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Old June 27, 2018, 05:43 PM   #1
tranders
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Conversion cylinder

Looking at conversion cylinders from Kirst and Howell for my 1858 Remington. Would like to hear opinions on both manufacturers.

Thanks


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Old June 27, 2018, 10:36 PM   #2
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I now have a Howell for both my Colts and my Remingtons.

Given the pop-in pop-out nature of the remmi, I am quite happy with it, but for colt im thinking that a Kirst and ejection port would have been a better idea.

Even though the Howell Remington has 6 chambers you'll still need to load 5 if you intend on carrying it... So in essence they are both 5rnds as they come from the factory. I am thinking I may try to have a notch milled into it at some point, but Im ok with it at 5 for now, and dont see where the kirst would have been any better in this case.
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Old June 28, 2018, 11:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Even though the Howell Remington has 6 chambers you'll still need to load 5 if you intend on carrying it...
Howell only makes a 5 round cylinder for .45 Remingtons now. The old "R&D" they used to make had 6 rounds. Taylor's still sells the 6 round Remington. All of the .38 Remington cylinders are 6 round though.

I prefer the Howell 5 round for my .45 Remingtons. They have extra cylinder stop notches for safe 5 round use.
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Old June 28, 2018, 12:46 PM   #4
tranders
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This is just a range toy so all cylinders loaded isn't a big deal safety wise. Glad to hear good results with the Howell. Midway has them on sale this month.
Thanks for the advice.
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Old June 28, 2018, 08:04 PM   #5
Model12Win
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Just sell it and buy a Rem '75.
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Old June 29, 2018, 08:51 AM   #6
noelf2
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Quote:
Midway has them on sale this month.
If you are looking for .45LC for a Remi, no they don't. They haven't had them on sale for a long time. Howell has a 20% off thing going on right now though. They had overstock for the Remi cylinders.

Quote:
Just sell it and buy a Rem '75.
But then you can't shoot C&B as well.
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Old June 29, 2018, 10:58 AM   #7
tranders
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You are correct about Midway. I will look at Howell's site.
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Old June 29, 2018, 02:49 PM   #8
Bishop Creek
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Old South Firearms has ungated Kirst "Pale Rider" 1858 Remington conversion cylinders on sale for $235. Good folks, I have purchased from them in the past. I have owned one these models for over a decade and it still works flawlessly in my 1858.

http://www.oldsouthfirearms.com/kirstkonverters.aspx
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Old June 30, 2018, 12:16 AM   #9
tranders
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Thank you for the heads up.
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Old July 1, 2018, 11:39 AM   #10
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I have a Kirst for one of my Pietta NMA 1858's and a R&D for my Pietta 1860 Army.

The Kirst that Bishop Creek linked is what I have. You can cut the back plate and your gun allowing you to load cylinder while it's still in the gun.

Or take it off the gun to load it. This gives you more options.
The newest Kirst Conversion Cylinders have the loading gate which is nice.
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Old July 1, 2018, 07:49 PM   #11
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You can't go wrong buying from Walt Kirst.
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Old July 2, 2018, 10:23 AM   #12
tranders
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I haven't made up my mind yet. The price of these conversion cylinders are as much as I gave for the revolver.
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Old July 4, 2018, 04:45 AM   #13
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Keep an eye on gunbroker. I picked up one of my Pietta 1860 Army's used with a conversion cylinder for the price of a new conversion cylinder.

Example:
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/778460653

Here's my Kirst:



And older R&D:

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Old July 4, 2018, 07:21 AM   #14
tranders
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That is very nice.

Thank you for sharing the pics.
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Old July 9, 2018, 06:03 PM   #15
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I have owned two Remington 1858s. One of them was converted with an original R&D conversion cylinder, from back when they were 6-shot; the other was converted with a Kirst conversion. Both worked and shot well. I never bothered hogging out the loading gate area on the one with the Kirst, so for both I had to remove the cylinder from the gun to reload. as has been commented, that's easy enough to do with the Remingtons, not at all easy with a Colt 1851 or 1860.

If I were going it today, I would choose the Kirst with the loading gate, only because it makes for a more complete, more convenient conversion for firing metallic cartridges. That said, both the R&D and the Kirst are top shelf in quality.
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Old July 10, 2018, 09:29 AM   #16
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Howdy

I have two 1858 Remingtons with the original six shot 45 Colt R&D cylinders that Taylors sells.






Ken Howell took out a patent on his six shot cylinder for the 1858 Remington because six 45 Colt rims would not fit in a cylinder that size without interfering with each other. So Howell bored the chambers at a slight angle, less than 1/2 of one degree, so there would be room for six 45 Colt rims without interfering with each other. No, the slight angle does not make any difference in accuracy, these Remingtons are the most accurate 45 Colt revolvers I own, more accurate than my Colts, clones, or Rugers.






For some reason, Ken sold his patent rights to Taylors. Taylors now has somebody else making their cylinders. Because he sold his patent, Howell cannot make a cylinder with angled chambers. So the only six shot cylinder he offers for the 1858 Remington is chambered for 44 Colt, not 45 Colt. Do not make the mistake of buying that one.

Personally, I never saw the need to put a gate on my Remmies. It is so simple to pop the cylinder out for loading and unloading, that I never saw the need for a loading gate. Plus, you need an ejector to pop out the rounds if you have a loading gate.

On top of that, using the six shot cylinder without a loading gate, I can pop the original C&B cylinder back in if I want to shoot my Remmies as Cap & Ball.

Yes, the cylinders are expensive. My excuse is that I bought my Remmie so long ago (1975) that it had long ago amortized its expense, so buying the cylinder was like buying a new cartridge gun for just the price of the cylinder.

