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Old 01-25-2020, 07:48 AM
SamuelGrath SamuelGrath is offline
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Default S&W 25-15 cracked frame.

I recently made a bad purchase on a firearm auction site and due to illness fell out of the set time limit for legal action so now I have a S&W 25-15 with a cracked yoke due to a botched barrel replacement. S&W Customer Service said it is unrepairable. What are my chances of finding a replacement frame? Is the work required even feasible? Itís a beautiful revolver and I hate to see it sit unused. Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:18 AM
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have you spoken with the former owner?
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:31 AM
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I'd definitely contact & question the former owner - I would NOT be surprised if that is exactly why he sold it! Trying to get refunded would be the way to go - but more than likely he will deny all knowledge of damage or claim it cracked after you took possession. Still..... TRY - - - time limit up or not!! S&W or any manufacturer for that matter won't warranty a botched barrel change job that they did not do (can't blame them on that one).

I highly doubt you will ever find a replacement frame for that model. Since the Frame IS the gun you would really be buying another hand gun - just buy a good one. Welding a frame is NOT something I'd recommend although I have seen it done - still NOT recommended! Just how long it would last and what the integrity would be is highly questionable. I would personally NEVER do it.

If you can't get your money refunded, you could sell the gun for PARTS but DO disclose the cracked Frame! Sorry that you got caught up in this but I doubt you will EVER make a mistake like this again. Sometimes the learning process is hard & expensive but lessons well learned will keep you from getting burned in the future.

When I purchase vintage guns (almost never buy new ones) I never buy one that has been altered or has had any parts change. Many times this is done by owners who really don't know what they are doing or Gun Smiths who are less than what I'd consider "Professional and honest" - so best to buy one that has not been monkeyed with. Another thing I always recommend to new gun guys is that instead of altering a model to mimic another variation - just buy the one you want ing the first place. For instance..... if you want a M19 with a 3" barrel - buy one that came from the Factory in that configuration. Don't buy a 4" barreled version and try to convert it. If after spending money on the new barrel, labor etc. if the Frame cracks it was all for nothing and in the long run you would be better off just buying the more rare and more expensive 3" version. In the long run it could be much cheaper and it would still be a genuine Factory 3" version. Just my suggestions of course...

Good luck with it.

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Old 01-25-2020, 08:43 AM
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The lifetime warranty should get you a new gun from the factory
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:53 AM
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The lifetime warranty should get you a new gun from the factory
Ken,

the guy stated that the barrel was changed - by who is unknown. If the job was done by S&W than yea they might warranty it - but if it was done by someone else - no way!

I'm guessing here of course but I would bet S&W didn't perform the work. Again, just a guess but they would have records of the swap if they did the work. I'm also guessing that the cracked Frame IS the reason the former owner offed the gun. If S&W did the work he probably would have sent it back himself.

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Old 01-25-2020, 08:53 AM
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The lifetime warranty should get you a new gun from the factory
I would normally agree with this but with a ďbotched barrel replacementĒ (by whom?), Iím guessing thatís not gonna happen.

Best advice would be to contact the seller.

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:57 AM
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All your parts could be fit into a adjustable sight N frame. A model 28 frame with a bad cylinder or barrel would make a good donor gun. It will never be worth the price of an orginal gun though.

Someone could use a mini grinder (dremel) to taper the crack, Machine a piece of brass with .670 36 threads and screw it in then heat that area of the frame up to about 500f, tig weld it with ER80S-D2 rod while heat sinking the rest of the frame with brass. Then remachine it including running a N frame barrel tap through the frame (something I do on every barrel change out anyway.) It might crack again, but it would not "Blow UP" Lots of alloy K frames and J frames and some steel ones to, have cracked there and at worst the barrel falls off. I have never heard of an injury. But, getting someone to accept the liability might be hard. Possibly one of the micro weld companies. But, you still going to be putting money into something that will never return its value if your honest about gun if you ever sell it.

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Old 01-25-2020, 09:08 AM
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The lifetime warranty should get you a new gun from the factory
He's not the original owner.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:11 AM
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All your parts could be fit into a adjustable sight N frame. A model 28 frame with a bad cylinder or barrel would make a good donor gun. It will never be worth the price of an orginal gun though.

