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The things one will do to get a SASS type gun in a specific caliber.


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I am going to speak in general terms, but will reveal the specifics once the operation is complete.

 

When I first started in this game, I figured my "go to" caliber would wind up being .44 Special.   I had a Rossi 92 in .44 Magnum, and I figured I could run specials in it.  All I needed to find was a couple of pistols.

Easier said than done, of course, which is why my normal "go to" caliber is .45 Colt, although I do dabble in other calibers from time to time as well. 

I also found that for some reason, my Rossi didn't like Specials very much, but by then I'd learn to understand the concept of "downloading" and it runs Magnums just fine.  Over the years I acquired a real Winchester 92 that had been rebarreled to .44 Magnum, a couple of revolvers, and a Mare's Leg.   I also found a few revolvers in .44 Special.

 

But I could never find a RIFLE in .44 Special to allow me to use the caliber in a complete battery.   Yeah, I do sometimes mix and match calibers, but I at least want to be ABLE to use the cartridge in everything.  I know that guns in the caliber exist, I did see a 73 in it once, but the timing was bad and I could not then afford it.

Now, combine this desire to have .44 Special rifle and too it my well known affection for the Colt Lightning and reproductions thereof.  I decided that was what I wanted.  A Lighting in .44 Special.   But, no such animal exists.  So, I did a very logical, or illogical depending on your opinion of all of this, thing.   I called a certain gunsmith whom I shall name and praise when the project is complete because I am that confident that he will get it done to my satisfaction.  [You can guess who if you want, but I won't say until it's done.]  I asked him if it would be possible to rebarrel an existing Lighting clone to .44 Special.   He said it was possible.   Find one in .45 Colt and that would be the perfect one to use.   He also recommended that I get a Taurus.  Since he'd have to do some action work anyway, may as well go that route.  Made sense to me, and I was able to get one for far less than one made by someone else would have cost.

 

Anyway, the rifle is on its way to him now, and once he is done, I'll have a fully functional Lightning in .44 Special.   No idea what kind of a timetable we are looking at, and I am in no hurry.   I know it'll cost more than a few dollars, but it's gonna be fun.

What other extraordinary steps have some of you taken to get a particular gun in some unusual configuration just because you wanted to have one that way?

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I’ve always wanted a Lightning in 38-40 so I found a very reasonably priced Pedersoli Lightning in .45 Colt with a damaged barrel. I took the old barrel off and ordered another barrel from Taylor’s and company and drilled it out and installed a Redman liner in 38-40. All I need to do now is sand the barrel and blue it and it’s done.

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I wanted a M92 in 32-20  Used ones didn’t fit my wallet.  Ordered a Rossi in 38 Spl and now have a full functional 32-20

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I really wanted a Marlin 1894 in 45ACP.  But... I remember reading an article back in the 1980s in Guns & Ammo, (maybe?), about just such a conversion.  As I recall, the takeaway was, it's doable, but they found extraction and ejection problematic.  It worked, "most" of the time, but that didn't meet my criteria.  I wanted reliable.  Since I was shooting Cowboy 45 Specials in my SAAs, why not do that instead?  I found a late 70s Marlin that looked like it'd spent a few decades living in a creek with a guy that had given up on his project, (converting it to 45 Colt, and had already had the 24" 45Colt Cowboy bbl).  So an exchange was negotiated.  About this time Widder posted about his "WdderMajik"!   Apparently I ain't as talented as Widder, as mine will run the C45S just fine, it locks up like a bank vault with 45Colt ammo!

 

All good as I wanted the C45S in the beginning!  Now, it just has to have the metal refinished!  I had much help along the way:  Marlin 1894 C45S

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I to am a 44 Special man .

I own two Ruger Black hawks , Two Ruger Sheriff Model Vaqueros,  Two Ruger 5.5 Vaqueros. 

Two Uberti Cattleman Colt Clones , Two Uberti Open Top Armys. 

All in 44 Special .

Rossi 92 & Henry Big boy  both in 44 Magnum. 

Uberti 1866 & Uberti 1873 both in 44 Special. 

And Then a Henry 1860 in 44/40 .

I have tried for years to find a rare Henry 1860 in 44 Special. 

