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Anyone using the .32 S&W conversion cylinder?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Guvnor, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. Guvnor

    Guvnor Member

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    Has anybody tried the Kirst or R&D .32 S&W cylinder in their 1849 colt? Did they just drop in or did you have to do some fitting?

    Not much info out there about the .32 S&W cartridge. Looks pretty anemic, remington and winchester list a 85 gr. bullet around 680fps and 90 ft lbs.

    Im wondering if the .31 round ball and blackpowder would actually have a power advantage? In your opinion would the .32 S&W make an ok "last ditch" home defense gun, or should that not even be considered?

    Thanks!
     
  2. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    I have a .32S&W. It is not a man stopper by any means, but it is better than a club or a call to 911. If that is all you have, then use it. Practice, practice, practice, shot placement is key. Now I'm sure there well be many nay Sayers, but I well bet you a dollar that not one of them well volunteer to take a .32S&W to the chest from across the room.
     
  3. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    I've got an R&D cylinder for my Uberti '49 Pocket. It dropped right in and functioned fine once I figured the right wedge seating depth.
     
  4. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Colt Uberti 1849 Pocket .31 with the four inch barrel will knock somebody's ass a flopping, and they'll need a lot of help to get back up again. I don't care how big and mean they think they are....ADD ON.. I'm talking about regular cap and ball. I don't know anything about any conversion cylinder....
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I'm seriously thinking about making a cartridge conversion out of a Uberti '49 pocket model, but there is an issue most people don't take into consideration:

    The bore is oversized for the .32 S&W cartridge, and this could have a negative affect on accuracy and muzzle velocity.

    While each individual revolver may be a law onto itself, the book specifications say that the barrel's groove diameter is .332" where the .32 S&W Long bullet is .312". This results in the bore being .020" oversized - too much so for my liking. This could be resolved by drilling out the barrel and installing a liner with a .312" groove diameter, something I would consider doing, but most people wouldn't.

    As for the cartridge itself; while a lot of Interned keyboard commando types quickly reject it in favor of their ideal - a .44 Magnum in a Smith & Wesson J-frame package - the truth is that that little .32 round has caused more men to be planted into the ground then all of the Magnums put together. While this statement may set off a firestorm I can easily prove it because of the wider distribution of .32's over Magnums. My point is that if the shooter places his bullet in the right place the bad guy's lights will go out. Of course bigger is better, within reasonable limits, but bigger doesn't always determine the outcome.

    But again, if self-defense is an important part of your considerations I wouldn't necessarily reject the .32 cartridge, but I would choose to use it in a later style revolver then the old '49 Pocket Model. These are met to be used for having fun rather then defending one’s homestead.
     
  6. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Old Fuff, you are a very smart man....
    I disagree with one viewpoint though. Well, not disagree, just don't look at it the same way. The .31 is for having fun but it is also a workhorse. Hunting (ie squirrels, rabbits, 'coon, etc) dropping a wolf, coyote if need be, just whatever. I think it is a fine home defense weapon and self defense weapon. It's got plenty of stopping power. Just have to learn how to shoot it. I ain't exactly a Mr. Annie Oakley but if someone is breaking in on you then you should be able to shoot both his damn eyes out in the blink of an eye so to speak. If a person dosen't know how to shoot and is not seriously trying to learn how, then as far as I'm concerned that person dosen't belong within 40 feet of any kind of damn gun, not around me anyway....
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well at least we agree about something... :what: :D

    Now to say the least, you are a bit unusual... :scrutiny:

    And really, I’m delighted that everyone wasn’t dropped out of the same mold.

    And I have no doubt that if some unfortunate victim of out oppressive society was to break into your digs with less then honorable intentions, he might meet up with a .457 ball launched by your Walker – and that would be a… well… shall we say, a “meaningful experience.”

    And yes, one launched from a .31 caliber ’49 Pocket Model might well do the same thing.

    But for those with little or no experience with cap & ball revolvers I can see some problems. One is that once loaded there isn’t any easy way to unload them, other then shooting them off, and in some neighborhoods that might cause a stir.

    Of course you can load them and then leave them loaded, but I remember Wild Bill’s wise procedure of shooting his ’51 Navy’s dry and then cleaning and reloading them each day. He was worried about condensed moisture getting to the black powder, and told a friend, “When I pull I must be sure.” I suppose that this isn’t always likely, but Bill wasn’t one to take unnecessary chances.

