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Old September 7, 2013, 11:14 AM   #1
EliasKell
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Quick questions

I'm brand stinkin' new to BP, and I've just ordered a Pietta 1860 Army in .44 w/ a starter kit from Cabela's online yesterday.

Is there anything that I would need to do besides re-work the firing cone and cylinder gap to get the firearm to accommodate a conversion cylinder?

Also, what caliber(s) would work in a gun like mine that's already chambered in .44 if I decided to do cartridges? I've heard the cylinders from Taylors & Co. are the way to go on this, but I'm looking for something with a functional loading gate so I don't have to disassemble the gun if I'm wanting to load it.

Am I spouting nonsense, or are these good questions?
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Old September 7, 2013, 02:05 PM   #2
Hawg
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You should have bought the stuff in the kit separately. The balls in it are .451 and .454's are a better option. They may work fine but they may move under recoil. You shouldn't have to redo the forcing cone for a conversion but you will have to grind out the recoil shield for the loading gate and drill and tap the barrel for the ejector rod housing. .44 will work but you have to reload using hollow based bullets. .45 will work without reloading or using special bullets as long as they're lead and are cowboy loads. The .44 cylinders are 6 shot and the .45's are 5 shot.
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Old September 7, 2013, 02:42 PM   #3
Doc Hoy
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First of all, welcome to the forum...

No your questions are not nonsense.

I have never done conversion to cartridges but I would think that you do not need to touch the forcing cone.
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Old September 7, 2013, 04:13 PM   #4
Noz
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Do a little more research, Taylor's is a good place to start.

There are a couple of approaches to conversions. I would prefer the one that does not require the frame be ground for a loading gate.
The one without the loading gate would allow you to use the gun as it was intended with round balls or with the conversion cylinder installed, 45 Colt.

I still have difficulty understanding why one would buy a new cap and ball revolver, a conversion cylinder and pay nearly as much for them as a new Ruger in 45 Colt and have a gun with a much lower grade of durability?
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Old September 7, 2013, 04:26 PM   #5
EliasKell
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I thought I read that the balls that came with the kit were .454, but if they are in fact .451 I'll try patching them first until I get my hands on some properly sized ones.

And Noz, I was planning on eventually working up to a gun I could switch back and forth with between BP and cartridges with a cylinder change--I guess I should have worded the question as: "Would this gun potentially do that?"

Sorry, still figgerin' things out.
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Old September 7, 2013, 04:38 PM   #6
Hawg
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Quote:
I thought I read that the balls that came with the kit were .454, but if they are in fact .451 I'll try patching them first until I get my hands on some properly sized ones.
Maybe they changed but they used to be .451. Patching revolver balls won't work since lead is shaved as they're loaded. Like I said they may work fine but they may move under recoil. Even if they do work most prefer .454. I know I do.
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Old September 7, 2013, 04:48 PM   #7
EliasKell
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Thanks for the tip on that. I'll double check the diameter when it comes in and see what I need from there.
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Old September 7, 2013, 05:01 PM   #8
TemboTusk
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Quote:
I still have difficulty understanding why one would buy a new cap and ball revolver, a conversion cylinder and pay nearly as much for them as a new Ruger in 45 Colt and have a gun with a much lower grade of durability?

Because they are just not as cool!
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Old September 8, 2013, 12:53 PM   #9
maillemaker
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Quote:
I still have difficulty understanding why one would buy a new cap and ball revolver, a conversion cylinder and pay nearly as much for them as a new Ruger in 45 Colt and have a gun with a much lower grade of durability?
I agree. The damn converson cylinder costs more than the gun!

If I was going to use a conversion cylinder I'd do it in 1858 Remy - the cylinder pops out much more easily.

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Old September 8, 2013, 01:00 PM   #10
Hawg
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Quote:
If I was going to use a conversion cylinder I'd do it in 1858 Remy - the cylinder pops out much more easily.
But a Colt is so much more cooler.
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Old September 8, 2013, 01:19 PM   #11
Rigmarol
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I have two Colt's Dragoon Cap and Ball revolvers that I have converted to .45colt cartridges.

The .44 CnB revolvers are typically .454 which is perfect for the .45Colt cartridge. I cast and load my own rounds.

I went with the Kirst Konverters and am very happy with them. I tried to fit them myself but my confidence wasn't up to going past ruining two ruined hands attempting to get them to work.

I've been told all over the 'net it's simple to do but could not find a single person willing to talk me through it. Turns out some fitting to the rachet on the new cylinders is what was needed and I sure didn't want to do that myself.

I sent my guns and cylinders off to the gun smith Kirst recommended and they came back perfect. I would have saved a considerable amount of money if I had just paid to have them fitted when I bought the cylinders. I recommend that way to go.

