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The best price I can find 1858 Pietta Conversion Cylinder

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Bullseye, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    Is the Taylor's & Co. brand better than Howell ?
    I've been looking at a price of $238 shipped for a Taylor's on GB for probably a year. I suppose the seller sells them and relists them 1 at a time. Excellent feedback.
    I just don't think I am going to find another better price and with the convenience of simply bidding on it and winning. If someone outbids me there will be another.
    The best price I have found so far was from Midway at $240 and then add shipping. Those are Howell's.
    I also wanted the 6 shot cylinder over a 5 shot which is what the Taylor's cylinder is.
    I have an awful hard time paying close to $250 for this, I want one but just how bad?
    Are these things even worth buying or should I just live with percussion caps?
    Thanks
     
  2. Dog Soldier
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    Dog Soldier Member

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    Good morning Bullseye. I can only tell you my thoughts on this. I collect the ROA handguns. I have over time acquired 2 of the Howell Conv. cylinders. They are only good in the ROA for low pressure loads. The back up plates on these cylinders is not the same as the recoil plate.
    Would I buy one of these cylinders after owning these for 3 years? No! I prefer the Perc. system. I also feel they are just too expensive. Don't want to discourage anyone from buying these well built and engineered products. Just my thoughts, which are often confused.:D
     
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  3. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    Yeah, I can't seem to spend that much. I'd be better off saving that money and adding some for a better revolver altogether. Unless I find one cheap, I'll stick with the percussion caps. Here's the BP family I have.
    They are in great shape, I keep em clean. Three grandsons ... three revolvers.
    BPfamily.jpg
     
  4. Dog Soldier
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    Dog Soldier Member

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    Bullseye, I am a fan of Hickock .45. Have you reviewed this one?

     
  5. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    I limit myself to 1 Hickok a week. ;) Life is short. LOL
    He's great but I'll have to watch this tonight. Got car stuff to do for this afternoon.
     
  6. Blackpowdershooter44

    Blackpowdershooter44 Member

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    Love that engraved navy Bullseye!
     
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  7. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    One is not better than the other. But if you want six shots, the only game in town is the one sold by Taylors. Way back, I don't remember when, Ken Howell designed the six shot, 45 Colt cylinder for the 1858 Remington. Because of the distance from chamber to chamber, dictated by the distance from the center of the cylinder to the center of the bore, it was not possible to make a six shot 45 Colt cylinder because the rims would overlap. Howell had the brilliant idea to angle the chambers ever so slightly, less than 1/2 of one degree, so that the rears of the chambers were slightly further apart than the fronts. Presto, now six chambers could be be bored and the rims would not overlap. Howell had the further brilliant idea to patent his design.

    Before anybody gets their pants in a twist, no, chambers angled less than 1/2 of one degree are no problem at all, I have two of these things and they are easily the most accurate 45 Colt revolvers I own, more accurate than my Colts, clones or Rugers. More on that in a bit.

    Howell made the cylinders for Taylors. His company was called R&D, and Taylors was the exclusive distributor. Anybody else selling this design was buying them from Taylors. A number of years ago Howell sold the rights to his patent to Taylors, I have no idea why. Taylors found another company to make the cylinders, and because they own the patent rights they are the only company that can make this six round cylinder with the angled chambers. Walt Kirst made a cylinder that was five shots, with a 'dummy' chamber of smaller diameter taking up the space where a sixth chamber would go. By spacing his chambers a little bit farther apart Kirst was able to get the rims to not overlap, but he was limited to five chambers.

    Just a few years ago Howell got back into the conversion cylinder business with his Howell Old West Conversion Cylinders company, but because he sold the rights to his patent he cannot offer a six shot 45 Colt cylinder for the 1858 Remington. Some of the other replica models have larger cylinders, so he can offer six shot 45 Colt cylinders for them, but not for the 1858 Remington. Same with a 38 caliber Remington, six chambers fits fine. Beware when you go to the Howell web site because he does offer a six shot 1858 cylinder for 44 Colt, not 45 Colt. I have no idea why somebody would want one of these unless they were going to go to the trouble to load 44 Colt with heeled bullets.

    As I said, I have two of these. One is an old EuroArms Remmie that I bought back in 1975. I also have a Stainless Uberti 1858 that I bought used for a very good price and it came with the Taylors (R&D) six shot conversion cylinder for the same price as a used cartridge gun, so it was a great deal.

    As far as the cost is concerned, that is up to you. With my old EuroArms Remmie I bought it so long ago that I figured the value had been amortized down to about nothing, so paying I think $190 for the cylinder about ten years ago or so it was like getting a nice new cartridge revolver for $190.

    Here is my old EuroArms Remmie with it's conversion cylinder in place.

