Conversion Cylinders???


December 13, 2006, 10:37 PM
I have a few Uberti black powder revolvers I would like to purchase conversion cylinders for, but concerned. From what I read these conversion cylinders are not truely drop-in as manufacturers claim. I've heard of people claiming they have to fit them by doing some filing on the frame. I want to purchase one for my Uberti Walker, Uberti 1858, and my Pietta 1860. My body shivers thinking about filing my frames. Plus, I still want to use the cap and ball cylinders too. Should I just purchase a couple single action revolvers?

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December 14, 2006, 07:20 AM
If you get a R&D cylinder, and it doesn't fit, you have to send the gun and cylinder back to them for fitting, which could take forever. Try a Kirst, or contact, and they will make you a cylinder. :)

December 14, 2006, 07:25 AM
I have two R&D for the Ruger Old Army, no fitting required.
Two R&D and one Kirst for Pietta 1858, no fitting required.
One R&D for the Uberti Walker, took about .002 off the end of the cylinder.
Two R&D for the Uberti 1858, no fitting required. AND these two drop in the Euroarms 1858 and work just fine.
Hopes this helps,

J.T. Gerrity
December 14, 2006, 08:02 AM
Have an R&D for my Uberti "Cattleman's Carbine". Drops right in, no fitting required.

December 14, 2006, 09:18 AM
I have an R&D and a Kirst drop in for my Uberti Remmie ..they both dropped in and worked flawless right out of the box they also work out of the box on my EuroArms remmie...Had to do just a little fitting on an old ASM remmie to make them work with it ... not a big deal though just a little fileing and stoneing to the cylinder pin window it was a little tight there and was binding.
I don`t have a drop in for my Pietta remmie yet ..maybe Santa will bring me one .

Cincinnati Slim
December 14, 2006, 10:22 AM

Got a Pietta 1860 Army and a R&D .45 Colt cylinder from Taylor's.

They test fitted it before shipping to make sure all was well and checked the timing. Taylor's is a great outfit.

Then I ordered a Pietta 1858 Remmie from Cabela's and a R&D cylinder from Midway. Would have got them both from Midway but they would not ship a C&B revolver to Cincinnati !:cuss:

The bolt notches on the R&D cylinders were too narrow. Newer Pietta Remmies have a wider bolt. R&D has since corrected this issue:rolleyes:

I returned the R&D to Midway and ordered a Kirst gated cylinder from River Junction. It dropped in and worked perfect.:)

Of course, I then had to get out the Dremel and spend three hours and ten or twelve 5/8 sanding drums to cut the loading port. This stuff about "soft Italian steel" don't wash with ME !:scrutiny:

A little cold blue and all is well. Loads easy as my Colt SAA. "Cowboy" loads pretty much just drop out by gravity. A medium size allen wench makes a good ejector. The loading port also makes caping the percussion cylinder easy and eliminates cap jams since the fragments just fall away easier.

I'd say "go for it" you can always return 'em if there's an obvious problem.
The conversion cylinders tend to be just a few thou longer than the percussion versions. This narrows the barrel/cylinder gap for better power/accuracy but increases fouling tendencies if shooting black powder cartridges. My Remmie w/conversion cylinder is the most accurate revolver I own. It's also the CHEAPEST !:cool: $ 199.95 from Cabela's

Of course the conversion cylinder cost more than the gun itself...:rolleyes:

Happy Trails

Cincinnati Slim

December 14, 2006, 11:14 AM
I try not to think about the price of adding a conversion to the price of a Remmie .. after all you have the best of both worlds with it ... there are those warm days when i enjoy shooting it with the cap and ball cylinder its like 2 guns in one ...and shoots great with both it just doesn`t get any better than that is it worth 500 bucks ..sure thing .

December 14, 2006, 11:32 AM
Mine dropped in and functioned flawlessly for the last 2 years with no fitting at all. I really like the R&D conversion cylinder since it allows me to use the indoor range. Most ranges in our area will not allow BP.

