I considered cutting down the existing cylinder and looked at a variety of options of cartridges and designs. I selected the ported Kirst Konverter in .45 ACP and have been very happy with the results.
Walt became interested in cartridge conversions when he acquired a Remington New Army revolver in 1990. His original conversion was based on the more common post Civil War Armory conversions that affix a breech plate to the standing breech (recoil shield).
He planned on selling converted revolvers, but was stopped by the legal complications of gun manufacturing. He found that he could avoid the legal isses as long as he limited his efforts to providing replacement parts so he made engineering adjustments to allow the Kirst Konverter to be a drop-in parts replacement.
The newer ported Konverter allows the gun to be modified with a loading port, but the modification done by the owner does not require special federal licenses.
Walt believes in the continuous improvement in his products. He is now on his third generation I found the quality of his parts to be excellent. He uses 4140 steel hardened to 28-30 on the Rockwell C scale. I suspect these parts will outlast the softer steels normally found on reproduction revolvers.
Walt surprised the shooting world recently when he released his five-shot .45 Colt Safety Cylinder for conversions. The surprise was that SASS allows all five chambers to be loaded with the hammer down on the safety chamber when approaching the firing line.
Walt solved the cartridge spacing problems by adding the smaller blank safety chamber that replaces the need for an empty chamber. The cylinder is SASS legal because the cylinder uses a unique variable spacing design to register and lock the cylinder on the safety chamber. I think this new innovation will greatly increase the number of Remington conversions we see in Cowboy Shooting and this should be legal for the new Classic Cowboy Category.
So what does Walt have coming next for us? He is working on a conversion cylinder for the Ruger Old Army revolver. He tells me the engineering is quite challenging, but that he will eventually solve the problems and produce this product.
It was a pleasure to interact with Walt on this project, to learn more about his products, and to learn more about the effort he puts into making them. I must add that he took me to task for using one of his conversion cylinders on a revolver with a brass frame so I want to let everyone know that my ported Kirst Konverter has been removed from that shortened revolver and is now being installed on a gun with a steel frame.
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