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Thread: Another cylinder question, 45acp conversion.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
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    Another cylinder question, 45acp conversion.

    I also want to get a 45 acp cylinder for my revolver. I have a couple of new model Blackhawks in 45 Colt and hopefully I can get one of them to work with a conversion cylinder. They did not originally come with one. Can I just buy one from somebody and hope it will fit, with a reasonable expectation of such? Perhaps I should just put a WTB ad on the forum here and specify that I do need a return option if it doesn't fit either of my guns. It would really be a savings over having to buy a convertible BH just to be able to use all of this acp brass that I have.
    (I do have 1911's, but I wanted to shoot some of it in a revolver as well.)

    So my main question would be: Do they usually drop in on most revolvers without modifications?
    Thanks,
    Chuck.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    You will need to have the person selling the cylinder MEASURE it to compare with a cylinder which actually "fits" in your revolver.

    Critical dimensions are:

    Overall length of cylinder from front of gas ring to rear face of ratchet.

    Diameter of cylinder

    Length of chamber portion from front face to rim seat of cylinder.

    I have two original model Vaqueros which were made two years apart, 1992 and 1994, one in .44 Magnum and the other in .44-40, which interchange cylinders just fine. I got lucky.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Critical dimensions are:
    Overall length of cylinder from front of gas ring to rear face of ratchet.
    Diameter of cylinder
    Length of chamber portion from front face to rim seat of cylinder.
    Ah. I should get out the calipers and measure them really well before I write the ad.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle333 View Post
    Ah. I should get out the calipers and measure them really well before I write the ad.
    Exactly! Also be aware that the older NM Blackhawks with 2-digit serial number prefixes are a different sized frame with larger frame window than current guns with 3-digit serial number prefixes, and the cylinders are different. Bisley frame (non-convertible models) is different frame than the convertible model Blackhawks. Gotta measure!
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    I wonder if you can just contact Ruger and have them fit it for additional cylinder.
    je suis charlie

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Another cylinder question, 45acp conversion.

    I was under the idea that Ruger would only fit guns that were originally sold as a convertible, with a new cylinder.
    I may be mistaken, but I did read that somewhere earlier today. (and it was on the internet, so it HAS to be true.)
    Last edited by Beagle333; 10-05-2017 at 09:42 PM.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I did that recently. I have a 45/45 convertible and I wanted a 45 Auto cylinder to turn down so I could also shoot 45 Auto Rim. I advertised here in a WTB ad. Got a new unused cylinder for a hundred $. It is at the gun smiths now to be modified. I tried it in my gun and it worked every bit as well as the OEM cylinders that came with the gun new in 2005. Goferit!!!!!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artful View Post
    I wonder if you can just contact Ruger and have them fit it for additional cylinder.

    NO CHANCE!!!! They will not fit cylinders to a gun which did not leave the factory as a convertible.

    So you measure, have gunsmith "fit" your found cylinder, or alternately get a cylinder blank from Bowen ($300!!) and have gunsmith fitted, with total cost like when the monkey urinated into the cash register, "this is sure to run into money!"
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master





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    I have a 45acp cylinder that fits a Ruger Old Army new they run about$250.
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
    Paralyzed Veterans of America

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    NO CHANCE!!!! They will not fit cylinders to a gun which did not leave the factory as a convertible.
    Actually there is a chance, the deal as I understand it, with convertible cylinders that applies to all Ruger single action revolvers. There is a compliance issue with BATFE. Ruger has to report all guns they manufacture by action type and caliber (cartridge) to BATFE and maintain a data base by model, serial number, barrel length, and cartridge(s).

    As such, Ruger will only fit an accessory cylinder to a revolver if they have a cataloged model that was sold with a convertible cylinder. As an example, a 357 Mag Blackhawk with a 4 5/8" barrel (BN-34) was also made with a 9mm convertible cylinder (BN-34X) so they will fit a 9mm cylinder for you. If you have a model that was not available with a convertible cylinder, Ruger will not fit a cylinder because it would require filing an exception with BATFE .

