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  #1  
Old 07-12-2014, 12:11 PM
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I am seriously considering a Model 69 .44 mag for a field carry gun. If I go through with the buy it will be carried and shot a lot. being stainless, that doesn't bother me at all.

My quandary revolves around the two piece barrel. I just simply have a hard time thinking this is a good idea and will not, down the road, have problems associated with it. Admittedly, this may be a result of my ignorance about the manufacturing process but I just can't get my head around it.

So, what say the experts? good? Bad? Doesn't matter because it will last longer than me anyway?

Bob
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:49 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV, but in my opinion, the two-piece barrel in its current version, such as on the Model 66-8 and the Model 69, are well executed. Dan Wesson pioneered the use of the two-piece barrel, at least as far as I know, and although different in at least one respect (it was user removable and replaceable), it was used on heavy calibers such as 44 Magnum and larger without issue. In fact, those revolvers are highly sought after today.

The two-piece barrel has certain advantages. First, it virtually eliminates issues related to those very occasionally encountered with a one-piece barrel related to under or over "clocking," which means the front sight is not straight up and down when the barrel is torqued to the proper tightness. Secondly, barrel/cylinder gap is more easily controlled and consistency maintained with the two-piece design. There is no issue as to strength.

I doubt you will have issues, and if you do, the revolver has a lifetime warranty, doesn't it?

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Old 07-12-2014, 01:19 PM
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+1 to what Shawn said. I consider them an improvement over the one piece barrel. Being tensioned at both ends usually makes them very accurate as well. My first handgun was a Dan Wesson .44 magnum. It would shoot quarter sized groups at 25 yards.
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:20 PM
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Well.... I'm no expert either but I recently purchased both a new 66-8 and a 69. I trust the engineering at S&W and that was the basis for my decision to make the purchases. That combined with my excellent experience with S&W's life-time warranty sealed the deal.

Any change or deviation from what we all have become used to can cause some apprehension and such is the case with the two piece barrel.

I'm very impressed with the fit, finish and over-all quality of both guns. Time will tell if there are any unforeseen problems that emerge and if there are, I'm convinced S&W will address them and correct them...

I believe both guns will become hot sellers for S&W and that may bring about more barrel length options in the future...

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Old 07-12-2014, 01:50 PM
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I have had my 69 for several months. I am very impressed by the quality and performance of my gun. It highlights the improvements in metals and technology that have been made over the years.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:25 PM
Jim Lawburgh Jim Lawburgh is offline
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I agree with the above posters.
My 327TRR8 is VERY accurate, don't have the test of time though.
Buy with confidence.
Jim
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:05 PM
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sure be glad when I can ransom mine out of layaway! Can't wait, but good things come to those that do wait, right? BTW, how many of you who do have a 69 have changed the grips and if so, what did you put on it?

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Old 07-12-2014, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn mccarver View Post
I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV, but in my opinion, the two-piece barrel in its current version, such as on the Model 66-8 and the Model 69, are well executed. Dan Wesson pioneered the use of the two-piece barrel, at least as far as I know, and although different in at least one respect (it was user removable and replaceable), it was used on heavy calibers such as 44 Magnum and larger without issue. In fact, those revolvers are highly sought after today.

The two-piece barrel has certain advantages. First, it virtually eliminates issues related to those very occasionally encountered with a one-piece barrel related to under or over "clocking," which means the front sight is not straight up and down when the barrel is torqued to the proper tightness. Secondly, barrel/cylinder gap is more easily controlled and consistency maintained with the two-piece design. There is no issue as to strength.

I doubt you will have issues, and if you do, the revolver has a lifetime warranty, doesn't it?
I would think the B/C gap would be better also. Mine however is .009 without shooting it yet. I would think it should be a little tighter.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by skypilot1941 View Post
sure be glad when I can ransom mine out of layaway! Can't wait, but good things come to those that do wait, right? BTW, how many of you who do have a 69 have changed the grips and if so, what did you put on it?
Get that puppy out of lay-away and start shootin' it! You're going to love it!

