RepackboxMidSouth Shooters SupplyReloading EverythingLee Precision
Snyders JerkyInline FabricationWidenersLoad Data
Titan Reloading RotoMetals2
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Pietta Rem 1858 conversion to 45 LC - what are the real limits of these things?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    78

    Pietta Rem 1858 conversion to 45 LC - what are the real limits of these things?

    Hi all,

    For some time I have been wanting to get a Pietta Remington 1858, particularly the target model, and put a conversion cylinder in it to shoot 45 Colt. I'm also interested in doing some short range handgun hunting too with it. When reading about the appropriate handloads for these guns, I am finding several different pools of information. Some say keep the MV to 1000 fps or under, which for short range deer would be plenty powerful with a good bullet and good shot placement. Others say strictly cowboy action ammo only, which is a good bit slower. There also seems to be two different ideas of what the limiting factors are in the frame. It is pretty intuitive that load pressure would be the thing that actually makes a gun fail, but I have also read that the equal but opposite forces that arise from accelerating a bullet to 1000 FPS down the barrel is what can stretch a frame to failure, and that is where the 1000 FPS limit comes from.

    Also, is there any real reason with new production Piettas you would have to use only soft lead bullets? Could you use j-words or even solid copper bullets, partularly with the stainless steel model? I dont see why not.

    If you have messed with conversions before, please share your insight.
    Last edited by atl5029; 07-03-2024 at 10:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Casa Grande, AZ
    Posts
    2,030
    Like this?


    I am no expert, only used it a few times and twice of those was black powder loads.



    This is the Howell conversion cylinder, and what it said was 850 feet per second loads or less, to equate the same loads from black powder. Funny thing, this is what a load of Olde Eynsford BP gave me.



    I think the overarching worry is that the rest of the guns are not made out of the same high quality steel most modern guns are made of, because they can handle just about anything you stuff in it with black powder. Since I don't plan on hunting with it, or carrying it for self defense, I stick to the lower loads, such as this one with a 200gr powder coated SWC.



    Incidentally, the 6.2gr AA#2 shot decently, but I think I can find the load that makes her stand up and sing the Star Spangled Banner. It's all a matter of testing.

    One thing I did note is the data on the Western Powders download had three separate lists for 45 Colt loads, Standard Pressure, High Pressure, and 410 Chamber. I am willing to bet that Standard Pressure is for older guns probably made during the black powder era, and are probably Ok, but don't take my word for it.
    I have heard of people using jacketed bullets, don't know why it would be bad if the pressures are kept down. Solid copper? No clue whatsoever.

    My testing just started and is very inconclusive, but dang this thing is fun!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master challenger_i's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Windy West Texas, between the rocks, and the trees.
    Posts
    640
    I have a Taylor's (Howell) cylinder. The instructions read "Limit velocity to 850fps". I have been following their instructions as they have a bit more time working with the cylinder/revolver combination than I. It may simply be the restriction is geared towards the Colt designs and is only placed on the Remington to prevent confusion; I can't say for certain. I enjoy my conversion more than the Law allows, but I do not see any reason to push the loads.
    I DO know that an "Army Regulation Load" of 40gr Holy Mother Black under a 255gr 20-1 pill has a LOT of whollup!
    Rights, and Privileges, are not synonymous. We have the Right to Bear Arms. As soon as the Government mandates firearm registration, and permiting, then that Right becomes a Privilege, and may be taken away at our Master's discretion.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    MI (summer) - AZ (winter)
    Posts
    5,132
    Follow the recommended FPS of the cylinder manufacturer.

    I have Howell conversion cylinders - 45s foe 44 C & B as well as 38s for >36 C & B (.375 heeled bolts).

    45 Colt conversion cylinders are available in both 5 and 6 chambers - cylinder OD is dictated by the revolver. Obviously, 5 chambers allow for a tad thicker wall between chambers than a 6 chamber cylinder does. Just saying, in case you aren't aware of the availability or 5 and 6 chamber 45 conversion cylinders - take a look at Howell's website.

    There will be those that disagree - but why "push" the limits beyond what the manufacturer recommended limits? Or use a projectile other than recommended soft lead?

    If you are wanting to do short range hunting, I highly doubt that a seer is going to be able to tell the difference of whether they were hit with a 750 fps or a 1,000 fps round, as long as you do your job with shot placement.

    Again, there will be those that will disagree, and that's fine. I have been shooting cap and ball revolvers for 60 years. I enjoy them for their history. I enjoy shooting them with conversion cylinders with both
    bP and smokeless loads - but I restrict my smokeless loads to the equivalent of a
    BP 45 Colt or Schofield round. They do fine on paper and for critters when we were still on the farm.

    I have 3 Uberti '58 NMAs. a Uberti '58 revolving carbine and 1 Pietta '58 NMA - its Howell conversion cylinders. All are great. I have handled the Pietta '58 target model - several them - but have never fired one. Those that have them, seem to like them very much. They are all fun shooters in both percussion and with a conversion cylinder.

