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Thinking about 1851 conversions

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by TTv2, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Years ago when I first got into cap and ball revolvers and conversions (gosh, it's been 5 years since I got the 1858), I had never really thought about doing a conversion for the .36 calibers because of the .375 bore.

    Times have changed and what's different now vs then is I reload.

    I have my Pietta 1851 Navy in .36 that I got for the low, low price of $80 at Cabelas years ago and I've shot it once or twice. I don't have much interest in shooting it as a percussion gun, it's a PITA to load with conicals and round balls are puny. I figure since I have .38, I can reload ammo for this, whether it's .38 Long or .38 Special and use hollow base bullets.

    So, my question for all here is: How accurate are hollow base bullets with the .375" bores? Is it worth considering buying a rusted out spare barrel and having it lined? Are there any conversion cylinders for .38 Special or are they all .38 Long Colt?
     
  2. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    You can shoot either the hollow base .357 target bullets or the "heeled base" bullets. Whether or not you get good accuracy is unfortunately an unknown until you try them. It is pretty certain that you won't get good accuracy from .357 lead bullets of other shapes. Part of that reason is, I think, that since a lot of the folks who have tried lead .357 bullets in a .36 conversion, have used mold meant to cast the hard lead alloy bullets for modern revolvers. With the all lead that you may want to be using, it shrinks more when cooling than does the alloy. So a mold designed to cast .357 bullet from lead alloy may be giving the caster .355 bullets from all lead.

    The problem with the cartridges is the rims. IF you want 6 shots, you are stuck with .38 Long Colt. IF you wanted .38 Special, then you're looking at a five-shot when working with a Colt copy. A .36 1858 Remington will accept 6 rounds of .38 Special. I think all you can find these days is a 5-shot .38LC "drop in" cylinder, or a .38 Special Krist conversion.

    LD
     
  3. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

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  4. whughett

    whughett Member

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    That’s a route I’d really consider if I wanted a 38 Special Colt. Two cylinders, two barrels. Center Fire and Cap and ball in one package. Wouldn’t that look cool as heck in a nifty presentation case of black walnut lined with green felt with the Rampant Colt engraved the top lid.
     
    expat_alaska and woodnbow like this.
  5. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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  6. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I've seen this conversion mentioned in the past. Are dies, brass, and bullets easy to obtain? Where can I get a .41 Long Colt conversion cylinder and who can cut the forcing cone?
     
  7. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Follow the link.

    Kevin
     
  8. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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  9. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Responding to my own comments. :(
    Priced it out. Not gonna happen in this life time. :what:
     
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