    Additionally, after Ruger fits a convertible cylinder, their data base is updated to reflect the change to the specific serial number revolver.

    When a SA revolver is first fitted for a cylinder, there are three areas in the gun itself that are trimmed to fit ... the rear of the barrel is cut back with a facing cutter to adjust the B/C gap. The front frame bearing surface is also cut back with a facing cutter to adjust for endshake, plus the recoil shield is milled. Once a cylinder has been fitted to a frame, you can't change these adjustments or the original cylinder won't fit properly. That means all the fitting for a convertible cylinder must be done to the cylinder itself.

    Herein lies the problem .... all frames are not adjusted exactly the same so it becomes a C* shoot (throw of the dice) if you buy a cylinder from some other source. In some cases, a convertible cylinder will fit just fine but in most cases, won't meet factory specs for your revolver.

    The last time I checked (Over 10 years ago), Ruger charged $90 (parts and labor) plus shipping both ways to fit a convertible cylinder. Depending on the mode of shipping, this could total as much as $170. Maybe cheaper to sell the existing and purchase a convertable.
    Last edited by Artful; 10-06-2017 at 03:26 AM.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I bought a 357 NMBH in 1979 in Hawaii; in 1996 at a gun show in Salmon Idaho I found a 9MM cylinder for 15$, it had never been fired. I tried it in my BH, it fit perfectly. Timing was spot on, headspace was good, B/C gap was less than .005. I used it to shoot up a **** load of ugly 9MM ammo I had been given. I even went so far as to have the 9MM cylinder nickel plated, just because I went jack rabbit hunting one winter day and took 357 ammo but had the 9MM cylinder in the gun and left the 357 cylinder at home. GOFERIT!!!

  12. #12
    I travelled 3 1/2 hours to a range for an annual shoot and when I arrived with a case of .44 Special ammo I found I had left my .44-40 cylinder in my Colt's SAA!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I'm going to measure both cylinders accurately this weekend and then place an ad.
    The guns are both 2-digit prefix serial number non-convertible Bisley NM Blackhawk 45's. It might be a stretch to find one.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Here is my understanding of the issue.

    1. Old Model Blackhawk cylinders cannot be used in the New Model Blackhawk.
    2. New Model Blackhawk cylinder will pretty much drop in another New Model Blackhawks.
    3. New Model Vaquero cylinder won't exchange with either Old or New Blackhawks.

    Measuring your existing cylinder and finding a 45 ACP cylinder of the same dimensions is truly the best way to go.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    This might be an option http://brcrifles.com/manufacture.htm

    Give him a call and see what he can do for you. I got a 'drop in' 17 Mach II cyl for my 17HMR hunter for $107.15 included shipping. Larger cal are more I'm sure and may require gun smith to final fit.
    Kansas Hunter Ed Instructor
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I just contacted Ruger last month about getting a 45 ACP cylinder fitted to my Bisley. It was an emphatic NO!
    Only left handed guns are interesting!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz64 View Post
    This might be an option http://brcrifles.com/manufacture.htm

    Give him a call and see what he can do for you. I got a 'drop in' 17 Mach II cyl for my 17HMR hunter for $107.15 included shipping. Larger cal are more I'm sure and may require gun smith to final fit.
    I did give him a call and he said they are running way behind. Call back in a month or so. I'm not in rush though.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    I work with an ex Ruger employee. I asked him about the chances of a 9mm cylinder from "Gunbroker" or e-bay fitting my .357 New Model Blackhawk. His response was they would "usually" fit. Buy it and try it. If it doesn't fit, sell it and buy another.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Jack Hammer View Post
    I travelled 3 1/2 hours to a range for an annual shoot and when I arrived with a case of .44 Special ammo I found I had left my .44-40 cylinder in my Colt's SAA!
    Sending you a question via PM so as to not hijack the thread.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I'm going to measure mine really good this weekend and then ask the brotherhood on here if they might have one close to that, then I'll explore options of hunting around vs. waiting to have one made. Somebody here might have the perfect fit just sitting on a shelf unneeded anymore.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

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