.45 COLT in double?


July 6, 2008, 09:45 PM
Has any one seen any early style revolvers in .45 Colt BUT double action?

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The Lone Haranguer
July 6, 2008, 10:00 PM
By "early style," do you mean in a non-swingout-cylinder type? There was the Colt 1878 double-action (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=colt+1878+double+action+revolver&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2), but an original would be $$$ (and you would not want to shoot it anyway) and no one reproduces it today.

July 6, 2008, 11:19 PM
You mean one such as this?... http://www.gunsamerica.com/991902124/Guns-For-Sale/Gun-Auctions/Pistols/Colt-Double-Action-Revolvers-Pre-1945/Colt_New_Service_45_L_C_5_5_made_in_1914.htm

I passed on one at a local shop 2yrs back for $425....don't regret it, as I didn't care for my 1st Gen S&W MG .45 Colt shooting the standard 250's@1000fps, my scrawny hands not agreeing with humpitty-backed DA resolvers of big-bore....SA's are another critter....

July 7, 2008, 02:40 AM
I'm gonna just say "Yes." This is a 1916 built S&W double action built on the first pattern "N' frame. It is .45 Long Colt, N frame, 6.5" barrel. I enjoy it a lot. If you have a more specific question, email me.

When not in bear country, I carry this gun in the back country for defense. Among a few dozen &W revolvers, despite almost 100 year of service and obvious evidence of it (peened cylinder locks, etc), this gun locks up tight and shoot better than many, many more modern guns.


July 7, 2008, 09:42 AM
K- I assume that's a converted 455?

neddles- One problem with the 45 Colt was the very narrow rim. No problem in the SAA where empties are punched out with a rod but in guns using more complicated extractors or ejectors the device for extraction can slip off or over the case rim and jam the gun.

Modern manufacturer has nearly eliminated this problem but gun designers back in the early 20th century struggled with this issue.

July 7, 2008, 10:52 AM
Modern brass has a larger rim, which cured most problems and allowed the .45 Colt to finally work in a lever-action....

July 7, 2008, 10:58 AM
Don't forget the Colt New Service!

July 7, 2008, 11:57 AM
K- I assume that's a converted 455?

Yes, it is. Fortunately, it was one that was "properly" converted by rebating/recessing the cylinders and ejector star instead of just machining the whole face down. The barrel was (re) roll-marked ".45 Long Colt," and it has no military markings. I think it was factory done (some were - haven't lettered it to find out for sure, I keep meaning to and forget). Works flawlessly and actually lets me shoot a common round and carry it in the field. I am going riding with it today, actually.

Do you happen to know when N frames started getting heat-treated cylinders? I know when M&Ps did, but don't know about the N's.

July 7, 2008, 12:05 PM
Kamerer, that gun is super. Thanks for posting that pic.
When I daydream about having a good woods gun, that's what I see.

July 7, 2008, 12:25 PM
Generally speaking, S&W's didn't get heat treatment until after WWII.

The 1950 Target, (4th. Model Hand Ejector) introduced in 1950 is considered the first of the "strong" N-Frames.


July 7, 2008, 04:38 PM
RC- It was after WW I and not WW II. It was around 1920 when cylinders were first tempered, not 1950 as you say. Note that the 357 Magnum was introduced in 1935 and these guns most certainly were tempered for the 35,000+ PSI of the original 357 cartridge.

K- Your gun made in 1916 will not be tempered.

I have a 455 Triple Lock that was converted to 45 Colt just like yours so it is a recessed non-Magnum. I suspect that this indicates a factory job but Roy Jinks said he has no info on that.


July 7, 2008, 04:49 PM
I thought we were talking about converted 1917 S&W .45 Colts that were made in 1916?

I wouldn't bet at all it has a .357 type tempered cylinder.

To my knowledge, only the N-frame .357 Registered Magnum model had any tempering done, until the fully heat-treated big-bore 4th. Model Hand Ejector came out in ehhh, 1950.


Old Fuff
July 7, 2008, 05:59 PM
The .455 Webley cartridge has a thinner rim then the .45 Colt, so when .455 revolvers were converted to .45 Colt the rim was slightly, but not completely recessed into the cylinder.

Or at least that was the case when the job was done right. :cool:

July 7, 2008, 09:10 PM
Well, I know that the K frames were tempered starting at around 316,000 (and the Standard catalog of S&W confirms it was 316,668) and I sort of assumed that all models were tempered at this time. However, the book actually says nothing regarding the tempering of any other model. I would find it odd that S&W deemed the 38 special worthy of heat treated cylinders but not the 44s and 45s. But I must confess that I don't know for sure at this point.

I would still think they were all started at the same time but I could be wrong.

If the 1950s were the first big bore S&W revolvers to be tempered Nahas and Supica make no mention of it in their book.

Old Fuff
July 7, 2008, 09:24 PM
Smith & Wesson started heat-treating cylinders around 1920. N-frame revolvers made during the World War One era (1914 -1919) were not heat-treated.

When the oringinal .357 Magnum was introduced, special steel was used in the cylinder and it went through a double heat-treating process. It was the only model that had this feature.

Following the war, this steel and heat-treating process was used in all non-stainless, center fire, Magnum revolvers.

July 7, 2008, 11:33 PM
I'd like to have an N-frame S&W in .45 ACP, OR .45 Colt. I already have a Redhawk in .45 Colt, but it's bordering on too big for any but very heavy loads. A 5" barreled N-frame in either caliber would be easier to carry, and more germain to the "SHTF" situations for which one carries a sidearm.

July 8, 2008, 02:01 PM
I would find it odd that S&W deemed the 38 special worthy of heat treated cylinders but not the 44s and 45sI think the reason was that there was a 38/44 Hi-Speed loading for the .38 Special back then that was near .357 pressure, but nothing like that at all for the .44 or .45.

The 38/44 ammo was never supposed to be used in K-frame guns, but you know some folks did it anyway!


Old Fuff
July 8, 2008, 04:12 PM
Standard .44 Special, .45 ACP and .45 Colt loadings are relatively low pressure, in the 16,000 CPU ballpark. As such S&W didn't see the need to heat treat the cylinders. If one wanted to handload extra-pressure loads they were on their own. For the record, Colt did just about the same thing.

.357 Magnum, .41 Magnum and .44 Magnum factory loads could be in the 40,000 + range, so they were the ones that got special alloy steel cylinders with double heat-treating.

As for frames. In both K and N sizes, Magnum and non-Magnum reolvers were made from the same frames, and often serial numbered in the same series.

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