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.45 to .38?


Bisley Joe
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Posted (edited)

I have a pair of open top revolvers from Cimarron. They are in .45 Colt.

Have been thinking of getting cylinders and barrels in .38 special.

 

At T&C I see a .38 barrel is $150. The cylinder is $110.20. That makes for being able to shoot .45 and .38 for about $260: a lot less than another gun (but then, more guns is always better). Would have to see what it would cost to have these fitted though.

 

Anyone done this?

Worth it?

Edited by Bisley Joe
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Forgot:

 

Anyone know if the grips on these Open Tops will fit the Pietta 1851 Navy?

I want to change the grip profile to be more accurate and maybe these are better.

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Open tops are made by Uberti.

Uberti & Pietta grips do not interchange without working on them.

 

When I started, I had Open Tops with 44 cylinders & barrels and 38 cylinders & barrels

I had them in 5" and 7.5" lengths.

 

Loved the versatility -- I could switch back and forth at will, and they dropped right in.

 

They handle just like cap guns.

 

I still have three 44s with  7-1/2" barrels, one 5" barrel, and a 3" barrel

And, one 45 with a 7-1/2' barrel and a 3" snubbie barrel.

 

Larsen E. Pettifogger wrote an article that includes changing the grip profile, if I remember correctly

I believe I have a copy of it in my files -- If I do, I'll send it to you (PM me your email address)

--Dawg

 

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3 hours ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

Open tops are made by Uberti.

Uberti & Pietta grips do not interchange without working on them.

 

When I started, I had Open Tops with 44 cylinders & barrels and 38 cylinders & barrels

I had them in 5" and 7.5" lengths.

 

Loved the versatility -- I could switch back and forth at will, and they dropped right in.

 

They handle just like cap guns.

 

I still have three 44s with  7-1/2" barrels, one 5" barrel, and a 3" barrel

And, one 45 with a 7-1/2' barrel and a 3" snubbie barrel.

 

Larsen E. Pettifogger wrote an article that includes changing the grip profile, if I remember correctly

I believe I have a copy of it in my files -- If I do, I'll send it to you (PM me your email address)

--Dawg

 

Prairie Dawg, did you have to get the guns worked on by a gunsmith for the different caliber cylinders/barrels, or did they work fine by just popping them on?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bisley Joe said:

Prairie Dawg, did you have to get the guns worked on by a gunsmith for the different caliber cylinders/barrels, or did they work fine by just popping them on?

 

They just fit right on.

This was a selling point of these revolvers back then.

I don't think they even advertise them anymore.

So, I don't know if they still swap out so easily.

 

A while back, I tried to put a 44 barrel on my 45 frame, & it wouldn't index properly.

And one of the 44 barrels wouldn't go on either, so I would need to have a gunsmith do some fitting if I wanted to have one frame & multiple cylinders/barrels

--Dawg

Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329
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3 hours ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

 

They just fit right on.

This was a selling point of these revolvers back then.

I don't think they even advertise them anymore.

So, I don't know if they still swap out so easily.

 

A while back, I tried to put a 44 barrel on my 45 frame, & it wouldn't index properly.

And one of the 44 barrels wouldn't go on either, so I would need to have a gunsmith do some fitting if I wanted to have one frame & multiple cylinders/barrels

--Dawg

I'll check it out regarding mine. Thank you.

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Just buy a pair of Smoke Wagons in .38/.357 and be done with it! You won't be sorry!

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Bisley Joe,

 

In the past, ALL the barrel/cylinder combinations for the Open Top would interchange.  The only problem was the abysmal Barrel to Arbor fit which needed correction.  They still need the Barrel to Arbor fit corrected.  There are two way to do it.  Cheap, quick and simple is to drop a #10 Split washer down the barrel bore, re-assemble and re-Fit the wedge.  The washer has to be used with each different barrel.  More involved method requires some machine work to the arbor with a permanent spacer.  Check Pettifogger's tutorial for this fix.

 

Uberti often changes little dimensions between production runs.  It may require some minor fitting to change calibers.  My personal guns have 45 Schofield Cylinders/Barrels, 44 Colt Cylinders/Barrels and .38 Special Cylinders/Barrels.  I can change cartridges in about 10 minutes for both guns.  I don't necessarily like running 45 Colt in the Open Top Cylinder as the chamber walls are quite thin.  The 45s use to have a habit of spitting out the little bit of metal in the bottom of the cylinder bolt notch.

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3 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Just buy a pair of Smoke Wagons in .38/.357 and be done with it! You won't be sorry!

I just re-read the OP and I see you're a open top fan. (Ignore my Smoke Wagon comment above)

 

I would just buy a new pair of open tops in .38, always fun to buy new guns!!

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Posted (edited)

Now that there solution from Rye is just the ticket!!  Double yer pleasure - Double yer Fun (stolen famous commercial line)

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
Correct Stupid OTTO
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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone so far for all the great information.

I am looking at replacement barrels and cylinders, but am also tempted towards .38 conversions.

Edited by Bisley Joe
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my thy thoughts as well , but im not in the market for something like this nor considering such a conversion , i guess there might be a good reason , 

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Hmmm... going from .45s to .38s... is kinda gamey... leaves me wonderin' how long it'll be before you're shootin' two-handed?  :P

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13 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Wouldn't it be easier to get a pair already in .38?   If you don't wanna keep the .45's, use 'em for trade in and save some money that way.   Or keep them and then you have the option of either/or.

 

Yeah that's an option. A new open top in .38 would be about $550.  A barrel and cylinder would be about half that.

 

However, what I am leaning more towards is an 1851 Navy Richards-Mason Conversion. Then I would have a pair of 1851 Navies in C&B, and a pair in .38.

Fun all around.

 

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