The first thing I did was swap my original grips out for X frame grips. Mine will primarily be a "work horse" trail gun so the larger recoil absorbing grips will be ideal for the L frame. I have a set for my 66-8, too.

When we begin to see pictures of highly figured wood grips on these new guns I think people will be amazed with how much transformation in appearance they'll have.

I like to keep my handguns all original as far as the aftermarket products I add. I expect mine will have a set of highly figured S&W combats before long...
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:28 AM
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Don't know about the two piece barrel. I think I read that it was devloped for the X Frame guns (don't hold me to this -- memory ain't what it used to be).

I have two of these guns (bought one in late Jan and one in early Mar). The 2nd gun has 1,677 rounds thru it w/500 of those 265gr SWCGCs at a chronoed 1,140 fps. Have shot 834 rounds thru the first gun - 262 of those were the 240 Jhps at 1,300 fps thru 325gr WLNGCs at 1,180 fps. The guns are still as tight as they were when I got them.

I have the X Frame 500 Hogues on mine. I would outfit them with some custom wood but the bone at the base of my thumb won't allow it.

Bbl/Cyl gap -- Using an old set of feeler gauges, both guns will accept the .004 but not the .006.

FWIW

Paul
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:43 AM
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Thanks guys. TDC, going to go ahead and get the x frame grips so I'll be ready when I bring it home. I would like to try some nice wood on it also. Bet it will be beautiful.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:51 PM
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I've had a model 620 since 2008 and it was purchased specifically for the tensioned barrel it featured. At the time the Dan Wesson revolvers weren't being made and I've wanted a Dan Wesson since my college days back in the 70's. That 2 piece barrel on my 620 was as close as you could get at the time and a secondary benefit is that if featured a semi lug profile which I find much better looking.

After 6 weeks of practicing twice a week and using a 1.75 power handgun scope I managed to somewhat approach it's capabilities in the accuracy department with a 7/8 inch group at 50 yards. With a more powerful handgun scope and perhaps a full year of steady practice I might manage to get the 620 to 1/2 inch at 50 yards but that is a lot of work and ammo for a gain that really only matters on paper. To sum it up, tensioned barrels are more accurate than the one piece barrels. In addition I feel that they are less sensitive to ammunition variables than a one piece design so they are accurate with anything you throw at them.

As for longevity, the newer designs have addressed the one area of weakness that the design of my 620 that created some problems. That is the great big cap that S&W used on the early 2 piece design, on one lot of model 66's they had problems with the cap fracturing from the barrel body. IMO that was a result of S&W not using a large enough radius in the transition area. Because the 620 is an L frame with a larger outer diameter for the barrel than the K frames it was nearly free of this issue and I've only ever seen 2 reports of the barrel on a 620 failing.

Finally, read up on the History of the Dan Wesson revolvers which dates back to the late 60's and they never had any reports of barrels failing, even when filled with squibs from muzzle to forcing cone. Yeah, some idiot put at least 8 rounds into the barrel of a 6 inch DW 15-2 and the barrel didn't split. Somewhere on the net you can still find pics of that poor barrel. There were times when Dan Wesson had serious quality issues but in all the time they were made the only way to have a barrel issue was by wearing it out or filling it with squibs.

PS; about a month ago I was finally able to get a Dan Wesson. It was a consolation prize when I got to a Cabela's that had a 686-5 Mountain Gun listed and had been sold when I finally got to the store. Had it out today and in Single Action it's a laser, in Double Action it's a real challenge because the coil spring mainspring stacks up to a 13.5 lbs. break. If you ever see anyone claiming the trigger on a Dan Wesson is light they are either referring to the single action trigger or they never actually used a trigger gage on their Dan Wesson.

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Old 07-13-2014, 01:03 PM
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Don't know about the two piece barrel. I think I read that it was devloped for the X Frame guns (don't hold me to this -- memory ain't what it used to be).

