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Old August 30, 2013, 12:02 AM   #1
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thinking about a "belly gun" project

im considering a belly gun project.. im interested in older single action revolvers, these cap and ball revolvers are so cheap, ive been thinking of undertaking a belly gun project in taking one of these, converting it to a shorter barrel, shortened grip revolver.. probably add a loading gate back-plate and cartridge cylinder too

so.. it seems the two models im most interested in doing this to is the 1860 army and the 1858 remington...

the 1858 i seen was called a bulldog for some reason.. but it has the shortened barrel, the grip is rounded off, and it would appear the loading lever is removed, the ears on the base-pin would be shortened so they dont stick out or snag, and a screw would have to be added to keep it in place in absence of the loading lever

for the 1860 army, barrel shortened, i could buy a screw on thunderer grip for an 1873, this one could only hold five rounds of 45 colt... though for a more authentic feel ive been thinking of machining out the stock cylinder and hand load some .44 colts by shortening .44 special brass and cutting the heel in the base of a casted 45 colt bullet

im actually leaning for the 1858 remington because it seems a bit more streamlined, solid top strap, no wedge to snag, and a full six rounds of 45 colt

advantage of the 1860 army is i wouldnt need to do any work on the grip, i can buy a screw on piece, with this model im inclined to go with a 44 colt conversion, so it would be more "authentic" in reguards to something you might find in the 19th century but id have to say the biggest obstacle and quite possible the deal breaker for the 1860 army is that wedge

granted, i wouldnt actually carry this revolver, its more of a collection project, but i have to look at it as if i was going to.. and that wedge just really sticks out.. any suggestions.. the part under the barrel im guessing couldnt be drilled through and have a screw driven from the front, under the barrel, and into the front of the arbor, could it?.. or am i better off finding a shorter wedge that doesnt stick out so far?.. maybe i could machine a close to flush fitting two piece block to fit in place of the edge, and drive a screw through it to pinch it together and hold the barrel assembly on?

if i could get past this wedge issue is be more inclined to go 1860 army simply for the feel and balance, of which i like more than the 1858..

jason41987 is offline  
Old August 30, 2013, 06:01 PM   #2
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I vote for an 1860 Avenging Angel ............................

PetahW is offline  
Old August 30, 2013, 11:54 PM   #3
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I ended up with a Ruger New vaquero, 3.x inch barrel, birdshead.

Not going to try to talk a fellow out of something he wants. But just as a reality check I got mine earlier this year for just under $600 with shipping and FFL. Modern Ruger, I get six in the cylinder with a transfer bar.

Just saying, I think Ruger made these for Lipseys or somebody like that around 2002 or so and they are starting to dry up, 4 versions available pick either .45ACP or 45Colt, pick either black or stainless.
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Old August 31, 2013, 03:10 AM   #4
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aah.. that 1860 is nice.. and thats exactly what i had in mind.. it looks like that revolver was designed like that because i notice the pietta lettering is fully in tact and moved all the way back.. if i were to cut the barrel off the revolver i have now, most if not all the pietta branding on the side of the barrel would be hacked off

but yeah.. thats exactly what i had in mind, and possibly with a cartridge conversion too as the lack of the loading arm would make it more of a PITA to load without removing the cylinder or trying to fumble with some sort of a ram rod

i seen a photo of an 1861 36 caliber with a fluted cylinder, shortened barrel, thunderer grip, absolutely gorgeous and inspires me to lean more towards that route... for a "belly gun", 44 caliber isnt really necessary, the 36 cylinder would be lighter, the fluted cylinder even lighter yet and i think going with a 36 cal would be best for such a project

Last edited by jason41987; August 31, 2013 at 03:24 AM.
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