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Old September 17, 2019, 08:10 PM   #1
caligula
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New kirst .45 open top converter kits

I am suffering from an intense desire to convert my old Pieta 1860 army to cartridge. Kirst is offering a gated kit for $325.00 and, verily, I am stricken. My heartsick desire to upgrade my loyal C&B with cartridge "augmentation" is bothered by a nagging skepticism in my mother's voice. The desire to push forward seems righteous but I fear that I might just be an old man making wedding plans with a hooker. If anyone here has tried these new converter kits please share.
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Old September 18, 2019, 06:49 AM   #2
woodnbow
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Not much new there but the price is very low for what you get... the only complaint I have is that they don’t make a gated version for the Ruger Old Army. Generally they function well without much drama or fitting, my only experience is with the Uberti version, one of our buds has a pair of them... If you can run a dremel you’re good to go. Best of luck with your new bride!
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Old September 18, 2019, 10:23 AM   #3
John E.B. Rawton
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I converted both my Uberti Walkers right out of the box before I ever shot them or black powder for that matter. They worked as expected after the smith hogged out the rear to accept the .45 colt cartridge.
Last fall I reset my Walkers to run as intended cap guns. I will be hard pressed to go back to cartridge, only because I’m having too much fun with c&b.
No complaints with Kirst.
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Old September 18, 2019, 11:53 AM   #4
45 Dragoon
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Kirst conversions for the horse pistols are awesome!! I highly recommend it!!

In fact, my career is primarily a result of installing Kirst Conversions in my Dragoons and '60 Army!!

As far as a gated conversion for the Ruger Old Army, I'm close!! Hopefully by spring, I'll have the first prototype (maybe winter !) for such an animal! It will also allow for "Ruger only" loads and possibly a 454 Casull version for stainless versions!

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Old September 18, 2019, 04:52 PM   #5
Hawg
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Once you cut it for a loading gate it will forevermore be a modern cartridge gun and all laws for modern guns will apply.
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Old September 18, 2019, 06:49 PM   #6
woodnbow
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My local atf guy says not, if the original cylinder is in the gun it’s a muzzleloader and not a firearm. Have you heard anything about this Mike?

Last edited by woodnbow; September 18, 2019 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Added question...
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Old September 18, 2019, 08:21 PM   #7
45 Dragoon
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Woodnbow,
I believe the same as Hawg. My understanding is, if the frame is altered to allow use of the loading gate, it becomes a "firearm" at that point. That is the interpretation I get from reading the Fed.Law. When I do Kirst conversions, I fit everything but it's up to the owner to finish opening the recoil shield.
Even though Uberti (et al) sold '73 Peacemakers in cap gun form, they sold them as cap guns even though they had an operating loading gate. I'm not Uberti (or any of the "et als”) so, I'll stick with the " it's a firearm " line of thought. I've got grand kids and they don't need to visit "PaPa" at the Pen!! Lol!
As far as that goes, I never buy a revolver thinking of how I'll get rid of it . . .

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Old September 19, 2019, 03:58 AM   #8
caligula
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Thank all you guys for the great input! I shall now commit to a piggy bank plan. Interesting stuff about the un-gun vs "oh, yeah it's a gun" condition. This element was never a part of my thinking but it's always good t know when we cross the River ATF. It will take a while to get this going but I WILL keep you all posted once I get started. Thanks, again -
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Old September 19, 2019, 12:35 PM   #9
John E.B. Rawton
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The “is it a fire arm or not” is an interesting thought. In 2011 when I got these big Walkers I bought kirst converters and sent them right off to the recommended smith I had to send a copy of my state DL in the box.
I found them on my door step fully assembled ready for cartridge business. Never thought much more about it or, like said, considered selling them off.
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Old September 21, 2019, 05:50 PM   #10
Catman42
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if your gun is a 44 you can shoot 45 long colt in it cowboy loads well if it is converted to a 38 you will either have to line the barrel to a 38 special or shoot a very hollow based(heeled ) bullet as it will need to bump up to shoot well in the larger diam. 36 cal barrel. the converters are very well made.
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Old September 22, 2019, 10:14 PM   #11
Stormson
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So how come I cant just open up the frame cos my old feeble hands have trouble loading caps??? I mean.. Hey.. If it ends up at just about the right size for a loading gate then thats lucky happenstance!

Dont see how that can be a gun if I have the cap cylinder on it? I mean after all, thats the one I had trouble with right?
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Old September 23, 2019, 01:09 AM   #12
45 Dragoon
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Well, that may be a good defense, let us know if you ever use it. I believe it's viewed the same as any firearm frame. Just because there's no barrel, stock, magazine, action parts . . . the frame (with ser.no.) is the firearm.
Folks are always asking if they just send the "parts" and then the frame . . . it's a big 'ol no!! The frame is the firearm - end of story. That's why you can't swing a dead cat without hitting AR parts for sell! You can sell parts all day long - uppers, barrels, action parts, stocks of every sort . . . but without a license, selling AR lowers will get ya in trouble!!

That said, it's perfectly fine to make your own firearm for yourself (as long as it's legal for you to own that type of weapon), it's the selling/distribution of that will cause a mess . . .