    [​IMG]




    A side note is that when I bought my cylinder, the recesses for the rims were not large enough to accept the slightly larger diameter rims of 45 Schofield. I had a smith open up the recesses slightly for Schofield rims, and while he was at it I had him cut the 'view windows' through to the outside of the cylinders so I could see which chamber was empty. View windows are now standard on these cylinders, but I am not taking credit for that. I believe they will also accept 45 Schofield rims now, but I am not sure about that.

    [​IMG]



    I mentioned this is the most accurate 45 Colt revolver I own. The reason is the chambers are more precisely machined than the chambers of any of my other 45 Colt revolvers, I wrote the list earlier. In fact, when I load up 45 Colt cartridges, I use this conversion cylinder as my cartridge gauge. If a finished round drops into the chambers of this cylinder, I know it will fit into the looser chambers of any of the others. If however a crimp is a little bit bulgy, it will often drop into a Colt or Ruger chamber, but the conversion cylinder will reject it. That's why it is my cartridge gauge and I believe that is why it is so accurate.

    I love Hickock 45's videos too, but I want to correct him on one thing. No, there are no springs in the firing pins of these cylinders. That is why it is inadvisable to dry fire them. Without a primer to arrest the travel of the firing pins, they can get wedged in place if the hammer strikes them. Trust me on this.

    Hickock 45 is correct about the nomenclature. The old way to measure caliber was by bore diameter, so the Remingtons and Colts were called 44s, but once the rifling was cut, the groove diameter was closer to 45. I slugged the barrel of my old EuroArms Remmie long ago, and if I recall correctly it was .449. A little bit tight for 45 Colt, but I have never had any trouble with it. I recently had the opportunity to slug the barrel of an original Colt, and despite the fact that the rifling was seven grooves, I was able to determine that the rifling grooves were pretty much right about .451 or so.

    Reloading one of these things is much simpler than Hickock 45 makes it look, you just a have to get used to it. As he says, there is no wedge to have to drive out. Once you are used to it, you put the gun at half cock, roll the cylinder slightly clockwise as viewed from the rear, to depress the hand, and the cylinder pops right out. With some of the old Remmies, the reloading lever can be used to pop the empties out, it fits right into the chambers. With others, the latch is a little bit too wide and the end of the lever will not enter the chambers. I can unload my Uberti with the loading lever, but I keep a brass rod around to pop out the empties with my EuroArms Remmie. Then once the cylinder is reloaded, with the hammer still at half cock you roll the cylinder back in to depress the hand and it pops right back in. All told it is quicker than reloading a SAA one at a time through the loading gate.

    Yes, Kirst made the cylinder that could be loaded one at a time once you cut a groove in the recoil plate, so you could reload without removing the cylinder. But because of the vagaries of federal laws regarding modifying a Cap & Ball revolver to cartridges, I bought the Taylors version. Because I have made no changes to the frame of the gun, once I pop the cartridge cylinder out and pop the C&B cylinder back in, it is not a Firearm anymore. Those were my thoughts anyway. That is also why you can have these shipped right to your door, it is only a part.

    Regarding who to buy them from: Yes, sometimes there will be a minor amount of fitting needed. When you get right down to it, it is pretty amazing that these cylinders can be made at all, given the manufacturing tolerances of the original revolvers. You do have to buy the one for your specific Remmie, Uberti or Pietta. And that gets me to why I bought mine directly from Taylors.

    Taylors had a policy back then that if you sent them your gun, they would fit a cylinder to it for no charge. YES, NO CHARGE. Often fitting only means taking a dremel tool to the frame to carve out a little bit of clearance for the bottom of the cylinder. But my old EuroArms Remmie was an unusual case. I shipped them the gun and then had a conversation with the gunsmith at Taylors. He told me he took a Pietta cylinder that did not have the bolt stop slots cut into it yet. He took my gun, with its C&B cylinder in it, and put it on some sort of fixture that measured exactly where the slots were on my cylinder. Then he duplicated the cuts on the 'virgin' cylinder, matching the positions exactly. He then shaved a tiny bit of steel off the front of the cylinder, so it would fit just right into my gun. After he had the raw front of the cylinder reblued I had a cartridge revolver with a cylinder that fit my gun perfectly, with no modifications at all to the frame, so it could go back to being a non-firearm with ease. I repeat, I was not charged for this service. I paid to have my gun shipped to Taylors, and of course I paid for the cylinder. They shipped me back my gun, on their dime, with the C&B cylinder in place so it was not a firearm and could be shipped directly to me. The Conversion cylinder was in its own box inside the same package with the C&B revolver.

    So if I was going to buy one of these today, I would check with Taylors to see if they are still offering that service. You will not get that service from Midway or anybody else.

