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Modern Cylinder in Old Revolver


H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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Interesting question! I would think the frame and barrel would be the problem.

 

I'm no gunsmith but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express this summer for one night!:P

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factory or cowboy ammo?  

 

a bullet that’ll leave the muzzle at 1150 fps is hitting that forcing cone a lot harder than one meant to only reach 700 fps

 

This is interesting to me ‘cause I’d like to get a cartridge conversion done to a Uberti Dragoon sometime.

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17 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

No, you have to remember the barrel is not made for smokeless 

OLG 

Agreed.  It's all about the total gun's metallurgy.  That stress runs through the entire firearm.

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OP, you’re better off converting that BP era SAA to cash.  Then converting that cash to a smokeLess era SAA.

 

Guys, so are modern italian cap & balls strong enough to do smokeless cartridge conversions or are they only being run with BP cartridges?

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Modern production Cap And Ball revolvers are strong enough for smokeless cartridge conversion and can be run with standard SAMMI standard ammunition.  Many of us whom shoot Cap Gun conversions stick with BP and Subs 'cause it's fun.  The guns can and do run just fine with reasonable smokeless loading.  the exception to this are the Percussion guns made with BRASS frames.  Conversion is NOT recommended in Brass Frame guns.

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It would be only Cowboy loads.

That being said, the assertion that the steel on the rest of the gun is not up to the rigors of smokeless makes perfect sense to me.

Like I said, this was purely speculation.   I've no plans to do it.  And the gun in question that I own will only get black powder.

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The early 1st generations were not built with good steels.  They also have smaller cylinders and are very thin at the bottom of the bolt notches.  An 1876 manufactured SAA I have is so thin that over the last 144 years, the bolt clicking into the slot actually hammered a flat spot visible on the inside of each chamber.  
 

You can buy (at great cost) properly dimensioned 1st generation cylinders made of 4140 steel, or you could fit a later cylinder.  In either case, the frame will still be relatively soft and would not suffer smokeless loads. I would recommend sticking with BP.

 

 I have some early guns that I shoot occasionally, but always with bp.  My pal Hangtown Frye shot cas for years using an original cavalry model and an original artillery model (which he got from me!).  It used to freak people out when they realized what they were!  But, that was before the modern era, when the sport was not so hard on guns.  
 

In my opinion, the early colts are worth too much money to risk. If you want one you can really use, I would recommend buying one of the recent production guns.  They have excellent steels, are beautifully made, and are a joy to shoot.  

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7 hours ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

 

In my opinion, the early colts are worth too much money to risk. If you want one you can really use, I would recommend buying one of the recent production guns.  They have excellent steels, are beautifully made, and are a joy to shoot.  

 

Not this one...

 

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Howdy Pards

 

I concur with previous posts that a new cylinder in a black powder frame is NOT RECOMMENDED! 
 

Howsomeever, yrs back at one of our Cowboy matches, a shooter had a Colt SAA of 1890’s vintage with a brand new cylinder from Colt. You bet it looked funny: bright blue cylinder in a time-weathered frame.  It shot okay  and got thru the match.  Having read these comments I recognize that it would have been healthier to keep a considerable distance between myself and the shooter.

 

Suspect the arrangement would work just fine with Holy Black loads.

 

Just my $0.02.

 

Adios 

 

Fort Reno Kid 

 

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8 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Not this one...

 

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Now I gotta ask:  Wha happened?

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According to the dealer I bought it from, it was part of an estate collection.   It had been given a "bad chrome refinish," and was therefore sold for 500 bucks.  I assume the grips just got old.

I have shot it with black powder a couple of times, and in spite it being very ugly, it is in excellent mechanical condition and an honest shooter.   I recently asked in another thread 

 if people thought it was a good restoration candidate.   [That pic in the link is someone else's gun.  I don't know why it is pictured instead of mine, which is posted before this.]  I know doing so would cost money I'd never get back, but that wasn't the point of asking.

 

Anyway, regardless of whatever I do wind up doing, or not doing, with the pistol, it's not for sale.  I will shoot it from time to time.  As to if I leave it ugly, do a simple or a complete restoration remains to be seen.   

The cylinder question was really one of curiosity more than anything else.   It does occur to me that while such a new cylinder may not make the gun smokeless safe, it might still be generically "more safe" than the vintage one.   Time shall tell what happens next.

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This is not the same thing, because my well worn 1st gen was made in 1901 and is proofed for smokeless, but it also has a replacement cylinder ( Smith Enterprises I was told).  I bought it as a shooter, it is a 7 1/2" 45 Colt but left the factory as a 4 3/4" 38-40.  I shoot it at least twice a year, both smokeless and BP, often with my brother's 1915 long-flute 32-20.  I've got a couple thousand rounds through it now, and it will always be worth more than I paid for it.

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I had a 1902 Colt Bisley in .32 WCF.  I have owned four original Winchester 1873s and several 19th century shotguns.  Learned to download everything.  Learned that my preference is the .32-20, over the. 38-40 and larger since is uses less powder and has more metal around chambers and bores.

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I had a 1875 Remington that I bought 35 years ago that had a Uberti Cylinder fitted to it along with the Uberti ejector rod housing.  I had to have the barrel set back and the bore looked like a sewage pipe, but with factory loads it seemed to shoot fine the handful of times I shot the gun.  As I got older, I got more aware of mortality and more importantly pain.  Not wanting to shorten the first or experience the second. the gun was retired and sold to someone that wanted it more than I.

 

Before about 1892 guns were made of steel that was closer in composition to iron.  No way I would fire a gun like that today.  You just need to spend more money to get a better gun, if you can't do that . . .wait.

 

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