S&W full lug conversion to shorter lug?


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valnar
May 12, 2003, 08:46 PM
Can anyone recommend a gunsmith to cut the length of a full lug to a shorter lug on an N-Frame revolver? I really like the look of the classic model 19/66 and want my 625 to look the same, if possible. (ie. more like the Mountain Gun, but without the ultra skinny barrel)

Thanks,
Robert

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JoeHatley
May 13, 2003, 10:51 AM
You can give the folks at www.cylinder-slide.com a call, but I'll bet a barrel swap, or even a gun trade might be more cost effective. Of course... if you're like me, cost has little to do with what I want.

Good Luck...

Joe

valnar
May 13, 2003, 12:38 PM
Yep Joe, I'm like you.

I want the cross between a 625 full lug (regular) model and the 625 Mountain Gun, but without the pencil thin barrel. Gotta go custom I guess.

Robert

dfariswheel
May 13, 2003, 01:28 PM
This CAN be done in the home workshop, if you're good with hand tools, and take your time.

Some years ago I was visiting a friend a few states away, and he demanded I do a conversion to his new S&W M617, right then and there. I didn't want to do this outside my own shop but he insisted, so..........

We went to the local hardware store and bought a high-quality tension-type hacksaw frame, some high-quality hacksaw blades suitable for stainless steel cutting, some new files, and some polishing cloth in various grits.

I first cut slots in the lug toward the bore to allow the lug to be removed in "chunks" and so the cut could be corrected if it started to drift. I very carefully sawed the lug off, being careful to keep the cut straight and not too close to the barrel.

I filed the lug to the final shape, keeping it nice and parallel to the rest of the barrel.

I wrapped the abrasive cloth around a file and used the different grits to remove all file marks, and bring it to the same finish as the rest of the barrel.

I used a hardware store synthetic polishing pad equivalent to 0000 steel wool to match the final finish and align the grain of the cut area the rest of the barrel.

Looked like a factory job.

valnar
May 13, 2003, 01:51 PM
I can't say I'm handy. But from what you said, I may not need the expertise (or expense) of a master gunsmith just to trim the lug a little.

I'll shop around my local gunstores/gunsmiths and see if somebody around Cleveland can do it before I decide to ship it off.

Thanks for the reply.

Robert

VictorLouis
May 16, 2003, 08:33 PM
That post of your's almost has inspired me to take the leap!. I understand this:
I first cut slots in the lug toward the bore to allow the lug to be removed in "chunks" But I'm not sure I understand this:
so the cut could be corrected if it started to drift. Does that mean you were just limiting the 'drift' to the length of the next cross-cut? How did you control the depth of the cross slots? Is there some special ability to do that with the proper:
high-quality tension-type hacksaw frame? I suppose it would be helpful to buy the right tools. :D

I used a hardware store synthetic polishing pad equivalent to 0000 steel wool to match the final finish Did you have to do this to the whole gun, or just to the barrel? I mean, was it a close match for the frame?

Thanks!

dfariswheel
May 16, 2003, 10:47 PM
A little more detail:

First, understand that the barrel needs to be round after the lug is removed, not off-center on the bottom where the lug is removed. If you cut too deep toward the bore, the finished barrel will look off center.

I determined what the closest I could come toward the bore, and scribed a LIGHT line on both sides of the lug. You just "eyeball" this.

With the barrel horizontal, I cut slots through the lug toward the bore, close but not crossing the lines I scribed. (Give yourself a "buffer" here, since you can file more metal off, but you sure can't put it back).

This allows short sections of the lug to be sawed off, and still insure the cut doesn't get too close to the bore. If the cut does start to drift, it can be corrected on the next section.

Be sure to keep the cut square to the barrel on both sides of the lug. It's very easy to start rotating the cut until on one side it's perfect, but on the other it's too close to the bore.

In other words, you're following the line nicely on one side, but the cut is drifting across the line on the other side.

To match the grained S&W finish, I buy the gray synthetic "sanding" pads at Lowe's sandpaper department.
They usually carry the same Green pads grocery stores sell as pot scrubbers, but these are too coarse. The gray pads, equivalent to 0000 steel wool do a nice job of matching the finish.

You do not need to do the whole gun, just the bottom of the lug, after using the sanding cloth wrapped around a file to remove all file marks.
This is what we use to restore the satin finish used on stainless guns anyway.

I like one of the high-tension type hacksaw frames available at better hardware stores. These have a special blade locking/tensioning device that really takes the flex out of the blade.

WATCH OUTS:
Stainless is HARD to cut. Buy a good blade suitable for stainless.

Keep well away from the final profile of the barrel when cutting. Again, you can file more metal off, but cut too deep, and you've ruined the looks of a barrel.

Buy a file card. This is a special very stiff, flat wire brush used to clean metal chips out of the file teeth. If left in, these scratch and gouge the metal, necessitating lots more polishing with the sand cloth to remove.


GO SLOW. There's no hurry. If things look like they're drifting off, STOP, and correct the cut.

Spend a lot more time polishing with the various grits of sand cloth than you would think needed.

Hope this helps.

valnar
May 17, 2003, 08:42 AM
All S&W needs to do is make a stainless version of their old 25-2 model. Why can't they do that!

Robert

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