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36 cal. cartridge conv. question

odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
OK, if I have a Mdl 1851 Colt Navy repro, The barrel is .375. The conversion cylinders are chambered for 38 Colt, but they say i can also fire 38 spec. A 38 spec. should be .357. So this would mean that if I use hollow base wad-cutters the base should flare out and ingauge the rifleing, but if I use regular wad-cutters the round will sort of skip/skid down the barrel with poor accuracy.......but not really be dangerous.
Is this correct?

Comments

  • ofitgofitg Member Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That's the problem I had with a .36 Uberti converted to .38 S&W (back in the 1980s).

    Rapine sold me a mould to cast .380-diameter "heeled" bullets (ie, the rear of the bullet is slightly narrower, allowing it to be seated in the .38 case).
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ok thank you, I just wanted to be sure that if I was shooting a solid base 38 spec. by mistake, its not gonna hurt the open top pistol or ME! Ofcourse I know not to shot hot loads...just the low-grade target rounds for 38 spec.

    p.s. So what does it tak eto shot 38 S&W out of one of these? Just have the cylinder chambers bored out?
  • ofitgofitg Member Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My 1851 Uberti was converted with a "Legal Defender" kit which was available back in the '80s. The kit included a replacement cylinder and a plate (containing a firing pin) which was bolted onto the recoil shield, behind the cylinder. It was necessary to re-shape the hammer nose.
    As a finishing touch, the gunsmith cut a loading slot through the right-hand recoil shield.


    38sw51.jpg[/URL]

    It is vaguely similar to the original Colt conversions, except there is no loading gate and no ejector assembly..... kind of a "prototype look"

    Getting back to your original question - as far as I know, there is no hazard with shooting under-sized bullets through an over-sized bore.... it's just aggravating to see bullets hitting sideways on the target.
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "as far as I know, there is no hazard with shooting under-sized bullets through an over-sized bore.... "

    Thank you Sir! Just what I was looking for!
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,363 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I also have a Legal Defender conversion on a '51 Navy reproduction.
    Hollowbase wadcutters loaded as heavily as I dared for .38 S&W would usually but not always expand like a Minie ball to take the rifling. I don't see where a .38 Long Colt or Special would do any better. You could give it a try with no risk except poor accuracy and barrel leading.

    A period correct heel type bullet would be the "right answer."
    Me?

    I had my barrel lined to .358".
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    OK, got another question for you.

    http://www.kirstkonverter.com/coltnavy.html

    I just got one of these conv. cylinder and ring w/firing pin and loading gate. It seems the loading gate ring is catching on the bottom with the pistol frame, and will not seat all the way back. So do I take a little off the ring...... or do I file down the pistol frame belly? This is where the belly of the frame is a semi-circle so it matches up with the cylinder. I sure hate to file this frame, but it seems that this conversion has a flat edge on the ring so that it will stay put while the cylinder turns.
  • ofitgofitg Member Posts: 359 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    According to the guys on another forum, you can always send your revolver and conversion kit in to Kirst, and the gunsmith there will fit it for you -

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448714
  • dsmc1dsmc1 Member Posts: 112 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Try GAD Cartridge gadcustomcartridges.com/
    He sells heeled bullets, you need for firing a 38 spl casing in a 375 barrel.

    There is also a seller on GB selling "heeled Boolits" (that's how HE spells it: search that way)
    Another easier alternative is to load your 38 spl casewith black powder and tap in a .375 roundball; same diameter as the outside of the 38 case and fills the barrel. Just make sure they're snug or the recoil COULD cause a ball to come loose resulting in a chainfire.

    Can accomplish the same thing with a 44 conversion" originals were chambered for 44 colt: can use a 44 s&w special with a pressed in 451 ball.

    Go make some smoke, and have some fun
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ok, this sounds very interesting! Are you saying you can take modern capped cartridges and load them with Black powder,(and I would assume Pyrodx and 777 just the same), and then load a round ball on the top? Now i know that the powder has to be packed, so do you put powder in the casing and then pack it w/a wooden rammer? Then when seating the round ball do you use a wooden block or maybe a ball starter to seat it in the cartridge case? Years ago I found some 357 mag. ammo that was three round balls one on top the others, the case lip was crimped to hold on to the top ball. Is there a way to crimp these cases?
  • dsmc1dsmc1 Member Posts: 112 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Black powder or Pyrodex is OK (not familiar with 777), but powder does not have to be "Packed", but the case has to be FULL: no air space. So fill the case to 3/16ths from the top, place the 375 ball on top and TAP it a couple of times, just to make sure it is snug enough not to back out from the recoil of the revolver being discharged. IF you force it into the case so far that the "equator" of the ball is inside the case, most likely you will spread the mouth of the case so much that the round won't chamber. However try one and see. If it chambers OK, you are golden, and likely you wouldn't have to crimp and the balls will be tight enough in the case.
    A .22 is a modern example of a HEELED bullet: the lead bullet is the same O.D. as the brass case, maybe even a bit larger, versus most other modern ammo, where the projectile fits INSIDE the brass case.

    ON the other hand:
    If you are using heeled bullets, then you DO need to crimp the cases, unless the lead fits snug enough in the case to stay put. If you do have to crimp, you can't do it with a typical crimping die, because the exposed band of the lead bullet that will fit the rifling in the barrel is a larger diameter than the case: you need a special crimping die, that works like a collet, OR you can MAKE a crimping tool from a pair of pliers. that will look similar to a wire stripping tool, with a tapered hole JUST smaller than the diameter of the case. With that tool, you just squeeze the mouth of the case, just behind the exposed rifling band, so it seats into the channelure. Hope that's not too confusing.
  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    No, That makes sense, thank you!

    But let me ask this......
    It seems that many Mdl 1860 Army's are conversion chambered in 45 schofield and not in the cheaper 45 Colt because the 45 Colt round often has part of the bullet/round poken out the end of the cylinder and will hang up on the barrel. So, could you do the same here and fill a 45 colt capped cartridge with FFF-BP or Pyrodex Pistol, then seat a round ball on top? Would you use a 451 RB or a 453 RB like I do in my Dragoon?
  • dsmc1dsmc1 Member Posts: 112 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    there are a few differences between 45 Long Colt and 45 Schofield:
    the length of the case LC is 1.29, Schofield is 1.10;
    rim of LC is .512, Scho is.522;
    base diameter; LC is .480. Scho slightly smaller at .476;
    neck is only .001 different and both use a .454 bullet.

    That being said, a conversion cylinder chambered for Schofield, may not accept a 45LC cartridge.

    The info about 451 heeled bullets in the earlier post was for use in an original conversion that was chambered for 44 colt.

    Yes you can use round ball, either 451 or 453, depending on your barrel: slug it to determine which would be better. ALSO, in this case, the ball should be seated into the neck of the case. IF you are using 45 Long Colt you can use a flat nose bullet, and just make sure you seat it sufficiently so it WON'T extend beyond the end of the cylinder. I was told by the maker of a commercial conversion cylinder that it was OK for smokless powder, but I still use Blackpowder, Pyrodex or Maybe Trailboss; nothing hotter.
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