Someone could use a mini grinder (dremel) to taper the crack, Machine a piece of brass with .670 36 threads and screw it in then heat that area of the frame up to about 500f, tig weld it with ER80S-D2 rod while heat sinking the rest of the frame with brass. Then remachine it including running a N frame barrel tap through the frame (something I do on every barrel change out anyway.) It might crack again, but it would not "Blow UP" Lots of alloy K frames and J frames and some steel ones to, have cracked there and at worst the barrel falls off. I have never heard of an injury. But, getting someone to accept the liability might be hard. Possibly one of the micro weld companies. But, you still going to be putting money into something that will never return its value if your honest about gun if you ever sell it.
Steelslaver,

While the points & procedures you discuss could be performed by a highly skilled Professional (you sound like you know about these things or could be a Pro yourself) I highly doubt it would make financial sense for someone not doing it themselves.

At the point where he is now - I truly believe if he can't recover his money he should just cut his losses and move on to a good Revolver without problems. Selling the gun for parts won't bring him what he paid, but it's better than nothing and as you did state, there is no guarantee that even after work is performed it won't crack again.

If you know proper procedures and this was yours - I could see giving it the "old college try", but for someone to pay a Pro - just wouldn't make sense - to me anyway......

Regards,
chief38
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:11 AM
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Default SCRAP IT!

SCRAP IT!
Had same crack same spot on a 642..........got a new one from S&W.........but no one had monkeyed with it to void the warranty
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:48 AM
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Steelslaver,

While the points & procedures you discuss could be performed by a highly skilled Professional (you sound like you know about these things or could be a Pro yourself) I highly doubt it would make financial sense for someone not doing it themselves.

At the point where he is now - I truly believe if he can't recover his money he should just cut his losses and move on to a good Revolver without problems. Selling the gun for parts won't bring him what he paid, but it's better than nothing and as you did state, there is no guarantee that even after work is performed it won't crack again.

If you know proper procedures and this was yours - I could see giving it the "old college try", but for someone to pay a Pro - just wouldn't make sense - to me anyway......

Regards,
chief38
Oh, I agree. Real good tig welder are not cheap. Plus machine time etc. Not worth it. If I had the gun I wouldn't do the weld. I would do the prep and finish. I weld OK, but have friends who are at the top of the craft. But, even aftter the weld there is the problem of the heat affected zone that really should be stress relieved by heating to about 750f and a slow cool. This wouldn't take any temper out of the rest of the frame as frames themselves have been tempered back to be pretty soft. In fact all those I have checked with a hardness tester all range in the same range as mild steel. I do have a Heat treat oven though. But even then your going to need to refinish the frame.

I have a collected up low dollar model 28 frames ( I have 3 now) for my projects. Only reason I wouldd try a repair like that was I would hate to see a frame go to the scrap pile,
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:45 AM
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I would do as steelslaver said, only I would tig it with 308 stainless steel rod. The SS is more ductile than D2, which is a high carbon tool steel. This would be for myself only, don't need the liability of doing it for someone else. I think the repair would hold up well, given the thickness of the barrel and frame in that area. The same repair would be pretty sketchy on a K frame, which is very thin at the bottom of the barrel.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys! I did contact the previous owner first and you guessed it "fine when I had it" story, will probably part it out. Lesson learned!
On a happier note I now have a pristine model 25-5 4"nickel on it's way (Advice taken: buy what you want=original configuration).
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:59 AM
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PS- also have a nice pair of Elk horn stag grips coming from Grasshorn! Life is good even with the bumps!
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:02 AM
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D2 part on the rod selection isn't about D2 tool steel, it is a component designation of the low hydrogen rod. Best method of weld repair is check with AWS (American welding standards) or in my case call one of the CWI I know and ask. Yes 308 is ductile, but the 80S-D2 best matches rhe parent metal.

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Old 01-25-2020, 11:15 AM
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If the frame was not bent during the re-barrel work, could the barrel be removed and the broken/cracked area be repaired by someone who does micro-welding? I'm not a gunsmith, but I'm assuming the threads in the frame would have to be cleaned up after the weld was done, and then the barrel re-installed.

Tony South, who owns Micro-Precision Welding, might be willing to do the work if the repair is feasible. Could be worth contacting him to get an opinion. I've had work done by him in the past. His email address is 'microwelder@frontier.com', 269-668-2760

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Old 01-25-2020, 12:13 PM
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Is it that the original web of metal is so very thin where cracked.
To weld it plus expect a reasonable chance of not re-cracking afterwards in normal use too much to ask?
Flexing during firing a problem?

Seems like something could be done.
Liability gets in the way if it's done for a customer or resale,,I realize that.
But just to save the frame as a project gun?
Otherwise it goes off to a grip maker perhaps to be used as a slave frame for fitting. That doesn't even sound good.

