45 Winchester Magnum in 1860 Conversion or Winchester 1866

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by SPJackson, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. SPJackson

    SPJackson Member

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    I have been doing research for new potential options for loading reproduction black powder guns. Right now I am curious about the potential .45 Win Mag brass loaded with BP could have for use in both 1860 Colt conversions, and Henry 1860 or Winchester 1866 rifles. Given the dimensions of the cartridge case I think it could be used to recreate the ballistics of both 44 Colt or 44 Henry, while adding the benefit of using an inside lubed bullet, and maybe even 45 Colt

    Fore the 1860 revolver, given the fact that the cartridge is rimless, it can allow the use of six rounds in a cylinder like that of the 44 Colt conversion cylinders, and unlike modern reproductions that only allow five 45 Colt rounds. Making sure to use BP is important due to cylinder pressures of course. I understand that the conversion cylinders available in 45 acp are limited to five rounds not due to cylinder pressures even though six is possible due to the rimless cartridge diameter.

    In the case of the 1860 Henry and Winchester 1866, like I stated before I think the 45 WinMag could be loaded to replicate the 44 Henry, while maybe milling down the length of the brass a little in this case, or seating the bullet a little deeper. Also, based on these old thread discussions https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/rimmed-or-rimless-cartridge-for-lever-actions.221555/ and https://gunhub.com/rifles/51126-rimless-cartridge-lever-guns.html it should be reasonably possible to modify and lever action to extract rimless ammo.

    The biggest benefit I am hoping for is then having a load that can be used in both a revolver and rifle. Something that was possible with the Colt Open Top revolvers in 44 Henry, and was not possible for the 44 Colt due to its small diameter rim.

    So is this as probable of an option as I think it is? Has anyone tried it before?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45_Winchester_Magnum Bullet dia= .452, Rim dia= .48
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Colt Bullet dia = .451 , Rim dia = .483
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Henry Bullet dia= .446
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45_Colt Bullet dia= .452
     
  2. Stophel

    Stophel Member

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    I have to say, I personally don't see the point in these types of things, but whatever flips your switch.

    The problem in converting 1860's to cartridges isn't so much the rim, but the diameter of the cartridge cases and the cylinder stop notches. Boring out chambers for cartridge cases can cut through the notches (and did 130 years ago too). The reason Colt used a heel bullet is so that their cartridge case would be no larger than the chamber was to begin with (at the front, anyway. Original chambers were tapered down at the rear), so that HOPEFULLY when they bored the cylinder through, they didn't cut through the cylinder stop notches.

    Using an inside-lubed bullet and a larger-than-bullet cartridge case would almost certainly have you cutting through to the outside. The modern conversion cylinders are five shot because of this. Their chambers are no longer right in line with the notches, so there's more room for the cartridges to fit in without cutting through to the outside.

    If Colt hadn't cheaped out and used a new full-length larger cylinder instead of the Navy cylinder stepped-up, it probably wouldn't be a problem.... but Colt wasn't thinking of future cartridge conversions in 1860.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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  3. SPJackson

    SPJackson Member

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    I don't think I have to worry about cutting through to the outside. Here is a photo of an original Richards conversion cylinder loaded with 44 Colt cartridges and and drawing and specs of that revolver from The Pitman Notes Volume Two. You can see that the rims of the cartridges do not get in the way of the newly made teeth and that there is still steel showing between the rim of the cartridge and the edge of the cylinder. The rim diameter of the 44 Colt is .483 "and the 45 WinMag rim is .48". So the rim of the WinMag would allow even more clearance for the ratchet teeth. My worry is how thick the cylinder wall in the rear end of the cylinder will remain. According to Wikipedia the base diameter of the WinMag is .476 ", and Pitman states that the diameter of the chamber at the breech of the chamber is .472".
     

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  4. Stophel

    Stophel Member

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    The problem isn't cutting completely out of the cylinder, but cutting into the cylinder stop notches. Look where they are.
     
  5. SPJackson

    SPJackson Member

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    Agreed. I thought I stated this in my last post, I guess I cut it off by accident. What I meant to end with was this. According to Wikipedia the base diameter of the WinMag is .476 ", and Pitman states that the diameter of the chamber at the breech of the chamber is .472". I am not sure how much strength may remain if I remove that .004" difference. I don't think I will cut into the cylinder stops. But I am not sure if the metal left will not blow out after I fire it. I think I may be able to allow a thicker wall in the rear if I follow the example of the Howell Remington New Army conversion and bore the chambers at an angle.


    This link has a person saying that their conversion cylinder at its thinnest point is 0.037" thick. https://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605530 They do not state if that is between chambers or the wall of the cylinder between the chamber and outside. But for now I might as well treat it as the outer wall thickness

    If I have my trig right, with the length of the cylinder being 1.587", then tan(.025)*1.587=0.0397. Meaning that if I bore the cylinder through at a 0.025 angle towards the axis of the cylinder, then I should leave the rear wall of the cylinder with approx 0.040" more of metal than otherwise. and if the outer wall is supposed to be .037" otherwise, then I can achieve on with a thickness of .037+.0.40=.077" which should be enough for a BP revolver. And I will likely need a smaller angle since the wall thickness is likely more, and the 0.037" measurement being between chambers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  6. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    SP Jackson, I'm sure you know this but the Howell Rem. cyl you speak of has its chambers angled outward at rear for case rim clearance (which is why the "locking notches" are shallow on those cyls.). I assume you mean you'll use his idea of the angled chamber but inward towards the ratchet? You'll probably be making a two-fingered hand with ratchet between chambers.

    Mike
     
  7. Catman42

    Catman42 Member

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    im wondering why? i have a couple of howell conversions. the 45 long colt is plenty enough cartridge. the howell cylinder is very strong. some things just dont need to be tried or went after.
     
  8. SPJackson

    SPJackson Member

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    Exactly what I had in mind, sorry I didn't explain that better

    Fantasy gun fun project, wanting a 6 shot 1860 equivalent to 44 Colt that I can also use in a lever action
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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  9. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    There was a 2016 thread discussing whether a 6 shot .45 Schofield conversion cylinder was ever made by Taylor's for the 1860.--->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/colt-1860-army-6-shot-conversion-cylinders.797957/

    The thread mentioned that conversion gunsmith Hoof Hearted shows a photo of a 6 shot .45 Schofield on his website subject to availability, which begs the question of asking Gary if the photo accurately reflects whether it's really a 6 shot or simply a stock photo.--->>> http://cartridgeconversion.com/Converters.php
     
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  10. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  11. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    The time, expense, and potential of personal injury don't seem worth what you'd end up with but, you're in your own boat and welcome to sink it in any way you want. I would say good luck but I don't want to sound like I'm in any way encouraging this.

    Dave
     
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