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Colt Navy 1851 cylinder conversion

Ba SardoBa Sardo Member Posts: 562 ✭✭✭✭
I really love the aesthetic of the Colt navy 1851, but am not much for loading black powder for each shot. A clerk at a local gun store told me there are cylinders for sale that you can pop in to get these bad boys to fire .38 special.

I was just wondering if anyone had firsthand experience with these things and if you did, could you answer a few questions?

1) where can I buy one?
2) how reliabe are they?
3) what is the acuracy of the pistol like when you put one of these cylinders in?

Thanks a lot, guys.


  • oldgunneroldgunner Member Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Here's one location:,357.htm

    They work well, are dependable. Fairly accurate. Not really great for open frames, unless you use weak loads that won't hurt the gun. They're perfect for the Remington replicas (the proper one of course).

    Actually as far as loading, they're not much of an advantage over the BP cylinder. You have to take the gun apart, remove the cylinder, load it, put it back in the gun and put it all back together before you can shoot.
  • Ba SardoBa Sardo Member Posts: 562 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks. I might just decide to go ahead and learn the fine art of black pwder pistol shooting.
  • oldgunneroldgunner Member Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you haven't tried BP handgun shooting, you might be surprised to find out how much fun it is.
  • mazo kidmazo kid Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Cautions with the conversion cylinders state Black Powder only or very light equivalent smokeless loads. emery
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    I cant imagine they work well with smokeless 38 SPL because the bullet is very undersize for the bore. Hollow base target loads might
    be a different story or if you were to handload heel style 38 COLT long cartridges having .375" diameter bullets.
    Black powder has a quick pressure curve and will bump up undersized bullets better than smokeless.
  • Buyer_bobbyBuyer_bobby Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Kirst conversion cylinder made for the Uberti is a slip on. No mods needed. They come two ways, w and w/o a loading gate. Slight channel grinding on the frame shield is needed w/loading gate. I have two of these, w/original barrel use hollow base wad cutter .38's so they expand to the diameter of the black powder rifling. The other was sleeved with a colt Python barrel in .357 for accuracy work. And it sure works great in that department with any factory .38 spec load.
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