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Cimarron Transition Cartridge Conversion

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by AethelstanAegen, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    So a while back (maybe a year or so ago), I was asking for advice on which single action "cowboy" pistol to buy. In the end, I got distracted and bought some AK rifles instead. Boy did that turn out to be a good idea. I'm now selling my AKs and I'l have enough to get the single action pistol I've longed for and get set up to reload for it.

    I'm looking at getting the Cimarron Transition Cartridge Conversion (TypeII). My thinking is to get it with an 8" barrel (might as well get the full effect of those classic lines) and in .45LC. I had been sold on getting it in .44Colt but I discovered that you can buy the Lee Classic Loader set (the hand tools one) for .45LC and it's not available in .44Colt. That means I could reload pretty much anywhere, including while I'm out doing my olde-timey camping trips. Does anyone have any advice/tips/experience with these? I'm also interested in holster/belt recommendations for this revolver (I'm currently eyeing the 1849 "Californian" holster and a money belt with full loops from El Paso Saddlery).
     
  2. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I like mine and think the Richards Type I & II are the best looking of the cartridge conversions. I prefer the .44Colt because it is closer to the original but the .44Spl works mighty fine too and many .44Colt's are actually cut with .44Spl chambers. I don't know anything about the Lee Classic Loader but I have read that you can load .44Spl with the .44Mag loader. Only issue with .45Colts, besides the wasted case capacity and not being historically accurate, is that due to the bore size and thin forcing cone, they are prone to develop cracks.

    I am also very partial to the Slim Jim or 1849 Californian. It is really the quintessential design for guns from that era. I've got an El Paso holster in this design and love it but unfortunately, don't have any pics. I use it for both my Open Top and Richards Type II along with my percussion 1860's. I've also made two of them for my Dragoon and 1860's. Here's a shot of my Type II with an el cheapo Oklahoma flap holster.

    [​IMG]


    Dragoon in my own Slim Jim holster.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Well I think you answered my question from the other thread about holsters. That's a very nice looking slim jim!
     
  4. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Thanks! I need to take some good pics of my El Paso 1849. It's a really good looking holster, all fishscale stamped.
     
  5. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    I do rather blame you for my indecision here, CraigC. If you didn't take such beautiful pictures of your wheelguns, I wouldn't be so darn smitten with those cartridge conversions. So I both curse and thank you for your photography skills.
     
  6. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    That's what I live for! :evil:
     
  7. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Ditto with the 44 Colt. Look at the cylinder walls. The 44 leaves a little more steel than the 45.
     
  8. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Anyone know if there's an easier way to reload .44 Colt besides buying a whole press? I guess I really should just break down and get a proper reloading set-up in place, but I liked the portability of the Lee Classic Loader set.
     
  9. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    The Lee Classic Loader is available in .44 Special and is in fact on sale at Midway for $20.32. It's my undrstanding that .44 Special's can be fired in .44 Colts. And like BSA1 said, the chamber walls are heavier in the .44.

    Those conversions are nice looking!

    35W
     
  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    The .44Colt is shorter and thus can be fired in .44Spl's but not the other way around. That is, if it has proper .44Colt chambers. Many of the new .44Colt's have .44Spl chambers. My Transition Model above has .44Spl chambers but is marked .44Colt. My Open Top has correct .44Colt chambers and won't chamber .44Spl's. They are available in either chambering, which makes it easy if you want to shoot .44Spl's in it.
     
  11. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Thanks for noticing the Lee Classic Loader in 44 Special! I don't know how I missed that. I'd be tempted to get the .44 Colt model then and hope it has the .44 Special chambers (if not I can always have it reamed out to .44 Special). Thanks for the tip, gents.
     
  12. David E

    David E Member

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    Sounds like you've never used one. Boy, are you in for a treat! Mallet sold separately.

    These will get the job done, but taking all the components on an "old timey camping trip" won't prove prudent.

    If you shoot a LITTLE bit and have plenty of free time, the Lee Loader will suffice, but getting a single stage press and Lee dies would still be pretty cheap and it'll be much more tolerable to load.
     
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You can buy them in .44Spl. No need to get a .44Colt and hope.

    I didn't want to say anything because I've never used a Lee Classic Loader but it seemed like it would be like David E described. Might want to get a real press. ;)

    That said, I use .44Spl/Mag dies to reload .44Colt. I just had to grind a little bit off the base of the seater die and use a .30-30 shellholder.

    http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/co...-transition-model-44-special-8-in-ca9053.html
     
  14. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Here is a shot of my RIchards conversion.

    [​IMG]

    It is chambered for the 44 Colt cartridge, the only cartridge I am aware of that was offered by the factory for the conversion of the 1860 revolvers.

    I reload a lot of cartridges with hand tools. My tool of choice is the Lyman 310 tool, also called the Tong tool or nutcracker tool. It is available in the 44 Colt as well as many others. However, loading 100 or even 50 cartridges with any hand tool is a lengthy project. One I much prefer to tackle with a bench press. But the choice is yours and regardless of which tool you use, have fun.
     
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Never tire of seeing that sixgun! :)
     
  16. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Thanks for the info StrawHat. I had looked into the Lyman 310 set but it didn't seem to have .44 Colt (at least on the Lyman website). They did seem to have .45Colt and .45/70 much like the Lee set. Did I miss something?
     
  17. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    3B Shooting Supply in Kaufman, TX sells some of these open top conversions in .44 Colt on GunBroker and they state that they will fire .44 Specials. So, take that for what it's worth, because I have ZERO experience with the .44 Colt.

    35W
     
  18. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Unfortunately there's a bit of a snag here in that it's been discontinued by Lee and no one seems to have it in stock. That's a bummer.
     
  19. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    That's too bad. I guess you could always get a set of dies and one of their hand presses.
    35W
     
  20. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Check here,

    http://www.cnyauctions.com/the310shop.htm

    44 Russian/Special

    Not cheap but usefull and available.
     
  21. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Heck Craig, it is almost the twin of yours. Just put yours in front of a mirror!
     
  22. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Yeah but your pic is excellent, plus your sixgun is a Type I and that makes it special. ;)

    And I just never get tired of looking at a nice Colt cartridge conversion.

    Need to either restock mine or strip that ugly red varnish off the factory grips.
     
  23. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    CraigC and StrawHat, you guys have both been making me green with envy with your fantastic pictures. I'm going to have to find someway to take an amazing shot of my revolver to return the favor at some point.

    The 310 tools you linked StrawHat sounds quite intriguing. Am I reading that right or do they also have a .38 S&W die set in that list? It would be very ideal to get a die set for .44 Colt and .38 S&W (I have a S&W Safety Hammerless from about 1898-99...so it's B/P loads only for me there).
     
  24. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    YEs, Rick can supply dies for the 38 S&W. He can also make dies for other "odd" or wildcatcat cartridges that were not offered from the factory. He understands the need for custom work and is willing to provide it.
     
  25. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Thanks StrawHat, that is very helpful.
     
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