Mike

Last edited by 45 Dragoon; September 23, 2019 at 01:20 AM.
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Old September 23, 2019, 02:10 AM   #13
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg
Once you cut it for a loading gate it will forevermore be a modern cartridge gun and all laws for modern guns will apply.
Kirst certainly seems to agree with this. From their web site:

https://kirstkonverter.com/kirst-pdfs/SafetyWarnt.pdf

The instructions that came with my Kirst Konverter (purchased maybe ten years ago -- or so) stated that opening up the frame to allow loading cartridges would make the firearm permanently into a modern cartridge firearm. A gentleman who posts on gun forums under the handle "Hoofhearted" took me to task on this when I mentioned it in a discussion several years ago. All I could do was post an image of the instruction sheet.

If anyone has a recently-purchased Kirst Konverter, please look at the instruction sheet that came with it and see if it still says this.
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Old September 23, 2019, 01:44 PM   #14
Catman42
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just get a carry permit if your going to keep in you car or pickup. never ever want to get into it with a under educated hiway patrol. we got a couple around here with axes to grind and the IQ of their age. they can shoot you and get away with it. 2 got fired recently and 6 or 7 others quit for using baseball bats on those who talked back.you would think the state would have better cops, they dont here.
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Old September 24, 2019, 10:44 AM   #15
woodnbow
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I’m not sure about that... atf says it’s a firearm when it’s been permanently converted to fire cartridges. Any of the replica revolvers will accept a kirst kit without cutting the shield. Are they firearms simply because they can accept the parts needed to fire cartridges? Of course not. They have not been converted until the parts are actually in the revolver. Similarly, a revolver with provisions for a loading gate but assembled with a percussion cylinder is no more able to fire a cartridge than an unmodified version of that revolver.

For anyone interested, myself included, an Internet forum is probably the last place you want to go for legal advice. In this case, seek guidance from the ATF... if it concerns you.

My apologies for the thread drift... however you do it, yes, if you have a good pistol for a base, I believe you’re going to enjoy the Kirst conversion. It’s similar to the historical conversion and that makes it the most appealing in my mind.. the only people who need to worry about the legal definition of the result have other issues to worry about.

Last edited by woodnbow; September 24, 2019 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Apologies
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Old September 24, 2019, 02:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
For anyone interested, myself included, an Internet forum is probably the last place you want to go for legal advice. In this case, seek guidance from the ATF... if it concerns you.
From my experience, even ATF isn't a good source for consistent guidance. Depends on who you talk to, that day, and whether they are in a good or bad mood in general, it's easy to get two different answers from two different people.
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Old September 24, 2019, 07:36 PM   #17
woodnbow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelf2 View Post
From my experience, even ATF isn't a good source for consistent guidance. Depends on who you talk to, that day, and whether they are in a good or bad mood in general, it's easy to get two different answers from two different people.
Some days it seems like they could get you coming and going, despite your best efforts to toe the line.
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Old September 26, 2019, 01:21 AM   #18
caligula
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Woodnbow frames a critically important issue: When I left California two years ago, gunshop owners were living in fear of breaking the law and none of them had the same legal perview. Most spent more time tracking prospective legal issues than inventory. One shop owner refused to order a Uberti Bisley for me because it wasn't on the California "Approved" list. He did not know that single actions were exempt fro that sillines and no one could convince him. Nightmare stories of federal gun laws crushing ordinary citizens flourished. I have friends with table at some of the more popular western gun shows who HATE setting up in CA. With this in mind, the legal status scenario recapped: 1) Gun leaves factory as a C&B and gets owner-converted to cartridge capability. 2) It's likely that, if brought into legal view, this gun will be perceived by a federal judge to be a very exotic zip gun; the definitive argument against any tech theories of lineage. 3) A secondary issue that will arise during prosecution scrutiny is that pesky old question, "Why isn't this gun registered as a cartridge arm?".
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Old September 26, 2019, 09:03 PM   #19
woodnbow
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Fortunately there’s a bunch of precedent for owners having a legal right to manufacture firearms. Some states may bar the practice but the federal government does not. Even zip guns... that is why you can convert the c&b revolver to a cartridge type revolver in most states. Because federal law does not prohibit manufacture so long as you don’t sell it. And even then you can manufacture and sell a firearm as long as you work within the legal framework of the gun control act and various other laws...

BTW, Kirst doesn’t warn purchasers that they are creating a firearm by grinding into the recoil shield. From the website...

“Kirst Konverter LLC manufactures the safest, quickest, most scientifically advanced Cartridge Converter for your cap & ball revolver. The Kirst KonverterTM is not a firearm. It is an accessory that you install. If you can own a firearm, you can install this device in your cap & ball revolver.
For your SAFETY read the following before using!
Kirst’s Cartridge Konverter is not a firearm according to provisions of 18 United States Code Chapter 44, Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 178. Installing a Kirst Cartridge Konverter® into a percussion revolver creates a firearm subject to those provisions, however under Federal law; an individual who is not prohibited from possessing firearms can lawfully install the Cartridge KonverterTM in a percussion revolver for the personal use of that individual.”

The converters are not firearms, only parts. The c&b revolver is not capable of firing fixed ammunition, thus is not a firearm. The combination is a firearm. Taken apart the kirst becomes a pile of parts and the c&b revolver is just another c&b revolver. If it were not so then any c&b revolver would be considered a firearm because it’s capable of accepting the Kirst parts, with or without cutting the recoil shield.

YMMV...
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