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Old August 9, 2014, 05:17 PM   #1
tembotusk
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1862 Colt Pocket Navy or Police

The model 1862 Colt Pocket Navy or Police ( 36cal) were in original production for 10 years and many were converted to shoot metallic cartridges in the day.


Today no one will make a conversion cylinder for the 1862. Why??

Safety?

Return on investment?

If the answer is: "They cannot be manufactured safely." What did Colt and gunsmiths do differently in the 1800s that we cannot do today?
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Old August 9, 2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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There were less lawyers and people couldn't sue for their lack of common sense. The real answer is probably that the manufacturers can't make enough money off of that conversion. I guess I can't blame them, even if I wish I had one.
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Old August 9, 2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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The Pocket frame combined with the 36 caliber, I don't know. But they do make a conversion for the 49 Pocket in 32 S&W short. Not as classy as the 62 Police, (what is?) but they are pretty slick.
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Old August 10, 2014, 02:07 AM   #4
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like the Remington .36 conversion , the modern .357 diameter bullet is too small. There used to be a conversion ring that you could buy, but the way it worked was you turned the back half off the cylinder off with a lathe, and drilled, tapped, and screwed a new back of the cylinder on. Labor intensive, special tools and skills required, and the cartridge was a .38 S&W, a little bigger than the .38 special, but still undersized for the bore. So, you were left with the choice of lining the barrel, or loading ''heeled'' bullets. Used to be sold out of the back of the American Rifleman back in the 1970's. A lot of effort to make a .38.
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Old August 10, 2014, 10:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replys. My thoughts are if they could make 1862 conversions in the 1800s and today's gunsmiths currently make 1849 conversions. An 1862 should not be out of the realm of possibilities.

I understand the cost argument and I'm sure for every 1862 purchased, there are ten or twenty 1851s. Maybe the conversion for the 1862 needs to costs more to compensate for the low numbers.

Love to hear from a gunsmith about why this conversion its not possible today.
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:25 AM   #6
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There is an original 38 Rimfire conversion on GunBroker right now. Bring lots o cash!
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:32 AM   #7
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Well. I asked before and Hoof Hearted, who posts here also, said he could never recoup his money after putting in the time and effort to make one work. A real shame as those 62' Police revolvers are sweet!!!!

But, its the same frame as the 49 Pocket, that is, (THE UBERTI ONLY) so the ratchet on the back of the 49' Pocket's cylinder could be used as a model to build the ratchet for the cylinder on the 62' Police or Navy. No?

But, I'll shut up now because I'm out of my league here as I'm not a machinist.
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:41 AM   #8
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Dickydalton... Tempting! However, I want a modern version I'm not scared to shoot and maybe does not cost quite so much!

Again if they could do the conversions in the 1800 using sticks and stones, it should be childs play with modern CNC machines of today.

Crawdad1, I'm right there with you! They are not reinventing the wheel. Maybe more 1862 owners should start asking for the conversion.

I'll admit the market may be small, but conversions of any Colt is a small niche market.
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Old August 11, 2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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Economics aside, what is the mechanical issue in producing a conversion cylinder for the 1862 Pocket Colt in 38 caliber?
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Old August 12, 2014, 11:51 PM   #10
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I think this thread really answers the question as to why there are no 1862 Pocket conversions cylinders.

No interest, No market.

It's too bad! The 1862 is the sleeper pistol of the Colt line. A high performance revolver with a relatively unassuming exterior. Fits in your pocket like a little mouse, but roars like a lion when it needs to.
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Old August 13, 2014, 06:52 AM   #11
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tembotusk,

Back when Colt was doing the conversion, this country was populated with AmeriCANs. Today, we live surrounded by AmeriCANTs.

Actually, there is a technical reason the conversion is difficult, but I can not find the link. Something about the geometry of the chambers. Also, it would have to be chambered for something akin to the 38 S&W or 38 Colt. Tough to find ammunition or components. I still like the idea but am not willing to foot the bill to develop a system.
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Old August 13, 2014, 08:49 PM   #12
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I hear you; I think our "Can Do" days are now lost to history.

I'm sure the 1862 conversion cylinder is technically difficult because of the size of the cylinder. Combine a difficult job with a small market and there lies the crux of the issue.

However, it still bothers me that this conversion was easily done 140 years ago and nobody will attempt it today.

When asked why the reasons are always so vague. I understand the usual showstoppers: Liability issues, the lawyers/insurance say no or the market is too small, the bean counter says no. Hard to argue with that.