It was just a month ago that the first minor problem arose when one of the pins became sticky. The back plate that contains the 6 firing pins would not seat properly alerting me to the problem. What is nice about the design is that these pins are mounted in a housing that screws into the back plate. I'm sure I can purchase a single pin and housing directly from R&D but the one I had loosened up with a little grease and tinkering. My vote is for you to go for it.


December 14, 2006, 12:05 PM
I`ve got the same problem with my R&D cylinder fireing pin sticks down after fireing ..was doing that soon after buying it , i haven`t bothered to order a new pin to replace it yet because i only load 5 at a time anyway //I`m sure new fireing pins aren`t expencive for replacement .
Never had that problem with the Kirst cylinder ... good thing its only got one fireing pin . The Kirst has a spring loaded fireing pin , so it retracts .The R&D doesn`t ..the fireing pins just float in their houseing on the R&D. I thought i was the only one that ever had this problem with the R&D cylinder never heard anyone else complain .

Cincinnati Slim
December 14, 2006, 02:42 PM

That's why R&D says NEVER dry fire one of their cylinders !:evil:

Sure way to get a firing pin stuck.:cuss:

I use snap-caps for practice and all is well.


December 15, 2006, 11:19 AM
Slim your right it is dry fireing that will mess up the fireing pins on an R&D cylinder happens quick too. thinking back , i never have dryfired mine But .. i only load five chambers always hammer down on an empty hole ... ok here`s the problem falt .. forget did i fire 4 or was it 5 hammer drop is on an empty hole ..same as dry fireing . I ordered some extra fireing pins from Taylors this morning 2 bucks each .. but after thinking about what the cause was , i`ll just keep them for a latter repair ....I never know when I`ll lose count again and mess up another pin ..this way i keep the ruined pin over my empty hole ...won`t hurt to hammer on that one .

December 16, 2006, 12:38 PM
Haver two Ruger Old Army and conversion cylinder. No problem, one is stainless, the other blue. Conversion cylinder fits both fine and makes the guns even more versatile.

December 18, 2006, 08:05 PM
I purchase this conversion cylinder at the same time as a 2nd Model Dragoon C&B revolver. I'm having so much fun shooting the gun as a b/p revolver, that I haven't shot the .45 LC conversion cylinder.

As to its fit and overall tolerances as it came, the .45 LC cartridges were a few thousands tight and I needed to hone the cylinders in order to get cartridges to seat properly. It was probably only about 30 minutes work and some smithing is usually in order for any new part on an existing gun, so no complaints there.

The one thing that I am dissappointed with is the design of this conversion cylinder is such that you need to break down the gun in order to load or reload, something I didn't realize at the time of purchase. I had hoped that once the cylinder was on the gun, reloading would be similar to a SAA revolver. Reloading 6 rounds of .45 LC is equally as labor intensive as charging 6 cylinders with powder, wadding, ball, and a cap. Reloading involves knocking out the wedge, pulling the barrel, and pulling the cylinder in order to get to the expended brass.

The frame assembly design of 2nd model Dragoon doesn't allow clearances for loading a conversion cylinder like a SAA .45 LC without removing some material from the frame, so once I had the gun and cylinder in hand, I understood the workings a bit better and can't really fault the design, it does what it sets out to do, essentially giving you another gun/another choice in shooting.

Finally, the 2nd Model Dragoon has a design feature associated with the cap and ball cylinder. There is a notch in the hammer, and little machined nubs on the cylinder between the nipples. This allows you to relatively comfortably rest the hammer between the nipples. The conversion cylinder has no nubs, it is smooth so the hammer has to be resting on a cylinder. This is a missing feature that cannot be discerned from the picture or the description.

First cap and ball revolver, and I'm pretty much hooked. My Christmas list was basically a link to Gatofeo's "everything I learned that I needed over the last 35 years" threads. MUTTON TALLON?? WTH is that!!?? <--- #1 fielded question this holiday season. /snicker


Plastic Cowboy
December 19, 2006, 05:02 PM
Can you use smokeless powder with these conversion cyclinders??

