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Earlier this year I won at auction a .455 Triple Lock that had been converted to .45 Colt, and not too long ago I picked up a similarly converted .455/Second Model (the one without the ejector rod shroud). A couple of days ago I had a chance for a brief range trip and shoved half a box of Winchester cowboy action ammo through each gun.

The .455/Second is the more unusual gun and is almost unrecognizable at first glance. It was converted to .45 Colt not long after WWI, and then many years later the gun was equipped with a large-block Micro rear sight and a tall tower front sight. It came to me wearing Pachmayr stocks that did absolutely nothing for its appearance, so I put on these large smooth targets that I had in the woodpile. This gun is about as inauthentic as it can be, but it sure is fun to shoot. As you can see, my first shots with it hit high with a six o'clock hold at 15 yards. I'll play with the adjustments and see what I can do as I get more familiar with the gun.




The Triple Lock was a smooth shooter, and not too uncomfortable even with those old service stocks. But it wants to hit low and left the way I was holding it, so I need to work with the gun to find out what its built in error actually consists of and how much of the displacement is actually me.




And here's an old second contract Brazilian (assembled 1946 from leftover 1920s parts) I have shown before, but now sporting the Pachmayr grips I took off the .455/Second. Magnas on this gun really sting the base of my poor abused thumb, and I'm out for comfort on this gun. It is one of the guns I keep loaded and nearby in my small house. I have corrected a couple more faults since I last showed it here, but it still hits pretty much in the same place. I can make it a little tighter, but I don't think I can make it much more accurate.

 

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David, That .455/second is kind of an odd duck!!! I like it! ;) It may not be technically correct, but it makes a nice shooter to me. Not being a collecter, I have no need for a gun that I shouldn't shoot. :roll: That's the only reason that I would buy a particular gun.....in the first place. :lol:

You've certainly assembled a nice collection of shooters. Too bad that you can't show them all, in one place. I would enjoy seeing them. ;) Those S&W Presentation grips give it a classy look! Bob
 

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David, I'll bet the reason your .455 New Century is shooting low is due to the fact that the converter left the origional .455 front sight in place. I've run into this a couple of times in the past. You can either cut the front sight down (*cringe*) or lighten your bullet and slow it down to .455 velocities... Or you might even try some of the commercially loaded .45 S&W Schofield "Cowboy" rounds...
 

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Even for being "Old 45's" they are very nice. If you get tried of having such old worn revolvers in your collection, give me a call I'll be very please to take care of them for you. I have a really big and spacious safe for just such an occassion. Enjoy them and keep us posted when you figure out how to get the triple lock shooting back in center.

Thanks for sharing.
gearchecker
 

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Drew, I should have thought of that by myself. Thanks for the push, which made me for the first time think seriously about the interplay between sight height and what is going on with the barrel of the gun after ignition but before the bullet gets out of the tube. You just solved a bunch of problems for me in a variety of different revolvers. Turns out I was just stuck on a childhood misunderstanding of bullet behavior, and I am now going to be thinking about high/low hits in an entirely new way. I guess sometimes I am a slow learner.

Bob, that .455/second is so strange I didn't even understand it when I saw it under the glass at the range where I shoot. So I asked to see it, thinking "Who would buy something like this?" Than as I looked at it and realized the careful thinking and execution that went into the modifications, I realized that I was the kind of guy who would buy something like this. So I did. And I don't regret it for a moment.

Hank, more and more I come to think there are no relics -- just guns that haven't been shot recently. I have always known I was a mid-century and prewar kind of guy when it came to revolvers, but more and more I have been drifting back into the 'oughts and 'teens. I find a powerful emotional appeal to guns that date from just before and after the First World War, and it's getting stronger as time passes.

Gearchecker, I'm not tired of them yet, but I'll bear you in mind. ;)
 

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Well that's interesting. I just looked closely at the muzzle of the Brazilian I show above, and a shallow gouge on the outer edge of the crown is perhaps not as innocent as I had thought. The gun must have been dropped (or hit) on its muzzle at some point, and the blow pushed up a bit of a ridge on the land at 3:00 o'clock, looking at the muzzle from in front. I removed the high point with some delicate polishing, and the lands and grooves now pass the rotating fingertip test. But I also notice that the crown is not completely in the same plane, though the low point can't be more than .001-.002 " below where it ought to be.

The damaged land was on the side that the bullets were thrown to, so I'll be interested to see what happens the next time I take this one to the range.

Since this is one of my laboratory guns, I may buy a crowning tool from Brownell's and try my hand at dressing up the business end of this one. I'll report back if the accuracy improves.
 

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DCW said:
The damaged land was on the side that the bullets were thrown to, so I'll be interested to see what happens the next time I take this one to the range.

Since this is one of my laboratory guns, I may buy a crowning tool from Brownell's and try my hand at dressing up the business end of this one. I'll report back if the accuracy improves.
That is cool you found that, I am real interested if that was the problem. Please post back when you try it out.
 

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Hunter said:
DCW said:
The damaged land was on the side that the bullets were thrown to, so I'll be interested to see what happens the next time I take this one to the range.

Since this is one of my laboratory guns, I may buy a crowning tool from Brownell's and try my hand at dressing up the business end of this one. I'll report back if the accuracy improves.
That is cool you found that, I am real interested if that was the problem. Please post back when you try it out.

Well, I finally managed to get the old Brazilian back to the range today, and to my pleasure the lateral displacement that I noted in earlier range trips was no longer there. So unless my grip was different, or the ammo was significantly different, or something else was different, it looks like cleaning up the muzzle of the gun improved its accuracy. It still shoots a little low, but it may be that the ammo I was shooting is a little hotter than the last time. It's just bulk Winchester 230 gr MJ, but even with the Pachmayr grips the kick seemed substantial -- heavier than what I recall from the time before.



18 rounds at 10 yards, two hands, center hold, single action. I fired a DA cylinder as well at the same distance at another target. It was, as I expected, looser -- but everything stayed on paper and could be covered by a dinner plate. So I can use this gun at inside-the-house home defense distances.

I also swapped out the ejector rod between the last time and this one. That made for a tighter yoke and better bore/chamber alignment. The B/C gap remains fairly large at .008; there was a lot of side flash with every shot.

So even though this Brazilian is a mix-and-match gun -- it has a few replacement parts in it, the biggest being the yoke -- it now seems to function fairly well and has become my default Model 1917 shooter.
 

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Dave,
You've got some great "shooters" there. I seldom pass up a well used or professionally altered S&W at a great price, as they usually turn out to be great fun and surprisingly accurate for their time. I say this because that old S&W was well used for a reason, and I find that's usually because they were pretty darn accurate and held on to and used as opposed to being just abused. Some of my most accurate S&W's have been shot and carried a lot. One 6" .38 Hand Ejector(shipped 1913) had absolutely no finish remaining, the right grip panel was rubbed down & worn half off, the right corner of the muzzle crown was rounded from "in & out" holster wear, but the barrel and cylinder insides were perfect. From a rest, that gun will almost stack them in the same hole. Safe Queens are beautiful to look at, wonderful to hold, but I'll take an old S&W shooter any day. That converted .455 group should tighten up. Have you tried a larger diameter bullet? Great looking guns. If you get tired of them, let me know!
 
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