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Old February 10, 2013, 01:04 PM   #1
deerslayer303
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Cimmarons Conversions

A young fella here in my unit was asking me some questions about Cimmarons Conversion pistols. I couldn't answer them, but I told him I KNEW where I could get the answers he wanted. He wants to buy the "man with no name" conversion. which is a '51 Navy with factory conversion to shoot 38 S&W, 38 special. He wants to know about bore size. I was surprised that he knew to ask about it. He works in a gun shop in FL so maybe he knows a thing or two. I told him that the .51 navy shoots a .375 to .380 ball, and that .38 bullets are .358. So are these conversions set up with a barrel that is sized to the .38's .357-.358 bullet diameter. Or is it a standard round ball Navy Barrel? And also do you have to shoot only cowboy ammo through these as well.
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Old February 10, 2013, 01:34 PM   #2
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Needs ammo with either hollow based bullets (they will expand in the barrel), or heeled bullets. Read this on the Kirst site,

http://www.kirstkonverter.com/coltnavy.html

probably appropriate for any conversion:
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Old February 10, 2013, 02:19 PM   #3
Bob Wright
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A friend of mine bought a .38 Special "Conversion", actually it is more of an "Open Top" than a conversion model, that is, the frame is made for a loading gate a la Single Action Army clones. The bore size of his gun is .357"

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Old February 10, 2013, 04:13 PM   #4
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I think this is the difference in that the Cimmaron conversions are conversions to begin with and it would make sense to have a .357 bore size. C&B revolvers later turned into conversions on the other hand are going to have the larger bores and need the hollow based bullets.
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:28 PM   #5
Roshi
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Conversion bore

The bore on my Cimarron "1871" which is a .38 Special/.38 Colt version of the 51 Navy with a barrel that never had a loading lever, is .357

If you go with a Kirst conversion in a 51 Navy and shoot factory ammo the bullets are going to be undersize for the bore.
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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I think I read somewhere they "sleeve the bore" on the 36 caliber BP conversions where the gun started out as BP and an after market modification is made. I have all three Cimmaron conversions and love em. I believe they are factory built by Uberti, as cartridge revolvers, for Cimmaron.
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Old February 10, 2013, 05:12 PM   #7
Bishop Creek
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deerslayer303: Keep in mind that 38 S&W, 38 special are not the same caliber. My American Frontier Firearms 1851 conversion can fire .38 Special and .38 Long & Short Colt, but not .38 S&W. On the other hand, my 1897 Iver Johnson fires .38 S&W.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:01 PM   #8
LeadZinger
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Just now...

checked my own 1851 Navy Conversion made by Uberti. Barrel is stamped thus: "38 Colt & S.W.Spl.". My bore was slugged at .356 and I shoot a .357 dia, 158gr. RNFP bullet. I will admit I've recently experienced severe lead fouling but I believe (with the helpf this forum) that issue is more related to lubing and powder measure than bullet to bore size.

The bores on modern reproductions of factory conversions are much smaller than those for cap & ball, and they will accommodate modern factory ammunition to include smokeless powders. If reloading, keep in mind these are still revolvers of Open Top design so you don't want to go crazy with the amount of smokeless powder you put in a cartridge. Personally I just reload with black powder as was done with the originals.
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Old February 11, 2013, 01:49 PM   #9
Bob Wright
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leadzinger wrote:

Quote:
checked my own 1851 Navy Conversion made by Uberti. Barrel is stamped thus: "38 Colt & S.W.Spl."
Now that's interesting. Haven't seen that in many years. That could be taken to mean ".38 Long and Short Colt", or ".38 Colt Special". Used to be stamped on older Colt DA revovlers.

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Old February 11, 2013, 05:10 PM   #10
LeadZinger
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Not an...

expert so it actually seems confusing to me. Looking at usual dimensions given for bullet diameter, case lenght and OAL, you should be able to use .38spl., and .38 Colt Long & Short both. They all take a .357 dia bullet and with the 38spl having the longest OAL the cyclinder chambered for it should accept the shorter rounds. When you look at the Smith&Wesson .38 I note that it takes a .359 dia bullet, which is to big for these conversions. So why stamp S&W on the barrel? The Italians trying to confuse me?

The main point is that there is a difference in the barrels between manufactured conversion reproductions and barrels originally factory produced as C&B and then converted by aftermarket means (Kirst, R.D., etc.). The latter is going to have it's rounds dictated by the cylinder dimensions and is where you typically have to look to using heeled bullets to seal a larger bore.
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Old February 11, 2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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I understand the heeled bullet was such a PITA that it was one of the first things that got fixed back in the day...
I know my .44 Colt is a .429 bullet now, so essentially all of those ,44 Colt opentops are .44 Special. I have not tried to fire a .44 Colt in a .44 spl, but I bet it would work. The single action extractor doesn't use the rim anyway.
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Old February 11, 2013, 08:05 PM   #12
deerslayer303
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Thanks Guys, I knew ya'll would know the answer.
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Old February 12, 2013, 04:36 PM   #13
asmith
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http://www.uberti.com/firearms/army-...d-open-top.php

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Old February 12, 2013, 05:19 PM   #14
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Those require a sale by a FFL dealer, I'd think those would have a barrel that uses standard 38 Special ammo probably measure .357 the heeled bullets are .380 or so, if it were mine I'd measure first then shoot.
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Old February 12, 2013, 05:33 PM   #15
Strafer Gott
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I laid away a '72 Opentop in .38 spl.today. It's also marked .38 Colt.
Gosh these Cimmarons are nice and smooth. Happy trails!
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