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Old May 18, 2009, 10:19 AM   #1
CaptainCrossman
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Uberti Open Top new $398

http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,4848.html


now that's a deal on a new cartridge conversion pistol- WOW ! It doesn't even pay to buy a gated conversion/drop in cylinder at that price. Just buy another gun
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:43 AM   #2
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The 1872 Open Top is not a cartridge conversion, it was Colt's first big bore cartridge pistol and designed that way from the start. It's clear that that model is on clearance due to poor sales, probably because of the Navy grip as all the Navy grip Open Tops are on sale. Not because of the manufacturing method, of which you have no evidence.

No, IMHO it never paid to buy a percussion gun and a conversion cylinder.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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I dunno why you're so excited about it. It's just one of those cheap, soft castings you complain so much about that won't last six months before all the springs break and another six months the frame will be so stretched as to be unshootable.
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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Strange huh, and I must've imagined all that shooting I did with mine.
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Old May 18, 2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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Hawg, it's steel, not brass- and you're more right than your realize, they are clearancing them for that exact reason- notice it doesn't say "forged steel frame". You were a poet and didn't know it.


Here's the guns you're talking about. There's a difference.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=127433902

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; May 18, 2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old May 18, 2009, 01:13 PM   #6
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CraigC
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The 1872 Open Top is not a cartridge conversion, it was Colt's first big bore cartridge pistol and designed that way from the start. It's clear that that model is on clearance due to poor sales, probably because of the Navy grip as all the Navy grip Open Tops are on sale. Not because of the manufacturing method, of which you have no evidence.

No, IMHO it never paid to buy a percussion gun and a conversion cylinder.




Like Einstein said, it's all relative. It pays if you do the conversion yourself, it doesn't pay if buy the drop-in store bought cylinder. To elaborate:

My 1851 Navy 38 Spl. conversion, has an open top cylinder it in. It started off as a brass frame 1851 Navy 36 cal. Armi San Paolo/Euroarms. In this case, it did pay to get a conversion cylinder- $90 for the cylinder, and another $15 for the 2-finger hand, $10 for shipping, and machined it myself for free. For $115 I converted my CB to 38 Spl. cartridge. To convert back to CB, just change cylinder and hand- the firing pin will fire the CB caps in the CB cylinder.

They say the Open Top was a cartridge gun, not a conversion. It becomes a game of what came first, the chicken or the egg.

The Open Top was basically an 1860 Army frame, with a longer cylinder- no conversion ring- and a barrel without a loading recess in it. There were long cylinder conversions done before the Open Top, by gunsmiths outside of Colt Mfg.- 60 examples have been found, all from 1800's era. They were done on 1860 Army CB guns.

The Open Top was merely Colt's "official" version.

The Richards-Mason Type 3 1860 Army conversion, used the same barrel and ejector housing, as the 1871-72 Open Top. All the critical dimensions are the same as the 1860 Army, same blueprint specs. Only the cylinder is different, and no conversion ring.

That's why the Uberti cylinder from 2009, fit my 1851 Navy made in 1980's by ASP/Euroarms. Again, it all boils down to Colt's original idea- interchangeability of parts.

It also "paid" to convert back in the day 1800's- Colt conversion guns sold for $5, while a new Peacemaker was $12. That's why they sold so many, until all C/B inventory was used up and sold by the early 1880's. It took nearly 15 years to deplete the inventory.

It "should" be cheaper to convert. The problem is, the importers and Italian mfrs. got a little greedy. $300 for a conversion cylinder is stupid money to pay, for a cylinder.

$100 is more like it.

There's another short-barrel conversion going to even less, only $380 new.

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; May 18, 2009 at 01:20 PM.
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Old May 18, 2009, 01:31 PM   #7
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CraigC

Strange huh, and I must've imagined all that shooting I did with mine.






how much powder did you use- 10 grains ?

try 40 grains. Now that's shooting.
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Old May 18, 2009, 02:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
It also "paid" to convert back in the day 1800's- Colt conversion guns sold for $5, while a new Peacemaker was $12.
Not even the same thing and yes, I'm well aware of that. You won't catch me asleep at the wheel when it comes to cartridge conversions. It certainly does not "pay" to buy a conversion cylinder that must be removed to be reloaded when you can buy an authentic cartridge conversion complete with handy dandy ejector assembly and loading gate.

There is no "chicken or egg". The Open Top sported a new receiver and while it was based on the 1860, it was a new design, designed from the start as a cartridge gun. Only because the Army rejected it, wanting a solid frame, centerfire ignition and .45 caliber did it not become the new standard.

