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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Got another 1860 'Long Cylinder' conversion .44RF. What makes this one rare is that it has the loading gate w/ matching assembly #! I've only seen one other that had the gate, most were either lost or never installed. None of those pictured in McDowell's book have the gate. These were made with new, straight cylinders and the frame 'step' was removed. There is some controversy as to who made these: Colt, private contractors, gunsmiths???. According to McDowell, the highest assembly number observed is 56, giving rise to the conclusion that fewer than 60 were ever made. This one's assembly number is 71. What also makes this gun special is that is has matching serial numbers. Most do not, from what I understand. Serial number 57399, assembly #71 with 7 7/8" bbl. Note in the 3rd photo the means for sighting the pistol: the groove at the back of the bbl. These had RF hammers and no rear sight in them like the perc 1860's.
Also shown is my other Long Cylinder, serial # 69375, assembly #32 w/ 8" bbl. Also with matching serial numbers but no gate. Note that it has an added brass rear sight added. A .44 long RF fits both of these fine. My couple of Henry rounds are either very tight or a no-go. No matter who constructed these, they are rare guns.




 

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A very interesting pair of converted 44 RF's. Is the gate spring internal to the frame, maybe a coil type? I wonder too how many of these may have come out of some place like Mexico?

I once owned what appeared to be a Richards conversion of an 1860 Army. But the conversion parts were not quite the same as on a real Richards.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
A very interesting pair of converted 44 RF's. Is the gate spring internal to the frame, maybe a coil type? I wonder too how many of these may have come out of some place like Mexico?

I once owned what appeared to be a Richards conversion of an 1860 Army. But the conversion parts were not quite the same as on a real Richards.
Unlike the Richard's, this one has no spring, relying solely on the tension of the little screw. Opening and closing a few times will loosen it up and I think that's why so many are missing-they just fall off. My other 'Long Cylinder' has an entirely different set-up. You can see from the photos.

Your conversion you talk about reminds me of my 'Mystery Conversions' They are similar to the Richard's system, but crudely done and enough differences occur from example to example to lend credence to the fact that they were produced in Mexico (and a few here) by various gunsmiths. I have two examples of those as well, one missing the gate (which would hinge from the top) and ejector assembly. Note the top one has a type of conversion ring while the bottom one does not. shown below:
 
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