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Old March 3, 2014, 04:14 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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starting a Walker... uhhh... "rebuild"

so I had a post in the revolver section a while back, on the 45 Black powder magnum on a conversion cylinder for the Walkers... it seemed pretty interesting to me...

had to talk to my local retired builder buddy... ( he loves working on this type of project, & has strengthened 5-6 open top revolvers for "permanent" cartridge conversions... I have 2 of which, a lil pocket, now chambered in 32 S&W, & another ( navy ??? sorry, not up on my black powder revolvers ) chambered in 32-20... both will handle sane smokeless loads... he's just completed an 1858 in 41 "special" ( 41 magnum cases trimmed to "special" length )

... so, on to my next build... we discussed the issues around future shooters shooting our guns, when we are gone, & he doesn't like the fact, that a 454 Casull will fit in the 45 BPM chamber, so we briefly discussed using 444 marlin cases shortened & pushing 45 caliber bullets, however, a 44 Magnum could still be inserted ( though the gun would likely "contain the explosion" since the case would be loose, & the bullet loose in the barrel ) a 44 Magnum would still likely fire...

so from there... where do you go ??? um... bigger ???

right now we are thinking a 5 round cylinder, with 348 / 50 Alaskan cases trimmed to length...

part of the reason I'm posting here, is right now, I'm thinking Trailboss, to start with, but in the near future, I'd like to do some blackpowder cartridge shooting... so... open for thoughts or suggestions

BTW... he asked me if I wanted the barrel the 9" long or what... have been himming & hawing on that... then I saw those pictures on the Archangle chops ( I love a good snubbie ) but I'm thinking it should ( probably ) be longer... how long ??? my 1st thought, is barrel sticking out, the same length as the frame block, so 3" of barrel ( I think that block is about 3" ) for a total of 6"
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Old March 10, 2014, 02:40 PM   #2
Magnum Wheel Man
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so... I have yet to come across a builder gun ( hate to buy one new, when half the gun goes to the parts bin )

but I think I have a line on one... once we have an actual gun in our hands, we can measure what we can get by with for chambers...

thinking shortened versions of these cases...

375 Winchester
444 Marlin
460 S&W
500 S&W ( would be a 5 shot revolver, if a 50 will fit ) ( which is a whole "nuther" discussion... an actual 4 shot revolver with an empty under the hammer )

one thing I can do... albeit crudely, is look at barrel lengths... here is a quick & dirty of what I think this could look like, trimming the barrel to equal length as the block ( for summitry ) & with the loading lever removed... my builder will be adding a single action case extractor, & a loading gate, that will lokk like they came on the gun...

what do you all think about this barrel length ???

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Old March 10, 2014, 07:30 PM   #3
robhof
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robhof

Take plenty of pic's, we all love to see new projects and a range report is in order when finished. Good luck and we'll be waiting>
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Old March 13, 2014, 06:41 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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Can't believe how hard these are to buy... the auction sites are selling used Italian reproductions, at just under what the new ones are selling for...

... so I just bought this "kit" from Dixie Gun Works...

Quote:
The Walker is one of the famous revolvers made by Colt. This kit is pre-assembled but will require final finishing such as sanding, bluing, polishing, and etc. Skill level 1. Barrel is a .44 caliber and has a one piece grip with European walnut stock. Manufactured by Uberti/Italy.
on sale for $325.00

latest on the chambering, looks like shortened 45-70 cases, straight tapered to use .452 bullets... if they'll fit the cylinder diameter
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Old March 13, 2014, 07:33 AM   #5
4V50 Gary
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I saw an original Walker than had been converted to a smoothbore shotgun. The barrel was about 16" long and where the pistol grip was, there was a shoulder stock.
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Old March 13, 2014, 07:45 AM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
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that would be interesting to see...

last weekend was the one gun show I get tables at & sell... I had a guy come in to sell or trade an old cap & ball revolver ( honestly the ugliest thing I've seen in a while ) said he'd had it since Vietnam, a guy owed him money & gave him the gun for the payment... may have been original, or a very early reproduction... but the original C&B cylinder had been drilled out to accept cartridges ( I don't know how well it functioned, since the back of the cylinder was not flat ) the ball seating rod had been riveted in position, & the wedge was hammered so loose, the gun wiggled in the middle... I think it was 36 caliber, so I'm not sure it they shot 38 S&W in it, or 38 special, but the gun was totally hammered... I asked him what he thought it was worth, since my buddy could likely rebuild it doing the same things he'd done to my conversion guns... he said... well the guy owed him $500.00 back then... I just smiled, & said I was thinking that $75.00 would be generous... needless to say, we didn't make a deal
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Old May 5, 2014, 07:18 AM   #7
Magnum Wheel Man
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got to test fire a cylinder full of primers last night ( nice little dents perfectly centered on all, even with rifle primers ) we had to go with the 460 S&W cases, as the cylinder arbor is huge, & doesn't leave enough room at the ratchet, at the back of the cylinder ( as it is, there is a slight radius to allow for the rims of the 460 case ) the ejector housing is requiring some ball mill work on the Walker barrel block to line up correctly, but I expect the just under 7" barreled revolver will be full functional by this week's end... then I'll shoot it a while to see if any improvements are needed before the cosmetics are started... the grips are shaped & sanded, & have their 1st coat of finish ( this was purchased as a "kit gun" fully assembled, but brass grip frame rough, grips just rough fit, & no finish on the metal parts... I'm surprised at the piece of wood on it... I had thought about getting some aftermarket grips, as I expected very plain wood on the cheaper "kit" but the factory wood is particularly nice

once the "460 S&W" gets knurled off the case heads, I'm thinking about starting at 10 grains, but loading between 10 & 13 grains of Unique... should give me a period looking ,dirty, smokey load that shoots pretty good, but is non corrosive...

if I take this up to the CASS regionals this fall, they have a night black powder shoot, where "the fire" is what it's all about... I might experiment with loading some black powder cases for this event... think a full case of single "F" powder aught to throw some pretty big fire??? I'm guessing this revolver will get some positive reaction when loaded with black...I'll take detailed pictures of the gun, once the machine work is done this week...

BTW... we did a lot of research on case hardening / pack hardening, & were able to get about .015" of surface hardness on the frame ( which is just what we were looking for ) the cylinder arbor has been replaced with modern tool steel, & the threads were changed to the next size bigger where it screws into the frame, to increase the strength at the back, coupled with the surface hardness, it aught to be quite sufficient... the assembly is held in position perfectly, by a tool steel taper pin, & a hardened tool steel wedge fliped to enter from the opposite side, ( because of the ejector housing fit ) backs it up, as well as a screw where the load lever pivot used to be, was flipped around, & now goes through the arbor, & holds the ejector tube on the gun... all in all, the gun should be safe for a full time diet of any factory 45 Colt loading, or mid level 45 colt hand load pressures in the removed head stamp 460 S&W case... using 250 -270 grain lead 45 colt bullets
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