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Old 04-24-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Altering a LERK Barrel

I am the proud possessor of a K-22 barrel that I purchased as it currently appears off of e-Bay or GB some time back with the plan of having it rebored to 32 S&W Long to form a long awaited mate for my original late '40s vintage K-22 and K-38. The complication is that this is a VERY early post-War barrel in near-perfect condition and having the notch for a LERK. How much of a Philistine would I be to have it rebored, have the caliber markings polished off and have it rebored to make my K-32? Does anybody have a good narrow rib K-22 barrel for standard e-rod that they would like to swap with me? I'm not in a big hurry to do this (I don't even have the donor gun to build it on) but I did hear from fellow forum member SuperMan of a gunsmith who might be the perfect one to get the job done.

What think you all?

Froggie
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:47 PM
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Sir.
Is the LERK barrel serial number stamped?
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:51 PM
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Wouldn't you be better off buying a nice Model 16 or pre-16? Your money would be well-invested and would grow over time. With your project gun I'm not sure the investment is sound.

I know where a couple of K32s are available if you act now.

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Old 04-24-2017, 09:48 PM
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If this smith does restamp/re-roll mark the barrel, adds the serial # and it falls into the wrong hands...... we have a pontential fake k32 in circulation.
We have enough problems with our buddy from Sparta tenn.
I agree with the above.....save your pennies and go with a model 16-??? Gotta be cheaper than a 5 screw

Just my 2 pennies.
Bob
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:40 PM
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Bob,

You make a great point although not a risk in this case. The modified firing pin/recoil shield would be a dead giveaway, whether the frame mounted firing pin was relocated in the frame or the hammer was switched to a firing pin mounted hammer.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:48 AM
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Obviously I don't plan to fool anyone (except myself perhaps) but to have the trio of early K targets is a long-held dream. With the current price and lack of availability of the third member of the triumvirate, I can have my build done for well under the cost and be done relatively quickly as well. Would it be marked (inconspicuously) as a redo? ABSOLUTELY! If, in the next few years I get back to my existing pair of Ks as I plan, then it will become more imperative that I pursue this project. Heck, if it's chambered and marked "32 H&R" or even "327 FM" that may be the best answer to insure no later fakery.

Meanwhile, the question remains, assuming I do this, should I use the LERK barrel, or should I leave that for someone with a LERK K-22 and seek out a narrow rib barrel to build around? The barrel is packed away right now, but IIRC, it is marked with a SN in the expected range.

Froggie
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:02 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't modify a K-22 LERK barrel. They're just not easy to come by, and if you need one - nothing else will do. I've got one with a S/N in the 4xxx range that I've had for probably 10 years. Almost forgot about having it till just now....

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Old 04-26-2017, 03:43 PM
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...I guess I don't understand why one would want a K-32 that they know for a fact isn't a K-32...kind of like getting a copy of the Mona Lisa off the back of a cereal box...

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Old 04-26-2017, 05:47 PM
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...I guess I don't understand why one would want a K-32 that they know for a fact isn't a K-32...kind of like getting a copy of the Mona Lisa off the back of a cereal box...
I'm not one who is into collecting perfect examples of rare guns to put away in a safe and only taken out on state occasions to fondle and oil them briefly before putting them back to lie in state. I like to have guns that I can shoot. A 1949+/- vintage narrow rib K-32 in shooter grade would be a difficult thing to find (like a Wise Man in DC or a Unicorn in the Bronx Zoo.) I would still be hesitant to shoot and really enjoy such a gun due to the very rareness mentioned, regardless of condition.

OTOH, if I start out with the premise that my gun is a tool to be shot and enjoyed, without regard for collectibility, then my proposal makes more sense. My already completed "Project 616" is an example of a fantasy design that no collector would mistake for factory. I'm now giving some thought to building a fantasy K-32, using features from the pre-War and post-War models so I can get a useful and flexible piece which nobody will accuse of being an original anything. The way I've got things planned, I may be able to bring things in for around $1200 or less, which wouldn't bring a sniff of the original early narrow rib K-32 I lust for. I've got e-mails in to my two gurus of S&W, DCW and Hondo44 with my full proposal outlined, so we'll see what they think. If I decide to go that way, somebody will be getting the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a perfect K-22 barrel in LERK configuration.

