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Making a 3" S&W K-frame

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by il.bill, Dec 15, 2013.

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  1. il.bill
    • Contributing Member

    il.bill Member

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    If this revolver thread would be better located under Gunsmithing, I am sorry for the incorrect placement.

    I have been unsuccessfully looking for a 3" K-frame S&W at a reasonable price for quite some time. I currently have an 'extra' 4" Model 10-8 that has a better than average trigger feel and shoots very nicely, although it is in need of refinishing and just a bit of work on the crown where it had once been dropped. I have $230 invested in it as it sits, and realize that a 10-8 will never be a collector's piece, but just a great shooter.

    Now I think it might be a good candidate for making it into a 3" revolver. What kind of budget would I need to have a smith cut down the barrel and install a new front sight? I know that the cost involved, plus the refinish work, will leave me with an investment that I could never recoup by selling, but I would want to do it just to have a 3" revolver that would make me smile.

    Any suggestions on a competent S&W K-frame gunsmith in the southern half of Illinois would be welcome. What kind of money would one need in order to make a 4" K-frame into a 3" revolver, either by having the barrel cut down or replaced?
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    If you (or your gunsmith) cut and crown the barrel to the shorter length and then cut a dovetail in the rib, you can install a sight that can be moved sideways to adjust for windage, and the blade can be filed down to do the same for elevation. Done carefully, refinishing may not be necessary, or you can get by with refinishing the barrel only.

    The best way too do this is to remove the barrel from the frame first, but be sure the revolver has a pinned barrel! If you have one that was crush fitted you will likely find that it isn't tight when it's screwed back.
     
  3. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    If I was to make my own 3 incher I would either

    A) get a Ruger Wiley Capp 3 inch GP-100 and leave it as-is (but I already have a Canadian police trade in 3 inch GP-100 that fills that bill) I see WC GPs for $650 here abouts.

    or

    B) get a police trade in 681 4 inch .357 and have a top gunsmith take the barrel down to 3 inches, install a dovetailed front sight, and the grip turned in to a round butt (but then I have a 3 inch 65 'Ladysmith' .357 that also fills that bill.) Expect to pay about $900 for such a operation, gun and changes combined.

    Deaf
     
  4. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    The 3" Model 10 or 13 (memory is hazy) was a issue weapon for FBI agents and played a major role in ending the infamous Miami shootout in 1985.

    The dovetail slot is a great idea as you could have a XS Big Dot night front installed.

    While you are at it have the grip frame modified for round butt. This is actually a easy d-i-y project.

    I'm sure you know that the roll marking on the sides of barrel will no longer be centered.
     
  5. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    I think a S&W model 10 with a 4" tapered (pencil) barrel cut down to 3" and round butted would be a great thing. Cutting down the heavy barrel ones would not be as appealing to me.
     
  6. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Should be well under $200.
    I've had rifle barrels bobbed for far less.
    Denis
     
  7. rromeo

    rromeo Member

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    I understand the want, a 3" barrel K frame is pretty much perfect. I have a 3" 65 and I just got a 3" 10 yesterday.
    For a short time, I was looking to have my 4" 10 rebarreled to a 2", I even have all of the parts. It seems impossible around my area to find a smith that will do it.
     
  8. mac66

    mac66 Member

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    This is relevant to my interests since I have an old beat up Mod 10 HB with no finish left on it which I have been thinking of chopping to 3". Of course the option is finding a 3" barrel and simply swapping it. But yeah, a round butt 3" K frame .38 would be sweet.
     
  9. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    Keep an eye out at Bud's maybe. I bought a 3" model 10 police surplus from Victoria, Australia at Bud's earlier this year. It was $299, but they went fast. If you check every day for a few months, you might find one. Good luck.
     
  10. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    Just saw a couple of 3" M64s on GunBroker over the weekend. Keep looking, bill.
     
  11. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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  12. Cardboard_killer

    Cardboard_killer Member

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    I think it is a great idea; with the right tools it could be done at home. However, there are a lot of tools, so a gunsmith would be the route I would go. Haven't priced it, but I bet it is under $200, plus buying a new front sight.
     
