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S&W 25 Mountain Gun 45LC, can I have it machined for moonclips and shoot 45acp too?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by HighVelocity, Jun 9, 2007.

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  1. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

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    Title says it all. I'd like to be able to shoot 45LC, 45AR and 45ACP in one gun. That would be pretty sweet I think. Is this doable or do I have to get a custom cylinder?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I don't know how well it works, but it can be done:

    http://www.pinnacle-guns.com/revolver.asp
    Smith & Wesson, J-Frame 5 Shot, K-Frame 6 Shot, L-Frame 581,681,586,686 & 686 plus, N-Frame 27/28, 57/657, 29, 629, & 625 LC. $80.00 (.45 LC cylinders can be cut to shoot both ACP and LC)

    That will probably not handle .45 AR. The conversion will cut to take clipped ACPs but leave enough of the rear of the cylinder intact to headspace .45 Colt. No room for the thick AR rim. If you had it cut to take ARs, it would then not run with L.C., or not reliably.
     
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    You can buy a second cylinder for a .45 Colt revolver and have it fitted up and headspaced for .45 acp.
    You cannot shoot both calibers through one cylinder because the headspacing requirements are different.
    You cannot convert most of the current .45acp revolvers to shoot .45 Colt because the barrels are set back further into the frame to reduce bullet jump and this does not allow enough space in the frame cylinder window for a .45 Colt length cylinder to fit.
    I can offer a real close estimate for having the work completed including the cost of the new cylinder assembly, about $400.00 HTH
     
  4. Gator

    Gator Member

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    Like Jim said, ACP and Colt are possible, but no AR. I know someone with a Pinnacle converted .45 Colt MG and he absolutely loves it; I was thinking of getting mine done too :)
     
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    You will occasionally see articles about people converting 45 LC's to Auto Rim's or just 45ACP's. The most common conversion is the additional cylinder. And you see the occasional Ruger single action with an additional cylinder.

    But the bottom line is these conversions are expensive, and the dual use revolvers start out expensive but sell on the used market for just a little more than a 45 LC. These dual cartridge pistols turn out to be a poor solution to an non existing problem. There is no such thing as cheap 45 ACP, the 45LC is easily downloaded to 45 ACP level, and the 45 LC is easily up loaded to power levels that are not practical in the 45 ACP. Why hot load a 45 ACP to shoot in a revolver.? And you will have to segregate that ammunition or you will fire it in your M1911. So now you have extra ammo boxes lying around.

    Also, what do you do with the spare cylinder?. It just rolls around on the table or bench and is in the way. If you lose it, well you are out some big bucks to replace, and it does not fit well in the box or a holster. And don't forget the screwdriver for the change out.

    Folks generally get these things, take them to the range once, brag out the new multitasking toy they have to their friends, find out that they have to totally readjust their elevation and windage settings each and every time when they change cylinders, decide the whole thing it is not worth the bother, and sell the things off at a loss.
     
  6. SDC

    SDC Member

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    If you were to have the cylinder machined like so (www.moonclips.com), yes, you should be able to use all three; the 45 AR and 45 Colt would headspace on the rims, and the 45 Auto would headspace on the clips.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. jcjacobvt

    jcjacobvt Member

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    I just purchased a S&W 625-7 that fires both 45 Colt and 45 ACP. Nicely done; I believe to be a Pinnicle gun.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I now understand how that works.
     
  9. KINGMAX

    KINGMAX Member

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    LC is for Long Colt = Revolvers / apc = .45 auto / keep it that way
     
  10. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but both the Colt and S&W M1917 revolvers beg to differ with you. The many S&W 625s that the factory as 45 ACP/AR only revolvers likewise disagree.
     
  11. Gator

    Gator Member

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    +1

    .45 ACPs in moonclips are GREAT in revolvers!
     
  12. 20nickels

    20nickels Member

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    Yes you can have it done with .45LC and ACP (I'm not sure about AR, that would be a small bonus) and from what I've read It is still accurate dispite the amount of freebore bullet jump. I drool at the thought of this combination plus a matching levergun.
     
  13. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    If you start with a flush cylinder rear, a la the .45 ACP 625's, you could use thinner moonclips on .45 Colts and a slightly longer fp to insure that the primers are struck properly. Of course, the mouth step in the original .45 ACP position in the chambers would have to be moved - maybe just removed! Then, you could take all three - .45 AR/ACP/Colt - the latter having a deeply seated bullet due to the short cylinder length.

    Now, moonclip a .45 Colt IS do-able. But, the .45 AR's thick rim will prevent the .45 Colt set-back from working - that AR rim is thick! Of course, set it back appropriately for the AR's thick rim and add a longer fp for insurance with those .45 Colt/moonclipped ACP's, and you'll likely hole those thick-rimmed AR primers. Too many variables for me... I have a 625JM for .45 AR & ACP, and a pair of 625MG's in .45 Colt that are inherently dual ammo. They take .45 Colt AND .45 S&W/Schofield! Yep, and include the shortened .45 Colt cases made by Starline for a fellow on 'sixgunner.com' as '.45 Special', and you have another type of ammo for the .45 Colt 625MG!

    Stainz

    PS The .44 Magnum chamber is inherently the most adaptable - .44 Russians, Specials, and Magnums. You want to recall .22LR plinking with a revolver? Try some 240gr LSWC over 3.6gr Titegroup in a .44 Russian case - it'll make around 700 fps from a 4" 629 - an all-day-plinker, and still easily make major power factor.
     
