The 1858 Remington Forum

Other Black Powder Firearms => BPC Conversions => Topic started by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 02:31:43 PM

Title: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 02:31:43 PM
I bought this gun as-is at a gun show many years ago. It was the first conversion I had seen, original or repro. It took some talking, but I finally headed home with it in a box.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/mazokid/Roll%20screen%202_zpsm3eiqfa8.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mazokid/media/Roll%20screen%202_zpsm3eiqfa8.jpg.html)
Better pictures are posted below.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 02:36:09 PM
This was offered as a kit back in the 60s I believe. I remember seeing them advertised in American Rifleman magazine. The kit consisted of the 38 S&W chambered cylinder and a recoil plate, and maybe the screws....I can't recall that. You had to drill and tap the frame to hold the recoil shield.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/mazokid/IMG_1713_zpsbrbecmqr.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mazokid/media/IMG_1713_zpsbrbecmqr.jpg.html)
Sorry for the fuzzy photos, they were taken a while back.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 02:37:32 PM
And the complete gun (except for the missing wedge screw!)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/mazokid/38%20conversion%203_zpsj6bltk9r.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mazokid/media/38%20conversion%203_zpsj6bltk9r.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 03:18:34 PM
I took a couple more photos with my DSLR camera:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/mazokid/Colt%20Conversion%20001_zps0iluaedg.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mazokid/media/Colt%20Conversion%20001_zps0iluaedg.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 03:24:47 PM
Here is a photo of the silver (plated?) backstrap. The gun is just as I bought it; it appears I need to do some timing on this one, as the bolt is dropping early. I have no history of the gun, only that the guy I bought it from said it had been used as a stage gun for firing blanks. Looks to have had a little rough handling! The grip frame is silver plated, and is stamped "Made in Belgium" on the bottom. The gun was made in Brescia and imported by EuroArms. Birth date is 1973.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/mazokid/Colt%20Conversion%20002_zpss1jea3co.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mazokid/media/Colt%20Conversion%20002_zpss1jea3co.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 03:25:53 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/mazokid/Colt%20Conversion%20003_zpsbs3rfern.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mazokid/media/Colt%20Conversion%20003_zpsbs3rfern.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: AntiqueSledMan on March 27, 2015, 04:32:36 PM
Hello Mazo Kid,

That looks to be a "Legal Defender". I've seen them offered on Gunbroker & Ebay, they don't go cheap.
I believe there was once plans available for these kits, unable to locate any now.

AntiqueSledMan.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Omnivore on March 27, 2015, 04:54:11 PM
Hmm, well the way it's set up right now, it doesn't look like you could load it with the cylinder on the gun.  It'd need the frame cut out for that.  Have you fired the piece?
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 06:18:23 PM
AntiqueSledMan is correct; I have found the directions for the conversion thanks to a forum member. I have never seen another like it. Yes, the way it is set up now, you will have to pull the barrel off and then load the cylinder.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 27, 2015, 06:20:10 PM
And no, I haven't fired this one....yet.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Mad Dog Stafford on March 28, 2015, 01:03:52 PM
Mazo, you took GREAT photos with that new cam. that you got.  ;)
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: BartSr on March 28, 2015, 01:54:00 PM
AntiqueSledMan is correct; I have found the directions for the conversion thanks to a forum member. I have never seen another like it. Yes, the way it is set up now, you will have to pull the barrel off and then load the cylinder.

You sharing???
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Bishop Creek on March 28, 2015, 02:06:25 PM
Since it is marked "Made in Belgium" it may well be a Centaure, (i.e: "Centennial" in America). Very well made guns.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Hawg on March 28, 2015, 02:11:49 PM
Since it is marked "Made in Belgium" it may well be a Centaure, (i.e: "Centennial" in America). Very well made guns.

