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  #1  
Old 12-14-2016, 06:02 AM
thoger thoger is offline
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Default Building a 16-4 from parts..

I lust for a K-frame 16-4, but there are none to be found.

However, I've managed to locate an unused 16-4 full underlug barrel and a .32 H&R mag cylinder.

Now I need a donor K-frame, and need some advice.

On which K-frames will the 16-4 barrel & cylinder be a "drop in" replacement?

Is there anything I need to think about regarding frame profile/barrel profile/pinned etc?
Will "any" Model 14 or 15 work, or do I need to think about a specific dash?

Will this model 19 be a good donor?
https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/16...1370952986.jpg

How about this model 14:
https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/16..._365190221.jpg

Any specific tips on what will be the easiest replacement?
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:29 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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All that building of semi-custom guns will just get you in trouble and make you want more... you'd better just send those parts to me for safe disposal.

Seriously, either of those revolvers you are looking at should work fine, but be aware the process is not necessarily going to be "drop in." The cylinder assembly will likely be a direct swap, but it is likely that a little machining will be needed on the shoulder of the barrel so it will "clock up" with the rib properly aligned and give proper headspace... not a do-it-yourself kind of job, rather one for a gunsmith. I had the same thing done in stainless, but had to have the barrel custom bored and the cylinder reamed from 22 since S&W didn't make stainless K-frame parts in .32 caliber. (See Project 616)

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Froggie
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:46 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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PS to last... I notice the price tag isn't crowns/kroner. Where are you located? Will finding a gunsmith familiar with US-made revolvers be difficult?
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:50 AM
series guy series guy is offline
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Not sure where you are located but Andy Horvath in Ohio put mine together. The full lug .32 barrel profile was a perfect match for the model19 frame profile. As stated above it's an addicting hobby. I just picked up the last component that I needed for a 4" build in .327 Federal to compliment my 8 3/8" gun.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:52 AM
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I just noticed the currency designation also. I guess you won't be dropping your gun off at Andy's.
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Old 12-14-2016, 12:13 PM
44wheelman 44wheelman is offline
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The 14 will be better.

The 19 shown above has a recessed cylinder, the model 16-4 does not have a recessed cylinder. The small protrusion (on the frame at the bottom of the cylinder window) keeps the cylinder trapped against the yolk when the cylinder swings open. If you use the model 19 frame with a non-recessed cylinder (shorter), the cylinder can slide back farther after the the cylinder is released. That means you would have to tilt the gun forward, or push the cylinder forward every time before closing the cylinder during reloads.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:08 PM
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An older M 15 frame would be just the thing. But, I assume the number of handguns to select from is rather limited in Finnland. It seems a shame to use that M 14 since it is such an outstanding and desirable handgun.

None of these swaps like this can be counted on to be "drop in" jobs. Most likely the cylinder will have to be 'fitted' and for sure the barrel will require gunsmithing. And, the barrel might require extensive work like being set back one turn. Then the front sight could require being altered to a new height.

IMHO, you should continue looking for that 'beater' M 15 and then hope for the best. .....
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:15 AM
thoger thoger is offline
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Thanks guys I've been lurking here for quite a while and knew you'd come through with good advice.

I'm aware that the barrel / cylinder will need fitting by a gunsmith, my primary concern is finding the donor gun that will require the least fitting / gunsmith hours.
Norway is a relatively high-cost country and you wouldn't believe what a 'smith charges per hour

What are the differences between a 14 and a 15 in this respect? Is the "pinned" / non-pinned thing an issue?
(I shall have to admit to this being my first S&W, only had Ruger and Colt so far)

I have made a note to avoid a recessed-cylinder 19, thanks for the advice.

Will a full underlug donor be an easier fit? This Model 14
https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/96..._952064142.jpg

is "only" $100 more than this older model
https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/96...2101706553.jpg
and if the difference in parts cost is offset by significantly less gunsmith work, that would be a positive business case.
(for the curious ones - 14's and 15's run about $450-$650 here depending on age/model/condition. It's a high-cost country

S&W's are quite common in Norway, so spending a few weeks to look for the "perfect" donor is a better option than starting with a "maybe".
Same thing for a "beater", too - by the time I've paid for a polish/reblue + possibly having to "undo" a crappy trigger job, I've ended up with a higher total cost.

Thanks for your input so far, and please keep it coming - I'm learning a lot here. My apologies for the delay in answering, but we're about 8 time zones apart
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:26 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Thoger, it's a vicarious pleasure for me to be involved in the planning and execution of a custom build... even somebody else's half way around the world! Please keep us in the loop as your project unfolds.

