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Old 10-06-2018, 12:24 AM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Default Slenderizing the Slim. A 3914 story (with pictures)

It's been an unusually long but typically hot and humid summer here in the regions 'round the ridge.
It's October 5 and the weather people are predicting another week of high 80s.

Consequently, I've been looking for ways to make concealed pieces lighter, thinner, and more suitable for hot, humid, sweaty carry.

So I swapped my 3914 carbon steel slide for a stainless part, converted the pistol to NYPD style DAO (second strike capable), replaced the slide stop with a "take-down" pin, fitted a pair of 469/669 stocks with a narrowed back strap, and installed a rounded mag base plate.

It shoots well like this and fits easily in a back pocket.

And yes, it is narrow.

Slenderizing the Slim. A 3914 story (with pictures)-3914-001-jpg

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Makes the normally svelte 3953TSW look positively chunky!

John
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:58 AM
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I like. You are evidently quite talented in the gunsmithing department! Regards 18DAI
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:06 AM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Thanks, 18!

Missouri summers being much like North Carolina summers, I can't help but paraphrase the old axiom: "Humidity is the mother of invention."

In reality, these are all just simple "hacks" as the hipsters say.

John
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:42 PM
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Haha I like that quote!

I can't say I like the absence of a slide stop, but I can definitely see the slimming it's removal would get ya.

It's a neat looking setup that photographs well!
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:00 PM
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Thanks, Brother Sevens!

That may have been the shortest post I've ever read from you!

John

P.S. I enjoy your verbosity.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:06 PM
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Okay
That made me laugh
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:18 PM
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I could stand to hear some more about that 469 grip "hack."
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:57 PM
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You could trim a few mils off the slide too, or do Hi Power cuts to cut weight from the front. If you mill off to the depth of the slide serrations or roll marks, you will not effect integrity.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:09 PM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Originally Posted by gunhobbit View Post
I could stand to hear some more about that 469 grip "hack."
The 4/669 side panels fit the frame openings without modification

The back strap, being designed for a double stack frame, was obviously too wide.
I removed an equal amount of material from both sides until the back strap was the same width as the 3914 frame.
I then fabricated a wider "U" shaped piece of springy steel to fit inside the back strap (over the plastic stud) to retain the side panels in place of the original, narrower "U" shaped metal retainer.
Lastly, I fashioned a plastic spacer to fill in the area at the top of the back strap which positioned it tighter to the frame.

For those with sharp eyes, look closely at the angle of the grip panels as compared to the angle of the grip frame.

As you can see and I mentioned in an earlier thread, (3rd Gen grips on 2nd Gen Pistols (with pictures)) S&W straightened the grip frame approximately 2 degrees more vertical on the 3rd gens as compared to the 2nd gens, yet you never see or hear that mentioned when the upgrades to the 3rd gens are listed.

John
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidsix View Post
You could trim a few mils off the slide too, or do Hi Power cuts to cut weight from the front. If you mill off to the depth of the slide serrations or roll marks, you will not effect integrity.
You have some "mad" file skills, squidsix!

You have steady hands like a Bridgeport and vision like a micrometer!

If I get up the nerve, I may try that on a junk slide before I commence to cutting on a usable piece.

Thanks for the suggestion and inspiration!

John
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:20 PM
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Interesting modifications. If I ever find a 3913 at a decent (cheap) price, I'm going to give the DAO modification a shot.

Since, thanks to you, I was able to do the 457DAO modification, I know what needs to be done. And, also thanks to you, I have the firing pin retainer that will work.

The grip mod is interesting, but I'd need to see pictures of the parts you fabricated to even be able to think about doing that.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:26 PM
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Thanks, GaryS!

Yeah, Confucius was right about pictures.

The wife took the good camera on vacation so it might be a week before I can post some more.

