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Old October 30, 2010, 12:57 AM   #21
Ideal Tool
Junior member
Join Date: October 6, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Colt Conversion

Hello, Clem Bert, You are a man after my own heart. I too have a couple of Kirst Konverter cyl. revolvers..Both Colt re-makes. Back in the very early 1970's. I purchased one of Colts re-introduced 1851 .36 navy percussion revolvers. That gun was so lovely, I couldn,t bring myself to shoot it.. So I saved my pennys, and bought another just like it. The plan at the time was to shoot one, and keep the other mint in the box. the years went by, darned if I couldn,t bring myself to shoot either! Last year, I came across those Colts hidden away. The wife just happened to walk by and said offhand, What am I going to do with these guns if something should happen to you? I'll be stuck getting rid of them! Well, with no kids, she's right. And so I asked myself a question...Who am I saving them for? Here they have rested in their box for over 40 years...I might as well enjoy them! They haven't gone up in value that much, and I am pretty careful with my arms.
I kind of outgrew the joy's of black least in revolvers, and had purchased a Kirst cylinder in .38 Long Colt sometime before. That summer, no one had any components, I had a couple of boxes of Wi. 38 Colt brass, but no bullets. I ordered a Rapine hollow-base mould, but that wouldn't come until the fall. After all these years, when I finally decided to shoot the darn thing...I couldn't!
Or couldn,t I? I had some bullets from an old Ideal mould #358416 cast of soft lead. As cast dia. was .360" These were a snug push fit in the bore, but in no way were they large enough to be engraved by rifling, let alone fill those deep .375" grooves. Using a .359 Lyman sizer die, they were pushed in nose-first until base was flush with die mouth. this die was chucked up in my wood lathe, & a 1/4" Ball-end mill (available at industrial supply) was fed in
.12". This left a shallow cup in bullet base. I needed that base to slug up to groove dia. and was hoping that the very bottom band would at least expand to give somewhat accuracy. I used light charges of Bullseye. Not for fear of cyl. strength, Mr. Kirst assured me they were smokeless proofed...But on account of that old mid-19th century, three piece-held together by a wedge design. You can imagine my supprise when I started getting 2" groups at 25 yd.! This with hammer-notch rear, bead front, and 55 plus year old eyes!
But the real supprise came when I dug those slugs out of the backstop, not only was the bottom band expanded....The WHOLE bearing surface of that bullet had slugged up to .375" dia.!
I just thought I would let you know to what lengths an old shootest will go to get something to go bang! Oh, that forty year old plan was still followed, the mate of this one still reposes in her box.
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