Thoughts on .45 Colt & .45 ACP Convertibles

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,678
Location
Memphis, TN USA
Two of my .45 Colt Rugers. I bought the 7 1/2" gun in 1987, the 4 5/8" in the year 2000.

100_0020_zpse9670b73.jpg


At the time I bought these, Ruger was not offering convertibles, but would fit an ACP cylinder if the gun were returned to the factory. So, I did just that.

Here, neatly boxed in one of my many little boxes I've accumulated over the years:

100_8677_zpsgstbp8rp.jpg


These cylinders will not interchange between these two Blackhawks, will not drop into the frame window.

I have a .45 Colt Vaquero bought in 1996, sort of on a lark:

101_0010.jpg


I tried the ACP cylinder from the 4 5/8" Blackhawk and it fit fine, also indexed seemingly perfectly. So, I hied off to my gunsmith, Keith Warner, for verification, and he judged it blessed.

So, I'e fired some of my shortened .45 Colt cases, which I've called the Xtra Short, as well as some .45 ACP rounds and everything works just fine.

100_9048_zpspxba5au7.jpg


Incidentally, that 4 5/8" Blackhawk has had a face lift and now looks like this:

100_0479_zps1r95u05l.jpg



Bob Wright
 

bogus bill

Hunter
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
3,969
Location
utah
I have this Cimmeron Thunderer made by Uberti with both cylinders but have never worked it out yet on paper, I did a plinking session with it. I need to work with it. Almost forgot I had it.
https://i.postimg.cc/5NHNjBj9/Uberti-C-012399.jpg
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,825
Location
People's Republik of California
Bob Wright said:
So, I'e fired some of my shortened .45 Colt cases, which I've called the Xtra Short, as well as some .45 ACP rounds and everything works just fine.

100_9048_zpspxba5au7.jpg


Bob Wright

Hi Bob,

Three exceptional Rugers!

Are your 45 Revolver M 1906 (xtra short) rounds based on the 45 S&W Special (45 Frankford) from the Army Trials, but a tad shorter to chamber in the Ruger 45 ACP cyl?
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,678
Location
Memphis, TN USA
Hondo44 said:
Bob Wright said:
So, I'e fired some of my shortened .45 Colt cases, which I've called the Xtra Short, as well as some .45 ACP rounds and everything works just fine.

100_9048_zpspxba5au7.jpg


Bob Wright

Hi Bob,

Three exceptional Rugers!

Are your 45 Revolver M 1906 (xtra short) rounds based on the 45 S&W Special (45 Frankford) from the Army Trials, but a tad shorter to chamber in the Ruger 45 ACP cyl?

They are the same length as the .45 ACP.

As to the length of the M-1906 cartridges, dimensions varied so much that it is difficult to tell exactly what their length was. One of the problems at the time.

Bob Wright
 

1ruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
151
I have a new model convertible with 4 5/8" barrel that I keep in my truck when out in the woods.
I keep it loaded with my 45 Colt hunting load (290 gr SWC @ 1,050 fps from this revolver) and it has taken 7 or 8 hogs in past few years...but no deer yet. The load is very accurate with 5" group for 10 shots from 50 yards on most days. With the 45 ACP cylinder I've never shot better than 7" group while using factory loads or hand loads. I rarely shoot the 45 ACP cylinder but my wife likes the 45 ACP when plinking with this revolver. I like the versatility of the convertible model and may pick up a 6" barrel version in future.
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,678
Location
Memphis, TN USA
fiasconva said:
Is there much difference in accuracy between the 45 colt vs the 45 acp in each gun? Which is more accurate?

You know, I've never really compared them side by side. The .45 Colt in all of my guns is a very accurate load. As to hair splitting accuracy, I've not done that with the .45 Special or ACP loads. But using ACP in my S&W Model 625 years ago I shot a 5/8" five shot group at twenty five yards. Never done that since!

But my .45 Special, well, that's sort of "What if......" type of thing and one pleasant shooting plinking load.

As a matter of note, I originally called my cartridge the ".45 Xtra Short" but lately have decided to call it the ".45 Special" as that was what S&W would have dubbed it had it been adopted by the Army and then become a commercial round. Somehow, I just can't warm up to the appellation ".45 Cowboy Special." I make my labels, I call it what I want to.

Bob Wright
 

Skoopski

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
349
Location
Missouri, USA
fiasconva said:
Is there much difference in accuracy between the 45 colt vs the 45 acp in each gun? Which is more accurate?
I have a 1972 OM convertible in 4 5/8". In mine when using my general plinking rounds (slower-range load that I use for plinking purposes and is not made for a specific gun, both ACP and LC running around 725 FPS) the ACP runs a little better. I prefer using the Colt loads though, just feels right.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,825
Location
People's Republik of California
Bob Wright said:
They are the same length as the .45 ACP.

As to the length of the M-1906 cartridges, dimensions varied so much that it is difficult to tell exactly what their length was. One of the problems at the time.