John
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:13 AM
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Your modification solves the problem, in my mind, of adding a curved grip to these little pistols. I find the grip curvature of the 39 perfect and this seems to reproduce it on a smaller scale. Color me impressed.
You wouldnt need to use files to take off some of the slide. A belt sander would work just fine.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:23 AM
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Interesting............
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:36 AM
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That’s impressive out of the box thinking!
I too would love to see the modded and fabbed pieces up close.
Eliminating the slide stop makes perfect sense to slick it up.
Did you consider somehow filling the slide stop gap in the frame? I’m cringing a little to say this but, JB weld would probably work well for that as just a dust cover.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:05 AM
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Nice job. I like to see talented people customize their guns to fit their lifestyle. I am not one of those. I would have to sub contract that out! I stop at swapping out different slides, springs and grips. More than that and I am just not talented. Or I don't have the right tools and equipment.
I think this is a very good example of taking what you have available and customizing it to fit conditions and desire.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:31 PM
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Nice job. I like to see talented people customize their guns to fit their lifestyle. I am not one of those. I would have to sub contract that out! I stop at swapping out different slides, springs and grips. More than that and I am just not talented. Or I don't have the right tools and equipment.
I think this is a very good example of taking what you have available and customizing it to fit conditions and desire.
I don't think you need fancy tools and equipment, just a handy set of files and some sandpaper, and you can do a heck of a lot of little things that make a great pistol out of a good one. I have found the smallest of touches change everything about the daily utility of a 3rd gen pistol, and all of them can be done with a bit of sandpaper and some scraps of wood.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:10 PM
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Your modification solves the problem, in my mind, of adding a curved grip to these little pistols. I find the grip curvature of the 39 perfect and this seems to reproduce it on a smaller scale.
Amen to that, Brother!

I recall the S&W double stacks as being roundly criticized for the "fat" grip that only people with large hands could shoot.

S&W responded with the straight back grip and I lazily succumbed to "groupthink" and believed "curved grips are for large hands and straight grips are for smaller hands."

And even though I have always preferred the "look" of curved grips, I have average size hands and therefore thought I should be shooting with straight grips.

But try as I may, I struggle when trying to shoot with straight grips and find it much more natural with the curved grip.

As I searched for a reason for this contradiction I had my epiphany, to wit:

Curved grips are NOT for large hands.
Curved grips change the angle of the wrist in relation to the trigger finger.

That may be the reason S&W straightened the grip angle 2 degrees on the 3rd gen pistols over the 2nd gen.

Then again, it could be because the discipline of handgun shooting was transitioning from one-handed point shooting to two-handed sight shooting, and raising the pistol to eye level changes the angle of the wrist.

I don't know if either previous scenarii is what motivated the folks at S&W, but the curved grip sure works for me.


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You wouldnt need to use files to take off some of the slide. A belt sander would work just fine.
Easy for a man with your talents and skills to say, but to me, that's like telling a struggling single action shooter to practice with a full-auto machine gun!

Thanks again for the kind words and encouragement!

John
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:17 PM
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Now that I’ve thought about that window in the frame, it’s interesting that you can see the orange follower and presumably when loaded the next round to be chambered.
If that were able to stay transparent, but keep out debris, it would be a neat way to see you’re on the last round. Kinda like the Deval and ASP clear grips and mag window.
Real world useful? Probably not. Just day dreaming.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:29 PM
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Thatís impressive out of the box thinking!
I too would love to see the modded and fabbed pieces up close.
Thanks, MWB!

When the wife gets back I'll grab the "good" camera and take some pics of the modded parts.


Quote:
Eliminating the slide stop makes perfect sense to slick it up.
Did you consider somehow filling the slide stop gap in the frame? Iím cringing a little to say this but, JB weld would probably work well for that as just a dust cover.
Yes that gaping "maw" is a trifle disconcerting and I did think about closing it up.
Luckily my love for sloth won the moment and I left it alone.

I could rationalize that the slide stop hole has become a "witness" hole that tells me I'm out of ammo now that the slide doesn't lock back.

But seriously, I've never been so certain of the universal desirabilty of my custimizations that modifications to major components should be made permanent.

Even now, there are members of this forum who are crying, "Blasphemer! How dare thee modify a beloved Smith & Wesson!"

Fear not, y'all.

All of my "Frankenguns" can be returned to stock configuration.

