conversion revolvers

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An original cartridge conversion revolver from the post-Civil War era would be an unregulated antique.
Legal Revolvers from that time frame would accept Black Powder only.

The only Antique Handguns that accept modern propellants, in cartridge form, and are not very expensive, are some early Nagants - to the best of my knowledge.

They would typically be Belgian and not Russian.

Under $1000 for usable examples.

Nagant M1895 - Wikipedia
 
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NOTE: FFL is not required.

So at least the Seller believes this to be a Legal Antique.

Apparently not under $1000 anymore.
 
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I believe if you study the ATF Website you will discover Conversion Revolvers are considered MODERN firearms.

Thus they must be transferred by FFL only.

As these would fail to be on the Mass Roster, no Mass FFL could sell you one.

As I am not a Lawyer, my advice is avoid these.

If you want a good Six-Shooter, look into Ruger.

There are many Ruger's on the Roster, and I'm pretty sure many are Six-Shooters.

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/03/28/Approved Firearms Roster 03-2019_0.pdf
 

ranger4-7

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No doubt that purchasing a revolver, set up and sold as a conversion would be a no-go (through a dealer) in MA. I was hoping someone would weigh in on the scenario where one buys a black powder/cap and ball pistol (readily available in MA), and then orders the conversion cylinder, which is nothing more than an un-serialized part through one of several mail order firms that offer them. Does one then need to FA-10 the original pistol? I would have to believe that if in possession of both the pistol and the conversion cylinder, an LTC (vs. FID) would be wise.
 

C. Stockwell

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Legal Revolvers from that time frame would accept Black Powder only.

The only Antique Handguns that accept modern propellants, in cartridge form, and are not very expensive, are some early Nagants - to the best of my knowledge.

They would typically be Belgian and not Russian.

Under $1000 for usable examples.

Nagant M1895 - Wikipedia
The following antique revolvers started production before 1899 and accept smokeless cartridges:

*Colt 1892
*Bodeo 1889
*Type 26
*Webley MkI in .455 (double check if this can be loaded with black powder or smokeless, adopted in 1887)
*French M1892
*Reichsrevolver can be shot with smokeless (please be careful, exercise due diligence, and do your own research)
*S&W No. 3 Russian can be shot with smokeless (please be careful, exercise due diligence, and do your own research)

One of those from before 1899 would be an antique per MGL ch. 140, sec. 121 (correct me if I am wrong). There's probably many more produced out there between say 1865 and 1899 but those are the biggest ones in terms of production that come to my mind beyond the Nagants that can be shot with smokeless. There's also the original Colt SAAs but those aren't advised to be shot with smokeless powder. That might not matter to OP though because he mentioned cartridge conversion-era guns, which were designed before smokeless.

moderns smokeless in 1880s SAA

There's two reasons to want a cartridge conversion revolver in a heavily-regulated jurisdiction:

*OP cannot have a LTC either due to age, can only have a FID, or some other unusual reason - please don't buy an antique gun or a modern replica and carry it
*OP has an interest in guns from that era - in that case OP should just buy what he wants out of state, or as antiques, or what he can find per the Mass roster, from dealers, or on the private market
 
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No more so than any other modern cartridge revolver.
This is accurate according to the ATF.

Firearms - Guides - Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition - Gun Control Act Definitions - Antique Firearm | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

B. Any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica



So a genuine Antique remains an Antique even if it happens to fire Conventional Ammunition.

But a Replica with a Conversion Cylinder becomes a Modern Firearm.

I'm not a Lawyer, but that would lead me to believe that a MA FA10 would be required anytime the Firearm and the Conversion Cylinder are in proximity. Not only when assembled.

Because a modern Handgun - which is what a Cap & Ball w Conversion Cylinder becomes - does not magically become a non-firearm when the cylinder is removed.

I honestly don't see the point of Conversion Cylinders at all. And they are not cheap.
 

Dennis in MA

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I'm still looking for a reason why they'd be illegal in MA. This is the first I've ever heard of it. You should FA-10 it, but not have one?? What makes it different than a P80 or 1911 build????? You are buying a non-firearm set of parts and turning them into a firearm.
 
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I'm still looking for a reason why they'd be illegal in MA. This is the first I've ever heard of it. You should FA-10 it, but not have one?? What makes it different than a P80 or 1911 build????? You are buying a non-firearm set of parts and turning them into a firearm.
Like I said, I'm no lawyer.

And I tend, especially publicly, to be very conservative when it comes to Firearms Law.

So, could I be wrong ? Sure.
 

Agincourt

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I would not shoot smokeless powder .455 loads in any Mark I through Mark IV Webley. The British Army switched over from BP to Nitro over 1902 to 1903. The Webley Marks V and VI have longer and thicker cylinders to handle smokeless powder.

