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Old July 30, 2012, 08:04 PM   #1
Chowmif16
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Range Report: Uberti 1872 Open Top Conversion .45 Colt

Finally got to shoot my Uberti 1872 Open Top Conversion in .45 Colt!
It was a joy to shoot, and I thought I would post my results and observations.
The fit and finish of the gun is great, with no problems. The tolerances on this gun are tighter than on my Uberti SAA, and I initially had problems loading the cartridges into the cylinder. Ended up that the cases needed to be a bit tighter around the bullet at the crimp end. I don't generally do a full crimp, and I had probably left them a bit loose, which my SAA tolerates. It is also not tolerant of primers that are not fully seated.
I had several instances in which the primer was not struck hard enough to set it off, however after firing the rest of the chambers and returning to the unfired chamber, it went off each time. Not sure if this is the gun's fault, or that the primers were seated maybe a bit deep. I had previously had problems with primers not being fully seated during reloading, so I made an effort to correct that problem which may have resulted in low primers. I will look into it and post my results.

I shot three 10 shot strings, one at 15 yards, and 2 at 25 yards from a rest.
Reloading data:
Rimrock Bullets 200gr RNFP with SPG lube, 30gr Goex 3F, Fiber over-powder card , 1/8 inch grease cookie of 50/50 Beeswax/Crisco.
I did not weigh the bullets to look for under-wieght rounds, and will do so for the next time. I will also work up/down in powder charge to determine the best load for this gun.
The combination of SPG lubed bullets and the grease cookie allowed over 50 shots with no binding, and looking through the barrel midway through and at the end of shooting showed that the fouling was not building up badly. I could clearly see the lands and grooves, as well as a star pattern of lube on the muzzle.
Groups for the three ten shot strings were as follows:
15 yds- 2.4 inches vertical by 2.25 inches horizontal. Center of Mass: 4.1 inches high, .1 right.
25 yds #1- 2.25 Horizontal, 2 Vertical with 1 flyer. Center of Mass: 4.5 high, 1 inch left.
25 yds #2- 4 horizontal, 4.5 vertical with 1 flyer. Center of Mass 5 high, 1 left.
Although the data from the second to third string would seem to indicate a fouling problem- group going from 2 inches to 4 inches- I think frankly that this was just bad shooting on my part. I was testing several other guns as well and probably just screwed it up. The same load will shoot all day through my Winchester 1873 sporting rifle with the same lube "star" on the muzzle.
I will continue to work on a load for this gun with different bullets and powder charges.

Cheers,
Norm
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Old July 30, 2012, 09:20 PM   #2
Bob Wright
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Those fall into the category, for me, of "They are beautiful but I don't want one."

Friend of mine recently bought one in .38 caliber, and that blamed thing is real pretty, but I don't want one.

Both the open top Colts and the Richards Mason cartridge conversions are some of the handsomest revolvers made, but I don't want one.

Bob Wright
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Old July 30, 2012, 10:24 PM   #3
sandman_nv
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Chowmif16, would you post pictures of your Colt?


thanks!
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Old July 30, 2012, 11:12 PM   #4
towboat-er
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I like em.
I want one, or two, or three...ect.
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Old July 30, 2012, 11:29 PM   #5
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1872s - own two of 'em by Cimarron

Almost a year ago I received a Cimarron pair of these that I had special-ordered - for the "antique" finish and for them to slick 'em up and get the triggers to 2 - 2.5 lbs. Took 6-8 months for delivery. The finish came out way cool, at least in terms of satisfying me - they look really old except that the company didn't take the lacquer off the grips and I need to do that myself. My FFL dealer razzed me about the finish, saying he could have just buried them in the backyard for a while. Anyway, I really like the look and everyone who sees them thinks they are old.

The guns shoot great, the balance is excellent and I like the large Army grip. I shoot smokeless. Fired .45LC cases drop right out, just like they do from my stainless Evil Roy Cimarron SAAs. Ammo: 200 gr. Oregon Trail RNFPs in Starlines, Federal primers and Trail Boss powder. Great fun to shoot. Only downside is I need a new pair of holsters if I want to use them in a match. Had hoped they'd fit into my custom-made SAA-frame holsters and they don't.
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Old July 31, 2012, 12:09 AM   #6
Chowmif16
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I will post a picture, probably tomorrow.
It was a joy to shoot, and as mentioned, balances well with nice grips.
I have wanted one of these for 15 years to complement my many cap'n ball revolvers, and don't regret it.
Cheers,
Chowmi
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Old July 31, 2012, 12:28 AM   #7
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The sights

