A conversion cylinder of a different caliber increases the flexibility of a single-action revolver.
by Roy Seifert
Some time ago, my cowboy action shooting friend “Chili Ron” showed me a stainless-steel large-frame Ruger Vaquero that came with two cylinders; one in .45 LC (Long Colt), and a second one in .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol.) I thought that was a great idea as I’m a big fan of convertible revolvers because of the additional flexibility of being able to use different cartridges. I own two Ruger Single Six convertible revolvers that each came with two cylinders; one for .22 short/long/long rifle, and a second for .22 Magnum. I thought it would be fun to shoot .45 ACP out of my Ruger large-frame .45 LC Vaqueros, not to mention the lighter rounds would be good for cowboy action shooting. .45 ACP is the cartridge used for Wild Bunch matches in 1911 pistols.
It’s worth noting that not all cylinders are alike. I purchased two .45 ACP cylinders found on eBay that were advertised as having come from old-model Blackhawks. I can’t help but wonder what happened to the original revolver and how the cylinder became separated from it. When I started this project I made a rash assumption – and we all know what happens when we make such assumptions. I had assumed that all Ruger cylinders were manufactured to the same specification. Perhaps I didn’t hear the game-show buzzer going off indicating I had guessed incorrectly but my two new cylinders were as different as night and day. Both chambered .45 ACP cartridges, were fluted, and came from Ruger single-action revolvers, however, that’s about where the similarities ended.
Read more in the November 2015 issue.