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.44 mag --> .45LC Redhawk or S&W Mod 629 conversion

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Katigroszek, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    I always wanted to have a .45 LC chambered big frame revolver, but can only get a .44 mag ones. I'm thinking of letting a gunsmith convert a .44 magnum Ruger Redhawk stainless or a Smith 629 to a .45 Colt caliber. Can anyone tell me if it is possible without having to replace major parts of the guns? Is it woth it? I would buy a .45 LC Redhawk, but they were discontinued. Same for S&W 625.
  2. SnWnMe

    SnWnMe Well-Known Member

    You'll need to rebore the cylinder and get a new barrel. Sounds pricey.
  3. Baphomet

    Baphomet Well-Known Member

    I hear ya friend, and I share your Dream. A S&W N-Frame, 5", .45 Long Colt would rock... My... World.

    A .44 Mag conversion though? Personally, I couldn't begin to afford it. Assuming I could find someone who would actually DO the work. Does S&W still make an N-Frame in .45 ACP? Might that be a cheaper jumping off point? I don't know... Just a related thought.
  4. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    As for the cylinder reboring - no problem with that. Pricey - may be, but I'm ready to sacrifice a lot to get a nice .45 wheelgun!

    .45LC is not popular here (I'm not US citizen, You know) and it's hard to find guns chambered for it. I tried to get a .45 LC Ruger Bisley, but although it is still in production it's not being imported.

    Actually I hoped that dimmension differences are small enough that barell could be recalibrated in some one operation process in specialised gunshop - like in Walther pistol barrels that are rifled by pushing a rifling rod through it once (so I heard).

    Such a S&W 629 conversion woul have a nice feature of a thick walled barell compared for example to the Mod 625 .45 LC mountain gun...

    You sure the barell change cannot be avoided?
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    I too would like to see a N-Frame in 45LC. I get a kick out of shootin' em out of my .460 X-frame, and in the 4 months that I have had it, I more'n likely have shot more 45LC out of it than full house .460 loads. Makes me wanna sit around the campfire drinkin' coffee and eatin' beans.
  6. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    Problem is I do not find S&W X frame guns visually appealing. The same about Ruger's Super Redhawk extended frame. And I do not have any need to fire magnum caliber rounds as .460 or .454 Casull, so buying one of these would be pointless from my point of view.

    What other choice do I have? I like the S&W PC 629 fixed sights, but it's hard to get and I don't like the built in compensator. It would be a fine self defence gun (though big) but I would prefer .45 LC (again).

    Hence my idea of recalibering the model 629 or a .44 mag Redhawk.

    Why don't anyone curently offer big frame .45 LC DA sixgun? Such a fine cartridge! It's a shame!
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

  8. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    I see used .45 Colt Redhawks, S&W 25-5s, and 625s for sale quite frequently, why not buy a nice used one? I have a 4" 625 Mountain Gun that I'm planning on selling just as soon as my new one comes in. They are not hard to find. S&W also currently makes a 5" 625 in .45 Colt if you prefer new.
  9. wileyj

    wileyj Well-Known Member

    The current SW 625 is chambered in .45ACP.
    I want a .45Colt Redhawk or a 625. There are usually a couple of Redhawks on Guns America at any given time. I would have on if I was not currently unemployed. :rolleyes:
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    You're right, my mistake. But there are still lots of used ones out there :)


    Oops, just noticed you are not a US citizen, so I guess your choices are limited then. If you want to shoot anything other than mild .45 Colt loads, go for a .44 Mag Ruger Redhawk and have it re-bored and re-chambered. If the conversion is done properly you will end up with a .45 that is more accurate than most of the factory .45s out there. The conversion can be done with a S&W 629, but the chamber walls will end up being very thin. I had a .44 Redhawk converted to .45 Colt back before Ruger offered the Redhawk in that caliber and it is a heck of a revolver.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  11. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Well-Known Member

    I think it'd be cool because a "magnum" .45LC load is a barn burner that's more controllable than the hotter magnums like the .454 Casull or the .460 S&W
  12. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    I'm not US, so used guns are rare and used sixguns are always .38 SPL or .357 mag, rarely .44 mag. Pistols other than 9x19 are rare too. That's why I'm thinking of caliber change.

    Gator - did Your conversion of a redhawk require barell change or You modified the factory one?

    What did You mean that chamber walls would be very thin? Isn't it that external diameter of the Mod 625 cylinder is the same that the one of the Mod 629? After all both are N frames and I understand Smith&Wesson does not modify frames for different models based on the same frame. So I thought that after conversion the chamber walls will end up being thinner than in .44 mag cal, but the same thickness as in the .45 LC - so it will be no problem considering lesser chamber pressure generated by .45 Colt. Am I wrong?
  13. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    Get a 625MG in .45 Colt - made again last year as depicted on pg 29 of S&W's '06 catalog - check your dealer for current availability. I've had a 7.5" SRH .454/.45 and a 5.5" RH .45 - both bought new. The 625MG groups better with standard 'cowboy' type loads - and is a great 'plinker'. Based on the 21,000 PSI .45 ACP, the 625 is suited for a bit more oomph than the standard .45 Colt SAAMI fare, although not up to the Redhawk's level.

