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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 01-25-2021, 12:21 AM
geekeye geekeye is offline
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Default Low profile thumbpiece / cylinder release for J-frames

Does such a thing exist? So far my searches are turning up standard size and extended, but not low profile.


I've been finding that my best accuracy with my 442-2 comes with the web of my hand as high up on the grip as possible (should not surprise anyone) but that puts the knuckle of my thumb close enough to the cylinder release that it's taking bites out of me on recoil.


Do I have any options other than modifying my grip or pulling out the dremel and doing things I might regret?


Low profile thumbpiece / cylinder release for J-frames-slide1-jpg
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:25 AM
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Buy a spare and dremel the hell out of it.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:31 AM
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Maybe spend a few bucks and get another for your “experiments,” keeping the stock part intact.

Thumbpiece, New Style, Ladysmith MIM, New Factory Original | Gun Parts

Have this part refinished when and if it works out to your liking.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:51 PM
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No, doesn't exist except in someone's creative mind. Some thoughts:

The thumb should not be used to grasp the revolver; usually causes the piont of impact to move left of center. It should just be laid against the side of frame pointed straight ahead which will take it up out of harms way from the thumb piece. However that may or may not work for you.

Smoothing some checkering and sharp edges may solve your problem, but the thumb piece attachment point to frame will still be right at the point of your thumb knuckle attachment screw cannot be moved.

But you could cut off the checkered pad from the attachment point and re-attach it to the top or bottom of the attachment point/screw hole by soldering it with low temp soft solder. Might not even need re-bluing.
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:12 PM
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Judicious application of a dremel and files could give you this:
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:15 PM
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IIRC, that is a MIM part, with hollow spaces underrneath. Excessive
alteration will have it look hideous, and likely to bite you worse. Go easy...
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:36 PM
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Here's your answer:

Not a J-Frame, of course, but I don't much care for the look of the "new" cylinder latch so I bought a few on eBay, shined them all nice with "Blue Magic," and this is the result. Got to admit I like the look much better (same as my J-Frame model 60). This one is on my 686+



Did the same to my 629.

Look around for them - they are all over and then either blue it or have it blued.

Rich
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:03 PM
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Hondo has good advice! Move the thumb!
jcelect
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:42 PM
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Dremel if you're patient
Angle grinder if you're not
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Old 01-26-2021, 09:53 PM
geekeye geekeye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryHK View Post
Dremel if you're patient
Angle grinder if you're not

So I've gone ahead and ordered a spare thumbpiece in stainless to experiment with (which should look less hideous if ground down but not refinished).


And if that doesn't work, I guess I can just angle grind my thumb off.
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Old 01-29-2021, 12:48 AM
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Well, they exist, just on much older Smiths:



As mounted



You can find them on the 'bay: Smith& Wesson flat latch. Might be worth a go for $20
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Old 01-29-2021, 01:24 AM
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I guess I go the other way and replace the smaller J frame latch with a K type. Lot easier and surer to hit when reloading.
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Old 01-29-2021, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
Well, they exist, just on much older Smiths:



As mounted



You can find them on the 'bay: Smith& Wesson flat latch. Might be worth a go for $20

oh! interesting find. looks like it might use a shorter screw as well. do you happen to know what years we are talking about?
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Old 01-29-2021, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
Well, they exist, just on much older Smiths:



As mounted



You can find them on the 'bay: Smith& Wesson flat latch. Might be worth a go for $20
Brilliant!! What was I thinking??? Of course, the I, J, and Airweight K frame(slightly larger) flat latches from 1951 to 1966!

Three different basic styles from real flat and rounded (early Baby J frame Chiefs Special), to ramped. Attaches with a 'male' screw instead of a 'female' cap nut, so the locking bar in the frame must be replaced as well. But no big deal!

Exactly what they were designed for, the recoil of the lighter small frames and airweight frame.

USE OF FLAT LATCHES

The very earliest model Chiefs used a standard latch. The earliest known 1st style flat latch began exclusively on the "Baby Chiefs" J frame with the 1st known #111 (presented by S&W to Col. Rex Applegate), on Chiefs for the next year or so after ~ #117 in very late 1950. The only other model to have used the 1st style was the alloy K frame Pre and Model 12 (including for the safety catch on the French Police version), never on the I frames. The Baby J frame in the 25,000 range, began a transition to the 2nd style flat latch in 1953.

