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Old May 28, 2013, 06:51 PM   #1
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Posts: 23
Milling Redhawk Cylinder

Thinking I might want to get the cylinder milled on my 454 redhawk so it can take moonclips and thus fire 45 acp. I have a bunch of 45 acp ammo laying around from when i used to have my springfield, so it just makes sense for plinking. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with this? Would it effect my ability to fire full house 454s in any way? Also a rough estimate on cost? Have done some research but couldnt find much info on it. If im correct, after I get this done the gun would be able to fire:

454 casull
45 colt
45 acp
45 super
460 rowland
45 auto rimmed
45 schofield

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Old May 29, 2013, 12:59 PM   #2
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How much difference is .007"?

I'm sure you could get your Redhawk cylinder cut, but I have to wonder why?

Take a look at the cartridge specs. Cases based on the .45ACP (including the Auto Rim and the .45WinMag) all have a case mouth diameter of .473".

Cases based on the .45 Colt ("Long" Colt, Schoefield, .454, .460, etc) have case mouth diameters of .480".

So, while the moon clip system will handle your headspace issues in the DA revolver, the .45 Colt (.454 etc) chambers are already oversize for the .45ACP.

It would probably work, meaning the ACP rounds would fire, but the .007" larger diameter chamber would mean that the cases would swell a lot. Maybe enough to split. Gas seal between the chamber walls and case would be, "iffy", IMHO.

And, I'm pretty certain that accuracy would be poor. Firing the short round in an oversize chamber (both in diameter and in length) means the bullet has a lot of opportunity to enter the barrel less then "square" with the bore.

SA revolvers use a separate cylinder for the .45ACP, because of the headspace system, AND because it lets them fit the chamber to the cartridge properly. Because of the difference in diameter between the .45 Colt class cases and the .45ACP class, one cylinder cannot fit both properly.

Its your gun, do what you want, but to me, its not worth the cost of the conversion for the utility gained. If your intention is to have one gun that you can still use if you have .45acp ammo and run out of everything else, I believe that it would still go bang. However, I think you would not be entirely happy with the results, beyond that.

TO me, it makes more sense to just get a .45acp revolver to have as backup if/when you are out of Colt (and other) ammo.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 29, 2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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I don't know of any issues with this conversion but you will not be able to use .45Autorim.
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Old May 29, 2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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If there are truly going to be problems, is the Governor an oddity with a compromise cylinder, or are .45 ACP rounds just crap through it?
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:29 AM   #5
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If you cut the cylinder for moon clips, you will not be able to fire any of the rimmed cartridges without using those same moon clips. Reason: rimmed cartridges headspace on the rim, not the case mouth, so you would create a massive headspace issue right from the get-go. If you want a revolver to fire 45 ACP with moon clips, get one. If you want a revolver to fire 45 Colt, get one. If you want a revolver to fire everything and make you a turkey sandwich when you are done, they don't exist.
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Old May 30, 2013, 07:27 AM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
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IMO, you'd be better off having a 2nd cylinder made for the rimless cartridges, & keeping your stock cylinder for the rimmed cartridges...

BTW... the Auto Rim cartridge would be the exception, the rim is thicker than others, & takes up the space of the moon clip as well
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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If you cut the cylinder for moon clips, you will not be able to fire any of the rimmed cartridges without using those same moon clips.
Not true. If it's cut for moon clips, the only thing he won't be able to use is .45AR. Rimmed cartridges may be used without clips.
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:34 AM   #8
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Cylinders have been cut to allow .38/.357 and 9mm to be used with clips, which are faster than speed loaders for the revolver rounds. I don't recall any in .45Colt/.45ACP, but I don't know any reason it couldn't be done. But with cost, accuracy or other problems, I don't know if the job would be practical.

BTW, .007 is not that significant in terms of case diameter and is less than the difference between many cases and chambers. It will not cause case splitting or even much of a noticeable bulge.

Jim K
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:56 AM   #9
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The link I provided has pricing and videos showing the machining process, as well as others.
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Old May 31, 2013, 05:47 PM   #10
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I've been lurking on this sight for a few years. This post finally got me off my duff and I registered. I'd like to add some 1st hand experience about TK Custom and they're products. To start with I am a very big fan. TK has machined three of my cylinders for my 686's and I don't ever see me going back to speed loaders. Yes, you can still load the cylinder with your rimmed rounds. His service is fast and his product is top notch and no, I am not getting paid for this endorsement. It's mighty nice to pick up one piece, moonclip with 6 cases all together, rather than a speedloader and 6 separate cases if you are reloading fast. Jeff Quinn did a write up on TK and he's know as a straight shooter so look up his article and I think you'll go that way.
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Old May 31, 2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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The 45 ACP case is .898" long, the 454 Casull case is 1.383" long. If you fire a 45 ACP in a 454 Casull cylinder the unsupported bullet will have nearly 1/2" of freebore that is .026" larger than the bullet to slop around in prior to being forced through the throat. Imagine trying to throw a 3" ball through a 3" hole from 3 inches away. This is not a recipe for accuracy, IMO.

Last edited by s4s4u; June 1, 2013 at 03:46 PM.
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