Pinnacle 9mm conv+ S&W 637/642


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Matt-J2
July 28, 2008, 05:03 PM
Pinnacle Guns offers service to convert various .38/.357 revolvers to 9mm.

I'm really considering picking up a 637 or a 642 and having this service done. I think having the shorter rounds on moon clips would make for nice fast reloads. The sort that I could pretend to be a mini(and slower)Jerry Miculek. :p

Anyone know what sort of rep Pinnacle has? Any inherent problems with the conversion itself? I reckon accuracy would suffer a bit, but then I may never notice given my purposes and the ranges involved. Should a different J-frame be chosen?


Nothing wrong with .38spc mind you, I just like 9mm. Don't much like autos, though. Heck, maybe I'll get it ported as well, and it can be my 'race gun'. :p

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351 WINCHESTER
July 28, 2008, 05:21 PM
I question whether an alum. frame will stand up to the pressure of a 9mm load. They are rated for +P which is roughly 20K psi where a 9mm starts around 35k psi.

Matt-J2
July 28, 2008, 05:32 PM
Oh yeah, hadn't thought about that. I suppose I could go to a model 60 3" instead. Love the way it handles empty, and would probably handle much better when firing anyway.

Brian Williams
July 28, 2008, 09:24 PM
I have a 642 that I had Mark from Pinnacle put in a 9mm cylinder from a 940.
It is a great gun and handles like a mule. I would love to see a scandium frame/SS cylinder 342. It would be a better gun than a 642. I have also fit the 940 cylinder into my S&W 60-4 and it is a much better combination, I love the moonclips and adjustable sights.

Matt-J2
July 28, 2008, 10:37 PM
Interesting, so I suppose then there's no issue with the 9mm in the alloy frame, or is it because you used the different cylinder?

351 WINCHESTER
July 28, 2008, 11:47 PM
I've been wrong before, but like I said the 9mm in standard form generates a lot more pressure than a .38+P or a .38+P+ for that matter. Remember a 9mm in non +P generates about 35k psi while the +P+ from winchester and federal of day's gone by ran about 24k. That's a big difference. I would not do that to my gun. There were many an alloy j frame that were ruined in very short order by the +P+ Treasury load.

earplug
July 29, 2008, 02:40 AM
I for one don't see the advantage in the current J frames, unless this is some type of game gun that allows moonclips for snubs.
Want more power load the .357.
9 MM might be ok for a LEO back up to a service gun, if ammo swapping was a issue, but you have mooned them up. Moonclips are harder to carry then a speed strip.
Its a neat idea without merit IMO.

Matt-J2
July 29, 2008, 12:12 PM
Well, kind of as a game gun, but for carry as well. Lots of reasons. A box of 9mm is cheaper than either .357 or .38spc, even when reloading. Moon clips aren't too hard to carry especially with the shorter 9mm. I don't place anything in my pockets except the cloth for cleaning my glasses, as I don't like having stuff in them, so the speed strip advantage is gone. Speed strips are certainly a much slower and much more awkward reload anyway, never did like them.
The .357 certainly adds power and is an easy option to get, but then it also adds quite a bit of recoil, flash, and noise. As far as power goes, I'm personally ok with standard .38spc or mild +p, but 9mm would seem to occupy the slot above .38+p and below .357. Not a bad spot to be, IMO.

No, I don't think this is a needed conversion or anything, but I certainly think has enough merit to seriously consider.

Of course, there's always the silly 'I want it 'cause it's neat' factor, which shouldn't be underestimated. :p

g1726
July 29, 2008, 02:41 PM
I have a 940 that I love, though I do wish it were a bit lighter. I'm really considering getting a lightweight .357 and having them do it.

The .38 frame can most likely take it for quite a while, but I would have zero doubt in the .357 frame regarding durability.

351 WINCHESTER
July 29, 2008, 07:25 PM
No doubt the .357 frame will stand up to the pressure and the 9mm with the right loads will give you close to .357 performance w/o the recoil of the mag.

