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Old May 17, 2010, 11:57 PM   #1
smokepole14
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R&D or Kirst

Ive been wanting to get a conversion cylindar for my pietta made 58 remmy but have some questions. I heard the R&D chambers are at an angle and don't shoot straight, wandering would this ruin the barrel over time. and the kirst shoots out straight but i heard it might take some modification to the gun. which ever one drops in the best without having modification done to the gun is probably the one i want (since i probably will still shoot in bp form). both seem great but was wandering which would be best thanks for all the help.
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Old May 18, 2010, 03:16 AM   #2
arcticap
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This thread should give you some idea.

Which Conversion Cylindar

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ighlight=kirst
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Old May 18, 2010, 04:23 AM   #3
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umm arcticap... i think he started that thread...lol
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Old May 18, 2010, 11:59 AM   #4
JNewell
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Either are excellent. The slight angle on the R&D will not affect anything. The Kirst was, for me, slower to get back in the gun because it has to be "indexed" with the flat part against the top strap. Also, since firing pins can break (I have never had one break), I'd rather have six than one. Either is an excellent choice, however.
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Old May 18, 2010, 01:50 PM   #5
Dino.
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Quote:
Also, since firing pins can break (I have never had one break), I'd rather have six than one. Either is an excellent choice, however.
Well, with six firing pins, you also have 6x the odds of breaking one.

Seriously though, there are good arguements on both sides and ones choice over the other can only be attributed to personal preference.

I personally don't own either, but I have done alot of reading on both the Kirst and the R&D (now operating under the name "Howell").

Just for the record ...
When (or if) they ever become available again, I will be buying the Kirst.
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Old May 18, 2010, 02:23 PM   #6
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I am probably one of the few people who bought one of each at the same time and tried the simultaneously. I liked the R&D better, but if I could only get a Kirst, I would never look back or think twice about it.
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Old May 18, 2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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yeah dino but you still have 5 cylinders that will go off...unless here is a scenario, cock hammer, click! broken firing pin, cock hammer again, click! dud round, cock hammer again, bang! and again, bang! and again, bang! and again, bang!

now i don't know about you, but i sure as hell don't want to be shot 4 times with and 1858 in .45 lc...lol...
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Old May 18, 2010, 04:01 PM   #8
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I pondered the R&D vs Kirst conversion cylinder decision myself about a year ago. However, I was looking for a conversion cylinder for my ROA. I went with the R&D cylinder. My primary reason was because I didn't like the idea of having to align the Kirst backplate during installation. The R&D cylinder is very high quality. I've read enough about the Kirst cylinder to know it is a quality product too. For a 1858 I would definitely go with an R&D as it has 6 cylinders while the Kirst only has 5. I don't think the number of firing pins is an issue either way. From the reviews I've read from owners of the 1858 R&D cylinder the angled cylinders is also a non-issue.

I'm thinking about getting a Kirst cylinder for my Walker. The reason for that is I like Kirst's loading gate solution which means I wouldn't have to worry about backplate alignment every time I installed it.
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Old May 18, 2010, 09:35 PM   #9
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5-round R&D/Howell

There is a 5-Round R&D/Howell cylinder available now for the 1858 and it is being advertised as the "strongest" conversion cylinder on the market. It has an absolutely straight throw to the forcing cone and into the bore.

One of these is made in REAL stainless steel as well for the stainless Uberti's.
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Old May 19, 2010, 07:33 AM   #10
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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That's what mine is in my 1851 44 sheriffs model.
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Old May 19, 2010, 10:52 AM   #11
Dino.
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Quote:
yeah dino but you still have 5 cylinders that will go off...unless here is a scenario, cock hammer, click! broken firing pin, cock hammer again, click! dud round, cock hammer again, bang! and again, bang! and again, bang! and again, bang!

now i don't know about you, but i sure as hell don't want to be shot 4 times with and 1858 in .45 lc...lol...
I get what you're say'n but there's just something about that design that makes me cringe.