How about opting for a less than snappy caliber to lessen the strain on that repaired area. 38sp perhaps.
None of it would make any sense in dollars to do the work, but that's an aside in personal projects.
How bout .455W,,there's a whimpy round.

Would putting a threaded bushing in the hole threaded for N on the OD and K frame on the ID help when welded?
It would give some more material for the weld to penetrate into,,maybe?
Then a replacement N bbl shank would have to be re-threaded to K to fit,
Need a new cyl,,
Long way around to make a Model 28, but the frame is saved!

Maybe make real heavy (duty) 32-20.

You can tell I like project guns and know little about welding other than touching up some pits and lettering.

Glad you have a nice replacement revolver on the way,,in Nickle too!
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:59 PM
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Food for thought! I do have a spare 6 inch 38 barrel in my parts bin
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:12 PM
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Just sent Tony an email for his opinion...will let you know.
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
If the frame was not bent during the re-barrel work, could the barrel be removed and the broken/cracked area be repaired by someone who does micro-welding? I'm not a gunsmith, but I'm assuming the threads in the frame would have to be cleaned up after the weld was done, and then the barrel re-installed.

Tony South, who owns Micro-Precision Welding, might be willing to do the work if the repair is feasible. Could be worth contacting him to get an opinion. I've had work done by him in the past. His email address is 'microwelder@frontier.com', 269-668-2760

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What's the worst that can happen..

You might have to call a cease fire while you go down range to retrieve your barrel..
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:03 PM
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Yeah and maybe a or two, lol!
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:04 PM
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meant a finger or two
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:17 PM
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What's the worst that can happen..

You might have to call a cease fire while you go down range to retrieve your barrel..
as I said before lots of alloy j & K framed 38 specials have cracked under the barrel, more than a few steel K frame 38 special and 357 magnums have cracked in the same spot. The barrel gets loose sometimes. I have never heard of an injury. Some guys actually continue to shoot them after the fact.

A 25-15 is a 45 colt. Factory 45 colts run at 14,000psi
Less than a standard 38 special at 17,000psi

Who knows of an injury from a frame that cracked in this location?
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:53 AM
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Steelslaver is correct. A revolver barrel parting company with the frame does not have the destructive effect of a chamber rupturing. The barrel will usually just fly down range a short distance. Accuracy will suffer with a loose barrel.
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:29 PM
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Just to be clear. I think the frrame could be repaired. It will never be like new. I believe it would be fine for a round like the 45 colt, 38 special. I wouldn't sell it. I have always wondered what it would take to blow up a 45 colt cylinder. I have a couple spare cylinders. Keep thinking of building a steel frame to hold barrel and cylinder and just keep loading hotter and hotter till cylinder lets go, firing it remotely. A frame like this would work. You could actually just screw in a junk barrel and weld the crack barrel and all.

Let me know if you decide to junk the frame.

I am betting itt would take around 24 gr of 2400
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:48 PM
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I have always wondered what it would take to blow up a 45 colt cylinder. I have a couple spare cylinders. Keep thinking of building a steel frame to hold barrel and cylinder and just keep loading hotter and hotter till cylinder lets go, firing it remotely.
I think your test methodology is flawed. The round that is fired right before the one that finally blows it up would probably have severely weakened the cylinder, causing it to let go on the final load sooner than it might have in a virgin cylinder.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:25 PM
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OP I'm sorry for your predicament. Seeing your post just made me cancel a bid I had on a gun auction site.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:44 PM
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You don't have a cracked yoke..........You have a cracked frame.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:48 PM
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OP I'm sorry for your predicament. Seeing your post just made me cancel a bid I had on a gun auction site.
I think you did the Right Thing. My Number 1 rule in buying Guns:
Never buy a Gun I cannot Inspect.

I hate the Auction Sites! I use them just to look and watch
pricing. Also, I can't prove it and it is hard to prove, is the
Schill bidding that goes on, you can't tell me it doesn't.

The S&W MG below, was on a Site, but could be Inspected
locally. It was good to go, and I got it.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:55 PM
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Just scrap it and sell off the useable parts and chalk it up as a lesson learned . We’re not talking mega bucks here .
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
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I think your test methodology is flawed. The round that is fired right before the one that finally blows it up would probably have severely weakened the cylinder, causing it to let go on the final load sooner than it might have in a virgin
cylinder.
Cylinder has 6 charge holes and I have a die penetrate kit. Check the cylinder for any cracks after each firing. I would also check the chambers with pin gauges after each firing. So I should be able to have an ide when the cylinder is starting to stretch.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:12 PM
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I would probably try to get it micro welded and wind up being sorry I did. Sorry op, itís really broken
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