Swap cylinders on S&W 686?


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FunYet
November 4, 2006, 06:00 PM
I have a S&W 7-round 686 snubby. I may also get a chance to buy/swap a 4", 6-round 686. Is it possible to swap cylinders on the 2 guns? That is, make the 6 shot 4" into a 7-shot?

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Baphomet
November 4, 2006, 06:11 PM
While I've never tried, logic tells me the cylinder timing would be off; making it impossible.

Baphomet
November 4, 2006, 06:18 PM
Whoops... double post.

PotatoJudge
November 4, 2006, 06:49 PM
Is there much chance that swapping the hand and cylinder would do it, or maybe the hand, trigger, bolt, and cylinder?

GRIZ22
November 4, 2006, 06:50 PM
It may be possible but you'd also probably have to change some of the internals as the hand and other internal parts on the 6 shot are designed to turn the cylinder 60 degrees with each shot and 51.42 degrees on the 7. You may have to set back the barrel for proper cylinder gap and headspace. I'd call S&W customer service to see if it is possible but it's probably going to cost close to the price of a new 7 shooter.

dfariswheel
November 4, 2006, 07:53 PM
Like most parts in revolvers, the cylinder and ejector assembly is hand fitted at the factory, then adjusted for proper alignment, end shake, timing, and barrel/cylinder gap.
Once it's been fitted to a specific frame, it almost never properly fits another frame, certainly not without being re-fitted, and this usually means a factory-new ejector.

It's very unlikely to be able to just "drop in" a different cylinder AND have it be in proper adjustment and fit.
You'll often hear of people doing this , and they always report that it fit and worked.

They never tell you that the job was inspected by a trained pistolsmith and he said it was in proper adjustment.
There's a BIG difference in "getting it to work" and getting it RIGHT.

In addition to the normal problems with installing a different cylinder assembly, the lock work between a 6 shot and 7 shot S&W are different and this too requires some hand fitting of parts.

Unlike semi-auto pistols in which many parts can be dropped in with little fitting, the revolver is a throw-back to another time, in which craftsmen individually fitted parts to revolvers.
NO PART is more fitted and adjusted than the cylinder assembly.

9mmepiphany
November 5, 2006, 06:32 PM
it would be cheaper to have the barrels swapped and fitted

Jim Watson
November 5, 2006, 10:01 PM
I had a 686+ that was of no use and not salable around here. It would accept and time with the six shot cylinder out of my regular 686. I sent the 686+ in to S&W and they fitted a six shot cylinder. All else that was required was a new hand, though there was probably some of the fit work mentioned here. Not cheap.

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