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General Black Powder => Conversions => Topic started by: dc7x64 on February 04, 2019, 02:27:18 PM

Title: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: dc7x64 on February 04, 2019, 02:27:18 PM
I usually try and go back through the threads to find a solution to a problem. I don't like to ask questions that have already been asked. So if I missed it, my apologies. Kirst Converter installed, recoil shield cut to accept cartridges, this is on a Pietta 1851 Navy Sheriff's model in .44 cal. PROBLEM #1) With the ring and loading gate removed and the pistol fully assembled, timing is excellent, like butter, solid lockup. Put the ring on and reassemble...timing problems. PROBLEM #2) With a cartridge case loaded (45 Schofield), no clearance for cartridge head or very little I should say. I think the ring is absolutely the problem. The case head clearance could probably be addressed with a file. Maybe shaving a little off the foot of the ring? dunno. Any suggestions? Thanks Dave.  ;)
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 04, 2019, 03:50:00 PM
Hi dc, I experienced similar problems using the 5-shot gated Kirst in both a Pietta .44 1851 and 1860 revolvers. Getting both headspace and timing for that conversion cylinder is a pita. Those revolvers are factory timed for 6-shot cylinders, not 5. Also, if the headspace isn't right, cartridges rims catch on the edge of the cylinder ring. The ring is harderned and would be difficult to narrow. I created sufficient headspace by sanding down the cylinders front. Those .45 Colt conversion cylinders are already shorter than .45 Colt COAL, I therefore load all my .45 Colt with a COAL of 1.550". I know that the Schofield COAL is shorter, but has a wider rim than .45 Colt. Schofield 0.522 vs Colt 0.512. Is that an issue? I don't know. Set headspace with empty cartridge brass in the cylinder

Good luck resolving your problem.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 05, 2019, 05:36:24 AM
Hi dc, you may want to review this thread:
http://blackpowdersmoke.com/colt/index.php/topic,2395.0.html

My Kirst aggravation starts here:
http://blackpowdersmoke.com/colt/index.php/topic,2395.msg24226.html#msg24226

Hope you find something useful to your problem there.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 05, 2019, 10:07:11 AM
Hi dc, one more issue for the Kirst gated conversion cylinder is the fitting of the firing pin ring adjustment. The Kirst cylinders I have experienced have the ring legs shorter than desirable. I always need to silver solder extensions to the legs. I talked to Walt Kirst about this issue. They make the legs short so that it fits in most 1860 Colt frames. Walt told me that his early cylinder rings had adjustable legs. I suggested that he return to that early design so that his cylinders could be easily moved to different revolvers. He heard me, but I doubt that we will see a return to the earlier design.

I wish that Howell would offer a gated conversion cylinder for the 1860 like they have for the .36 1851 Colt. That .36 conversion cylinder is historically accurate and works great right out of the box. Yes, some holes need to be drilled and tapped in the recoil shield, but that's the way that is foolproof for creating a well timed properly headspaced conversion.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: dc7x64 on February 05, 2019, 04:19:52 PM
Thanks Richard, Your link helped me out. I did take some material off the squared side of the ring, the foot as Kirst calls it. That solved my timing issues kinda. Timing is on about 90% of the time. Sometimes wont go into battery if I give the hammer a wimpy pull to the rear. May get a new hand. I took some material off both the face of the ring and the forcing cone. I got to .0012 before the cylinder would turn freely with a Schofield case in it. Now to this ejector rod housing, what a PITA! The hole in the housing was about a quarter of a hole off. This threw everything off. By the time I got everything to clear, it flopped around like a fish out of water. I made a shim out of brass to go between the barrel and the flat portion of the guide rod. Its a compression fit and has the ejector rod housing solid as Dick's hat band. Disappointed in the ejector rod, it runs slightly uphill from the front of the barrel to the cylinder. if I sand it more and lower it, it will obstruct access to the wedge, and possibly become loose again. Guess I have to live with it. Thanks again Richard, your links really helped! Have a good evening Sir! Dave.
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 06, 2019, 04:50:45 AM
Hi Dave, those Kirst ejectors can be a royal pita to fit properly. I installed four Kirst ejectors and ruined one more. They all seem to want to have the ejector hit high in the chamber and don't want to lay parallel to the bore. Unless something is done, they flop around and change position on shooting. Those with the most slop got a set screw installed to force the ejector to stay firmly fixed parallel to the bore. This is a photo of that set screw in my Tuco 1851:

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7881/40040553563_48e5a5fcc4_b.jpg)

My home built gated conversions have convinced me that if one wants a gated conversion without issues, buy it already factory made. There is no timing or fitting issues buying a factory conversion, it's also lower cost than building one yourself. Having said that, building a conversion yourself has significant educational value.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 06, 2019, 09:23:53 AM
Hi Dave, these are my Pietta gated conversions with ejector rods:

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4439/35972412300_8d328f45be_b.jpg)

With a lot of work, all those revolvers are 100% reliable with workings as smooth as silk.

Notice the small brass bushing on the end of the ejectors. That bushing is threaded to act as a locknut to keep the ejector thumb fitting from unscrewing with use. It also provides for a nice bearing. I suggested to Walt Kirst that he add that to his ejectors, but he told me it would cost too much. Nonsense!

BTW, I emailed Howell to find out if Howell would ever make a gated .45 Cold conversion cylinder like what they offer in their .38 Colt/special gated conversion cylinder. They replied that they have no intention of making a gated .45 conversion cylinder. Too bad.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: dc7x64 on February 06, 2019, 04:03:22 PM
Richard those are some great looking pistolas! I should have thought of that set screw set-up. I may leave the shim in there because it fills the void, and put a set screw in there. What size is it? once again, thanks for the advice and all your help. I haven't been on here in a good while (Black Rifles). Its good to be back. May have to get Leathersmith Mike to make a holster for this Jewel. He made a bandolier holster for my Walker about 7 years ago. I loved it. Have a good evening Sir, Dave
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 06, 2019, 07:58:00 PM
Hi Dave, the set screw is 6-32 cut to length such that it is flush with the bottom of the ejector.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: 45 Dragoon on February 07, 2019, 02:17:24 PM
Dave, just so you know and won't spread rumors/myths, a conversion ring (fixed or floating) has absolutely no effect on the timing of a S.A. revolver.  Timing has everything to do with - length of cycle and bolt drop. You may need to adjust the thickness of the ring for headspace but after that, it's constant and won't/doesn't effect timing. The most accurate open top revolver (mechanically) will be one that has the least amount of cyl. end shake (fore and aft movement). The length of cycle is determined by the arc of the hammer from rest to full cock engagement with chamber in battery (which is determined by the hand length). The bolt drop (what most folks are talking about concerning "timing") should be about a bolts width before the locking notch. The "timing" should be like clock work, 100%, nothing less. You check the timing by dragging a finger on the cylinder while cycling the action. If the chamber falls short of battery when full cock is reached, the hand MUST be stretched or the cycle length must be extended. Bolt drop is the final step when setting up an action.

 My own revolvers have maintained a .0015" barrel/cyl clearance since setup with Kirst gated conversions (they are dedicated cartridge revolvers).  Kirst makes an excellent product and these open tops can be set up to some of the finest tollerances in the gun world.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com
Follow me on Instagram @ goonsgunworks
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 09, 2019, 07:30:05 AM
Hi Mike, SAAMI shows a .45 Colt rim thickness of 0.060" - 0.011" (pg 59):
https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SAAMI-Z299.3-Centerfire-Pistol-Revolver-Approved-12-14-2015.pdf

Hard to keep a 0.0015" barrel/cylinder gap with all .45 Colt ammo?

IMO that Kirst 1860/.44 1851 gated conversion cylinder is a royal pita to set up properly, but then again, I'm just an amateur. I find that short leg issue for the gated Kirst conversion cylinder a major problem. Unless perfect that ring twists and tilts hanging up on the edge of the cartridge rim.

Frankly, with the other 5-shot cylinder in a 6-shot timing issues, I would suggest that people wanting to do that conversion have you do it. I suspect the cost to have you do that conversion for them would be well worth the the cost in personal  frustration alone.

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on February 09, 2019, 11:15:31 AM
  I ended up screwing and doweling the Kirst recoil shield/ring to the frame of my 1860 Uberti. 