    A cap fragment getting down between the frame and hammer could ruin your day real quick during a serious situation.

    Now I have a long time fondness for the old ’49. My first cap & ball revolver was one of these, bought when I was a teen, and made by Colt his self, not one of those Johnny-come-lately Italian companies. I had a great time shooting it until the cylinder pin developed a bad crack at the front of the wedge slot and I had to retire it.

    I think the vintage 5-shooter will do everything you said it does, but I don’t believe it’s the answer for everyone.

    Some of the above mentioned problems could be eliminated by going to a cartridge conversion, but then you run into problems with the substantially oversized bore – which may or may not be an issue depending on the individual gun. But in a worst case situation you could get a big drop in velocity and “punch” when you needed it, combined with poor accuracy. If someone is looking to use a metallic cartridge revolver there are better choices.
     
  8. SCBradley

    SCBradley Member

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    Old Fuff,

    Would a .32-20 liner work? .305 bore, .312 groove, 1-16 twist.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    If you converted the revolver to a .32 S&W Long and kept it that way it would work fine, but returning it to a cap & ball could cause problems. In theory at least the chambers swage a .221" ball down to .219", making them .007" oversized for the now .312" barrel.
     
  10. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Old Fuff, I just read your last post here very carefully. Read it three times. I agree with everything you said here. I reiterate my former statement. You are indeed a very smart man. Every potential problem you mentioned has to be given the utmost consideration. And practice practice practice, and then when you are sure you'vd got it down then practice some more.
    I was considering the possibility that your saying that I was a bit 'unusual' was a polite way of telling me I was a damned idiot, but then I reconsidered! I figure that since I'm agreeing with you on this matter so wholeheartedly that there's no way you would consider me that much of an idiot!
    Yeah, I really like the '49 a lot Old Fuff. I think I'vd told you that before....
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    No, you are not an idiot, but you are "different," and the two are not the same thing, and "different" is not necessarily a negative trait.

    I suspect that many of our members don’t know that from when they were first made during the mid-1800’s until now, there has never been a time when caplock revolvers were completely and totally abandoned as shooters. Of course with the introduction and increased popularity of metallic cartridges during the late 1860’s on, the use of cap & ball firearms declined, but in those isolated regions of the country that were more sparsely populated and cash money wasn’t always easy to come by, older revolvers and rifles were much less expensive to buy, and a keg of black powder, some pigs of lead, and a couple tins of percussion caps cost far less then store-bought cartridges - yet they still got the job done; the “job” being to put meat on the table, and occasionally to protect one’s neck and property.

    During the mid-1940’s on, target shooting with vintage firearms gave a boost to shooting old-timers of all kinds, but by the late 1950’s an increasing number of wealthy collectors drove the price of shooter-grade revolvers up to where many shooters couldn’t afford them. It was at this point that a fine gentleman named Val Forgett Sr. got an idea that the answer was to make brand-new replicas of Civil War era revolvers that would serve the shooter’s needs, and unlike the originals, be affordable.

    He was unable to find any manufacturers in the United States who were both interested and capable of building guns the “old way,” and thus went to Italy where both Uberti and Pietta (as well as others) had companies making hand-built double barreled shotguns, and did have employees that were skilled at doing the kind of work Val needed. The rest is history.
     
  12. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Yeah, thank God for Mr. Uberti and Mr. Pietta....
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Actually, thank God for Val Forgett Sr. If it wasn't for him the Italian makers would still be building shotguns. None of the gunmakers in Europe knew zip about American caplock revolvers until he came along. :scrutiny:
     
  14. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Old Fuff, yeah I guess that's so. I'm not a shotgun man but they do build some nice ones though....
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  15. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    I like my little Wells Fargo the way it is, no conversion. I would have liked a longer barrel on it, but it only came in 4" when I got it.

    Would not have been a bad one to try on squirrels with a 6 inch barrel (longer sight radius - more of a chance of hitting).

