Cimarron Transition Cartridge Conversion


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AethelstanAegen
January 23, 2013, 01:51 PM
So a while back (maybe a year or so ago), I was asking for advice on which single action "cowboy" pistol to buy. In the end, I got distracted and bought some AK rifles instead. Boy did that turn out to be a good idea. I'm now selling my AKs and I'l have enough to get the single action pistol I've longed for and get set up to reload for it.

I'm looking at getting the Cimarron Transition Cartridge Conversion (TypeII). My thinking is to get it with an 8" barrel (might as well get the full effect of those classic lines) and in .45LC. I had been sold on getting it in .44Colt but I discovered that you can buy the Lee Classic Loader set (the hand tools one) for .45LC and it's not available in .44Colt. That means I could reload pretty much anywhere, including while I'm out doing my olde-timey camping trips. Does anyone have any advice/tips/experience with these? I'm also interested in holster/belt recommendations for this revolver (I'm currently eyeing the 1849 "Californian" holster and a money belt with full loops from El Paso Saddlery).

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CraigC
January 23, 2013, 02:54 PM
I like mine and think the Richards Type I & II are the best looking of the cartridge conversions. I prefer the .44Colt because it is closer to the original but the .44Spl works mighty fine too and many .44Colt's are actually cut with .44Spl chambers. I don't know anything about the Lee Classic Loader but I have read that you can load .44Spl with the .44Mag loader. Only issue with .45Colts, besides the wasted case capacity and not being historically accurate, is that due to the bore size and thin forcing cone, they are prone to develop cracks.

I am also very partial to the Slim Jim or 1849 Californian. It is really the quintessential design for guns from that era. I've got an El Paso holster in this design and love it but unfortunately, don't have any pics. I use it for both my Open Top and Richards Type II along with my percussion 1860's. I've also made two of them for my Dragoon and 1860's. Here's a shot of my Type II with an el cheapo Oklahoma flap holster.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7062b.jpg


Dragoon in my own Slim Jim holster.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_1237b.jpg

AethelstanAegen
January 23, 2013, 03:20 PM
Well I think you answered my question from the other thread about holsters. That's a very nice looking slim jim!

CraigC
January 23, 2013, 04:30 PM
Thanks! I need to take some good pics of my El Paso 1849. It's a really good looking holster, all fishscale stamped.

AethelstanAegen
January 23, 2013, 06:47 PM
I do rather blame you for my indecision here, CraigC. If you didn't take such beautiful pictures of your wheelguns, I wouldn't be so darn smitten with those cartridge conversions. So I both curse and thank you for your photography skills.

CraigC
January 23, 2013, 06:48 PM
That's what I live for! :evil:

BSA1
January 23, 2013, 07:54 PM
Ditto with the 44 Colt. Look at the cylinder walls. The 44 leaves a little more steel than the 45.

AethelstanAegen
January 23, 2013, 08:17 PM
Anyone know if there's an easier way to reload .44 Colt besides buying a whole press? I guess I really should just break down and get a proper reloading set-up in place, but I liked the portability of the Lee Classic Loader set.

35 Whelen
January 23, 2013, 11:46 PM
The Lee Classic Loader is available in .44 Special (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/610397/lee-classic-loader-44-special) and is in fact on sale at Midway for $20.32. It's my undrstanding that .44 Special's can be fired in .44 Colts. And like BSA1 said, the chamber walls are heavier in the .44.

Those conversions are nice looking!

35W

CraigC
January 24, 2013, 12:10 AM
The .44Colt is shorter and thus can be fired in .44Spl's but not the other way around. That is, if it has proper .44Colt chambers. Many of the new .44Colt's have .44Spl chambers. My Transition Model above has .44Spl chambers but is marked .44Colt. My Open Top has correct .44Colt chambers and won't chamber .44Spl's. They are available in either chambering, which makes it easy if you want to shoot .44Spl's in it.

AethelstanAegen
January 24, 2013, 11:38 AM
Thanks for noticing the Lee Classic Loader in 44 Special! I don't know how I missed that. I'd be tempted to get the .44 Colt model then and hope it has the .44 Special chambers (if not I can always have it reamed out to .44 Special). Thanks for the tip, gents.

David E
January 24, 2013, 11:48 AM
I guess I really should just break down and get a proper reloading set-up in place, but I liked the portability of the Lee Classic Loader set.

Sounds like you've never used one. Boy, are you in for a treat! Mallet sold separately.

These will get the job done, but taking all the components on an "old timey camping trip" won't prove prudent.

If you shoot a LITTLE bit and have plenty of free time, the Lee Loader will suffice, but getting a single stage press and Lee dies would still be pretty cheap and it'll be much more tolerable to load.

CraigC
January 24, 2013, 11:56 AM
You can buy them in .44Spl. No need to get a .44Colt and hope.

