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Old July 14, 2014, 02:56 AM   #1
ljnowell
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Custom single six 38 special

As the title says, I'm kicking this around again. A couple years back I was just about to do it, then some things came up and I backed off it. I talked to a few very reputable people known for such conversions. It's not cheap but it isn't super expensive.

Just curious what other people think of it. It's an itch I'm afraid I'm going to have to scratch.

Anyone else have one or seen one?
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Old July 14, 2014, 03:07 AM   #2
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Never seen, or heard of one. Interesting concept. Is the cylinder big enough for 6 rds of .38? Or would it have to be Single-Five?
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Old July 14, 2014, 03:18 AM   #3
357 Terms
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Wait for the 327 version.
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Old July 14, 2014, 06:30 AM   #4
ljnowell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Derby View Post
Never seen, or heard of one. Interesting concept. Is the cylinder big enough for 6 rds of .38? Or would it have to be Single-Five?

I have seen them converted as a six shot and a five shot. I would want the six shot personally.
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Old July 14, 2014, 06:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 357 Terms View Post
Wait for the 327 version.

I really don't have any interest in that cartridge. I compete with the 38 special and load and shoot well over 10k of them per year. I just love the balance of the 4 5/8" single six and would love one in 38 special. Even more with a birds head grip.
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Old July 14, 2014, 08:02 AM   #6
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ljnowell

Sounds like an interesting (and expensive), conversion. I think I would look instead for the something like an Uberti Stallion in .38 Special. Might also be available with birds head grips as well.
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Old July 14, 2014, 09:36 AM   #7
Vodoun da Vinci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljnowell View Post
I really don't have any interest in that cartridge. I compete with the 38 special and load and shoot well over 10k of them per year. I just love the balance of the 4 5/8" single six and would love one in 38 special. Even more with a birds head grip.
I'll take one. My bucket list is complete save one gun *but* I have always wanted a single action (Ruger?) 6 shot .38 Special with Birds Head grip. I'll sell a Safe Queen to get one of these. Also more prone to stainless and prefer black "hard rubber" style grips but finish and grips are way down the list.

If you can keep it under a grand I'm in.

VooDoo

Edit: Are you looking to do a run of them? Like TALO does with Rugers? Or just one personal gun?
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Last edited by Vodoun da Vinci; July 14, 2014 at 09:41 AM.
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Old July 14, 2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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I do love the single actions and I do love me some .38 Special. It's a very neat idea.
You simply must post lots of pics when you decide to pull the trigger on this project. It would be very interesting to see how it turns out.
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Old July 14, 2014, 10:02 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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I've got one; a friend had legal expenses thanks to his soon to be ex spouse.
A really neat revolver, perfectly proportioned to the cartridge. A Blackhawk or SAA in .38/.357 is heavy because of the .38 holes in .45 barrel and cylinder.

It is a sixshooter on an Old Model Single Six by John Gallagher.
He says that if you try it on a New Model, you run the risk of cutting into the transfer bar channel when enlarging the loading gate to pass .38s.
He recommends sticking to standard velocity .38 Special, that +Ps will beat up the small frame Ruger.
He also built a couple of .41 Special Single Fives. He says he won't do that again.
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Old July 14, 2014, 11:24 AM   #10
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I am on the fence about the .32Mag, but if they made a five shot .38....I would probably have to have that one. If you do go ahead with this, please keep us posted.
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Old July 14, 2014, 01:37 PM   #11
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As per Jim Watson's post I went to John Gallagher's website, (gallagherfirearms.com), and found his prices for a Single Six .38 Special conversion to be quite reasonable. Worth taking a look.
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Old July 14, 2014, 03:24 PM   #12
Arkansas Paul
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Quote:
As per Jim Watson's post I went to John Gallagher's website, (gallagherfirearms.com), and found his prices for a Single Six .38 Special conversion to be quite reasonable.
Where did you find that on the site?
I must be overlooking it.
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Old July 14, 2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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Old July 14, 2014, 04:51 PM   #14
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Arkansas Paul

Gallagher had two listings under 5 Shot Conversions. One was for large caliber guns where he supplied the gun (a new Ruger Blackhawk), as well as all the parts to make it a custom conversion and prices started at $1995.

The other listing was for a conversion done to your gun (rechambering the cylinder and supplying a new barrel), and was priced as starting at $550.
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Old July 14, 2014, 05:20 PM   #15
Jim Watson
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The Single Six conversion will cost a good deal more than a simple caliber conversion.
It takes a new made cylinder to be long enough for any .38 besides wadcutters, the firing pin has to be relocated, and the loading gate enlarged.
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Old July 14, 2014, 05:31 PM   #16
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Always thought it was a really neat conversion that I'd get around to one day. New Models are limited to .38Spl for the reasons Jim explained but the .41Spl can be shoehorned into an Old Model. Either one would be slicker than snot on glass.
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Old July 14, 2014, 05:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
The Single Six conversion will cost a good deal more than a simple caliber conversion.
It takes a new made cylinder to be long enough for any .38 besides wadcutters, the firing pin has to be relocated, and the loading gate enlarged.
I recently took note that the .327 Federal Magnum brass is the same length as .38 Special. That should mean that the new Single Seven adaptation might be a platform for doing the .38 Special.
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Old July 14, 2014, 06:02 PM   #18
Jim Watson
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It will still take a new cylinder. I doubt there is room for seven .38s. And retiming along with the new barrel.

If I were having one built for myself I would ask if he could make a New Model into a .38 without exposing the transfer bar track. I have shot CAS and been limited to five in a sixshooter but for general dinking around, I like to be able to fill 'er up.
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Old July 14, 2014, 08:39 PM   #19
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Howdy

I know a smith who used to do these conversions. Six shots. I'm pretty sure he bored out the original cylinders to 38, I'm pretty sure he did not use a new cylinder. Dunno whether or not he was using modern transfer bar Single Sixes or the old Three Screws.
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Old July 14, 2014, 09:44 PM   #20
Jim Watson
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A good trick.
I googled one report that a Single Six cylinder measured 1 13/32" = 1.41".
Lyman shows various non-wadcutter bullets seated 1.407" to 1.575".
SAAMI is 1.58".
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Old July 15, 2014, 10:03 AM   #21
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It will still take a new cylinder. I doubt there is room for seven .38s. And retiming along with the new barrel.

If I were having one built for myself I would ask if he could make a New Model into a .38 without exposing the transfer bar track. I have shot CAS and been limited to five in a sixshooter but for general dinking around, I like to be able to fill 'er up.
I was thinking more of the cylinder window of the frame or the barrel being set forward to enable longer cylinder. Obviously a new cylinder blank would be involved. The Single Seven pictures suggest that the barrel is set all the way forward, unlike the 22s.
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Old July 15, 2014, 03:30 PM   #22
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jim watson,

with the bolt notches being offset and the much lower pressure requirements of the 38 special, you might get away with boring out the seven-shot 327 magnum cylinder.

murf
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Old July 16, 2014, 01:45 AM   #23
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I understand the attraction of having a custom revolver, but as someone previously noted, Uberti makes a very nifty little revolver in .38 special that is the same size as a single six, available with either a birds head or standard grip, and in a variety of barrel lengths.
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Old July 16, 2014, 01:58 PM   #24
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Wow...thanks for the heads up on the Uberti Od West Defense Birds Head in .38. Almost exactly what I'm hankering for without trying to do a custom run...

http://www.uberti.com/birds-head-revolver

I'd rather have stainless but this looks like a winner to me.

VooDoo
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Old July 16, 2014, 02:18 PM   #25
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I've never heard of a .38Spl Single Six that wasn't a five-shot.
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