View Full Version : "Retro" Revolvers

Ben Towe
February 7, 2011, 11:38 PM
Well it is snowing (again) and I'm sitting around watching The Revolution and thinking... I would really like to have a modern Walker that is capable of firing .454 Casull or .460 Mag cartridges. Could an open top revolver be built with modern alloys that would be capable of such loads? Or even hot .45 Colt loads?

Yes, I know, I'm crazy. :D

February 8, 2011, 12:23 AM
Here's ClemBert's Walker Conversion:



Ben Towe
February 8, 2011, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the links arcticap, I read about that the other day. It is an interesting conversion but if I understand correctly it still requires blackpowder pressures. I'm thinking of a truly smokeless platform.

February 8, 2011, 12:37 AM
for 454 Casull or hot 45colt loads just get a ruger blackhawk.and its not the metal that makes a walker week(to mordern standards) its the OPEN TOP

February 8, 2011, 12:43 AM
You're very welcome.
You would need to ask Clembert about that, but it's my understanding that moderate or mid-level smokeless cowboy type loadings can be fired with it.
I don't think that there's a Walker conversion maker that will admit that full "Ruger only" type loads including jacketed bullets can be fired with theirs.
That's a legal disclaimer for product liability purposes, plus the Walker is a very old design.
The Ruger Old Army is the only large bore cap & ball revolver that I know of that has barrel steel that's truly rated for shooting jacketed bullets.
Some of the early ROA's had a Dragoon style brass grip frame that was slightly larger in size with a square trigger guard.
Have you considered a Magnum Research BFR or similar modern revolver? :)

Ben Towe
February 8, 2011, 03:29 AM
Kameron, I have a Super Blackhawk, with the old square trigger guard. I am aware that it can handle some brutal loads, but it is so light (compared to a Walker) that recoil makes shooting somewhat unpleasant, and let's just face it, it just ain't as sexy as a Walker:D.

Arcticap, I doubt you could ever safely fire Ruger loads in a Walker clone (or even an actual late model Colt). I wouldn't want to try it. My thoughts were more along the lines of whether a manufacturer could ever sit down and build a modern open top revolver, staying true to the design, and make it strong enough to shoot Casull loads. I know it's pure fantasy, but I would be the first in line to purchase one. The BFR is an interesting weapon and I might have to add one to the collection someday. I haven't seen one of the ROAs with the brass grip frame, have to look around for one of those.

February 8, 2011, 10:00 AM
You need a Super Black Hawk Hunter or a Super Red Hawk. They are enough gun to absorb the recoil. I just weighed my Super Black Hawk Hunter Bisley in 41 mag. she weighs 3.75 pounds unloaded.

The problem with the older guns and modern guns made for black powder is not the barrels but the cylinders. They cannot stand the pressures of the "big" rounds.

February 8, 2011, 10:15 AM
I think that some of you may have missed Ben's point - what if a manufacturer started from scratch with the idea of an open top revolver that looked like a Colt but performed like a Super Blackhawk?

Forget anything about black powder.

I suspect that some enterprising engineer could come up with one, but not at a price point that would make it manufacturable. But it sure would be neat!

February 8, 2011, 03:38 PM
kinda like a Mateba with out the `Auto' part, with a open top. that would be kinda cool, I think. Or a Chiappa Rhino with a open top.

February 8, 2011, 04:43 PM
The problem with the older guns and modern guns made for black powder is not the barrels but the cylinders. They cannot stand the pressures of the "big" rounds.

I thought that the conversion cylinders are made from Ruger quality steel. It's the weakness of how the barrel and arbor is attached to the frame and the weakness of that steel.

February 9, 2011, 03:00 PM
My understanding is that the conversion cylinders are adequate for SAMMI pressures for the caliber. 45 cal for SAMMI pressure 45s but certainly not for .454s.
The barrel frame is indeed a weak point on a Colt but I would be more worried about the cylinder.

If the whole gun was made to Ruger Specs then it would not blow but the cost would be astronomical.

My feeling it would be similar to installing a blown 454 Chevy in a Model T.

February 9, 2011, 10:40 PM
This is a Taylor's brochure naming the steels that their R&D conversion cylinder is made from, 4150 arsenal grade for the cylinders and 4140 for the top plate.

February 10, 2011, 12:21 AM
whats wrong with a BBC in a T bucket?