John
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:32 PM
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Now that Iíve thought about that window in the frame, itís interesting that you can see the orange follower and presumably when loaded the next round to be chambered.
If that were able to stay transparent, but keep out debris, it would be a neat way to see youíre on the last round. Kinda like the Deval and ASP clear grips and mag window.
Real world useful? Probably not. Just day dreaming.
I think our posts crossed in cyber-space.

Great minds think alike!

John
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:55 PM
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Nice job. I like to see talented people customize their guns to fit their lifestyle. I am not one of those. I would have to sub contract that out! I stop at swapping out different slides, springs and grips. More than that and I am just not talented. Or I don't have the right tools and equipment.
I think this is a very good example of taking what you have available and customizing it to fit conditions and desire.
Thanks, mbliss57!

You are probably much more talented than you credit yourself.

This pistol is the result of a series of small, simple tasks, just like squidsix wrote.

You already do many things on these pistols which others have yet to learn.

I'll try to post some pictures after which you'll see it ain't that hard.

John
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:38 PM
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Even now, there are members of this forum who are crying, "Blasphemer! How dare thee modify a beloved Smith & Wesson!"
In my line of work I modify tools and re-engineer parts for a particular job all the time.
Thatís the way I see this one.
There are many who see them as fine jewelry and thatís perfectly legitimate too!
I just love the experimental stuff. Gives me inspiration to re-think the original design choices.
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:45 PM
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These guns remind me of the one wrench. You all with old small block chevys know the one, its the one you bent to the right shape to fit one specific intake manifold bolt. I still have one around here somewhere, anmodified tool to meet a specific purpose. My pistols are similar
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:47 PM
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I don't know if I'd like losing the slide stop. And the 2nd gen pebble grips, in my not humble opinion, are the worst part of an otherwise good design. And lately, despite the Texas Gulf Coast heat and humidity, I've been carrying a 469 daily. The gem in your conversion is the curved backstrap. That's a wonderful idea and excellently engineered. The straight backstrap of the single stack 3rd gen is a sticking point for me. I'd much prefer an arched piece for the 908. Kudos!
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:29 PM
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I have been toying with the idea of taking a 3904 grip and cutting the arch from it and adding it tonthe 3913 grip. When I get going I will throw some pics on here.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:34 PM
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I don't know if I'd like losing the slide stop. And the 2nd gen pebble grips, in my not humble opinion, are the worst part of an otherwise good design. And lately, despite the Texas Gulf Coast heat and humidity, I've been carrying a 469 daily.
Ouch!

Don't hold back, tell me what you really think!

The slide stop delete was definitely a trade-off.

Regarding the grips, I used what I had, and those were the grips I had.

And sure, folks have been carrying blue guns in humid places for a long, long time, but ya gotta keep 'em oily (sorta).

Quote:
The gem in your conversion is the curved backstrap. That's a wonderful idea and excellently engineered. The straight backstrap of the single stack 3rd gen is a sticking point for me. I'd much prefer an arched piece for the 908. Kudos!
Well thanks, Teach!
I'm gratified there's something you approve of. (I ended that sentence with a preposition. Points off.)

Seriously, I appreciate all comments.
These pistols I mod are mostly just fun exercises because I can't help looking at things and wondering if I can improve them.
I don't know that I always improve them, but I sure do try.

"Some men see things as they are and ask, why.
I dream things that never were and ask, why not."

This is me.
Except for things, not people.
I don't know jack about people and I realize I know less every day.

John
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:06 PM
Jaymo Jaymo is offline
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I like it.
I wonder if 669 grips and back strap would make my 6906 a little narrower, and easier for my pretty average sized hands to operate.
I'd love to make it narrower and easier to reach the trigger.
I could actually use it as a carry piece.
And, I really want to use it as a carry piece.

I also like the idea of the DAO conversion.
My 5946 is probably my favorite 9mm pistol.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:25 PM
barbara_em barbara_em is offline
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From JohnHL:
Ouch!

Don't hold back, tell me what you really think!


