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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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  #1  
Old 11-29-2008, 09:46 AM
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I was just wondering if anyone has had the full lug of their 686/629/625 barrel milled off to make it a half lug?
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2008, 09:53 AM
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I doubt it. Why would anyone care to do that?
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:53 AM
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Why would anyone do that.Better off buying a half lug gun.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:59 AM
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I could have sworn I saw a post with a 625 that had the lug re-profiled to half lug.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:05 AM
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I don't know why anyone would devalue a gun like that in any way? I wonder if folks realize that they are in fact ruining the gun when they do that stuff? I have been a musician and a guitar player/collector for years and it used to make me really sad/angry when I would see people hack up old classic guitars and I feel the same way about guns. But it takes all types I guess.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:37 AM
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If you want an L frame that looks right. By right I mean like a S&W and not trying to look like a Python or an over and under shotgun. Grinding off half of that offensive underlug makes great sense. If it's your gun and you want to do it don't let the revolver nazis stop you. If they don't want your gun "defiled" they should have bought it before you did. Property rights mean something. Your gun is your property do with it as you please.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bilbo:
If you want an L frame that looks right. By right I mean like a S&W and not trying to look like a Python or an over and under shotgun. Grinding off half of that offensive underlug makes great sense. If it's your gun and you want to do it don't let the revolver nazis stop you. If they don't want your gun "defiled" they should have bought it before you did. Property rights mean something. Your gun is your property do with it as you please.
I'm not a fan of full length lugs either, except on Pythons, Diamondbacks and Dan Wessons.

The ones on current S&Ws and especially Ruger GP100s just look clumsy.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:10 AM
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"Grinding off half of that offensive underlug makes great sense."

Evidently the vast majority of buyers have no problem with the underlug being there on various Smith revolvers. Before grinding off an underlug I would simply sell/trade the "offensive" revolver to aquire a lugless model. Keep the revolver intact , refrain from upsetting any revolver Nazis.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:17 AM
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The cost to have the lug removed and the barrel recontoured would exceed the cost of buying a revolver with the profile you are seeking. The value of the modified revolver would be seriously compromised should you decied to sell. The whole proposition is a lose/lose situation. About the only time custom work and the attendant expense is justified is if you are creating a firearm that does not already exist and is obtainable at a reasonable price.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bilbo:
If you want an L frame that looks right. By right I mean like a S&W and not trying to look like a Python or an over and under shotgun. Grinding off half of that offensive underlug makes great sense. If it's your gun and you want to do it don't let the revolver nazis stop you. If they don't want your gun "defiled" they should have bought it before you did. Property rights mean something. Your gun is your property do with it as you please.
Yep, and when it is not worth a dime when you decide you want to sell your new masterpiece, it is your gun too. But I wont buy it from you.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:46 AM
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Red, I think I've seen at least one on the forum like that. A little search time might find it. I've thought about it before but probably would never do it if for no other reason than destroying any resale value. I only have one with a full underlug (a 629 with RB) and have never really warmed up to it. In the 29/629 family you should be able to find what you want on the used gun market without altering a gun. The 625 is harder to find and has somewhat of a following so I'd leave those alone. The 586/686 family has lots of members so one of those would be my choice to try it on in a common variation, say maybe a 686 with six inch bbl. Not liking the lug and having no use for the L frame I guess I'm picking on those.
Just my opinion.

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Old 11-29-2008, 12:15 PM
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I have a 99% 586-1 4" and I would love to have the mountain gun barrel on it. All the L-frame blue finish mountain guns have the lock, MIM parts, and lame polishing.
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  #13  
Old 11-29-2008, 12:48 PM
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It's a helluva lotta work with hacksaws and files, believe me. Whatever type of steel that stainless stuff is is TOUGH, let me tell you.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2008, 01:04 PM
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I don't care for the underlug myself, but sure wouldn't be grinding it off either. Never heard of or saw one that has. I'd be buying the one I wanted from the get-go.

Rod
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RedBerens:
I could have sworn I saw a post with a 625 that had the lug re-profiled to half lug.
I've seen this post, too.


Okie John
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  #16  
Old 11-29-2008, 04:01 PM
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I recall reading about a custom gunsmith that ground off half the lug on a 617.

Not this is starting to make me think about a half lug slab sided 617....
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by okie john:
Quote:
Originally posted by RedBerens:
I could have sworn I saw a post with a 625 that had the lug re-profiled to half lug.
I've seen this post, too.


