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JavelinaRuss 10-22-2007 04:25 AM

Hi everyone,

I've seen on a few websites you can take a percussion revolver, like say a Colt Dragoon and convert it to .44WCF or .45LC but it says "some gunsmithing required". Is it just getting the timing back in order or more to it? Thanks for any info,


Stumpy16076 10-22-2007 04:33 PM

I installed a pair of R&D cylinders in .45 Colt in Pietta 1858 Remington revolvers-the timing was perfect, but I had to remove a bit of the hammer noses as they were hitting the top edge of the cylinder. I also installed another R&D cylinder in .38 Long Colt in a Uberti 1861 .36 Navy-I needed to file the top of the hand, as the hammer would not come to full cock with the conv. cylinder in place. Took me about an hour, as I would take a couple of file strokes and re-assemble to check my progress. I am not a professional 'smith by any means, just a hobbyist-just take your time, check the fit regularly, and you should be fine.

PRM 10-23-2007 01:56 AM

If you are talking about a period conversion (C&B) to cartridge you are looking at considerable work. The back end of cylinder the has to come off and several significant parts installed. You can go to and look at their 1860, 1851, 1871-1872 conversions and get an idea of what is involved.

Midway is selling an R&D gated conversion that has the cylinder, and loading gate for $224.99. You will also need the installation hardware - another $39.99, and the ejector assembly (price ???).

If that is what you are wanting, you can probably buy the finished product and have a warranty cheaper than you could have it done.

If you are talking about a 1st Generation, 2nd Generation or Signature Series Colt BP, you could easily destroy a nice collectible.

Final Caution: It was a practice during the C&B era to carry extra loaded cylinders. This has even been shown in a few movies over recent years. Carrying loaded cylinders outside of a gun is extremely dangerous. They are easily dropped and unlike a cartridge that will burst if detonated outside the cylinder, the cylinder has the same potential as the gun to launch a projectile

Hope this helps.

JavelinaRuss 10-23-2007 02:04 AM

It does. What I want to do is get a Cimarron 2nd Generation dragoon reproduction and they're conversion cylinder in .45LC. If I had a period piece and wanted to do this them haul me off to the nut house!

PRM 10-23-2007 02:24 AM

Could you order both at the same time and have them do the fitting - just a thought. Looking at the warranty angle. I have had a run of bad luck with the Italian guns.

JavelinaRuss 10-23-2007 02:39 AM

What was some of the bad luck you've had?

PRM 10-23-2007 12:55 PM

Cimarron-bad luck
I bought two of their guns (Cimarron), a Lightening and a Bisley. The Lightening right out of the box had to have a firing pin fabricated. The one that came in the gun was too short and would barely dent the primers. The company was saying six weeks turn around, so I had a local guy who is a really good gunsmith fabricate one that was the correct length. Two days problem solved. A great little gun.

The Bisley was another story. Biggest piece of junk I ever bought. Right out of the box it had to be completely rebuilt. Internal springs began failing. Before it was over, I had replaced everything inside the gun to get it right except the trigger. Even had to go to VTI gun parts and replace the stock hammer with one that did not have the safety. Worst part was the cylinder. At the factory during final finish, it had been buffed so aggressively that the notches were shallow and would not lock up. I wound up replacing it with a Colt cylinder and pin. Since the Colts are built heavier - this required additional work. The company did offer another cylinder at cost, but by that time, I had had enough with Italian parts.

Today it is fixed and is a good shooter. I wanted this gun tricked out and anything done outside the factory voids your warranty (point to remember). I even had a set of pre-ban elephant ivories made for it. Bottom line, a gun that should have been in its present configuration around $800.00-$900.00 took two years to complete and is pushing around $1600.00. If I had not had the Ivory grips, I most likely would have scrapped it in the early stages.

Cimarron is supposed to have a good reputation, and I could have just got a lemon in the Bisley. And in fairness until I had the stock hammer changed out with an older version, there was a Colt spring that failed in the gun.

I have a 3rd Generation Colt SAA in 45LC with a spare 45 ACP cylinder (Custom Shop) that is a hoss. I had the work on the Bisley done by one of the top single action guys in the country. Today, the Bisley is a tricked out range gun, but even at its best, it pales in comparison to the Colt quality. Action is not as tight, just a totally different feel. You get what you pay for. Hind sight, I would have saved my money until I could have bought another Colt.

JavelinaRuss 10-29-2007 05:41 AM

Dang, I guess going to their store to get this (eventually) is a smart thing!

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