41 colt to 38-40 ?
Has anybody here converted (okay, added a second cylinder) a Colt SA in 41 Long Colt to 38-40?
It seems like the best way to keep an old 41 shooting without going through the reloading troubles that a 41 has.
How big of deal would this conversion be?
Swapping cylinders is a rather common modification for the SAA. If you haven't done it, I would recommend getting the Kuhnhausen manual for the finer details of fitting and timing.
The original heel-base bullet for the .41 Long Colt had an outside diameter of .410", while the 38-40 uses a nominal bullet dia. of .401". You may be ok with very soft bullets, but hard cast will just lead up your bore and give poor accuracy.
Originally Posted by 38_Cal
I think there has been a lot of confusion about doing this for the reasons you are mentioning. I saw one at a gun show recently and the owner said it functioned quite well.
Maybe this can explain it.
Radkins, I hadn't run into any references to a smaller diameter (38-40 sized) bore before. Thanks for the link. Huntinguy, you will probably want to slug the bore on your Colt to determine which version you've got before making the investment in the new cylinder!
they both have the same bore dia. so all you change is the cylinder that is what mike venturino did in his book shooting the colt single actio
skeeter skelton also talks of doing the same thing. he even had a .41 that some one reamed the cyl. out to .38-40
Originally Posted by radkins
if that really is the case, and i was going to have a 38-40 cylinder fitted, i would just have the cylinder machined to match the bore of the revolver, and then have a set of reloading dies machined to match as well.
Slugging the bore is a good idea to see just what you have. Manufacturing procedures and tolerances were not what they are today and there is more variation in bore dimensions than in today's guns.
With that knowledge, if reloading, a sizing die can be used to size the bullets before loading. Custom dies are not needed.
Do keep in mind that any of the SAA's have a collector value, and load so as not to destroy the gun. Much enjoyment can be had with light loads and lead bullets. Any modifications should be to the replacement cylinder to allow returning the gun to it's original condition by simply re-installing the original cylinder.