ASM 1851 conversion


April 8, 2013, 09:01 PM
Forgive me for not being edjucated on the topic, but I have an Armi San Marco 1851 navy and was thinking about doing a conversion on it. I want to buy a kirst gated conversion but I dont know if the cylinder will even work in it. I understand fitting will most likely be required but I dont know whether the pietta or uberti cylinder work fit better. Also I have always wondered if these cylinders have to be used with blackpowder loads or if smokeless is fine. I would really apreciate some help on the issue and thank you.

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April 8, 2013, 10:56 PM
I wish I could help you but I was wondering the same thing.

Prairie Dawg
April 8, 2013, 11:27 PM
Why not call Kenny Howell and ask him -- he makes them.


April 10, 2013, 09:12 AM
My suggestion would be to buy either a Pietta or Uberti revolver for this conversion. It’s sometimes a tight fit and sometimes you have to reshape the hand or do a little filing to get it to fit.
They recommend nothing over a certain feet per second stipulating that the ammunition be designated for “Cowboy Action” shooting. Try Cabelas or Buffalo Arms or Track of the Wolf because they all carry these rounds. The 45 Long Colt cartridges are pretty easy to find but the 38 Long Colt, not so much.

It’s A Lot of fun shooting these things with conversion cylinders well worth the money spent. :)

Its the only thing I hunt with now and before I go hunting with mine I have to watch the movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" or "The Outlaw Josey Wales" the night before. Wife hates it though. "How can you sit through these movies over and over again!!!


April 11, 2013, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the info. And I love those two movies, blondie inspired me to want to convert my navy!

April 12, 2013, 08:20 AM
Love those movies. But, Liam38 I called a gunsmith who specializes in black powder guns and he said that if and only if the conversion cylinder was made for that revolver then he would install it. If it wasn't then he wouldn't do it. I'm no gunsmith but that coming from a gunsmith is pretty good information.

BUT, there are two 3rd Generation Colts (Signature series) ‘51 Navys on Gunbroker that have been converted to take a Krist conversion cylinder (permanently mounted) done by a gunsmith, who he doesn't name. So some gunsmiths will do it, I guess.

April 12, 2013, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the info thats very helpful.

Malachi Leviticus Blue
April 12, 2013, 06:54 PM
Does your Armi San Marco 1851 navy have a steel or brass frame? Seems like most of the ASM 1851 Navy's I've seen are Brass. If it is brass I would not use a conversion cylinder in her. Kirst does warn not to use them on a brass frame.

April 14, 2013, 12:51 PM
Oh yea that is VERY important. Absolutely NO brass frames.

Hoof Hearted
April 20, 2013, 10:13 AM

Give me a shout:

Not trying to denigrate anyone here but there is some 2nd and 3rd hand info being missreprsented to ya!

If the pistol is in good working order I can fit a conversion cylinder to it for you.


Carl N. Brown
April 20, 2013, 10:28 AM
Quite frankly, I have a brass frame 1851 replica, and it has been more fun over the years than it cost, but I would not do a cartridge conversion on it.

I would strictly follow the recommendations of the conversion kit maker.

I do not believe any of the replicas are exact duplicates of the original Colt 1851, nor exact duplicates of each other. The conversion kit makers would know which guns work best with their kit. (I am talking here of kitchen table kit installation DIY.)

Hoof Hearted
April 20, 2013, 10:54 AM
I sure hope that you did not "read into" my previous post an advocation for installing a conversion cylinder in a brass frame revolver. While the OP did not specify whether his was steel or brass framed this is always safe advise.

Pressure and metallurgy are the issues involved with the "brass frame warnings" as well as liability and lawyers, personal responsibility seems to have been taken out of the equation in todays world.

The "manufacturers" do know what their cylinders are made to fit in and because they were designed to fit into the currently available they do not specify whether or not they will fit into out of production BP revolvers.

Ponder this:
Kirst actually only has one cylinder made for the 1860 and one cylinder made for the 1851/61. There is only one "konverter ring" made which fits all the above. Then they cut the face back on the Uberti supplied cylinders to fit the "majority" of the currently produced Uberti's. End user fitment is required on the "foot" of the ring.

I frequently "fit" these to other revolvers for my customers. This is the difference between "gunsmithing" and "parts installers".


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