I was wondering if a 6 shots 686 can be changed to a 7 shot (or visa versa) simply by changing to a 7 shot cylinder or is there serious gunsmithing that has to take place? I see 7 shot cylinders for sale and wonder what it would entail to switch them out? Any competent 'smiths out there who could enlighten me? Thanks.
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September 14, 2012, 10:56 PM
I am not sure that it can be done because of the timing differences.
September 15, 2012, 12:21 AM
There would certainly be some serious 'smithing needed. The 7 shot cylinder does not index around as far so the hand at the very least would require changing. I'm also pretty sure that where the hand attackes to the internals would need to change too since on my 6 shot S&W's the hand is fixed. There's no spring over ride to take up the excess travel of a 6 shot action to accomadate a 7 shot.
So if you were to get this done it would be more or less a one way trip involving at least a couple of new parts installed and tuned under the side cover. This is assuming that the frame is the same for both.
September 15, 2012, 04:56 AM
Yes, it can be done and it is not a big deal, though I can't recall all the details. Check the S&W forum, there are several threads there posted by folks that have done it.
September 15, 2012, 11:17 AM
You need a new hand and cylinder. but it is best if you get the whole cylinder assembly or at least these parts
1 300570Extractor Rod (For Barrels Over 2-1/2") $14.20
2 305460 Center Pin (For Barrels Over 2") $12.05
3 316840C Center Pin Spring $2.35
4 306170 Extractor Rod Collar $4.05
5 312570 Extractor Spring, FBI $2.25
6 306880 Gas Ring $6.95
7 1153260 Cylinder Assembly, .357 Mag, 6 Shot, Non-Fluted, Glass Bead Finish, Stainless- - New Factory Original $87.40
7 312650 Cylinder Assembly $138.90