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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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  #1  
Old 01-10-2022, 06:36 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Default Project mod 14/15 re-barrel to 3 inch

I know I might upset people by this idea, and I am also very reluctant to modify anything that is not easily reversible on a nice old revolver (especially if it's a S&W, Colt or Ruger).

However, I have to opportunity to get a esthetically beaten up mod 14 for about 200 $, where a relatively good shape older 14/15 starts around 350/400 $ equivalent, and you can find plenty of those here in Western Europe. Just because revolvers are not trendy anymore compared to the tupperware 9mm, especially if the revolver is a 'too often seen' .38 SP like a mod. 14. It's a shame, but this being said, I am not the handgun's WWF trying to save hundreds of fine handguns. I have the classics I like, and am not intended at all to duplicate what I already have (certainly not as investment, as that is here a lost deal - although I prefer to have nice guns at decent prices, rather than being unable to buy classics as the prices are crazy : I have watched a older older model 16 .32 S&W Long selling for about 900 $ recently, and own since 15 years a 98% 547 I paid 300 $ - now estimated here 7/800 $ equivalent - nice, no ? ).

Back to this beaten but mechanically decent model 14, which I would like to convert into a 3 inch barrel gun with adjustable sights, by having the barrel cut, re-crowned and a front sight installed to it (by a very experienced gunsmith). If the result looks good, I might have it re-blued or cera-coated (in matte black - not pink or zombie -green ), but that's a question for much later.

Why : because I am absolutely crazy about 3-inch K-frames with or without adjustable sights

Have any of you pictures of similar projects ? Can you post them ?

Thanks a million and best greetings from the old continent.
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Old 01-10-2022, 08:52 AM
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Someone should be along with images soon, not me, don’t have such a revolver. BUT, I like the concept! Especially the part about saving an old derelict revolver and putting it to good use.

Kevin
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:16 AM
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One of my more frequently carried revolvers is a 2" Model 15-2...I'd like to see a 3" when it's complete......Ben
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Old 01-10-2022, 11:40 AM
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Sounds great, OP.
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Old 01-10-2022, 11:52 AM
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It sounds like a great project. Many on the forum have either purchased frames, barrels or parts with the idea of turning them into something they have imagined or just to take a beater that would have gone to the scrap pile and turn it into something of beauty or at least a much more useable carry piece.
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Old 01-10-2022, 12:28 PM
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Sounds like a cool project. Given the circumstances, the 14 is not a huge loss, so cut away and enjoy.
Would like to see a follow up when you have it finished.
I like a patridge style sight, and would like to try one on a short barreled revolver with adjustable sights.
Although it would not be holster friendly, I would go that route.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:42 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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I like the idea. I might go with a McGivern Bead Patridge front sight. A 3" barrel on a K frame might look like a slightly scaled down 3.5" Model 27. Hmmm.... maybe have the top strap and barrel rib checkered and fit a Model 27 checkered rear sight assembly too ?
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:49 PM
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This is not a Model 14. This is a Model 25-2 that was originally a 6 or 6.5” barrel. It now is a 4.25” barrel with a Patridge sight and a McGivern gold bead.

I like it. A lot.

Kevin
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:09 PM
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Default Hack Away.....

A 4 inch model 19-7 with factory round butt, whacked off to 3 inches.

An unfired model 617-1 with a 6 inch barrel, whacked off to 3 inches before it was ever fired.

A 6 inch model 17-8, 10 shot k22, whacked off to 3 inches.

A model 13-3 with a model 19 barrel whacked off to 3 inches

A model 681, 4 inch L frame, whacked off to 3 inches with night sight.


One of my favorite past times is whackin' off K frames

Ned
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Old 01-11-2022, 05:37 AM
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I have wacked off a few myself. Go for it and have what you want.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:02 AM
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One of my favorite past times is whackin' off K framesNed
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I have wacked off a few myself. Go for it and have what you want.
Whatever makes yer guns happy, I guess.......
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Old 01-11-2022, 01:01 PM
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Sounds like a bunch of enablers here… the naysayers must have missed this thread!

