Would Skeeter like this conversion?

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Hondo44

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Since Skeeter Skelton's conversion of an OM 357 mid frame to a 44 Spl, which was likely the 1st, literally thousands have been done. Besides Ruger finally came around after over 50 years to produce 44 Spl mid frames. So what's the big deal? Is it the panache of an old 3 screw 44? Well available New Model Flat top 44 Spl take off barrels and cyls have made it an exceedingly simple one compared to my first conversion.

Using a NM barrel and cyl for this '69 vintage 357 were literal drop-ins needing no machining or even fitting. The ERH took some tapering on the back side due to the larger diameter 44 barrel in the OM 357 mid frame because of the ERH socket location relative to the barrel hole in the frame.

To meet my needs it has a stainless steel SBH Hunter round guard grip frame, steel ejector housing, SBH hammer, Colt ejector rod, and finally a NM Bisley trigger (the only real work beside lengthening the trigger slot ~1/8"):

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I've used the Clements Bisley trigger in the past, and although it eliminates adapting the OM Ruger trigger to the NM grip frame/return spring, it's not the authentic shape of the historical Bisley trigger nor even faithful to the Ruger design. Plus it's $70 if and when available.

It just took some simple welding to graft the top of the OM trigger (with screw hole and sear) to the bottom of the NM Bisley trigger with the shelf for the NM return spring, as shown in the following photos.

Left side:

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Right side with welding bead dressed down:

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One thing the grafting facilitated was moving the trigger back slightly for more finger space in front of the smaller plow handle trigger guard:

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Ruger Bisley trigger in a NM with plow handle grip frame for comparison:

orig.jpg
 

contender

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Considering how Skeeter liked to "tinker" with guns to make them suit his desires & needs,, I'd say he'd smile & approve!
 

Robb Barnes

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I’m sure he’d like it Jim. Oh yes, just an update for you, David charged $235 for one of those hammers now and he only builds them once a year for preorders. I order one or two every year.
 

Robb Barnes

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Not the SBH hammers but bisley spurred old model hammers are $235 each from David. You can get one cheaper from Ron Powers but they are not as finished and don't include the hammer plunger and spring.
 

Robb Barnes

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I apologize for the confusion Jim. I just reread you post and realized you were talking about David’s OM conversion triggers, not his hammers.I think your $70 number is pretty close for the trigger.
 

Johnnu2

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FABULOUS WORK and design (as always) Jim...... Skeeter would definitely approve of your creativity and work.... I LIKEY TOO...
p.s. I'm dangerous with welding or braising tools..... in fact with most sharp tools too.
John
 

Quattroclick

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Your conversion looks like quite a keeper to me! Nicely done to make it your own.

I started building my 44special conversion before Ruger released the 44 specials. I finished it after. Well, not really finished. Still in the white. It shoots nice 5 shot groups, but one cylinder is a bit cattywhampus. It's nice to know that the new cylinders are kosher with the old frame, I might just start looking for one. I have better equipment these days, and reaming out the cylinder wouldn't be the chore it was back then, but drop in is definitely nice. One of the nice things about building your own is that it can forever be a working work-in-progress.
 

Hondo44

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Robb Barnes said:
I apologize for the confusion Jim. I just reread you post and realized you were talking about David’s OM conversion triggers, not his hammers.I think your $70 number is pretty close for the trigger.

Robb,

No worries. Been there, done that too many times myself.
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Jim, that really turned out nice. I'm like you, in that I want what I want. Unlike you I don't have the skills to do those things myself. You are a gifted artisan. I suspect the tough part, of all the guns you've done the way you want them is figuring out which is your favorite.
 

z1r

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Feb 11, 2016
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I like it. Think Skeeter would approve too.

With the introduction of the NM Flat tops, I decided not to build a 44 spl BH since it was easier to buy one.

However, I got the bug for a .44 spl Vaquero. Got one in the works.
 

Hondo44

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z1r said:
However, I got the bug for a .44 spl Vaquero. Got one in the works.

Cool! To buy or to build?

With the NM 44 Spl already available, my incentive was to have a 44 spl on the OM 3 screw frame.

To that end I've designed a 44 Spl Vaquero conversion to an Old Model Vaq.
 

z1r

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I've got a buddy who wants me to convert a 3 screw to Vaquero configuration.


I think I'll start by simply converting the .357 I picked up last weekend. Already have the cylinder and plan to make the front barrel with a sight like the one on this fine Bowen revolver:
50_AE_Light_Weight.jpg


With a front sight like that I can make the of the blade wider so the blade itself can be machined offset to one side or the other for windage and of course I can alter the height for elevation.

I want one sooner rather than later so I'll make a New Model first, then try my hand at converting the 3 screw.

Definitely interested in your conversion as well.
 

z1r

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arfmel said:
That 50AE lightweight is a handsome thing

That it is, a true piece of art.

The barrel and scallops have inspired me.
 

Muley Gil

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Oct 27, 2004
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Back in the mid 2000s, I had Alan Harton down in Houston convert a three screw OM .357 to .44 Special. I sent Alan a .44 Magnum barrel and he turned down the diameter of the barrel to match the frame. This also removed the Ruger "billboard". I also chose to stay with the aluminum grip frame. I now have a very handy 4 5/8" .44 Special.

I later had Alan convert another three screw .357 to a 5 1/2" .44 Special, although this time I sent him a Colt New Frontier barrel. Unfortunately, I had to sell this one and it went to a lucky member of the forum.
 
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