If all of this makes me a Philistine, then I'm an unrepentant but very happy Philistine!

Froggie

PS - Recalculated and upped estimate... still under $1500 with all the bells and whistles, turnkey job.

Last edited by Green Frog; 04-26-2017 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Typo correction + additional thoughts
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:03 PM
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I learned the hard way about the cost effectiveness of project guns. But its your barrel and your money and you should do whatever you sweet please to it.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:49 AM
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There's several very good reasons to build a gun that one wants:

1. It was never made.
2. Too scarce to find one.
3. If you found one it's way out of your budget.
4. If you acquired one, it's too valuable to shoot, carry in the woods, and shoot 2000 rds a year thru it, etc.
5. You also want it modified to shoot an another cartridge as well (in this case 32 H&R Mag).

All of those apply to a K32 except #1.

Cost then is almost immaterial within reason when compared to the price of an original K32 and (gasp!) modifying it. That doesn't make one a Philistine!
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:54 AM
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You do know, don't you, that the moment you alter the K-22 LERK barrel, someone is going to offer to give you free a really nice, age-appropriate, K-22, with beautiful finish and stocks, and the only problem with it will be that it needs a new barrel?
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:10 AM
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It's your revolver, your barrel.....do what makes you happy.
Life is a vapor.....and too short to worry over what others thing when it comes to harmless contentment.
As always, YMMV.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:17 AM
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You will have a 32 caliber revolver, but it will be an ersatz K-32. Good luck with it. Sounds like an interesting project.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:26 AM
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I find your projects interesting and often think, if I had the same parts and pieces, I'd probably put the same thing together.

Stu
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Old 04-27-2017, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
I am the proud possessor of a K-22 barrel that I purchased as it currently appears off of e-Bay or GB some time back with the plan of having it rebored to 32 S&W Long to form a long awaited mate for my original late '40s vintage K-22 and K-38. The complication is that this is a VERY early post-War barrel in near-perfect condition and having the notch for a LERK. How much of a Philistine would I be to have it rebored, have the caliber markings polished off and have it rebored to make my K-32? Does anybody have a good narrow rib K-22 barrel for standard e-rod that they would like to swap with me? I'm not in a big hurry to do this (I don't even have the donor gun to build it on) but I did hear from fellow forum member SuperMan of a gunsmith who might be the perfect one to get the job done.

What think you all?

Froggie
...did you ever consider having a new barrel made from a 32 caliber blank...no S&W artifacts would be killed or injured if you did it that way...

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Old 04-27-2017, 07:07 PM
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ParadiseRoad, I had considered following in the steps of friend Jebus35745 and building a bull barreled, slab sided PPC gun in 32 S&W, but then it dawned on me that I don't shoot those events any more. Also, I already have my 4" heavy barrel "Model 616" if I want to go in the heavy direction. What I really want is something graceful and elegant for those occasions where my Beau Brummell side comes out. I really want the Early K-32 or even the Model 16-3 I should have bought 40 years ago if I had known back then what I know now.

"Oh what tangle webs we weave..."

Froggie
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:53 PM
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"...I guess I don't understand why one would want a K-32 that they know for a fact isn't a K-32...kind of like getting a copy of the Mona Lisa off the back of a cereal box..."

Well, in 1976 I had a M27 converted to .44 Special, basically making an M24. That model had been dropped in 1966 and I couldn't find one I could afford. Making your own K-32 sounds like the same thing to me.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:55 PM
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I had Andy Horvath build me a .32 long out of a 17-2. It came out nice and was a lot less then a K-32 abt 3 yrs ago. Building a .32 lerk would be a lot cheaper then a Pre-16 seeing that one sold the other nite for 4500 on the Woodlawn Boys on GB. Had my guns bbl cut to 5" cause I like the bbl length.


Always wanted a custom gun and having one made in .32 long seemed like a good idea. Its a bucket list gun. I finished it off with a set of Keith Brown grips. It matches a .38 ISP overrun gun I have with a 5" bbl. Not saying a model 16 isn't accurate but my bbl has a faster twist then a stock Smith has. I can shoot it a lot and not have to worry about ruining the value of a nice model 16 seeing how much they go for.
Its fun to shoot knowing it was custom made and is something S&W did not make.

