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Thread: Vintage indoor trigger time (Pellet Conversion) for your pistol

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    Default Vintage indoor trigger time (Pellet Conversion) for your pistol

    Some of the gun gadgets from the 1950’s and 1960’s are truly innovative and fun to use. Most of them allowed either more or special trigger time with your firearm.

    The vintage “Gadget” we are going to review today is made by Lachmiller Engineering, in California around 1963, It was only avail for 2 years according to their brochures.

    It is called the “PIP-Squeak.” It allows you to load air gun pellets into the special included conversion shells to shoot out of a .38 special, .44 or a .45 rimmed revolver. The whole kit cost about $15 back then. The different caliber upgrade kits were approx $9.95 each additional. This kit is for the .38 special.

    Lachmiller Enigineering, was a well known maker of various innovative reloading equipment in the 50’s & 60’s. You can still find dies, loaders and tools on various gun related auction sites made by them. Lachmiller, was bought out by a major reloading equipment maker in 1973. The new company decided not to market this gadget any more as it limits the sales of their reloading tools and components.

    It comes with:

    1- Loading base to insert and to de-cap a small pistol primer from the special conversion shells. This one comes with the optional mounting base plate that were purchased at a $1.75 premium by mail order.
    5 - .38 special steel conversion shells (note only 5 for hammer safety)
    1 – Loading and de-capping tool
    1 – Handle
    1 - Instructions

    The loading gear and conversion shells
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    Showing how the conversion shell is primed
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    Showing how a pellet is placed and then inserted into the shell
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    The procedure is simple:

    FIRST AND FORMOST MAKE SURE YOUR GUN IS UNLOADED AND THAT EACH OF THE 5 CONVERSION SHELLS ARE… U N L O A D E D…

    Prime the 5 - .38 special conversion shells using STANDARD SMALL PISTOL PRIMERS and using the cam loader base (I have used this priming tool to prime my actual .38 special brass as well when I am up at the cabin). Using standard small pistol primers, you drop one into the hole on the base at the shell holder and lever the cam upwards and it seats the primer perfectly into the conversion shell. I have used magnum small pistol primers and it does get better performance with them, but you really must be aware of your backstop as they will often penetrate 1” plywood with using the magnum small pistol primers.

    You then load a .177 pellet HEAD UP into the bore of the special conversion shell x 1 for each shell using the hand loader / primer punch to seat the pellet, do not jam it as you will either de-seat the primer or possibly set it off, just lightly seat it. Some brands and shapes of pellets do work better than others. Plastic bodied pellets do not perform well with this gadget as they melt and deform. I have also used lead ball rounds in .177 size (avail from GAMO), they work real well. Do not use copper plated steel BB’s, they could possibly scar your barrel. Hollow point pellets do perform well from this gadget on small game and pests

    You load your revolver as usual. Then SAFELY ……Fire the 5 shots, empty the cylinder of the conversion shells. You then de-cap the conversion shells with the de-capping tool, then re-prime and reload and fire again. Do not try to use your Loading Press de-capper, you will break your pins. The de-capper punch supplied just requires a simple tap with a mallet or wood dowel.

    With primers costing about $3.50 a pack of 100 for CCI Small Pistol Primers and average cost of pellets of about 100 for $2.50 for Crosman brand from any of the discount stores. The cost of shooting 100 rounds is only approx. $6.00. This cost can go up or down based on brands of primers and pellets you choose. Since you are using your standard revolver (I use a 1926 4” S&W-M&P pre model 10, shown below), your practice time is much lower costs using your real revolver and not an added air gun.

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    These rounds can be shot in the basement, garage, backyard or in the woods where permitted. Please remember to wear ear/eye protection and ventilate the area due to the primer smoke and the lead pellet. Please also make sure of your back stop as these can penetrate ½” plywood with standard primer and 1” plywood with small magnum primers. I have even hunted rabbit, rats and some birds with it.

    The accuracy is really great, with 5 - shot groups at 25 feet being about 1 ½ to 2 inches, using the standard primers. Using magnum small pistol primers the accuracy is about the same, but the power is almost 2 fold. I have taken rabbit at about 10-12 yards with ease with small magnum pistol primers. It is perfect for garden pest control and shooting rats and such at the boat dock. Point of aim is pretty much right on, out to 15 yards. Yes, they are SMOOTH BORE.