No argument from me either. My two K frame builds involved barrel and cylinder changes to achieve desired products in 32 S&W L (a K32 homage) and 327 FM (“the gun S&W should have built but never did!”)

They’re tools, and if you can get them to do a job better for you, you’re joining an unbroken line of craftsmen all the way back to the first cave man who chipped a little flake off of his piece of flint so it cut better. I bet there was somebody there complaining that messing with the originality of the rocks would bring down the wrath of the gods and destroy the tribe!

Regards,
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Old 01-11-2022, 01:19 PM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Thumbs up

Thanks for all the responses .

The pictures provided convince me more and more to go that route. I didn't even consider recovering the existing front sight, I was thinking of a dovetailed high blade, but the pictures provided by Kevin and Ned are great. The 617-1 and 17-8 - if I was proposed these to purchase, I could sacrifice quite something for those. They are even RB now - the 617-1 looks like a scaled down 686. S&W should add these to the regular line .

Ned - do you have close-up pictures of the sights and how they were fixed on the barrel ?

I already talked to my gunsmith, and he told me to jump in with the gun, and discuss. If this goes through, I'll keep everyone updated.

Once again, thumbs up for this forum - I am on a gun forum over here in Belgium, but that's way too much bashing and whining about legal restrictions, 'the virus' and other useless blablabla... I refrain to post on there for that reason. Here, after only one day after raising the question, I have already a wealth of good advice.

Let your comments come, there are all much appreciated.

Best - B686
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Old 01-11-2022, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Sounds like a bunch of enablers here… the naysayers must have missed this thread!

No argument from me either. My two K frame builds involved barrel and cylinder changes to achieve desired products in 32 S&W L (a K32 homage) and 327 FM (“the gun S&W should have built but never did!”)

They’re tools, and if you can get them to do a job better for you, you’re joining an unbroken line of craftsmen all the way back to the first cave man who chipped a little flake off of his piece of flint so it cut better. I bet there was somebody there complaining that messing with the originality of the rocks would bring down the wrath of the gods and destroy the tribe!

Regards,
Froggie
I have seen a few of your posts on your 616 I admit I stopped watching, too depressive knowing this in not a regular S&W item . Still looking for a 4" 631 kit gun in .32 H&R, and that might cost an arm here. No need to hope for the newer .327 FM, as that cartridge is not CIP approved, so not allowed for import in most of Western Europe. Sorry, I promised I wouldn't start whining
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Old 01-11-2022, 01:46 PM
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I looked at doing the same thing on a model 15 that someone put a 6" model 14 barrel on. I asked my son to photoshop the picture of my gun so it would have a 3" barrel on it, with the patridge sight. I hope this helps.
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Old 01-11-2022, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biblethumpincop View Post
I looked at doing the same thing on a model 15 that someone put a 6" model 14 barrel on. I asked my son to photoshop the picture of my gun so it would have a 3" barrel on it, with the patridge sight. I hope this helps.
Thanks to both you and your son
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Old 01-11-2022, 06:48 PM
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Just another little suggestion… a 3” revolver is not primarily a target gun, so I would be hesitant to use a Patridge front sight blade. Instead I would be likely to use a Baughman ramp instead. If you carry it in a holster the ramped blade will work much better for you than the flat face of a Patridge. JMHO, of course. You have to please you!

Froggie

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Old 01-11-2022, 09:57 PM
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Finally, a naysayer. I have had the bbls of 2 revolvers cut: A 25-2 from 6" (6.5"?) to 4" and a New Frontier SAA from 7.5" to 4 5/8". Both jobs were performed skillfully by qualified 'smiths. Later on, however, I wondered why I had bothered since I did not care for either gun after the 'smithing. The 25-2 is long gone, and the SAA New Frontier sits unappreciated in the safe. It's your call, OP, but myself, I would prefer a concrete, 'using', reason for such a drastic modification. As always, YMMV.