  13. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I was thinking about having my 4" 10-6 cut to 3" and having the barrel defarbed, so there would be no markings to be off-center.
    I'd probably leave it as a square butt, since it would be very different. That, and I like the square butt.

    I have a 2.5" 66-1, a 2.5" Charter Bulldog Pug, a 3" Charter Bulldog, a 3" 31-1, a 2.75" Ruger Speed Six .38 and 2 Dan Wesson .357 snubs.
    It's just not the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  14. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    I was looking for a 3" mod 13 a couple of years ago. It took me a little over a year to get one, actually I ended up with a Mod 65 3". They show up from time to time but they have a bit of a premium attached to them. Lots of fun.

    WB
     
  15. NewportNewsMike

    NewportNewsMike Member

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    M65-2 Question

    I have a S&W M65-2, three-inch, round butt that is marked "MASS. STATE POLICE". It is is Very Good or better condition.

    I first got it in the 1980's when all the LE's were swapping over to the "wonder 9's". Shot it for a while, used it for several courses - it is a great shooter!

    But for the past 20 years or so, it has mostly resided in my lock up.

    Thinking about selling it to someone who would enjoy it and get more use out of it than I am.

    What would be a fair price to ask?
     
  16. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    3" is the way to go in my opinion. I have a 10-7 with a 3" tapered barrel. I bought it from J&G 10 years ago. I think it may be a French Police Trade-in. For me it is feels better in my hand than any other barrel length and is also the best looking Model 10. It has a wonderfully smooth action and my wife loves it so much I don't get to shoot it that much. The overall size and weight just seem to be perfect for shooting .38 Special. It is my favorite revolver. I hope you will enjoy yours as much a we enjoy ours.
     
  17. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    Before cutting the barrel I would try to find a 3" barrel. That way a competant gunsmith could simply swap out the barrels. You might find one on Gunbroker, GunsAamerica, or even Ebay.
     
  18. Cardboard_killer

    Cardboard_killer Member

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    >Before cutting the barrel I would try to find a 3" barrel. That way a competant gunsmith could simply swap out the barrels. You might find one on Gunbroker, GunsAamerica, or even Ebay.

    Unless you get the barrel cheap (which is possible), you may end up spending more money than just having it cut. I'd get a quote for both before buying a additional barrel.
     
  19. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  20. marv

    marv Member

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    I have a M10 3" square butt and a M10 4" round butt. Maybe I could swap their barrels and finally get my grail gun: a M10 3" round butt.
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I think you will find that making the square butt into a round one is a lot less hassle then changing barrels. In particular if either revolver doesn't have a pinned barrel. The no-pin barrels have crush fitted threads, and once unscrewed may not tighten up again without taking metal off the shoulder. You also risk bending the frame if the 'smith doesn't have the right support blocks and a barrel vise.
     
  22. kp

    kp Member

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    I was in the same boat. Had a like new, 4" model 65-6 and wanted a 3" but could not find one at a reasonable price. Located a new 3" bbl on a forum and purchased it for $90. Took new bbl and model 65 over to a S&W authorized repair shop and had them swap out the barrels, another $75. Its not a collector piece but I now have a basically new 3" 65 and am very happy with it.
     
  23. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    Define "reasonable price"...
     
  24. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    Yes, the 3" M13 was an FBI issue gun but the gun Ed Mireles used to finish the April 11FBI firefight was a personally owned 686.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  25. NCSUPackman

    NCSUPackman Member

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    Thought I'd share the story of my 3inch K-frame mine:
    Went into my LGS a year or so back and they had a Model 64 with a 4 inch pencil barrel in their used case. The hammer had been bobbed and the action slicked up. However, it appeared that whomever attempted to round butt the gun, did not have the proper tools; numerous bumps long the back strap.
    The resident gunsmith said they could do a proper round butt and get me a three inch barrel. I also had them dura-coat it to correct some of the mars and scratches in the stainless steel; it also made it easier for them to get a 3 inch barrel.
    I was quite pleased with the final result (see attached picture).

    My 3inch k-frame has made it way into my carry rotation.
     

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