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  1. #1
    Junior Member rmruder is on a distinguished road

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    New Frontier 22LR and WMR Cylinders

    I'm new to 22 revolvers in general and have a few questions. I just bought a New Frontier 22 L series but it only has the 22 Mag cylinder. Can you get a 22LR cylinder by itself and will it fit without any custom work? I'm having no luck so far finding one.....I'm also looking for a 22 Peacemaker and was wondering if I find one with both cylinders could I use the 22LR from the Peacemaker in the New Frontier I already have?

    For ammo, can you use the Winchester WRF in the 22 Mag cylinder as an alternative to WMR ammo as a less expensive option without any issues? I didn't realize that the 22 Mag ammo was so much more expensive than 22LR and would like to do some shooting with this new revolver without breaking the bank! I can reload my .40s, .44s, .45s and .357s for the price of the 22 Mag ammo......

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Colt75 is on a distinguished road
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I think the cylinders require a bit of fitting. Not absolutely sure how much though.

    Yes you can use WRF in the Magnum cylinder. I've done it. WRF ammo is not cheap either though. I think CCI warns that their WRF ammo is for use in rifles only. Something to keep in mind.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Buckspen is on a distinguished road

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    Peacemaker and New Frontier 22 Cylinders

    The cylinders on the PM 22 and NF 22 Colt revolvers are generally interchangable. However, minor fitting may be required in some cases. I have a shooter grade PM 22 that came to me as a single cylinder gun. When I tried to use a .22 Magnum cylinder in it, I had to take a few thousandsth off the front of the cylinder bushing in order to get it to fit.
    In another case I had to bore out the cylinder pin hole slightly for the pin to fit.
    It is best to make sure the new cylinder times up correctly, but this usually isn't a problem unless the bolt or hand has been replaced.
    Of course, this applies to factory parts only. All kinds of problems may come up with aftermarket cylinders.

    - - Buckspen

  4. #4
    *** ColtForum MVP *** dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all dfariswheel is a name known to all

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    As above, at least some fitting may be necessary, and you really have to be sure chamber/bore alignment is correct for all 6 chambers by using a range rod to gage it.
    These parts were hand fitted at the factory.

    A used cylinder may have problems, since it's already been fitted to a different frame.
    There are some genuine Colt cylinders out there, and some aftermarket that may be good.

    Coltparts advertises what I assume are genuine cylinders:

    http://www.coltparts.com/pt_scout.html

  5. #5
    Junior Member rmruder is on a distinguished road

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    Many thanks for the info guys!

    I did find some CCI WMR ammo at WalMart this weekend for $10 for a box of 50, which was better than I found anywhere else. Everything I had found before was $16-$17 a box. Still a little expensive for just plinking, but better..... I also understand from some reading on the subject, that the WMR should be much more accurate than 22LR in this revolver as apparently the WMR bullets are slightly larger than a standard 22LR, and should fit tighter in the barrel of this revolver. Is this a normal condition of all convertible revolvers, as I also have a Ruger Single Six convertible?

    It would make sense that all convertible 22 revolvers would have barrels sized for the WMR bullet, which apparently must be a few thousands larger than a 22LR. Obviously if there is a difference in size between WMR and 22LR bullets, it only makes sense that the barrel would have to be sized for the larger of the 2 rounds and that the WMR would have an accuracy advantage by fitting tighter in the rifling. I didn't realize there was a difference in size between the two.....I will try both the 22LR and the WMR in my Ruger to see if there is indeed an accuracy difference and how much.

    It would still be nice to be able to shoot the much less expensive 22LR in my Colt just for fun, but it sounds like even if I can find a 22LR cylinder for it, I should have it checked and more than likely fitted to work properly, and that it may very well still not be as accurate as the 22 WMR. Since I do have the Ruger, I can always use it when I want to shoot 22LR, as it looks like I could end up with up to $200 invested to get a 22LR cylinder and properly fitted for the Colt. I'm guessing as I continue to look for a Colt 22 Peacemaker, it makes sense knowing this now that I will look hard for one that comes with both cylinders......Is there any way to know if the 2 cylinders actually came with the gun originally and have been properly fitted and are not second hand? Are there serial numbers or any identifying marks on the cylinders to determine if they indeed match the specific revolver?