I have two of these guns (bought one in late Jan and one in early Mar). The 2nd gun has 1,677 rounds thru it w/500 of those 265gr SWCGCs at a chronoed 1,140 fps. Have shot 834 rounds thru the first gun - 262 of those were the 240 Jhps at 1,300 fps thru 325gr WLNGCs at 1,180 fps. The guns are still as tight as they were when I got them.

I have the X Frame 500 Hogues on mine. I would outfit them with some custom wood but the bone at the base of my thumb won't allow it.

Bbl/Cyl gap -- Using an old set of feeler gauges, both guns will accept the .004 but not the .006.

FWIW

Paul
Looks like you got some good ones. Mine shoots well just a little dissapointed with b/c gap. Now after shooting a .010 is a easy fit.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:24 PM
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I don't have any feeler gauges, but the gap on my M69 looks REALLY small, to me. I've wondered if it will be enough to handle temperature variations, etc. I have shot it very little so far, but no problems yet.

I have recently noticed a groove in the top of the frame (just behind the hammer spur, on the left side), not perpendicular, that I hadn't noticed before. More than a "scratch" ... seems like it would have taken quite a blow from a hard steel object to produce it. I guess I'll watch it, to be sure it doesn't start to crack and enlarge. If it's purely cosmetic, I can live with it, but I wish I'd noticed it before I bought it.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:31 PM
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"I don't have any feeler gauges, but the gap on my M69 looks REALLY small, to me. I've wondered if it will be enough to handle temperature variations, etc. I have shot it very little so far, but no problems yet."


If you can get a thin strip of ordinary computer paper to move freely in the gap, you will not have any problems with too narrow a gap. The paper is in the .003 to .004 inch range. Just right, but S&W usually is in the .006 to .008 inch range these days. I prefer less, even if I have to shoot slower and clean more. But, I have never had a problem with a gap being to little on a S&W revolver. I think the two piece barrel lets S&W control the gap better.

Best,
Rick
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike_Fontenot View Post
I don't have any feeler gauges, but the gap on my M69 looks REALLY small, to me. I've wondered if it will be enough to handle temperature variations, etc. I have shot it very little so far, but no problems yet.

I have recently noticed a groove in the top of the frame (just behind the hammer spur, on the left side), not perpendicular, that I hadn't noticed before. More than a "scratch" ... seems like it would have taken quite a blow from a hard steel object to produce it. I guess I'll watch it, to be sure it doesn't start to crack and enlarge. If it's purely cosmetic, I can live with it, but I wish I'd noticed it before I bought it.
Mike, you can pick up feeler gages for between 10 and 15 dollars at almost any auto parts store. Just make sure you ask for a set intended to use with setting the valve clearance on a solid lifter engine. Because many feeler gages intended to set the spark plug gap won't go below about 0.02 inch and valve gages go all the way down to 0.0015 inch.

As for the actual gap, I currently have the B/C gap on my Dan Wesson set so that a 0.003 inch shim will go and a 0.004 inch shim won't, so the gap is in the range of 0.0035 inch. Pretty darned tight. Today I ran 100 38 specials through the Dan and followed that up with 50 Federal 357 Magnums (158 gn SJSP). By the end of my range session with the Dan Wesson the barrel and cylinder were both hot enough to make clearing the cylinder a bit of a hot potatoe dance. At a guess the barrel and cylinder were in the 135 to 150 degree range and I have a fair bit of experience at estimating temps in this range. At no time did I ever have any issues with the cylinder dragging on the barrel and looking at the face of the cylinder shows the soot from today's outing is undisturbed. Quite simply a B/C gap distinctly on thin side is not typically a problem.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:38 PM
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Excellent description and background info on the two piece barrels, scooter123....
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:32 PM
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sure be glad when I can ransom mine out of layaway! Can't wait, but good things come to those that do wait, right? BTW, how many of you who do have a 69 have changed the grips and if so, what did you put on it?
...from {X}bay.
{Rosewood with S&W medallions, $64.99 incl shipping}.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:48 PM
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As mentioned above, one of the advantages of the two piece barrel is that the shroud/site can be held vertical while the barrel is tightened, eliminating canting of the front site. Unfortunately, whoever put my 69 together didn't get that memo. My front site is canted to the left, which also results in the ball not sitting in the detent correctly. This doesn't seem to affect lockup, but it obviously isn't right.