    The Doc is out now. :cool:

    PS, I'm beginning to picture GotC and Fuff as a Hatfield and McCoy pair, complete with long beards and those pointed tall hats. :evil:
     
  16. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Dr. Law, having one of the 6 inch barrels would have been real nice but they just don't make them like that. BUT.. That 4 inch barrel will carry on up to them. I'vd brought some bushy tails down out of some mighty tall timber. I'm not lying. It's my favorite squirrel gun of all time. Easy to carry, cheap to shoot, just an all around good little piece. Evidentally you and I and Mr. Fuff were not the only ones to think it's nice. They say that when Mr. Colt made the '49 he sold more of them than any other blackpowder revolver he ever made and the 4 inch barrel was the favorite. (probably so people could just shove it in their pocket and out of the way. AND out of sight)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  17. bigbadgun

    bigbadgun Member

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    Ifn yer lookin fer a pistol to carry fer pertiction. Ifn y'all put one of them thar Walkers in a sholder rig aint no fool gonna be messin with ya.
     
  18. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    Bigbadgun, yeah Walkers are fine but right now we're squirrel hunting!
    If you'vd got a '49 you can go with us.
    Your website is very good Big Gun. It'll work out fine....
     
  19. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Im sorry i still like my WALKER. however i do like to read about the smaller guns. Just stuck on .44
     
  20. GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL

    GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL Member.

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    scrat, good evening.. Yeah, I guess it's pretty plain that I like my Walker to! Like my '58's and my carbines to. However, the '47 is not the best squirrel gun one could reach for.
    You have someone else over there wanting to join the club. Mr. Fingers McGee I think his name is.
     
  21. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    It's the forest for the trees for me again.

    I'm sitting here wondering how I could really sharpen my skill with the Wells Fargo for squirrels. Then, boom, it hits me.

    At the local club, we superglue strings to eggs and have them swing in the wind at up to 100 yards and then try to nail them with a .22.

    No reason I cannot lay out some eggs on wood and try them with the Wells Fargo. Eggs are about the same size as squirrel heads. :D

    The Doc is out now. :cool:

    PS, I agree with the poster that was talking about the size of the bullet with the .32 S&W. I happen to have a .32 S&W and some older ammo for it. The bullet just falls pretty much through the barrel of the Wells Fargo I have. I imagine that it is pretty much the same for the '49 or the Baby Dragoon.
     
  22. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Member

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    This is certainly true. And .22LRs have killed more still.

    Problem from the shooter's perspective is...it's almost always due to exsanguination, and that takes a while. Plenty of time for them to do bad things before they expire.

    Shot placement is definitely the key. Unless you hit vitals, five .32s are only gonna slow the bad guy down a little, and then only maybe.

    Police departments used to call the old 200 grain .38SPL load "the widowmaker", for the same reason.

    This is one reason I returned the Remington Pocket I got from Cabela's last month (the other is that it was a total and complete POS). I went with an 1862 Police in 4.5". I'll trade the conceal factor for...'bigger balls'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  23. Kal52

    Kal52 Member

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    Hey all.

    First time here and its in a thread with the same questions as I was going to ask, all but the defense stuff. Btw for "last ditch" its plenty good. obviously being a last ditch weapon something happend to your primary, at that point anything is better than nothing, and a .32 will hurt em.

    My 49 is going to be here tomorrow, cant wait, watching that ups tracking page is like Christmas, and watching santa with a GPS tracker, way too much excitement.

    Im guessing that its quite a bit of work to set it up for the Kirst with the loading gate, cutting back the frame etc. as for the R&D if I have to take it apart to reload I may just as well put a new cap/ball cyl in or is it easier than that?

    Whether I do a conversion or not, it was my intention to use this as a small game getter, not sure if Im Squirrel ready but the rabbits best be on their toes.

    Great forum, lots of good info. Im hooked :D
     
  24. bigbadgun

    bigbadgun Member

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    Dr. Law
    What we do back home is use golf balls at about 50 to 75 paces.
    There are other uses for golf balls than hitting them with sticks.
    GoC thanks for the kind words about the new site.
     
  25. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    Hmmm, Shooting golf? An idea forms. We try to see who has the straightest and longest drives!

    The reason we use eggs is that they splat so nicely when you hit them. It really is a draw for the kids, too. Twice a year we have an open .22 silhouette and "Rotten Egg" shoot, and then have one or two for the members on meeting nights. However, we do have a golf course nearby, and one of the high school golf coaches is a member of the club.... soooooooo...

    Thanks for the idea BBG! :D

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
     
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