ArchAngelCD
July 30, 2008, 02:35 AM
I have a 940 that I love, though I do wish it were a bit lighter. I'm really considering getting a lightweight .357 and having them do it.
g1726,
What advantages do you feel you get from a 9mm over a .38 Special +P in a snub nose revolver? With today's bullet technology expansion isn't an issue. This isn't a knock on the M940 or the 9mm round, it's a serious question.

yongxingfreesty
July 30, 2008, 02:52 AM
if it were safe, id do it. 9mm is certainly cheaper than 38spl, which is a good thing.

seeker_two
July 30, 2008, 06:34 AM
I've been wrong before, but like I said the 9mm in standard form generates a lot more pressure than a .38+P or a .38+P+ for that matter. Remember a 9mm in non +P generates about 35k psi while the +P+ from winchester and federal of day's gone by ran about 24k. That's a big difference. I would not do that to my gun. There were many an alloy j frame that were ruined in very short order by the +P+ Treasury load.

I could see it working. With the current strength steel cylinders, a 9mm conversion should be able to handle the pressures. And the moon-clipped cartridge should mitigate any backthrust since it would have 4 other rounds helping to hold it back.

Depending on the cost of the conversion, it might be worth it for the increase in ballistic effectiveness, handling, and use as backup for 9mm pistols....

g1726
July 30, 2008, 02:03 PM
Arch,

The main advantage for me is ammo commonality. I don't have anything in .38/.357, but do have other 9mm. I didn't want the extra round, reloading dies, brass and components.

On top of that I do like the moonclip reloading, the shorter length and the performance without the extra flash and bang of a .357.

I do prefer the mid-weight 124/125 gr bullets, so to me it made sense. If I liked the 158 gr class, I would have no hesitation in getting a .38/.357.

20nickels
July 30, 2008, 02:45 PM
The positive ejection and reload of the moonclip would be nice, but I would much rather carry a speedstrip. Hmmmm, why not just moonclip the .38's or the .38 Short Colt which is basically a 9mm? Is anybody making J frame .38 moonclips?

gb6491
July 30, 2008, 03:14 PM
...Is anybody making J frame .38 moonclips?
http://www.moonclips.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=154&cat=%2E38+Special%2F%2E357+Magnum+

Matt-J2
July 30, 2008, 08:20 PM
Pinnacle will machine a cylinder for moon clips as well.
Cost for the 9mm conversion is $225, cost for just moon clip conversion is $80.
May just go the moon clipped .38spc route. Haven't decided yet. May not even do that.

ArchAngelCD
July 31, 2008, 03:39 AM
g1726,
You gave all good reasons but ammo commonality would be enough for me. Thanks for your answer...

lanternlad1
July 31, 2008, 12:27 PM
I had a 940-1. Good gun, but you couldn't shoot +p in it, as the frame was not rated for it. Also, it was a bit heavy, but that helped when you shot it. I have a Ruger Speed Six in 9mm now, and that thing weighs a TON (2.5lbs). I can carry it, but I definitely know its there. It uses half-moon clips, which are far easier to carry than full mooners. I've considered sending my wife's 642 in for conversion, but I've heard there are issues with accuracy then. Anyone know about this?

g1726
July 31, 2008, 12:27 PM
I really had to look for my 940. I originally wanted an SP101, but couldn't find one. I'd really like to get a 3" 940 or SP101 in the future.

The S&W 547's are also very tempting, but they command prices that I'm not willing to pay.

I really think I might pick up a 4" adj. sight .357 and send it off. Anything over 4" is really .357 territory to me, but 4" and under still looks pretty good for 9mm.

Then again, it would be tempting to have it reamed for 9X23mm and shoot a near .357 equivalent while still being able to shoot the cheap 9X19mm with moonclips.

Too many projects, too little cash.

