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  #1  
Old 12-22-2011, 06:48 PM
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Default 6.5" 38/44 from 1940

I'm re-assembling this gun and don't have all the parts? I can't find a barrel pin? Is there anything else that can be used? I've heard that a drill bit of the proper size will work? Any suggestions?
Dick
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:59 PM
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Not sure abt the drill bit but you have one hell of a nice gun there. Larry
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:32 PM
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Dick:

Thank you for sharing you Outdoorsman ! If you are willing I would very much appreciate its serial number for my files (offline). I am trying to locate as many of the pre-war and post-war transitional models as possible. Do you happen to have a factory letter for your gun?

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:16 AM
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Yes a pin can be made from drill rod or a drill. Shaping the spherical ends so it looks right is the most difficult part. Correct size for the barrel pin is #50. Barrel pins are not hardened. Pin making is the absolutely most basic of all gunsmithing operations.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:30 AM
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Thank you, Larry!
Jerry, e-mail sent! No letter, yet. Maybe later.
Alk, Would you have a pin you would sell me, or tell me how to make one of a softer material?
Dick
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:56 AM
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The shank of drill bits is softer than the fluted section thereby making perfect barrel pins. Anything softer mashes over when they are driven in and out.

I found it easy to round the ends by chucking them in a drill press, a drill motor held in a vise or in a hand held Dremmel tool. Once you have the pin spinning, rough shape it with a fine file and then fine grit paper backed up by an eraser. You can end up with 2000 grit paper to polish it or spin them in the drill motor or Dremel tool against a rotating buffing wheel with white ( for stainless steel) rouge. Blue the ends after installation.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:10 PM
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Hondo,
Thanks for that info! Will the bit take cold blue?
Dick
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:25 PM
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I don't have anything to add to the excellent info you have received about pin manufacture, but I do want to express my appreciation for that fine OD.

I am becoming very fond of any commercial specimen on any frame shipped in 1939 or 1940. There just weren't that many of them as the Great Depression droned on and the company began tooling up for military production for the Brits. There seem to be a few more K frame revolvers than I or N.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:51 PM
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Thank you, David W.!
I always appreciate your comments. The Outdoorsman is all done except the pin. If I have a #50 bit on hand, I'll get that done this afternoon. Stay tuned for pictures!
Thanks to everyone for the help!
Dick
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:04 PM
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Hondo,
Thanks for that info! Will the bit take cold blue?
Dick
Yes. You might test your drill bit before putting the effort into it.

Merry Christmas,
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:43 PM
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Yes. You might test your drill bit before putting the effort into it.

Merry Christmas,
How ironic. Flip the drill bit over to make the correct size hole then chop the shank off to make the pin.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:40 PM
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Well, my luck!
I have a 49, but no 50! I'll have to get one the first chance I can get to town! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!
Dick
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:04 PM
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Well, Boys!
Haven't been able to find a # 50 drill bit, what with the holidays and all, so I mounted a #49 bit in my electric drill and ground it down a little at a time with a flat file, until it would start in the pin hole. then I scored it with the corner of the file and broke it off with pliers. Afterwards, I filed the ends to a nice round shape and tapped it back into the pin hole.
The next step was to shoot it! It was too cold today to set up for target shooting so I just shot five rounds off the back porch into the woodpile. It has a fine trigger at 2.5 lbs! Should be a real fine shooter when I get a chance to put it on paper! The only thing I've found not to like so far is the tiny sights. I guess that just shows how much things improved between 1940 and now! I definately like the modern sights better. The adjustment screws are so small on this gun that It will probably require a tiny screwdriver like ones used to work on eye glasses. I imagine they'd be pretty easy to screw up!
The stocks are Herrett's Shooting Stars. I have a pair on my 5" Mod. 27 and do like them. I have a set of stocks like the originals except without the diamonds. I wonder what it would cost to make a left stock like the original right stock that came with the gun?
Targets soon!
Dick
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:42 PM
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Sounds like you got her all fixed up. The new Micro click sights were definitely an improvement. Those little tiny sight screws tend to work loose and get lost. But I think the sewing machine screwdriver is a great solution, especially with the original SATs for that model selling at close to $1000!
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:08 PM
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Remember to let us know how it shoots on paper. Keep your tiny screw driver with you and make sure the sight screws are tight every so often. Mine is a nice shooter and I'm sure yours is also. I have a real nice set of Herret's like your's that I'd sell for 35.00 shipped. Don't use them. Larry
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:43 AM
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Sounds like you got her all fixed up. The new Micro click sights were definitely an improvement. Those little tiny sight screws tend to work loose and get lost. But I think the sewing machine screwdriver is a great solution, especially with the original SATs for that model selling at close to $1000!
Jim,
What do you mean "SATs"?
Dick
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:54 AM
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Jim,
What do you mean "SATs"?
Dick
Sight Adjustment Tool, which is what S&W called these things. They really shouldn't be considered general purpose screwdrivers.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:30 AM
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Beautiful gun.