They made very few .

I have emailed Uberti many times and asked them to make a special run of Henry 1860's in 44 Special and even had a list going of other shooters who would order one with No Luck with Uberti responding back.

I have tried for years to get a gun Smith to rechamber a 44/40 to a 44 Special with zero luck .

So yes I know how far one will go ! 

I'm 10 or 11 years deep in to trying to get a Henry 1860 in 44 Special. 

So Saith The Rooster. 

 

PS. The key to getting your 44 Magnum rifle to shoot 44 Special rounds reliable. 

Is too load them long .

I load a 200 gr Lee RNFP lead bullet and crimp at the second lube groove .

Works as good as a Magnum round and still loads in all the pistols. 

Rooster 

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I rented  a reamer and reamed out a pair of 44 special '72 Opentops to 44-40. Believe me, i was SO glad that the rims didn't interfere with each other when I was done, because there was no guarantee it would work.

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A tail of .44s.  At one time, I wanted to be emulating our forefathers in those Halcyon days of yesteryear.  Simple.  Pair of Uberti Open Tops in 44 Colt.  Wanted to be closer to the original chambering of 44 Henry Flat.  So I load and shoot 44 Russian cases innit.  

Needed a rifle to match.  Found a really nice Uberti 1866 44 Special.  It needed to be a Trapper.  Easy Peasy.  My alter ego, Hacksaw MacGurk performed his Majik.  Presto Changeo - Trapper.  Custom short cartridge carrier and I was shooting 44 Russian innit as well.  Perfect.

 

Then the switch to BP and Subs.  Not so Bueno.  My finely crafted 44 Trapper would foul out in about 6 rounds.  Foul so bad it would not extract.  Tried everything.  Gave up.  Stuck it inna back of the safe and wrote it off.  Then I was introduced to the dark art of Annealing!!  HUZZAH!!  With annealed cases that 1866 Trapper runs like a Goosed Moose.  44s-R-Us

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I feel a bit schizophrenic on this post as I never settled into a single caliber.  Pistols in .32 Mag, .32-20, .45 Colt and cap&ball .44s.  Rifles in .32-20, .38-40, .44 Mag and .45 Colt.  

If I had to pick one set: .38-40 original 73 & 92; pistols in .32 Mag.

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21 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

I rented  a reamer and reamed out a pair of 44 special '72 Opentops to 44-40. Believe me, i was SO glad that the rims didn't interfere with each other when I was done, because there was no guarantee it would work.

Lassiter did this for me a few years ago, couple 72 open tops,, glad to hear I'm not the only one!!! They shoot great

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                       How about convert 2 nice ruger 3 screws from 357 to 38/40. then to bisley configuration. All because

       I had an original 92 in 38/40.

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I always wanted a semi auto carbine in .357 magnum, but I think that I'll save myself a lot of hassle and get a 350 legend upper on sale in a year or two and call it good... a homebuilt .357 max gatling gun with a 5 row Bruce feeder is something I hope to make someday. A whole lot easier than loading mags and a lot faster way to make empty brass...

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".... really wanted a Marlin 1894 in 45ACP.  But... I remember reading an article back in the 1980s in Guns & Ammo, (maybe?), about just such a conversion.  As I recall, the takeaway was, it's doable, but they found extraction and ejection problematic.  It worked, "most" of the time, but that didn't meet my criteria.  I wanted reliable. ,,,"

 

i hear that - bought one of the new made remlins because i couldnt find an older one , was not real happy with what i got - it might have been savable but i decided not worth the efforts for my needs - i was somewhat despondent to say the least - sold it , 

 

then i found a couple 38/357 revolvers , and thought to replace the rifle in that caliber - finally found a nice "older" MARLIN in that - so yes i do understand the lengths some will go to get what you want in what you want , even if your not certain what you want ...sometimes 

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Much like Rooster I'd love a Henry 1860 in 44 Special. I'd really really really like it in the "iron frame" look too, not brass. A Henry in color case is sweeter than peach cobbler. So far, impossible to locate.

 

I did find a '66 carbine in 44 Special after looking for several years. Such a sweet shooter. My Broken Trail gun. :D

 

Patience must be a virtue.

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