Belt Mountain Enterprises of Belgrade,
Montana has been producing over-size custom base pins for Ruger
and Colt single action revolvers for several years now. I have
Belt Mountain pins in several of my best sixguns. They eliminate
the problem of the base pin moving forward under recoil, and the
oversize diameter of the pin, compared to the standard factory
pin dimension, tightens cylinder play. I highly recommend Belt
Mountain base pins.
Belt Mountain also produces some of the
absolute best precision hunting bullets available. These Punch
bullets are the best that money can buy when deep,
bone-breaking penetration is needed from a handgun or rifle.
These are machine-turned brass bullets with a lead core and a
flat meplat. They are the finest that I have found when bullet
performance can’t be compromised. The Punch bullets are not
cheap, but compared to the cost of a hunt, or to the loss of one’s
life, the cost is not an issue.
Now, the latest innovation from Belt Mountain
is a quick-change latch for the Ruger Old Army cap and ball
sixgun. The Old Army is the best cap and ball revolver ever
built. It is now out of production, but with many thousands of
them in existence, they are still easy to find. They are very
popular among the Cowboy Action
competitors who compete with cap and ball revolvers, as they
are very reliable and durable. The Belt Mountain quick-change
cylinder device allows the cylinder to be swapped out quickly,
without the use of tools. On the Ruger design, to remove the
cylinder, a slotted screw must be turned, and the loading
lever/base pin slid forward to remove the cylinder. As most
competitors prefer to load the cylinder while it is removed from
the gun, the Belt Mountain device allows this to be done by just
turning the knurled knob and sliding the base pin forward.
A quick reload can be accomplished in just a
few seconds if a spare loaded cylinder is available. Also, for
those who use the popular cartridge conversion cylinders for the
Old Army, removing the cylinder to reload it is a must. This
innovative device from Belt Mountain makes the removal of the
Ruger cylinder fast and easy.
The Belt Mountain conversion comes with
everything needed, including a hex wrench. Removing the loading
lever and installing the Belt Mountain parts takes about a full
minute, if you are in no hurry. The conversion is available in
either blued carbon steel or stainless, to match any Old Army
revolver, and the conversion works with either the original
seven and one-half or the recent
five and one-half inch barrel sixguns.
Shooting cap and ball sixguns is not for
everyone, but is enjoyed by many shooters. Those who think that
all guns should have at least fifty percent polymer content and
several inches of Picatinny rail will not understand. If all of
your pants each have a minimum of nine pockets and are held up
by a web belt, you have a “Kill Your Mama” tattoo over your
left nipple, and your favorite movie features a nuclear-powered
humanoid robot, you likely will not understand the intrigue of a
cap and ball sixgun. However, a cap and ball revolver is the
closest thing that we have to a time machine back to the Old
West, and for those who love such things as stagecoaches, cattle
drives, and the smell of black powder, such a sidearm is as good
as it gets.
However, many shooters of these gun prefer
the convenience of using a cartridge-conversion cylinder to
shoot 45 Colt ammunition in the Old Army. For those, this Belt
Mountain device is just the thing for quickly removing the
cylinder to load.
I really like the idea of carrying a spare
cylinder, already loaded and capped, for a quick install into
the Old Army. I also prefer to load the cylinder using a Black
Dawge press, for uniformity and simplicity. Popping the cylinder
out to load on the press is much faster than loading on the
sixgun, and I am able to get more consistent velocities by doing
so. For those who shoot the cartridge conversion cylinders in
the Old Army, the Belt Mountain conversion greatly improves the
usefulness and practicality of the cartridge conversion. The
Belt Mountain conversion makes this process quick and easy, and
the parts are built and assembled with the precision and quality
that I have come to expect from Belt Mountain.
The Belt Mountain latch system is available
for only $34.95 US as of the date of this review. The Old Army
base pin is $29.95 for the standard style, with the Keith No. 5
style base pin shown here only five dollars more.