Black powder revolver converted to use .38 Smith & Wesson cartridges, historically correct for the period starting in 1877. Note that the .38 S&W is not the same as the .38 S&W Special, which is a newer and different cartridge. The cylinder is rated for black powder and for standard, factory loads of nitro ("smokeless") propellant. Shooters who wish to reload for it are cautioned to never exceed industry standard pressure. Black powder loads are most historically correct for this firearm if it is used for Western Action Shooting.
This is a project that is about 90% finished. It started out as a reproduction Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver, made by Pietta. A cartridge cylinder, an adapter C ring, and other necessary parts were added, and machine work was done to convert the revolver to use .38 S&W cartridges.
It works, and can actually hit a standard Western Action Shooting target at normal distances, but it could be made better. Some parts have tooling marks and could be finished to look better. The firing pin is just a teensy bit too long and too square on the end. The cylinder binds up too easily after powder residue has built up in the chambers - this could be eased by polishing the back of the cylinder and the adapter C ring. These and other improvements will be obvious to anyone familiar with metal work and single action revolvers.
The .36 caliber barrel has a .375" bore. The .38 S&W cartridge has .361" diameter bullets. This means the bullets don't "grab" the rifling very well, and aren't properly stabilized. Tumbling is common at ranges beyond 20 feet. This could be solved by using soft lead, hollow-based bullets that will fill the bore better, or by relining the barrel to .360" diameter.
This is no longer a "black powder" non-firearm. It must be sold as a modern cartridge firearm and transferred through a Type 01 FFL.
If you have questions and/or would like to see more pics, just send an e-mail and I'll answer promptly. Thanks for looking!
Black powder revolver converted to use .38 Smith & Wesson cartridges, historically correct for the period starting in 1877. Note that the .38 S&W is not the
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