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Old March 29, 2006, 06:34 AM   #1
Love&Hate12
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Converted a ruger old army to cartridge

My question is do I have to use only Cowboy ammunition in it? I know to never use any hunting .45lc in the gun, but I was wondering about the lightly loaded .45lc that is not cowboy ammuntion. The lightly loaded .45lc in standard ammunition is only about 100 fps faster than the cowboy loads, and I want to ask if thats okay for target shooting only because in doors you cant use cowboy ammo.

Or should I reload some light loads that I can use at an indoor range?
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Old March 29, 2006, 09:21 AM   #2
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A Zero-Knowledge reply

L&H12
I seldom enter a reply to a thread on which I know absolutely nothing, but - - -
I'm glad you asked this question, and I hope you get several replies from members with a LOT of information. In the meantime, I'd like to know more.

Did you use a kit to make the conversion? If so, which one? How does it shoot with the cowboy loads? Does the conversion entail any alteration that would prevent you from retrofitting to the percussion mode? Do you have any photographs you can post for our (MY) enlightenment?

I've kinda been on the scout for a Ruger Old Army for the past few years. We've all read of someone who wanted to buy a gun just to go with a large stock of ammunition or such. Well, I was gifted with a nifty older model Bianchi holster for a 7-1/2" Ruger, which had belonged to the late Skeeter Skelton. I'd like to put it to some use as homage to one of my favorite writers, and I've really liked the appearence of the fixed-sight version of the Ruger OA.

Please pardon me if this entry appears to be a thread highjack - - It is not so intended.

In partial answer to one of your questions - - At your indoor range, is their concern about shooting lead bullets indoors? Do they require jacketed bullets to reduce pollution? If so, please don't go TOO light with jacketed bullets, especially in the longer barrel revolver - - There is the possibility of sticking the higher-friction bullet in the barrel. I should think that a 230 gr jacketed bullet with 8.0 gr. of either 231 or Unique would suit your purposes. These should yield velocities in the low 800 fps range, and with the lighter bullet, ought to be pleasant to shoot. I have not tried these myself, but have shot a lot of 230 LRN with 8.0 of 231 in .45 Colt cases. I used this in my S&W Mountain Gun for IDPA matches. It's just a touch warmer than the old .45 S&W (Scofield) load.

Best,
Johnny
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Old March 29, 2006, 09:50 AM   #3
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Big and Slow is the answer. I don't think that 100FPS is going to make any difference at all, but having said that I would recommend that you load your own and work up a load that works. IMR trail Boss is a great Smokeless Powder and IMR states 4.5 grns for a 250 Grn Lead bullet in a 45 Colt. I loaded 5 Grn in my 44 Rem. Cartridge Conversion in 44 Rem. >451 Drive bands, 248 Grn bullet in 44 Colt Brass) and it shot fine. I may tinker with loads between 4.5 and 5.0 because it might shoot better with less.

If you are just shooting at paper what is the difference with the COWBOY loads? those load equivalent will still kill small game. Cowboy loads were developed for CAS. They are the equivalent of the original BP loads. Worked 125 years ago pretty well.
I'm sure others will chime in here.
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Old March 29, 2006, 09:53 AM   #4
Love&Hate12
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I baught the cylinder kit online and I had a gun smith friend who lives next door attach it correctly and what not.

It shoots the cowboy loads great, but you have to be outdoors because they smoke so much, I was wondering if it had to be black powder or if it just needed to be in the 800 fps range. If it just needs to be in the 800fps range then winchester makes two or three modern lead rounds that do 750 fps, which solves my problem.

It's quite fun to shoot.
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Old March 29, 2006, 09:55 AM   #5
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Old Dragoon-

The range I shoot at is not ventilated very well and the cowboy loads will suffocate you in this small range.
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Old March 29, 2006, 06:17 PM   #6
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Oh, BLACK POWDER?

Sorry, I misunderstood. Didn't think you'd been using black powder. I thought all the Cowboy Action loads were put up with mild charges of smokeless powder. Actually, the original black powder .45 Colt loads were pretty stout, more so, actually, than modern factory smokeless ammo.

Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of the conversion kit you're using. I am entirely confident that the Ruger FRAME would easily tolerate the strongest smokeless powder load you'd want to use. The conversion CYLINDER, though, especially without a brand name given for research purposes - - That's another question entirely. I can't imagine anyone offering for sale a truly weak cylinder, one made from second rate steel. I'd think - - THINK, mind you -- that if the cartridge cylinder diameter is the same as that of the original Old Army cylinder, it should easily accept low end-to-standard smokeless loads.

After all, Remington and Winchester have been selling their 250 gr. lead flat point loads for many decades, and people have been shooting them in some really ancient Colt Single Action Armies. I don't believe I'd want to load any hotter for your conversion, though.

Best,
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Old March 29, 2006, 07:56 PM   #7
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If you reload you can load 4.0-4.5 grns of Unigue or Trail Boss Smokeless Powder and be right on the IMR(Trail Boss maker's) reccomendation for a 45c with a 250 Grn. Bullet. I use both for my 44 Rem Conversion Cartridge and both work very well.
My indoor range where I shoot is the same way so I shoot smokeless in my '58 Remmy. Some cowboy loads are smokeless, some are BP.
Old West Moulds will load smokless for you if you want.