    I didn't know 22's could be so complicated ;-). I was just looking for something that was fun to shoot and less expensive than my centerfire handguns, so I thought I would get a couple of 22s, but who knew....Of course it's still a Colt revolver, definitely cool and a lot less expensive than an SAA in .45 or .357!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Buckspen is on a distinguished road

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    Colt .22 and .22 Magnun

    It has been my experience that the .22 LR is almost always more accurate than the .22 Magnum, regardless of barrel diameters. Other folks may have had different experiences. One thing you do not want to do is to shoot the .22 LR in a .22 Magnum chamber. The Magnum case is larger in diameter than the .22 LR and the cases may split during firing causing release of powder gas and metal particles.
    The best way to learn about the Frontier Scouts and related revolvers is to read Don Wilkerson's book "Colt Scouts, Peacemakers and New Frontiers in .22 Caliber" which is still available from Carol Wilkerson for $40 including shipping at www.collectcolt.com
    Unfortunately, Colt .22 LR and .22 Magnum cylinders were never marked with serial numbers, model numbers or even the Colt name. In the absence of the original box for the gun, the only way to determine if the gun was originally shipped with both cylinders is to purchase a factory archive letter on the gun.

    - - Buckspen

  7. #7
    Junior Member rmruder is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for the response. I'm surprised to hear that the 22LR might outperform the WMR for accuracy. If that's the case, it sounds like it may make it worthwhile to get a 22LR cylinder for my revolver if I want to do a lot of shooting with it. I'll keep checking to see if I can find one. I'll also check out the link in this thread for the colt parts. I did buy it to shoot it, not just to collect, even though I appreciate it's possible collector's status. I have also read what you said in several other reports about trying to shoot a 22LR in a Magnum cylinder, and it definitely sounds like a BIG mistake to try and I will not even attempt it.

    Even if I found a Peacemaker with both cylinders, if the cylinders require some fitting, it may not be practical to try to use one 22LR cylinder in 2 different guns, as it may not be workable. I guess I could take both guns and all cylinders to a gunsmith to evaluate if they would be interchangeable to a reasonable degree.......Again it sounds like it may be more complicated than it's worth, and that I would be better off getting separate cylinders for each gun. Since the cylinders are not necessarily interchangeable between guns, you would think that it would have been worthwhile to mark them somehow so it would be easier to determine if they were matched to a specific gun.....Of course the manufacturing in the "old" days was not as it is now, so I suppose some of the custom fitting of parts gives these older guns some of their character.

    I also appreciate the lead on the book and will look into it as I enjoy reading about guns almost as much as I like shooting them! I have just started to get more interested in old revolvers, especially the Colts, and would like to find out more about them. Does this book cover the centerfire SAA's as well, or is there a different book that has the detailed history on all the old Colt revolvers? I have seen a book on general Colt history, but the one I saw actually had more info on the other revolvers rather than the SAA's. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Buckspen is on a distinguished road

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    Colt Books

    Some years ago, I did some extensive testing of .22 Magnum ammo in various rifles and wrote it up for Precision Shooting magazine. I think it was published around 1995 or so. Anyway, .22 Magnum cartridges are far less accurate than .22 LR, and that's not even considering .22 LR match grade ammo. That is not to say that .22 Magnum is "inaccurate". It certainly seems accurate enough for hunting and plinking situations, although the .22 Magnum is kind of expensive to do lot of plinking with it.
    It was just never intended by the manufacturers to be a "target" round. There may have been some improvements over the years. And my experience may not be directly applicable to handguns but I would be quite surprised to find that the .22 Magnum is more accurate than the .22 LR in any given handgun when tested under careful conditions. Certainly, I have never found this to be the case.