That's just the grip frame the rest was made in Italy.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: sltm1 on March 29, 2015, 11:21:19 AM
Mazo, are you going to modify the bolt or change the cam to fix the premature bolt release?
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on March 29, 2015, 05:27:09 PM
I haven't even taken the gun apart to look at it! Bolt, cam, hand?
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: 45 Dragoon on March 31, 2015, 08:51:57 PM
That kit is what got me into "conversions".  Wish I still had it, that was back in '86 or '87! Two screws hold the plate on. Very cool!!!  Only prob with it is the same as with all .36/.38 conversions. .357 in a .375 bore.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on April 01, 2015, 03:07:06 AM
That kit is what got me into "conversions".  Wish I still had it, that was back in '86 or '87! Two screws hold the plate on. Very cool!!!  Only prob with it is the same as with all .36/.38 conversions. .357 in a .375 bore.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com

  It would seem to me that screwing the recoil plate to the frame would be the only correct way to do a conversion. I bought a Kirst conversion for my 1860 Uberti and the cylinder hangs up when the open part of the recoil plate catches on the flutes in the rear of the cylinder. This happens because the recoil plate is free to move around. This problem could be reduced if the sharp edges on the parts were radiused, but there's still going to be some drag. I realize that Kirst makes there gated conversion to be "drop in" because very few people have the resources to properly attach the recoil plate to the frame.
  Have other people noticed this to be a problem with Kirst gated conversions and if so how have they dealt with it?

http://www.kirstkonverter.com/1860-colt-army.html    This link to the Kirst web site will help to illustrate what I'm talking about.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Omnivore on April 01, 2015, 11:27:40 AM
Quote
.357 in a .375 bore.

They solved that problem in the 1860s.  That's why we have heeled bullets that are as big as the chamber and still fit inside the case.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: ssb73q on April 01, 2015, 12:38:37 PM
Hi, I have the Kirst 32 S&W conversion cylinder for the Remington 1863 Pocket revolver. It has some issues being 100% reliable in the 1863. The problem is that the rear recoil plate moves some where there are sometimes fail to fire issues. Kirst discontinued selling this conversion cylinder. Replacing it with the Howell conversion cylinder that has 5 firing pins solved all the problems. My Kirst cylinder is now a collector's item.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on April 01, 2015, 01:55:52 PM
  With the Remington design allowing for quick cylinder changing the Howell type converter is probably the way to go. Colt open top type revolvers really require a gated recoil plate, unless you want to pull the barrel off for every reload.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Omnivore on April 01, 2015, 03:47:43 PM
Yolla; The Colt wouldn't necessarily need to be gated.  Mazo's version could be simply cut out at the recoil shield, allowing loading from the rear.  So long as you don't point it up to the sky while cocking, it should run fine, being that when in battery there's no chamber aligned with the loading port.  The issue then becomes extraction-- If spent cases don't fall out, you need something to poke them out.  Low pressure loads help prevent cases from staying put initially, but I would imagine that fouling could make for the need to push them out.  There is the choice of removing the loading lever and installing a conversion type ejector rod, or carrying a stick.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Omnivore on April 01, 2015, 03:57:33 PM
Mazo; it looks like the bolt has been really chewing into that cylinder something fierce.  It's dropping a little bit early, but that doesn't explain why it appears to be digging holes in the cylinder.  Or has it merely been cycled a million times or so?  The drag lines on the opposite (aft) sides of the lock notches are odd too-- Maybe the bolt wasn't fully clearing the cylinder as it began rotating?  A new bolt and/or hammer cam may be indicated, bolt drop timing notwithstanding-- You want that bolt fully clear of the cylinder's major diameter before the cylinder begins to rotate.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on April 01, 2015, 04:39:53 PM
Yolla; The Colt wouldn't necessarily need to be gated.  Mazo's version could be simply cut out at the recoil shield, allowing loading from the rear.  So long as you don't point it up to the sky while cocking, it should run fine, being that when in battery there's no chamber aligned with the loading port.  The issue then becomes extraction-- If spent cases don't fall out, you need something to poke them out.  Low pressure loads help prevent cases from staying put initially, but I would imagine that fouling could make for the need to push them out.  There is the choice of removing the loading lever and installing a conversion type ejector rod, or carrying a stick.