I've been told I'm an opinionated biddy and suppose that's true. It's too late to change my spots now. At least I try not to tell people they're wrong when it's a matter of opinion. Quoting Col Cooper who was quoting an unnamed judge, "I may be wrong, but I'm never in doubt."
As for realizing you ended your statement with a preposition, that makes you positively old school. I had a faculty friend who actually told me such things as phrase ending prepositions, dangling participles, and split infinitives didn't matter. "I mean, like, it's only language, ya know. I mean, get a life!"
Back on topic, I wonder if a 39-2 backstrap could be jury-rigged into a 39XX? I don't see how, but there are members such as you who could probably make it work.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:03 PM
Mercs Mercs is offline
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Default Slenderizing the Slim. A 3914 story (with pictures)

Kudos! I would think that chopping down a 3904 grip would be easier and cover the sideplate better. I am going to try when I finally get a 3913. Thereís some for cheap on fleabay right now. But I do love that backstrap and the way it looks on that gun!


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  #31  
Old 10-13-2018, 01:08 AM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymo View Post
I like it.
Thanks, Jaymo!

Quote:
I wonder if 669 grips and back strap would make my 6906 a little narrower, and easier for my pretty average sized hands to operate.
I'd love to make it narrower and easier to reach the trigger.
I could actually use it as a carry piece.
And, I really want to use it as a carry piece.
Actually, they would, but not by much.

I've already tried that (669 grips on a 6906) and I tried it again this gloomy afternoon.
BTW, you need to trim a little off the rear nubs on the back side of the side panels to make them fit. (Curiously, when installing 669 grips on a 3914, nothing on the side panels needs to be trimmed.)
I also found that the 669 backstrap fit better on the 6906 with the little curved metal strip that mounts on the stud inside the backstrap removed (S&W calls it the "stock retaining spring").

Bottom line, you will be 1.45mm (less than 1/16") thinner.

By comparison, the 669 grips on the 3914 shaved 3.45mm (almost 9/64") off the grip width compared to the 3rd gen grips.

But you won't know how it feels to you unless you try.

Quote:
I also like the idea of the DAO conversion.
My 5946 is probably my favorite 9mm pistol.
Unfortunately, any DAO conversion will probably not give you a trigger as good as your 5946.

John
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  #32  
Old 10-13-2018, 01:49 AM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbara_em View Post
From JohnHL:
Ouch!

Don't hold back, tell me what you really think!


I've been told I'm an opinionated biddy and suppose that's true. It's too late to change my spots now. At least I try not to tell people they're wrong when it's a matter of opinion. Quoting Col Cooper who was quoting an unnamed judge, "I may be wrong, but I'm never in doubt."
I hear you.
I've also been criticized for the "certainty" of my opinions.

Quote:
As for realizing you ended your statement with a preposition, that makes you positively old school.
C'est vrai. Je suis vielle ecole.
Surprising, since most of the schools I attended were new sixty years ago.

I also revere the Oxford comma.

Quote:
I had a faculty friend who actually told me such things as phrase ending prepositions, dangling participles, and split infinitives didn't matter. "I mean, like, it's only language, ya know. I mean, get a life!"
Reasoned thought depends upon the precise and concise exchange of knowledge.
And it is refined communication skills which facilitate that exchange.

Quote:
Back on topic, I wonder if a 39-2 backstrap could be jury-rigged into a 39XX? I don't see how, but there are members such as you who could probably make it work.
I couldn't see how to make it work either.
That's part of the reason I modified the 669 backstrap.
That looked a lot easier (and I love easier).

John

Last edited by JohnHL; Yesterday at 05:07 PM.
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  #33  
Old 10-13-2018, 01:56 AM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercs View Post
Kudos! I would think that chopping down a 3904 grip would be easier and cover the sideplate better. I am going to try when I finally get a 3913. Thereís some for cheap on fleabay right now. But I do love that backstrap and the way it looks on that gun!
Thanks, Mercs!

I liked what you did to your CS9!

I'm looking forward to seeing that 3904 grip mod.

John
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  #34  
Old 10-13-2018, 06:36 AM
BAM-BAM BAM-BAM is online now
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A couple of thoughts on an arched backstrap..................

The Hogue rubber and wood 39xx grips already have a arch to them.....while slightly thicker than factory.... they IMO "fill" your hand better and have had no practical effect on concealment for me since 1992..... especially the wood models.


Second...... ever thought of building up and reshaping a 39xx grip?? Not sure what kind of material you could use ( why does the word "Bondo" come to mind) then Dremel/sand it down to get the arch you want.