The I frames used all four styles of the standard thumb piece before beginning use of the flat latch, starting with the Improved I frame (coil mainspring) - 2nd Variation (with ramp sight and barrel rib) in 1953; above # 60430X on the .32 I frames, and at around # 747XX on the.38 S&W .38/32 I frames.

There are no Improved I frame .22/32s neither 1st or 2nd sight variations; so for the .22/32s, the coil spring and 2nd style flat latch began with the Model of 1953 New I frames.

So all Models of 1953 New I frames and New J frames were introduced using the 2nd style flat latch. A transition to the 3rd style flat latch began in the late 1956 period for all I and J frames until discontinued on all models in 1966.



THREE STYLES OF FLAT LATCHES:

1st style flat latch; convex surface and very slight ramp towards the front – Baby J frame Chiefs special:



2nd style flat latch* began on the Improved I frames, K frame airweights, and Baby Js just prior to the Model of 1953 New J frames shown here; higher ramp and flat face:



*two-bit cowboy has identified a 4th style or sub variation of the 2nd style; same shape but with only 8 serrations.



3rd style shown on lower .38 Chief Spl. in first photo, with steeper incline at the front, and in 2nd photo; also used on Model of 1953 New I and New J frames, and K frame Airweights beginning mid late ‘50s; ending in 1966.





Photo by Watchdog
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Old 01-29-2021, 10:38 AM
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Here is the first style flat-latch on a Chiefs Special J-Frame (as installed on SN 101).....

Low profile thumbpiece / cylinder release for J-frames-dscf5314-jpg
http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...2&d=1611930906

Low profile thumbpiece / cylinder release for J-frames-dscf5350-jpg
http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...3&d=1611930978
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Old 01-29-2021, 10:26 PM
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Those early flat-latches also have proprietary bolts. That's why it's not just s simple swap . The little exposed screw you see goes through the flat latch, threading into the bolt. The 'modern' thumbpiece guns have a threaded stud as part of the bolt. That's what protrudes through the side of the frame when you remove the thumbpiece. That's why they have those larger, hollow based nuts that screw down onto the protrusion.
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Old 01-30-2021, 02:26 AM
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Yup - easy enough to replace with a few different available designs or modify one to your liking. I'd NOT alter the original - buy another to play with.
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Old 01-30-2021, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorLouis View Post
Those early flat-latches also have proprietary bolts. That's why it's not just s simple swap . The little exposed screw you see goes through the flat latch, threading into the bolt. The 'modern' thumbpiece guns have a threaded stud as part of the bolt. That's what protrudes through the side of the frame when you remove the thumbpiece. That's why they have those larger, hollow based nuts that screw down onto the protrusion.
You're not reading the posts, are you....or trying to speed read.
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Old 01-30-2021, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcelect View Post
Hondo has good advice! Move the thumb!
jcelect

From the photo I really looks like you should work on your technique. The thumb placement with the style shown will likely always be a problem.

In dry fire try different grip techniques that have a high hiod and keep the thumb away from rhe cylinder catch.

Keep the original catch. Get a new part to fit. Take off sharp edges.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:27 AM
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i finally got around to doing this work. i ended up deciding against getting a previous gen thumb piece. i didn't want the headache of screw vs nut and having to replace the bolt at the same time, so i got a new spare to sacrifice to the dremel.


here are the results, new vs original. i haven't decided yet whether i will polish it a bit more, or take a wire brush to it for a cloudy finish.

Low profile thumbpiece / cylinder release for J-frames-img_0726-jpg



and here it is on the gun.

Low profile thumbpiece / cylinder release for J-frames-img_0730-jpg

so far it's much MUCH more comfortable, and still functions just fine.


cheers!
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:34 AM
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But did you move your thumb in your "hold"?

Get used to that, and you'll never revert back to the hold you showed in your first post.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:16 PM
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I've tried both ways, and I am more accurate with it with a higher grip.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:44 PM
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Call me simple but I would have just changed the grip. Slick grips like those probably let the revolver slide around a bit during recoil. My VZ grips (especially the checkered ones) really keep it from shifting when shooting.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:35 PM
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it's all give-and-take. i have grippier grips on my L frame, but these get hung up on my clothing less.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekeye View Post
it's all give-and-take. i have grippier grips on my L frame, but these get hung up on my clothing less.

I totally get that. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like rubbery grips.

Hopefully your cylinder release mod helps you out.
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