Cartridge conversion for defence?


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6_gunner
April 14, 2007, 04:26 PM
I have a Pietta 1858 Remington with an R&D .45 colt conversion cylinder. I occasionally carry it just because it's so dang cool. :D

I'm wondering if the cowboy action .45 colt cartridges are potent enough for self defence or if they're just for punching through paper.

If the cowboy loads aren't recommended, can I shoot standard pressure .45s in it or would that damage the gun?

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CZ.22
April 14, 2007, 04:57 PM
The cowboy loads should do, what, about 303 ft-lbs? I'd prefer something different, a DA .357 or .38. If you have one, use a DA, if you don't, use an SAA clone, if you don't have something like that, than use the Pietta.
Personally, I would hate to be on the receiving end of that bullet.
Use what you can hoot best with and are most confident with.

tinygnat219
April 14, 2007, 06:46 PM
Recommend you get a real gun and not a cartridge conversion, here's why:

The frames are designed for MUCH lower Black Powder loads. These frames won't stand up to the much higher pressures that come with smokeless rounds, even the lower pressure smokeless "Cowboy loads" can and will beat up a frame.

Just how reliable is a Cartridge Conversion? Seeing as how they often require custom fitting by gunsmiths, do you want to trust one with your life when it came down to it? I wouldn't trust them except for clanging steel at a Cowboy Match, or punching paper.

There's also the matter of using Cowboy Ammo for self Defense. Wouldn't use it. VERY poor choice of ammo. Low velocity Lead Round Nose Bullets may make a hole, but they tend to be very poor stoppers. There are SO many better bullets out there than LRN bullets, I suggest you look into those.

Also, CZ-22 made a good point, the DA / SA revolver in .357 is a solid can't go wrong choice if you are intent on the revolver route. Very proven design / round combo.

Take CZ-22's Single Action Army advice with a load of salt though. Why limit yourself to an antiquated design that doesn't allow easy reloading, and with some designs like the Colt, Uberti, USFAs that force you to carry an empty chamber because of the firing pin mounted hammer? SAA revolvers are also NOT easy to conceal. The Single Action Army's time has come and gone. While still a nice pistol, it's a poor choice for a Conceal and Carry piece, IMHO.

6_gunner
April 14, 2007, 07:30 PM
I have other, more modern revolvers, which I usually carry. I only carry the New Army occasionally, kind of like a barbecue gun (only it's not pretty and I don't carry it to barbecues :D )
I just wondered if cowboy loads would get the job done in the event that I actually had to use it. I would assume it's at least as good a stopper as a .38 special (?)

mavracer
April 14, 2007, 10:01 PM
would not be ideal but in the situation you discribe it will work I have a 1862 pietta police with kirst konverter I have carried while walking dogs in safe suberbs. loaded with 38 spcl 148 hollow base wad cutters at 700 fps.way under powered compaired to your 45 colt but in the unlikley case i need it at least i have a gun.ps it always goes bang and will easily print minute of pocket at 15 yards

Old Fuff
April 15, 2007, 12:25 AM
The Old Fuff often carries .38 Special (standard load) Cowboy loads in his pocket snubby, with no worries about so-called stopping power. If an aggressor gets stopped it's because of bullet placement.

A whole lot of folks got suddenly dead back in the 19th century after getting hit with a ball or bullet propelled by black powder out of a New Model Army Remington. Today's cowboy loads are in the same ballpark.

I wouldn't choose to carry a converted cap & ball revolver if other options were available. For the cost of a good reproduction revolver plus the cartridge cylinder you can buy a superior self-defense handgun. However if something else wasn't available it would do... ;)

RSVP2RIP
April 15, 2007, 01:15 AM
As to the standard pressure loads, no these won't damage the conversion because the cylinder is made to take SAAMI standard pressure 45 Colt Ammo. I email Buffalo Bore and they said that thier heavy standard pressure loads are safe to fire in an R&D coversion for a Uberti. I believe the reason they say to use "cowboy loads" is because the revolver the cylinder goes on is way out of thier control, and the low pressure loads would be "safer". I wouldn't use a big smoke wheel like an 1860 for conceal carry but would the cowboy loads stop a bad guy??? Remember people are killed by airguns, falls down stairs and big macs and the like.

xy17
April 25, 2007, 06:17 PM
"The Old Fuff often carries .38 Special (standard load) Cowboy loads in his pocket snubby, with no worries about so-called stopping power. If an aggressor gets stopped it's because of bullet placement."

Old Fuff, Which model .38 Special pocket stubby do you carry or recommend?

I'm debating whether to get a S&W 642 .38 Special using mild loads, or the 17ounce Taurus Model 731 in .32 Magnum.

One of the problems I'm having with deciding on the Taurus 731 is the exposed hammer, which would have to be bobbed for pocket carry.

Side note: can a bobbed hammer be easily & inexpensively replaced with an original again for easier resale?

In my endless research on .32 magnum revolvers, I think the S&W 632 Centennial might be interesting to check out. Is it light enough for pocket carry? I haven't found out much about it yet, but I did see a picture of the S&W 631 Lady Smith and liked what I saw.

Many thanks!
XY17
(attracted to the .32 Magnum without reason)

Bezoar
April 25, 2007, 11:09 PM
compare it to the pocket auto mouse gun ballistics. 303-330 foot pounds at the muzzle of your cartridge conversion is equivalent and if not even better. Its your choice to carry what you want.

