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Yul Lose
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I’ve been using T&C/Howell conversion cylinders for years in my Ruger Old Armies and with the little window at the top of each chamber it is easy to tell and show which one is empty. I’m contemplating ordering a couple of Kirst conversions but don’t know how to tell which chamber is empty. Any Kirst users out there that know?

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When I had Remington 1858 Conversions, I had the same problem.  You couldn't tell if the chambers were loaded by looking at the cylinder from the side. 

 

My solution was to cut a short aluminum rod to insert down the barrel.  I had a piece of red duct tape wrapped around the rod that was visible at the tip of the barrel if there was a round in that chamber.  If the rod dropped in further, making the red tape not visible, I was lined up on the empty chamber.

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Opps, I was giving suggestions for the Howell and had to delete that.  On the Kirst about all you can do is paint or stamp a chamber and make sure that is always your dead chamber.  I took a metal stamp and stamped a chamber and then filled it in with paint so it was easier to see.  You can also take it to a machine shop and have them put a window in one chamber.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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On the Kirst Convertors I have the back plate does not fit flush to the cylinder when loaded like the Howell versions

The chambers are not rebated for the cartridge rims, so it is easy to see which chamber is empty from the side/top:

 

.......................................KIRST.......................................................HOWELL................................

 

kirst vs howell wire.jpg

Edited by PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L
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1 hour ago, PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L said:

On the Kirst Convertors I have the back plate does not fit flush to the cylinder when loaded like the Howell versions

The chambers are not rebated for the cartridge rims, so it is easy to see which chamber is empty from the side/top:

 

.......................................KIRST.......................................................HOWELL................................

 

kirst vs howell wire.jpg

That’s what I was looking for, thanks.

1 hour ago, Mister Badly said:

Some of the conversion cylinders have a tiny window which allows you to see the cartridge rim

Yep, I know but the Kirst are different.

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The loaded chambers if My son’s 22lr wranglers also cannot be seen from the exterior so I did what others suggested and put a small dot of gold nail polish on the edge of the “dead” chamber.  Works dandy. 
 

JJ

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What Rainmaker said...

."My Kirst cylinders are only five-shot; no empty chambers.

There is a "notch" for the "empty" space to line up."

 

You can clearly see the hammer resting in the safety notch between two cartridges on all open tops using Kirst cylinders.

 

 

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The Kirst cylinders for Ruger Old Armies appear to have 6 chambers - as pictured on their website below.

 

Ruger Old Army Cartridge Conversion | Ruger Conversion Cylinder (kirstkonverter.com)

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52 minutes ago, Rancho Roy said:

What Rainmaker said...

."My Kirst cylinders are only five-shot; no empty chambers.

There is a "notch" for the "empty" space to line up."

 

You can clearly see the hammer resting in the safety notch between two cartridges on all open tops using Kirst cylinders.

 

 

The Old Army cylinders have 6 chambers.

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21 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Well, there ya have it! I though all you ROA guys were die hard cap & ballers. :P

Not this one.

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Walt Kirst emailed me with an answer and Pale Wolf nailed it. Once I get my new Kirst Konversions I’ll post pictures so you’ll know.

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33 minutes ago, Mister Badly said:

Yes they are. I've been to a guy's house that does those conversions. For Kirst I believe.

Might have been Howells the Kirst don’t need them.

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38 minutes ago, Mister Badly said:

Yes they are. I've been to a guy's house that does those conversions. For Kirst I believe.

Jay Strite  (alias Raven) ?

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Kirst conversions for ROA's are drop in's and are 6 shot cylinders.  This is probably the most confusing thread ever !!!  They work perfectly and of the "5" I have,  absolutely no problems!   The Remington cylinders are 5 shot and USED TO have a safety "chamber" but now have equal distant chambers with safety positions in-between each chamber. 

Mike

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24 minutes ago, 45 Dragoon said:

Kirst conversions for ROA's are drop in's and are 6 shot cylinders.  This is probably the most confusing thread ever !!!  They work perfectly and of the "5" I have,  absolutely no problems!   The Remington cylinders are 5 shot and USED TO have a safety "chamber" but now have equal distant chambers with safety positions in-between each chamber. 

Mike

????

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34 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

????

Well, you asked about Kirst cylinders for ROA's and you've been told that you can see all of the rims. 

Then others chime in about 5 shot cyls and that is confusing to those that don't know the diff. 

 

So, with Kirst cyls, the ROA is a 6 shot affair with easily seen empty chamber. The 5 shot cyls that bear any resemblance would be for the Remington's and they are in fact 5 shot cyls (gated or not).  And, you can see the rims in the Remington as well.

 

So what would be the question?

 

Mike

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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31 minutes ago, 45 Dragoon said:

Well, you asked about Kirst cylinders for ROA's and you've been told that you can see all of the rims. 

Then others chime in about 5 shot cyls and that is confusing to those that don't know the diff. 

 

So, with Kirst cyls, the ROA is a 6 shot affair with easily seen empty chamber. The 5 shot cyls that bear any resemblance would be for the Remington's and they are in fact 5 shot cyls (gated or not).  And, you can see the rims in the Remington as well.

 

So what would be the question?

 

Mike

So who said that you can see all of the cartridge rims on ROA Kirst conversion cylinders? Nobody until you just now. None of the Kirst online pictures show the loaded cylinder side view and that’s why I posed the question. 

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Another question is do the firing pins tend to peen or mushroom like the T&C/Howell firing pins? Do you keep spare firing pins on hand or do you not need to worry about it?

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2 minutes ago, 45 Dragoon said:

My apologies, I thought it was mentioned already. 

 The Kirst for the ROA has a single firing pin. I've never had one mushroom. The Howell type will but I always remove and harden them, polish them and haven't had any problems..

 

Mike

Thank you. I’ve tried hardening the Howell type but haven’t had much success, may not be getting them hot enough.

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58 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

Another question is do the firing pins tend to peen or mushroom like the T&C/Howell firing pins? Do you keep spare firing pins on hand or do you not need to worry about it?

 

I've been using the Kirst in 45 colt for about 5 years, same as what is in the photo posted above by PaleWolf, using full loads of real black and have not developed any peening or mushrooming.  Have been using Federal LPP's exclusively.

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43 minutes ago, Yul Lose said:

Thank you. I’ve tried hardening the Howell type but haven’t had much success, may not be getting them hot enough.

 

  Understand. Get them glowing!! Lol and quinch in water not oil.  Then Chuck them up in a drill motor and descale them with 320 sand paper followed with 600 to polish them.  If they are mushroomed, clean them up with a file before heat treating.

 

Mike

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1 minute ago, 45 Dragoon said:

 

  Understand. Get them glowing!! Lol and quinch in water not oil.  Then Chuck them up in a drill motor and descale them with 320 sand paper followed with 600 to polish them.  If they are mushroomed, clean them up with a file before heat treating.

 

Mike

Maybe that’s it, I’ve been using oil.

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