December 19, 2006, 05:25 PM
Yep ..light loads , in the Itilian made guns .
For store bought ammo cowboy action loads . Still a pretty stout load in 45lc .
If your a reloader , lots of different loads to play with..

Plastic Cowboy
December 20, 2006, 12:09 PM
Well then I may have to get one of these for my Pietta 58 Remmie!! I've been using a lot of IMR Trail Boss lately to make mild indoor rounds for my 500 S&W and I think it would be great stuff for 45lc cowboy loads too!!

December 20, 2006, 12:34 PM
Thats what i have been loading for my remie conversion cylinders .. Trail Boss powder smokeless loads for indoor range . They frown on my use of the black stuff Not a lot of loading data on the net for it , but i`ve sent for a data book from the company far i`ve been loading pretty light ...with the data from their site .

pierre bouchard
December 24, 2007, 11:34 AM
Is it safe to use commercial 45lc loads in my stainless ROA with the R & D conversion drop-in cylinder ?

Car Knocker
December 24, 2007, 01:09 PM
or contact, and they will make you a cylinder.

The following two threads about Big Iron are quite...informative.

December 24, 2007, 02:30 PM
Where do you buy conversion cylinders for the ROA, and how much $ ?

Thanks ! :)

December 24, 2007, 04:59 PM
I'm planning on a couple for my ROA as well. Here's the cheapest I've found so far:,357.htm

If you find cheaper, please let me know! We all need to save a few bucks here and there so that we can feed our firearm addictions elsewhere with the money saved!

Gaucho Gringo
December 24, 2007, 07:55 PM
I am wondering why some vendors have the R&D conversion cylinders in .44 Colt and not .45 LC. Not too many people shoot .44 Colt. They are the ones with the cheaper price but the difference in the price of ammo would kill the savings after buying a couple of boxes of .44 Colt. I would like to buy one from a smaller vendor but if they don't carry what I want then I will have to buy one in .45 LC from Midway

December 25, 2007, 03:29 AM
Should I just purchase a couple single action revolvers?

Yes. Conversion cylinders are cool - but not when they cost more than the gun you're putting them in. Not only is that a silly investment, but they're just plain ripping you off, and I won't buy anything in that category out of principle alone. You can buy a brand new Taurus Gaucho for under $300. About $350 for a new Blackhawk. Used guns are even cheaper.

"two guns in one" is fun, but two whole seperate guns for the same price is even better, and they'll hold their value a lot better.

December 25, 2007, 09:12 AM
Gotta agree with Big Block unless some really, really, special usage compels one to do the "two-guns-in-one" route. For very little more than the price of a conversion cylinder for my ROA I can buy a used Blackhawk or (another) 1875 Remington in 38/357.
Fun idea though. :cool:

December 25, 2007, 11:45 AM
Can`t explain it but all my 1858 Remmies shoot straighter with 45 conversion cylinders ..than my Uberti 45 Colt ..or my friends Tarus 45 Gaucho...Maybe I just got lucky don`t know . Sure makes it fun too shoot when you can aim at the target ..and not somewhere else off target to just hit close .

February 4, 2008, 12:05 PM
So I am a proud owner of a new Pietta 1858 Remmie and I am about to start looking into the cartridge conversion cylinder.

Already a handloader for 45-70 so light loads and density issues are not new to me.

Trail-Boss is one I like to use...what are a few other powders that come up for lots of use? Unique? AA#2?


February 4, 2008, 12:15 PM
There are a few powder out there that will produce the lower pressures ..I`ve always stayed with the TrailBoss powder for my conversion cylinders ..I like the way it fills the large 45 case better , makes for more consistant shots .

February 5, 2008, 09:01 AM
one other question there sundance.

Plated bullets? Do you use Berry's plated bullets in these? I ask as I am not sure what kind of leading I might run into. I use jacketed bullets in my 45-70 and 30 WCF to help clean out some of the leading that might be in there. I am fairly certain that jacketed bullets would be a no-no in a cap-n-ball conversion.


