Monday, July 30, 2012
Remington with Kirst Konversion Range Report
I just realized that I never posted a follow up range report on the cartridge conversion 1858 Remington I built last month.
For those of you tuning in late, last month I took a Pietta 1858 Remington percussion revolver and with the help of a Kirst Konverter and my Dremel tool, converted it to fire metallic cartridges. .45 Colt in this case.
So far I've had it out a few times and put 100 rounds total through it. It's working like a champ. Ammo was Black Hills .45 Colt loaded with a hard cast 250 grain LRNFP bullet at a sedate 750 FPS. At 7 yards it shot a couple inches high but into one hole. This Pietta has a heavier trigger pull than my other 3 Pietta Remingtons which makes it harder to shoot accurately. I'm going to look into a trigger job.
Recoil is noticeable. It's not painful by any means but the gun has a good deal of muzzle flip with this load. It'll be interesting to try with 200 grain loads, maybe even .45 Schofields. Since you cannot safely run hot loads in these conversions, I may as well go with light loads.
The .45 Colt cowboy loads are low pressure and don't require you to use the ejector rod to extract them if the chambers are clean. During the first range trip, in which I put 40 rounds through it, I was able to get many of the empties out of the gun by elevating the muzzle then tapping the revolver's butt on the carpet-covered shooting table. Any that didn't come out this way could be easily pulled free with a fingernail. Because the loads are low pressure, the cases don't obturate and seal the chambers very well, so they do end up getting sooty. Once this happens you need something to eject the rounds.
I brought the Remington with me on a camping trip back at the beginning of July where my friends and I did some plinking with it. A .45 Colt bullet will send an old hard drive flying. :-) I also put a couple of the Black Hills rounds through a pine log that was about 10" in diameter, from about 10 - 15 yards. The bullets penetrated the wood and were found under the bark on the far side of the log, showing no deformation other than rifling marks. Remember, these are considered light loads for a .45 Colt.
Recently, I saw somewhere online a passing comparison of .45 Colt cowboy loads with .455 Webley ball. It turns out that the reduced loads intended for cowboy action shooting with .45 Colt are similar to the .455 Webley cartridge used by the British army from the 1890s through the end of WW2. For example, the Black Hills 250 grain .45 Colt load at 750 FPS gives 312 foot pounds of muzzle energy. In contrast, the .455 Webley propelled a 265 grain bullet at a plodding 600 FPS for a paltry 212 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Despite these unimpressive numbers, the .455 had a reputation as a good round for fighting handguns.
Overall, I am really pleased with the Pietta and the Kirst Konverter. The combo gets two big thumbs up from me.