No sir, I use strictly a 240gr SWC over 4.0gr Titegroup or 5.0gr Unique in my .44Colt's.
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Old May 19, 2009, 07:54 AM   #9
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Craig, I'd have to respectfully disagree- even Uberti calls it the "Open Top conversion" and "not a conversion" on their website- it used the 1851/60 frame and lockwork

"designed from the start as cartridge" is a real stretch- all they did was got rid of the loading lever, didn't use a conversion ring on the frame, and used a barrel with solid lug, without a cutout for loading powder/ball from the front- the entire back half of the gun is the same

that's like saying a Chevy is a whole new car, nothing like a Pontiac- when they both use the same engine, transmission, frame, tires, wheels, brakes- just the badge and seats are different- who falls for that line ? Anyone with technical expertise, sees the identical parts used, and realizes it's the same car.

I don't call that a whole new design, I call that a rework of an old design, or upgrade

it's obvious the Open Top was an 1851/60/61 pattern with a long cylinder- that's why an Open Top cylinder worked in my 1851 cap/ball gun- calling it an "all new design" and "not a conversion" was splitting hairs, semantics, and parsing words.

The entire back half of the gun is an 1851/60/61 pattern. The grips, lockwork, grip frame, bolt, screws, trigger guard, wedge, springs all interchange with cap/ball, they are the same parts. It used same same exact ejector rod/housing assembly as the 1860 Richards-Mason cartridge conversion.

heck, for that matter, the Peacemaker is only a reworked 1851 too, it uses the same grips and many other identical parts- if you took a bridgeport/saw/grinder to a Peacemaker you could easily whittle an 1851 out of it- just cut off the topstrap and front frame, and change the arbor/barrel.

when they say it wasn't a "conversion", they say that tongue in cheek to the uninformed- because 95% of the Open Top was a cap/ball design


http://www.ubertireplicas.com/revolver-1872opentop.php

The 1872 Colt Open Top Revolvers were produced simultanneously with the Richards and Richards-Mason Conversion. Between February 1872 until June 1873, a total of 7,000 pieces were produced. This Colt revolver is not a conversion but was produced for metallic cartridfges: the barrel, cylinder and frame were made intentionally, whereas parts such as the grip assembly and the internal components were adapted from the Navy '51 and the Army '60. Production stopped abruptly when the Single Action was introduced.

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; May 19, 2009 at 08:25 AM.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Craig, I'd have to respectfully disagree- even Uberti calls it the "Open Top conversion"
I really don't care what they call it.

Are you really this dense? A cartridge conversion is a percussion gun converted to fire cartridges. Easy. The Open Top is no such conversion. Let me repeat, it was designed and built from the factory as a cartridge firing sixgun. It was a new gun. It was not converted from one thing to another. This ain't hard.

Quote:
all they did was got rid of the loading lever, didn't use a conversion ring on the frame, and used a barrel with solid lug, without a cutout for loading powder/ball from the front- the entire back half of the gun is the same
They didn't use the conversion ring because it was not a percussion frame, it was a new one-piece frame with loading gate specifically designed to fire cartridges.

Quote:
The entire back half of the gun is an 1851/60/61 pattern. The grips, lockwork, grip frame, bolt, screws, trigger guard, wedge, springs all interchange with cap/ball, they are the same parts. It used same same exact ejector rod/housing assembly as the 1860 Richards-Mason cartridge conversion.
So what??? Everything is based on something. All those Colt designs shared many things in common with many parts that interchanged, that much is immaterial.

Quote:
when they say it wasn't a "conversion", they say that tongue in cheek to the uninformed- because 95% of the Open Top was a cap/ball design
They say it wasn't a conversion because it wasn't a conversion. If you did any reading you would see that no one else calls it a conversion because it's not a conversion. They distinctly say it's NOT a conversion, just as I have, because it was always and forever will be a cartridge firing sixgun. Widely known as Colt's first factory cartridge firing sixgun.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:32 AM   #11
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I'd have to disagree with you Craig, because the authorities on the subject, and Colt archives, clearly state the Open Top used an Richards-Mason barrel, ejector from the 1860 conversion pistols, and also used 1851 Navy and 1860 Army cap/ball grips. That's well documented, see scans below.

quote: "Colt used whatever was on hand"

what was on hand, was a pile of cap/ball revolver parts, left over from the Civil War- which took until 1878 to use up. The Open Top was out of production by 1873. The Richards and R-M conversions outlived it, because they were chambered in centerfire, rather than the Open Top's Henry Rimfire cartridge.