  14. Zonamo

    Zonamo Member

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    I have wondered about that. The difference in OAL is quite a bit.

    What about going in the opposite direction-converting a 625 in .45 ACP to 460 Rowland? Anyone have any experience with it?

    Clark 460 Rowland Conversion
     
  15. earplug

    earplug Member

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    ZONAMO, Tell us about your 460 Rowland conversion!
    I'm thinking about selling my M-29's and converting 625's to the Rowland.
    A full moon clip of .45 mayhem or plinking with ACP.
     
  16. Zonamo

    Zonamo Member

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    Sorry earplug, shoot a lot of .45 ACP but don't have a .460 Rowland conversion yet. I was hoping someone that does would share their experience.
     
  17. 20nickels

    20nickels Member

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    "The only purpose served by the extended Rowland case is to prevent it from being chambered in guns not properly prepared to handle the cartridge". The bullet is even seated to the same spot as .45 ACP.

    This being the case, why not just convert the cases instead of the cylinder? I have no experience at this, but I don't see why not. I would like to hear answers from experienced reloaders
     
  18. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    I think .45 Auto-rim has a much thicker rim than .45 LC... don't think the two are interchangeable.
     
  19. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    My gunsmith provided, and fitted an extra cylinder for my old S&W 25-5. I have enjoyed shooting .45 ACP in this revolver. I use full moonclips. The accuracy is exellent, and the cylinder swap is quick and easy.
    I see no downside with this.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

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    Thank you all for the great info. A second cylinder seems like the way to go so as to not affect the value of the gun (aka being able to undo the modification), although, machining the current cylinder for moonclips would be less expensive.. Anyone have a line on a blue model 25 45LC cylinder that I can get cheaply and have machined?
     
  21. 20nickels

    20nickels Member

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    I see them on ebay occasionally, usually a converted .44 cylinder.
     
  22. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

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    I finally took the plunge and sent my cylinder to Pinnacle. Yesterday I got email saying it was finished and would ship soon. I can't wait!!:D
     
  23. KurtC

    KurtC Member

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    JCJACOBVT

    Believe it or not, you have what it is probably the first of these conversions.

    Back in the early 90's, I had the idea after seeing a moon clip conversion for a .44 Magnum. The late Art Leckie (Austin Behlert's son-in-law) in Pipersville, PA, agreed to give it a try on my donor gun (your 25-7). It turned out successful, so we also did it to a Ruger Redhawk and a Colt Anaconda, along with a few 625's.

    A few years later it caught on (with the help of the internet), and now several shops are doing it.

    On your 25-7, the polished blue and laser scrolling are factory. The conversion was done later on, and that is why the extractor bluing is different. The round butt conversion was done by me. Art Leckie also milled the front ramp to accept replacement sights.
     
  24. takhtakaal

    takhtakaal Member

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    I'm glad I ran into this thread. I may be giving Pinnacle some work very shortly so that I can get better use out of a few revolvers here.
     
  25. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

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    I shipped my Cylinder to Pinnacle Customs on 11/14 and got it back today 12/3. I have never experienced a turn around that fast with ANY vendor, gun related or otherwise. Communication was excellent as well.

    The first thing I notice when I removed the cylinder from the package, was that the machining is definitely top shelf. It is perfect. I cannot tell that it did not leave the S&W factory this way. Well, that's not true. It wouldn't have left the factory this good. :D

    After reinstalling the cylinder, I dry fired the gun a dozen times, no binding or any other surprises. Then I loaded it up with some 45 Colt brass, rocked the hammer back slightly and spun the cylinder, no drag. Same thing with a moonclip of 45acp brass.

    Off to the range I go with a mix of various ammo, reloads and factory. First, the 45 Colt ammo which was Remington factory 225gr LWSC. This ammo is warmer than the cowboy stuff but still mild and was very accurate in this gun previously.
    There was no change. It all went bang and all went in a quarter sized ragged hole at 10 yards.

    Then comes the 45acp. First, I loaded up a moonclip of 230gr Blazer Brass factory ammo and blasted it away double action as fast as I could pull the trigger. It all went bang and hit the target. OK, now it's time to check accuracy. I start off with my IDPA load which is a 230gr Remington FMJ on 4.0grs of Hodgdon Clays. This is a "one ragged hole" load in my 4" 625-3 that I use for ESR. Four cylinders full and the best I could do was 3 shots touching and 2 flyer's per 6 shot group @ 10 yards. Hmmm....
    Then 3.7grs Clays on a hard cast 230gr LRN, 230gr moly coated cast on 3.5grs Clays and 230gr Berry's plated RN on 3.9grs Clays. All had similar patterns to the first.
    Lastly, I fired 6 rounds of Federal 230gr +P HST defense ammo and it all went in a golf ball sized group.

    Well, I'm not sure what to think about the accuracy of the gun using 45acp at this point. I should've taken my 625 along for comparison and to prove to myself if it was the gun or me throwing the flyer's. I wonder though since it shot exactly the same with the 45Colt load as before.

    Pinnacles work is perfect and I highly recommend them to everyone. Whether or not this particular gun will benefit from the work, the jury is still out.
    More range time is needed.
     
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