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Old 01-11-2022, 10:36 PM
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Kaaskop49,

The OP states in his post that he knows the cost will exceed any expected return if he were to sell it, but he really likes 3" K frames and since he's getting his "donor gun" at a fire sale price due to its cosmetic condition, no real collectible condition consideration will be involved. I really don't see any legitimate negative to this project. I may be looking through rose colored glasses, but I like it!

Froggie
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
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…Thanks for all the responses
You are most welcome. We like to enable folks!

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… Ned - do you have close-up pictures of the sights and how they were fixed on the barrel ?…
Not Nedroe but here are some photos of how front sight on my revolvers are attached.

Left is a Model 1917, cut to 4” and the original front sight and ramp cut from the barrel, shaped on the bottom and soldered in place. The half moon sight was then reshaped and the gold bead added.

Right is the Model 25-2, cut to 4.25”, the ramp and sight cut from the original barrel leaving a tab under the ramp. The top of the rib was slotted for the tab and the sight ramp soldered in place.

Alternatively, you could leave the tab longer and pin it through the rib.

Kevin
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:11 PM
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All of the sights are pinned on. Here is the 617-1. I used only 1 pin here.
I cut the sight off the 6 in. barrel, flipped it upside down in the end mill & machined a tenon on the bottom of the base, ala S&W. Then use a slot or keyway cutter to machine a slot for the tenon in the top of the barrel rib.



This 19-7 has 2 pins holding a factory S&W sight on, the way S&W did it in the 50's & 60's. The pins were left "proud" so you can see "em. Not to be mistaken for a factory gun.

The 681 has a pinned night sight available from Brownells for multiple applications.

Ebay is a good source for donor barrels, as well as original S&W sights from time to time. Also Numrich comes up with some NOS old stuff every now & then.
This factory pre-27 barrel has an example of "proud" pins.

This barrel has an example of not proud pins. You can barely see them as they have been blended in.


Hope this helps.

Ned
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:43 PM
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The 3" Model 15 and 3" Model 12 are top of some of my "Why didn't they make a bunch of these?" lists.
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:48 PM
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I love 3" barreled K frames and Colt D Frames, here is a M65-5 I had cut down, and a 2" Detective Special I had a 3" barrel installed on:



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Old 01-14-2022, 10:46 AM
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Just a thought on the conversion: I see people paying big bucks for the Dayton 4” Model 14s, and not just as collectibles.
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:48 AM
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The 3" Model 15 and 3" Model 12 are top of some of my "Why didn't they make a bunch of these?" lists.

It’s also the top of a lot of “Why don’t they make them now?” lists.
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:57 AM
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Not really a naysayer……but, I don’t like the roll marks off centered or cutoff.
I like F224’s M65-5,very clean and sorted out. If I was doing this that is way I would do it. It looks finished.
As always these projects take on a life of there own and It’ you revolver to do with as you please.
Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:45 PM
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I have often thought of doing this with a model 17 because I think a 5" would just be a perfect length for one of those!
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Old 01-14-2022, 06:24 PM
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If you are going to do the barrel, consider round butting the grip, too. That will require making sure that the conversion does not mess up the serial # before you do something you can't fix, but for most purposes a round butt just seems better with the shorter barrel. My M66 was modified in that manner and I find it better for carry and shooting.
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Old 01-14-2022, 06:40 PM
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There is no crime in modifying an otherwise forlorn S&W to rescue it from oblivion, but the Model 547 may be the ultimate 3" K frame, so you are chasing your tail building anything to compete with that.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:27 PM
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Nedroe,all of yours look fantastic.They should give Belgian 686 a good idea of what great things can be done with these great guns.
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SS336 View Post
..Not really a naysayer……but, I don’t like the roll marks off centered...
How about if the roll marks are off center from the factory? Would that make a difference?

My take is when I am looking over the sights, I don’t notice any marks on the barrel.

Kevin
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  #32  
Old 01-14-2022, 10:25 PM
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post
If you are going to do the barrel, consider round butting the grip, too. That will require making sure that the conversion does not mess up the serial # before you do something you can't fix, but for most purposes a round butt just seems better with the shorter barrel. My M66 was modified in that manner and I find it better for carry and shooting.
The OP is in Belgium. I am not familiar with the laws there. They may be different.