I don't shoot PPC but found a .32 bbl here in the classified. Had a .32 PPC made last fall from Andy, it was slab sided and has no rib on top. Thought it would look cool with the model 15 adjustable sights with a big fat bbl. I shoot a double action revolver league and this is perfect for it. It weighs less also. Both guns shoot better then i can shoot them. I'm sure I can sell them for what I have in them.

Froggie, you'll need a cyl with a LERC extractor to match the cut out. Neat project for roughly 1200-1500 dollars. I had my guns made to ENJOY the CALIBER and not putting out a lot of money.

Have all the parts to build a gun in .327 but bought a 4" 16-4 instead. The barrel I found for the next .32 project is a 4" .32 Mag bbl so buying the 16-4 was a wash price wise. The 16-4 matches the 2 14-6's PPC Roper guns with 4" full lug barrels I found. All I need is a 17-6 with the 4" full lug barrel to have a matched set in 3 calibers.

Last, I have a tapered rib K-22 with bluing issues that would be a perfect conversion gun for sale. PM if interested, Larry
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
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ParadiseRoad, I had considered following in the steps of friend Jebus35745 and building a bull barreled, slab sided PPC gun in 32 S&W, but then it dawned on me that I don't shoot those events any more. Also, I already have my 4" heavy barrel "Model 616" if I want to go in the heavy direction. What I really want is something graceful and elegant for those occasions where my Beau Brummell side comes out. I really want the Early K-32 or even the Model 16-3 I should have bought 40 years ago if I had known back then what I know now.

"Oh what tangle webs we weave..."

Froggie
...I didn't mean going with a bull barrel...I was thinking a good Smith could replicate a K-32 barrel from a .32 blank...
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:05 PM
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The standard profile barrel and the ribbed target barrel are both, AFAIK, made from forgings. To machine one from a cylindrical barrel blank would not be practical. Even for the basic barrel, one would have to deal with the locking lug under the barrel and somehow provide the front sight base. Not so simple for even an accomplished machinist.

You would be much more likely to succeed by starting with a pre existing barrel and rebore or reline it where possible to achieve the desired bore. Trust me, this is something to which I have devoted a great deal of thought and research. I would happily accept any new information and technical strategies, but I haven't seen any lately.

Froggie

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Old 04-30-2017, 04:53 PM
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...the right machine could handle it...

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Old 04-30-2017, 06:20 PM
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Cool! When can you fire up your Daishin Seiki 5 axis CNC and make me a couple of barrels? None of my gunsmiths have one of those. It looks like you can even use a very fine pointed stylus to mark it properly and put the texture lines on top of the rib. Let me know how soon you can knock out a 6" narrow rib barrel for my next project.

Froggie
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:36 PM
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Well, life got a lot more complicated. I am now the proud possessor of an original K-32 barrel, never installed, as new, with narrow rib. I thought it was going to be the later one but in a weird, wonderful swing of Karma, I got the barrel I wanted all along, the one to match my 1948 vintage K-22 and K-38 guns with narrow ribs. Now I can build exactly what I want.

So why complicated? On the assumption that I was getting a late style barrel, I found a very nice Model 14-3 to use as my donor gun. I got it right on GB because it had a set of really ugly Goodyears and was poorly described as to amount of blue loss. Now that it's here, the Goodyears came off and a pair of the proper football relief targets went on. With a little cleaning, it looks much better than expected. The fat rib won't match the narrow one on the barrel, so it's disqualified as a donor, but it is really pretty nice. Now my dilemma... what do I do with another K-38? Should I keep it and expand my herd in a new and unexpected direction, or trade it off for the donor gun I'm going to need to go with the barrel (and K-22 cylinder I already have for reboring) or what? Should I mention that the 14-3 has a really good trigger pull? Complications!

Oh yeah, and I also have this gorgeous LERK K-22 barrel to find a home for. See what I mean? Complications!

the confused Green Frog
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:23 PM
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Geez, Froggie, I wish I had your problems!
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
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Well, life got a lot more complicated. I am now the proud possessor of an original K-32 barrel, never installed, as new, with narrow rib. I thought it was going to be the later one but in a weird, wonderful swing of Karma, I got the barrel I wanted all along, the one to match my 1948 vintage K-22 and K-38 guns with narrow ribs. Now I can build exactly what I want.

