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I do LOVE the Colt Conversions...


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Posted (edited)

My new Cimarron Richards Type II Transitional 1860 Army factory conversion in .45 Colt/Schofield. It came home today after 10 day Commiefornia jail!  The Fairweather Christian belt I had David Carrico make custom for me with 52 canvas loops, the holster is from Texas Jacks (Cimarron) custom for the Richards, the badge is an original late 1800s, early 1900s Tuolumne Co. Deputy Sheriff badge,  the original .44 Colt rounds are from my collection, and the 44. Colt ammo boxes are from the seller on Ebay.  My 5.5" barreled Richards should ship tomorrow.

 

I would love to have a custom original 44 Colt cylinder (for .44 Colt with their .451" heeled bullet rounds).  The .45 Cimarron's bore would be perfect!  That would be really authentic!  The .45 Schofield loads with 230 grain RN lead bullets are REALLY close to the original .44 Colt rounds.  The Schofield is the one in the middle....  The RN .451 bullets I am using in the Schofield brass is closer to the original .44 Colt rounds (.451 heeled RN bullet) that Black Hills .44 Colt, with its .429' flat nosed bullet.  Their case is the same as original, though.

 

Richards 44.jpeg

44 Colt rounds.jpeg

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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That is super cool. I have a pair of 1860 Army's with conversion cylinders, but not a "built that way" conversion like this. I like the idea of using Scholfield to duplicate the original ballistics. I'm planning something similar with C46S cartridges in the 1860s.

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Bear Creek is working up a 150 grain RN hollow base bullet for people who convert .36 caliber C&B revolvers with .375" bores can get good accuracy.  Since 1892, thats how the ammo loaders loaded .8 Colt ammo until discontinued in the 1970s.  It is part of a project I started a couple years ago with Walt Kirst (converters), Jeff Hoffman (Black Hills), Debbie Sims (EMF), and Steve at Bear Creek Bullets.  The pandemic stalled the project, and Black Hills backed out to concentrate on providing basic ammo needs.  As of a couple weeks ago, Bear Creek was getting ready to try some prototypes.

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In the course of writing my Cowboy Chronicle articles, I have had the conversions The Richards, R-M, and 1872 Open tops in both .45 and .44 Colt (BHA).  I like the .44 Colt caliber, but really did not want to start loading another caliber. (44 colt brass is REALLY scarce).  I already load .45 Schofield and .45 ACP for Wild Bunch, using the same 230 gran RN bullets for both.

 

The 8" Richards that I just got, and the 5.5" Richards I am getting are not author samples.  I finally decided they were I wanted and bought them.  I had a pair of 1872 Open Tops, but sold them because I really prefer the Richards with the classic original 1860 barrel contour, rather than the Rishards-Mason's and Open Top's "S Lug" barrels.

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Posted (edited)

My 5.5" Richards type II arrives at my gunshop tomorrow, then 10 day Commiefornia jail.  I'm like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" waiting for his Red Ryder BB Gun....

 

 

G4EQGF9.jpeg

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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Posted (edited)

Well, TL, getting to shoot neat guns and then having to send them back is okay, but it will be nice to have some to hang on to.  Conversions are the coolest guns for those of us too lazy for percussion. :)

 

I just added magnatusk grips from arizona custom grips to some of mine:

 

'60 (with Navy grips), '61, '51

AZCustomGrips6.jpg

Edited by Abilene, SASS # 27489
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Add a +1 for the Mason 1851 conversions, I have a pair in .38 and even though they are not my main match guns they are my favorites, they just seem to point so well and when your shooting gunfighter there’s a feel about them that seems like they belong in your hands side by side spitting lead, I also added the magnatusk grips from Arizona grips and did a nickel electro plate over the brass grip frame, kind of wish I did silver now but I can do that in the future if need be

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20 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Well, TL, getting to shoot neat guns and then having to send them back is okay, but it will be nice to have some to hang on to.  Conversions are the coolest guns for those of us too lazy for percussion. :)

 

I just added magnatusk grips from arizona custom grips to some of mine:

 

'60 (with Navy grips), '61, '51

AZCustomGrips6.jpg

Thanks for that fine pic! I know where I will be getting those grips from now!

