Conversion cylinder for an 1860 Army .44


July 29, 2006, 02:42 PM
What place would you guys recommend for buying a conversion cylinder for my Traditions 1860 Colt Army .44? Do I need to make any modifications to my pistol for it to work?

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July 29, 2006, 03:57 PM
I just got a couple of Konverters from Kirst. Dunno if they do 1860 but these are fantastic on my Pietta Remmies.

July 29, 2006, 06:34 PM
Kirst is a little costly.
Try Midway or R&D. You need one for a Pietta.
They will be 5 shot cylinders.

July 30, 2006, 05:59 PM
Kirst does not make a cylinder for the 1860. R&D makes them. Soon they are supposed to come out with a gated 1860 cylinder, if you want to do a Richards Mason Conversion. has the standard cylinders in stock.

July 30, 2006, 08:01 PM
But Midway sells R&D cylinders.

July 31, 2006, 02:28 AM
As far as I know Kirst doesn't make an 1860 conversion and said they never would, maybe that's change but I can't find where they sell them.
R&D only makes them in drop in models for the 1860's Uberti or Pietta.
Here's the direct buying site:

July 31, 2006, 04:05 AM
Actually, Kirst had a kit made for "smiths" for the 1860 last year. I went looking for it when I was ready, but it was removed. I emailed River Junction and Walt Kirst replied himself. He said that they would offer it in May, but he never came through.
It was a six shot kit in the white. I should have ordered it when I first saw it. Oh well...
These makers are creating five shot cylinders for the sake of the SASS people. Personally, I do not like being dictated to by anyone. They can stick their sissy cylinders up their moonbutts. I would prefer an authentic conversion. Not everyone who wants a conversion kit is a SASS shooter.
I have to wonder if it is TRULY a safety issue (doubtful) or the control issues of men who are really women in disguise. (probable)
The stupidness of people who have misfires, is NOT a general safety issue among all people. I do not care for this cowardly method of controlling people. It is both unmanly and unamerican, IMO.
Why would I want to take a six shot 1860 and convert it into a 5 shot sissy gun with its little "safety cylinder"? Or more properly, an inauthentic conversion gun? One more time, we are all lessened as people by the sissys and cowardly people.
I guess I'm to stupid to avoid a misfire? That IS the message being transmitted to you and us collectively. Razzberries on the 5 shot baby cylinders.

July 31, 2006, 07:26 AM
Sjohns- I know they sell R&D cylinders. That's what I was talking about.

As far as the 5-shot issue- the cylinders are not wide enough to accomodate six .45 Colt cartridge cases, thats why the 5-shot capacity. R&D has to bore the chambers at a VERY slight angle to accomodate 5!!!

I didn't realize that Kirst ever made a cylinder for the 1860. You might want to email Ravens' Roost Gunshop, where they do the Kirst conversions. Maybe they can help. Their address is on Kirst's website.

Cincinnati Slim
July 31, 2006, 01:44 PM
Howdy All,

Got a R&D .45 Colt conversion cylinder from Taylor's when I ordered my Pietta 1860 "Sherrif's model". Dropped it right in and it works great. I think the five shot thing is simply due to the smaller diameter of the cylinder versus say a Remmie or SAA. I really like mine. It locks up tight, the barrel-cylinder gap is tiny and accuracy is very good.

My only caveat would be that the case rims of some brands of ammo are thicker than others. For instance, Winchester "cowboy" loads are too thick and cause the front of the cylinder to drag on the barrel. If the barrel to cylinder gap was bigger and there was more end-shake that probably would not be the case. The big .45 Colt rounds are a TIGHT fit in a 1860 Army cylinder. If the overall length of the cartridge is too long the nose of the bullets may drag on the barrel and tie things up.
Ultramax cartridges work great.

Most flat nose "cowboy" loads will work fine.:)

R&D says a gated conversion is in the works. Midway USA estimates a late Summer ship date. ;) I'm not sure this will really speed up the reloading process that much. With a little practice, I can knock out the wedge, pull off the barrel and cylinder, leave the back plate w/ firing pins on the arbor, dump the brass, reload and reassemble. On a reloading table or shooting stand I can do this in about 10-15 seconds. Of course, out in the field, the gated conversion would have an advantage; no chance of dropping/losing parts in the grass etc.

