think the biggest issue in actual use for reloading is the tool you'd need to ram down the ball.  Last weekend I was shooting an old H&R double action 22; the cylinder removed quickly by pulling the cylinder pin with no tools.  But once the cylinder is out, how do you reload it without carrying a loading jig with rammer?

 

 

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Here is a concept (not a design):  Take a spare cylinder, say 357 size and turn off part of the chamber end, leaving the ratchet.  Fabricate a ring that would fit on the cylinder similar to the way a Kirst Conversion cylinder works, but with pockets “chambered” for 209 caps or pistol primers.  The adaptor ring would have “plugs” sized to fit into each cylinder just enough to keep it lined up properly and to compress the B P charge slightly.
 

To load you would drop a coated ball into the six chambers (ball sized to be stopped by the cylinder throat).  Then place the capped adaptor ring on the cylinder and hand compress the charge. 
 

To speed load carry additional pre-capped adaptor rings and a powder measure with six spouts like they used to have with the early cased Colt Pattersons.

 

Like I said this is just a concept, but the more I think about it, it might even work!
 

 

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And when you get all finished converting a cartridge firing gun to a cap and ball, what do you have? A revolver that may or may not be legal for use in SASS due to external mods. Even if deemed legal it would not be legal in frontiersman, leaving you to compete with it in the regular, cartridge firing categories. Where you could have just fired it with cartridges filled with BP to begin with. Seems like a tremendous waste of time to me. But what the hell, it's your time not mine, so have at it.

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There once was a fellow CAS shooter in the UK (Palidin UK) whom built some special BP cylinders to run with pistol primers instead of Caps.  I don't specifically remember, but those may well have been two piece cylinders.  One of those "Was There Done That" sort of things.

 

I personally prefer my Convertible Convertible Cap Guns.  I have built several Conversions on Pietta Cap Gun frames that will switch back and fourth between Suppository Cylinders and Percussion cylinders in about 8 seconds.

 

Easiest way to reload the above Pietta "Yank" 44 Snubbie is with a spare cylinder.  Reloading the Percussion cylinder "on the gun" is a Royal PITA.

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I remember reading somewhere that in England there are many who convert C&B to shoot smokeless. Some quirk in their laws allows that or something, as long as it is still a front stuffer. 

 

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To me the idea is more for the novelty of it than anything else.   I have no idea if such a conversion would be wind up being smokeless capable, or if it'd be a black power required thing.  That above pictured cap and ball 73 is certainly along the lines of what I was thinking of.   I figure that the Peacemaker and the Ruger are popular for a reason, one of them is the shape and size of the grip.  Most of your cap and ball guns out there are slightly different in that area.  

The idea of being able to drop a C&B Conversion cylinder into such a gun, or even something like a S&W New Model 3, is mostly a though experiment.  I had not considered if it would be allowable in various BP categories.  I just thought it would be something fun to shoot.

 

Lots of interesting possibilities mentioned above.  Looks like I'm not the only one who has thought of it.

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2 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

I had a concept in mind to design a "modern" cap and ball revolver for use as self defense in places were cartridge handguns are prohibited.  I figured take a large frame stainless double action. (Ruger Redhawk like.)   Make a cylinder that would take 209 primers. Use some kind of packaged projectile and solid black powder propellant.  Maybe could eject the spent 209 primers.  Maybe not. Stuff from the front of cylinder. 

01bfa33c11844d56f4400f1403453997_m.jpg.89d0f4d6fb0e391dcc157a4bdd7a0d3f.jpgHere's the paper cartridges I'm making for my 1860 Army.  it includes ball, powder and lube, everything that goes in the front in one piece, just drop in, ram, cap and shoot.  since this gun came to me without a front sight and pieces missing from the loading lever retention system, I think I'm going to cut it down to 4.5 inches.  I have an idea for a modification to the loading lever so I can install and remove it without tools so I can carry a full sized loading lever with my reloads and not have it sticking off the end of a shorter barreled gun when I'm carrying it.

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1 hour ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

Here is a concept (not a design):  

...To load you would drop a coated ball into the six chambers (ball sized to be stopped by the cylinder throat).  Then place the capped adaptor ring on the cylinder and hand compress the charge. ..
 

 

 

My biggest concern isn't compressing the powder charge, but pressing the ball into the chamber with a tight enough fit to shave a ring of lead off the ball to get a tight seal.  This seal is necessary for both accuracy and to prevent chain fires.  BP cylinders are straight drilled with no "throat".  If you kept the throat, then after the ball gets forced into the chamber, if it reaches the larger diameter section of the chamber, the seal would be gone and hot gasses would leak around the ball, causing leading and/or chain fires.

 

(Sorry about that last run-on sentence.  Try diagramming that sucker!)

