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Uberti Thuer conversion


Abilene, SASS # 27489

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Rye Miles posted a topic about the new Guns of the Old West magazine and how they featured the Thuer conversion.  Then Sedalia Dave posted a Lost Guns episode on an 1849 Colt with the Thuer conversion.  If you are not familiar with the Thuer then you should watch that video.  I'll post that again at the end of this post.

About 20 years ago Uberti made a handful of Thuers, very few actually.  Well, Cimarron has one of them.  For a time there was a consideration for Uberti to put it into production, but it never happened. Too niche, I guess.  But Cimarron took the Thuer to a couple of Shot Shows.  They didn't have it on display, but I showed it to a couple people.  I also was able to take some pics of the parts for those who might be interested.

The ring is rotated to the Fire position to shoot the rimless tapered cartridges.  Then it is rotated to the Eject position to eject them one at a time out the right side.  The right side of the barrel underlug area has been relieved to provide clearance for the loading and ejection of the cartridges.  You can see that in the pics. The Uberti gun had 6 pieces of brass and a loading tool.  I was able to insert the brass into the cylinder and then eject it by dropping the hammer and shooting the brass out the side.  Kind of neat, actually.

 

The '49 Thuer in the video has a ring that is different and has a spring loaded feature on the rotating ring that is not on the '60.  I am assuming that the Uberti version is true to the Colt design.  I can't imagine going to that much trouble to machine all those parts and then change it.  In the video Ian says the second position on the conversion ring is like a snap cap and is for resting the hammer on a fully loaded cylinder.  That may be, but it still must have a way to eject the brass, but he didn't mention that.  The Uberti Thuer looks like it could be put halfway between F and E and it would then the hammer would be down on an empty hole to make it safe for carrying six.  I didn't really check that out back then.

BTW, there's a 'smith that markets a Kirst cylinder with a rotating ring that he calls a Thuer.  It looks like a Thuer but bears little other resemblance since it is a regular breech loading cylinder.  I think when rotated it makes it safe to carry six.

 

So for those interested, here's the Uberti:

 

UbertiThuer1.jpg

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UbertiThuer6.jpg

UbertiThuer7.jpg

UbertiThuer8.jpg

UbertiThuer9.jpg

Thuer.jpg

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That is a very interesting gun.  The Thuer was a very creative attempt to get around Rollin White’s patent for the bored through cylinder, but once that expired it was (with good reason) abandoned.  It is very cool that Uberti made one.  I doubt uberti would have sold many if they had gone into production.  

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At the 3:45 mark Ian states that the Thure conversion needed a set of tool to seat loaded rounds and remove spent cartridges.

 

Here is a picture of an actual Thuer cartridge

 

36 COLT THEUR-img-0

 

36 COLT THEUR-img-1

 

Couldn't find a pic of the cylinder loading and unloading tools.

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Very interesting post. Thank you. 

The ideas, and concepts, and possible solutions to problems, that exist, whether temporary, or more permanent, is always fascinating. 

 

Looking at it, it doesn't seem to really beat the old paper cartridge, in that, the paper cartridge system doesn't have any brass to try to remove.

With paper cartridges, and with some practice, one can reload a percussion revolver almost, if not faster, than a single action cartridge revolver, since one has no brass empty cartridges to eject, before reloading.

It did address the problem of loading six in the cylinder, instead of five, unlike the later cartridge Colt's and Remington's, and Smith & Wesson's, and others. 

Also, just like the old early Colt Paterson's, and early Colt's with no loading lever, one has to disassemble the firearm to reload.

Add to the fact that you have a specialty bullet design, that you can't use in any other type of firearm.

 

But give the inventor of this an "A" for creativity, and for a unique way to get around Roland White's patent.

It was "a solution", and it did work...mostly. Keeping the bullet in place, in the cylinder, under recoil, is a concern. 

 

  

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29 minutes ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

Very interesting post. Thank you. 

The ideas, and concepts, and possible solutions to problems, that exist, whether temporary, or more permanent, is always fascinating. 

 

Looking at it, it doesn't seem to really beat the old paper cartridge, in that, the paper cartridge system doesn't have any brass to try to remove.

With paper cartridges, and with some practice, one can reload a percussion revolver almost, if not faster, than a single action cartridge revolver, since one has no brass empty cartridges to eject, before reloading.

