These first 3 lines quoted from THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND, written by Steve Earle, performed by the Highwaymen Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and respectfully amended by FROCS #1 Panhandle Paden’s 4th line say it all:


“My very first pistol was a cap and ball colt,

Shoots like lightning but it loads a might slow.”

“Loads a might slow and I soon found out,

Needs to be converted that’s what it’s all about”


The Master Profile: Now it is about time to introduce you to the gunsmith who made most of these Centaure conversions a reality.

Pards & pardettes, please, meet Karl Nedbal of Vösendorf near Vienna/Austria.

May 23, 2008 in Vösendorf/Austria: Master Nedbal explaining the Centaure Richards – a few seconds before I hold her for the first time

There are a couple of ways to proceed when you decide to have your prized percussion revolver converted to shoot cartridges. Eventually you may want a gunsmith to execute that delicate task for you but here is the dilemma: how do you find your ideal converter-gunsmith? After trials and errors here is my “5 + 2 converter-checklist”.

He or she

#1 knows the gunsmith profession inside out including his/her limitations, is proud of his/her work, and is a competent toolmaker as well,

#2 has a proven record of repairing, tuning and/or restoring cowboy guns in general but particularly Colt SA systems,

#3 has done similar conversions before and can proof it

#4 can draw an original gun from his/her gun collection as the model gun for the conversion project or has access to one, and re-engineers from there

#5 listens carefully to my wishes and ideas, and finds suitable solutions to satisfy them, is not telling me what I want … unless I ask him/her to do so.

Finally I like a

#6 firm quote for my project because from the start I want to know how much it will set me back but equally important when my conversion will be completed. I would be irritated and hesitant when a date beyond 12 months is suggested … and I expect the smith to meet his commitments … usually.

#7 I expect my gunsmith to inform me regularly about the progress of the work … with some sense of humor, please.

This is what sets Karl Nedbal apart from many of the rest.

In Fall 2009 Karl joint the ranks of the FRiends Of the Centaure Society as FROCS #50 Luger Master!