Inline FabricationTitan ReloadingADvertise hereMidSouth Shooters Supply
RotoMetals2Reloading UKRepackboxLee Precision

Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Vintage 38 Colt idea for a revolver, can you guys help me?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Stopsign32v's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    591

    Vintage 38 Colt idea for a revolver, can you guys help me?

    So I have a vision that I want to complete and share with the shooting community.

    The start of this journey will be this revolver...





    It's a great condition 36 caliber Uberti 1858 New Navy revolver. From here I plan to send it to Lodgewood to have him defarb it and mark it for my personal ideas as well as cutting the barrel down to 5.5" or whatever is even with the end of the loading gate (Think SAA 4 3/4). The total idea of this revolver is to appear as if we are sitting in 1878 or about and this revolver is in front of us but has been taken care of as good as someone on the frontier could. From Lodgewood I plan to have the revolver fitted with a Kirst 38 Special gated conversion that will be fed with correct 38 Colt SHORT heeled ammo. And lastly and this is where I need you guys for help...

    I plan to help myself and a well known grip maker to design some grips for this revolver. We are in talks now but my idea I believe will be some black grips in either Ebony wood or black horn grips. And this is where you guys come in...I plan to have some case head medallions installed on the grips. But the problem is I don't know what case heads would be accurate or where I could find them. Obviously center fire 38 Colt case heads would fit this particular build better but real cartridge conversions of the time would have been rimfire correct?


    Open and eager to hear you guys' opinions on where I should go with this idea. The finished revolver will be heavily photographed and posted here and also on the grip maker's website I'm sure to help promote his stuff. (Maybe even lodgewood and Kirst's sites) I like helping these guys as much as possible!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    1,590
    While I can certainly appreciate your plan - I think that you may be disappointed. I believe that the 38 Colt (later the 38 Short Colt) wouldn't have had a headstamp in the time period that you're interested in. As to the rimfire comment, I believe that you may find some headstamp information on that one.

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Posts
    9,375
    You will need to reline the barrel to get away from the huge .375 groove diameter. The .38 S&W dates from the 1870s and is appropriate. "sterile" copper washed cases with no headstamp and large flash hole can be found easily and are cheap. Use the RCBS .38 S&W Cowboy dies.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Stopsign32v's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    591
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    You will need to reline the barrel to get away from the huge .375 groove diameter. The .38 S&W dates from the 1870s and is appropriate. "sterile" copper washed cases with no headstamp and large flash hole can be found easily and are cheap. Use the RCBS .38 S&W Cowboy dies.
    So the .375 or .380 HEELED 38 Colt molds should be fine for reloading. And I'm not going for 38 S&W, instead 38 Colt.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Stopsign32v's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    591
    And I wasn't looking for advice on the revolver itself, instead the 38 Colt VINTAGE AMMO. So I'm not sure why this thread was moved......

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    280
    The orig 38 Colt with it's healed bullet at .375d is what was used in the orig conversions.
    Some outside the factory done conversions were done for use with the 38RF cartridge,,simply a RF version of the 38Colt.

    The orig 38Colt ammunition was headstamped just that,,, '38Colt'
    There never was a factory '38Colt Short' even when the '38 Colt Long' was introd. The shorter version was still just the '38 Colt'.

    You should be able to find a couple old rounds of 38Colt headstamped ammo around especially at a gunshow in one of those misc piles of rounds usually on a table of usless things for sale.
    They should be lead bullet, may be brass or copper case.

    I'll look thru my old ammo and see if I don't have any. I've got some old 32 and 38 pistol ammo sitting around.
    I know I have S&W 32 and 38 ammo. Might be some Colt ammo in with them.
    If I do I'll get back to you and send you the empty cases for your grip escutcheons.

    Neat project..
    I can pull the bullets and dump the powder, deprime the cases and just send them USPO,,

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    1,590
    Would you mind posting a picture of the headstamp on this era of the 38 Colt? I have asked several cartridge collectors and they all had claimed there wasn't a headstamp until much later.

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    280
    Era ?,,I have no idea. Not a ammo collector.
    Never could see sitting around staring at a round of ammo wondering if it could talk to me..
    Not trying to re-write the historical record of the 38Colt round.

    Just trying to help out the OP with a couple of empty cases that say '38Colt'.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    2,852
    An easier conversion would be to start with your 38 S&W Special cylinder and have it converted to 41 Colt with the internally lubed bullet.

    Kevin
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

    Success doesn't make me happy, being happy is what allows me to be successful.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Stopsign32v's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    591
    Quote Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
    An easier conversion would be to start with your 38 S&W Special cylinder and have it converted to 41 Colt with the internally lubed bullet.

    Kevin
    That is a good idea too! Never thought of that!

  11. #11
    Doesn't the internally lubed 41 Colt have a .386 bullet diameter? That's gonna be a little tight in a .375 cylinder and bore.........

  12. #12
    Here is a Remington UMC box of 38 Short Colt Black Powder, which would actually be a little late for your purposes. Remington UMC didn't start until 1911, something with just a UMC or WRACo headstamp would be a better fit. I went ahead and posted this box just so you can see the type of headstamp you are looking for. FWIW, they're getting a little harder to find.......

    https://www.wardscollectibles.com/vi...php?item=30818

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    280
    I have a handful of Rem-UMC 38Short brass. I PM'd the OP and offered them to him grattis.
    Here's a couple pics. They are all Rem-UMC and 1 Western.
    The Western is marked '38 Short Colt'.
    The Rem-UMC is marked '38 Short'.
    The Western casing is obviously longer than the Rem-UMC for whatever that's worth.
    Maybe the Rem-UMC used the old style Heeled Bullet,,the Western brand case was loaded with the smaller dia inside lubed bullet.







    Without going back to the shop and looking again,,I know the Rem-UMC are Balloon Head case type. I recall seeing one solid head case in the mix when sorting through them,,,that was likely the Western brand case but I'd have to go look to make sure.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    2,852
    Quote Originally Posted by relics6165 View Post
    Doesn't the internally lubed 41 Colt have a .386 bullet diameter? That's gonna be a little tight in a .375 cylinder and bore.........
    I know one of the fellows who does the conversions reshapes the forcing cone but that is a new thing. He did them without that step previously.

    Kevin
    Knowledge I take to my grave is wasted.

    I prefer to use cartridges born before I was.

    Success doesn't make me happy, being happy is what allows me to be successful.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


    missionary5155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in Arequipa, Peru
    Posts
    6,588
    Good morning
    Sounds fun to me !
    The barrel diameter is easy... Hollow base mold. Those silly 41 Colt .386 slugs do bump up and shoot somewhat OK in 41 olts.
    The real heeled slugs are far better. But you can easily resize those .386 slugs down to your needed diameter.
    There are .366 (+ / -) sizers out there so it really is not a huge issue. Plus you can always open a sizer rather easy. Fellers also make custom sizers.

    When we got our first 41 Colt we loaded shortened 38 special brass with range scrap 357 SWC 170 gr that were compressed in a vice carefully to the needed diameter. Slugs were loaded in the case nose first. 3F propelled them down range accurately enough
    to hit soda cans at 15 yards. That base first slug made dandy holes in whatever they plowed through.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    280
    That 38 Short brass should be there today ,,so says the USPS trax'g .

    Hope it helps with your project...

  17. #17

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check