    I have included a list of books that I have found helpful over the years.

    The Book of Colt Firearms - Sutherland & Wilson (this is the best all-around book!)
    Colt Rimfire Automatic Pistols - Brink
    Colt .45 Service Pistols - Clawson
    Collector's Guide fo Colt .45 Service Pistols - Clawson
    Colt .45 Government Models - Clawson
    Colt Super .38 The Production History -Sheldon
    Colt's .38 Automatic Pistols - Sheldon
    The Government Models - Goddard
    The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols - Brunner
    Percussion Colt Revolvers - Russell
    The Colt Commemorative 1961-1986 - Chondry & Jones
    Colt Commemorative Firearms - Wilson
    A Study of the Colt Single Action Revolver - Graham, Kopec & Moore
    Colt Memorabilia - Ogle
    Colt's Double Action Revolver Model of 1878 - Wilkerson
    Colt Scouts, Peacemakers and New Frontiers in .22 Caliber - Wilkerson
    The Post-War Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1976-1986 - Wilkerson
    The Colt Single Action Army Revolver 1955-1975 - Wilkerson
    Unfortunately, most of these are out of print, however, they can be found at used book sellers. Try eBay, GunBroker, Auction Arms, Amazon, Alibris, Bibliofind, ABE Books, Ray Riling Books, IDSA Books, BSG Books and Bookfinder.
    The Blue Book of Gun Values is also a valuable resource.

    - - Buckspen

  9. #9
    Junior Member rmruder is on a distinguished road

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    Buckspen,

    Thanks again for all the valuable info! I will check into the books you have listed as well. I did contact the colt parts company listed earlier at http://www.coltparts.com/pt_scout.html and they want $200 for a 22LR cylinder, although he said that there would be no fitting required and it would drop right in. I'm not quite sure how well that will work without fitting unless they are newly manufactured cylinders set up to tolerances that will accommodate the natural variation in the guns themselves, but it seems like a viable option.

    I may be better off just limiting how much I shoot this "first" NF I bought as it is in excellent condition, is an "L" series which was apparently only manufactured for about 1 year, and does have the original foam box and woodgrained cover minus one end flap. I could just put the $200 for the 22LR cylinder towards my next Colt revolver and find one that's more in "shooter" condition that already has the 22LR cylinder. I have already seen a few on-line for around $400 in average condition and I can always keep checking at my local gun shows. It looks like I may already be inclined to find a couple of more Colts anyway ;-).

    I also still have the Ruger I originally bought new for plinking with, and the Colts are certainly more collectible. After seeing the Colt at a gun show, I just wanted to have one! However, I already found the Colt seeming to be more comfortable and balanced than the Ruger even without shooting it yet, and am looking forward to putting some rounds through it. I do like to shoot the guns I have, although I have never purchased any before that were of any kind of collectible nature. Maybe this would be a good start!

  10. #10
    Senior Member kenhwind is on a distinguished road

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    Well my brother and I just got a New Fromtier 22 LR without the magnum cylinder. It was supposed to have the box and the tag was marked 22/22Mag. We've had a couple of these before and I feel that the cylinders should be interchangable in revolvers in good condition providing the cylinders are too. But that doesn't mean that some fitting would be required and should be checked with a range rod.

    We bought another NF in excellent condition with box and papers, both cylinders. The first gun was minty also.

    So now we find a Peacemaker 22 Mag in good condition. This one doesn't have the LR cylinder. Its on layaway.

    Our plan is to shoot the first NF and the PM and keep the second gun like new.

    OK: Now we need both cylinders or one of each.
    FWIF: Numrich has replacement 22 Mag cylinders made to Colt specs. They also have cylinder sets listed but are sold out.
    Has anyone used these cylinders from Numrich? Some of their afremarket stuff is nice and some is well soso...

    I would buy another gun before I'd pay $200 dollars for a cylinder.

    http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...spx?catid=6645
    Ken
    "I like Colts and will die that way"


 

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