They hogged out the blast shield and it looks perfect.

I shoot mine in CAS and have shot a few hundred rounds though them both so far with no complaints whatsoever.

As the question why someone would spend that kind of money for a conversion over just buying more guns; because it's MY money, My guns, My desire, and I wanted to. It's so darned cool shooting cartridges from the older Colt!!! Would I do it again, dang straight I would.

Here's a picture of my Colts set up for CnB:


Here is a bad picture of them after the conversion:
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Old September 8, 2013, 01:26 PM   #12
Rigmarol
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Colt or Remington?
Yes the cylinder is a little easier to change out or remove in the Remington but with the Kirst Konversion, you get a loading gate so there is no need at all to remove the cylinders until you want to go back to CnB.

Something to consider.
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Old September 9, 2013, 08:10 PM   #13
EliasKell
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Yes the cylinder is a little easier to change out or remove in the Remington but with the Kirst Konversion, you get a loading gate so there is no need at all to remove the cylinders until you want to go back to CnB.
Yes I'd love to have the loading gate on one eventually, is that a permanent modification or can it be removed with the cylinder? Only wondering just in case I wanted to go back to BP on the same gun.

And those are some good looking Dragoons (1st Models, right?)

So if I wanted to go to catridges on the 1860 Pietta in .44 that I'm getting, the cartridge I'd be converting to would be .45 LC? And I wouldn't have to work the barrel or anything, just stick to cowboy ammo, correct? I just want to understand.
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Old September 10, 2013, 06:59 AM   #14
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I got that same kit from Cabelas as my first bp gun a few years back. the balls were fine, .454's. I wouldn't be too hasty to go about shootin cartridges out of it yet. Experience the fun of cap and ball! There is plenty of time later to decide if you want to go that route.
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Old September 11, 2013, 07:02 PM   #15
Rigmarol
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The Kirst Konversion with the loading gate does require some machining to the blast shield where the loading gate is. The capping recess isn't deep enough to use with cartridges. But, you can easily change from conversion back to CnB.

It's just a matter of changing out the cylinders and going shooting.
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Old September 11, 2013, 11:38 PM   #16
DPris
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You did get a steel-framed gun, right?
Denis
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Old September 12, 2013, 08:15 AM   #17
maillemaker
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Does the Kirst Conversion follow a period-correct retrofit process or is it a modern invention?

Steve
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Old September 12, 2013, 06:33 PM   #18
EliasKell
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Quote:
You did get a steel-framed gun, right?
Denis
Yes it is steel framed.

Quote:
I wouldn't be too hasty to go about shootin cartridges out of it yet. Experience the fun of cap and ball! There is plenty of time later to decide if you want to go that route.
Precisely the plan, and it just came in today, so I'm super excited!
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Old September 14, 2013, 07:53 PM   #19
Rigmarol
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Quote:
Does the Kirst Conversion follow a period-correct retrofit process or is it a modern invention?

Steve
I shoot them fine in SASS matches and I've been told there were similar conversions done on CnB revolvers in the day. Whether Kirst is putting out period correct devices or not I can't say.

By the way, the Konversions are made for handloaded BP loads not modern full loads. And they specify not to use them for Brass framed revolvers.
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Old September 14, 2013, 08:07 PM   #20
Rigmarol
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Quote:
And those are some good looking Dragoons (1st Models, right?)

So if I wanted to go to catridges on the 1860 Pietta in .44 that I'm getting, the cartridge I'd be converting to would be .45 LC? And I wouldn't have to work the barrel or anything, just stick to cowboy ammo, correct? I just want to understand.
Sorry, I missed this part.

My Dragoons are Colt's Signature Series 2nd Models. They have the newer rectangular bolt slots and the square back trigger guards. I believe 1st models had oval bolt slots and the 3rd model had rectangular slots and rounded trigger guards. 3rd also had a large variety of different characteristics. But I believe mine are 2nd Gen. at least the one that came with a Sig Series box said it was. It was used so who knows for real.

It's also my understanding the the .44 was large for caliber and will work just fine with LEAD bullets in .45 caliber. No Jacketed .44 should be used.

No barrel mod required or needed.

I load these for Colt .45 BP specs with "Big Lube" 210 gn bullets I cast myself from Wheel Weight lead or even dead soft lead. I size and lube using FELIX lube and can shoot an 8 stage match without having to clean either the revolvers or the Marlin Lever rifle until after the match.

And just for the fun of it:
.45 Colt rounds go in my revolvers (short guns)
.45 Long Colt rounds go in my rifle (long gun)
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