    Whether it's worth it to you to convert the gun is up to you. It was really cheap for me to convert an old gun.

    By the way, I only shoot Black Powder cartridges though my converted Remmies, but the instructions with the cylinder plainly say that 'Cowboy' 45 Colt Smokeless ammo can be shot from them. The cylinders are made from modern arsenal steel. The cylinders are what take the pressure of the cartridges firing, not the barrel, despite the fact that most of these guns say FOR BLACK POWDER ONLY right on the barrel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
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  8. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    To me they're worth it. Every penny. But what really matter is, what you want to do with your revolver.
     
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  9. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    After checking with the fine fellows on the shooting forums, here and elsewhere, I was directed to trust Taylor's with my last major purchase. I am awfully glad I listened to the advice given, and would trust anything from Taylor's at this point.

    As for the fitting of the cylinder, I think they still offer that service, BUT that is when bought from THEM... Gunbroker isnt Taylors. They list the 1858 cylinder on their own website for close to the same price and would suggest you buy it there just in case it does need to be fit.
     
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  10. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    5 outta 5 ★★★★★ for Driftwood Johnson!
    Awesome and informative post. Thank you and everyone else who took the time with this.
    Now I am leaning toward getting it anyway. Most everyone that has rated the Taylor's cylinder say it's a "drop in" no adjustment needed cylinder.
    LATE EDIT:
    I just went there to Taylor's taking advice ... This is the one ( see link below ) I want for a Pietta to shoot mild cowboy or BP 45 Colt centerfire.
    I like that idea about it doubling as a cartridge gauge use too.

    LINK
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
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  11. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    I use my revolver throughout the year, Starting in April and May for range work with loose powder and ball loads. Starting June 1st until September 30th I'm in the woods for ground hog. In October I switch to the conversion cylinder and start with range work with it and either 45 Schofield or 45 Long Colt. In November I hunt deer with it.

    So from about April 15th or when the weather clears up until the first weeks of December I'm either practicing or hunting with this one stinkin revolver.

    She's pretty accurate with the 45 Schofields not so much with the 45 Long Colts. Here's my rig,

    [​IMG]


    I will update this pic some day. Not period correct as there are some leather and some canvas stuff all slapped together. But its comfortable and it works.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
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  12. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    That's great Bullseye!! Lots you can do with these revolvers now. They are a hobby onto themselves.
     
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  13. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    I came so close. Registered, got my card out to pay off my shopping cart and then they wanted over $18.00 to ship.
    So I contacted Taylor's with the link they have. Told them I have an 1873 Sporting Rifle and a Photo Engraved cattleman 45 revolver from Taylors and asked them for a discount coupon.
    I hope to get a break in my email reply from them. I just can't bring myself to part with that much money. :scrutiny:
     
  14. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    Well ... I bought one from Taylor's
    Ho Ho Ho !
    No discount but they are sending it by US mail a little cheaper. ( Like a whopping 3 or 4 bucks )
    Sheeeeeeesh o_O
     
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  15. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    i have one for my 1858. totally worth it if you dont want to clean your gun every time you shoot it. really all together you have $500 in it and any SAA in 45 colt is going to run around that price new. Also nice to be able to change bullet weights to adjust POI.
     
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  16. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    I dont have one (yet) but the way I look at it is that you now have TWO sidearms... One cap and ball and one .45Colt. Not sure where I could ever find a .45 for the price of the conversion!

    BTW did you see the price for the 1860?? $200 is pretty sweet! Eventually I want one for for the Colt and one for the Remmi...

    Oh! Almost forgot! You can also get a .45ACP cylinder... And if I remember correctly you can get one that fits into the back plate of your new .45LC for even less money... giving you THREE guns on one frame! I really WISH they would make an ACP for the 1860 the same way, but I havent seen one yet...

    Anyway... Hope you enjoy it!

    Maybe next year that fat bastard Santa will bring ME one! LOL :D
     
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  17. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    That purchase was painful.
    I hope it was worth it. I'm OK with shooting milder loads, trail boss and RNFP coated 200 gr bullets will tell the tale.
    I don't need another gun. ( well maybe a S&W 48 or a Ruger Single Six ) 22mag
    This was one way to get that Pietta Remmi out and see what it can do.
    I have never shot a BP cartridge in my life so that will happen too.

    I hope this thing can digest .452 coated bullets.

    200gr45lc.JPG
     
  18. webrx

    webrx Member

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    I have the howell, it fits and works in both my sheriffs model and my full length 1858. I now basically have 4 different guns for the price of three (two and a cylinder). I like to shoot them percussion, along with my 1851s but I also like to shoot the 1858s with the conversion cylinders.