As for prices of the donor guns mentioned, $450-650 (USD of course) is getting to be about normal here for decent, pre-lock S&W revolvers with adjustable sights... those prices aren't out of line. BTW, you saved a bunch of gunsmithing cost by finding the right barrel and cylinder. Those items in that caliber are in very high demand, thus hard to find and pretty costly here in the US. They were good finds for you. I also agree with the concept of starting with good stuff to avoid labor costs later, that is a very wise strategy. If you go back and read the 3 page thread from my Project 616 build a few years ago, you will see I didn't always follow my own advice, and consequently paid for it! BTW, I used an unpinned barrel on a pinned frame... that was no problem since the GS just drilled the hole/groove in the barrel at installation. Getting the recessed vs non-recessed cylinder matchup is probably more critical.

Welcome to our group insanity and congratulations on getting started on what should be a great custom gun project. I especially want to hear about any special effort or challenges you need to deal with there in Norway and to see pictures of your build as it gets done. I'm sure several of us will also want to exchange reloading data (probably by PM) when you get to that point.

Best regards,
Charlie the Frog
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:32 PM
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The 16-4 barrel should have a wide rib on top. It will match up with the rib on a Model 19. The Model 14 and 15 are not magnum frames and therefore have the front corners of the frame ground to meet the narrow rib on the .38 barrels. Much easier and better looking to use a Model 19 donor.
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:28 PM
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I would agree that a 14, 15 or 19 frame would work best. I thought about doing a similar project to get a K frame 32. My question is, how did you ever find barrel and cylinder? Use looked high and low before I gave up and bought a 16_4.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:21 PM
tennexplorer tennexplorer is offline
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You do not want a 15 unless it is a very late production one. Probably a 15-6 or later. Earlier 15's have a tapered (profile barrel) with a narrow rib. The frame nose where the barrel is screwed into the frame is machined to match this. You need the 14 or the 19, preferably the 14 (because of the cylinder lug on the frame) so that the frame nose will match the heavy barrel.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:31 PM
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very cool project....can not wait to see pics along the way too...
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:20 AM
thoger thoger is offline
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Thanks, guys, I'm learning a lot here.

I've been looking at the "Project 616" thread, and I'm glad I don't have to bore out a barrel & cylinder

The barrel & cylinder was a lucky find, from a very unlucky guy. He had a new 16-4 that he wanted fitted with a different barrel.
The "gunsmith" managed to break the frame of the gun as he removed the barrel (!). He lost the will to tinker with it, and I gained from that, although I feel sorry for the guy.

From the pictures in this thread, Some Combat Masterpiece eye candy , I think i see the "scallops" on the frame that blends the frame to a narrower barrel/rib.

I'm not sure if I understand "tennexplorers" comment on "preferably the 14 (because of the cylinder lug on the frame)", is that a new twist I need to look out for?

What I have so far is:
A non-recessesed 19 is the best. I'm not sure how I recognize these - would the barrel pin go away at the same time as the countersunk chambers?

A 15-4(5?) is OK, but I'm not sure what to look for.
In 15-6- Major changes??? i found this:
15-4 (1977): Change to put gas ring from yoke to cylinder.
15-5 (1982): Pinned barrel eliminated
Is it one of those changes that makes the later 15's a better choice?

A 14 is a good choice, says some, but I'm not sure what to look for, unless I go for a late full-underlug, I'm assuming that's a solid bet.

This is fun, and I'm learning a lot. For those wondering - I have Ruger sp101 snub in .327 Mag that is a joy, and I'm looking for the same fun in a 6" "target".
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:40 PM
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Thoger,

There is a lug on the frame that keep the cylinder from sliding out of the yoke when you open the weapon. The Model 14 has always had a cylinder that is not recessed. because of that, the lug is longer than it is on the Model 19 which has a cylinder that is recessed. If you use a 19 frame the cylinder will slide on the yoke barrel. The revolver will then be difficult to close unless you are careful.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:19 PM
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Thanks Tennexplorer

I had the opportunity to sit down with a disassembled 16-4 and a 19-4 this afternoon, and saw the difference in the little bump.

From what I've learned, it's possible to knock that part out of the frame and replace it with the corresponding part from a 16-4.

This afternoon i took possesion of a complete, unfired 16-4 with a broken frame. I also bought, but havent received yet, a LNIB 19-4 that has had a totalt of 50 rounds through it.

I realise that the cylinder crane is slighrly different, but that is fixable.
The "bump" I believe I can get fixed either by replacing it with the corresponding part from the 16-4 or have a replacement manufactured in a pinch.

Things are lookin up I'll post somr pictures once I get all the parts in house.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:18 PM
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Default Parts & donor arrived :)

Some pics of the parts & the donor. Actually - the donor is so nice, I'll probably postpone the transplant a while while I enjoy the lovely 19-4.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:16 PM
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Default And the new Queen is in.. Mod 16, 17,5 or 19...

Finally got my M16-4 build back from the shop.

