Cylinder alignment on 1858 with R&D cylinder


March 21, 2010, 03:46 PM
Hey Folks, I have finally recieved my new R&D conversion cylinder. Upon initial trial fitting I was pleasently surprised that it dropped right in and the barrel gap mesured right at .005". The lock-up is crisp and positive, although it has a bit of axial play. With the hammer back and the trigger down it is about .004"-.005". I guess not too bad as I have some factory modern revolvers that are as bad to slightly worse. So far,so good.

When I went to check cylinder alignment I noticed that the firing pin is not centered in the hammer window of the frame. It is about 2 degrees off. I believe the gun will still fire, as the pin is close enough that the hammer will get a full strike, just not perfectly centered. Then I look into the bore with a bright light and discover the chambers are off the same 2 degrees. I do not have a range rod to check. However the face of the cylinder is not visible through the bore. So I am sure the whole chamber is within the sides of the forcing cone, just not perfectly centered. I realize this is an imperfect world and there are allowable tolerences. My question is: What is an acceptable amount of being off center to the barrel?

I don't believe this is really a hazzard as it is only off a tiny bit. The radial play however does not make up the differece. So the bullet will not center the chamber as it enters the forcing cone. I THINK this will effect accuracy, but I am not sure. Does anyone else have one of these that is not perfectly centered? How far off is it? How does it shoot? Thanks for any advice.

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March 21, 2010, 11:55 PM
In my opinion you should ask r d gun shop to install the cylinder and do the minor fitting as may be reequired,ask for a est. if its not the fault of there product,also require proof .:cool:better safe than sorry

March 22, 2010, 09:35 PM
NO PROBLEM and you are right and you are ok. Here is the deal the Kirst cylinder is a 5 shot cylinder as the R&D is a 6 shot cylinder. Difference. if you really look at the cylinders or if you had a blank and were to try to make one yourself you will notice that the width of the cylinder is almost to small to put in 6 shots. The webbing would be very very thin in the front of the cylinder for 6 shots. This was my main concern and reason that i went with the Kirst as the kirst is a 5 shot it is made and timed to be a 5 shot so the webbing is thick in between each cylinder. If you mic out the cylinders you will notic that the front and back of the cylinders measure different. Why because the way R&D make theirs work so you have some webbing is the angle the cylinder chambers so that they are not straight in line with the barrel. Now R&D has always claimed that this poses no problems in accuracy or its ability to work ok. There have been arguements on both sides. Those that have them like them. The way it works is when you fire the gun the forcing cone is supposed to make the bullet travel straight meaning it will hit the forcing cone at an angle off center by around 2 degrees. the .05 gap you are talking about is perfect. So your cylinder is ok by what you have described and is ready to shoot.

April 26, 2010, 07:43 AM
Just a bit of follow-up. I finally found a bit of time to go to my local range and play with this new conversion cyl. It worked perfectly. It was surprisingly accurate. I managed a 4" grouping of all 6 shots at the 21 yard line, off hand, standing. No leading observed at the forcing cone, or barrel. No spitting of any lead, either. Just a real pleasure to shoot.

April 26, 2010, 10:04 AM
The answer to your concern/question is here (

"To provide clearance for the cartridge rims, each of the chambers is angled slightly relative to the centerline of the cylinder and the centerline of the barrel."

April 27, 2010, 01:19 AM
On the R and D cylinder the 2 degrees refers to the rear of the cartridge. On the cylinder
lined up with the barrel, the bullet will enter the barrel nose down 2 degrees. Side to side
should line up. The firing pins should be centered side to side. If they are not done this way, the cartridge rims will overlap on the 45 long colt. It's claimed not to affect accuracy ( of course it affects accuracy). Keep in mind you are a slamming a .451 - .452 bullet down a barrel that's designed
for a bullet that was sized in the cylinder about .445 to .447. Good lube is the key on the leading. 250 gr. bullets will be more prone to leading than 200 gr. I hope the explanation on the 2 degree offset is clear.

April 27, 2010, 01:32 AM
I would also add that you need to really stay with the light loads. The cylinder will handle heavier loads, but brass will stretch in these cylinders .010 and more each firing.
This is typical of the 45 long colt chambering. With the light ( starter loads) you'll get almost no stretch. There also is very little recoil surface on the back of the R and D cylinder, so you'll start seeing an impression of the cylinder on the revolver frame, especilly with heavier loads. They do give you an extra option and are fun. But I suspect
you'll find it's not quite as accurate as the roundball loads.

April 27, 2010, 01:41 AM
One thing that you may be experiencing (if the cylinder is off side to side) that is quite common would be that the cylinder stop ( bolt ) is dropping out of the slot and allowing the cylinder to roll back. It's generally caused by friction in the revolver internal parts.

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