FWIW I'd keep the slide stop...... you could just slim it down to where you had to slingshot the slide on a loaded magazine.

Edit: forgot; I think you need to find one of the rare true "flush fit" ,steel baseplate, 7rd magazines.

Last edited by BAM-BAM; 10-13-2018 at 06:40 AM.
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  #35  
Old 10-13-2018, 08:30 AM
Mercs Mercs is offline
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Default Slenderizing the Slim. A 3914 story (with pictures)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
A couple of thoughts on an arched backstrap..................

The Hogue rubber and wood 39xx grips already have a arch to them.....while slightly thicker than factory.... they IMO "fill" your hand better and have had no practical effect on concealment for me since 1992..... especially the wood models.


Second...... ever thought of building up and reshaping a 39xx grip?? Not sure what kind of material you could use ( why does the word "Bondo" come to mind) then Dremel/sand it down to get the arch you want.


FWIW I'd keep the slide stop...... you could just slim it down to where you had to slingshot the slide on a loaded magazine.

Edit: forgot; I think you need to find one of the rare true "flush fit" ,steel baseplate, 7rd magazines.


There is absolutely no way to improve on that backstrap imo. Perfect shape and checkering. If anything he could fabricate some beautiful grip panels out of Micarta and fit those onto the gun with the backstrap mod. I canít get over how sweet that gun looks, and donít understand why they didnít make it that way


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  #36  
Old Yesterday, 04:31 PM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
A couple of thoughts on an arched backstrap..................

The Hogue rubber and wood 39xx grips already have a arch to them.....while slightly thicker than factory.... they IMO "fill" your hand better and have had no practical effect on concealment for me since 1992..... especially the wood models.


Second...... ever thought of building up and reshaping a 39xx grip?? Not sure what kind of material you could use ( why does the word "Bondo" come to mind) then Dremel/sand it down to get the arch you want.
I think you may have misunderstood the intention of my thread.

I was trying to thin an already thin pistol.
I wasn't trying to fabricate an arched backstrap and I definitely wasn't trying to fatten an already thin pistol as Hogue grips most assuredly would.
Hence the title: "Slenderizing the Slim".

And regarding concealing a "chubby gripped" pistol, someone will be along to say they have had no problem concealing their Desert Eagle .44.


Quote:
FWIW I'd keep the slide stop...... you could just slim it down to where you had to slingshot the slide on a loaded magazine.
I have slimmed down a number of slide stops and safety levers.
But you can only go a couple of steps on the slide stop before exposing the slide stop plunger spring tunnel and rendering the slide stop ineffective.
And no there is no slide stop modification thinner than eliminated.


Quote:
Edit: forgot; I think you need to find one of the rare true "flush fit" ,steel baseplate, 7rd magazines.
If I happen to run across one at a reasonable price, I might buy it.
The Kahr metal base plate mod strikes me as a more viable solution.

John
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  #37  
Old Yesterday, 04:47 PM
JohnHL JohnHL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercs View Post
There is absolutely no way to improve on that backstrap imo. Perfect shape and checkering. If anything he could fabricate some beautiful grip panels out of Micarta and fit those onto the gun with the backstrap mod. I can’t get over how sweet that gun looks, and don’t understand why they didn’t make it that way.
Thanks again, Mercs!

I would love to take credit for the genius and foresight on my part for creating that excellent backstrap.

But in the interest of full disclosure, the genesis of the event was that I was looking at my 669 and thinking, "What thin grips scales you have there, Grandma.
And what a wide backstrap you have there, Grandma."
(Grandma wouldn't have liked that last statement.)
And then wondering if they would make a thin pistol (like the 3914) thinner.

Anyway, I thinned down the backstrap and that wonderful arch just appeared!

Not at all unlike a quarry workman slabbing down a large chunk of marble for a counter top and discovering Michaelangelo's "David" inside.

However, I am certainly pleased with the results.
When I take a firm grip, that backstrap bites and locks into my shooting palm like it grew roots.

A serendipitous accident to be sure.

John

Last edited by JohnHL; Yesterday at 06:58 PM.
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