just like the 1860 Army was a modded 1851 Navy, so was the Open Top an modded R-M cartridge conversion gun

far from an "all new design"- it used the R-M "S" lug barrel, ejector, grips, grip frame, and most of the internal lockwork
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ot1.jpg (38.1 KB, 1031 views)
File Type: jpg ot2.jpg (42.0 KB, 1024 views)
File Type: jpg ot3.jpg (17.7 KB, 1024 views)

Last edited by CaptainCrossman; May 19, 2009 at 10:38 AM.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:33 AM   #12
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
I'd have to disagree with you Craig, because the authorities on the subject, and Colt archives, clearly state the Open Top used an Richards-Mason barrel, ejector from the 1860 conversion pistols, and also used 1851 Navy and 1860 Army cap/ball grips. That's well documented, see scans below.
You seem to be stuck on this parts interchangeability aspect. My response is, so what? Parts interchanged with the Model P but you won't call it a cartridge conversion, will you? Actually, the Open Top PRECEDED the Richards-Mason conversion of the 1860.

The Open Top was discontinued for multiple reasons. Firstly, the Army rejected it. Since Colt had to design and produce the Single Action Army for that purpose, it did not need the Open Top. There was also the vast inventory of percussion guns and parts that needed to be utilized. The Open Top used very few of these and in the end, there was just no place for it. Had nothing to do with the ammunition it fired as the SAA was also produced in .44 rimfire. Not to mention that it would've been easy to redesign it as a centerfire.

Here's a blurb from Dennis Adler's excellent book on the subject:

"Confusion and misconception have always surrounded this historical Colt sixgun because the Open Top was neither a transitional model nor a cartridge conversion, it was an original design intended by William Mason to be produced as an original cartridge model. Its introduction preceded that of the Richards-Mason percussion conversions and both types were produced concurrently in 1872-1873."
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Old May 19, 2009, 12:53 PM   #14
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What are the maximum loadings that these Uberti open tops can withstand?
Are they recommended to only be loaded with SASS loads under 1000 fps like the after market conversion cylinders or can they handle more?
If these utilize the same trigger spring and action parts as the C&B models which it looks like they might, then are they also susceptible to some of the same breakage problems and poor longevity?

http://www.ubertireplicas.com/tecnic...conversion.php

If they are then IMO, they seem to still be a bit expensive after shipping and dealer transfer costs are factored in. On the other hand, they are quite handsome and do have a strong historical appeal.

Last edited by arcticap; May 19, 2009 at 01:21 PM.
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Old May 19, 2009, 08:47 PM   #15
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It's OK to disagree, but no personal attacks. The ban(d) wagon has vacancy and I'd rather not have a blackpowder person be the next one on it.
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Old May 19, 2009, 08:56 PM   #16
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However, Captain

That is a wicked looking gun at a great price.... I'm droolin' (yet again)
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Old May 24, 2009, 11:15 PM   #17
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I have Dennis Addler's book on conversion guns and it states the Open Top was designed to be a cartridge gun from the beginning. The big giveaway is the integral loading gate in the recoil shield and a solid lug barrel with no holes or provisions for a rammer assembly. Colt, like everyone else tries to save money and reused or redesigned certain parts from percussion guns in building the Open Top but it was designed from the get go to fire the new fangled self contained metallic cartridge in .44 rimfire which is the same cartridge the Henry rifle used. The percussion revolvers converted to fire self contained metallic cartridges are center fire in the big .44 caliber and the .38 & .31 caliber could either be rimfire or centerfire depending on varying factors. Guns converted by independent gunsmiths do not necessarily fallow these rules, which is probably where some of the ambiguity comes in when researching these guns. It is also possible that the experimental or one off guns do not fallow the above facts.
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Old May 25, 2009, 07:29 AM   #18
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Captain Crossman - what is the source of that scanned material? If it's copyrighted you must include the attribution.
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Old June 7, 2009, 10:58 PM   #19
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Yes, I would like to see CaptainCrossman divulge the source of all the copyrighted material he's posted copies of.
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Old June 8, 2009, 06:23 PM   #20
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From the research I have done on copyright or patent holder's rights...

Fair use doctrine allows for the use of another's material. It's the "balance" Congress felt was necessary to further literary, scientific or technological knowledge. Without it, there's no progress as you cannot build upon the design or knowledge of another. Fair use is balanced against the proprietary interest of the copyright or patent holder. At what point is the copyright or patent holder disenfranchised of the rights such that his interest is not protected? Small use which do not infringe upon that right of the patent or copyright holder are permitted by the courts.
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