M1911
July 31, 2008, 12:37 PM
What advantages do you feel you get from a 9mm over a .38 Special +P in a snub nose revolver?Faster reloading using moonclips and short, stubby rounds.

cherryriver
July 31, 2008, 01:53 PM
Here's one more obscure but useful advantage for the 940 with its moonclip loading and unloading: if you go places where you cross jurisdictional boundaries, say, and you need to unload in a less-than-perfect location, having the ammunition restrained in a moonclip, and not rolling around loose, can be helpful.
Sadly, some need to think of such things.
Meanwhile, I would support clean ejection of the empties as being the best thing, at least if you're in a hurry. Anyone who's competed with a sixgun and reloaded on the clock will testify that every once in a while, there's an empty that doesn't quite make it past the extended ejector star and turns off-axis. Always not good.

DrMaxit
August 14, 2008, 01:12 AM
I was under the impression that all 9mm revolvers had to use moon clips as they are a "rimless" cartridge. Correct me if I'm wrong and explain, thanks.

--Chuck

ugaarguy
August 14, 2008, 02:21 AM
I was under the impression that all 9mm revolvers had to use moon clips as they are a "rimless" cartridge. Correct me if I'm wrong and explain, thanks.
Federal recently discontinued their 9mm Federal ammo, which was 9x19 with a thick rim set to headspace in a cylinder designed for moon-clipped 9x19 auto. It was the 9mm functional equivalent of 45 Auto Rim. I believe Starline still offers brass.

That aside if the cylinder blank was originally cut with 9x19 chambers (not a .38 or .357 cylinder with re-cut chambers) the cartridge will still headspace on the case mouth like it does in an auto. With out the moon clip you just have to pic the cases out with your fingernail or pocketknife. Ruger also offers the Blackhawk as a dual cylinder .357 Mag / 9mm Auto combo gun. Again, the cartridges headspace on the case mouth, and being a single action with frame / bbl. mounted ejector rod extraction isn't an issue.

cherryriver
August 14, 2008, 06:46 AM
And don't forget the odd duck Smith & Wesson 547, a blue revolver with a Rube Goldberg spring-wire ejector star that ejected the empties and then allowed the fresh cases to slide past into the chambers.
A search will turn up a number of photos of these.
My 940 is perfectly practical to use without the moons, but you won't get a reload done quickly without them. Still, it's a fallback position if needed.

Gary A
August 14, 2008, 08:41 AM
Seems like it would require considerable ammo savings of 9mm over .38 or .357 to offset the cost of the conversion. Might take a while in a pocket or backup gun.

Also, the Smith 940s often had problems with cases sticking, and they recommended either using non +P rounds or nickeled cases if someone had that problem. With sticky ammo the speed of reloading disappears because the empties could get really hard to eject quickly. It was enough of an issue to be addressed in the owner's manual.

cherryriver
August 14, 2008, 09:00 AM
Just to fill in-
My 940, which I purchased used, was a sticky extractor like many, not all, 940s. I sent it back to Smith, on their dime, and they worked it over to correct not only the barrel flaw it had, but to replace the cylinder with a new one. They touched up the action, too, and then sent it back. Still, all on their dime.
It runs perfectly now, extracting White Box, Gold Dots, and any of the various reloads I make up, plated, lead, and jacketed. In fact, the empties drop right out, showing possibly the main advantage of moonclips in revolvers: positive, glitch-free extraction, which is all the more pronounced in the shorter case sizes like 9mm and .45.
Apparently Smith had some trouble with the chambers when they were in production. I don't know if they have any more of the replacement cylinders, but the gun is superb, now.
With a couple dozen moonclips on hand, you can shoot 'till it glows.

edrice
August 14, 2008, 01:22 PM
Mark at Pinnacle converted my S&W 625 .45 Colt Mountain Gun to moonclips so that it will now also shoot .45 ACP as well as .45 Colt.

He did a quality job and as a result, he now has a Ruger Speed-Six cylinder for the moonclip conversion.

Ed

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