K frame 38 Project


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Newguy1
August 11, 2006, 08:45 PM
I have wanted a “Pinto” 38 Special K frame for a long time. I have been looking at getting my Model 10-6 refinished by Ford’s Custom, but after looking at the prices --- which are very reasonable --- I got to thinking…

I can buy a Model 64 and switch the cylinder and the barrel and spend not much more than if I get the gun refinished and I will have two guns!!!

Has anyone here done this before?

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Old Fuff
August 11, 2006, 09:32 PM
Unfortunately model 10 and 64 barrels and cylinders don't simply switch between guns. Undoubtedly some gunsmithing would need to come about, and after you got the bill the cost savings you have in mind might be gone with the wind.

Even refinishing your present gun will involve some 'smithing because the barrel will have to be removed from the frame before it is plated, and then returned after the finshing is done. You probably won't have a problem reassembling the cylinder.

Newguy1
August 11, 2006, 09:47 PM
I was counting on sending the guns to a smith for the work. I was just wondering if anyone knew what dashes were similar between the two. For example what model 64 would match up with a 10-6. The 64-5 is pinned and has a heavy barrel like the 10-6 but are the "guts" of the guns similar enough that a smith can do the swapping.

Getting the 10-6 refinished would run around 300 dollars. I can get a 64-5 for around 250 dollars and I am sending the 10-6 in for some trigger work and getting it cut for moon clips. I am planning on spending around 500-600 for the total project.

I know it isn't totally practical but neither am I.

Old Fuff
August 11, 2006, 10:05 PM
The guts (lockwork) doesn't matter, but if you screw a barrel from one revolver into another minor differences in the frame(s) may leave you with an excessive barrel gap, or the front sight may end up at 8:00 rather then 12:00. Also a frame made for a heavy barrel is different then one made for the pencil barrel in the topstrap area. In theory, but not maybe in practice a barrel from a 64-1 through 64-3 (pinned barrel discontinued in 1982) and 10-6 (heavy barrel) would interchange.

Personally, I would see if Numrich/Gunparts Corp. (www.e-gunparts.com) had a used nickeled or stainless barrel, and when the gunsmithing was underway have it mounted on the 10-6. Then after the cylinder was modified have it plated. You'd still have 'smithing costs, but not have to buy an additional gun.

Smith357
August 11, 2006, 10:30 PM
I have a close friend that bought a NIB nickel 19-3 and a NIB blue 19-3 and sent them to S&W and they switched the barrels and cylinders. Now he has 2 pintos for half the cost of a real one, and most folks will never know they were assembled after the fact. He says he is going to put foux ivory grips on the blue framed gun, and Bufflao horn grips on the Nickle one. And I know he has silver and black Tyler Tgrips for them as well.
I call them his miss-matched set. :)
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=43423&d=1155349649
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=43424&d=1155349658

Old Fuff
August 12, 2006, 03:20 AM
I have a close friend that bought a NIB nickel 19-3 and a NIB blue 19-3 and sent them to S&W and they switched the barrels and cylinders.

That would work because S&W has the special tooling required to make a barrel swap, and experienced pistolsmiths to do any necessary retro-fitting. However notice that the switch involved two revolvers of the same, not different models. I also suspect that the work was done at a time when the company still had model 19 barrels in stock in case something didn't work out. Now they no longer have any barrels, and therefore might refuse to do the work.

The point I was really trying to make is that making barrel/cylinder switches is not a case of screw-it-out, screw-new-one-back-in. Changing barrels requires special tooling that is model specific, and experience. Make a mistake and the frame may be ruined. To a lesser degree changing cylinders is the same thing. If you have such work done you need to be very careful who you pick too do it.

SaxonPig
August 12, 2006, 09:22 AM
I have had very good luck in swapping S&W parts between guns (forget doing it with Colts). I once replaced a bulged M&P barrel with one I got for $5 off ebay (this is where people start howling about how you can't replace a barrel at home without ruining the frame but somehow I managed to do it and frankly it wasn't that big a deal at all). I soaked the disassembled frame overnight in penetrating oil and after driving the barrel pin out with a punch I clamped the barrel between two pieces of wood in the jaws of a large vise (remember, people will say to not do this) and inserted a large wooden handle through the cylinder window. I pushed the handle up close to the forcing cone so that the pressure would be exerted near the front of the frame to lessen the risk of twisting it. It unscrewed slick as a whistle. I really don't think I put more than 5 pounds of pressure on it.