M19 (c.1985) frame, crane and internals
M16-4 barrel, cylinder and frame lug.

Ain't she a beauty?
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:37 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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I know precisely how you feel... just like I did when I took delivery on my "Project 616" shown below between a Model 60-4 and a Model 686 ND. Unless there is something very wrong that the pictures don't show, you have a revolver that will give you many hours of shooting pleasure. Congratulations for sticking with this project and carrying it through to completion.

Regards,
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:03 PM
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Sweet. Finding a 16-4 barrel and cylinder made it from a bunch of problems to fairly straight forward. You got as lucky as the previous owner got unlucky.
ENJOY
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:54 PM
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Thoger - great looking gun! I bet it shoots like a laser. It's hard to tell for sure from the picture, but it looks like the front screw on the rear sight might be a little bit loose.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoger View Post
....
Building a 16-4 from parts..-2017-03-15-17-58-40-jpg
Perhaps the only full lug K-frame in existence with a factory barrel that's pinned.

One of the few, at least.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:26 PM
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Thanks guys for all your kind words. The gun goes shooting tomorrow, I can hardly wait It feels very tight, and the trigger job seems just right. Very smooth DA with a nice stop.

I made sure to instruct the smith to put the pin back in, this has got to look right

I'll look at the sight tomorrow (my time), but so far the only issue I have is that the smith didn't have a reamer for .327 Federal Magnum

I have a Ruger SP101 in .327, and would like to share loads & cases.

I've called most gunsmiths in southern Norway without finding a .327 reamer, and noen of them are willing to mess with their .32 Long reamers to please me

I've found some for sale in the U.S., but they're like $140 and by the time we add shipping & import fees we're looking at $300ish, which is a bit steep..

I'll start canvassing Germany next, see if someone will lend me a reamer for a couple of days..
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:43 PM
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Default Best Frame For A 16-4 Build

Hello All,

I just saw this thread for the first time today. I must say I'm surprised to see that no one recommended building the 16-4 off of the Full lug Model 14 shown in the link in one of the posts above. https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/96..._952064142.jpg
I have a Model 14-5 which is very similar to the gun shown in the linked photo, the only difference I could see is obviously the gun in the photo doesn't have the factory wood combat stocks like mine and also the sights on the gun in the linked photo don't appear to be factory original. All that's besides the point, what is to the point is that the Model 14-5 is practically a dead ringer for the Model 16-4 except for the bore and chamber diameter and the Target Trigger on the 16-4 vs. the Combat Trigger on the 14-5. Just curious why there was no recommendation for this gun as best bet.

Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:06 AM
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I imagine that the gun he used was a lot easier to find and more affordable than a Model 14 with the barrel underlug.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:53 AM
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For the sake of future reference, in case someone should want to wander down the same path, I'll describe what I learned from this thread, and how I used it.

I needed a K-frame, and the candidates were 14,15,17 and 19.
I learned that the rimfire 17 was a bad idea because of the lockwork/differences between rim/centrefire setup.

The frame of a K has two different topstraps, depending on the barrel diameter. Most 14s and 15s have a narrow barrel, and thus the top strap is scalloped to meet the narrow barrel.

(The obvious exception is full-lug 14's, but these are almost as rare as models 16's. The one linked above is the only one I've seen i 6 months, and it was $300 more expensive than the 19 I bought)

This leaves us with the model 19, or accepting that the top strap profile and barrrel profile do not match.

Then I learned from tennexplorer that most 19s have a recessed cylinder, which requires a change of the frame lug to match the non-recessed M16 cylinder. I actually found a non-recessed 19, finally, but that was after I'd bought the 1st m19.

Since I had access to the 16 frame with frame lug, I knocked it out and used it on the 19, with good result.

In summary:
14: Mismatched barrel profile, unless you start with a full lug.
15: As the 14
17: No good since it's rimfire
19: Barrel profile match, frame lug mismatch, unless you find a non-recessed 19.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:22 AM
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Your project turned out fantastic. On the downside it whets your appetite for "special" guns that you wish they built. I built my first .327 Federal using a 19-3 frame, a 16-4 barrel and a .22 cylinder. Andy did a fantastic job assembling my collection of parts and I'm thrilled with the end result. He currently has my next project which is a 4" 16-4 barrel, a .22 cylinder and a Model 14 wide rib frame. Instead of a scope this 4" gun will get an Allchin base with a Burris Fastfire III. Here's a photo of the completed 8 3/8" gun also with a pinned barrel.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:27 AM
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Cool prodject.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:46 PM
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1st test shooting done

1) It's plenty accurate
2) The 'smith went overboard on tuning the DA trigger. I need to learn how to put some more tension on the trigger spring, or change to a different one. It's a GREAT trigger, though, if it'd only always set off the primer when shooting DA. About 10% failure on reloads with Federal primers, 30% failure on factory Fiocchi
3) I suspect the 'smith left the 19 sight on the frame, and I sure hope this sight is taller than the '16, cause the sight is all the way to the bottom, and I'm still high with my standard loads.