    All in all, the “PIP Squeak,” is made very well and sturdy. It is very simple to operate. Remember to clean the shells and gun after use, especially the bores of each conversion shell. I use a standard pellet gun cleaning kit for them in .177 cal.

    If you are lucky enough to find one of these “Pip-Squeak” units, expect to pay upwards of $125.00. I paid $43.00 + $5.00 S&H for the .38 spl set off of gunbroker.com. I have seen them bid up to $125 and I am sure some have cost more or less than that.

    I have saved hundreds if not thousands (all calibers included) of dollars in shooting this vintage gadget, rather than shooting live ammo. Live .38 special ammo is going for $20 to $35 a box of 50 now a days. Shooting this unit costs about $6.00 per 100 shots as opposed to $40 - $70 for the same 100 shots of .38 special.

    Some of you handy gadget makers out there could make your own conversion shells out of brass, aluminum or mild steel by using the external and primer pocket measurements of a center-fire caliber (rifle or pistol) of your choice and then placing a center hole in the conversion shell to match your pellet size of .177 or .22 cal diameters. A standard hand primer can prime the home made shells. Make sure your primer holes are accurately machined/drilled and centered.

    This is being presented only as a nostalgic look and review of a very unique gadget. It allows you to get as many shots and trigger times out of your pistol or rifle for the least amount of dollars. You could expand that savings by casting your own pellets, using wire lead in the right diameter, making your own precision made conversion shells and even making your own primers using the tap-a-cap primer maker, avail from some black powder suppliers.

    There are other units and products on the market today called the “Convert-a-Pell,” and they do fit semi-auto as well as other modern revolvers and even some rifles. It does not hold the nostalgia as the “Pip-Squeak,” unit does though.

    Speer and other makers also make plastic, rubber or wax practice rounds that are somewhat novel that fire by a primer as well, low cost and will punch paper with the correct sized hole rather than a small pellet. Do not use the plastic, rubber or wax bullets to hunt or use in pest control. They are good for indoor target practice though.

    Any unit you decide to use whether it is bought, found or home made, your costs of practice shooting is cut way down, which means more trigger time for you as well as maybe even some low cost hunting for the stew pot or fryer using the pellet shooting units. Please follow all of your local, state and federal shooting and/or hunting laws when using these units or products.

    Convert -a- Pell on a .45 Gov’t http://convert-a-pell.com/

    Speer Plastic Training Bullets & Cases
    http://www.speer-bullets.com/product...g_bullets.aspx

    X-Ring Rubber Bullets - http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=713633


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    Interesting,,,,,

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    I had heard about something like this, along time ago......Guess I wasn't just a legend.
    Very cool, thanks for posting.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    Has anyone been getting any real trigger time in?? If so, with what and where ?

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    I haven't been getting any trigger time in. Yesterday I started clearing a swath through the woods for a range, striving for at least 300 yards. The shooting shack will need to be built on stilts to accommodate a hump in my terrain. the bottom of the shack would work out well for handgun shooting. I would like to install a woodstove and that way I can set up a few targets and get out the spotting scope and on cold days have a little comfort. all in due time.

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    Interesting . Now I have something else too look for on the auction sites.
    I Wonder Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink what ever comes out?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioGrizzLapp View Post
    Has anyone been getting any real trigger time in?? If so, with what and where ?
    After my walk in the woods I stopped at the Maud Rd. range and put 50 rds through the Win .44 mag and 100 rds through my BL-22.
    1. If it's in your kit and you don't know how to use it....It's useless.
    2. If you can't reach your kit when you need it....Its useless.

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    I have actually been finding quite a few of the Pip-Squeak stuff. I now have all three calibers in full sets and 3 full sets of the .38. I have also been buying quite a few of the barrel inserts and conversion shells from http://mcace.com/shotguninserts.htm

    The barrel inserts are a lot of fun. I bought two of the .38 special that go into my 20ga SxS and makes it into a double rifle in .38 special. I have been using the pellet shooting Pip Squeaks in the dbl rifle set up and shooting it in the basement. TRULY a lot of fun. The .38spl shotshells from CCI out of it, create a decent shot pattern for close in shooting of birds and wabbits. I reload the CCI shot cups with #6 shot rather than the #9 shot and they truly are improved and are a good close in game getter. The 20ga barrel makes the .38 quiet. I would imagine the .44 inserts would provide the same effects.

