Were the original 1892 Winchesters available in 45 Long Colt?
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February 4, 2012, 08:55 PM
NO, no known gunsmith conversions either! No love lost between Winchester and Colt allthough Colt copped to the Winchester Centerfire line of 32-20, 38-40 and 44-40!
Odd some things !
February 5, 2012, 03:34 AM
Also,,, While the 45 Colt was a govt issue revolver round, it was straight cased and originally had a fairly small rim.
So in the original black powder configuration, the straight sides did not seal the gases as well as the tapered case 44-40 and 38-40s (44 and 38 WCF) AND, the original small rim made positive extraction questionable when the chamber was fouled with black powder residue.
You will note that the modern 45 Colt cases have a groove above the rim which aids in positive extraction. But they could not make that in an affordable case back in the 1870s. So they used the balloon head method.
February 5, 2012, 04:02 AM
Here is a photo showing the difference between an early 45 Colt rim and a modern one. The cartridge in the center is an old UMC balloon head 45 Colt round. The rim is only .505 in diameter. A large diameter rim was unnecessary because 45 Colt was designed as a revolver round. The ejector rod of the Single Action Army, that the round was designed for, poked the empties out from the inside. All the rim did was keep the round from sliding forward in the chamber. A rifle extractor could not get any purchase on that small rim. The round on the right is a modern 45 Colt round. The modern standard for 45 Colt rim diameter is .512. The larger diameter rim along with the 'extractor groove', gives enough surface for a rifle extractor to get a purchase on.
The round on the left is an old WRAC 44-40 round. This round was developed the same year as the 45 Colt, 1873, but the 44-40 was designed from the ground up as a rifle round. Standard rim diameter for 44-40 today is .520. This one is actually .524 in diameter, plenty for a rifle extractor to get a purchase on.