It did address the problem of loading six in the cylinder, instead of five, unlike the later cartridge Colt's and Remington's, and Smith & Wesson's, and others. 

Also, just like the old early Colt Paterson's, and early Colt's with no loading lever, one has to disassemble the firearm to reload.

Add to the fact that you have a specialty bullet design, that you can't use in any other type of firearm.

 

But give the inventor of this an "A" for creativity, and for a unique way to get around Roland White's patent.

It was "a solution", and it did work...mostly. Keeping the bullet in place, in the cylinder, under recoil, is a concern. 

 

  

yeah, I looked around the internet and it seems that only the pocket models didn't retain the loading lever for this conversion(similar to how some pocket C&B's also didn't have loading levers).  I think it's pretty cool as an almost direct replacement for a paper cartridge, you improve the durability of your ammunition at a cost of now having to do something to get the brass out of your gun after you fire.  I think if ammo durability wasn't an issue for me, back in the day I'd stick to paper cartridges.  

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Just now, El CupAJoe said:

yeah, I looked around the internet and it seems that only the pocket models didn't retain the loading lever for this conversion(similar to how some pocket C&B's also didn't have loading levers).  I think it's pretty cool as an almost direct replacement for a paper cartridge, you improve the durability of your ammunition at a cost of now having to do something to get the brass out of your gun after you fire.  I think if ammo durability wasn't an issue for me, back in the day I'd stick to paper cartridges.  

although if I was rolling my own, a reusable brass case might be preferable to sourcing nitrided paper, but then again, I could always load loose powder until I found another stock or made a stock of nitrided paper...

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If one goes to say Lowe's, or Home Depot, and buys some stump remover, it is pure potassium nitride (read the label on the container, to make sure it is pure 100% potassium nitride. Some are not quite 100%). 

I buy the old cheap brown, large round coffee filters. I put some water in a plastic container (with a lid), and add the powdered stump remover, stir it up, and then add in, one a time, the coffee filters, and let them soak for a while. Then I take them out of the solution, and hang them up to dry.

When dry, I take them down, and cut them up.  

Bingo...you have made your own nitride papers for combustible cartridges. 

The solution, you mixed up, will dry out, and re-crystalize, and you can use it again.

 

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24 minutes ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

If one goes to say Lowe's, or Home Depot, and buys some stump remover, it is pure potassium nitride (read the label on the container, to make sure it is pure 100% potassium nitride. Some are not quite 100%). 

I buy the old cheap brown, large round coffee filters. I put some water in a plastic container (with a lid), and add the powdered stump remover, stir it up, and then add in, one a time, the coffee filters, and let them soak for a while. Then I take them out of the solution, and hang them up to dry.

When dry, I take them down, and cut them up.  

Bingo...you have made your own nitride papers for combustible cartridges. 

The solution, you mixed up, will dry out, and re-crystalize, and you can use it again.

 

this is exactly what I do, I was more pondering what I would have done back in the day, I don't see Lowe's or Home Depot in old timey photographs, not sure if nitrided paper or the components to make it would be available outside of industrial centers and if it would be a prolific commodity on the frontier.

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On 2/26/2021 at 9:48 AM, Long Johns Wolf said:

A few pics loading a Centaure 1960 New Model Army Thuer and shooting a Uberti Colt 1860 Army Thuer (sorry, no video).

Long Johns Wolf

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That's cool, thanks.  So you can confirm that the cartridge is held in with friction?  I'm guessing you used the loading lever for that and not the tools mentioned.  Did you have any problems with them coming forward under recoil? 

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Yes, the case of the cartridge is held by friction.

You load the conical contoured cartridge like you load a paper cartridge using the loading lever.

A few more pics incl. targets engaged with the Centaure (3-screw frame) and the Uberti (4-screw frame).

Long Johns Wolf

 

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Incidentally, the conical Thuer cases were made from .44 Mag empties.

Some (comparative) views of the C&B and the Thuer cylinder of the Centaure

Long Johns Wolf

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If you are really interested on how the Thuer conversion tools looked liked and work look in McDowells book on Colt conversions there is a whole chapter.

I managed to download a copy to my computer years ago but do not know how to share it with others.

Your Welcome Charlie

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