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What is the advantage of a pinned barrel?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by OneShot, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. OneShot

    OneShot Well-Known Member

    I've read a lot about older S&W's having a "pinned barrel" is there any real advantage to this, or is it simply just more desireable to own then a newer crush fit barrel revolver? Just curious--Oneshot
  2. Mark IV Series 80

    Mark IV Series 80 Well-Known Member

    The non-pinned barrels often get their bore rifling distorted when the barrel is installed at the factory.

    Also. I hear that the pinned barrels are easier to replace. (Think about trying to get the barrel torque correct to get the front sight at 12:00)

    I hear that some of the newer Smiths have been delivered with the front sight slightly off.

    Anyway, I believe that the pinned-barrel S&W revolvers were built better than those made today.
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    My experience bears out each of Mk IV's points.

  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam


    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan. Life Member
  5. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    Never seen it, at least in the past 400 new Smiths I have looked at.

  6. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    Keep looking, Wild.

    I found :cuss:ing FIVE at one gun show a couple of years ago!
  7. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    I think the ultimate revolver would feature a pinned barrel and non-recessed chambers. The pinned barrel makes a lot of sense, but the recessed chamber mouths can be a pain to clean.
  8. 22luvr

    22luvr Well-Known Member

    SAM: Izzat really you ??

    Welcome back to the fold. Many of us have really missed your insightful, witty, brief remarks!

    Best Wishes.........
  9. popeye

    popeye Well-Known Member

    Forgive my stupidity. But I gotta assume that pinned barrels were put in frame with hole predrilled in it. Once barrel was aligned, hole was redrilled , notching barrel, and pin driven in. On the other hand non pinned barrels have threads cut close to being "timed" and torqued into place. Sounds like crappy system compared to pinned system, especially on L.W. frame. Ditch the locks and pin the barrel says I.
  10. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    Not all makers pinned their barrels in place and still produced very accurate firearms. Pinning was just a design that Smith used, but it served no real advantage over the torqued barrel design.
  11. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Well-Known Member

    I have a mid 60's 36 snubbie with a pinned barrel and non-recessed chambers. For a very loose snubnose, it's quite accurate. It never dawned on me that the pinned barrel might have something to do with it.

  12. PJR

    PJR Well-Known Member

    It's hard to say whether the pinned barrels in and of themselves make the difference or whether S&W just better built products during the era that they pinned barrels. I have a couple of 60's vintage K-frames in stock condition that will match anything coming out of the Performance Center as far as smoothness and shootability are concerned.

    Given the choice, if all else is equal I'll take a pinned barrel every time.
  13. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    Like my Model 15-3? :D
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I like pinned barrels because they show evidence of greater care, although frankly, I doubt there's a measurable advantage. Recessed chambers, I've noticed, tend to reduce cartridge rattle. Is that a big deal? No, but again, I prefer them.
  15. OneShot

    OneShot Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the insight--Oneshot
  16. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member


    My PC627 has a barrel that's noticeably torqued a few degrees too far counterclockwise.

    Really nice to see on a $700+ revolver, let me tell you... :(
  17. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member


    I think I'd be PISSED about that!

  18. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    If lookin at one with the front sight in proper alignment....get the light right and look for a ring in the bore about even with the barrel/frame interface.

    That ring is an indication that the barrel was stretched from overtorquing while getting the sight right.

    Have seen quite a few stainless ones that way.

  19. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Reviving an OOOLD thread to bring up an issue. I've heard reference to pinned barrel Smiths in .357 being WEAKER than screwed barrels. Any truth to this?
  20. Buddy of mine sells guns. He said Smith's reps would tout the pinned barrel as protection against the barrel backing out of the gun. Although he admitted that he'd never seen Colt or Ruger loosening.

    FWIW, the early pinned Smiths were better built. That's the appeal. But then again, so were the early Colts. Dunno about Ruger.

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