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Old 09-13-2018, 10:12 PM
Shtf45acp Shtf45acp is offline
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Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench?  
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Default Which is a better revolver frame wrench?

I'm looking at making my own frame wrench. I've been looking at several designs and it seems like it comes down to two styles.

A block setup like mgw or power customs. This style cradles the area where the crane would sit. This style wouldn't be hard to make but would be time consuming grinding out and fitting either aluminum or wood to fit nicely in the crane area.





The second type would just be two flat bars with bolts clamping the frame around the cylinder area. I'd probably use rubber or polymer pads to help protect the stainless but either way the entire revolver is getting refinished when it's completed. This would be the easiest to make.

Build Your Own Frame Wrench Tool, Tool of the Month from GunTech #63 - YouTube

Then there is also this way that is actually shown being used by S&W very own performance center. I don't know if I would agree with this or not but apparently is ok by S&W. Skip forward to 2:50 minute mark on the video and you'll see how S&W torques their barrels or at least used to.

YouTube

It seems like the flat bar in style number two would be ok since the upper part of the frame and the area right above the trigger guard both measure .6555". Since it's getting tightened between two bars I don't see how it could really twist like the old hammer in the window trick people talk about.

What do you guys think about this? I'm in need of a frame wrench and I can make either one, and have the materials and abilities to do it. I can save myself $150 because my time is free.

Last edited by Shtf45acp; 09-13-2018 at 10:16 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:09 AM
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armorer951 armorer951 is offline
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Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench?  
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I've been using the MGW style wrench for many years. Personally, I would recommend you save yourself some grief and buy one, along with the insert or inserts you need. You're not saving any money if the wrench you build malfunctions.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:10 AM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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The flat blocks work on single action revolvers with stout frames. Given the modest torque on J frames, they can also work pretty well for them. Note: leave the yoke in place while doing J frame with that type of wrench. Use lead sheet pads.

The K, L & N frames need the blocks contoured to the frame. Look closely at the fit of the block to the threaded frame boss. You want an angled flat that engages the flat where the top of the yoke goes so that the torque is on the threaded boss. NOT on the frame on the yoke cut out.

I've got a set of the original MGW blocks for the N frame* and they used a tang that contacted the frame in the cut out on the flat for the yoke and used that as a lever to resist the torque. I've never used them. Anyone who wants them can have them cheap. Now, it's OK for the blocks to contact that flat, but it shouldn't be the primary means of resisting torque on the frame. If that top picture is a current set of MGW blocks, they might have changed the design. Check the fit.

I may be a bit opinionated, but back in the day I did a lot of N frames and some of them apparently used a lot more torque on the barrel than really necessary. [Not lined up, a couple more grunts on the wrench and it is!] I wasn't about to be buying anyone new frames, so I made my own N frame aluminum blocks. It was a nightmare, but I got what I wanted. Armorer951 is right, if you can find correct blocks buy them.

I suppose you could cast a filler out of epoxy to properly fill in poorly machined blocks, didn't think of that back when.

* This was before they added the bar at the bottom of the wrench to prevent spreading. I had to cut the blocks down after they came out with the bar.

Last edited by WR Moore; 09-14-2018 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:09 PM
RMFnLA RMFnLA is offline
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Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
I've been using the MGW style wrench for many years. Personally, I would recommend you save yourself some grief and buy one, along with the insert or inserts you need. You're not saving any money if the wrench you build malfunctions.
Agreed.

The crane-fit puts the force directly where it is needed, at the barrel threads, so there is minimal chance of warping the frame.

The other type has that force off-set, making a bent frame a distinct possibility.

If you are going to do it, do it right.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:55 PM
Shtf45acp Shtf45acp is offline
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Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench? Which is a better revolver frame wrench?  
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Ok I guess I'll just rent one from 4D dreamers along with the other tools that I'm renting. Thanks for all the advice guys! I really appreciate it!
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:03 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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Number One is the way to go.

THE critical area of the frame is the thin area just underneath the barrel where the threaded area is very thin. When a frame cracks it's almost always right there.
That area needs to be fully supported to prevent flexing that will cause cracking or bending.
The closer together you can get the frame wrench and barrel vise the less springy the set up is and the less chance of a cracked or bent frame.

A member on the Colt forum is printing frame wrench inserts with his 3D printer for one of his revolvers.
In the past we had to either have the inserts machined from aluminum or hard plastic, or we had to cast them from epoxy.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 09-14-2018 at 05:05 PM.
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