  I wouldn't consider a gun to be very practical if it was so finicky that you couldn't point it up or jostle it while cocking.  I'm straying from my original intent for posting. I wanted to know if anybody else had problems with Kirst gated conversions hanging up?








P.
.

Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on May 05, 2015, 07:51:45 PM
YB Brad, you may have posted a a separate thread, but this is one I started describing my first conversion gun. The gun is just as I got it; yes, it appears like there are serious timing problems. This is something I would attend to before ever shooting it. As I said, it was told to me the gun was a stage prop gun, fired only blanks. Probably worked OK for that, but wouldn't be much fun firing bullets! {:(
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on May 06, 2015, 02:17:18 AM
Mazo,
       Looks like I got off subject to your original posts. Thanks for putting up the pictures, they were of great interest to me.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: mazo kid on May 06, 2015, 02:10:28 PM
Not a problem, happens all the time here!  ->i I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I just wish I had been into black powder stuff when those kits came out. It seems to me that they were about $50.00 or so at the time?
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: PaleHawkDown on May 06, 2015, 03:43:18 PM
Look at all the hand tooling marks. I bet every part of that gun was pretty much built and fitted by hand.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Omnivore on May 06, 2015, 05:45:09 PM
Quote
I wouldn't consider a gun to be very practical if it was so finicky that you couldn't point it up or jostle it while cocking.

Fair enough.  Consider now the J. H. Dance and Brothers revolver which had no recoil shield at all, and was known to be converted;
http://www.icollector.com/Rare-Confederate-Dance-Brothers-Cartridge-Conversion-Revolver_i14555120
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: PaleHawkDown on May 07, 2015, 05:11:34 PM
That kit is what got me into "conversions".  Wish I still had it, that was back in '86 or '87! Two screws hold the plate on. Very cool!!!  Only prob with it is the same as with all .36/.38 conversions. .357 in a .375 bore.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com

  It would seem to me that screwing the recoil plate to the frame would be the only correct way to do a conversion. I bought a Kirst conversion for my 1860 Uberti and the cylinder hangs up when the open part of the recoil plate catches on the flutes in the rear of the cylinder. This happens because the recoil plate is free to move around. This problem could be reduced if the sharp edges on the parts were radiused, but there's still going to be some drag. I realize that Kirst makes there gated conversion to be "drop in" because very few people have the resources to properly attach the recoil plate to the frame.
  Have other people noticed this to be a problem with Kirst gated conversions and if so how have they dealt with it?

http://www.kirstkonverter.com/1860-colt-army.html    This link to the Kirst web site will help to illustrate what I'm talking about.

If the teeth are hitting the gate you may need to contact Kirst. This doesn't usually happen. as for the ring floating; it should stay relatively stationary as long as the foot of the ring was properly adjusted to your revolver.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on May 08, 2015, 02:24:50 PM
Hi Pale Hawk,
    I didn't recognize you for a second with your new avatar. (^h   I made a snug fitting bushing to center the backing plate around the arbor and I found that the flat on the bottom of the plate was perfectly located. There is a fair amount of diametral clearance between the ratchet extension of the cylinder and the inside diameter of the backing plate and this is why the backing plate moves around. It's also why the edges on the ratchet section tend to snag on the gate opening in the backing plate. You are correct in that at this point I should have contacted Kirst. However I have already screwed and doweled the plate to the frame and solved my problems.
  Now all I have to do is work out some of the timing issues with this particular conversion.
Title: Re: Early Colt conversion
Post by: M9Powell on August 07, 2015, 05:41:33 PM
That kit is what got me into "conversions".  Wish I still had it, that was back in '86 or '87! Two screws hold the plate on. Very cool!!!  Only prob with it is the same as with all .36/.38 conversions. .357 in a .375 bore.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com

 38 S&W is 361"-363"