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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 12-19-2009, 02:42 PM
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Default .41 special

This is my first attempt at posting pictures. They are pretty terrible, but I wanted to share my Clements 686 .41 spl conversion.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:05 PM
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Default one more

Just one more.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:08 PM
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VERY NICE!!! But there sure isn't a lot of metal from the inside of the chamber wall to the bottom of the locking lug notch.... But I guess since the 696 was basically a .44 Special version of your gun it should work fine...

How does it shoot...

Bob
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:35 PM
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Very cool! I have been toying with having my 686 converted to .41 Spl too; you have motivated me. I have a 4" .357 Mountain Gun barrel for mine.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:42 PM
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You just bring your "shabby ol' ****" for me to drool over any ol time!
I enjoy the 41 mag caliber and would love to have a wheel gun like yours.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:58 PM
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Default 41 Special

Extremely interesting. Can you share details of work done, parts used?

After a bit, range results and loads used?

Thanks for sharing your project here.

Regards,

Dyson
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:18 PM
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Default Cylinder wall thickness

#1 65 lady Smith and 686 .41 spl slightly thinner

#2 686 .41 spl and 629 slightly thinner

#3 686 .41 spl and 625 slightly thicker

I shoot Buffalo Bore .45 super in my 625-3 .45acp saami 28,000 lbs with no problems, so I'm not too worried about the strength of my conversion. Mr clements said 1200 fps was possible safely, though probably not in my 3in.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:23 PM
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Very interesting!
As DGNY said, more details and a range report.
Thanks for the post.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:25 PM
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Default 41 Special

I bought a number of 41 special brass from ddixie884 and never regretted it. I am using 14gr of IMR 4227 behind the 210 and 215gr bullets. If he is getting anything close to the accuracy from his pistol and loads that is even close to mine then with any luck, maybe S&W should taker another look at this calibre.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:22 PM
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ddixie, are you willing to provide details about your transaction with Clements (turn around time, etc) I have a M28 transition (recessed not pinned) that I am going to convert after the first of the year...
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:00 PM
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ddixie884, that is a really cool revolver! I appreciate you sharing it with us and please add me to the list of folks that would like to know more about the process, specifications and dealings with Clement's.

Best regards.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:25 PM
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I bought this revolver from a former member of this forum. He died young soon after, and I am sorry, but I don't remember his name. He was from Illinois, and posted some things on GB. This gun was a little butchered. The barrel was shortened to 3in, and the butt was rounded, and not regrooved. I bought it looking just as it does, and it was just what I wanted, as I am a 3in nut. I had it sent directly to Mr Clements, and he said it was OK for a conversion. He was working on L-frames then, and sent the barrel off to be rebored and he line bore chambered the cylinder, crowned the barrel and set it back and the gap is very tight. This was 4 or 5 years ago and I didn't load or shoot it til I had Starline make the special run of brass. I never trimmed any mag brass. I have been loading 6grs Unique, and 6.5 of Universal with a 215 swcbb, and the next batch will have 7grs Power Pistol. I haven't shot any groups from a rest but it will out shoot my blurry sight picture. Recoil is about like my 65LS with .38spl rnds.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:44 PM
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ddixie884,

Thanks for that information.

I missed the fact that the barrel was shortened to 3 inches when looking at the pictures - I was focusing on how the barrel was re-stamped 41 Special and how cool that was to me. Having it in a 3 inch barrel makes it even more cool in my book!!

Thanks again!
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:03 AM
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Great sixgun!

I think an L-frame-size revolver with the .41 Special ballistics is exactly what was being wanted when the larger, heavier, more powerful .41 Mag M-57/58 was introduced.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:17 AM
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Sweet! Dave is doing the same conversion on a GP for me as we speak.
Can't wait.