Further, many of these Webleys of all Marks were 'shaved' either at the cylinder face or on the recoil plate to accept .45 ACP rounds. For the former you can tell by the lack of serial numbers and proof marks on the cylinder face and, in most cases, cropping of the tops of the serial numbers on the side of the cylinder. All Webleys are NOT SAFE for smokeless .45 ACP rounds.

"1. The operating pressure for the Mark VI Webley revolver (the last, and strongest, of the .455 Webley service revolvers) was a maximum of 13200PSI (i.e. six 'long tons' of 2200 lbs).

2. The standard operating pressure generated by milspec and full factory loads of .45 ACP ball ammunition is 19,000PSI.

3. The pressure of .45 ACP milspec and standard factory loads exceeds the proof load for the Mark VI Webley revolver."

***WARNING for shaved or cut Webleys in .45 ACP/Auto Rim*** - 1911Forum
 

andrew1220

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I'm still looking for a reason why they'd be illegal in MA. This is the first I've ever heard of it. You should FA-10 it, but not have one?? What makes it different than a P80 or 1911 build????? You are buying a non-firearm set of parts and turning them into a firearm.
This.
Ruger makes a convertible Blackhawk revolver which are 100% legal to own/buy/sell here in MA. Am I missing something??
Ruger® New Model Blackhawk® Convertible Single-Action Revolver Models
 

Dennis in MA

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Well that's conversion of calibers. This is buying a Pietta 1858 Remmy and getting a Kirst (I think) cylinder to drop into it to shoot 45LC instead of 45 round ball front-stuffed. It's taking a non-firearm and turning it into a firearm. Sort of like taking a shovel and turning it into a AK47.
 

42!

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On the Roster = LEGAL.

That much is simple.
No!
On the roster means legal for a dealer to sell. Has no bearing on possession.

I think there is some different interpretations of "legal" being used here. Legal with a license, Legal without a license, Legal for a dealer to sell, Legal to possess.
 
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I wouldnt even ask the question. I think you'd probably have to file upon conversion, but...
What happens when you switch back to the BP cylinder after shooting a dozen or so cowboy loads? Or sell the blackpowder gun? (privately of course)

Cause now MA thinks (and will always think) you have a revolver in X caliber.

EDIT: After thinking on this, I'm not sure if there's any advantage to having a conversion cylinder, unless you're a cowboy action shooter and really want to shoot BP cartridges.
You can buy extra BP cylinders at around $50 and reload faster by simply swapping out the cylinders.
 
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Darksideblues42

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No!
On the roster means legal for a dealer to sell. Has no bearing on possession.

I think there is some different interpretations of "legal" being used here. Legal with a license, Legal without a license, Legal for a dealer to sell, Legal to possess.
On the roster doesn't mean legal to sell, if you believe the AG. That double secret AG list also needs to be factored in.
 
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No!
On the roster means legal for a dealer to sell. Has no bearing on possession.

I think there is some different interpretations of "legal" being used here. Legal with a license, Legal without a license, Legal for a dealer to sell, Legal to possess.
ON THE ROSTER: Legal to buy, Legal to own, Legal to sell = LEGAL (with appropriate LTC, of course).

It's not complicated.

Once you get Off Roster, that's when it gets difficult.
 

42!

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ON THE ROSTER: Legal to buy, Legal to own, Legal to sell = LEGAL (with appropriate LTC, of course).

It's not complicated.

Once you get Off Roster, that's when it gets difficult.
Actually you are showing how confusing it really is. You list on the roster as including legal to buy, sell, own. But the roster only regulates selling by a dealer. An off roster gun is legal (with a license) to buy and own, and even to sell in a FtF.
 

Dennis in MA

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I'd still like to know what the attraction is of a Conversion.
Short of being a cowboy shooter, there is none. Or maybe a gang-banger that wants to go EXTRA-OG.

But a 58 Remmy at BPS is $350. A Kirst cylinder is $300. Woot!!!! You've got yourself a non-reloadable $650 gun.

But if you like a Remmy grip-angle, and you live in MA, you're SOL for a repro 1875. Your only choice is a 58 and drop a conversion cylinder in it.

You can also convert a 36 cal Colt repro. IIRC, those you get a gated revolver BUT you have to use HBWC bullets b/c the .36 caliber bbl is too wide for normal 38cal bullertz.


Outside of cowboy shooters and people who are fans of that era weaponry, there is no attraction at all. It's cheaper to build a P80 if you want an untracable gun. (Because the BP's are usually serialized anyhow. Not that it's tracked, but the powers-that-be LOVE serial #'s. Because on Law & Order, you can totally catch a guy by the next commercial break with nothing more than a serial #.)
 
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