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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #1
Dino
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Beltsville, Md.
Posts: 858
Kirst/R&D/Howell Conversion Cylinders for my 1849 Pocket

I really had my heart set on the Kirst conversion cylinder for several reasons ...
1) It offers a single firing pin as opposed to R&D's six firing pins.
2) It offers the ability to cut a loading channel which would enable loading/reloading without having to take the pistol apart each time.
3) Most reviews I've read say that this is a TRUE "drop in" cylinder and reported nothing but good things.
4) Though it's a 5-shot cylinder, the cylinder offers a "notch" for the hammer to rest so no chamber is wasted, thus making it a true 5-shot cylinder (not 4).

Unfortunately, Kirst no longer offers these conversions for the 1849 and the only other company(s) that I've found that offer them are R&D and Howells, which I found are the same company!

R&D now operates under the name "Howells".
R&D used to offer this conversion as a 6-shot with no notches for the hammer, so essentially ... it only has a 5-shot capacity.
NOW, I see that "Howells" (remember, the same company) offers this conversion in a 5-shot configuration.

Though there are distributors that still offer the R&D (6-shot) cylinder, I couldn't help think that there were issues with this and that's why they now offer the 5-shot version. It so happens that this was later confirmed by one of their distributors. Not only did the 6-shot configuration compromise the integrity of the cylinder, but I was told that there were alot of fitting and timing issues as well.

So .... now both Kirst and R&D are no longer options for me, which leaves only the "Howell" 5-shot cylinder.
After doing a bit of research, I found only one distributor ... Midway.
Unfortunately, their "customer service" knows nothing about these conversion kits.

My question is ... does the Howell 5-shot conversion at least offer "notches" on the cylinder for the hammer to rest? Or does it require I use and open chamber, thus limiting it to a 4-shot capacity?

Also ... R&D used to offer a service (free of charge) where they would fit the cylinder and correct any timing issues if there were any problems.
Does anyone know if "Howell" (again, same company) offers this service?

Sorry for the winded post, but I've searched everywhere on the internet for these answers (as well as a contact for Howell) and have come up empty.


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