View Full Version : Pietta 1851 Navy conversion cylinder?

November 14, 2010, 03:45 PM
My Dad just bought a Pietta 1851 Navy

It is a touch hard for him to load. I think the ball he was using was very hard; I used six of mine (Hornady) at a nominal .375" (I did most of his loading today) and it was much easier, while still shaving a full ring. It shoots well, to point of aim at 33 feet. Nice balance and good trigger too. His first two targets he grouped it well, even the first one- grouped as well as I did with it actually and my eyes are 34 years younger. He was grouping 5" with the thing from stone cold so i thought he did well

Anyway. Maybe the trick thing for him would be a conversion cylinder. All I know is that they are out there

Am I correct that for this revolver it would be a .38 special conversion? I think he'd get much more enjoyment out of this with fixed ammunition

Fingers McGee
November 14, 2010, 04:28 PM
Conversion cylinder for the Navy would be chambered for 38 Spcl/38 Colt. Barrel bore diameter of the Navy is .375. Bullet diameter of .38 specials is .357. To get any kind of accuracy out of the revolver, you would either have to shoot hollow base wadcutter bullets or heeled bullets so they would bump up to the bore diameter; or, line the barrel to .357 which would make it unuseable with the C&B cylinder.

'51 Navies aren't hard to load if you are using a correct diameter soft lead ball and have a stable stand to load it on.

There are a couple other options available to you. Buying a conversion cylinder and an opentop barrel in .357 would allow use of standard .38 specials and the C&B cylinder. This would, of course, increase the costs almost to the point of just buying a cartridge conversion revolver in .38 to go along with the C&B revolver.

Whatever you decide to do - by all means - have fun shooting the smokey stuff