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Running .45 S&W in an Uberti Schofield.


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If I recall correctly, the rim dimensions of .45 Colt and .45 S&W are not the same.   With that in mind, can you run .45 S&W in an Uberti made Schofield chambered for the Colt round?

I have a line on a S&W Performance Center Schofield that is of course chambered for the S&W round and was wondering if I'd have to run different cartridges in them if I obtain it.  (I've always wanted one of the Smiths, even though they are not as "accurate" (caliber aside) of a reproduction as the Italian guns.

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Posted (edited)

Howdy H. K.

 

One of the local shops had a pair of the S&W Schofields Model of 2000 a few months ago. Maybe you saw them.

 

I checked them out pretty thoroughly, and it was clear to me that the cylinder bushing was reduced in size and would not protect the cylinder arbor from Black Powder fouling blasted out of the barrel/cylinder gap. Since I only shoot Black Powder out of my S&W Top Breaks I was not interested, but I was glad to have the opportunity to examine them up close.

 

P.S. SAAMI Spec for 45 Colt Rim diameter is .512, Schofield Rim Diameter is .520. I use Starline Schofield brass, it usually runs a few thousandths under .520.

Edited by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283
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6 hours ago, Rafe Conager SASS #56958 said:

Driftwood,  are thos original  s&w pistols,? I can't get my Uberti Schofield to shoot black, I only get a cylinder full before I have to break it down and wipe it. 

Rafe 

 

I am talking about the Schofield revolvers Smith and Wesson manufactured from 2000 to 2002. Often known as the Schofield Model of 2000.

 

Yes, they were only chambered for 45 Schofield, not 45 Colt.

 

The problem you are experiencing with your Uberti Schofields is well known.

 

This is an actual 1st S&W 1st Model Schofield that shipped in 1875.

 

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This is the cylinder. Notice the prominent bushing pressed into the front of the cylinder.

 

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The extractor rod of the cylinder fits inside the hollow cylinder arbor.

 

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When assembled, the bushing rides outside the cylinder arbor.

 

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When completely assembled, the bushing rides against the frame, horizontally separated from the barrel/cylinder gap. You can see in this photo, the upper arrow is pointing to the barrel cylinder gap, the lower arrow is pointing to the front of the cylinder bushing. This means the cylinder arbor is shielded from black powder fouling blasted out of the barrel/cylinder gap.

 

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The cylinders on all early S&W #3 Top Break revolvers (the American Model, the Russian Model, and the Schofield) were 1 7/16" long. This was an ideal length for relatively short cartridges such as 44 Russian or 45 Schofield. When Uberti started making their replicas of the S&W #3 Top Breaks they made the cylinder longer for more common cartridges such as 45 Colt and 44-40. But rather than lengthen the frame for the longer cylinder, they shortened the bushing on the front of the cylinder so the cylinder would fit in a frame the same size as the originals. Look at the bushing on your Uberti Scofield and you will see it is not as prominent as the bushing in these photos. The shorter bushing cannot shield the cylinder arbor from fouling blasted out of the barrel/cylinder gap as well as the original design, so the Uberti Schofield replicas tend to bind up quickly when fired with Black Powder. The originals can shoot Black Powder all day long without binding, because S&W understood how to design a revolver for Black Powder. There are of course work arounds, but that is why your Uberti replica Schofield tends to bind up quickly.

 

 

For what ever reason, when S&W built the Model of 2000 Schofields, they varied from the original design and put a very short bushing on the front of the cylinder. That is why the Model of 2000 Schofields also tend to bind up quickly when fired with cartridges loaded with Black Powder. When I examined the Model of 2000 Schofields in a local store, I saw right away that the short bushings would mean they would not shoot BP very well. So I thanked the dealer for letting me take a close look and put them down. Besides, I have a couple of originals so I do not need a modern variation that will not shoot Black Powder very well.