Chwomi - since you apparently like the '72 as much as I do, I'd imagine that, like me, you were surprised at how decent the little notch rear sight turned out to be. Caused me no problems at all and I'm pretty old with not-great eyesight. I like it a lot better than the in-the-hammer notch on the 1858s.
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Old July 31, 2012, 06:21 AM   #8
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The 58 is a Remington. Notch is on the frame.
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Old July 31, 2012, 10:20 AM   #9
Chowmif16
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The sights

FloridaVeteran,
I do quite like the sights. For some reason, they seem to be easier to use than Colt's notch on the hammer. When I first looked at them, I was surprised how short the rear sight was, and thought that it might shoot low.
Doesn't seem to!

cheers,
chowmi
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Old July 31, 2012, 10:22 AM   #10
samcolt1860
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Ding Dong (nobody home). We are talking about a '72 Colt. I think you have Remington on the brain.
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Old July 31, 2012, 04:47 PM   #11
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Tow-Boat-er - you're absolutely right - I should have remembered because my BP-shooting buddy uses the Remingtons. I was thinking of the Colt 1860 Army - somebody at our table must have had one of these.

Chowmi - glad you're so happy with your gun. It's in my most-fun-to-shoot category these days. Quality control on them must be decent, crisp trigger, no drag lines, clean lockup. Granted, I paid extra to have them tuned, deburred and uglified. Bought another dozen A-Zoom snap-caps and love to feel that hammer drop.

When I ordered mine, I added an extra wedge and a set of screws and springs. Don't remember the cost but it seemed very reasonable. Now I just need to figure out how to make the grips look like 150 years old without ruining them looking more for that semi-flat well-handled appearance.

Last edited by FloridaVeteran; July 31, 2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: type
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Old August 1, 2012, 12:13 AM   #12
Chowmif16
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FloridaVeteran,
Yup, it's about my favorite cartridge gun right now. I did not get it tuned or order extra parts. Fortunately, it seems to have come with an extra wedge security screw, because I have already managed to mess the original up. Out at the range without the proper tools... 69th time I've learned that lesson.

Sandman,
I've just had too much to do today to put pictures up. I will soon. I'm loading up some cartridges with the .452190, and weighing each bullet and powder charge on a digital scale, so it's slow going.

Does Sandman_NV mean you are in Nevada? I'm in Vegas for my sins...
Cheers,
Chowmi
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Old August 1, 2012, 08:13 PM   #13
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Chowmi,

Ok, no hurry on the pics, totally understand your busy schedule. I just like seeing what folks own and shoot.

and yes, the _nv is for Nevada where we also are located. Vegas a great place to be if you have to sin.

We used to go shooting way out the end of Sahara Avenue long time ago. Can't now though - condos everywhere!

Cheers
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Old August 3, 2012, 11:51 AM   #14
Chowmif16
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Vegas

Sandman,
I'm in North Las Vegas, I now go out up the 15 to the 93 towards Pioche. Takes me about 25 minutes door to shooting spot. The public range always makes me angry with my muzzleloaders...
Still working on the pics, went up to Salt Lake for a few days.
cheers,
chowmi
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Old August 4, 2012, 10:03 PM   #15
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The 1872 OT was not a conversion. It was manufactured as a new design and not a conversion of an existing design.

My 5 1/2" .45 Colt 1872's are some of my favorite "gamer" guns for Cowboy Action shooting. When going "gamer", I shoot a .454" round ball over 6.1 grains Trail Boss for ~850 fps and very light recoil - 6.1 grains instead of 6.0 because that's what the corresponding RCBS Little Dandy rotor throws. I seat the ball almost flush with the case mouth (the rules say it can't be seated below the case mouth), and smear some solid stick lube grease around the ball/case mouth. It is an extremely accurate load in all three of mine and shoots to point of aim at CAS ranges. If you don't crimp and just leave the mouths belled (slightly enough to chamber, of course), the brass lasts a long time.
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Old August 6, 2012, 04:46 PM   #16
Chowmif16
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Conversion

JBar,
I stand corrected, I suppose I knew that somewhere in my brain...

I've been down with the stomach flu for a few days, so haven't had a chance to try out my new BP loads, but should get to it this week.

Cheers,
Chowmi
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Old August 7, 2012, 01:33 PM   #17
Rol45
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uberti .38 Richards-Mason

I just got a Uberti Richard-mason conversion and it was trouble from the start brand new from the box, had to have the cylinder refaced along with the cone the flatness was off quite a bit .
Works fine now though . I reliced it and it looks awesome to me .
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Old August 10, 2012, 10:51 PM   #18
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Chowmi - I will be offline mostly until about the 15th, but would like to see photos of your '62.