    My SRH didn't group well at low speeds - the RH grouped better. The MG's actually do better at 25 & 50yd with standard loads - and were just too much fun. Of course, they are 9-14 oz lighter, too. I kept my MG pair - depicted below - as they were more reliable and had far better triggers than that RH. Oddly, they have more metal between chambers - .062" vs the RH's .059". The RH's ejector star can skip over the .45 Colt's dimunitive rim, too, making 'fast' reloads impossible. All three use the HKS #25-5 speedloader. I have no ftf's with my MG's - the RH would still occasionally ftf with slow trigger pulls, it's trigger truely being an 'acquired' taste (The SRH has a better trigger!).

    The .454 SRH in 7.5" (No more 9.5" !) is great for 'ultimate' .45-ish power - and a scope. I've gotten 1.5" 5-shot (allow a flyer) groups at 50yd from sandbags/scoped with Hornady 240gr XTP .454 Casulls (1,985 fps - 2,100+ ft-lb) - and 6+" for mild .45 Colts! So, for a .45 Colt plinker - with either the Speer 250gr GDHP or 255gr LSWC (see picture) at 840+ fps - or a wimpy 250gr LRNFP at 700 fps in a .45 Schofield, aka 'short' Colt, case, get the Mountain Gun. Just don't mind the smoke trail on the shot .45 Colt cases - all of these guys still use the 'oversize', or black powder, .45 Colt chamber ID. I think only Freedom Arms makes 'tight' chambers. Still, the .45 Colt in a MG is fun - and decent woods protection.


    Top: '01 625-7; Bottom: '96 625-6 .45 Colt Mountain Guns

  14. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    Man, I envy You!!!

    Beautifuuuuul guns!

    Cannot be had this side of the ocean (Poland - one gun and two boxes of cheap ammo - that's what most gunshops look like!)

    I exagerate, of course, but I live in 250000 city and it is one gunshop only and hard sometimes to get three different types of 9x19!!!

    I do not like the looks of the extended frame of SRHs (and X frame S&W too).

    But N frames and RH - LET ME HAVE IT (but .45 LC only!)

    But back to the point - can a .44 mag barell be somehow converted to .45 LC?
  15. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Yes, a .44 Mag barrel can be re-bored and re-rifled to .45 Colt, that is what was done to my Redhawk.

    Factory loads are fine in any .45 Colt S&W, but they will not take the same pressures as a Ruger.
  16. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    Gator, could You tell me how much did it cost and where You had the conversion done?

    The picture of such a nice gun would also be very nice to see!!!
    Please be so kind and post it here!

    Have You worked on the trigger of Your RH? I heard some guys complaining abut how it works out of the box and that it is no match for a S&W and cannot be made equal. Your opinion?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Dave Clements will convert a Ruger or S&W .44 Magnum to .45 Colt for $395-$495 depending on model and finish.

    He does trigger work, too.

    I would rather have $400 worth of .44 ammunition, components, and reloading dies than the conversion, but it is your money... if you can spend it.

    I think the main problem would be for you to get the gun, send it to Virginia, and get it back. Or even to have him furnish the gun, alter it and export it.
    There is import - export licensing required.
  18. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Dave Clements is very good, but Jim is right, sending it here would probably be next to impossible. Hamilton Bowen did mine about 15 years ago, he currently charges $495 for a stainless Redhawk conversion. I don't have a picture handy, but it looks pretty much like a standard 5 1/2" Redhawk. He did do an action job, and its nice, but no Redhawk will ever have as nice an action as a S&W can have, the design will not allow it.


    Here's an interesting thread on the S&W forum:


    Also, can you get parts? Any competant gunsmith could fit a new barrel and cylinder on a S&W 29/629. The Ruger parts would be too hard to find.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  19. Katigroszek

    Katigroszek Well-Known Member

    $495 no problem. Pricey but still no problem. But the export/import thing is what worries me. I'll do some work to find if it cannot be avoided. In the end the gun does not change the owner so in my opinion it is only the labour/parts that should be considered when charging a fee.

    Besides that I'll look if any ofmy countrymen gunsmiths would try do convert such gun. Labour cost is lesser here and skills equal sometimes.

    Thanks for info and comment guys!!! Any comments still welcome!


    If You can make S&W and RAuger producing .45 LC guns by making requests, please do!!!

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