So I sent the gun back with a note asking for the barrel cant to be fixed and also for the burrs on the crown to be taken care of. When I got it back I could see they made a half-hearted attempt at fixing the burrs and did absolutely nothing about the canted barrel.

So that brings up a different question about the two piece barrels. Is there any special knowledge/materials/tools required to work on a gun with a two piece barrel? I suspect the 69 requires a special wrench that engages the rifling to get the barrel off, but don't know for sure. If so, that would make it much harder to find a gunsmith to work on these guns, as they would likely need a separate wrench for each caliber.

Has anyone else had a 69 with a canted front site, and if so, how did you get it fixed?
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:00 AM
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As mentioned above, one of the advantages of the two piece barrel is that the shroud/site can be held vertical while the barrel is tightened, eliminating canting of the front site. Unfortunately, whoever put my 69 together didn't get that memo. My front site is canted to the left, which also results in the ball not sitting in the detent correctly. This doesn't seem to affect lockup, but it obviously isn't right.

So I sent the gun back with a note asking for the barrel cant to be fixed and also for the burrs on the crown to be taken care of. When I got it back I could see they made a half-hearted attempt at fixing the burrs and did absolutely nothing about the canted barrel.

So that brings up a different question about the two piece barrels. Is there any special knowledge/materials/tools required to work on a gun with a two piece barrel? I suspect the 69 requires a special wrench that engages the rifling to get the barrel off, but don't know for sure. If so, that would make it much harder to find a gunsmith to work on these guns, as they would likely need a separate wrench for each caliber.

Has anyone else had a 69 with a canted front site, and if so, how did you get it fixed?
I suspect that it'll be difficult to correct without a new frame or shroud. The very nature of it's construction means that there is no adjustment as designed:



The owner's manual mentions barrel removal. The tool involved does engage the rifling. Not hugely difficult to fabricate if you have Cerrosafe or similar.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:20 PM
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If you can get a thin strip of ordinary computer paper to move freely in the gap, you will not have any problems with too narrow a gap. The paper is in the .003 to .004 inch range.
Thanks for that tip. I tried it with my M69, and a single thickness slipped in with no resistance (but also no light showing), but two thicknesses wouldn't. Surprisingly, all of my other revolvers were slightly narrower: my 1st 360sc (scandium/titanium .357 snubby) gave a slight resistance to one thickness. My 2nd 360sc wouldn't accept it at all. My 3" .357 60-15Pro offered a very slight resistance, and my Charter Arms .38Sp snubby wouldn't accept it at all.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:22 PM
Mike_Fontenot Mike_Fontenot is offline
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Mike, you can pick up feeler gages for between 10 and 15 dollars at almost any auto parts store. Just make sure you ask for a set intended to use with setting the valve clearance on a solid lifter engine.
Thanks for that tip.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:09 PM
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While I do see B/C gap to be a sign of quality control, I admit it really has little effect on how the gun shoots. My OCD just seems to kick in. I have had a chance to shoot my 69 and I really like how it shoots and feels in the hand. Stock grips work great for me.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:37 PM
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I was turned off to the Model 69 because I just didn't like the way the 2 piece barrel looks. But I have a Governor and 3 Ruger LCRs all with 2 piece barrels and they have never given me a problem. So I now think the barrels are fine but I still don't like their appearance.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:25 PM
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While I do see B/C gap to be a sign of quality control, I admit it really has little effect on how the gun shoots.
[...]
Stock grips work great for me.
It would seem reasonable that the gap might well affect the muzzle velocity achieved, all else being equal. But too small could hurt reliability.

