Question on original Conversions for C&B Revolvers


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Gomezy3k
December 18, 2010, 12:50 PM
This question came up in another forum about how C&B revolvers would have not been seen in the 1880's and later and also about the original conversions that were done to both the Colt and the Remington. I have heard that they converted original .44 six shot revolvers to .46 caliber 5 shot revolvers and they included a C&B cylinder with the conversion. What sort of set up would allow this other than something like the R&D type cylinder we have today? On some of the Remington conversions if I remember right, they didn't have a loading gate just a enlarged grove on the side, the original spot where you could put caps on.

And I know Colt tried the Thuer Conversion and then went with the Richards Mason conversion.

I tried to find info but keep getting links for modern conversions not the actual historical ones. Anyone have info on both the Colt and the Remington original conversions??

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Old Fuff
December 18, 2010, 06:53 PM
First of all, in some of the more remote parts of the country cap & ball revolvers remained popular into the early 1920's and beyond. Metallic cartridges were expensive while lead, caps and black powder wasn't.

Most of the so-called conversions were made as cartridge revolvers using up left over Civil War era cap & ball parts, rather then converted percussion guns.

Remington did make a cartridge cylinder/cap & ball set, where a user could revert backwards when "store bought" ammunition wasn't available.

If you are seriously interested in the original revolvers, buy a copy of: A Study of Colt Conversions; and Other Percussion Revolvers, by R. Bruce McDowell. It also covers Remingtons.

Gomezy3k
December 19, 2010, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the info...

GCBurner
December 19, 2010, 10:42 PM
First of all, in some of the more remote parts of the country cap & ball revolvers remained popular into the early 1920's and beyond. Metallic cartridges were expensive while lead, caps and black powder wasn't.

Most of the so-called conversions were made as cartridge revolvers using up left over Civil War era cap & ball parts, rather then converted percussion guns.

Remington did make a cartridge cylinder/cap & ball set, where a user could revert backwards when "store bought" ammunition wasn't available.

If you are seriously interested in the original revolvers, buy a copy of: A Study of Colt Conversions; and Other Percussion Revolvers, by R. Bruce McDowell. It also covers Remingtons.
As I recall, Clint Eastwood used one of the Remington cartridge conversions, with spare loaded cylinders for reloads, in the movie Pale Rider.

Old Fuff
December 20, 2010, 12:18 AM
I don't have a DVD copy of the movie at hand, but I suspect that the revolver was a prop gun, rather then an original. It would have be difficult to make blank cartridges that would fit a true Remington, and there are several gunsmiths that specialize in making functional prop guns for the movie makers.

BHP FAN
December 20, 2010, 12:52 AM
http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Pale_Rider

rcflint
December 20, 2010, 01:23 PM
44 Remington factory conversions were 5-shot 46 caliber.
44 Colt conversions were 6-shot 44 Colt.
44 '71/72 Opentops were 44 Henry rimfire.

McDowell's book "A Study of Colt Conversions" is currently very expensive, as it's out of print.
Look also for "Metallic Cartridge Conversions" by Dennis Adler.

GCBurner
December 20, 2010, 01:32 PM
http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Pale_Rider
Yep, that illustrates all of the cartridge conversions used in the movie. Pretty much the mixed bag you'd expect in a mining town in the 1880 time frame, including a few remaining muzzle loaders and percussion revolvers. The guys who made Pale Rider are evidently gun enthusiasts. :cool:

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