Scorch gave me some great tips on how to make the grips on mine look old, without messing up the fit - the only oversight by Cimarron when they custom-finished mine.

My old eyes love that way-long barrel, too.
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Old August 11, 2012, 01:17 PM   #19
Chowmif16
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Results with .452190

Finally got to the range, albeit for a very short time.
I shot 3 strings of five, each with a different load.
All from a rest, 15 yards, each bullet was weighed and each bullet in a string was within .5 gr of the rest of the string
#1: 28gr Goex 3F, .452190, over powder card, non-magnum primer
Group was 3 inches vertical by 1.75 horizontal, centered 6 inches high

#2: 29gr Goex 3F, .452190, same card,primer
Group was 2.25 vertical by 1.5 horizontal, centered 4.5 inches high

#3 27gr Goex 3F, same same
Group was 1.37 vertical by 1.5 horizontal, centered 3.5 inches high.

The gun definitely seemed to like the 27gr load, and as a side note, my Uberti SAA, 5.5" barrell liked that load the best as well. It shot an even better group.

cheers,
Chowmi
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Old August 11, 2012, 02:38 PM   #20
Chowmif16
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Pic

Florida Veteran,
here is a pic of the gun, in the condition it likes most- dirty!
Cheers,
Chowmi
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0760.JPG (56.5 KB, 59 views)
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Old August 17, 2012, 06:29 AM   #21
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Chowmif16 - nice group, and a great-looking revolver! Big plus that you can standardize on the same load for both of the guns.

Tell you what - that is a man's gun. The only other wheelgun that feels pretty much as good in my hand is a Pietta Alchemistas, but these open tops are way cooler looking.

Since Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" was set in 1880, I wonder if they'd have outfitted him with 1872 open tops, instead of the 1860s (or '51s or Walkers - haven't watched it in a long time) that he used, except that they needed the percussion cap misfire and Eastwood's holy-crap look in the final bar-fight scene with Hackman.
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Old August 17, 2012, 03:58 PM   #22
Chowmif16
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FloridaVeteran,
Yes it is a lovely gun. It fits well, and the sights are quite nice.
It's fairly light, so the kick with BP rounds is fairly significant.
As to the ability to use a single load across guns, we'll have to see. I think it will end up being a compromise, and each gun will like a particular load.
I just received some PRS Big Lube bullets, and am hoping to try them out within a week.

cheers,
Chowmi
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:00 PM   #23
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Chowmif16 - re standard loads, I suspect that this is the next-oldest unanswerable question after, "What do women want?" I try to make a load for which I can reasonably adjust the sights or point-of-aim of all my compatible firearms. However, that may be way easier for me to do, shooting smokeless .45LC, than for you shooting black powder.

Sooner or later, I'll buy some packaged BP Long Colts for my '62s and shoot them for the nostalgia. Too lazy to do it in CAS, because I'd have to put the BP through my long guns and don't want the cleaning haslle.

Don't know if or how you can post YouTube links here, but it would be fun to watch you shoot the '62. When you mentioned that it feels fairly light, are you accustomed to shooting Pattersons? The reason I ask is that I found my open-top to be pretty close to perfect in weight and balance - wondering why they ever changed it afterward.
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Old August 18, 2012, 09:16 PM   #24
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Chowmif16 - have you found a holster for your open top yet? If not, do you plan to? So far I have had all mine custom made, but I'm having a hard time dealing with the cost of yet another custom pair. I was disappointed that the neither ones for my SAAs nor for my Alchemistas will fit the '72s. I'm not worried at all about bluing preservation on these two, because the bluing is gone and used-looking is better for me.

Anyhow, if you find a holster that is a good fit and doesn't cost a fortune, I'd like to know.
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Old August 18, 2012, 10:46 PM   #25
Chowmif16
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Holster and weight

Florida,
I have not shot a Patterson, although I would love to.
I think the balance is good as well, it just feels lighter than my Uberti SAA - which may be total B.S. - it just seems to feel that way.
I suppose it is probably lighter than an 1860 Army, since there is no loading lever and the cylinder must be lighter.

I happen to have a holster that fits it well. Unfortunately, I bought it 10 years ago and have no idea who made it. It fits my 1860 Army and 1851 Navy as well. I'll see if it has any maker's marks on it.

I'm just now loading up some more rounds with PRS Big Lube bullets to see how they do with it and the SAA/Lever action.

Cheers,
Chowmi
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