Okie John
It was several years ago. I think it was a 686 though. As I remember, the guy milled it off and then finished with files and abrasive cloth. It was really close to the factory contuour of the remaining half lug.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2008, 05:33 PM
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I think maybe it's time someone explained why anybody would want to cut the underlug in the first place. It's so that you can have the strength and durabilty of the L-frame without the muzzle-heavy balance the full lug gives the gun. You can't just go buy what you want, as some posters seem to think, because Smith never made an all-steel L frame without a full lug except in a couple of very limited editions. I wish they had, because the gun really does point and swing better without all that weight out front.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
It was several years ago. I think it was a 686 though. As I remember, the guy milled it off and then finished with files and abrasive cloth. It was really close to the factory contuour of the remaining half lug.
I remember seeing a photo of it on a Model 625 thread less than a year or so ago. It was a 5" Model 625 sitting on a yellow background with most of the underlug milled off. The current owner didn't know who had done the work, as he found it in a pawnshop already set up that way. It was an interesting idea, but the area around the ejector rod came out kinda funny looking.

I'd bet more than a couple of L-frames have been done that way, though. It's a good idea.


Okie John
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2008, 08:05 PM
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I had a 4" 586 that I ground off the lug to a half lug, it was a great gun and I thought it handled like a 19 on steroids. It shot everything I put in it and it pointed very quickly.
I have a 581 serial number AAAxxxx and have thought about doing the same thing to it but it is such an early gun that I won't.
I would like to find a 85% shooter grade 581 that I could half lug and round butt.

Put my vote down for half lugs.
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  #21  
Old 11-29-2008, 08:21 PM
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Great thread. Just today, I was in Larry's looking for a 686-5 Mountain Gun or a new 620. I like the half lug barrels. Larry showed my an N frame, 8 shot, 357 mag with nearly a half lug. It had more like a 2/3rds lug. Anyway, I already have an N frame, 625-9 Mountain gun with half lug and "need" a half lug L frame.

Perhaps somebody should start a half lug picture thread.
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  #22  
Old 11-29-2008, 09:08 PM
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It might have been my 5" 625-3. There was a 625 thread a few years ago; I couldn't find it. By the time I bought it, the lug had been shortened, a ball detent installed in the crane, charge holes chamfered, a good trigger job, and been bead blasted. Oh, it has Ahrens finger groove grips.

The gun is beautiful. Very nicely balanced. Very smooth double action that will ignite 100% of Winchester primers. I've put about 20K rounds through it. It sucks reloads right into the cylinder. I compete with this gun.

Resale value? Who cares?
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:22 PM
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You could always call S&W and ask them why they catalogued the Models 619 and 620...made to mimic the most popular 4" stainless revolvers they ever made.

Or ask them why they took so stupid a decision as to drop the K-frame legends: Model 65 and 66.

NIB Model 66's in 4" and 6" barrel lengths can still be had for considerably less than new 686's with that horrible zit above the thumb piece. No other revolver I've owned...except of course the 3" version ...balances or carries better.
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2008, 09:45 PM
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He wants it to look like this:
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:49 PM
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I also wish the 686 had a half lug also. The full lug is too muzzle heavy for me.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:50 PM
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Some people really sounded upset with this idea.
I don't know why, full lug barrels don't seem rare or even well liked or cherished group of collectables. Funny how I have seen no similar outrage when Jovino guns are mentioned. If done on a milling machine with skill I think a trimmed down barrel would be intresting.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:04 PM
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I've thought about it because I can get the gun I want that way. Yes it might be expensive and hurt resale value, but it would be my very own custom gun and if there is no intent to sell who cares about the resale value.

I think one of the gun rag authors sent a Ruger GP 100 to C&S a few years ago and had that underlug cut in half - should make for a very handy weapon. My .02. I think you can find it by Googling custom GP 100 - the article was entitled Maximum Boogy IRRC.

SB
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:31 PM
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You can get factory GP100s with a half lug. I had a 6 incher. Good tough gun... no finesse about it, though!
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:05 AM
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Yes, I had the lug milled off on a 6-inch 686 several years ago when no half-lug guns were available. It looked great and markedly improved the balance of the piece, to my mind. But, the guy who did it for me said he wouldn't do it again because it was just too much work.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:54 AM
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Armybass -

You're right.

I never hacked on my Zildjians.

SF

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:09 AM
ricketts ricketts is offline
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You all say "Who cares about resale value?"

In time, when you WILL try to sell this, and you get lowballed to death, you will care then.