I didn't want to say anything because I've never used a Lee Classic Loader but it seemed like it would be like David E described. Might want to get a real press. ;)

That said, I use .44Spl/Mag dies to reload .44Colt. I just had to grind a little bit off the base of the seater die and use a .30-30 shellholder.

http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/conversion-revolvers/1860-conversions/1860-conversions-1860-richards-type-ii/richards-transition-model-44-special-8-in-ca9053.html

StrawHat
January 24, 2013, 12:08 PM
Here is a shot of my RIchards conversion.

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc194/StrawHat/RichardsConversion001.jpg

It is chambered for the 44 Colt cartridge, the only cartridge I am aware of that was offered by the factory for the conversion of the 1860 revolvers.

I reload a lot of cartridges with hand tools. My tool of choice is the Lyman 310 tool, also called the Tong tool or nutcracker tool. It is available in the 44 Colt as well as many others. However, loading 100 or even 50 cartridges with any hand tool is a lengthy project. One I much prefer to tackle with a bench press. But the choice is yours and regardless of which tool you use, have fun.

CraigC
January 24, 2013, 12:15 PM
Never tire of seeing that sixgun! :)

AethelstanAegen
January 24, 2013, 01:31 PM
Thanks for the info StrawHat. I had looked into the Lyman 310 set but it didn't seem to have .44 Colt (at least on the Lyman website). They did seem to have .45Colt and .45/70 much like the Lee set. Did I miss something?

35 Whelen
January 24, 2013, 06:24 PM
3B Shooting Supply in Kaufman, TX sells some of these open top conversions in .44 Colt on GunBroker and they state that they will fire .44 Specials. So, take that for what it's worth, because I have ZERO experience with the .44 Colt.

35W

AethelstanAegen
January 25, 2013, 03:11 AM
The Lee Classic Loader is available in .44 Special and is in fact on sale at Midway for $20.32.

Unfortunately there's a bit of a snag here in that it's been discontinued by Lee and no one seems to have it in stock. That's a bummer.

35 Whelen
January 25, 2013, 06:19 AM
That's too bad. I guess you could always get a set of dies and one of their hand presses.
35W

StrawHat
January 25, 2013, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the info StrawHat. I had looked into the Lyman 310 set but it didn't seem to have .44 Colt (at least on the Lyman website). They did seem to have .45Colt and .45/70 much like the Lee set. Did I miss something?
Check here,

http://www.cnyauctions.com/the310shop.htm

44 Russian/Special

Not cheap but usefull and available.

StrawHat
January 25, 2013, 02:37 PM
Never tire of seeing that sixgun! :)
Heck Craig, it is almost the twin of yours. Just put yours in front of a mirror!

CraigC
January 25, 2013, 02:43 PM
Yeah but your pic is excellent, plus your sixgun is a Type I and that makes it special. ;)

And I just never get tired of looking at a nice Colt cartridge conversion.

Need to either restock mine or strip that ugly red varnish off the factory grips.

AethelstanAegen
January 25, 2013, 03:40 PM
CraigC and StrawHat, you guys have both been making me green with envy with your fantastic pictures. I'm going to have to find someway to take an amazing shot of my revolver to return the favor at some point.

The 310 tools you linked StrawHat sounds quite intriguing. Am I reading that right or do they also have a .38 S&W die set in that list? It would be very ideal to get a die set for .44 Colt and .38 S&W (I have a S&W Safety Hammerless from about 1898-99...so it's B/P loads only for me there).

StrawHat
January 26, 2013, 05:43 AM
YEs, Rick can supply dies for the 38 S&W. He can also make dies for other "odd" or wildcatcat cartridges that were not offered from the factory. He understands the need for custom work and is willing to provide it.

AethelstanAegen
January 26, 2013, 10:55 AM
Thanks StrawHat, that is very helpful.

Driftwood Johnson
January 26, 2013, 02:27 PM
Howdy

A long, long time ago I had one of those Lee kits and used it to load up some 30-30 ammo. I am talking about a real long time ago, I was just a kid. I recommend you buy yourself a single stage press to load ammo on, not one of those Lee kits.

As far as reloading while camping, yes, the buffalo hunters used to do this. Cowboys did not. It was common practice for the buffalo hunters to bring along powder and primers when they went out into the field. They did not bring along bullets, they brought lead, casting their bullets by their campfires at night, and reloading the spent cases they had shot that day. They usually used the hand operated nut cracker types of loading tools.

However, don't forget, these guys were usually traveling with a wagon full of supplies, they were not alone on horseback. Having a wagon along made it much easier to carry the necessary powder, primers, and lead, as well as all their other supplies. Do you really want to drag all that stuff along with you when you go camping?

By yourself an inexpensive single stage reloading press. You will be able to load much more ammo more quickly than with a hand operated type of machine. And your hand will not be tired. Bring loaded ammo along, forget about making ammo while camping.

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