    More fun than an old guy should be allowed to have in my opinion load up the percussion cylinders, shoot those awhile then switch to cartridges. My son can shoot the cartridges while I load the percussion cylinders back up. The other cool thing is if I ever did decide to carry one of these old revolvers CCW, I could do so with centerfire cartridges and feel pretty comfortable that they would do the trick if needed - mine have been reliable as heck and while they do shoot about 3-4 inches high at 10 yards with 250 gr lead, I just bought some 200s to see if I can bring that down a little. I also bought some trailboss powder and am enjoying loading my own.

    I have also debated on getting conversion cylinder for the 1851s, but have not yet. Maybe someday in the future.

    Enjoy the new toy!

    Dave
     
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  19. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    Arrived today. Seems to fit fine. The only thing I noticed is that when cocking and resting the hammer,
    ( NO DRY FIRING HERE ) it wants to rotate back to the same chamber. If I just touch the sides of the cylinder it will go onto the next.
    This is unlike my other SA revolvers.
    I am guessing that a full release of the hammer, pulling the trigger when actually firing will result in just that little further travel to allow this to cycle completely.
    Is this the norm for these?
    Looks interesting.
    I'll be probably shooting a starting load of Trail Boss with this and 200 gr powder coated RNFP .452 bullets.
    I'm not in a big hurry to figure out blackpowder loads yet. I hope that sounds OK.

    1858rem45a.JPG 1858rem45b.JPG 1858rem45c.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Please clarify. Are you holding the trigger fully to the rear when lowering the hammer fully and the cylinder rotates when lowering the hammer? If so something is wrong.
     
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  21. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    No, that does not sound correct.

    I suspect I know what is going on, but your description is a little bit unclear. I don't want to tell you what I think you should do until I understand exactly what is happening. Please describe exactly what happens when you slowly cock the hammer and what happens when you slowly lower the hammer.

    Also, try this: First, remove the conversion cylinder and put the C&B cylinder back in. Cock the hammer, and gently ease it down. Take careful note of how far down the hammer sits when it comes to rest. Next, put the conversion cylinder in and repeat. I am guessing the hammer will come to rest a little bit farther back, because the firing pins sit a little bit higher than the percussion nipples.
     
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  22. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    Nope it does it still ... Here, I'll try to describe better.
    1. Holding in hand, barrel to the left and hammer to the right, I fully cock the revolver.
    2. The hammer is locked in place, the cylinder rolls up clockwise, and looking in there in the groove for the hammer to strike is the firing pin as it should be.
    3. I hold the hammer, depress the trigger, and as I lower the hammer, the cylinder rolls down and counterclockwise, ( the wrong way ) but not to the next firing pin. Someplace in between halfway-ish. THIS IS WHERE I GET THE ISSUE
    4. The hammer is resting higher, since it is not in the firing pin recess.
    5. When I pull the hammer to center on a firing pin and set it down, it still rests higher than with the cap and ball cylinder.
    (You can see this perhaps in my third picture.)

    6. Now replacing the 45 conversion cylinder with the cap and ball cylinder, it works just like it should.
    The hammer is resting just fine on the nipple, fully down and as it should.
     
  23. Bullseye
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    Bullseye Member

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    Just to add ...
    I don't know what would happen since I don't dare dry fire with either cylinder. If It had a cartridge in there, it might fully depress the firing pin and cycle properly for the next round?
    I can also just ever so slightly hold the cylinder with a finger on each side and cock the thing and it seems to cycle as it should.
     
  24. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    The left bolt arm needs to have the front edge relieved. The notches on the conversion cyl aren't as deep as the bp cyl. This leaves the arm at a different angle and allows the cam to unlock the cyl.

    It's a common issue.

    Mike
     
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  25. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Well, that is weird, and obviously it should not be doing that.

    Not what I thought was the problem.

    Try this. Take the cylinders out and cock the hammer. Now slowly lower the hammer while keeping a finger gently touching the bolt. As the hammer gets almost to the end of its travel, there should be a click, and you should feel the vibration of it with the finger touching the bolt. That is the flexible leg of the bolt popping off the hammer cam to reset the bolt for the next cycle.

    Now put the C&B cylinder back in and cock the hammer and carefully lower it again. This time there should be two clicks. The bolt reset click will happen at the same amount of hammer travel as before. Before that happens there will be an earlier click as the hand pops into the next recess of the cylinder ratchet teeth.

    Now try it again with the conversion cylinder. What happens? Do you get two clicks? Do you only get one click? If only one click, comparing it to the C&B cylinder, which click is missing?

    By the way, who did you buy the cylinder from? I hope you bought it from Taylors in case something needs to be adjusted.
     
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