The Colt SAA in .45LC AND .45ACP!
Several months ago I remember reading a question on Sixgunner's BBS about a speed loader for single action revolvers. One point in a response from Jim was that if you had one in .45 acp, you could use M1911 magazines & just strip the rounds off into the chambers. This got me to thinking about either a new convertible acquisition OR the possibility of having a spare cylinder made up in the new chambering. This has since revolved (pun intended) on the BBS into questions appropriate to the following.
How do you get a spare cylinder made up for Colts?
My first problem was finding either an ACP cylinder or one to rechamber. One place to try is Eddie Janis of Peacemaker Specialists, P.O. Box 157 Whitmore, CA 96096 ( send $4.00 for a catalog). Another is Ed Cox of ColtParts who advertised several cylinders for sale on Sixgunner. None in ACP (already sold ) BUT one was in .38-40! Dad & I checked the dimensions out & if the cylinder was to spec the rechambering should be possible. Colt being notorious for reaming chambers on the VERY generous size, I contacted Jim Stroh ( owner of Alpha Precision ). He said he'd check the cylinder out and if it spec'ed out OK he's start. This set the ball rolling so I shipped the gun & "new" cylinder. About a month ago the gun was returned.
The interior of the rechambered cylinder looking quite a bit different than before.
If you never really believed the acp case headspaces off the mouth, here's proof
Memorial Day was, to me, the perfect time, short of July 4th, to see how things would go (this being the first time I could get to the pistol ranges in a month was, of course, another consideration). Having just a few hours to get things done forced me to just use two .45LC & ACP loads as a comparison. All groups fired offhand @ 50' at the Billings Missouri Benchrest Rifle Club
(Click on an image if you want to see a bigger one)
I started with Winchester SuperX 255gr.
I continued with their Cowboy load
THEN I CHANGED THE CYLINDER, LOADED UP & CROSSED MY FINGERS.
The first group was with Winchester SuperX 230gr fmj
Then I used a handload, 225gr BullX w/ 5.5gr Unique
The results have convinced me that it's a feasible thing to do, if you can't buy a new convertible gun. The one major problem I encountered was, that since the case headspaces off the mouth, a powder such as Unique left enough residue after 30 or so rounds that chambering became rather difficult. I eventually had to take the cylinder out & clean it to continue shooting. However, dad & I have found Universal Clays to be EXTREMELY clean burning so, I've got another "excuse" for some more shooting!