Consider the following review I found on the Midway site ...

Super quality manufacturing. Had Trouble with it binding up due to the firing pins jamming against the lower part of the caping port on the gun. Had the gun slightly relieved, now it works flawlessly.

This may in fact be an isolated incident, but it still concerns me.
And though I understand your "scenario" is intentionally extreme, I'd say even one misfire (or broken pin) is not a good thing regardless of how many you have left, but that's just my opinion.

btw ... does anyone know exactly why R&D changed their name to "Howell"?
It may prove irrelevent, but I know of at least one case where they made a design change in one of their conversion cylinders when they changed their name. Coincidence maybe. (?)

Last edited by Dino.; May 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM.
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Old May 19, 2010, 08:37 PM   #12
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Ken Howell has always been the manufacturer...name was changed due to issues concerning the business end not the product.
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Old May 19, 2010, 09:37 PM   #13
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Just to add my 2 centavos, I chose the R&D (Howell) for my 1858 and have never regretted it. I can't compare it the Kirst but I can tell you the R&D is a quality product, it worked perfectly out of the box on my Uberti without any modifications, and has given me hours of straight-shooting pleasure at the range.
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Old May 19, 2010, 09:51 PM   #14
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino.
btw ... does anyone know exactly why R&D changed their name to "Howell"?
It may prove irrelevent, but I know of at least one case where they made a design change in one of their conversion cylinders when they changed their name. Coincidence maybe. (?)
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ght=bankruptcy
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Old May 20, 2010, 08:29 AM   #15
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I have a couple questions regarding conversions:

Does anyone have any experience with the 5 shot R&D in .45 Colt for the Pietta 1858? Do the thicker walls make it stronger regarding kabooms or is it simply a way to cut down on the cant of the bullet into the forcing cone so that it flies straighter? Does it have a safety notch? Not that I would shoot smokeless out of it, but would it handle slightly stouter cowboy loads?

I'm seriously considering getting a conversion for my new Remington as I love the balance, heft, and feel of the gun. However, I'm not a huge fan of packing around a loaded BP unless I'm going to the range. If I'm going to plunk down over $200 on a conversion, I'd like to at least be able to carry it fully loaded. I don't see much point packing around a 6 shooter that I turned into a 5 shooter and can only safely carry 4 live rounds in

Thanks for any help guys
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Old May 20, 2010, 09:04 AM   #16
Dino.
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Some scary stuff in this thread ...
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=328487

The last entry (posted today) basically says all is good but there are/were alot of unhappy customers who claimed poor customer service, poor communication, and extremely long back-logs on service/repairs (up to 4 years in one case).

It was also stated that there were some tragic business and personal issues.
I can certainly sympathize with this, but as a potential customer, I just can't take a chance of sending them a gun and not seeing it for years and/or not being able to get any sort of response (or straight answer) as to the status of work being done.

Unfortunately, there are only TWO manufactures for these conversion cylinders (that I'm aware of) ... Howell (R&D) or Kirst.
I prefer the Kirst but unfortunately, the cylinder I want is supposedly on "backorder" with "no expected delivery date". In all honesty, the feedback I've received from Kirst and distributors make me question whether they will ever be available again.

Is anyone aware of any other sources for these conversion cylinders?
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Old May 20, 2010, 11:07 AM   #17
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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You can carry 5 in the 5 shot cylinders, because it has 10 bolt cut outs so
when you let the hammer down between chambers the bolt is in a cut out
locking the cylinder.
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Old May 20, 2010, 12:35 PM   #18
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That recent post was me...I don't know the people at R&D from Adam (or Eve), had never done any business at all with them. I bought the two R&D cylinders I've got (and the Kirst which I got rid of) from Brownells. I wasn't aware that there'd been any issues...just called and said "I'm having a fit problem, what are the options?" They said they'd fit it for free and shipped it out, fixed perfectly, the day after they got the cylinder and my ROA. I can only tell you what I know.
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Old May 20, 2010, 12:44 PM   #19
Fiv3
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Quote:
You can carry 5 in the 5 shot cylinders, because it has 10 bolt cut outs so
when you let the hammer down between chambers the bolt is in a cut out
locking the cylinder.
Thanks for the info

