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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got off the phone to a dealer mate from up north. He recenty acquired an 1878 double action Colt with usual address on top of barrel and 45 S & W on side. I know these were made in a variety of calibres including 44 S & W but can find no reference to it in 45 S & W. He reckons a 45 Russian will fit but a 45 Colt wont (the cylinder is stepped). This bloke is a very good gunsmith and knows what he is talking about.
Has anyone heard of this revolver in this calibre? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do not recall ever hearing of a ".45 Russian" Cartridge.
Neither have I but that is the information I got. Some old short 45 rimmed cartridge that he has - maybe S & W or Schofield?
Apparently the diameter is correct for the 45 Colt but the step prevents it going right in by about 1/8th of an inch.
My worry is he may ream it out and ruin a rare antique. :mad:
 

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May be it is chambered for the S & W .45 Cartridge then...being, the one used by the US Cavalry back then, which was a little shorter than the .45 Colt Cartridge, and while both would work in the SAA, only the shorter one would work in the AS Army S & W Revolver.

Can you get some images of the Revolver?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
According to Wikipedia, the M1878 was made in the following calibers:


Possibly a .455?

Bob Wright
Plenty of 455's here but are so marked. I am assured this one is marked 45 S & W.
I am trying to determine if it is a rare gun as the owner intends to ream it out and I may have to mount a rescue mission. This would mean trading one of my 45 Colt '78s for it which I really dont want to do.
Thanks all for the input.
 

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It would be nice if you could go have a look at it, see how 'genuine' the Barrel Stamping seems to be, and if it indeed says "45 S & W".


And or just go do the 'Rescue Mission' and sort the rest out later!


It would of course be very odd, if it were to have been a Special Order and factory Stamped and chambered for the .45 S & W Cartridge, since that would pretty well limit it to either that Cartridge or maybe some of the English .45-whatever Shells, leaving the owner unable to use .45 Colt Cartridges, which would have been vastly easier to find, unless one were either in the Military Supply Chain, or bought a lot of the .45 S & W Ammunition somehow to have it on hand for the future.
 

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The .45 S&W rim is .010 larger in diameter than the .45 Colt, but after 1874 the .45 Schofield was the only cartridge issued by the military for both the Colt and S&W Revolvers. The larger rim was to aid extraction in the Schofield revolvers, but this would not be a problem in the 1878 Colt where the cartridges are pushed out of the cylinder.
 

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If I remember correctly, the 45 Schofield had a thicker and wider rim ghan the 45 "long" Colt did. That was why rhe government cartridge came along. That might prevent using shortened 45 Colt cartridges.
Um, the .45 Schofield, .45 S&W, and .45 Colt Gov't. are actually one and the same. Technically, there was no ".45 Schofield" cartridge.

Here are samples of ammunition that would have been issued during the period. The "M1873" and M1875" designations are my own applications.



And some later versions of the .45 S&W, all made by Frankford Arsenal:



And commercial ammunition samples:



Frankford Arsenal began using the head stamp "R F" (Revovler, Frankford) then "F" (Frankford) and finally, "F A" (Frankford Arsenal).

Bob Wright
 
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