    The trigger time I have been doing is mostly .38 special in both the S&W-10 and the lever action... getting ready for the CAS season. Just bought a electric motor for the dillon press so I can load in an hour what use to take me 4-5 hours. I am able to put more time into shooting rather than reloading.

    This weekend will be .22 shooting times.....mostly the 22/45 Mk II Ruger and a 1924 Savage 23a.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    So, Like how attached to a set of .38 are you?
    Looks like a project to me.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    Hmmmmm depends on whats on your mind....I do have a full 5 round set, w/press, primer button, loader and a color photo copy of the instructions (I only have one orig set of instructions)...... in .38 special/.177 to trade off..........shoot me a PM with what cha thinkin.......

    Just out of curiosity....... are you near Kenosha, I used to live in S Milwaukee (Franklin/Hales Corners area) near the Franklin race track and used to head down to Gurnee Bass Pro all the time. I worked in Waukesha at Navistar Int. and Vulcan Lead (BTW Vulcan Lead is a good place to pick up scrap virgin lead - near DT Milwaukee) as a Quality Assurance Engineer.....that was many many moons ago though.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioGrizzLapp View Post
    Hmmmmm depends on whats on your mind....I do have a full 5 round set, w/press, primer button, loader and a color photo copy of the instructions (I only have one orig set of instructions)...... in .38 special/.177 to trade off..........shoot me a PM with what cha thinkin.......

    Just out of curiosity....... are you near Kenosha, I used to live in S Milwaukee (Franklin/Hales Corners area) near the Franklin race track and used to head down to Gurnee Bass Pro all the time. I worked in Waukesha at Navistar Int. and Vulcan Lead (BTW Vulcan Lead is a good place to pick up scrap virgin lead - near DT Milwaukee) as a Quality Assurance Engineer.....that was many many moons ago though.
    Yeah cool, PM sent.
    Yes I am in Kenosha......and probably bought lead by the truck load from Vulcan, and return dirty lead to be re-claimed....many moons ago.

    I always found the Bass Pro to be a little pricey and over "enemy lines" WI/IL border, and they were a little "stinky" if you wanted a fire arm.
    As we had the Gander Mountain, old Headquarters and Outlet store in Wilmot,WI, I didn't and still don't spend too much time (or money) there.

    New Gander Mountain is straight out Hwy 50 to the "I", so is close enough to get me in all kinds of trouble.
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    LOL enemy lines, I moved from state to state with a small arsenal so never needed to try and buy pieces back then.

    Man, those folks at Vulcan are some strange critters......I swear a few of them chewed on lead tooth picks.

    Eh, I had a Montana drivers license... any state I was in, was the enemy to me. I went to Bass Pro mostly for the fly fishing stuff as I did a ton of fly fishing WI/MN. When I lived in MN, I worked part time up in Ely at the Wolf Center and Museum, that was really cool to work and play in the BWCA. I do not think there was a Gander near me when I was living there in WI. When I lived in Chanhassen MN, there was a Cabelas just like 20 minutes from me. I spent a lot of time there and taught fly fishing casting there on weekends...between that, Ely and my reg job I had zero time for much else.

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    Default Trigger Time

    I run about 4 mags a week through my CC piece, it is a Beretta Bobcat. I have a couple of targets scattered around the property and I walk it a couple times a week. This gives me the opportunity to practice 'draw and engage'. Also, sighted in a new scope on my old Marlin .22 last week, about 12 rounds to sight it in and the rest of the box for fun!

  14. #14

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    I went to the range with my girls on Sunday and between us we fired about 50 rounds of .44 Special, about the same of .44 Mag out of a S&W 29-2 4". 150 rounds of 9mm in the SIG P226 Navy and a little over 100 rounds in the Walther P22.

    We got a late start and when I walked in the guys were telling the girls that they hate to disappoint them... Then the guy said, "But, I don't mind disappointing this guy." He had worked, for a brief period in 2006, at the range I grew up shooting in and remembered me. So we went from no range to having two lanes and from closing in a half hour to shooting for an hour and a half. Plus, I got back on point with an AK guy and I am in the market for an AK right now.

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