I was looking at the pics online, and couldn't tell. The chunky well formed safety notches in the 1858 cylinder is one of the main reasons I purchased that particular model
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Old May 20, 2010, 03:10 PM   #20
Dino.
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Quote:
That recent post was me...I don't know the people at R&D from Adam (or Eve), had never done any business at all with them. I bought the two R&D cylinders I've got (and the Kirst which I got rid of) from Brownells. I wasn't aware that there'd been any issues...just called and said "I'm having a fit problem, what are the options?" They said they'd fit it for free and shipped it out, fixed perfectly, the day after they got the cylinder and my ROA. I can only tell you what I know.
It wasn't my intent to question the sincerity of your post.
I was just concerned that most of the people who responded to that thread had stated that they received poor service.

I'm glad it worked out for you.
Hopefully, the problems others had were just isolated to the transition period going from "R&D" to "Howell".
I don't know.
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Old May 20, 2010, 07:21 PM   #21
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No worries, really! - I thought your post was very even in tone and I didn't read any kind of criticism or slam or other negativity into it. I just wanted to try to tie things together, at least as far as my recent experience goes. To be honest, I'm glad I had no idea of the things in that other thread, but the other side is that they treated me extremely well and had no reason to treat me differently from anyone else.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread...
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:44 AM   #22
Smokin_Gun
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If Ken is makin' a 5 shot .44 Pietta Remington cylinder it's news to me...Walt Kirst makes a 5 shot .44 Konvertor. Ken has always made the Howell or R&D in 6 shot cylinders. Now Ken Howell makes a .45Colt 5 shot for the 1860 Army that I know of that also fits the Pietta 1851 Navy in .44 C&B.
I like the 45Colt Kirst with a loading gate and the R&D or Howell that you remove like in Pale rider to reload.
I have one 38spl/38Colt Kirst Gated Konvertor for a 61' Colt that I'm real happy with the fit and finnish of.
Have an R&D .45Colt Cylinder for a SS ROA that shoots great and ticks like a Swiss Clock... and have one(R&D) also for my Rogers&Spencer that one shoots fanominally.
Anyways that's my $.02 worth...
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Old May 21, 2010, 01:27 AM   #23
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Rogers and Spencer !

Smokin_Gun:

Thanks for that feedback on the conversion cylinder for the Rogers and Spencer. Of all the revolvers that are a bit like the 1858 New Army, the Rogers and Spencer is my favorite.

The Rogers and Spencer is leading the pack for my second BP purchase after ... a BP rifle ... and errrr ... a colt ... and errrr ... first another 1858.

Man, I gotta have a serious sit down with Santa Claus, yeah?
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Old May 21, 2010, 07:37 AM   #24
Fiv3
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SG, here is a pic of the new 5 shot Pietta 1858 by Howell.


From the website:
This Howell Old West Cartridge Conversion turns your Pietta 44 Caliber 1858 Remington percussion revolver to a five shot 45 Colt caliber. For use in steel frame revolvers only.

Near as I can tell, there is one safety notch ground between the 3 o'clock and 5 o'clock firing pins (as you look at the pic). Looks beefy to me.
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Old May 21, 2010, 01:57 PM   #25
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Pietta 5-round R&D New Army conversion cylinder

As near as I can tell, there is also an extra cylinder notch that probably allows you to release the hammer at half-cock into the safety notch ground into the backplate and then the bolt fits in that extra notch on the cylinder as well, they match up I'm guessing.

But that might be a trick of the camera angle as I'm looking at the cylinder notch closest to the background, the rightmost cylinder notch as we look at the picture.
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