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My 5.5 Richards Type II.  At the gunshop for 10 day jai!

1860 5.5a.jpeg

1860 5.5b.jpeg

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They really look awesome to me. I have wanted the open tops for quite some time, but then started looking into the Richards-Mason, the Richards type 2 as seen here, and have yet to purchase any. This thread is putting bad ideas in my head though! There is just something about their looks that speaks to me. The big deciding factor is that I don't want to load a new caliber (.38) so that keeps me in the 45 colt and I do load the 45 schofield. It also necessarily gets me out of the 1851 conversions. Thanks for sharing.

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I really prefer the Richards Type I and Type II, with the classic 1860 barrel lines still intact, to the Richard Mason and 1871/2 Open Tops with their newly designed "S" lug barrel.  My first pair of "Open Tops were Armi San Marco Type I Richards in .44 Colt.  One was beautiful, and 100% reliable.  The other, however, was a four of five shooter, with the locking notches in the cylinder milled incorrectly.  It was beyond repair, and they were discontinued just after I got the pair, so I was out of luck.  Since I couldn't have a pair, I sold them (with full disclosure) one to shoot, one for parts.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Here they are.  Just in time for High Sierra Shoot Out (Railroad Flat).

 

new pair.jpeg

new pair close.jpeg

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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Posted (edited)

I am REALLY excited!  This is my first match with my "Ideal" armory:  A pair of 1860 Richards conversions, an 1860 Henry (HRA "New Original Henry). and my Rossi Overland hammered coach gun!  This is kind of special because always before I was using "Author guns"  1872s, 1860 R-Ms, 1860 Richards, all in varying flavors. (calibers, barrel length, finish).  While I might have them for a year or so, they would either have to be sold or returned so I could get the next batch.

 

While I did write about my Kirsts, I purpose bought those to be my main match guns, and they were not n"author samples.".   They were (or should I say are, because I still have them) close to my ideal pair.  There was, however, always that niggling "but they are only 5 shot!" floating around in my  "always striving for authenticity" head.  This pair is PERFECT!

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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Posted (edited)

These Ubertis chamber 6 (unlike my Kirsts' 5).  These Uberti have the bore of the original Richards, however, which had the .452" bore of the percussion, and the bullets were .451" heeled bullets in a .44 case (like a giant 22 LR). 

 

Modern .44 Colts are an un-correct .429, in an un-correct .429" bore,  so the Uberti 1860s in .45 are these are correct 2 out of 3 (bore and bullet), where modern .44 BHA Colts only have 1 of 3 - the correct case....

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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i think im going to have to get one to try - then maybe a second to make a set for match shooting if it works out well , 

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Posted (edited)

Howdy

 

I bought this original Colt Richards Conversion at an auction a number of years ago. As far as I can tell it shipped in 1871. Pictured with it are four 44 Colt cartridges from my cartridge collection.

 

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The early Richards Conversions were made by cutting the rear of the cylinders of the 1860 Army model away and forming a new set of ratchet teeth from what was left. The Richards Conversion cylinder is on the right in this photo, with a Pietta 1860 Army cylinder on the left for comparison. Eventually Colt began making new cylinders for this model.

 

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A Conversion Ring, or Breech Plate was screwed to the rear of the frame to take up the empty space on the cylinders where the nipples had been.

 

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This model featured a frame mounted firing pin and a small rear sight mounted on top of the Conversion Ring.

 

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A loading gate was incorporated into the Conversion Ring.

 

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An ejector rod was fabricated and mounted to the frame in the hole where the loading lever had originally been.

 

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44 Colt ammunition was developed to fill the chambers where the 44 caliber balls had originally been stuffed. The bore is about .451 or so, 44 Colt ammunition employed a heeled bullet, so the bullet was the same diameter as the cartridge case. Interestingly enough, this revolver has gain twist rifling.

