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.36 CALIBER THUER METALLIC CARTRIDGE – EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF A RARE EARLY COLT CONVERSION CARTRIDGE:  One of the early post-Civil War conversion designs which were applied to the Colt Revolving Percussion Pistols, the Thuer Conversion provided an avenue to circumvent the barrier of the Rollin White patent for bored through pistol cylinders which was exclusively held by the Smith and Wesson Company.   

Patented in 1868, Thuer’s design incorporated a cylinder with rear tapering chambers – similar in concept to the Burnside Carbine – into which metallic-cased, self contained cartridges with a matching taper were loaded from the front of the cylinder.  Thuer designed the cartridge cases to be reloadable, allowing the shooter with a supply of bullets, powder and primers to reuse the expended cartridge cases – a definite benefit for the prospective customer venturing out on the expanding Western Frontier.   

Although not without its faults, and even with a limited reception in the firearms market, the Thuer Conversion promised one of the viable alternatives to the bored through cylinder as long as the Rollin White Patent stood.   As the sage once said, “timing is everything”.  The need for, and the viability of, the Thuer Conversion was eclipsed when White’s patent expired in December, 1869 and the bored through cylinder became available to not only Colt, but to all other firearms manufacturers. 

These .31 and .36 Caliber Thuer Metallic Cartridges are in excellent condition, retaining the full form of the bullet and the case and the primer is still present and intact.   Due to the very limited production of the Thuer Converted Colt Pistols, and the relatively short life those pistols enjoyed in service, the production of this proprietary cartridge was very limited and surviving specimens are fairly rare. 












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