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Old June 4, 2014, 12:54 PM   #1
JohnnyCremains
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Avenging Angels/BP snub nose revolvers

Someone posted a thread a while back on black powder cap and ball revolvers. Its too old to reply to so I thought I'd start another one. Maybe I've already done this...not sure. But I really like these things and would like to get ideas on other types of revolvers you folks have cut down.

I've made quite a few of these things so far.

Dance:



Walker and an 1862 police



'51 Navies





'60 Army



First model Dragoon

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Old June 4, 2014, 01:17 PM   #2
Mictlanero
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Nice!
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Old June 4, 2014, 02:20 PM   #3
Joe Demko
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The 1862 Police is particularly sweet.
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Old June 5, 2014, 08:26 AM   #4
Willie Sutton
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Very nice work. How are you doing the radius at the muzzle? Miserable thing to chuck in a lathe, and handwork is rarely as well done.


Willie

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Old June 5, 2014, 08:55 AM   #5
JohnnyCremains
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Willie, it's all done by hand. I crown the muzzle with a Brownells 45 degree hand crowning tool. Everything else is done by eye. Hacksaw, files and sandpaper.
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Old June 5, 2014, 09:56 AM   #6
Stormson
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Very cool! Id like to have one of the 1860's myself... But, how do they shoot? Do they loose much power being so short? How about accuracy?

I was thinking along the lines of having a 60 with different barrels... One like this, and another long one plus a shoulder stock, to have a whole "system" on one platform. Do you do these with the original barrels or do you buy extra ones just for this?

Great work BTW!
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Old June 5, 2014, 09:59 AM   #7
Cooldill
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I want to set up a brace of Colt Armys like this for CCW purposes.

12 rounds of .44 round ball is nothing to sneeze at!
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Old June 5, 2014, 10:31 AM   #8
Kaeto
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Quote:
Stormson said:
I was thinking along the lines of having a 60 with different barrels... One like this, and another long one plus a shoulder stock, to have a whole "system" on one platform. Do you do these with the original barrels or do you buy extra ones just for this?
I am in the process of doing this myself. VTI carries the barrels of various lengths although to have a 12" one you'll have to use an 1851 .44 barrel.
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Old June 5, 2014, 11:40 AM   #9
Stormson
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Im pretty new to BP... Used to shoot my buddies '51 brasser back in the day, but just recently got back into it. I only have the remmi 5.5" and my experience with colts was more years ago then I care to think about LOL...

Does the 51 barrel assembly fit readily on the 60 frame? A 12" would be pretty perfect for the carbine part of the system.

Also, to JohnnyCremains, do you ever contract to do these barrels for others? If so, how much would something like this cost?
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Old June 5, 2014, 12:37 PM   #10
Kaeto
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It's the same frame for the .44 cal '51 as for the '60. Pietta's cheap that way.
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Old June 5, 2014, 01:11 PM   #11
JohnnyCremains
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The only ones of these I have actually fired is the Walker and the 1862 Police. It was reasonably accurate at 7 yards, but obviously I'm not really out for accuracy with these. Its more a conversation piece. The first two I ever made were the 1860 and 1851 for a guy that asked me if I would do it. He has shot them and says they are a real hoot to fire.
I have done a few for a few other people and the rest I just do up to sell on Gunbroker. The Walker sold for $795 and the Dragoon sold for $599. I think the 1862 Police sold for $575. So if I can get the guns cheap enough I can usually make a little money on them.
They are very time consuming so my charge is not cheap. $325 if you just want the barrel cut, sight install and the gun artificially aged (proofmarks removed, I HATE proofmarks). $350 if you want the butt rounded slightly as well.
Here's a video of the Walker being fired with 50 grains of FFFG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8oOi3Phbsc
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Old June 5, 2014, 02:51 PM   #12
BCRider
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For really short jobs like this and given the way the Colt style barrels come off the gun cutting and crowning in a lathe would be dead nutz simple.

I'd just turn up a snug fitting brass mandrel and drill and tap the end. Into that I'd put a screw and washer with a short section of rubber or plastic tubing. Then slip the barrel on over the stub mandrel and reach in and tighten the screw to swell the rubber out and firmly grip the bore. This would easily hold the barrel neatly and accurately for the crowning cuts and finishing.

It won't be me showing you how to do this with pictures though. Our firearms laws up here make cutting a barrel to make one of these belly guns a prohibited act.
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Old June 5, 2014, 02:57 PM   #13
Willie Sutton
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I'd use a 4 jaw chuck myself.