I know this because of numerous 'collectors' that cry and moan whenever I take a worn bare model 10 and refinish it. OH, how they cry--but none of them really want to buy a less than perfect one.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:30 AM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is online now
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My guns have (0)-NONE-NADA resale value. Because I don't sell them. So I fix them and use them like I want them to be for me. Who cares what becomes of them after I'm gone. I don't alter a gun to satisfy anyone else only me.

" In time you WILL sell this and get lowballed to death."

Don't think so!
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:01 AM
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I was just at the news stand in the store reading while my wife shopped and there is an article by Dennis Prisbey with pictures of just such a conversion on a 586. The mag. is Custom { Combat?} Handguns . The conversion, shorten barrel to 3in. , cut off lug making it look like model 15 and add glow worm sights all of this done by Bill Laughridge of Cylinder and Slide. Not my cup of tea but to each his own. I have customized rifles, pistols ,revolvers, and shotguns to my taste that others may have thought foolish. That is why we call them Custom.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:38 AM
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I have learned NEVER sell a gun!!! You will regret it immediately, and for years afterward!

I cut down the lug on my 681. It's still an in-progress gun, so to speak.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:51 PM
David Sinko David Sinko is offline
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Full lug barrels are very useful on competition and field guns, and I believe IDPA and ICORE do not allow modifications to barrel lugs. I carried a 625 with 4" full lug barrel concealed for some years and it did not feel uncomfortable or heavy to me. The better gunsmiths like Bowen Classic Arms even offer full lug barrels machined from bar stock for Ruger DA revolvers. They are very expensive, but apparently there is a demand for them.

I do admit, though, that I would like to remove the "lug" from my 3" 625 and thin down the barrel a bit. Having something that is different or perfect is far more important to me than any resale value.

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Old 11-30-2008, 03:17 PM
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Mines not milled but, hacksawed, filed and emory clothed off along with some dremel tool work on the radiused areas? That damn lug seemed too heavy, to me, for timber carry and a waste of good metal.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8654jm:
Armybass -

You're right.

I never hacked on my Zildjians.

SF

8654JM
LOL, I have seen to many of those too.

I am just a "stock" guy, no matter what it is. Cars, guitars, guns ect.
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:24 PM
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Hey, SB, I LOVE what you did with that 686!!!
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:30 PM
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It's a 617. 686 would of been a little more work on the enclosed housing to shape it for the ejector rod.
Steve
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RedBerens:
I was just wondering if anyone has had the full lug of their 686/629/625 barrel milled off to make it a half lug?
No, but one time I was at a dove shoot and a guy drove his F-150 over my shotgun. Mike
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:00 PM
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I beginning to see with most questions in the forum there are two distinct views. This is one of them. I don't care for the lug on S&W's, and have sold 625's because of it. The mountain guns were a breath of fresh air. It is, however, still a bit pricey to replace a lugged barrel with a "mountain" barrel. If done with finesse, as we see above, a modified gun looks good. Many buyer would never even know it was done on a stainless gun if done right. Collectors be damned! It's your gun. There are PLENTY of S&W's with the lugs for collectors, or they can just pay a little more if we "modifiers" reduce the collectible number to "rare" satus.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:13 AM
BUFF BUFF is offline
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"Collector value is reduced" is a false argument against altering just about any production, post-WWII S&W handgun. If they were made in any significant number, they lost "collector" interest as soon as they were shot, or carried a bit in a holster, or the box and documents got lost, or the grips were switched, or the sights were changed to something the shooter liked better.

"Collectors" seem to want pristine, unfired guns with the original packaging and contents. The exceptions to this are factory variations that are really old or models that are rare, i.e. manufactured in very limited quantities. Offer an original finish, unaltered example of, say, a Model 19-3 with no box or papers and some blue wear to a "collector" and he will "sniff-sniff" with contempt. "It's not collector quality..."

I think that the full-lug barrels are great for shooting magnum rounds, but the weight is excessive for just carrying the gun around, and the problem gets worse as the barrel gets longer. When the L frame, full lug barrel M-686 first came out, I bought the first one I saw, a six incher. I had been carrying a 6 inch Model 66 at work, so the extra barrel length wasn't a problem, but the extra weight kept trying to pull my pants down! And this was on a Sam Browne rig! With a Combat Magnum or 1950 Target style barrel, this would have been the perfect uniform.357 Mag for me.

