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Colt Conversion- Time for .400 TCR?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Michael Tinker Pearce, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    enkbRJa.jpg
    Picked up a Colt Army Special in .38 Special this week. Tested it out, and it's a good shooter. Trigger pulls are heavy, but the double-action is glass-smooth with no stacking and the single action is super-crisp with virtually no over-travel. Since these guns were available in .41 Colt Long I had the thought of getting a .41 Colt barrel (which are readily available) and reaming the cylinder for .41 Special.

    Yeah... not going to work. Problem #1- the .408 bore of the original would be tight, it would work with .410 bullets... except when Colt converted this cartridge to smokeless they went from a heel-base .408 bullet yo a hollow-base .386 bullet and shrank the bore to .400. That will not work and play well with .410 bullets. Problem #2- measured and the cylinder wall thickness would be a bit sketchy in .41 Special. But...

    .30-30 brass can be cut and expanded out to take a .400 bullet, and thanks to .40 S&W and 10mm there are a plethora of .400 bullets available... time for .400 TCR? Cut and resize the brass to somewhere around .38 Special length and load it with a 200gr bullet at 900fps. or so... This could be a thing.

    Set it up for a three-inch gun with a modified grip as a carry gun...

    Yeah, this is going to happen.
     
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I’m just gonna go ahead and say that the work that you did is great and that the gun is awesome. I k ow you haven’t done it yet but that’s where this is headed, and the work is always great and you just make me envious.
     
  3. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    Ummmmm, do you lay awake at nights dreaming up stuff like this?


    Bob Wright
     
  4. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Hell, I do it in broad daylight!
     
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  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    .401 Herter "PowerSpecial" maybe.
    Shame to cut up that nice old AS though.
     
  6. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Arguably... but I know how often I am going to shoot a 6" .38, and I know before me it hadn't been shot for a decade or more (I got it from a friend.) Think of it as giving it a new life.
     
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  7. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    It is your property first of all. What you do to it is your business.
    BUT... with it's original bluing and condition still intact from 100 years ago, it's a bit questionable if this is a gun you'd really want to be doing this stuff to.
    If it's something you think more about doing than not doing, then by all means go ahead. To be honest there really isn't a lot special about those WWI-WWII era revolvers, they make nice project guns. But the preserver in me would say No.
    But overall, since these guns are in the 'Surplus catergory', it'd make for a good project nonetheless. I mean, I'm not here on how to tell you on how to make your swords. Neither am I here to tell you what to do with your guns.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  8. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I love your projects! :)

    Your Army Special looks to be about the same vintage as mine, though nicer looking. Mine is a very good shooter.

    I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
     
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  9. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I've thought about doing something like this in several ways, on several platforms. Mostly assuming I can resize .41Mag brass in a carbide .40/10mm sizer and use .40S&W/10mm/.38-40 bullets. I've thought about doing a high pressure version like the .401PowerMag in a mid-frame Old Model Ruger Blackhawk or Colt SAA-type. I've also thought about doing a low pressure version in a custom cylinder 1851 Richards-Mason using .41Colt brass.
     
  10. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Hmmm... I need to ponder this some. Like, do I actually want the gun that would result? What would I do with it? Will it do anything a gun that already exists, or for that matter that I already have, won't do?

    If you smell smoke and burning hair, don't worry. That's just me thinking.
     
  11. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Pondering like that sounds very unproductive. :p
     
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  12. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    Well, .38 Is a very good caliber on it's own. Very comparable to 9mm. The thing is, out of a snub nose of course it gets slower velocity. But out of a full frame revolver, sure it didn't penetrate metal car doors nor could it kill a bear but it's a very competent man stopper, that's certain. Plus it's a good target round. Think that's been proven enough already. If I was to compete with a revolver, it'd be one in .38 special.
    To be honest, I'd be delighted having a classic Army .38 special revolver. But whatever you do it's your choice.
     
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  13. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Oh, I very much like .38 Special; it's been a staple of my gun life for decades and I trust it to do it's job if I do mine. I like it so much I already have a bunch of .38 Specials; too many even, which is why I would consider changing calibers. I even have a gun better suited to playing with .38-44 loads.

    The conclusion I've come to is that a .40 caliber revolver cartridge in this gun is simply going to duplicate the performance of existing rounds, and creating one would serve no purpose. .40 S&W will do just fine for those wanting a .40 revolver. It would simply be a vanity project, and I don't have the resources or time for such a thing. The end result would be something I neither want nor need.

    I got this gun in trade for a gun I had no use for and didn't shoot often. Now I have another gun I don't need, and probably won't shoot often. Perhaps I can trade it for something I do want or have a need for; I've been wanting to convert a double-action revolver to .251 TCR, maybe a J-frame or I-frame, or even a S&W .38 top-break. Another thought would be to get a .38-200 barrel for and another cylinder and ream it for .38 S&W. Changing out the barrel and cylinder would be useful because I am going to be doing some ballistic tests of .38-200, and it would not result in any irreparable changes to the original gun. Not sure what I'm going to do in the end, but I think the original plan is out the window.
     
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