Is the right stock panel numbered (possibly faintly, in pencil) to the gun? If so, you can find a replacement left panel, but perhaps not an exact match in color or grain. Pre-war Magnas will be pricey.

If you are interested, this one looks to be a good candidate for a factory historical letter, which will also confirm the type of stocks with which it shipped if yours are not numbered. I think the front sight is the Call or flat bead type (or the McGivern, I can keep the two straight in my head for about 15 seconds at a time) . Enjoy!
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:09 PM
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Larry, I sent a PM on your Herrett's. I'd like to have them.

David, thanks for explaining SATs to me! Aren't they the opposing screws? They are set pretty tight. If it prints anywhere on an 8.5" X 11" target I may not even try to adjust them.

Alan, The right stock is numbered to the gun. I'd like to find a mate for it! The insert in the sight appears to be flat silver or something similar.

It's supposed to be in the high 40's today so maybe I'll get a chance to shoot a couple targets!
Dick
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:26 PM
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Larry, I sent a PM on your Herrett's. I'd like to have them.

David, thanks for explaining SATs to me! Aren't they the opposing screws? They are set pretty tight. If it prints anywhere on an 8.5" X 11" target I may not even try to adjust them.

Alan, The right stock is numbered to the gun. I'd like to find a mate for it! The insert in the sight appears to be flat silver or something similar.

It's supposed to be in the high 40's today so maybe I'll get a chance to shoot a couple targets!
Dick
Dick,
Thank goodness the gun had the panel with the serial # on it!

Keith Brown is a renowned Smith grip maker/restorer. I'm sure he can match your grip. He's done work for my son and his work is stunning! Not cheap but then you only need half of a pair. You can also find an original single panel for sale on occasion.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:47 PM
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Jim,
Not sure, yet, what I'm going to do about the stocks. I'm sure it would increase the value a lot.
The temp got up to 45 on my range this afternoon, so I did get to shoot some targets. These loads work reasonably well in most of my .38s and 357s, so figured they would in this one as well. I did make several sight adjustments before I got to this point. The tiny screwdriver worked fine but it's sort of guess and by gosh with this type sight!
I'm going to have to chronograph some of these loads in this gun and compare it to others because the loads seemed extra hot? Wonder if it could have an extra tight bore? Could be my imagination, too!
I expected better out of the Wadcutter Clays load. The 153 gr. RCBS Semi-Wad is one of the best molds I've ever had. The Keith bullet works good for me in most guns, too.
Dick
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:54 PM
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Dick,
Not too shabby!! I'm sure you'll find its 'sweet spot' load but looks awfully good so far!
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:22 PM
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Looks like you know what you're doing with it. PM sent back on the grips, you will like them. Isn't it fun to work on a gun and have good results? Wish Hondo lived closer. he knows what he's doing. Larry
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:58 PM
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Looks like you know what you're doing with it. PM sent back on the grips, you will like them. Isn't it fun to work on a gun and have good results? Wish Hondo lived closer. he knows what he's doing. Larry
Thanks Larry, but if you only knew...sometimes I know just enough to be dangerous!

Happy New Year,
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:48 AM
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Hey, Guys!
I really appreciate your help! I'm just finishing my 50th year of reloading and shooting, but still need all the help I can get! The pic is of my first "big bore" revolver. A K-38 and I still have it!
After today, I know the Outdoorsman can shoot better than I can hold! I did adjust the sights a little and the screw system worked fine.
Larry, I'm sending paypal on the stocks. Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:18 AM
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Beautiful gun! I took a look at a 30's Model 38/44 yesterday that is believed to be unfired. It was the most beautiful Smith I have ever seen. Never felt a gun so nice in my hands. Priced around $2800.00 which is way out of my league but, Im sure it is worth it in its condition.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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Beautiful gun! I took a look at a 30's Model 38/44 yesterday that is believed to be unfired. It was the most beautiful Smith I have ever seen. Never felt a gun so nice in my hands. Priced around $2800.00 which is way out of my league but, Im sure it is worth it in its condition.
That makes me wonder what mine is worth?
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:59 PM
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Dick, I'll try to get the grips in the mail tomorrow. Thanks, Larry
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:04 AM
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Thanks, Larry! I'm anxious!

Jim, Can you give me a little instruction on the elevation on the Outdoorsman? There are two screws, one forward of the other. Are you supposed to loosen one to adjust with the other? I was afraid to mess it up so didn't change the elevation!
Dick
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:44 AM
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Yes, that's the improved model with two elevation screws. Most of my pre wars are earlier and only have the single screw sight. But my Outdoorsman has two like yours.

