changing barrel length


September 14, 2008, 10:53 PM
would you be able to buy a few barrels of different lengths and just unscrew them to switch them out. this is on a 1858 remington new army.... was thinkin between 4" and up to 12" barrels..... using a separate loader for short barrels to get around having a keeper and shorter ram. reason im askin is i have never unscrewed my barrel for fear of scratching the barrel, is there any specific tool for that? just wanting to have another project lol...... either this, or a .36 kit to build rifle/revolver/single shot pistol dont even know for sure. more interester in barrel length right now though. what advantages/disadvantages would there be... never mind loading, ill use spare cylinders. but as far as velocity and accuracy, what say you to that?:scrutiny:

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September 15, 2008, 01:17 AM
I've never read a post about anyone routinely building a switch barrel Remington 1858. I only recall reading posts about folks cutting their barrels shorter or maybe replacing a bad one entirely, but not specifically for the purpose of making a switch barrel gun.
Wouldn't it be easier to just buy another gun rather than switching a tightly threaded barrel?
Switching barrels would be much easier to accomplish with a Colt revolver than with the Remington.
Do you dislike the Colt design so much that you'd rather unscrew barrels versus just popping them off to switch them out? :D

Here's a thread illustrating the accuracy of a Pietta 1858 that was cut down to 6 5/8" and then had a new dovetailed front sight installed:

September 15, 2008, 05:26 AM
You would loose around 100-130fps. of velocity when you use a 4" barrel as opposed to the standard 8" but you would gain that much if not a tad more in velocity with using a 12" instead of the 8" barrel.

The problem I see with what you are proposing is that every time the barrel is unscrewed from the frame of any revolver the replacement or even the one that was removed & reinstalled has to be regulated to the gun & like Arcticap mentioned it is far easier to perform this feat with a Colt open top design than it is with a closed top like the Remington "colts don't have the regulating issues as badly because part of the barrel is the forward part of the frame for those revolvers & have the alignment pins to keep the barrel orientation in correct proportion & just have to be concerned with the cylinder to barrel gap for consistency.
With unscrewing & then rescrewing a barrel out of the frame can eventually cause the barel to cylinder gap to change as well as front sight alignment to where both could chang the POI & POA concidderably.

I also agree that instead why not have a second & or a third remington with those barrel length requirements?
I have a Pietta 5-1/2" barreled '58 NMA as well as a Pietta 8" barreled & now a Uberti 8" barreled '58 NMA's, each has their purpose & traits.

September 15, 2008, 06:46 AM
Sounds like a good excuse to buy more Remingtons ..Get a 5 1/2 barrel model`ll really like it ..I like the Uberti model because of the driftable front sight ...makes sighting in a breeze ..which equals a very good shooter ...the front sight always comes a little tall so fileing down for eleavation adjustment is that easy too ....Some of the Remngtons have some kind of bonding agent on the threads to keep the barrel from getting loose ..this can be a real problem when removeing the barrels .

September 15, 2008, 03:03 PM
Changing barrels is not a big deal once you get the hang of it.

A properly fitting wrench and soft vice jaws and you can get barrels in and out fairly quickly.

The catch is the front sight, even with witness marks you will need and adjustable rear sight to make the sighting in go quicker. Without an adjustable sight you will need to move the barrel in or out a fraction of a degree as the target indicates. (Since it is the front sight you are moving when spinning the barrel, go in the opposite direction you want the bullet impact to move). Moving the barrel involves the vise and wrench. Not necessarily something you carry to the range.

With Colt style BP revolvers, once you get the barrel cylinder gap set, barrels swap in and out with a bit less bother but getting the gap correct is trail and error with a new barrel.

Just removing and replacing a barrel wil not necessarily change your gap but have a good gauge handy.

With either, make sure the breech end of the barrel is square to the bore.

September 15, 2008, 03:10 PM
i thought of it. but the alignment has to be right on. You cant just eyeball it. if its a hair of from the cylinder chamber. your going to have some serious negative impacts. from leading, accuracy to gun damage. So in my mind it just seems easier to save up the money instead of buying another barrel but another revolver.

September 15, 2008, 04:38 PM
For that purpose buy a colt type revolver.

September 15, 2008, 06:06 PM
I am in the middle of a Colt cut down conversion.
I came across a Pietta standard brl and cut it down to 4.5 inches. I am waiting on the tool for cutting in the dove tail front site and I need to order a new rammer. I think I would just buy another remmington rather than try to unscrew that brl.

September 15, 2008, 10:13 PM
so it sounds like you really dont want to unscrew the barrel at all on a remington? i dont like the look or design of colts, though i have never shot one either. new gun on the list 5.5in stainless 1858:D

September 16, 2008, 08:23 AM
Neither the Remington nor the Colt designs are interchangable without fitting. If you are comfortable using fitting tools it should be no problem. If you are hesitant about using tools, the complete revolver offers many advantages over the one frame many barrels.

With additional revolvers you are ready to go now. With the "kit" gun you will need to spend time rebarreling it if you want to shoot something else.

Eventually you will prefer one length over the others and a whole gun is easier to sell then just a barrel.

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