Converting a 357 NewVaq to 45LC...

Help Support Ruger Forum:

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
Folks,

I'm considering this conversion and wondering if my current 357 cylinder is long enough? If so, I'm thinking I can probably have cleaner, tighter chambers bored custom than going with a Ruger original 45 cylinder. I would be swapping barrels, possibly to something custom rather than a take-off.

Thoughts? Gotchas?
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
Look...I'm not going to be able to afford a big-bucks conversion. So, I'm not going to bother them when I'm not going to use them. Wouldn't be right.

So let's start with something basic: in a NewVaq, are the 357 and 45LC cylinders the same length? If they're off, by how much and in which direction (which is shorter?)?
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
Yes you can use the 357 cylinder for your conversion you just wont be able to shoot the big heavy bullets. The longer bullets just wont work you will be able to chamber them most likey but the wont rotate past your barrel. But when you rechamber a midsize 357 Mag to 45 Colt you only have a low pressure gun anyway. I have just rechambered a 357 OM to 45 Colt and I love it.
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
Location
Rhode Island
[I'm not going to be able to afford a big-bucks conversion.]

Then, quite frankly, the lowest-cost solution would be to sell the .357, and buy the .45.

If you catch the right combination of sell & buy, you might even come out even or a bit ahead - you won't know until you try.

.
 

Swamper

Bearcat
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
78
Mr. March,

You will be absolutely please with the craftsmanship of Mr. Alan Harton. I have used him for quite some time and had him convert a stainless Blackhawk to 45 Colt with a Bisley hammer. He holds incredibly tight dimensions. He also reworks the gun to tighten Ruger's subtle factory slop. I presently have two others with him now and a third in the planning stages. Beyond his abilities, he is one heck of a nice fella' to boot.

Swamper
 

pvtschultz

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
553
Location
West Allis, WI, USA
pete44ru":1angj3f1 said:
[I'm not going to be able to afford a big-bucks conversion.]

Then, quite frankly, the lowest-cost solution would be to sell the .357, and buy the .45.

If you catch the right combination of sell & buy, you might even come out even or a bit ahead - you won't know until you try.

.

Agreed. You'll spend more converting a 357 NV to a 45 Colt NV than it would cost just to buy a 45 Colt NV. Hell, you could probably end up with two revolvers for the price of the one that you are trying to make.
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
It was my understanding that the NV's were coming thru with better cylinder mouths than the old ones. I know for a conversion my friend did we bought a NV 45 Colt cylinder from Bowen and left it alone. All the mouths were .452 dia. go .453 dia. no go. It shoots great.
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
Man, I've never seen this before.

OK, let's try a really simple question: is there a length difference between NewVaq cylinders in 357 and 45? If so, what is it?
 

Frank V

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
118
Location
S.W. Montana
Jim, I can answer half your question. I just measured the cyl length of a Ruger NV .45 Colt, it comes to 1.626. I used a dial caliper, It does have some carbon fouling on the front of the cyl this might make a couple thousands difference. If you can measure your .357 cyl you can get the difference if any. Hope this helps some. Good luck. Frank
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
The cylinder of the 45 is longer than the 357 cylinder. When you install the new barrel it needs to be ajusted to the new cylinder size even if you use the 357 cylinder rechambered you still have to fit the new barrel.
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
I understand the barrel has to be fitted to the cylinder. Question is, is the 357 cylinder shorter than the 45 to such a degree that performance/bullet length is affected in the converted 357 cylinder?
 

Robb Barnes

Hunter
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
3,874
Location
Dallas, OR US
Sorry Jim, I wasn't trying to offend you with my comment about calling one of the guys. You will find most of their basic caliber conversions like you are describing are fairly reasonable since you are talking about rebarreling/reboring the tube and rechambering the cylinder anyway. I don't think you will find a "cheap" way of doing it without a pretty nice home shop. Had the original question been about the difference in cylinder lengths of the two calibers in a NV I wouldn't have said anything since I don't own either of them. I apologize for starting the frustrating responses.

Take care,

Robb
 

Chief 101

Hunter
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
2,189
Location
Idaho
Jim, the cylinder dimensions should be very close as the OAL of the .357M is only .01" shorter than that of the 45C. Rebore the barrel or find a new or used one and there should be minor fitting at most. You might be able to find a cylinder and barrel takeoff that would make it an easy task. I have an OM .357M that I would not have a problem customizing in that way. Chief aka Maxx Load
That is a hint if anybody might have the takeoff parts to part with.
 

Bigboreshooter

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
447
Location
Birmingham, AL
FWIW, John Gallagher usually has a box full of 45 Colt cylinders left over from when he converts his customers' Rugers to one of the big 5-shot thumpers. His prices are VERY reasonable on those cylinders, and that might be a good first step in your process.

I got an unfluted 45 Colt cylinder from him for my 45 Blackhawk Convertible that had somehow "lost" its 45 Colt cylinder somewhere along the way before I acquired it. He actually fitted it to the gun while in his booth at a gun show in Birmingham. SUPER nice guy.

P1010018-2.jpg
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
Ruger has generally followed the pattern of making the larger calibre cylinders progressively longer to preclude someone from installing a larger calibre cylinder in a smaller bored revolver.

Makes sense to me.

flatgate
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
You will be able to shoot 250/255 gr. bullets at standard 45 Colt pressures.
If you clear the back of the cylinder enough for 45 Schofield brass you could load longer bullets in Schofield brass but still having to keep the pressures down to 45 Colt levels. If you want to shoot the big heavy stuff in a Vaquero I would suggest using a first generation Vaquero. I dont know if it's okay to say 1st generation Vaquero maybe I should have said large frame Vaquero or just Vaquero.
 

Latest posts

Top