 

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The 44 Colt round is a bit shorter than a 45 Colt round. Left to right in this photo are a 44 Henry Rimfire, a pair of 44 Colts, and an old 45 Colt.

 

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I bought a mold from Old West Bullet Molds to cast heeled bullets for my Richards Conversion. I also bought a crimping tool to crimp the heeled bullets. My original plan was to load up ammo with Black Powder in Starline 44 Colt brass, but I found out that 44 Russian brass fits the chambers perfectly. The plan now is to load up ammo in 44 Russian brass because it has a bit less powder capacity than 44 Colt, and I do not want to stress the iron (probably iron not steel) of the 150 year old cylinder. Unfortunately this plan is on hold as I am not casting any bullets at this time because the lead count in my blood is too high.

 

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Edited by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283
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Posted (edited)

Folks don''t realize that most of the .45 Colt rounds were downloaded to 30 grains. with the 255 grain .454" bullet.  The .44 Colt had a 225 to 230  grain, .452" bullet and up to 30 grains of powder, depending on loading.  The 44 Colt was as good a stopper as the 45.

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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Well, Wednesday I leave for the annual High Sierra Shoot Out at Railroad Flat CA.  The pair of Richards Type IIs will be my main match pistols, with the Pietta/Kirst saber River 1860 as back-up.  While the 12 stages will be divided between my Marlin 44-40 1894 Century Ltd. and my HRA 1860 in .44-40, but the Richards will go the distance for all stages.

 

It is a shame that Bear Creek did not get in production with their 150 grain RN hollow base .357s for .38 Colt conversions with .375" bore.  I would have liked to had some loads developed to try my Pitta/Kirst 1851s in .38 Colt on some stages.

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TL....I just googled Pietta Kirst Saber River 1860 to see what you were talking about.  Man that is a nice gun!!  I'm thinking I need one of those!!  

 

Shot my first open top this week.  Really liking it....I need a second one now.

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They are addicting!  They just reek early Old West "Coolness!"

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Several years ago a lady came to me with a pair of guns she had found in her uncles house after he had passed. I bought them because one was an original Richards-Mason 1851 Navy conversion. What I didn't know was that it was a "OMC" as I was told by a friend on the Colt forum. OMC referred to Original metallic cartridge. Colt had a bunch of 1851 parts left before the switch to the single action army, and made up just over 3000 from scratch. It is in 38 RF and has a period holster made from a Civil War holster. One of my prized possessions.

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Posted (edited)

Me at Rail Road Flat this weekend.  MY brace of Richards Type II conversions and my HRA "New Original Henry" (their copy of the original 1860 Henry.  Out of 120 rounds Pistol and 120 rounds rifle, I missed a couple with rifle, when the steel turned sidewise after my 7th hit, and dropped one round with the pistol, which screwed my chances of a main match pin!  The rifle misses were actually with my Marlin 1894 Century Limited .44-40, so the Henry shot shot its stages clean!

RR Flat 22.jpeg

Edited by Tuolumne Lawman 6127
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30 minutes ago, Tuolumne Lawman 6127 said:

Me at Rail Road Flat this weekend.  MY brace of Richards Type II conversions and my HRA "New Original Henry" (their copy of the original 1860 Henry.  Out of 120 rounds Pistol and 120 rounds rifle, I missed a couple with rifle, when the steel turned sidewise after my 7th hit, and dropped one round with the pistol, which screwed my chances of a main match pin!  The rifle misses were actually with my Marlin 1894 Century Limited .44-40, so the Henry shot shot its stages clean!

RR Flat 22.jpeg

Lookin' good Lawman 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Tuolumne Lawman 6127 said:

Gorgeous!  Are those ASM Type Is?

 

AFF 1861 Richards conversions in .38 Colt/Spl.
What's the difference between a Type 1 and a Type 2?
(No info from seller when purchased)
Added Tru-Ivory grips.

Additional info posted on THIS THREAD from 2020.

 

Edited by PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L
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Type one has a conversion ring mounted floating firing pin and rear sight on the conversion ring.  Type II has hammer mounted firing pin and rear sight notch on hammer like 1860 C&B

 

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