Uberti Conversions


February 29, 2008, 04:24 PM
Has anyone bought one of the pre-converted revolvers that Uberti's making now?


I really, really want to eventually get one of those 1872 open tops, in .45 LC. Infinitely more attractive than an SAA, to me. Has anyone experienced any durability problems with these, or aftermarket conversion cylinders, when using light "cowboy" ammo with smokeless powder? Smokeless has a much faster peak pressure spike and all that crap, even if the velocity and maximum pressure remain the same.

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February 29, 2008, 06:12 PM
I have a Richards-Mason Conversion based on the 1851 Navy, like the second to last one from the bottom of the page on the page you linked. Mine has a shorter barrel though. I've used .38 SP cowboy loads and .38 Long Colt loaded with black powder (made by Ten-X) and .38 Short Colt (also by Ten-X but with modern powder.) The only problem I had was the barrel wedge working slightly out, thus causing the cylinder to bind. According to what I've read, this was a problem for originals too, though I'm not sure why.
All in all I am very happy with the revolver and it's a very neat gun. Despite using BP it's easier to clean than a regular BP cap 'n' ball since the residue doesn't seem to get back into the lockwork as easily.
If you get one just keep an eye on that pesky barrel wedge. Make sure you read the instructions because disassembly is a tad different than standard open top cap 'n' ball Colts.

February 29, 2008, 06:32 PM
Might be the extra weight of the bullets hitting the bore VS the much lighter round balls . These conversions sure are purdy though .

February 29, 2008, 08:08 PM
A gentleman at Cimarron who sounds like he is quite experienced with these pistols informed me that the Richards-Mason conversions, especially the 1851 in .38 special are quite accurate. The Open Top he said wasn't quite as accurate as the R-M and shot more along the lines of one of their Model P's. The frames are harder and made from a superior steel than the percussion models as well (hence the higher cost).
The wedge on these guns do not have springs on them such as you’ll find on the percussion models. This probably explains why it has a greater tendency to back out. It is possible to negate this problem with a small dot of epoxy that does not hinder wedge removal in any way.
I was also told by the individual at Cimarron that these guns could handle a good amount of shooting with standard-pressure loads and that it wasn't necessary to "baby" them with light black powder/cowboy loads. With mine I like to keep the pressures in the 12,000 to 15,000 cup ( I reload and am going by the pressures stated in the reloading books). Needless to say, NO +P LOADS.
According the Cimarron rep. he has an 1872 Open Top that has seen more than 1000 shots with no broken parts.

February 29, 2008, 08:53 PM
Very informative, thanks Tommygunn and Dithsoer. Interesting that the more refined 1971/72 design wouldn't be as accurate as the R-P conversion. You'd think that the longer forcing cone (for the .45s, anyway) would lead to better accuracy in the '72.

Hm, would it be possible to just buy a wedge for a percussion pistol, and use that instead of messing around with the factory wedge? Also, I assume the groove diameter on the barrels for the .38 conversions is .357", not just a C&B barrel (which are what, .365", .370"?) slapped on a conversion frame? Can't imagine getting any kind of accuracy, otherwise.

Oh, also, do you know if the metallurgy of the barrels is up to regularly using jacketed rounds?

I'm amazed that those guns can stand up to standard .45 LC. As I've said before on the subject of older non-+P .38 revolvers, pressure really isn't the only number. Recoil impulse plays a big part, as well. Pressure does affect the backpressure on the breech face, but so does the forward momentum on the bullet. If you get +P velocities without +P pressures, you're still putting more stress on the frame of the gun than it's designed for, and stretching it out. I'd imagine that a revolver with no topstrap would be even more affected by this.

But the lack of a topstrap is the main aesthetic appeal, to me. The Colt SAA just looks... I dunno. Really "fat" around the cylinder. In my opinion.

And 1000 shots isn't a whole lot. It's frame stretching that'd be a problem over the long run (5,000, 10,000, and more shots), not small parts breakage. Much like with the brass-framed C&B guns.

Of course, I'm a terrible shot and I probably won't fire 5,000 shots out of a single gun in my entire life, so it's all academic.

March 1, 2008, 06:52 PM
Poking around on the Cimarron site, I found their Type II Conversion. http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/Conversions/TypeIIRichConv.htm

I am definitely getting one of those instead of an Open Top. Anyone have experience with that specific model?

March 1, 2008, 10:17 PM
Bore diameter is for regular .357 bullets. Sorry, but a standard percussion wedge with spring won't fit ( I tried it myself).
I don't think that frame stretching would be too much of a concern with cowboy loads. Cowboy action shooters shoot their guns a lot, including competition and practice.

Check out this quote concerning the 1860 Richards-Mason conversion from Gun Blast web site.

"The Cimarron proved to be far more accurate than expected, consistently producing groups such as the 1-1/4" 5-shot group shown at top and the 1-7/8" 10-shot group shown at bottom. Such accuracy would be the envy of most modern revolvers equipped with adjustable target sights!"

Here is the link:http://www.gunblast.com/Cimarron_Conversion.htm

March 1, 2008, 11:28 PM
Hm, would it be possible to just buy a wedge for a percussion pistol, and use that instead of messing around with the factory wedge?
Ryan, I wouldn't try that. The wedge slot on mine has a rounded front in the frame, plus, the screw that fits in the slot above the wedge is different: a D shaped edge exists along the edge of the screws "head," which must be turned to align with the wedge during disassembly. Also, the "channel" in the wedge that the screw head fits into on the Richards-Mason does not go all the way through to the other side. I strongly suspect one or other of these technical differences would cause some rather bad end result if an incorrect wedge was substituted. The differences must exist for a reason ... otherwise why not use regular C&B parts?
Also, as mentioned above, this wedge does not have the little spring.
Oh, and I just noticed that Dithsoer said he'd tried the substitution and the conversion revolver won't take the C&B wedge. So that's it, then.

The frames are harder and made from a superior steel than the percussion models as well (hence the higher cost).

I believe this to be true. In fact I think the cylinder is made of stronger material too. I have done enough shooting on mine, and enough working of the action, so that if I'd done this on a C&B, there'd be a little scoring along the notch or in the anticipation groove, and so far on my R/M they're still almost 100% perfect.

March 2, 2008, 06:59 AM
Maybe it is just me but,I am leery of a conversion in 45 Long Colt.

I realize the reproductions are a bit beefier than the original and better iron alloys but the design is still the same and depends on the single wedge to hold the whole shebang together.

I picked up this one in 44 Colt.


and I happy with it.

It is a Richards conversion with the telltale exposed ejector rod and frame mounted rear site.

Weight, balance, handling and accuracy are all better than my SAA's and equal to my 1860s and 1861s.

And for me, it is in a cartridge appropriate to the firearm and the era.

Just my thoughts.

March 2, 2008, 02:03 PM
Hm, I guess I'll have to try the epoxy trick on the wedge when I get one, then.

Very nice gun there, Strawhat.

I should probably contact Cimarron as well, and see if they have any ammo recommendations for the conversion revolvers. I have been considering .44 SPL instead of .45 LC, just to avoid unnecessary wear and tear, but .45 LC is a lot more common.

IIRC though, they did beef up several components to slightly larger than historically correct, to get the gun to safely take .45 LC. It sounds like if I really wanted to be safe, cowboy action loads would work just fine and not wear out the gun at all. Those light loads are no more powerful than a regular C&B 1860 with a conical bullet.

Coyote Hunter
March 2, 2008, 02:26 PM
I have the Remington .45 conversion in 5 1/2" and love the looks and feel. It is a very good gun and always gets looks and questions when we have a western reenactment..


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