Walker .44-50 Cartridge Conversion

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Michael Tinker Pearce, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Well-Known Member

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    Last year I picked up and Armi San Marcos Walker Reproduction, and over the winter converted it to fire metallic cartridges. I bobbed the barrel at 3-1/2", bored through the chambers, then turned down the back of the cylinder on the lathe. I made a breech-plate with a pass-through for loading and unloading, with a rebounding firing pin.

    A number of people have done conversions on these to various .45-caliber cartridges- .45 BPM, .45 Brimstone, .45 Walker etc. but of course I can't do anything normal, so I went with heel-base bullet in a .44 Caliber cartridge. I'm calling it .44-50 Walker, as the case holds approximately 50 grains of black powder. I'm using a .452 heel-base 200gr. SWC over 10gr. of Trail Boss (the starting load based on TB's instructions on developing loads.) It hasn't blown the gun up yet, so I guess they know what they are talking about. ;)

    The cartridge is based on .303 British cut to 1-11/16", then carefully expanded to the proper diameter. I used large rifle primers and large pistol primers in testing- the main difference seems to be the rifle primers often take a second strike. No more rifle primers then. I don't have a chronograph so I don't know the velocity, but they sound supersonic to me. I could be wrong; we'll find out at some point. Recoil is noticeable but not bad; even in trimmed-down form the gun weighs 3-1/2 pounds so that soaks up a lot of it. It is loud- but the fireball appears smaller than expected. In better weather I'll photograph some black powder loads- that should be epic!
    Here's two of the .44-50 Walker rounds with a .45 Colt for comparison:
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    Pretty happy with how this project is working out so far. At the very least I am having a lot of fun.
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  2. Old Guns

    Old Guns Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    That is a pretty neat conversion!
     

  3. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  4. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Well-Known Member

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    OK, the cartridge is now 'officially' .44-55 Walker- I found the case actually holds 55gr. of black powder. Turns out it's a pretty good shooter- out to ten yards at least! Haven't tried it at any greater range.
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    Oh, and the gun has a front sight now!
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  5. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    GREAT JOB!!!!!!!! I love it! Curious as the the velocity. Also, what did you use for reloading dies? That is a LARGE capacity case.

    Your revolver rates up there as one of the best home-conversions that I've ever seen. Very nice work.
     
  6. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Basically I don't use reloading dies- I de-prime with a punch, press a new primer in manually, load the powder then press-fit the bullet with blue loctite for what a pal of mine calls a 'chemical crimp.' Then I drive the cartridge into a 'die' that is simply a block of steel with a .454" hole reamed in it. Works a treat!

    As to velocity- the math says I should be getting comfortably over 1100fps., but without a chronograph I can't be certain.
     
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