Bob Wright

Very true. I standardized my cases at .923". Shoot them in an old S&W Triple lock 455 with a modern Model 25 .45 ACP cyl. Moved the chamber shoulder .030" for them. I never shoot ACP, a few 45 Auto Rim, but mostly the 45 S&W Spl (1906) as a tribute gun to the original Army Trial Triple Locks.
 

DougGuy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
171
Now that Ruger doesn't offer nor will they fit a second cylinder to the gun unless it left the factory as a convertible, one must be more resourceful if one wants a convertible. I bought a NM Vaquero 45 Colt and wanted another cylinder so I bought a NM Flattop Blackhawk convertible and "borrowed" the 45 ACP cylinder from it. This cylinder I reamed to 45 Schofield by using a 45 Colt finishing reamer with a stop made from a piece of a case so it cuts the correct chamber length for the Schofield, and it worked out pretty good.

Just so happens the Flattop's ACP cylinder dropped in my Vaquero with only about .001" difference than the 45 Colt cylinder the fit was phenomenally good!

Shortly after this our infamous worst POTUS in history issued his EO making conversions like this into manufacturing instead of simple gunsmithing so the rest of us are sol as far as getting one done.

I figured Ruger gave us a FINE tier two platform with the medium framed revolvers, they are some of the best fit and finished Rugers I have came across, virtually no thread choke in the specimens I have had in my hands, so why not come up with an equally fine tier two load to match the gun? SAAMI won't ever sanction a 45 Colt +P load, and there is a conspicuous void of published load data for the Schofield in +P pressures as well, so other than Brian Pearce's articles and loads, you must seek out a copy of QuickLoad to safely develop loads in the tier two power band.

I chose the 45 Schofield because of the shorter case = higher load density and I also wanted to avoid the resulting freebore in front of the case mouth by using Schofield brass in a 45 Colt chamber.

This makes for excellent hunting loads with slow powders and less bullet weight than the Ruger Only loads, and one can still get a 260gr WFN to 1200fps while holding pressures just under the 23,000psi ceiling that the medium frame 45s are rated to. Recoil is snappy but not at all sharp and not nearly as violent as touching off a 300gr load over a full house load of H110 or W296. In fact it is downright liveable with no gloves or other protection to the bare hand.

Not intending to steer your thread Bob, just to toss a little twist into it ;)

I looked hard for a Blued/CC Vaquero to use for this but couldn't find one and the price on this one was too good to pass up, with only 50 rounds fired.

 

frankenfab

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
279
Location
Arkansas
Hey Doug,

Have you seen this?

https://www.ammoland.com/2020/01/trump-administration-finalizes-removal-of-itar-gunsmith-license/?utm_source=Ammoland+Subscribers&utm_campaign=356e81bdd2-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6f6fac3eaa-356e81bdd2-7179273#axzz6BsEUXYll
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,678
Location
Memphis, TN USA
smith1961 said:
Hi Bob,

Nice. Who did the Case hardening on those babies?

Woody

All of my Rugers were worked over by Doug Turnbull. I usually and other work done by my 'smith and he did the forwarding and receiving from Turnbull.


Bob Wright
 

Buckshot Bill

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
53
Location
Mesa, Az USA
bogus bill said:
I have this Cimmeron Thunderer made by Uberti with both cylinders but have never worked it out yet on paper, I did a plinking session with it. I need to work with it. Almost forgot I had it.
https://i.postimg.cc/5NHNjBj9/Uberti-C-012399.jpg

Bogus Bill, that's a really nice looking revolver. I've always had a weakness for the Thunderer shaped 6 guns. How's that one shoot? I mean, is it as comfortable as a Ruger Vaquero or Blackhawk in your opinion, or what would you compare it to ?
A lot of shooters seem to get one and then remark about it not being very pleasant to shoot and I could very easily take the plunge on one either in 45 Colt or 45 ACP!
Thanks for any impressions/thoughts you could offer.

Buckshot Bill
 

hittman

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
11,801
Location
Illinois
Nice looking guns Bob and seems to be lots of great info on this thread.

I have an OM 4 5/8 45 Convertible.
Haven't shot it yet.
Likely won't.
It's still in the box.
 

Buckshot Bill

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
53
Location
Mesa, Az USA
In regards to my earlier post asking questions of bogus bill-

My apologies to the op, Mr. Bob Wright. I believe I inadvertently "hijacked" his thread, and it was not my intention to do so. It was rude of me to barge into another members' thread and ask questions as I did.
Bob, I enjoy all your topics here, and I'm truly envious of your Blackhawks you show all of us.

Buckshot Bill
 

bogus bill

Hunter
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
3,969
Location
utah
Buckshot Bill, just seen your post. I think I only took that thunderer out once or twice many years ago to just try it out when I bought it. With that grip it shot easily. I never shot it off the bench for accuracy but want to when I get on my feet this summer.
 

Latest posts

Top