February 5, 2008, 09:27 AM
No Jacketed bullets ...lead bullets only for the conversion cylinders ..your barrels are made for lead bullets ..I use Oregon Trail laser cast 250 gr bullets Round Nose Flat Point ..You`ll need the flat pointed bullet so that when seated they will not stick out to far and jam up the cylinder turning .
I use round ball lead to cast 45/70 bullets for hunting and wheel weight lead for target shooting ..The wheel weight lead is so hard it won`t expand in a white tail deer and he`ll run a hundred yards before he knows he`s hit ..the round ball lead lets him know he`s hit when he`s hit , it will expand the size of a quarter .

February 6, 2008, 03:15 AM
Never was into BP shooting, although I've done it with borrowed guns.

But I picked up a Uberti replica .44 1858 Remington just because it was pretty and started to do some research on it.

I found out you could buy a conversion cylinder for .45 Colt for the "Remmy" and purchased an R & D cylinder from Midway. This would allow me to fire it at an indoor range, as someone else mentioned.

Some minor fitting was necessary.

For comparison's sake, I did some more reseach on the .45 Colt with respect to reloading to Cowboy Action Level reloads. Cowboy Action Loads are the maximum intensity cartridges recommended for the R & D .45 Colt conversion cylinder.

The only Cowboy Action loading information I had was from the Hogdgon manual, but based on that, and using HP-38 (the only Hogdgon powder I have on hand), I compared .45 Colt Cowboy Action reloads from the manual, factory .357, and .45ACP loads as follows:

.45 ACP-----230gr-----850 f/s----369 ft-lb

.357 Mag-----158gr-----1220 f/s-----522 ft-lb

.45 Colt (CAL)-----200gr-----1002 f/s-----446 ft-lb
(CAL = "Cowboy Action Load")

44 cap&ball-----138gr lead ball-----725 f/s -----161 ft-lb
(^ This is the more or less "standard" Black Powder load.)

It would appear that even the lowly Cowboy Action level load in .45 Colt caliber lies right between the .45 ACP and the .357 loads. These latter two loads are reputed to be the two best stopping rounds available.

I realize it may not be fair to compare a specialized .45 Colt REload to factory .357s and .45 ACPs, but it just shows what can be done with the .45 Colt, even at low-level loadings.

I was impressed, to say the least.

Note I have not actually tried this Cowboy Action load since I haven't been able to find 200gr bullets in sample quantities --what seems to be available locally is only 500 rd boxes of them.

Standard disclaimers apply with respect to liability.

February 6, 2008, 11:37 AM
I just received the two conversion cylinders for my pair of Ruger Old Army revolvers, neither one fit! I have contacted R&D to try and find out if any permanent alterations will have to be made to the pistol frame in order for them to work. If so, than I am sending them back.

I found the cheepest price @ Buffalo Arms.

February 6, 2008, 10:29 PM
I got one of the conversion cylinders to fit, just a little adjusting. But now when I cock the hammer, it only lines up with the firing pin if I do it very slowly. This is not going to work well when the timer is running. Any suggestions?

Old Fuff
February 6, 2008, 10:37 PM
Does it want to stop short of locking in the notch (failure to carry up) or over shoot the notch, when you cock the hammer quickly?

February 6, 2008, 10:38 PM
After having read this thread, among the others here; believe will stick with the Krist converter. Should it happen, know that my best day firing "under pressure" is, generally, going to be worse than the worst day without any. That's always when mistakes seem to get made. And, I’ve made some darned handsome errors, while under no particular pressure, at all.

Biggest reason for checking into the R&D converter was that it holds six cartridges, for the '58 Remington, instead of the five one can pack into the Krist converter. But, so as to avoid doing something personally stupid, there’d have to be an empty chamber left, in my R&D Cylinder, anyway. Yes, I know about the safety notches. Remember, personally stupid was mentioned – know what I’m capable of.

Forget to count shots fired a few times, hit an empty chamber, and I understand those R&D firing pins can give up the ghost (getting jammed). Doing that once, a feller is already down to five usable rounds. Unless, of course, one can call "Time Out" and fix the problem. Druther watch cartoons.