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Well, I decided to go for it.   I've put a deposit down on the Schofield 2000, and I'll pay it off and take it home when I am finally done with all of my cancer treatment in about a month.  (I'll be in the hospital for probably another 2 weeks, give or take, and then have to remain "isolated" at home for two more to let my body and immune system fully recover.)  I've wanted one of these pistols since S&W marketed them in 2000.   In fact, as I was getting ready to move back to New England after a short stay in Virginia, I was gonna stop at a local gun store and buy one.   But then the transmission on my car died and I had to spend the money on a U Haul and other unexpected expenses.  Been looking for one ever since.   Missed out on one just a few months ago, probably the ones Driftwood mentioned in his post, but then I discovered this one at another local shop.   Ironically, it costs a lot more than it did in 2000, but they are rare, and I want one.  And the price is not stupid overpriced, but reasonable in my opinion.  Actually, adjusted for inflation, the going price for it is probably about the same when it is new.  

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1 hour ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Well, I decided to go for it.   I've put a deposit down on the Schofield 2000, and I'll pay it off and take it home when I am finally done with all of my cancer treatment in about a month.  (I'll be in the hospital for probably another 2 weeks, give or take, and then have to remain "isolated" at home for two more to let my body and immune system fully recover.)  I've wanted one of these pistols since S&W marketed them in 2000.   In fact, as I was getting ready to move back to New England after a short stay in Virginia, I was gonna stop at a local gun store and buy one.   But then the transmission on my car died and I had to spend the money on a U Haul and other unexpected expenses.  Been looking for one ever since.   Missed out on one just a few months ago, probably the ones Driftwood mentioned in his post, but then I discovered this one at another local shop.   Ironically, it costs a lot more than it did in 2000, but they are rare, and I want one.  And the price is not stupid overpriced, but reasonable in my opinion.  Actually, adjusted for inflation, the going price for it is probably about the same when it is new.  

 

HK:

 

What is the ballpark  for these revolvers now?

 

LL

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Getting a little further afield in this topic from where I started it, I have to say that I do like the old S&W Top Breaks and their reproductions.   While I prefer Colts, the S&W's do make for an interesting change from time to time.

 

For real S&W's I have 2 New Model 3's, a target model in .38-44, and "regular" one in .44-40.  I also have a Model 3 DA in .44-40.  The DA has probably got the smoothest DA trigger I have ever pulled, and unlike some other DA revolvers of the era, it is VERY easy to cock it SA style.   I suppose the soon to be acquired 2000 model can be considered real as well.

As far as Uberti reproductions go, I've got a Schofield and an American, both in .45 Colt.  I recently learned that the reproduction Russian can also be had in .45 Colt, as can the Laramie.  I am seriously considering getting one each of the latter two pistols so that I can have complete "set" of the reproductions in same caliber.   Time will tell if I bother.  (That, and finding ones that are legal to buy in Massachusetts can be problematic.)

Anyway, Top Break Smith & Wessons are fun.  

 

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@Warden Callaway did a couple videos on the S&Ws and black powder.

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I have an ASM first model that shoots black all day but keeping the gun running has been something else.  I imported it back in the 90's from England couldn't get a Uberti anywhere in the world.

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Posted (edited)

I purchased a pair of Uberti 1858’s before I came across Driftwood’s posts about the missing collar.  I have experienced the cylinders locking up partway through a match.  Here is an idea as crazy as it might seem.

 

The lockup problem is due to the missing collar.  So what if you were to expand the cylinder pin hole on the front of the cylinder and at the front of the cylinder opening in the frame as shown by the yellow circles in the two photos.  Make the expansion about 3/8” deep.  Then press a 3/4” length of steel tube into the cylinder pin hole with an Inner diameter that allows the cylinder to spin properly.  Now when the cylinder is inserted into the frame the cylinder now has a collar to help keep the pin clean.  You would also need to mill the side of the frame by 3/8" to allow the modified cylinder to be inserted.

 

What do you think?

 

 

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Edited by Mountain Man Gramps
Added note about milling the side of the frame.
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