Pete
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:51 PM
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When you get it back, send me a couple of pictures, and a copy of your invoice. I have a standing offer to give 100 rnds of new Starline .41spl brass to any one who has a purpose built .41spl made. I made this offer on the Ruger Forum. I am sure I am not telling anything that is not common knowledge, but Mr Clements is very nice, and professional, and I recommend him highly. The work on my gun could not be any better, the chambers are smooth and uniform, and the throats all give the same finger pressure resistance on .410 bullets.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:05 PM
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What a great conversion. Finally a logical home for 41 caliber. I think a 215 gr LSWC at 1K fps would be a tremendous all around packin load.
The three inch L frame platform just sweetens the deal.

Enjoy it looks like a great handgun.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:10 PM
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Default .41 sPECIAL

GREAT LOOKING GUN!
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:09 PM
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Some folks ask about parts required. No parts are required to convert a 686 or a GP100 to .41spl or 10mm. All the good smiths send the barrel off to be rebored, and properly size and chamber the cylinder. Since the specs are controlled,as opposed to a long production run, they are tighter, and accuracy is more assured. EDIT I have been shooting 6grs Unique and 6.5grs Universal under a 215 commercial cast swcbb, but today I fired some with 7 grs of Power Pistol. I am pretty sure this will come close to 1,000 fps in a 4in.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:59 AM
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I really like it! How fast is a 41 spl bullet moving? can you tell me a little about the round?
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:49 AM
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The .41 Mag is my favorite caliber. If a revolver like this one and a .41 Special cartridge had been made available commercially 30 to 35 years ago the .41 would have been perceived completely differently today, as well as have been a LE success.

Very nice gun. I'd love to have one like yours for a shooter....
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:04 AM
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As a huge .41 Mag fan , I do find this interesting. I though conversion to .41 mag was workable when I owned a 696 , which I still regret trading away. But I want a .41 Magnum. Since the .41 Special is a handload only round (I do load my own .41 mags) , brass is expensive , and no commercial ammo/self defense loads are available , I don't think I'd convert a perfectly good and fairly hard to find discontinued revolver like the 696. There IS lots of good .44 special loads out there.

I'd love to see a .41 Special factory load or two. I've been to ranges where they did not allow any 'magnum' rounds. It didn't matter if ya loaded pipsqueek loads and cut down the brass 1/8th of an inch , if the headstamp said 'MAGNUM' , it was forbidden.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:22 PM
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Reeds Ammunition and Research Oklahoma City is loading .41spl with both jacketed, and lead bullets. I have .41spl brass in the classifieds, and if you would like to make a large volume buy, inatead of 100 rnds. I would make you a lower price deal. I didn't arrange this run of brass as a commercial endeavor, It was the only way I could have real .41spl brass for my gun.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:38 PM
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Default Chuck Lubbe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddixie884 View Post
I bought this revolver from a former member of this forum. He died young soon after, and I am sorry, but I don't remember his name. He was from Illinois, and posted some things on GB.
No doubt Chuck Lubbe.

He was one of the Origional Forum Old Guys from back around 2001. I had dealings with him then.

And I bet Dixie that he would have liked this idea.

Drew
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:49 AM
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I really enjoy my 41 Special, a nice little packer. I load it mildy with a 215 gr SWC over 5.5 grs of Unique. I am kicking around a DA conversion now.



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Old 01-13-2010, 07:29 PM
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Great gun. The round by itself is a great idea.
A 3 inch L frame seems to perfectly match it.
Congratulations.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:31 PM
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Boxhead...every time I see that Single-Six of yours I wonder how they stuffed five rounds of .41 Special into a .22 caliber frame...amazing...

I have never owed or cared for the feel of L-Frame guns...till now...the search is on for a "donor"....

Bob
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:18 PM
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Default DONOR L FRAME

Since different "regions" of the country favor or disfavor certain revolvers - where are L frames out of favor?

What about police or government trade ins?

nty
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
...where are L frames out of favor?


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Old 01-17-2010, 05:50 AM
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Sebago Son, it was Chuck. I don't know why I couldn't remember his name. Thanks for jogging my memory. I hadn't been on the forum long when he passed, but he seemed like a really nice guy.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
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Boxhead...every time I see that Single-Six of yours I wonder how they stuffed five rounds of .41 Special into a .22 caliber frame...amazing...