Not long after I converted my first Remmie, I lucked into a used Uberti Stainless Remington that came with the R&D cylinder for a great price.
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Old July 10, 2018, 10:02 AM   #17
tranders
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With the Kirst or Howell cylinders is there much fitting involved?
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Old July 10, 2018, 05:07 PM   #18
Bishop Creek
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I own both Kirst and Howell (R&D) conversion cylinders for my .44 and .36 cal 1858 Remington's and neither one required any fitting at all. Both dropped right into my Pietta 1858s. Your mileage may vary.
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Old July 10, 2018, 08:56 PM   #19
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I got my 1860 conversion from Taylors, where I had also gotten the gun.. It was a total drop in fit for me. Picked up the 1858 one right here from Gasmandave (who was awesome to deal with BTW) and was pretty much exactly like the one from Taylors, except designed for the Remmi... Not sure if originally came from there or not as it was used when Dave got it as well, but it sure seems to be the one they advertise.. It was a 100% drop in as well. Cant really speak for the Kirst as Ive never tried one, and as stated by BC your millage may very with any of them. As I understand it though, fitting it isnt really a big deal if it does need it.
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Old July 11, 2018, 12:03 PM   #20
tranders
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Ok great.

Good to know.
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Old July 11, 2018, 08:28 PM   #21
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood Johnson
For some reason, Ken sold his patent rights to Taylors. Taylors now has somebody else making their cylinders. Because he sold his patent, Howell cannot make a cylinder with angled chambers. So the only six shot cylinder he offers for the 1858 Remington is chambered for 44 Colt, not 45 Colt. Do not make the mistake of buying that one.
That one can be made to work. Awhile back I learned that the original Colt Richards-Mason cartridge conversions weren't chambered in .45 Colt, they were chambered in .44 Colt. Back then, the .44 Colt cartridge used brass sized about like our .44 Special, but it used a heeled bullet with a diameter of .451x inches. Starline makes the .44 Colt brass (properly headstamped .44 Colt). There are molds available for the heeled .44 Colt (original) bullets, and a company called Alpha Bravo Manufacturing sells the bullets by special order.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Colt

But the commercial ammo being sold today as .44 Colt doesn't use a .451" bullet, it uses a .44 caliber, .427" bullet. So the question would be, for the .44 Colt conversion cylinder, does Kenny Howells use a .451" throat, or a .427" throat? If the latter, it would have to be reamed out for use with the proper .44 Colt (Original) cartridge.
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Old July 11, 2018, 08:43 PM   #22
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.427 bullet thru a .452/.454 bore? I presume bad accuracy results...

By the way...good name that Ɓguila Blanca. Sounds familiar to me...
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Old July 11, 2018, 11:56 PM   #23
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centurion
.427 bullet thru a .452/.454 bore? I presume bad accuracy results...
.44 Colt Original doesn't use a .427 bullet, it uses a .45x heeled bullet.
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Old July 12, 2018, 06:43 AM   #24
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I know it...but I'm talking about your mention that commercial ammo is being loaded with .427 bullets...
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Old July 12, 2018, 11:14 AM   #25
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
That one can be made to work. Awhile back I learned that the original Colt Richards-Mason cartridge conversions weren't chambered in .45 Colt, they were chambered in .44 Colt. Back then, the .44 Colt cartridge used brass sized about like our .44 Special, but it used a heeled bullet with a diameter of .451x inches. Starline makes the .44 Colt brass (properly headstamped .44 Colt). There are molds available for the heeled .44 Colt (original) bullets, and a company called Alpha Bravo Manufacturing sells the bullets by special order.....But the commercial ammo being sold today as .44 Colt doesn't use a .451" bullet, it uses a .44 caliber, .427" bullet. So the question would be, for the .44 Colt conversion cylinder, does Kenny Howells use a .451" throat, or a .427" throat? If the latter, it would have to be reamed out for use with the proper .44 Colt (Original) cartridge.
Don't bother.

I have an original Colt 1860 Richards Conversion.





It is chambered for the original 44 Colt Cartridge that used a heeled bullet.

There is no 'chamber throat' in the chambers, the chambers are bored straight through, all one diameter. This is because the 44 Colt cartridge was designed to be shot out of the old Colt 44 Cap & Ball cylinders. The brass had the same outside diameter as a '44' caliber ball (about .451). We can get into a discussion of why they are called 44 caliber another time.

Left to right in this photo, the cartridges are 44-40. 44 Henry Rimfire, 44 S&W American, 44 Russian, 44 Colt, 44 Special, and 45 Colt.






You can see the 44 Colt round uses a heeled bullet.

I bought a mold for 210 grain heeled bullets from Old West Bullet Moulds. I also bought a special crimping die from them for crimping heeled bullets.

The Howell cylinder for 44 Colt is for the modern version of 44 Colt, using a 44 Special sized bullet. It has a chamber throat. The only way to use this cylinder in a modern 1858 Remington is to use hollow based bullets so the base of the bullet expands to fill the rifling. Otherwise the bullet will not engage the rifling at all.

Just buy the standard five shot cylinder for 45 Colt from Howell, or buy the six shot 45 Colt cylinder from Taylors. As I said before, I chose the Taylors version, before Ken Howell set up his new company, because it used a six shot cylinder. Still the only six shot 45 Colt conversion cylinder for the 1858 Remington on the market today.

https://www.taylorsfirearms.com/hand...cylinders.html

Last edited by Driftwood Johnson; July 12, 2018 at 11:31 AM.
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