Barrel Won't Unscrew From Dan Wesson's Frame!


The Mighty Beagle
January 16, 2003, 08:28 PM
Traded for the gun used and have never took the barrel off until now.

There's rust on the barrel threads just ahead of where the barrel screws into the frame. I tried using Break-Free on these rusty places, and some came off ... but my real problem is that I think the barrel threads in the frame are rusted in there. It's the only explanation I can concoct to explain why no amount of force will unscrew the barrel.

Please help, as I've got a brand new 4" barrel laying here I'm just dying to try out, but can't until I can get the 8" one loose.

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January 16, 2003, 08:58 PM
Kroil. patience, and maybe a little heat. It will come out.

January 17, 2003, 01:27 AM
Get a good penetrating oil and apply liberally. Give it time to do it's work (generally a few hours). Wiggle barrel a bit. More oil, more wait, more wiggle. Repeat until barrel is removed. Once you get the barrel out, make sure that you clean up the threads on barrel and frame.

January 17, 2003, 04:03 AM
Might also just put the whole thing in a bucket of penetrating oil for a couple of days or in an ultrasonic cleaner if you have one.

January 17, 2003, 10:01 AM
Soak in a container with penetrating oil. Place on top of fridge.

The vibrations from the fridge will act like an ultrasonic cleaner and help the oil migrate to all the nooks and crannies.

At least that's what I've read, sounds good to me....

January 17, 2003, 10:55 AM
Go slow. Apply penetrant , wait maybe 12 hours , tap with a piece of wood,repeat , then heat frame with a propane torch and give it a try. If it won't unscrew repeat the process.

The Mighty Beagle
January 17, 2003, 11:43 AM
Thanks so much gentlemen.

Boy do I feel dumb.

I'd like to say that I've managed to get it unscrewed, but I haven't. One reason is that what I thought was rust, upon closer inspection, seems to be rust-colored Loc-tite. We tried some nail polish remover on it, and managed, with a steel brush, to get the globs of it off of the threads outside of the frame ... but the barrel still won't budge.

I hate when other people say this, but honestly, West Virginians must be some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth. Why would you ever put Loc-tite on and interchangeable-barrel revolver? I don't know who's dumber, the guy who did it, or me, the guy who labors under the impression that it's rust because he never realized some other idiot would be dumb enough to try Loc-tite. Right now, I feel like the award should sit on my mantle.

Perhaps some Loc-tite remover, but then what?

Do the above methods still apply for getting the barrel loose? It's still locked up solid. What's really irritating is trying to turn something that's perfectly round and slippery. It strikes me that this is the one Achilles' heel of the Dan Wesson design - once a barrel is stuck, there's absolutely no way to get purchase on the barrel to un-stick it.

Sorry to waste your time with such simple gunsmithing issues, but as a long-time gun collector and shooter, I am still a novice about smithing.

January 17, 2003, 12:17 PM
Lock the frame in a vise, get a strap wrench on the end of the barrel, and apply some heat to the barrel (not the frame). The heat will break the locktite, and I'd heat the barrel because that's the cheapest part to replace.

January 17, 2003, 02:53 PM
LockTite breaks down at around 400 degrees. Heat JUST enough to get the barrel and forward frame to this temp, and hold it there for a few minutes. DO NOT over heat.

Use a strap wrench, or a WELL padded Vise-Grip to unscrew the barrel. Pad the Vise-Grip with sheet brass or copper.

Contrary to popular opinion, this is one of the few times where heat should be applied to a firearm.

My best guesss is, some dufus didn't have the barrel nut wrench, so he just "glued 'er in".

The Mighty Beagle
January 17, 2003, 04:28 PM
Thanks fellows, tomorrow I'll have access to a shop and I'll try what you've suggested.

Incidentally, Dan Wesson told me they would charge $55 to unscrew the barrel and were very nice about the inquiry. I'm really hoping I won't ruin my 8" barrel trying to get it out of there. The 4" isn't as desirable for hunting, meaning I'll have to break down and buy yet another barrel.

January 18, 2003, 11:09 AM
The most expensive part of a Dan Wesson barrel is the shroud. The rifled tubes are very reasonably priced, so don't feel too bad if you ruin the tube.

4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 12:29 PM
It may sound stupid, but I wonder if you can "bake" the gun to warm up the locktite? 400 isn't going to hurt anything.

The Mighty Beagle
January 18, 2003, 09:35 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys.

400 degrees most certainly will undo Loc-tite. It only took a minute or so with a small blowtorch hitting the frame and like magic, all of the sudden the barrel would unscrew.

I figured it would damage the finish on my frame, but it didn't seem to. I cleaned the threads with Break Free (all I had at the time) and let it cool a few minutes.

The 2003-production 4" barrel screwed in like a charm, and made for some nifty shooting. Can't wait till it's warm enough to benchrest the gun and two barrels.

Thanks again, gents!

The Mighty Beagle
January 18, 2003, 09:40 PM
Forgot to add one thing ... since this is my first Dan Wesson experience, I was somewhat surprised at how wobbly the barrel is when screwed in. The whole affair, shroud and all, only tightens up when the muzzle nut is pretty tight.

Is this normal for a Dan Wesson, or did I get a bad frame? My offhand groups seemed consistent but were nothing to brag about. I felt like there was adequate tension on the barrel despite the relative thread "looseness".

Just figured it would be a little more stable at the rear I guess.

When I bench it, I guess then I'll know for sure.

January 18, 2003, 11:41 PM
The barrel and shroud on my DW were loose until the nut was tightened. Accuracy was excellent.

Bench it.

Have fun.


Swamp Yankee
January 19, 2003, 09:36 AM
Some play is expected. The shroud is nothing more than a fancy spacer that locates the muzzle relative to the frame, and allows the barrel nut to put the barrel in tension.
Take Care

January 19, 2003, 10:09 AM
I think one of the big factors in the accuracy of the Dan Wesson is the tension placed on the barrel by the shroud and retaining nut system. Think about it, all other revolvers have the barrel screwed into the frame and torqued. This leaves the muzzle end free to vibrate during firing and the forcing cone area can potentially be slightly undersized since this is the only area that must have a tight fit in the frame. With the Dan Wesson, the forcing cone area is a relatively loose fit in the frame, the barrel nut and shroud slightly stretch the barrel and dampens all vibrations at the muzzle. I still wish I had my old 15-2.

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