I have never owed or cared for the feel of L-Frame guns...till now...the search is on for a "donor"....

Bob
It does get a little tight but not any worse wall thickness-wise than a 45 Colt SAA.

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Old 01-28-2010, 12:06 AM
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Default Nice little Ruger

Boxhead, I really like your little Ruger. Thats about the nicest little BIG BORE concept I've seen.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:14 AM
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...well as soon as I get my shipment of .41 Special brass from Dixie I guess I'll become a .41 Special shooter. I think for now I'm just going to use it in the Taurus Trackers I have but plans are in the works for something "Special" in the not too distant future.

Bob
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:28 PM
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That is a very nice conversion. We just had a local PD sell off their 586's and a friend bought several. Maybe I can get him to part with one!

I've got a 3" 657 that I load with 250 grain hard cast Cast Performance to about 900 fps. Accurate and pretty potent. A smaller revolver would be even better!
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:04 PM
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I'm unfamiliar with this conversion. Is the 686 cylinder too short to handle a .41 magnum?

I've thought for years the L-frame or GP100 could handle .41 magnum or 10mm.

Back in the 80s, an LGS was converting Pythons to .41 magnum. I figured it was a "have to ask , can't afford it" gun, so I never asked.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:24 PM
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ttt for Greg, "Bushog".................
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:50 PM
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This is an old thread but it has had a post so I will up date it . Clements doesn't do conversions on any Smith revolvers any more . He will , as of my last email from him convert a GP-100 to 41 special . At the time he said converting the Ruger was a bit cheaper than a Smith . He went on to claim that the Ruger would stand up better over long use than the Smith 686 . Regards, Paul
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:27 PM
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not to mention that, NOW Smith makes the model 69. The 69 is a L frame and could be a simple thing for S & W to make a 41 mag using the same technology {full length ejector} with a 2 3/4 inch barrel. Anyone that reloads can tailor the 44 to act the same as they wish a 41 to act and not be limited by special pressures. {either 41 special or 44 special} The model 69 takes all the need out of loading a 44 special beyond it's specs or even at the top of it's specs. The same could be done with a 41 modeled on the L frame {If it were not for the slump in sales and income of all the firearms manufactures.}
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:42 PM
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The 69’s as well as the 696’s are 5 shot. The .41 Special in the L frame can be a six shooter. The bored out chambers likely would not contain a .41 or .44 magnum. Personally, I’d love to have one.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:12 PM
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I really wanted to do this conversion to a 2.5" 686, but like stated above Clements isn't doing work on S&W anymore and neither is Bowens. So I tracked down an snagged a taurus 415.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:06 PM
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Rechambering the cylinder shouldn’t be a huge deal. The barrel, however, is a different tale. Not sure if there is anyone left to rebore the barrel. The notion of using a .41 Mag. barrel I suspect won’t work. I think the thread size and shank diameter are different.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
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not to mention that, NOW Smith makes the model 69. The 69 is a L frame and could be a simple thing for S & W to make a 41 mag using the same technology {full length ejector} with a 2 3/4 inch barrel. Anyone that reloads can tailor the 44 to act the same as they wish a 41 to act and not be limited by special pressures. {either 41 special or 44 special} The model 69 takes all the need out of loading a 44 special beyond it's specs or even at the top of it's specs. The same could be done with a 41 modeled on the L frame {If it were not for the slump in sales and income of all the firearms manufactures.}
The notion behind the .41 Special is a SIX SHOT L frame that can chamber a .41 cal round loaded to around 900-1000 FPS. Back before the .40 S&W, the 41 special specs were thought to be an ideal LE or PD load. Basically the same thing as the old .41 mag “Police Load”, but in a smaller lighter gun than the N frame M57.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:18 PM
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Dave Clements said the conversion would take about a year . The time lag was the barrel bore job and yes it would be a 6 shot , not 5 .
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:51 PM
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Anyone check with Jack Huntington? He did a Model 53 .22 Jet conversion to .327 Federal and his work is excellent...

