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Old 10-07-2017, 07:04 PM
merl67 merl67 is offline
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Default 455 Second Model With 45 Colt Conversion

I traded for this one up today I had $400 in my trade I was a bit hesitant with the modifications ,but I don't encounter these ever around here. The obvious the barrel has been shortened to 4 inches with a rib and new front sight added The lanyard hole has been plugged ( barely visible ). The cylinder has been modified by the counter bore method serial number 20509. There is no caliber marking on the barrel doesn't look like it was ever there. The gun wasn't over polished I don't think because the rest of the stampings are easily read. Oh it has the broad arrow C mark for Canadian service. Does anyone have a idea on approximate ship date.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:14 PM
merl67 merl67 is offline
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It appears I am mistaken as a 45 auto rim fits perfectly which is fine as I have brass and dies for that caliber.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:20 PM
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The .45 ACP cartridge, in moon clips, can also be used. However, .45 ACP is loaded to higher pressures than the original .455. If you do decide to use .45 ACP, load them down.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:33 PM
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Second model .455s in the SN range from 5462 to 74755 shipped during the 1915-17 period. It doesn't appear there is enough headspace to allow .45 AR cases to be used. Do their rims fit into the chamber recesses? And it would be a good idea to use lighter lead bullet handloads if you plan to shoot it.

Last edited by DWalt; 10-07-2017 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:48 PM
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I just dropped six in it and the cylinder rotates just fine is there any possibility of it working with 45 Colt as well I don't have any here but my brother loads that one for his Marlin. I was looking at my Cartridges Of The World the 45 Colt case rim is both smaller in diameter and thinner in rim thickness so I would think 45 Colt would not work if the cylinder closes and rotates with the 45 AR. Oh and my 45 AR rounds are in the 700 FPS range.

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Old 10-08-2017, 12:26 AM
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Very doubtful that you can shoot .45LC in a gun rechambered for .45ACP (with moon clips) and .45 Auto Rim. Even though the bullet is the same diameter, the headspacing and rim thickness are not even close.
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:52 AM
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This one has had been counter bored for the rim thickness. It has not had the cylinder shaved so i don't think moon clips will work I will find mine tomorrow and try them.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:57 AM
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Even if 45 colt rounds do chamber it would have way to much headspace as the rim 45 ar cases are about .035.thicker than 45 colt cases. Firing pin may be to short to fire the colts reliably, but worse the over sized headspace would be very hard on the frame as it would allow the colt case heads to take a running start and slam the recoil shield hard

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Old 10-08-2017, 08:02 AM
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If your brother has some .45 Colt cases, you may want to borrow 6 and see if they will fit in the cylinder, then if it will close and rotate. It will not hurt to try.

That looks like it was skillfully converted to what someone wanted. Obviously not a collector's item, but should be a real solid shooter.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:11 PM
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The chamber shoulders don't look deep enough for .45 Colt.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:58 PM
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Yes, it looks well done. Even the nickel job looks like someone took the time to carefully polish the metal.

The chambers look to be the original length. Not many people know it, but Dominion Ammunition of Canada used to make loaded ammo and brass that was longer than the typical British 455 Eley length. It was head stamped 455 Colt.
The side view looks like there is not enough headspace for half noon clips. Besides, if you were gonna use half moons, the counterbore method doesn't make a lot of sense.
It all depends on the depth of the counterboring. If it's roughly about .020" deep, then that would allow for conventional ~.060" rims as found on most rimmed ammo. To work with 45 Auto Rim, you'd need an extra .030" for a total counterbore depth of approx .050". That's pretty deep given the thickness of the extractor star.
Here's a possible idea: whoever did the conversion wanted to use 45 Colt brass and didn't mind trimming it to length to fit the existing chamber length. Sorta a "wildcat" handloader's proposition.
All just talk, though. Once you get some brass/ammo you'll know for sure.

Steelslaver's warning about excess headspace is good advice!

Enjoy that cool piece!

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Jim
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:20 PM
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I got out today and shot it as I already have some 45 Auto Rim that I had loaded for my 1917. I could only shoot twelve as we are getting rain off the hurricane. The first six were spread out but once I settled in the next six closed up with three shots touching and the rest could be covered with my hand and well centered. This gun is set up to hold the sights dead on center and is well balanced. I agree with what has been said above no way 45 Colt would work nor moon clipped 45ACP.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:36 PM
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"The chambers look to be the original length. Not many people know it, but Dominion Ammunition of Canada used to make loaded ammo and brass that was longer than the typical British 455 Eley length. It was head stamped 455 Colt."

It seems like it was a hundred years ago (more like 40+), but I once had a Webley & Scott MK IV revolver, with the original .455 chambering. I bought some of that Canadian ammo and it shot well and left very little powder residue behind.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
...The chambers look to be the original length. Not many people know it, but Dominion Ammunition of Canada used to make loaded ammo and brass that was longer than the typical British 455 Eley length. It was head stamped 455 Colt. ...
There were six versions ("Marks" as the English called them) of this cartridge. The Mark I was originally a black powder round and had a case length of about 0.880", but you will find sources that give a different length. In 1894, the Brits began loading this round with Cordite to take advantage of the new smokeless powder technology. Less smokeless powder was required (by volume) so eventually they shortened the case to 0.760", and this became the Mark II version. Later on, Colt in the US and Dominion in Canada continued to offer the cartridge commercially, loaded with smokeless powder but retaining the Mark I length.

I believe that all the S&Ws and Colts supplied to England in the First World War had chambers that would accommodate the Mark I and of course, any of the shorter "Marks" of the .455. Since the max case length of the .45 Colt is 1.285", the chambers may well be too short if they haven't been reamed out at some point.

If you would like to read an authoritative source on the .455 cartridges:
Those Confusing .455s - International Ammunition Association
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:05 PM
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Whoever converted your gun did it exactly right for two reasons:

1. The chambers are recessed (counter bored) so that only 45 AR (14,000 PSI) can be used and not 45 ACP (19,000 PSI) which is ~30% over the pressure that the gun was designed for.

2. Your gun will still also properly and safely chamber 455 Mk I (or 455 Colt) & Mk II because their rims are larger diameter than the AR and will not fall into the recess. Therefore they will still maintain proper head space.

Another plus: you can shoot 45 Colt Cowboy Specials. The rim will be slightly deep in the chamber recess with extra head space. But the long firing pins of the day will fire them reliably as I have tested. And with no head space downsides at the pressure levels the gun was designed for since the cyl is not heat treated on the 455 models. Universal heat treating for all Hand Ejectors was only after 1920.
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