So why complicated? On the assumption that I was getting a late style barrel, I found a very nice Model 14-3 to use as my donor gun. I got it right on GB because it had a set of really ugly Goodyears and was poorly described as to amount of blue loss. Now that it's here, the Goodyears came off and a pair of the proper football relief targets went on. With a little cleaning, it looks much better than expected. The fat rib won't match the narrow one on the barrel, so it's disqualified as a donor, but it is really pretty nice. Now my dilemma... what do I do with another K-38? Should I keep it and expand my herd in a new and unexpected direction, or trade it off for the donor gun I'm going to need to go with the barrel (and K-22 cylinder I already have for reboring) or what? Should I mention that the 14-3 has a really good trigger pull? Complications!

Oh yeah, and I also have this gorgeous LERK K-22 barrel to find a home for. See what I mean? Complications!

the confused Green Frog
Froggie,

I feel your pain.

However: don't you want the donor gun to be a 5 screw to match the other two with narrow ribs? I would. Sell/trade the 14-3 wide rib, for a 5 screw narrow rib K38. Sell the K22 Lerk barrel.

One part I don't understand though: the new 14-3 K38 donor gun may have a wide rib on the barrel, but the frame is almost identical.
The only difference I know of is the two corner divots on the front end of the top strap for the narrow rib barrel. I looked at my 5 screw K22 with narrow rib, and Mod 14-4 wide rib to confirm it. So there's just another 10 minutes of work since you have a K22 frame to look at and copy the divots or have them copied.

But I'd still hold out for a 5 screw narrow rib K38.

Don't let the Siren of a nice trigger blind you to your quest, lest Lorelei pull you onto the rocks!
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:57 AM
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Thanks, Jim... I knew already that everything you say is true.. I just needed one of my "big brothers" to reaffirm what I should have done all along.

I guess my next step will be to either make a couple of announcements on S&S for the 14-3 and especially the barrel or perhaps take the 14-3 to the next gun show where it would make great trading fodder.

I agree that this barrel is such a rarity that it "deserves" the proper 5-screw frame to dwell on, just like the later one would have gotten this very nice later vintage frame, so that's what I'll try to find for it. I hope the K-22 cylinder I already have will be compatible.

See what I mean about complicated?

The Frustrated Frog
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:06 PM
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ZOMBIE THREAD WARNING: When I finally got everything together and measured, it turned out that the barrel was a wide rib type after all... on the K-32, the rib was not quite as wide as on its 38 cal brethren, but wider than the older "narrow rib" version. A look at original Model 16-3s shows a little step at the front face of the receiver down to the rib width. So, back to Plan A with the solid old Model 14-3, gather up everything else, and head to the gunsmith.

All of the above came to completion in this past November and I made a conscious effort to essentially put the whole thing out of mind. Flash forward to this morning when I got a call from my gunsmith telling me that with the exception of a little blue touch up on the rear face of the cylinder, it's done. I'll be able to pick it up Friday afternoon. From what he said on the phone, everything went as planned and when he test fired it off the bags he was getting 1 1/2" groups at 25 yards with standard R-P factory round nose ammo (lead bullets.) No shake, no rattle, sights centered, etc, etc. Works for me!

(Cue the music) "ANTICIPA-ATION..."
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:27 PM
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What is a LERK barrel ?
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:39 PM
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What is a LERK barrel ?
Sorry... thread drift on my own thread! LERK is a commonly used shorthand for "Large Ejector Rod Knob." This refers to the style of ejector rod used prior to WW II then for a very short while after in order to use up old stock parts. In the early Post-War K-frame Masterpiece series, this feature has a special cachet as it demonstrates very early production and is pretty rare.

Of course this whole thing was left behind as I discussed the (much) later K-32 barrel I had acquired and having it built into a whole gun, an homage if you will, of the late Model 16-3 version of the K-32 series.

HTH~Froggie
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:45 PM
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...pictures of the finished project coming?...
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:01 PM
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I'd love to have a .32 long K-frame. Getting older and feebler, sometimes I'd like something with more recoil than .22's, but less than even .38 Special wadcutters in a revolver that doesn't weigh too much (or too little - hard to please).

K32's cost too much for me, and the .32 magnums are overkill, just don't seem pukka (something for the Kipling fans).