They do look great.


Willie


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Old June 5, 2014, 10:28 PM   #14
JohnnyCremains
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BC, you can't even cut muzzle loaders in Canada? The federal gov't doesn't even consider them real firearms here.
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Old June 6, 2014, 01:22 AM   #15
BCRider
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For cap fired long guns they are considered "non restricted" unless they are genuine antiques made prior to 1894... or is it 1898? Something like that.

And flintlock long guns are in the same boat as with you. We don't need to have a firearms license to own a flintlock even if it's a new reproduction.

But ALL handguns other than proper antiques are controlled as "restricted firearms". And if the barrels are cut to be shorter than 4.2 inches then we've created a prohibited device under our firearms laws. It doesn't matter if it's a black powder cap and ball revolver or a Ruger GP100 or a 1911.

Not sure about making such a gun from an actual antique. But they cost dearly enough that I'm not going to try one and see how much it affects the price any time soon.
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Old June 11, 2014, 05:53 PM   #16
jaxenro
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Sweet guns - like to have a pair of 1862 Police's made like this some day with 1865 Navy cylinders as extra's
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Old June 13, 2014, 08:28 AM   #17
Stormson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaeto View Post
It's the same frame for the .44 cal '51 as for the '60. Pietta's cheap that way.
LOL Yeah, they are pretty cheap... In this case that seems like it might be a good thing though
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Old June 13, 2014, 08:32 AM   #18
Stormson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyCremains View Post
The only ones of these I have actually fired is the Walker and the 1862 Police. It was reasonably accurate at 7 yards, but obviously I'm not really out for accuracy with these. Its more a conversation piece. The first two I ever made were the 1860 and 1851 for a guy that asked me if I would do it. He has shot them and says they are a real hoot to fire.
I have done a few for a few other people and the rest I just do up to sell on Gunbroker. The Walker sold for $795 and the Dragoon sold for $599. I think the 1862 Police sold for $575. So if I can get the guns cheap enough I can usually make a little money on them.
They are very time consuming so my charge is not cheap. $325 if you just want the barrel cut, sight install and the gun artificially aged (proofmarks removed, I HATE proofmarks). $350 if you want the butt rounded slightly as well.
Here's a video of the Walker being fired with 50 grains of FFFG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8oOi3Phbsc
LOL Yup... I saw that video of the fire breathing dragon!

You sure do pretty work... Worth every penny Id say. Being a poor boy... LOL And having a woman who frowns on some of my buying habits already... Well.. One can dream I suppose
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Old July 24, 2014, 08:06 AM   #19
JohnnyCremains
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Oops. Looks like I removed the Dragoon picture. Here's the last one I made.



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Old July 24, 2014, 10:38 AM   #20
rodwha
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I really like the looks of those, but wonder about the powder efficiency. I've read somewhere they figured a .44 cal needed about 3.5" of barrel to fully burn the powder charge, of which I don't recall (full load I'd guess). I don't use full loads, but i don't use powder puff loads either (30 grns in my .44 cal '58 and 35 grns in my ROA).
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:26 AM   #21
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:54 PM   #22
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Historians, please tell me how common these percussion snubbies really were?
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:11 PM   #23
JohnnyCremains
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You don't run into original "Avenging Angels" too often, but I do see them come up at auctions from time to time. So I doubt if it was all that uncommon for someone back in the day to cut one down as a hideout gun. If I lived back in the day when cartridge revolvers first came out and I upgraded to a new Smith, Colt or Merwin Hulbert, I think rather than retire my old 1860 army or 1851 Navy I would have cut the barrel off and used it for a back up gun.
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodwha View Post
I really like the looks of those, but wonder about the powder efficiency. I've read somewhere they figured a .44 cal needed about 3.5" of barrel to fully burn the powder charge, of which I don't recall (full load I'd guess). I don't use full loads, but i don't use powder puff loads either (30 grns in my .44 cal '58 and 35 grns in my ROA).
I cut one of my 5 1/2" pietas down to 2" and with 25 grains of 3F it popped like a 22 and the balls went .451" into a sand pile at 20'. I picked them up to melt into new ones. I haven't gotten around to trying 35 grains yet.
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Old July 24, 2014, 10:09 PM   #25
JohnnyCremains
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The Walker with 50 grains of black powder did a little more than pop like a .22
No idea what the muzzle velocity was but I wouldn't want to be standing in front of it

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