Jim Watson
April 26, 2007, 12:19 AM
It ain't the ballistics, its the quality. Cap and ball revolvers and cartridge conversions for them are made as toys. I just don't think they have the quality in them that I want in a gunfighting weapon. Of course you could shoot one enough to prove to your satisfaction that it was something to trust your life to. If you could not get something better.

My CAS conversion is actually the old (1970s) Legal Defender that considerably predates the Cowboy craze. It was openly advertised as a way to get some sort of gun in a repressive jurisdiction (or for somebody with a record.) Better than nothing but a pretty weak reed.

Sunray
April 26, 2007, 01:02 AM
"...a barbecue gun..." Should be the same as a 'Sunday-go-to-meeting' revolver. Gloss SS SAA with real ivory grips carried in a spit shined leather holster festooned with conchos.
"...Pietta 1858 Remington..." It's made for BP.

chaoszen
June 15, 2008, 07:45 AM
"It ain't the ballistics, its the quality. Cap and ball revolvers and cartridge conversions for them are made as toys. I just don't think they have the quality in them that I want in a gunfighting weapon". April 25th, 2007, 10:19 PM #10
Jim Watson
Senior Member

LOL:D! You might want to ask the thousands of people that fell off the twig as a result of being at the business end of an 1858 Remington cap and ball or .45 Long Colt conversion, if they thought they were just killed by a toy.. The facts are clear, and are a matter of physics. A slower projectile will tend to tumble. A .45LC will leave the muzzle at 650-900 FPS depending on load and will have about 300-330 foot pounds at the muzzle. The round will lose less energy at the target due to less velocity. Penetration will be greatly reduced. Which is a plus! The soft lead round will penetrate the target and cause extensive soft tissue damage, especially when striking bone and splintering. Collateral damage will be controlled as the projectile will stay in the target. Certainly not a "Toy".
As far as quality goes the Pietta or Uberti replicas are far superior to their Old World counterparts. Put that in yur pipe and smoke it!

Stainz
June 15, 2008, 08:07 AM
Actually, the original SAA, c. 1873, shot a .45 Colt 250+gr LRN over 40gr fff which would get it up to tickle 1,000 fps from a 7.5" barrel. Today's 'cowboy loads' are much milder. Still, I believe the low-speed designed Speer 250gr Gold Dots, using their #4484 low speed bullet, were made for the SAAMI 14kpsi max specifications, so they should be quite effective as self defense rounds.

The obvious benefit a decent Italian clone - or especially the meaty Ruger Old Army - has as a 'conversion' is the total lack of a need for an ffl. Black powder cap and ball revolvers were sold at Wally World, at one time. The conversions are available from Brownells, etc - no ffl needed. As an honest tax payer - and a 'good' citizen - I am not afraid that 'big brother' will come after my bang bangs, so I'd rather spend my moola on revolvers that load a tad faster. Still, nothing like a few shots of real bp on a hot/muggy summer's day to clear the adjacent firing lanes at the range!

Stainz

The Lone Haranguer
June 15, 2008, 09:07 AM
I would not deliberately choose to carry it when there are more modern options available. That's why it's called progress. ;)

chaoszen
June 15, 2008, 11:39 AM
Why would anyone chose to carry a firearm anyway unless they were a law enforcement officer or a criminal? Home defense, recreational shooting or hunting are one thing. But the average civilian has very little need to pack a gun. There is a 99.999% chance that they would ever in their lifetime need or require a firearm on their person in everyday life. Civilians who chose to carry a gun are usually pschologically deficient cases with low self esteem and sexual orientation problems. These types should not be owning a gun in the first place. Peace.

Jim Watson
June 15, 2008, 11:57 AM
LOL! You might want to ask the thousands of people that fell off the twig as a result of being at the business end of an 1858 Remington cap and ball or .45 Long Colt conversion,

Sorry I did not make it clear last year that I was refering to MODERN MADE repro cap and ball revolvers and cartridge conversions.
In the 19th century, they were state of the art and carefully made as real weapons. That does not apply to the current crop and as I said, I would not want to have to depend on one if anything else were available. Ray Ordorica shot some period guns, and had something to say on the matter. The originals are better made than the copies, although the metallurgy limits them to black powder, or should. I think modern ammunition is better (largely in the primer and brass, really good black powder is hard to find) but the guns are not.

As far as quality goes the Pietta or Uberti replicas are far superior to their Old World counterparts.

That one is confusing, the Pietta and Uberti replicas are made in Italy, which is about as "Old World" as it gets.

chaoszen
June 15, 2008, 12:56 PM
From a metallurgical standpoint the replicas are indeed far superior to the originals due to advances in technology. As far as Italian firearms go Uberti is owned by Beretta. The company who has been owned by the same family for over 500 years and who arguably produces some of the best firearms in the world. As far as Pietta (Fillipietta) it is also an Italian company that produces a quality product which is handfitted by skilled artisans. Except maybe if the gun was put together on Monday morning.. If you are making the argument that somehow the original versions are in someway superior, I would beg to differ.:what:

buttrap
June 15, 2008, 02:40 PM
good lordy. the originals generaly did not even use steel in the frames,just plain old cast iron. even the original colt SAA guns used iron frames for a while.

confed sailor
June 16, 2008, 01:19 PM
Why would anyone chose to carry a firearm anyway unless they were a law enforcement officer or a criminal? Home defense, recreational shooting or hunting are one thing. But the average civilian has very little need to pack a gun. There is a 99.999% chance that they would ever in their lifetime need or require a firearm on their person in everyday life. Civilians who chose to carry a gun are usually pschologically deficient cases with low self esteem and sexual orientation problems. These types should not be owning a gun in the first place. Peace.

Troll.

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