    IMHO - personally, I would stick to what the manufacturer of the handgun and the conversion cylinder maker recommends - just because a person "can", doesn't mean they "should". I only have onset of hands and eyes and I want to keep them, even if they are old. If I felt the urge to want to "push the limit" in this situation, I would probably look for a goods used Blackhawk. I have run into a number of them in 45 over the years that were in good shape and what I considered reasonably priced. A good SA revolver that would be a good range gun and hunting gun. For myself, one of my '58s with a conversion cylinder and a round that was at around 700 fps was more than adequate for my needs on paper, cans or critters.

    Good luck and enjoy.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Rice Lake WI
    Posts
    294
    I don’t think the steel used in these guns is all that tough infact I suspect it’s a lot like the steel used in early double action revolvers and single action revolvers during the late 1890’s early 1900’s I have had a few of these guns and have noted the steel to seam softer.

    To dumb it down the cylinder walls are thin and the frame is soft I would imagine with a BP load 1000 fps might be safe but with smoakless I suspect there is to much of a risk of bursting a rather thin walled cylinder.. some powders will get close to 1000 fps with in the 14,000 limit but most don’t get there until you are well past that and working well into the 21,000 psi loads.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    60
    I have the same Uberti as pictured above. I would have to open up things and look at the load but I was using unique in mine. I think the cylinders are fine but like has been said, the rest of the gun may be a little too soft for hot load. I actually get better at your agency shooting black powder with a round ball.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    78
    Thanks all for the input. I imagine I wont want to push much past the manufacturer recommendation, but wanted to get the insight of those here. For hunting a 255 or 300 grain bullet doing sub 900 would likely be plenty for deer at close ranges inside 75 yards.


    Has anyone done a conversion with the cylinder that has a load gate as opposed to the ones with multiple firing pins? How hard is it to make the frame cut and what tools do you use?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Posts
    10,226
    Frames are butter soft. Do not even register on Rockwell C scale. About 80-90 RB like an 1880s black.powder frame Colt. Keep pressures around 10-12,000 psi, no more than 5 grains of Bullseye or 6.5 Unique with 255-grain bullet in Schofield brass. Similarly do not exceed 6 grains of Bullseye or 7.5 Unique with #454190 in .45 Colt brass to avoid stretching frame and shooting gun loose.

    Better to load lighter bullets which shoot closer to the sights.

    Lyman 200-grain #452460 with 6.5 Bullseye or 8 Unique.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master challenger_i's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Windy West Texas, between the rocks, and the trees.
    Posts
    640
    As for "shooting to the sights": my favorite in the Whole Wide World load for my 1858/cartridge conversion is a 185gr RNFP "Cowboy" bullet, ahead of 3.7gr Bullseye in a 45 Cowboy Special case. Real "mouse fart" load, but it hits right where I point it. Definitely NOT a hunting load, though...

    For reference to Those That Enquire, the old Magtec Cowboy 45 Colt (250gr cast and 750fps according to the box) shoots to the sights, as well.
    Rights, and Privileges, are not synonymous. We have the Right to Bear Arms. As soon as the Government mandates firearm registration, and permiting, then that Right becomes a Privilege, and may be taken away at our Master's discretion.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Harter66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    120 miles North of Texarkana 9 miles from OK in the green hell
    Posts
    5,376
    My Pietta brasser has a .426.440 barrel and.448 chambers. That's a long squeeze down from even a .451 jacket .

    They're copies , direct often parts drop in direct copies, of originals with only improved QC in the metal . Of course the barrels aren't forge welded billets into tubes but drilled rods .

    Soft bullets are a must and difference Cowboy type loads are preferable maybe even comparable loads to the 32 gr of FFFg under the hollow base 250 gr .

    This wasn't part of your inquiry but the best means to the end is to just pick up an 1875 in 45 Colts. The conversation cylinder and steel frame 1858 only save about $80 over buying the 75'. The 75' of course is a 4473 purchase but it has a loading gate and a .451/2 barrel properly
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992 .

    Richard Lee Hart 6/29/39-7/25/18


    Without trial we cannot learn and grow . It is through our stuggles that we become stronger .
    Brother I'm going to be Pythagerus , DiVinci , and Atlas all rolled into one soon .

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    220
    I'm not necessarily agreeing with the folks here but since it's narrowed to a Howell type cylinder, I wouldn't push anything more than tier 1 loads ( 14,000 psi max). If you're looking for a "horsepower" setup, it needs to have 100% support for the cartridge which a full "conversion ring" offers . . . be it gated or not. The Howell has the same "footprint" that the cap cyl. has which isn't 100%.
    The 45acp operates at 21K psi . . . think about it . . .

    Mike

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