 

PS:  Oh, you mean load it from the rear of the cylinder!  That makes more sense.  You'd just have to be sure to use the right powder charge.

Edited by Diamond Jake
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This is quite the thought provoker!  Love it.

 

Thinking of the design of my cartridge conversion cylinder, the plate at the back of the cylinder works because the brass cartridge acts like a seal and keep the gasses from leaving the rear of the chamber and escaping through the seam between the main cylinder and the plate.  I think you would need something like a very short cartridge base to both hold the primer and provide the seal.

 

The loading process would be:

1) remove cylinder and plate from gun

2) remove old primer bases

3) drop in ball/bullet from rear of cylinder

4) load powder

5) insert brass "primer base" with primer pre-inserted

6) Put plate on back of cylinder

7) Press plate to compress charge and seal rear of cylinder

8)Put loaded cylinder back into revolver

 

 

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1 hour ago, Goody, SASS #26190 said:

And when you get all finished converting a cartridge firing gun to a cap and ball, what do you have? A revolver that may or may not be legal for use in SASS due to external mods. Even if deemed legal it would not be legal in frontiersman, leaving you to compete with it in the regular, cartridge firing categories. Where you could have just fired it with cartridges filled with BP to begin with. Seems like a tremendous waste of time to me. But what the hell, it's your time not mine, so have at it.

 

I don't see where any of this brain storming would lead to a gun approved for SASS competition.  

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56 minutes ago, El CupAJoe said:

I have an idea for a modification to the loading lever so I can install and remove it without tools so I can carry a full sized loading lever with my reloads and not have it sticking off the end of a shorter barreled gun when I'm carrying it.

a long barreled 1851 would be even easier, the only modification required to carry a loading lever would be to drill out the threaded side of the screw hole that attaches the loading lever to the frame and carry a quick release pin on a lanyard attached to your loading lever.  cut your barrel to the length you want, retain the loading lever separate with your reloads and it could be a nice little carry piece.  paper cartridges are the way people used these things back in the Civil war anyway, very convenient for reloading and carrying around if you can properly store them.

 

El CupAJoe

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Just now, El CupAJoe said:

paper cartridges are the way people used these things back in the Civil war anyway, very convenient for reloading and carrying around if you can properly store them.

I have a write up about how I made mine over on the reloader's network if you want to see my variation, otherwise, there are a plethora of vids on the tube showing how it's done.

 

El CupAJoe

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im not following why one would not just buy a 51-60-58 to use with your 73 when you want BP , but then i often miss the reason someone asks such a question , 

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8 hours ago, watab kid said:

im not following why one would not just buy a 51-60-58 to use with your 73 when you want BP , but then i often miss the reason someone asks such a question , 

 

The 51-60-58 are all nice guns.

 

I just thought it might be "nifty" to have a cap and ball 73.

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On 9/14/2020 at 9:13 AM, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

Here is a concept (not a design):  Take a spare cylinder, say 357 size and turn off part of the chamber end, leaving the ratchet.  Fabricate a ring that would fit on the cylinder similar to the way a Kirst Conversion cylinder works, but with pockets “chambered” for 209 caps or pistol primers.  The adaptor ring would have “plugs” sized to fit into each cylinder just enough to keep it lined up properly and to compress the B P charge slightly.
 

To load you would drop a coated ball into the six chambers (ball sized to be stopped by the cylinder throat).  Then place the capped adaptor ring on the cylinder and hand compress the charge. 
 

To speed load carry additional pre-capped adaptor rings and a powder measure with six spouts like they used to have with the early cased Colt Pattersons.

 

Like I said this is just a concept, but the more I think about it, it might even work!
 

 

 

Basically, that's what these gents in the U.K. do

http://www.westlakeengineering.com/products/

 

hth

prof marvel

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Posted (edited)

I can’t imagine why this would be a good idea for any reason. Proven, well made, and reliable reproductions of original percussion revolvers are in production.  If you want a cap gun, one of those are the way to go.  If that does not tickle your fancy, buy one of the ruger cap guns of one the peace maker cap guns already mentioned.    
 

Also, the idea of converting a cartridge gun into a cap gun for use in areas where cartridge guns are not legal does not make sense for a number of reasons.  First issue, if you can’t legally buy it how are you going to get it to convert? Second, once a gun has been manufactured and sold as a hand gun, it will still legally be a handgun after you convert it to cap and ball.  So, it could not legally be sold into an area where cartridge guns are not legal even after it had been converted.  Third,  for many legal purposes and in many jurisdictions, a cap gun is treated as a fire arm.  This is especially true when it is used and you go to court where state and local laws trump federal firearms laws. 

 

Honesly, why would this be a good idea?
 

 

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188

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