I've looked at Pardini target semi-autos, but I don't want to pick up brass.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:30 PM
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I guess that I am missing something here but I am not into projects or transforming .22's into .44 magnums.

I own a couple of old .32 caliber S&W wheel guns. Wouldn't one of those satisfy your lust???
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:37 PM
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What is a LERK barrel ?
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.... LERK is a commonly used shorthand for "Large Ejector Rod Knob." This refers to the style of ejector rod used prior to WW II then for a very short while after .....
HTH~Froggie
Froggie didn't get the memo.

We decided a while ago to rename the LERK to BSERK, barrel-shaped ejector rod knob, as opposed to the earlier MSERK, mushroom-shaped ejector rod knob, and the later KnERT, knurled ejector rod tip.

Gotta stay up on your terminology
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:48 PM
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OH THE HUMANITY !!!!!
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:59 PM
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Froggie didn't get the memo.

We decided a while ago to rename the LERK to BSERK, barrel-shaped ejector rod knob, as opposed to the earlier MSERK, mushroom-shaped ejector rod knob, and the later KnERT, knurled ejector rod tip.

Gotta stay up on your terminology
Sounds like too much hard WERK!

Froggie
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:22 PM
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I'm going to close out this thread and start a new one when I have the gun in hand. That way there won't be the confusion of the old title and readers won't have to wad through all the historical information to get to the "real" topic I meant to discuss. In the meantime, if anyone has a need for the LERK (post-War) K-22 barrel, please drop me a PM, and maybe we can work something out... not necessarily trying to sell it, but if somebody has an interesting trade...

froggie
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:44 AM
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Will be watching for the thread, how long did it take to have the gun made?? The 4” 16-4 bbl I have could be cut to 3” and I could make a carry gun in .327 with a round butt frame, just thinking. Larry
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:47 PM
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Larry, I really want to let this thread go... it has gotten too far off topic. I'll be filling in lots of details about the new project after I pick it up tomorrow. Look for a big new thread tomorrow evening or Saturday. I'm not sure I'd cut a Mod 16-4 barrel if I had one at hand, but as with all other special projects, it's not my circus and they aren't my monkeys!

Froggie Out!
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:37 AM
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OK, I have my faux K-32 in hand. Since the donor gun is a 1971 vintage K-38 and the barrel is appropriate for it, I am starting a new thread in the appropriate forum to talk about it. This thread is now officially over. Thanks for all of your interest, comments, and support.

Froggie
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:03 AM
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What does LERK stand for ?
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:15 AM
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Large ejector rod knob. And early term for the barrel shaped knob.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:42 AM
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Many folks refer to this style as the "mushroom" knob. It required a cut in the underside of the barrel so when guns went back at a later date for say a new cylinder and they installed a newer version extractor rod with the smaller knob it is a very obvious upgrade.

In my .22/32 database, I refer to them as the LERK, the MERK and the SERK.

Large Extractor Rod Knob
Medium Extractor Rod Knob
and
Small Extractor Rod Knob

As stated, the large is the mushroom shape, the medium is shaped like the rod itself but with a slightly larger diameter than the rod itself and the small is the same size as the rod so appears as just knurling on the rod tip.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:59 PM
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Well nobody else said it, so I will: they're Just Ejection Rod Knobs; JERK's.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:46 PM
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LERK is a relatively new verbal short cut which stands for Large Extractor Rod Knob, however it has a more specific period meaning for total understanding of the termís usage. Itís not the largest knob; replacing the larger pre war 'mushroom' or 'acorn' knob by order dated 1/22/27 on all HE models with non-shrouded barrels.

It applies only to when the standard pre and during WW II 'barrel' style knob is used on early post war models that have this knob from leftover pre war inventory vs. the new post war straight knobs.

Therefore post war models with the Barrel knob variation are said to have a LERK or be a LERK model. Pre war models with the barrel style knob are not referred to as having a LERK or being a LERK model; they all had barrel knobs so it wasn't a variation.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:10 PM
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I think that following Jimís line of reasoning and only using the acronyms when they are helpful with a specific distinction is the wisest course. It shouldnít just be for the sake of in-group talk. The coolness factor is kinda lost if you have to come back and spell out what you meant anyway

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