I too like the stock grips. I bought the M69 with the hope of being able to conceal-carry it under my shirt, in a vertical shoulder holster and homemade harness like I use for my full-size all-steel 10mm 1911. The M69 weighs an ounce less than my 1911 (37 vs 38 oz), but the M69 is about an inch longer and about an inch taller. It appears to be possible ... I've been carrying it full time for several days now ... concealment isn't as good as with my 1911, but it is adequate, I think (and I'm actually pretty picky about concealment). The grip produces more of a bulge in my shirt than the 1911 does, from the longer grip, but it's not so large that I can't disguise it with the even larger bulge I get from all the stuff I carry in my left shirt pocket (fat cell phone, four pens/pencil, and two small notebooks). Most people probably wouldn't be willing to routinely have a full shirt pocket like that, but my pocket already looked like that long before I started carrying under-the-shirt ... typical nerdy engineer! N-frame-sized grips would be too large for under-the-shirt concealment, I think.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:57 PM
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[QUOTE=Mike_Fontenot;138001654]It would seem reasonable that the gap might well affect the muzzle velocity achieved, all else being equal. But too small could hurt reliability.

I actually had two 6.5 inch model 29's. One with .004 B/C gap and the other at .010( the .010 was a -3 I have since sold). I actually tested some hand loaded ammo with my chronograph. I carefully weighed each powder charge and each bullet using new brass to try and eliminate variables. The difference between the .004 and .010 was not really more than normal velocity swings from round to round through the same gun. I no longer have the notes but if I remember correctly it was about 25 or so fps for a 12 shot average from one gun to the other.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:09 PM
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So that brings up a different question about the two piece barrels. Is there any special knowledge/materials/tools required to work on a gun with a two piece barrel?


S&W has the tools and they are not making it easy for the gunsmith or home gun-plumber to wrench on them.

I modded my 500 mag that had an excessive ( IMHO ) barrel / cylinder gap by cutting the shroud and barrel in half and re-machining it.

A peek inside the S&W 500 barrel shroud.



On my gun the barrel it torqued using a wrench off the rifling / bore to tighten it down against the shroud as other S&W production guns. <y performance center 500 has an extended brake that is a barrel / shroud nut and can be turned off easily using a bar passed thru the slots.


Jump to 1:53 and you can watch the barrel being screwed down into the frame then locked using a spanner wrench on the brake.

I personally like the tensioned / 2 piece barrel system but hate the S&W approach. Its simple for them to manufacture but the Dan Wesson system is far better, user and tolerance adjustable.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13QFwS422HE




Feeler gauges are cheap and a good item to have ~

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:45 AM
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That is a very interesting video. If I check my revolvers like Smith does by rotating cylinders while checking gap, my gaps are quite abit tighter. My 69 is closer to a .007 versus a .009+. That is being able to rotate through all cylinders with feeler gauge in. Hmmm. Nice job on the 500 by the way.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by yfdcap View Post
That is a very interesting video. If I check my revolvers like Smith does by rotating cylinders while checking gap, my gaps are quite abit tighter. My 69 is closer to a .007 versus a .009+. That is being able to rotate through all cylinders with feeler gauge in. Hmmm. Nice job on the 500 by the way.

The 500 I cut down shot OK but it bothered me because it had a .010~.011 cylinder gap which I felt was excessive. Besides I had a pair of 500's and it was the excuse to myself to chop it, lol.

My PC 500 is set tighter and the .004" in the video matches my factory revolver I have but if I want to "tweak" it I can.........
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:28 AM
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sure be glad when I can ransom mine out of layaway! Can't wait, but good things come to those that do wait, right? BTW, how many of you who do have a 69 have changed the grips and if so, what did you put on it?
The very first thing I did to my M69 was to install "X" Frame grips on it. While the original grips appear to be good, they are hard rubber on the backstrap. The "X" Frame grips are soft. So far, I've shot about 300 rounds of max load Magnums and the recoil is very controllable and comfortable. I have also added a Red-Dot for quick point capability. I love this revolver so much, I'm seriously thinking about letting my 629-6 go.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:56 AM
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OK, you guys win. I snagged a 69 on GB described as LNIB.