Understand that the Krists are available in LC and APC flavors, these days, too. I, sometimes, find myself a slave to such versatility.

No, I do not work for the company, whose converters are favored, here. In fact, my order hasn’t, yet, even arrived. Proving, if nothing else, that a feller can pretty much talk himself into anything.

Old Fluff - My pardons for having stepped upon your question.

February 6, 2008, 11:02 PM
Its over shooting, meaning that it is going to far to the right and the hammer will not strike the firing pin. It works great if I go slowly, but with any speed it goes to far.

Old Fuff
February 7, 2008, 12:47 AM
Remove the mainspring and grip frame. Then check to be sure the coil spring & plunger that put tension on the hand are in place, and that the spring isn't kinked. Also that the little mousetrap (cylinder latch) spring is correctly assembled and hooked into the hole in the frame.

It sounds like the cylinder is spinning ahead of the hand as it pushes on the ratchet. When you slowly cock the hammer everything is fine, but when you speed-cock the hammer the hand spins the cylinder ahead of it. Both the hand and the cylinder latch should act as a brake. When they don't it's usually because of a bent, broken or weak spring.

February 7, 2008, 09:10 AM
I have converted an Uberti remme with the R&D 45 colt drop in cylinder, and a Pietta remme with a 38 special Kirst Konverter.

I had to file a little on thr forcing cone of the Uberti to get thr R&D to fit. I think this is due to the Uberti being one of the Melennium models. I only had to remove about 1/32 of metal. The conversion works fine, and really shoots good.:)

The easiest conversion was the Kirst. The kirst differs in that it has only ONE firing pin. Its also got a groove cut for the hand which makes removal and instalation no problem at all. :D

The benefit of the kirst is its a bit safer to handle when loaded and out of the gun. The R&D could easily discharge multiple times if dropped due to its exposed firning pins.:eek:

One word of advice, if considering a conversion, forget about the 36cal to 38 special conversions. Shooting hollwbased wads works but not very well. Helled bullets can work but are a mess to deal with. :banghead:

If you MUST convert a 36, get the R&D gated cylinder, and send ithe gun to R&D to have the barrel sleeved to .357.

If you have a Kirst Konverted 36, I'm sorry but R&D wont sleeve your barrel.:cuss:

Over all I love the Kirst product, fit and finish is awsome, and quality is top notch. Its also easier to use than the R&D.

The R&D however is more historically accurate, and is also a very good product. I have both and use both, and I may buy another R&D to save a few bucks.

February 7, 2008, 01:32 PM
Noticed, on Krist’s Accessories page, that extra cylinders are offered – without the converter rings – at a lower price. The conversion rings are offered separately, as well.

My question: Does this mean that the same conversion ring can be used on different cylinders?

February 7, 2008, 01:41 PM
The fireing pin ring is the same on the Remington just some cylinders are longer than others ..Pietta longer than Uberti ..I have more cylinders than fireing pin rings myself , I just swap them out with the different model cylinders .

February 7, 2008, 02:03 PM
Appreciate hearing that. It's, exactly, the answer I was hoping for. This is turning out to be even more enjoyable than I thought it would.

February 7, 2008, 06:03 PM
does anyone have the site for krist cylinders. cant seem to find one

February 7, 2008, 06:15 PM
Try here

February 7, 2008, 11:16 PM
Old Fuff, thanks for that advice, but here is the situation. My Ruger OA's are brand new, never even been fired at all. My cap and ball cylinder functions flawlessly. It has to be a problem with the R&D.

I contacted Buffalo Arms today, and am sending both of them back. One does not fit, the other does not function properly. R&D can fir them, but it could involve a permanent modification to my revolvers, which then means the C&B cylinders may nut function properly. SO much for drop in cylinders as advertised!

February 19, 2008, 05:29 AM
I had a R&D for an 1860 Colt Uberti. The individual firing pins in the R&D hung up on the backplate as it rotated. I had to dremel a sizeable groove in the backplate to get it to work. Plug & play? NOT! I kept it for a while and sold the whole package.