Loosen the front screw which threads into the frame, then adjust the rear screw which threads into the sight tang, up or down as needed, then snug down the front screw.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:49 AM
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Thank you, Jim!
By front, you mean the screw nearest the muzzle?
Dick
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:50 PM
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Dick,

Yes.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:45 PM
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Jim, thanks for the sight adjustment lesson as I have 2 pre war guns. Dick, the grips will go out tomorrow. My wife spent most of the day in emergency today and I couldn't make it to the post office. She's OK, she had severe pain and they couldn't figure it out. The youngest son was with her today and he's an emergency room Doctor. She was in good hands. Larry
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:24 PM
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Take care of her! I can wait!
Dick
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:46 PM
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Hi Dick, they went in the mail today at noon on lunch. Should hopefully be there by tues. The wife still has pain and pills to help her cope. For all the people following this post, HAVE A GOOD NEW YEAR. Looking to buy a registered magnum after the 1st of the year. He dropped the price 500.00 from the Oct, 2011 price. Come on 2012, Larry
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:05 PM
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Thanks, Larry!
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  #37  
Old 12-30-2011, 11:42 PM
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Let's hit the sight elevation adjustment question again. There is an anchor screw all by itself out at the forward end of the rear sight foot. That one should never be loosened unless you are taking the sight off the gun. (And if you do that, be prepared to catch a few small pieces.)

Sight adjustment on later prewar revolvers involves two screws near the rear sight, and they function as Jim described. If you have only one screw near the rear sight, that's all you have to turn to adjust it. There is no clamp screw to hold the adjustment after you make it.

Excuse me if this is obvious, but the whole two-screw/three-screw question surfaces from time to time, and it's sometimes not exactly clear which version of the rear sight foot we are dealing with.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for clearing that up, Dave!
I got it, now. I have three screws. The screw completely forward is just to hold the sight on the gun.
We're supposed to have 63 tomorrow. Should get to shoot some more! Wish all of you could be here to shoot with me!
Happy New Year!
Dick
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  #39  
Old 12-31-2011, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddog View Post
Thanks for clearing that up, Dave!
I got it, now. I have three screws. The screw completely forward is just to hold the sight on the gun.
We're supposed to have 63 tomorrow. Should get to shoot some more! Wish all of you could be here to shoot with me!
Happy New Year!
Dick
I'd be happy to join you Dick, it's only been 53 degrees here in the central valley of CA. And I'm glad David cleared up the sight screws for you, I kind of botched that not mentioning the attachment screw way up front.

By the way, how do you type the little degree circle or am I just not able to do it on my "beginner's" keyboard?
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:51 AM
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Would be fun to meet everyone here and shoot together. Too bad you're all to far away from where I live. Always wanted a S&W bunch close so I started one. We'll have our 6th meeting in April. Getting abt 55 people at each meeting. I need more of the core people that stay the whole 5-6 hours. Larry
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:47 PM
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Jim,
Alt 0176. There's a whole list of things like that you can do, if you know the codes. The funny part is, I can't remember where to find the list? Maybe someone will come along and tell us.
Larry,
That's great that you have a local club! I live 25 miles from Hutchinson, 40,000 people. Most of the shooters around here are hunters. I have lots of old time friends, but they don't appreciate Smith and Wesson and think I'm crazy for spending the money on them that I do! "Man, you could have bought a good Ruger or Tarus for half what you paid for that Smith!"
Dick
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:00 PM
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Bingo, I got it but had to go to character map. It was a long arduous journey! Alt 0176 was chinese to my keyboard...

Thank you,
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:46 PM
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You lost me? I thought I had a standard keyboard.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:56 PM
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Most of my friends aren't into S&W's either. I advertised here on the forum and handed out flyers for my first meeting and had 10 people. For the second one (6 mos later) I called all the S&W collectors in Ohio, flyers and the forum and had 35 people. Takes some work, now we use group e-mails and some calls. Its really fun and wish we could have as many as the Tulsa group does. Keith Brown travels 3 hrs to attend and I hope to have Andy Horvath at the next one. I'll let anyone how to start one with a phone call. We use a local gun club I belong to and pay no rent if its a club function. Larry
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddog View Post
You lost me? I thought I had a standard keyboard.
I probably do to but, when I held the alt key and typed 0176 nothing appeared on the screen.
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  #46  
Old 12-31-2011, 11:41 PM
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Works for me! You didn't use "Shift", did you?
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  #47  
Old 01-01-2012, 03:31 AM
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No. Held the Alt key and typed 0176. Here's what I got: 176
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:30 PM
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You must have a Chinese computer. Rub some rice on it!
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:11 PM
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I've submersed it in American apple pie!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:08 PM
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That'll fix it!
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