Should be here in a few days. I'll post pics when it gets here.

Next, X Frame grips for it.

Bob
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:33 AM
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It would seem reasonable that the gap might well affect the muzzle velocity achieved, all else being equal. But too small could hurt reliability.
I actually had two 6.5 inch model 29's. One with .004 B/C gap and the other at .010( the .010 was a -3 I have since sold). I actually tested some hand loaded ammo with my chronograph. I carefully weighed each powder charge and each bullet using new brass to try and eliminate variables. The difference between the .004 and .010 was not really more than normal velocity swings from round to round through the same gun. I no longer have the notes but if I remember correctly it was about 25 or so fps for a 12 shot average from one gun to the other.
It IS amazing that that much gap variation would have such a small effect. Thanks for that info.

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:51 PM
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It IS amazing that that much gap variation would have such a small effect. Thanks for that info.
I was very suprised myself. Check out this test. BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Cylinder Gap
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:52 PM
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I have really enjoyed this thread. Glad to hear people are enjoy shooting the 69 so much. Mark F, glad you like yours so well. I don't know about selling the 629 though. Of course, that's up to you, but unless something really serious comes up, I'm keeping my 8 3/8 629-2E. I shoot 50 rounds yesterday. It's amazing how quickly 50 rounds go. Sure was fun though. All but two of those rounds were handloads of 7.3 grains of Trailboss under a 240 gr SWC. Really looking forward to shooting those in my 69 when it gets home. Also shot a couple of rounds of white box Winchesters. I don't imagine I'll make a steady diet of those through the 69. They are stout!
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:10 PM
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[...]
Also shot a couple of rounds of white box Winchesters. I don't imagine I'll make a steady diet of those through the 69. They are stout!
I don't know if the Winchesters you shot were the same as the Winchester 44mag 240gr JSP's on Midway's site, but Midway's page shows a muzzle energy of 741 ft-lbs, which is near the bottom of .44mag energies I've seen for the commercial .44mag rounds I've looked at on Midway. I've seen at least two commercial .44mag loadings with energies of about 1200 ft-lbs. There seems to be a huge gap between the upper .44Sp loadings and the lower .44mag loadings ... nothing like the difference I see in loadings between upper .40S&P loadings and lower 10mm loadings.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
I modded my 500 mag that had an excessive ( IMHO ) barrel / cylinder gap by cutting the shroud and barrel in half and re-machining it.
Thanks for posting that - a very cool project and really nice workmanship.

Quote:
It's simple for them to manufacture but the Dan Wesson system is far better, user and tolerance adjustable.
I like the Dan Wesson approach as well, but I understand the barrel nuts can occasionally shoot loose and require re-torquing. That could be a warranty nightmare for S&W if the owners didn't know it was required. I have had for years a lightweight J-frame (342PD) with the two piece barrel and it has been perfect - no issues at all. S&W put that barrel on straight, so I know it can be done.

Speaking of Dan Wesson, I have one of the new pre-production model 715 revolvers on order. Should be here Monday.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:10 AM
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...Speaking of Dan Wesson, I have one of the new pre-production model 715 revolvers on order. Should be here Monday.
Very nice! They also seem to have some product support for older models. An IHMSA friend got a new barrel recently for an 8 or 10" revolver(don't remember the details as I was in the middle of match prep at the time...), as the old one just would not group. Seems to have helped the situation.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:08 AM
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Eons ago Dan Wesson proved the efficacy of the "three piece" barrel system - a shroud, barrel, and barrel nut. Competition shooters (myself included) utilized the ability to set the BC gap close to maximize power during silhoutte competitions.
Smith does it differently, but the engineering behind it it the same. A barrel that is not tensioned into the frame doesn't need to be a thick and robust, and accuracy is enhanced because the shroud acts to "pull the barrel forward" away from the frame which sets it in TENSION. A traitionally screwed in barrel is NOT under front-to-back tension and is not and never can be as accurate as a barrel that is.
The only thing "wrong" with what S&W is doing is they have chosen to make the barrel/shroud a factory serviceable issue versus user based...I suspect they'd still make plenty of cash with a user-screwable barrel because people like to have an entire gun with a given barrel.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:09 AM
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S&W has a patent on the system they use to attach and secure the "barrel tubes" to the revolvers. The beauty of their system benefits them the most from a manufacturing point of view. Faster & easier ( for them) to assemble and set the BC gap than the traditional method they were using.