The Ruger is a lot tougher than my Euroarms Remmy.

Old West Moulds
Bernie Rowles
1175 17 1/4 Rd.
Fruita, CO 82i521
970-858-1449
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Old March 29, 2006, 11:49 PM   #8
Love&Hate12
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Thanks old dragoon, I'll try that.
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Old March 30, 2006, 12:44 PM   #9
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gunsmith install???

Love&Hate12;

Why did you have a gunsmith install the "conversion". What did you get?? I have a R&D conversion cylinder and it just drops in and out for reloading. Did you have to fit it to the gun or what?
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Old March 30, 2006, 06:49 PM   #10
Love&Hate12
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I had him order the right one for me and paid him.
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Old March 30, 2006, 08:46 PM   #11
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that makes sense! enjoy the Ruger, I love mine and switch between Cartridge and BP.

Great gun and in SS actually pretty nice looking.

When I shoot cartridge I also use a pin instead of the loading assembly. makes it easier to take the cylinder in and out.
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Old March 30, 2006, 10:38 PM   #12
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The conversion cylinders use smokeless powder. The reason you are asked to use "cowboy load" ammunition, that is to say bullets that top out at only 1000 feet per second or less, is for liabitlity issues. I doubt you you will have any problems if you use regular Long Colt .45 ammo.

For myself I only use Cowboy Load ammo in my Ruger. I don't have a reason not to, so I just go ahead and use the lower power stuff. I also have not used actual black gunpowder filled brass cartridges either.
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Old March 31, 2006, 01:41 PM   #13
Love&Hate12
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Maybe I just need to switch to a different cowboy cartridge, I was using the corbons and they smoke up the place pretty bad.

I think winchester uses smokeless powder.

I will say a 255 grain lead round at 850fps is nothing to sneeze at.
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Old April 1, 2006, 03:22 AM   #14
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That is what brand I use. Winchester Long Colt cowboy load. They are smokeless powder.

Maybe some "cowboy load" ammunition is filled with real black powder, and some with smokeless that has filler material mixed into it to keep the size of the charge down, but no air pocket (corn meal being one that comes to mind).
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Old April 3, 2006, 09:40 AM   #15
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make your own!

I shoot 5 gr of Win 231 under a 200gr swc lead bullet in my Ruger Old Army conversion cylinder. Works great, no recoil and pretty accurate!
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Old July 22, 2012, 08:45 AM   #16
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Ruger old army

I have a ruger old army 45 in perfect shape with fixed iron sites. I have never seen one like this most of them have adjustable sites. Is this ruger rare? ......can someone help me out? Also im thinking about trading it for another hand gun that i can hunt with. I am a legal firearms collector and i have a valid illinois foid card, anyone want to do some trading?
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:23 PM   #17
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It's not rare.
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Old July 22, 2012, 06:08 PM   #18
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storyfreeport630

please read your pm's
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Old July 22, 2012, 06:40 PM   #19
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The type of sights in and of themselves does not determine rarity. The type of sights in combination with other factors such as barrel length, grip frame material, finish and other items can determine rarity. To establish whether or not your gun is rare you'll need to provide more information.
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Old July 23, 2012, 08:41 PM   #20
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question-

I have been thinking of converting my ROA (and 1858), but it is hard to locate .45LC around here. One shop has some, but are asking $40+ for a 50 round box.
So, what are you guys paying for .45LC cowboy rounds?
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Old July 23, 2012, 10:37 PM   #21
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About $20 a box.

Reloading these is the key, and it's an easy and forgiving cartridge to load for at the levels needed for a conversion cylinder.

.45 ACP would likely be the economical choice for a conversion cylinder. Hardly authentic, but easy to find cheap ammo for. R&D makes them for the 1858, can't be too much of a stretch to hope for one for the Ruger.


Willie


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Old July 24, 2012, 10:33 AM   #22
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Willie-

Thanks.
I will look into the 45ACP and also maybe a cheap reloading setup. Either way sounds like fun.
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Old July 24, 2012, 11:34 AM   #23
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Cowboy 45 Special

You might want to check out Adirondack Jack's Trading Post and the .45 Cowboy Special .

cowboy45special.com
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Old July 24, 2012, 06:31 PM   #24
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I just spoke to a gentleman @ Jacks Trading Post. Nice guy, informative and friendly. He recommends the Kirst conversion. I will have to put a little cash aside, get the conversion cylinder(s) and reloading equipment. This sounds like a good way to go.
The .45ACP also sounds good. Think I may try both, 45ACP in the ROA, if one is available, haven't looked for that yet, and the Cowboy special in the 1858.
Am I on the right track? Both sound like they would be an enjoyable shooting experience.
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Old July 24, 2012, 06:55 PM   #25
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Found an older thread on this. Thanks guys. I think I can come to some conclusions without bothering you further on this subject.
Thanks again. Good people here.
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