I'll break out the micrometer & screwdrivers later, 400 rounds off hand is hard on the back.

All in all - very happy with the gun, looking forward to ironing out the glitches & get started for real
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:18 PM
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Been wanting a .327 but built 2 in .32 in long. The first was more of a classic .32 and had the bbl cut to 5" to match a 5" pre 14 I have, its a ISP gun from 1957. When I picked up my gun from Andy Horvath, Froggie's project 616 was there waiting for the barrel to be returned being re-bored. This gun was made from a model 17-2 and he used the floating rim-fire firing pin, he bushed the hole and moved it to centerfire.

The second came when I found a 6" .32 cal PPC barrel. Used a model 15 and a .22 cyl. Andy slab sided the bbl and cut this one to 5" also to make it a tad lighter. I didn't use a rib for this one. Both guns have a Weigand interchangeable front sight base and a narrow trigger for double action shooting. Both guns were finished with a set of Keith Brown grips. The 2 guns shoot very accurately, thats a good thing.

Fast forward to Oct 2016 when I found 2 14-6's with the rare 4" barrels. The only run of 4" 14 full lug barrels. Now I wanted a 4" 16-4 and a 4" 17-6 full lug to have a set of guns. The 16-4's are pretty expensive now. There was a 4" 16-4 .32 mag barrel in the classified and I got it today in the mail. Here comes a gun in .327. I'll get a model 15 from Gun broker. This one will be a little cheaper then the last 2 I had made. I already had the .22 cyl just in case.

Thoger, you have a very nice gun. it was worth the wait I'm sure. You did a lot of shooting in one session. Enjoy what you created. Larry
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  #31  
Old 03-20-2017, 10:38 AM
thoger thoger is offline
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Default Rear sight blade height?

I got the light primer strikes fixed, and the trigger pull is still very good. Now: The rear sight.

I swapped the sights around, but to no avail. The gun is still high with standard loads and the sight bottomed out.

The height of the current rear sight blade seems to be about .145-150. I'm assuming that it's an .146 blade then.

I'm 2" high at 25 meters (~26 yds), that's a correction of 0.04" needed to be on target, with the sight bottomed out. This is .32 Long, low-velocity target rounds.

I see Brownells carries .126 and .106 height blades. Which one, in your opinion, would be the better option? I will shoot .327's or .32 H&R's out of this gun in the future.

The 106: https://goo.gl/Dkiqrv
The 146: https://goo.gl/cFQr42

There is also a "Competition" variant that looks good, but how can I know if this can be adjusted low enough?
https://goo.gl/3w92Nk

Thanks you your help, guys
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:56 AM
Krogen Krogen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoger View Post
1st test shooting done

1) It's plenty accurate
2) The 'smith went overboard on tuning the DA trigger. I need to learn how to put some more tension on the trigger spring, or change to a different one. It's a GREAT trigger, though, if it'd only always set off the primer when shooting DA. About 10% failure on reloads with Federal primers, 30% failure on factory Fiocchi
3) I suspect the 'smith left the 19 sight on the frame, and I sure hope this sight is taller than the '16, cause the sight is all the way to the bottom, and I'm still high with my standard loads.

I'll break out the micrometer & screwdrivers later, 400 rounds off hand is hard on the back.

All in all - very happy with the gun, looking forward to ironing out the glitches & get started for real
Shooting high, eh? I have a recently purchased 16-4 that behaves the same way. Thought it was the shooter, but my buddy has the same result. He's way better than me, so I know it's the gun. I need to install a taller front sight. Should be simple enough, since they're pinned in place. I suspect you have the same issue.

Edited to add one more thought: The high impact happens with all the loads I've tried. Doesn't matter if they're fast light bullets, slow heavy bullets, or 32 S&W.

Last edited by Krogen; 03-20-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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  #33  
Old 03-20-2017, 11:21 AM
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Check the heigth of rear sight and if possible order a lower rear blade.

On the 327 Federal reamer this place rents them for a very reasonable cost. I rented and used a 22TCM reamer from them. I have no idea what shipping would be. Customs should not be a problem as it is not a firearms. Just a machining cutter.

327 Federal finish reamer - 4D Reamer Rentals
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  #34  
Old 03-21-2017, 06:57 AM
thoger thoger is offline
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Thanks for the input - I'll send them an enquiry.
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  #35  
Old 03-21-2017, 07:29 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Although I never mentioned it, when Andy built my Project 616, he had to install a higher front blade for that very reason... the deed was already done when I picked up my finished gun from him, so I tend to forget he even had to do it.

Froggie
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