Since my last post I had Mr. Clements reconfigure a 7.5" USFA Shooting Master in .357 Magnum to a 5.5" .41 Special. Never have bothered having a dedicated 6-shot L-frame/GP-100 done as I have three Taurus Trackers that are smaller and shoot great.

For loads...the single action is running a 250 Keith from a custom Lee mold with 8.0 grains of Unique...have not clocked it yet but should be in the 1000-1100 fps range. The Trackers are getting a Accurate Mold 41-215V and a MeHic 180 that also throws HPs and Penta_points...
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Last edited by SuperMan; 12-29-2018 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:49 PM
DonD DonD is offline
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I've never understood the interest in whatever "Special" cartridge, be it a 38 Special (an exception here if you want an older gun for whatever reason in the .38 Special chambering), 500 Special or in this case a .41 Special.

If you want less power and recoil, simply download the .357, .500 Mag or .41 Mag. Easy and safe reduced loads are readily available from reputable sources and you sacrifice nothing.

Then you have the best of both worlds, light, gentle plinkers or as heavy as the magnum cartridge can go.

I reload for the .357 and 500 Mags and I make whatever I want, particularly in the 500 and the .357 is the easiest to reload that I can imagine. Don
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonD View Post
I've never understood the interest in whatever "Special" cartridge, be it a 38 Special (an exception here if you want an older gun for whatever reason in the .38 Special chambering), 500 Special or in this case a .41 Special.

If you want less power and recoil, simply download the .357, .500 Mag or .41 Mag. Easy and safe reduced loads are readily available from reputable sources and you sacrifice nothing.

Then you have the best of both worlds, light, gentle plinkers or as heavy as the magnum cartridge can go.


I reload for the .357 and 500 Mags and I make whatever I want, particularly in the 500 and the .357 is the easiest to reload that I can imagine. Don
Again, the point of the .41 Special is a lighter, smaller platform, that still carries 6 rounds. Yes, you can still down load a .41 mag, but it still is going to have to go in a N frame. It makes a difference to some of us that are smaller in stature or have smaller hands. Can I shoot a N frame? Certainly. Is the K/L grip better suited? Just as certainly. The L frame is no lightweight. But it is a tad easier to carry and fits my medium size paw better than the N frame. I can put different grips on the N frame, but that won’t lessen the trigger reach dimension which I find to be near perfect on the K/L frame guns.
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  #47  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:10 AM
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TTT for Greg, "Bushog"........
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  #48  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:58 AM
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I've been waiting decades for Smith or Ruger to build an L- or GP100-framed 2.5-4 inch barreled six shot or K-framed 5 shot 41 Special. In the meantime a number of cartridges have come, suffered low sales numbers, and gone.

Sigh.

Last edited by biku324; 12-28-2018 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:13 AM
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I have checked out the spec's on the ruger gp-100 and the S&W N-frame . The stainless Ruger , 4" barrel in 357 weighs 40 ounces . A S&W 629 , 44 magnum is 41.5 ounces . I realize it's comparing a 357 to a 44 mag. After the conversion the ruger would be slightly lighter with some metal being removed . The N-frame would be slightly heavier as there is a touch more metal in the 41 vs the 44 . But when it's done , is there really much difference in weight ? Very little ! There is a bit of a size difference but is it really enough to justify the expense ? Again , I decided it didn't . YMMV . Regards, Paul
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:13 PM
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Groo here
I was looking at a conversion till Ruger -TALO brout out the 3in WC gp100
in 10mm.
Will have to go into a loading test to see what the 10 can really do...
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38spl, 45acp, 629, 65ls, 686, 696, cartridge, colt, commercial, headstamp, l frame, m28, model 28, model 625, mountain gun, recessed, ruger, saa, starline, taurus, transition, universal

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