Can't do it technically is harder to buy.
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Old August 14, 2014, 04:17 AM   #13
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Tembotusk, how is this for the sake of discussion and keeping this thread alive as the 62' Police is both near and dear to my heart also. The 38 cartridge, even a 38 Short Colt, and its rim diameter might be just to big for the cylinder and doesn't allow for enough chamber wall.

The conversions for the 1860 Colt is a 5 shot cylinder.

Last edited by Crawdad1; August 14, 2014 at 04:22 AM.
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Old August 14, 2014, 06:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawdad1 View Post
Tembotusk, how is this for the sake of discussion and keeping this thread alive as the 62' Police is both near and dear to my heart also. The 38 cartridge, even a 38 Short Colt, and its rim diameter might be just to big for the cylinder and doesn't allow for enough chamber wall.

The conversions for the 1860 Colt is a 5 shot cylinder.
When Colt converted the 1860 to cartridge they used the 44 Colt and the original six shot cylinder. The 1860 was not converted to 45 long Colt until more modern times when CAS shooting became popular and folks were more interested in convenience than in being correct.
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Old August 14, 2014, 11:19 AM   #15
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I would think that the only way today people would convert the 62' Police is making it either a 4 shot, which is probably unacceptable for a lot of folks, OR converting it to a 32 S&W (short) with all the troubles associated with relining the bore, which is probably equally unacceptable by a lot of folks.
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Old August 14, 2014, 12:11 PM   #16
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When the original 1862 conversions were being fitted; was the 38 Colt shell's dimensions substantially different than today?

The pictured cylinder chambers are: .371 diameter
A 38 long Colt shell is .381 diameter.

One reason I have heard for not doing the conversion today is that the notches break through the cylinder walls because the cylinder is drilled through under the notches. In the original BP cylinders, the chambers end before the notches.

However, as you can see in the pictures below; the notches are between chambers for the most part.

Again, I would be pleased to hear from an expert/gunsmith on the subject. From a layman's point of view it looks doable technically.





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Old August 14, 2014, 01:55 PM   #17
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Sure isn't much wall near the arbor!
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Old August 14, 2014, 02:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Sure isn't much wall near the arbor!
That is troubling. The diameter of a 38 long colt rim is .445.

Maybe if someone has a original 1862 conversion pistol and they could take a picture to show how it was done.

Original conversions are not that rare. I have seen a number of them at gun shows. Unfortunately gun show sellers don't like you disassembling their revolvers just to look!
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Old August 16, 2014, 06:47 PM   #19
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I went to a gun show here in SoCal today. Took a look at a very rough original 1862 pistol with an original conversion cylinder. (Sorry no pictures.)

Wall thickness between the outside cylinder and the inside chamber was very thin.

Interestingly, the cylinder notches did not seem to present any issue with the through and through drilling of the chambers. The notches had plenty of meat.
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Old August 16, 2014, 07:31 PM   #20
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Not only do the chamber walls need to be thick enough for safety, but the cylinder has to be big enough to allow the cartridges to fit without rim overlap. (Note that when Colt tried to "convert" the 1860 to a cartridge revolver (the SAA), they had to make the cartridge rims very small. But they were starting from scratch; any modern conversion would have to use the cartridges that exist.

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Old August 16, 2014, 07:41 PM   #21
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Jim, you are probably right. A modern conversion for the 1862 is looking more and more like a non-starter.

I was really hoping it was a lack of interest issue and not a mechanical issue.
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:42 PM   #22
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I think the early conversions for the 1862 pocket navy and police used the .36 Thuer metal cartridges. They were rimless, tapered and loaded from the front.
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:53 PM   #23
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Doc, the original 1862 I saw today had a loading gate. It looked very similar to a Kirst Konverter style gate with a drilled through cylinder.

I'm not really familiar with the Thuer conversions.
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Old August 17, 2014, 10:27 AM   #24
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I dont know if someone has mentioned it but didnt the original conversions
also involve re machining of the hammer and probably part of the frame making them no longer usable for C&B cyl

all the modern conversians ive seem are plug and play IE require no machining
and as someone else mentioned there is just not a good easily available cartridge that works.


What would be interesting would be a kit that had a barrell,hammer and cyl
in 32 S&W but then i guess cost would be more than the gun is worth.
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Old August 17, 2014, 03:05 PM   #25
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I would buy that kit!!
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