(http://i67.tinypic.com/33dvamq.jpg)

Also had to make a longer hand to get the timing right. I cut the original boss off and moved it over a tad.

(http://i67.tinypic.com/34yzhxw.jpg)
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: 45 Dragoon on February 09, 2019, 12:25:11 PM
Lol, thanks for the recommendation Richard and I do install a fair amount of conversions. But before anybody gets any ideas, let's take out the mystery.
  First, headspace for a cartridge is exactly that, it allows a cartridge to move freely in a chamber but there are specifications for it. That's why when you point a loaded S.A. cartridge gun  up and then down, you can hear the cartridges slip forward.

  In a cartridge conversion, the cylinder rides in the frame just like a modern cartridge revolver. Obviously some clearance is needed so the cyl can turn. Properly, this is called "endshake" in a revolver. Since our open tops don't have bushings, we don't have barrel/cyl  gaps so, we just have a "clearance".  Because of headspace, the cylinder needn't have cartridges to set the barrel/cyl clearance. Since my arbor fits the barrel correctly, my clearance is .0015" (loaded or unloaded).

  When a shot is fired, the case moves rearward and is stopped by the conversion ring and the spent primer is reset in the pocket .  .  .  just like any modern S.A. revolver. Because of headspace and endshake, the cylinder won't be locked up and the next round can move into battery. If your arbor isn't correct (so you can maintain a clearance under tension)  or your barrel/cyl clearance charges with respect to a loaded or unloaded cylinder,  your conversion .  .  .  .   needs attention .  .  . 

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com
Follow me on Instagram @ goonsgunworks
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: ssb73q on February 09, 2019, 08:05:11 PM
Hi Brad, the attachment of the cylinder ring looks great. That's the way gated conversions were historically done. I was under the impression that the ring was pretty hard steel when I did a file test on it. Is the hardening only on the surface? Did you find drilling the ring difficult?

Regards,
Richard
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: 45 Dragoon on February 09, 2019, 09:40:40 PM
Actually, the conversion rings were held on by the arbor on  the Open top conversions.

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com
Follow me on Instagram @ goonsgunworks
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: 45 Dragoon on February 10, 2019, 10:57:58 AM
The true job of the conversion ring is to act as a breech face which means it is what takes the force of the case as it slams to the rear when fired. It also holds the mounted firing pin if so equipped. So, floating or mounted, it can do its job  and either does its job very well. It's obvious that a hammer mounted firing pin would need a more precisely placed opening for the pin to pass through so in that case a mounted ring would be the setup. With a self contained pin in a floating ring, it's easy enough to keep the pin in position and within specs to primer location. This setup lends itself to be more friendly as a "convertible" conversion so you can switch back to cap gun status without the need for tools.

   This is also why the drop cylinder (a cylinder that has a removable end plate to load and unload rounds and must be removed from the frame to do so. Also, each chamber has a dedicated firing pin) may be looked at as "less robust" .
The back plate (breech plate) isn't fully supported by the recoil shield like the conversion ring is. That said, I am a big fan of the drop cylinders in Remington pattern revolvers, it's a great idea and historically accurate. Just don't try to "soup up" the ammo!!

Mike
www.goonsgunworks.com
Follow me on Instagram @ goonsgunworks
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: Yolla Bolly Brad on February 10, 2019, 02:45:28 PM
Hi Brad, the attachment of the cylinder ring looks great. That's the way gated conversions were historically done. I was under the impression that the ring was pretty hard steel when I did a file test on it. Is the hardening only on the surface? Did you find drilling the ring difficult?

Regards,
Richard

It drilled OK and I didn't notice any surface hardness. I used a Bridgeport type milling machine and the rigidity of this set up makes drilling tough materials seem easy. One mistake I made was poking a hole over the loading gate spring. If you look close you can see where I plugged it.
Title: Re: KIRST CONVERTER PROBLEMS
Post by: dc7x64 on February 25, 2019, 02:20:27 PM
Kudos again Guys for the info. I finally got around to loading up some Schofields and shot this conversion yesterday! I know its no great achievement, and its been done a million times already, but DANG! It sure was fun! &\? (@+ :-*