Happy Trails,

Cincinnati Slim

July 31, 2006, 01:56 PM
I know they say that about the cylinders. I think factually that the original conversions were 44-40.
I didn't mean to imply that Kirst made the very first one. I know that they do not angle the chambers, but that R&D does. But if you look at Kirst cylinders on the River Junction site you will see that theirs are not 5 shot evenly spaced. Some are 6 shot with a dummy spot simulating an empty cylinder. (for Remington)
I haven't seen an R&D yet but I believe the 5 shots will be evenly spaced with the cam lugs formed to facilitate this, (or not). Even the drop ins are now 5 shot and I know that a few years ago there were some 6 shot drop ins. Now that seems to be limited to the Walker cylinders, the Dragoon cylinders and the Remington cylinders.
I haven't seen any info on testing. So I do not know that 6 shot '60 cylinders in 45 LC are dangerous or impossible.
Cimarron cylinders are 6 shot. So it is not the case that the cylinders cannot handle being bored out for 6. But it is true that you can only get a 6 shot 45 Schofield cylinder from Cimarron. And of course the 44's are 6.
What I don't know either, are the dimentions of the 60 cylinder versus the Remington cylinder.

Old Dragoon
July 31, 2006, 03:42 PM
I use two Kirst 44 Rem. C.F. conversion cylinders in my Euroarms '58 Remy's and they ROCK! They are both 6 shot(I, and I alone, will decide which hole to leave empty...or NOT!) and they are not angled. One is gated and the other I ported.

The fact that they were 6 shot was the main reason I went the 44 Rem. CF route. I bought an Uberti Birds head grip 1873 that had a stopper in one cylinder as a "Safety" for about twenty minutes. (the time to get home and into my shop LOL) I will not dictated to as to which cylinder I must leave empty.

The 44 Rem.C.F uses 44 Colt brass with a 248 Grn X .451 dia outside lubed buller with a .429 heel.(available from Old West Moulds) they are very accurate with 28 Grns of BP either FFG or FFFG.

I'll check out the dia of my cylinders, but common sense tells me that to align up with the bore that the cartridges have to be on the same center line or Bolt Circle (the circle that the chambers are centered on).

July 31, 2006, 06:06 PM
perhaps these manufactures could make gated 6 shot 44's for us?

Old Dragoon
August 1, 2006, 04:00 PM
Kirst does for the Remy.

44 Rem. C.F. which is THE 44 CF of original converted BP 44's. Cuz they all had .451 grooves. Original 44 Rem. C.F. were labled for Remington and Colt conversions.......not the 1872 Colt Open tops. The Colt Richards-Mason conversions in 44 C.F. shot the same cartridge.

August 1, 2006, 04:32 PM
Is that the same cartridge as the 44-40?

The 44 Kirsts are getting really hard to find.

Old Dragoon
August 2, 2006, 03:34 PM
Nope, it uses 44 Colt Brass. But I truly believe that is where Mike Verintino got the idea that the 44 CF Colt cartridge would not load into his original 1875 Rem 44...because I think his 44 was a 44-40 not a 44 C.F.

When loaded with the Old West Moulds 248 Grn. outside lubed heeled bullet it has the same Overall Length as a 45 LC. Funny thing, these 44 Rem C.F.'s chamber in a S & W 4563(??) 45ACP Pistol. Haven't tried to fire them but they do chamber, don't need the acp clips and will extract. .451 Dia bullet aligns perfectly in the chambers.

Kirst is taking special orders for the 44 Rem C.F. at this time. and the last batch he sent out had a CNC mistake on all the bolt notches (180 Deg. out of phase) so that they locked up out of battery by about 1/2 chamber. so he recalled them back and is replacing them. So that is making them that more scarce . Bernie at Old West Moulds will be having some in stock just as soon as his order is replaced.

You should come up here sometime and SG and I and you can go shoot at Desert Marksmen's range. We also have CAS shoots the third Sunday of every month. Just outside Acton, near Palmdale.

You come up and you can shoot my 44 Rem conversions. And I'd even let you shoot my Carbine with the conversion cylinder in it too.:what:

August 2, 2006, 05:39 PM
I just might take you guys up on the offer. I have a new harley that's getting broken in, and the weather is cooling off.

I have one more battery of tests for my MA, which I should have done this month.

I think I can pack a few toys in my saddle bags and be there in few hours. September sounds good for me. Or maybe I'll drive out with my wife. I have a brother in law in Lancaster; maybe we could simply stay there or whatever.

Sounds like its do able, but I have to wait a little. Plus I need a little range time here so that I don't show up shooting like a tyro... hehehe. Richard invited me out too.

I'll probably disappear from here for a couple more weeks while I read and read and read and do some papers. But I'll keep checking in. We'll trade numbers later. Sound good to you guys?

August 2, 2006, 07:21 PM
Just let me know when Sjohns... awaiting my new Membership card from the DM club here with the new combo... Just holler when you are ready.


August 3, 2006, 01:17 AM
will do

Old Dragoon
August 3, 2006, 03:38 PM
Sounds good to me too. Sept. will be good for me too. a Bit cooler then too maybe?

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