For my 58 Remmie, I have a Kirst converter - IMHO a thoroughly superior converter design, A single stationary firing pin - worked great right out of the box. For me, it's a keeper!



February 19, 2008, 04:51 PM
Rangerdog - See, by the numbers, that you're fairly new around here. Yep, nothin' gets by me. Welcome to the forum! :D

Have to agree with you, about the Krist. To be honest, 'Ve never even owned an R&D cylinder - went straight to Krist. Hadn't mentioned it, before, but the thing dropped right into my '58 , like they were soul mates.

Have another '58 coming in. When it does, Believe will get another Krist, as well. Plan to try out the ACP converter, this time - just for the extra versatility in ammo possibilities. Like the idea of C&B, .45LC, and .45ACP; all able to be handled by the same iron.

October 30, 2008, 11:52 PM
does anyone know if the 45acp would work out of the 45 colt conversion, i know the Schofield will work, but they are just as hard to get locally as lc brass lol an im looking for something to try my new cylinder out with, which btw i got the 45lc conversion w/loading gate and i just finished the porting this afternoon got the blueing done an all that and am pretty excited, looks real cool pretty proud of my work:neener::D

October 31, 2008, 12:55 AM
No, on the .45 Colt,it headspaces on the rim,which the acp doesn't have...

October 31, 2008, 05:36 AM
BHP FAN is right there 1858rem, if you do any reloading you can get all the brass pretty resonably from & reload them, sure would be cheaper than buying factory ammo.

October 31, 2008, 09:59 AM
an the funny thing is when i put in my order for the reloading stuff, i took off the pack of 100 starline lc brass cause i thought i had a few people to get some brass from but that doesn't seem to be happening lol so im gonna order up anyhow, is starline gonna be suitable fo reloading ~750fps & 255g rnfp's at the very least ten times, or would another brand be recommended? i been weighing it out... i could spend 40 bucks plus 20+bucks gas money and have a box of fifty today, or save it and have about 300 brass new, but no time to shoot till next friday lol:banghead:

then again if i got the 300 cases, me and my lee classic loader would maybe be getting 300 rds of new brass loaded by friday:D

October 31, 2008, 10:13 AM
Starline is excellent brass and will hold any published load you put in it. I don't keep track of how many times I've loaded my brass, but new Starline should last 10 loadings. I occasionally have a split case, which is obvious from the lack of resistance in the resizing die. Brass usually fails because of the stretching that occurs when fired (obduration is the correct term, I think). The brass is resized and returned to original dimension in the sizing die. This repeated "working" of the brass eventually weakens the case walls and a split occurs. I have an 1866 rifle with a slightly oversized chamber. I suspect that many of my split cases were fired in the rifle.

October 31, 2008, 10:17 AM
Winchester 45 colt brass is a little thinner walled than Starline and Remington brass`s easyer to size , but I get case splits sooner with it ...

Mike 56
October 31, 2008, 04:25 PM
Ed Harris from the cast bullet forum has a Kirst cylinder in 45 acp cylinder in 45 acp. I think you can still get one special order. He all so had a Marlin 336 45 Colt converted to 45 ACP to go with it. I have been loading 45 Colt for a friends 1873. I don't size the brass i just knock out the old primer seat a new one. Charge the case seat the cast bullet then i crimp and size the case with a lee factory crimp die. I load 32 acp for my 1895 Nagant the same way works great.


October 31, 2008, 10:17 PM
Reading this thread has me thinking. Is it really that easy to convert to cartridge rounds? If I have a 1851 Confederate Navy, all I need to do is buy a cylinder and I can fire cowboy loads?

Old Fuff
October 31, 2008, 10:25 PM
Not so easy. Some of those cap & ball .36 Navy reproductions have .376 bores, where the .38 Long Colt or .38 Special bullet diameter is .358". This is not a dangerous condition, but accuracy suffers.

And brass frame revolvers are not recommended for cartridge conversions.

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