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  #1  
Old 03-22-2010, 06:59 PM
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Default Shortening a Barrel

The previous thread got me to thinking. With the prices found for 3" L-Frames, what do you think about looking for a 58X or 68X-series L-Frame, w/a longer barrel and modifying it to 3-inch barrel?

I had a chance on a 581 that was rough on the outside, for $270.00, but let it get away. I was thinking of utilizing it for the 3-inch barrel, plus maybe some other custom work.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:05 PM
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I'm interested in finding out about this too, I'd like to try it with one of those bargain Model 64s.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:37 PM
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All you need is a competent gunsmith and the money to pay for it.

Dave
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:13 PM
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I sure would like to see some that have been modified and get a idea on pricing per-modification. Dave, do you know of any good gunsmiths in AZ?
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:25 PM
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What prices are you talking about? I just bought a new one off of gunbroker for 682 shipping and insurance included. There is another available.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:39 PM
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ENGINE, the guy who does my S&W work is in Reno, NV. The shipping is murder and adds another $100 to the price. I try to visit every so often and take stuff too him in person. Oh for the simple (cheeper) days gone by...

Dave
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:41 PM
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Shortening a barrel is a lot more work (money) than switching out a barrel, but then again you don't have to buy the new barrel. Also it might look odd as the lettering on the barrel will no longer be centered. If that does not bother you, go for it.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:34 PM
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I bought a barrel from a forum member last year. I think the barrel came from a model 13. It was a 4 inch heavy barrel. It was a .357 magnum barrel and I was going to put it on a model 10 .38 special. I cut the barrel down to just a shade over 3 inches with a hacksaw and dressed it down to 3 inches exactly with a file. I didn't like 357 on the barrel so I slab sided the barrel on both sides to do away with the writing. I also drilled and tapped the top for a fiber optic shotgun bead to use as a front sight. With some care you can shorten the barrel yourself. Ofcourse i'm fearless when it comes to doing things myself. If your not as adventurous as I am you may want to talk to a gunsmith, but I bet you will have close to as much money in it as a factory 3 inch if you go that route.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:18 AM
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I have had two barrels shortened by gunsmiths over the years. First was a 5" full lug 625 that was shortened to 4" by (now deceased) Art Leckie. The work was first rate, and other than the front sight base that had been screwed to the barrel you'd think it came from the factory this way. This had laser etched caliber markings on the barrel which disappeared when the entire revolver was glass beaded. The second revolver was a Redhawk that had been shortened by Hamilton Bowen's shop. The Redhawk barrel is a very tricky proposition for various reasons, but their work is flawless. All the barrel lettering (including the warning) was removed and then correct caliber markings applied. In both instances, the work is beyond reproach. It can be done if you are willing to pay for it.

It is also noteworthy that both screw-on front sight bases have stayed attached over the years during hard use and very heavy recoil. When done right, this is a very effective means of attaching a front sight. I have also seen barrel lettering removed from stainless steel barrels, done with just a file and without removing the barrel. This work was also first rate. If you have the skills and determination, anything is possible.

Dave Sinko
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:21 PM
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SDM Fabricating has a IDPA package for shorting to a 4" barrel, I would guess that doing a 3" would be the same $250. There are pictures on their website that show just what is involved. I like the slabside idea to remove the lettering, having it offset on a shorten barrel would be just too much for me to endure! It would be the best option outside of finding a short barrel and having it installed on your gun.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:19 PM
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Talking Fixing what the monkey did

I purchased a 6+ inch model 19 that it looks the the modifier was less skilled than a chimp. It now has a 3.5" barrel, I wanted the full length ejector rod and the round butting previously done has been cleaned up. Shortening the barrel was a fairly simple operation. I then recrowned it and dressed up the muzzle with slow, careful file work. It can be done. I am using C&S Extreme fixed sights for the rear and will have a "custom" screwed on front sight. I can adjust it to point of aim that way. All this is to say with slow and carefull, you can do most things yourself.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:32 PM
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Here's a Link to SDM Fabricating with a photos of barrel shortening in proggress, There's alot more to it than you think..
4 conversion
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:18 PM
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I have personally cut down barrels on 3 separate Smith revolvers.
The first was a 629-4 6" . Let me start by saying I have always figured that the most I had to lose was the barrel itself.
I figured I could always send it back to S&W for a new one.

The 629-4 6" was purchased for a song ,and I wanted a gun
Smith never made a 4" full lug 629.
My friend with a machine shop cut the barrel off on his band saw.
I finished and crowned the end myself, by hand ,with various tools.
My local gunsmith dovetailed a Millett front sight into the top rib.
And I just simply rubbed off the acid etched barrel markings.

The crown came out well ,and it shoots like a house afire.

I also bought a 4" model 13-3 that had the front sight ground off on a bench grinder.
I cut and crowned it to 2 7/8" ,slab sided it ,and round butted the frame.
2 weeks later a friend saw me showing it off and had to have it.
Boom ,gone. It shot exceptionally well also.

My latest project is the $200. model 28-2 ,that is currently in the 1980 to present forum.
It was also cut,crowned ,and round butted to make a
big carry gun.


Model 528?


My experience is just this; if I get a vision of what I want ,
then take my time ,using hand tools ,I can do just about anything.

Regards , Allen
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Last edited by Allen-frame; 04-05-2010 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:29 PM
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:40 PM
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The model 13 thread.


The cut model 13 completed.


Regards . Allen
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:46 PM
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Found the model 629 thread.


To cut a 629-4 Classic from 6.5 to 3 7/8. UPDATE:Wed. 8/19/09


Regards , Allen
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:27 PM
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Jim Stroh does fine work and his front sight is the slickest out there. The base screws on and the blades are interchangeable via a set screw in the front face of the base. Here's one he did for me on a 45 Colt conversion,



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357 magnum, 581, 629, bowen, colt, ejector, gunsmith, idpa, millet, model 10, model 13-3, model 19, model 28, model 625, redhawk, smith-wessonforum.com

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