View Full Version : 1860 Army Conversion
December 20, 2008, 10:28 PM
Greetings all. This is my first post though I've been a reader for some time.
I'm considering getting a conversion cylinder for my Pietta 1860 Army but I'm trying to educate myself on all the hows and whys of these conversion cylinders.
Q1. R&D doesn't make a 6 shot conversion cylinder for the 1860 in 45LC because the rims would interfere. If it was in 44 Colt a 6 shot R&D cylinder would work. But they don't make one, right?
Q2. If the 44 Colt cartridge is used, either hollow base or heeled bullets would have to be used to fit the bore properly, right?
Q3. On original conversions of the 1860 Army to 44 Colt, were the ratchet teeth on the cylinder rotated 1/12th of a turn and a pawl with a forked end used? Otherwise, wouldn't the ratchet teeth have been machined away to nothing when the cylinder was bored through?
These questions are mostly to satisfy my curiosity because I'm just about convinced that what I want is the R&D 5 shot 45LC cylinder.
December 21, 2008, 12:47 AM
Q1. R&D doesn't make a 6 shot conversion cylinder for the 1860 in 45LC because the rims would interfere. If it was in 44 Colt a 6 shot R&D cylinder would work. But they don't make one, right?[QUOTE] RIGHT, BUT R&D DON'T MAKE A .45COLT CONVERTION, ONLY IN .45 SCHOFIELD
Q2. If the 44 Colt cartridge is used, either hollow base or heeled bullets would have to be used to fit the bore properly, right?HEELED LIKE THE .44COLT or REMINGTONS OR GET AN 1861 AND AN R&D IN .38COLT OR .38SPL W/HOLLOWBASE BOOLITS. BUY THE RICHARDS MASON CONVERTED
Q3. On original conversions of the 1860 Army to 44 Colt, were the ratchet teeth on the cylinder rotated 1/12th of a turn and a pawl with a forked end used? Otherwise, wouldn't the ratchet teeth have been machined away to nothing when the cylinder was bored through?I DON'T THINK SO BUT I DON'T HAVE ONE.
December 21, 2008, 04:39 AM
RIGHT, BUT R&D DON'T MAKE A .45COLT CONVERTION, ONLY IN .45 SCHOFIELD
Actually they do make it in .45 Colt for the 1860. http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,5851.html
December 21, 2008, 05:09 AM
I did 3 of my conversions with a Kirst Konverter. My ROA has an R&D
Check out these web sites. R&D's take a little more work to install,
It will also accommodate the .45 Long Colt cartridge if the bullet is seated slightly deeper. . ( The SAAMI specification for overall length, for the .45 Colt, is 1.600 inch., The longest OAL that 1860 Pietta cylinder will accept is 1.58 inch and the 1860 Uberti cylinder is 1.53 inch. Some modern factory ammunition may fit but we have not determined
December 23, 2008, 02:41 AM
I also have a pair of Pietta 1960's, I have installed the 45lc conv. cylinders and I can load 45lc,45 cowboy,or 45 schofields rds. These cyl. hold only 5 rds each. The R&D cyl. I use in my 1858's hold 6 rds. each. The quality of these cyl. is # 1. They will outlast the guns.
December 23, 2008, 08:49 AM
I'm not real impressed with the steel used in the Pietta percussion guns. Cartridge guns are held to higher standards than blackpowder guns and I would rather buy a factory cartridge conversion any day of the week. Complete with handy-dandy ejector. I'd rather they were .44Colt's anyway.
December 23, 2008, 08:42 PM
i know you like bp or else you wouldn't be here but why the negativity?,did somethin bad happen bro?:confused:
December 24, 2008, 09:26 AM
Not at all. I'm addicted to the Colt percussion guns and their cartridge conversions and I've been in contact with Bob Millington about building a custom 1860 cartridge conversion. I just like to have an ejector and don't like the idea of spending $300 for a conversion on a Pietta percussion gun. After watching the cylinders "smear" from contact with the bolt, I don't believe the steels used are as strong as those used in factory cartridge guns. If you think about it, they shouldn't be. Blackpowder pressures are very low and regulations are all but non-existent. Cartridge guns must be proofed. Not to mention that using .45Colt, especially a five-shot, in one tweaks my OCD. Guess I just don't see the point when there are several excellent factory cartridge conversions available. Just seems to be more of a novelty than anything else.
December 24, 2008, 10:04 AM
The steel in R&D's is 4150 Arsenal grade. You can't do a .45 Colt with six shots because modern cartridge heads are bigger than the originals. That's why there were no .45 Colt lever guns. You can get kits with loading gates and ejectors.
December 24, 2008, 10:20 AM
I've noticed the softness of the cylinder on my Pietta 1860. One of the first adjustments I had to make was to trim the arm on the bolt so the bolt would snap up sooner. It had been rising at the bottom end of the notch ramp and peening the notch closed a bit. Now it works fine.
We'll see what the financial damage is after the holidays before I order a conversion cylinder. I've started thinking that maybe instead of a conversion I'd like to get a Uberti 1858 Remington. Too bad I can't do both!
December 24, 2008, 10:27 AM
I'd like to get a Uberti 1858 Remington.
From what Im hearing Uberti's QC isn't what it used to be.
December 24, 2008, 10:49 AM
I did own a Pietta 1858 for about 6 hours. I took it back to the store when I realized that the barrel wasn't screwed in square with the frame. That made the top of the front sight offset to the right .050 inch. Maybe it was just a fluke. I guess regardless of brand it pays to really check it out before you bring it home, if possible.
December 24, 2008, 11:21 AM
Anybody can make a lemon and sooner or later everybody does. I've got two Pietta's and they couldn't be better. My only complaint about either of them is the grips on the 58 are too fat.
December 24, 2008, 12:09 PM
Anybody can make a lemon and sooner or later everybody does.
Amen, sir. Well spoken. Or rather, written.;)
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