People are right when they say you can damage the frame doing this but I worked carefully and had no problem. It was an $80 gun and the smith wanted $100 to do the swap. That made no sense to me so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it myself. On a nice gun I would reconsider.

The replacement barrel screwed right in and I snugged it in the vise. Total time for the swap was about 3 minutes. I then spent 45 minutes trying to tweak the barrel into just the right spot to reinsert the barrel pin. Definitely the most trying part of the whole exercise but I did finally get it in. It was frustrating, though.

With the barrle pinned and the front sight blade straight up the barrel/cylinder gap measured .004" and I was good to go. You can't count on always being this fortunate but it worked for me. Gun shoots great.

I like the wide, smooth trigger and have swapped many of them onto my N frames with no professional smithing required. I have installed maybe 12 such triggers and only once did it not function fine as a drop-in replacement.

One of my 27s developed an awful rust spot on the cylinder. I bought a replacement in perfect condition from a used parts seller and it dropped right in and worked fine. You'd never know it wasn't the original.

Last year on one of these forums someone asked the very same question you have about creating pintos by swapping parts between blued and nickeled guns so I tried it. I took 2 of my 27s (one blue one nickel) and swapped the cylinders. They fit and worked just fine.

Used replacement parts don't always work on S&Ws but in my experience they mostly do. Get a blued M10 and a nickel one and I bet a smith could easily swap the barrels and cylinders to create a pair of pintos.

Old Fuff
August 12, 2006, 10:42 AM
And I've got 3 junked frames that came off guns where someone tried to do they're own barrel switches in the manner previouly described. They are all bent in the area where the yoke cut is.

One wonders what might of happened if the sight had come up short and you'd "tweeked" a bit too hard trying to get the front sight up to 12:00? It's a credit to Smith & Wesson's precision manufacturing that allowed you to make the barrel exchange you did, but one mistake on your part would have reduced an $80.00 revolver to junk. You took a gamble and won, for which I am thankful - but model 10's don't cost $80.00 anymore. :scrutiny:

Newguy1
August 12, 2006, 11:02 AM
I saw a post by Brian Williams where he had Pinnacle Custom do a barrel swap for him by adding a 64 barrel to a 65. I am going to see if that shop is willing to try to do it.

Worst case scenario for me is that the project won't be feasible and I will have two great Smiths... I learned to shoot a hand with an M 64 at the California Department of Corrections Academy.

SaxonPig
August 12, 2006, 04:59 PM
"And I've got 3 junked frames that came off guns where someone tried to do they're own barrel switches in the manner previouly described. They are all bent in the area where the yoke cut is."

Like I said, it's possible to damage the frame but to hear some people talk you'd think it was enevitible. Not so. I worked slowly and carefully and it went just fine.

"One wonders what might of happened if the sight had come up short and you'd "tweeked" a bit too hard trying to get the front sight up to 12:00?"

Had the barrel come up short I knew that this would require metalworking and I would not have stood on a cheater bar trying to get the barrel to turn into place. As it happened, the barrel was an easy replacement and that was the point of my reply.

"It's a credit to Smith & Wesson's precision manufacturing that allowed you to make the barrel exchange you did, but one mistake on your part would have reduced an $80.00 revolver to junk. You took a gamble and won, for which I am thankful - "

Yes, my point exactly. S&Ws are very good about swapping parts. They have that mass production thing down pretty good. Yes, life is a gamble. The revolver was already junk before I started. As I said, I had little to lose. I am also thankful there were no serious problems with the swap.

"...but model 10's don't cost $80.00 anymore."

They do when they have bulged barrels. It came that way. The dealer couldn't unload it at his $100 asking price and gladly accepted my $60 offer. (After I thought about it I recalled that I paid $60 for this pistol, not the $80 I first thought.)

:rolleyes:

BTW- Here's a Pic (http://www.fototime.com/D2EB5E25C3A9F68/standard.jpg) of this 1942 revolver. This is the same gun that I have been shooting the Hell out of with factory +P and +P+ and hot handloads trying to detect any excessive wear or damge. Lost count of how many rounds have been fired over past 6 months. So far nada.

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