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Old 01-15-2022, 08:33 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Just another little suggestion… a 3” revolver is not primarily a target gun, so I would be hesitant to use a Patridge front sight blade. Instead I would be likely to use a Baughman ramp instead. If you carry it in a holster the ramped blade will work much better for you than the flat face of a Patridge. JMHO, of course. You have to please you!

Froggie
Finally back online - sorry for the delay to get back to the forum, but we had a lot of work this week.

I agree with you, although here we do not carry guns, and I have only one single holster, I was given when buying a refinished but very nice 5" Victory. So the project gun will be a range gun only, besides being hugged when watching TV in the evening (safe and unloaded of course)

I have no idea how to get a Baughman sight here, unless removing it from another gun. So right now, I confirmed the deal with the seller, and should pick up the gun somewhere next weekend. I will then see with my GS to start shortening the barrel to 3", with the patridge sight, and take the gun back home. I will take pictures of the gun before finishing the project and having a re-blue, or cera-coat. That will also leave me the opportunity to modify the patridge before refinishing. This input of you guys at the forum was too valuable to ignore, so I will be back to have your thoughts on anything before taking the next step. So the challenge is set for you all

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  #34  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:40 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Originally Posted by kaaskop49 View Post
Finally, a naysayer. I have had the bbls of 2 revolvers cut: A 25-2 from 6" (6.5"?) to 4" and a New Frontier SAA from 7.5" to 4 5/8". Both jobs were performed skillfully by qualified 'smiths. Later on, however, I wondered why I had bothered since I did not care for either gun after the 'smithing. The 25-2 is long gone, and the SAA New Frontier sits unappreciated in the safe. It's your call, OP, but myself, I would prefer a concrete, 'using', reason for such a drastic modification. As always, YMMV.

Kaaskop49
Shield #5103
Thanks, I appreciate your opinion, that was why I asked . My major motivation is to 'save' a S&W from total destruction, to learn in the process, and to get something 'unique' that should please me, knowing the mecanics inside are still quality S&W and no other cheap brand. I learned the latter the hard way, by buying junk, fortunately not expensive. I share you thought about ideas I find great at some point, and where a gun then never leaves the safe anymore. However, same applies to unmodified guns too, so ... but keep watching. Best.
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  #35  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Kaaskop49,

The OP states in his post that he knows the cost will exceed any expected return if he were to sell it, but he really likes 3" K frames and since he's getting his "donor gun" at a fire sale price due to its cosmetic condition, no real collectible condition consideration will be involved. I really don't see any legitimate negative to this project. I may be looking through rose colored glasses, but I like it!

Froggie
Exactly
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  #36  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:46 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS336 View Post
Not really a naysayer……but, I don’t like the roll marks off centered or cutoff.
I like F224’s M65-5,very clean and sorted out. If I was doing this that is way I would do it. It looks finished.
As always these projects take on a life of there own and It’ you revolver to do with as you please.
Just my 2 cents worth.
I see what you mean, and here in Belgium, the caliber should stay visible in the end, so no further chopping off than '.38 SP'

Last edited by Belgian686; 01-15-2022 at 08:59 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:48 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post
If you are going to do the barrel, consider round butting the grip, too. That will require making sure that the conversion does not mess up the serial # before you do something you can't fix, but for most purposes a round butt just seems better with the shorter barrel. My M66 was modified in that manner and I find it better for carry and shooting.
After the pictures of Kevin (aka StrawHat), Nedroe, and others this is indeed foreseen in the process
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  #38  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:51 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Originally Posted by Georgia1911 View Post
There is no crime in modifying an otherwise forlorn S&W to rescue it from oblivion, but the Model 547 may be the ultimate 3" K frame, so you are chasing your tail building anything to compete with that.
That 547 is exactly where the 3" disease started, but seen the inherent value I am always hesitant to shoot it. I hope this project cures at least that symptom of the disease.
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  #39  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for the pictures, Kevin, Nedroe, F224 and others ... spot on what I needed.