A 4 inch Combat Magnum or Model 29/629 full lug would make some sense to me, because the extra weight helps tame recoil in guns that actually produce recoil, but the 6 inch barrel supplies the extra weight without a lug. But S&W never made a 4 inch Combat Mag or M-29/629 with a full lug barrel. 3 inchers, but no 4 inchers! 'Splain me that!

I bought a Model 686 Mountain Gun and a Model 686 5 inch, non lug barrel. The slender tubes make them much faster handling and they are big and heavy enough already that recoil is manageable.

The full lug barrels on S&W handguns in .45 Colt and .45 ACP are really over-kill in the weight department. Neither round kicks hard enough to need extra weight.

I once had a M-686 with the 8-3/8 inch barrel with the scope ring cuts. It hardly recoiled at all, but it was so heavy, and particularly muzzle-heavy, that I couldn't hold it steady without a rest. Add a scope, and it waggled so much off-hand that it was hard to get it held on target long enough to trigger the shot. Perhaps lugged to the extreme!

The 5 and 5-1/2 inch M-627's are other good examples of full lug barrels in which the extra weight isn't needed.

For range use, it really doesn't matter. You aren't carrying the gun around all day. But for a gun that will be worn on a belt for 8, 10 or 12 hours at a time, while you are on foot a lot of it, the option of a standard weight barrel would be tremendous, and a custom job well worth the cost if you want it bad enough.

Like any collector is going to salivate over a 25 year old, holster-worn, standard, 4 inch Model 586 just because you haven't cut the lug off anyways!

Guys, these are tools, not religious artifacts; Moses didn't carry them around in the Ark of the Covenant for 40 years. They are just tools, and the common ones are just calling to be made more user-friendly, handy or personalized by modification. I'm not going to sweat the loss of $100-$200 resale value when I have gotten so much more pleasure from the gun after I personalized it.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:09 AM
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I think he 686 might look good with the lug milled off and shaped like the ejector rod shrouds on the N frames or the M19/66.
Maybe something S&W should look into.
regards,
Ralph
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:30 AM
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And if you could just taper that barrel and make the rib skinny....
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:09 AM
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S & W currently is marketing a sort of 2/3 lug 686, the SSR. It's significantly lighter, by 8 ounces, than its full-lugged sibling, the standard 686.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:40 PM
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I don't know for sure, but I think my 4" 681 was at least as heavy as my 6" model 27! Kinda negates the need for the "intermediate" size frame!
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:07 AM
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Anyone else? Personally, I'd love to be able to actually own a 4" 617 without the full lug, and might get around to buying one and getting it converted one day.

Last edited by Robinett_11B; 03-28-2011 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:01 AM
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"Personally, I'd love to be able to actually own a 4" 617 without the full lug, and might get around to buying one and getting it converted one day."

There were small numbers of Model 617's without the lug, in both 4 and 6 inch lengths, made in 1991 for Ashland Shooters Supply. There is a picture of one in SCS&W III. I always wanted a 4 incher without the full underlug on the barrel like that but never have run across one for sale.

I came close to having a Model 18 barrel Armaloyed or Metalifed and screwing it onto a regular Model 617. Then I thought, instead of that much trouble, maybe I should have a regular Model 18 Armaloyed or Metalifed or have some other electroless nickel finish applied. These look just like stainless, behave as stainless.

Other guns I would like to see made without the underlug or modified to lose the underlug, are Model 625's with 4 inch barrels in both .45 Colt and .45 ACP. I currently have Mountain Guns that are close to what I am after, but a stainless steel heavy barrel in the 1955 profile, with the original style ejector rod shroud applied to a 4 inch barrel would make me really happy.

The full length barrel underlug is often way too much of a good thing and losing that underlug, just leaving a Combat Magnum-style ejector rod shroud, would make me pry open my wallet to own such guns.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:14 AM
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I'm pretty sure that "collectors" would indeed turn their noses up at such an animal, but I'll bet the average Joe looking for a .357 Smith & Wesson wouldn't know or care if the barrel lug has been ground/machined off.

The lug is one of the reasons I never wanted an "L" frame gun. The only reason they were there in the first place was S&W wanted something that looked like a Phython (IMHO).
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUFF View Post
"Personally, I'd love to be able to actually own a 4" 617 without the full lug, and might get around to buying one and getting it converted one day."

There were small numbers of Model 617's without the lug, in both 4 and 6 inch lengths, made in 1991 for Ashland Shooters Supply. There is a picture of one in SCS&W III.
Forum member bdGreen owns a few examples of the Ashland 617's, perhaps he will happen along and post some pictures for those who haven't seen them.
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