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Old 12-02-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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.357/44 Bobcat

For those of you not familiar...The .357/44 Bobcat is sort of like a Bain & Davis; only different.

Start with a .44 magnum case. Now neck it down to .357. Add a polymer collar over the bottle neck portion of the case so it can fit in an unaltered .44 cylinder.

Now drop said .44 cylinder into a S&W model 27 or 28, and you have, essentially a .357 Bain & Davis without permanently modifying your 27 or 28.

So, what I'm wondering is; Anyone here have any experience with such a conversion? Anyone know of a source for the polymer collars?

I have a set of dies and I have access to an extra .44 cylinder. What I'm worried about is:

My 27 already has a bit of flame cutting, and I'm thinking the .357 Bobcat would seriously exacerbate that problem. Is there anyone who could offer a differing opinion? (I would never use any bullet lighter than 158 grain)

My other problem is, my 27 is a 4" and I really think the .357/44 Bobcat would be at it's best with at least a 6" barrel.

But I keep coming back to: I have a nickel 27. A nickel 29 cylinder, and a set of .357/44 Bobcat dies...How do I NOT do this?
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:14 PM   #2
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

Kevin,

I had one of these when they first appeared on the scene. Over twenty years ago. The best of both worlds.

It wasn't. I did it up on a 6" 28, thinking longer barrel, better velocities. Couldn't tell you if I was getting better velocities than a .357 'cause I didn't have access to a chronograph.

The cool factor was pretty high but, the collars split after one or two shots. Even then, where to get the collars was a problem.

I decided that there was not much point to the whole exercise.

Of course, ymmv.

DaninDayton
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

You could probably make up chamber inserts like those that convert an M1 from .30-06 to .308. Your biggest problem is that the .44 cylinder isn't gonna drop into that 27/28 frame. The barrel shank on the 27/28 protrudes entirely too far into the cylinder window. Then, of course, the cylinder has to be fitted, aligned & timed.

Probably the best way to do this would be to find a beater 28 and rework it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:39 AM   #4
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

Quote:
Originally Posted by William R. Moore
You could probably make up chamber inserts like those that convert an M1 from .30-06 to .308. Your biggest problem is that the .44 cylinder isn't gonna drop into that 27/28 frame. The barrel shank on the 27/28 protrudes entirely too far into the cylinder window. Then, of course, the cylinder has to be fitted, aligned & timed.
That's right, .44 Mag cylinders ARE longer, so they won't fit in the 27/28 frame. (Not sure about .44 Special cylinders.)

The Navy tried using chamber inserts to convert the M1 from .30-06 to .308. Couple of variations, none worked well - these are considered dangerous by many. Ultimately, Springfield Armory (the government one) made up several tens of thousands of new 7.62 NATO barrels. The Italians converted their M1s (we sent them a lot post-WWII) by shortening the barrel at the breech end, then re-threading and re-chambering. Had to modify part of the gas system, too, but these conversions work well.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:19 AM   #5
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

Fitting the cylinder is not a big deal, that's what a lathe is for, and it's preferable that the cylinder is longer; that way I don't have to modify the host revolver. As for the collars, a good friend of mine has a business that does injection molding of plastic, so I could get the collars for not a ton of money. I have a sample round in my collection so I could just reverse engineer the collar.

But, I'm leaning toward not doing it because my 27 is a 4" and I relly think the Bobcat would do best with a 8 3/8".
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

Quote:
Fitting the cylinder is not a big deal, that's what a lathe is for, and it's preferable that the cylinder is longer; that way I don't have to modify the host revolver.
??? I'm not following this . . .

If the .44 Mag cylinder is full length, it won't fit in the .357 N-frame; shorten the cylinder in a lathe, and you no longer have the preferable longer cylinder.

Keep the preferable longer .44 Mag cylinder, and you have to shorten the .357's barrel extension and cut a new forcing cone - unless you have another barrel you plan to fit and swap out later, that IS a modification to the host revolver.

I don't see how you can have your cake (the preferable longer cylinder) AND eat it (unmodified revolver) too.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

If I remember right, the bobcat cartridge is shorter than the .44 magnum case. I remember trimming a lot of cases in making the bobcat case.

I didn't have any problem getting the bobcat into a standard mdl. 28 frame. I just decided it wasn't worth all that aggravation for what I perceived to be a minimal increase in velocity.

If the collar was molded out of one of the newer plastics, I think that collar life would be extnded greatly. I was only getting one or two, at the most, shots with each collar. The collars fit rather loosely in the chamber and, on the case. I think the expansion caused them to crack. If I were to design a mold for these collars. I would make it a friction fit on the case and a slip fit in the chamber.

If you do this, I would be real interested in any chronographing that you do.

DaninDayton
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:06 AM   #8
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB
Quote:
Fitting the cylinder is not a big deal, that's what a lathe is for, and it's preferable that the cylinder is longer; that way I don't have to modify the host revolver.
??? I'm not following this . . .

If the .44 Mag cylinder is full length, it won't fit in the .357 N-frame; shorten the cylinder in a lathe, and you no longer have the preferable longer cylinder.

Keep the preferable longer .44 Mag cylinder, and you have to shorten the .357's barrel extension and cut a new forcing cone - unless you have another barrel you plan to fit and swap out later, that IS a modification to the host revolver.

I don't see how you can have your cake (the preferable longer cylinder) AND eat it (unmodified revolver) too.
The Bobcat is a shorter cartridge. Also, I dont remember if my .44 Cylinder is a pre or post -3. The pre-3's are shorter IIRC. Still, we're not talking about taking a foot off the face of the cylinder, just enough to make it fit.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:45 PM   #9
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

If you have a lathe why not turn some collars out of stainless and temp/press fit them in the cylinder so you do not have to mess with them all the time? Sounds like the cylinder will be committed to the project anyway. I do not think there is any plastic that is going to tolerate being in the close proximity to that hot gas for any length of time.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

I was considering brass. If stainless got stuck, you'd trash the cylinder getting it back out. Still, I think I'm leaning toward not doing this.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re: .357/44 Bobcat

Ah so grasshopper...
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