I'll print some of these to take with me to the surgeon before starting the chirurgical process
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  #40  
Old 01-15-2022, 09:20 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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By the way, this is what I have about the gun.
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File Type: jpg sw_14-11.jpg (122.2 KB, 37 views)
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  #41  
Old 01-15-2022, 10:54 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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By the way, this is what I have about the gun.
Ummmm... other than the rubber stocks, it does not look all that bad. I was thinking maybe this one was rusty, crusty, or had received a poor attempt at refinishing. Maybe it's worse than what the two pictures indicate?
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  #42  
Old 01-15-2022, 11:22 AM
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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Originally Posted by Belgian686 View Post
By the way, this is what I have about the gun.
B686,

Can you get a photo of the front sight, ramp, and rib? I am looking to see if it is pinned in place and if the ramp and Patridge would be compatible with reshaping to a Baughman style sight.

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  #43  
Old 01-15-2022, 01:49 PM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
Ummmm... other than the rubber stocks, it does not look all that bad. I was thinking maybe this one was rusty, crusty, or had received a poor attempt at refinishing. Maybe it's worse than what the two pictures indicate?
I know it's not 'too' bad, but I do not want to ruin a really nice gun, this is intended as a 'project gun'. The one I have in mind comes from a shooting fellow, and 200 € is really a bottom price for a model 14 (multiply by 1.2 to have the dollar equivalent) even here in Belgium.

If I want to get a nice one, to keep as original as possible, the price will be between 350 and 400 € (all charges and local taxes included). You can understand 'my future' 14 has not the slightest chance to survive in that competition, unless I save it

Without intend to ruin your Saturday morning, I attach a few pictures and prices of one of my gun shops practicing very decent (but not unusual) prices. These should give you a better insight in our used revolvers options in Belgium. It needs to be said again that concerning handguns the tupperware 9mm make 70% percent of the sales, plus about 20% of all metal semi-auto's, so the market for used revolvers is a gold mine for wheelgunners like me If I didn't have an excellent model 17 already, I would already have passed at the shop to bring it home
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File Type: jpg 14.jpg (166.4 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg 17.jpg (161.2 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 19.jpg (191.1 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 28.jpg (208.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 66.jpg (196.5 KB, 24 views)

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  #44  
Old 01-15-2022, 01:51 PM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
B686,

Can you get a photo of the front sight, ramp, and rib? I am looking to see if it is pinned in place and if the ramp and Patridge would be compatible with reshaping to a Baughman style sight.

Kevin
Kevin, the two pictures is all I have for now. As soon as I have the gun, I will make more pictures to share and discuss.

Best - Dominique
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  #45  
Old 01-15-2022, 02:08 PM
John Patrick John Patrick is online now
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Wow, your prices are great compared to ours.
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  #46  
Old 01-15-2022, 02:09 PM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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Default Other salavation mission

I am proud of my only other 'salvation' project : a model 36 for 75 €, plus 34 € for the Pachmayr grip, plus 80 € for the cerakoting (I didn't have the choice for the color, it was treated with the remainder of cerakote for another client's big project). The action made me fall in love with this 36 and the J-Frames in general. That is still my best deal

If the 14 project works out cerakoted, it will be black, nothing else - period. All my other guns will stay in the original finish - I do not want to loose all respect over here
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  #47  
Old 01-15-2022, 02:11 PM
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Wow, your prices are great compared to ours.
Indeed, and despite that tupperware still wins
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  #48  
Old 01-15-2022, 04:00 PM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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Yeah, wish prices were still that low here in the states.
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  #49  
Old 01-15-2022, 07:34 PM
John Patrick John Patrick is online now
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I think I like the well worn original finish on the 36.

Heck, spray paint might have looked better.
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Old 01-16-2022, 07:11 AM
Belgian686 Belgian686 is online now
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I think I like the well worn original finish on the 36.

Heck, spray paint might have looked better.
For me personally keeping as such didn't seem an option. I consider it a learning project for making it decent again, or pass, regardless the price. That's why stainless is great : it can be cleaned to like new.
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