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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm a new forum member, but my wife and I are long-time Ruger owners.

At a gun show today, I just purchased an unboxed Ruger Old Army 45 Long Colt conversion in stainless finish. The frame serial number indicates it was a 2008 manfacture. The cylinder and converter back have a slightly different finish, which make me think this may have been a conversion using one of the Kirst Konverters. Now, my questions.

Is there any way to tell if this is a Kirst Konverter versus a Ruger conversion? I have read that Ruger did make a few conversions, in 2009 I believe.

Does anyone have any experience firing light load 45LC rounds, using smokeless powder, in this gun. I have some loads that I purchased that are rated for 725 fps, and want to confirm these should be acceptable to use, before proceeding.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Hi, I'm a new forum member, but my wife and I are long-time Ruger owners.

At a gun show today, I just purchased an unboxed Ruger Old Army 45 Long Colt conversion in stainless finish. The frame serial number indicates it was a 2008 manfacture. The cylinder and converter back have a slightly different finish, which make me think this may have been a conversion using one of the Kirst Konverters. Now, my questions.

Is there any way to tell if this is a Kirst Konverter versus a Ruger conversion? I have read that Ruger did make a few conversions, in 2009 I believe.

Does anyone have any experience firing light load 45LC rounds, using smokeless powder, in this gun. I have some loads that I purchased that are rated for 725 fps, and want to confirm these should be acceptable to use, before proceeding.

Thanks for your help!
You are fine the OA is the strongest black powder pistol ever made in history.
The Krist Converter is the strongest conversion cylinder ever made..(imho)
So you are in possession of some top notch equipment.
.45 long colt cowboy action loads are WELL within the limits of your pistol.
Shoot them and sleep well
 

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You cannot use smokeless powder in your conversion!!!!!!!
You must use black powder cowboy loads!!!!!!!
Ruger did not make any conversions!!!!!!!
 

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You can use smokeless powder but must keep pressure down to that of cowboy loads, that's why we use the conversion.easy to clean.
 

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OK here is MY experience..........



When I lived in NJ, I had a Uberti Colt Walker that I bought when I was going to school in Lock Haven PA, obviously in PA you can just get the BP revolvers over the mail, but in NJ, it's not worth jumping through the hoops for a BP revolver......

SO, I got one of those conversion cylinders in .45 Long Colt for the Walker, and fired quite a bit of .45 LC smokeless cowboy loads through it, with no problems, and we're talking an Italian open top Colt clone, made of soft steel, and not a Ruger Old Army.

I sold the whole thing when I moved to PA since I now live in a free state that allows me to own handguns without going through 30 steps for each one, and don't need a conversion.

Those Kirst Konverters are awesome for people who live in those states that do allow you to freely buy cap and ball revolvers, but are a hassle for cartridge handguns.

I like the idea so much, just for fun, that I wanted to have a Dragoon clone converted with a loading gate, ejector, etc. to replicate an 1870's style conversion but it was too costly for the few gunsmiths that would do it, to justify it on an Italian repro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My wife and I took the Old Army 45LC conversion for its first shooting today with some mild cowboy loads we had on hand. It's a great shooting gun. Thanks for the replies and advice!
 

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please dont use smokeless powder in the gun. ruger never made conversion kits because thats a lawsuit waiting to happen they arent stupid.
 

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Enjoy your old army. with the conversion you have it will handle any of the 45 LC cowboy loads that are out there.
 

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Why not use smokeless powder please explain? Most use the conversion for ease of cleaning and loading.everyone I know use lite loads of smokeless powder.
 

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I too have the same and have shot thousands of "cowboy" loads through it. Don't tell anyone but I shot some non cowboy loads too! Still running strong. Enjoy your Old Army!
 

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Hi, I'm a new forum member, but my wife and I are long-time Ruger owners.



Is there any way to tell if this is a Kirst Konverter versus a Ruger conversion? I have read that Ruger did make a few conversions, in 2009 I believe.
Thanks for your help!
If your conversion has ONE firing pin, and the back plate remains stationary,(flat bottom area) it is the Kirst. If the conversion back plate has six firing pins, and revolves with the charge-hole portion of the cylinder, it is the Howell. (From Taylor).

If it is something other than those two; I have no idea who the mfgr. is.
Surprised you find the Kirst (?) to be off shade with the rest of the O A, those I have seen are a close match.

I doubt you could buy, across the counter, .45 Colt ammo that would harm the Ruger; but the conversions plainly state "cowboy/target loads only".
 

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The conversion cylinder probably has lower quality steel than the rest of the gun.......

I think Ruger would probably use the same steel and heat treating as a standard Super Blackhawk.

Yes I know it's a "don't ever do it" thing but back in the 90's when I used to read my Dad's gun rags , before the world became so sue happy, guys in the articles talked about loading up Old Army's with smokeless powder because it was "basically a cap and ball Super Blackhawk".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If your conversion has ONE firing pin, and the back plate remains stationary,(flat bottom area) it is the Kirst. If the conversion back plate has six firing pins, and revolves with the charge-hole portion of the cylinder, it is the Howell. (From Taylor).
My conversion is definitely the Kirst type version -- it has the single firing pin, stationary back plate. I was unsure whether Ruger had made the gun, in this form, or whether it was an after-the-fact conversion. When I purchased the gun, it appears to never have been fired.
 

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I haven't heard mentioned yet that black powder .45 Colt loads are pretty powerful.
I've shot 35 to 37grs of GOEX FFFG under a 255gr SWC in .45 Colt cases & gotten just over 900fps from them. I've gone to 35grs because compressing 37grs deforms the nose of the bullet more than I like. I also got 2-1/2" five shot groups off the bench with the 37gr load.

Clean up isn't all that bad either, you do have to soak your brass, but I use a solouting of 1/2 cup of Windex with Vinegar NOT AMMONIA to a quart of water & it eats BP fouling then dry & lubricate as normal!
 

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Bill you may use smokeless powder cowboy loads in your Krist konverter. It was made for that.
Many people know about the black powder only in black powder guns rule.
That is for standard BP cylinders
You have a conversion cylinder
That cylinder will accept cartriges so shoot cartriges
They wouldn't make it if it was going to cause a catastrophic failure.
The Krist products,
That I have had,
are superb.
I have carried my 1858 remington with a Krist Konverter as a CCW
If I had to go in to harms way with it I would carry it.
You are well equipped.
 

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Bill you may use smokeless powder cowboy loads in your Krist konverter. It was made for that.
Many people know about the black powder only in black powder guns rule.
That is for standard BP cylinders
You have a conversion cylinder
That cylinder will accept cartriges so shoot cartriges
They wouldn't make it if it was going to cause a catastrophic failure.
The Krist products,
That I have had,
are superb.
I have carried my 1858 remington with a Krist Konverter as a CCW
If I had to go in to harms way with it I would carry it.
You are well equipped.

You could carry two cylinders for a quick reload just like they did in the BP days too!
 
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