The Dan Wesson system benefited DW AND the owner / user for versatility, accuracy and ease of configuration. I once owned the DW pistol pack, the .357 frame with the 2", 4",6" 8" vented heavy barrels in the carry case. It was easily one of the most accurate revolves I have ever owned.

DW hit the nail on the head many years ago.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:45 PM
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Thanks for the info. After reading the comments I'm picking up a 69 with the 2.75" barrel tomorrow on hold for me. I have a Lew Horton 629 with the 3" barrel. So I know it will be another flame thrower and recoil is brutal. I was concerned about the 2 piece barrel.

I have a M&P 340 with the 2 piece barrel and have had no problems. However I have shot only a few 357 magnums rounds, mostly 38 special + P without any problems.

Plan on taking the 69 to the range Monday. Only other concern is if the barrel isn't canted. If it is I probably won't buy it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:13 PM
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Good thread!
Just a couple of additional comments:
Another factor in favor of the 2(or3) piece tensioned barrel is the lack of any bulge or obstruction where the barrel is screwed into the frame.
I can see such a ridge on EVERY revolver I own that has a traditional barrel.
These range from almost imperceptable to hideous and are known to be a major cause of inaccuracy.
One of the main goals of fire-lapping is to get rid of as much of these (and any other) obstructions as possible.
Rifles are not immune to this either.
No such problems with the tube and shroud system.
They are potentially more accurate by design.

The shim gauge that came with my big DW 7445 to set the barrel gap is only .002".
I figure since I have to slide it in and out the actual gap is about .0025"
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:01 PM
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"Plan on taking the 69 to the range Monday. Only other concern is if the barrel isn't canted. If it is I probably won't buy it."


Since the barrel shroud is keyed to the frame, it would take some major screw up effort to get it canted. I realize that S&W is fully capable of this type of Foxtrot Uniform work, just hopefully not on a routine basis!.

Best,
Rick
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:18 AM
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Another factor in favor of the 2(or3) piece tensioned barrel is the lack of any bulge or obstruction where the barrel is screwed into the frame.
You're talking about a bore constriction, right? I check any new revolver I get by dropping the largest pin gage that'll enter the muzzle down the bore & check that it smoothly passes all the way thru. Only found one of my S&Ws that had a noteworthy constriction that I had to hand-lap out. The 2-piece barrels do eliminate that problem.

. . .

I believe the forcing cones are cut (formed) better in these EDM/ECM multi-piece barrels too. They always seem to be smoother & uniformly done, unlike the one-piece barrels I tend to see that are (apparently) cut as a separate step from the rifling having circular grooves & rough transitions.

(Below left, my 2-3/4" M69's barrel extension & forcing cone; my 686+'s on the right.)

.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:14 AM
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Mine has proven to be very accurate. I shoot a 240swc over 7.2 of 231 or 7.*5 unique. About 950fps. Enough for defense.
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:44 PM
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Me no like. Two piece barrels not for me. At 65 years I am comfortable with the solid barrels on all my 'older' Smiths. I also like Pink Floyd, '62 VW vans, hand over my heart with the National Anthem is played, thanking God for every meal, T-shirts & jeans and pepperoni pizza with extra cheese.

But to each his own, I think a fat bull barrel is sexy too.


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