Opinion needed


Dec 9, 2014
South Carolina
I have a S&W 1937 Brazilian export/import (1917) 45 ACP. Have an itch to cut the barrel back and put a new sight on it.

My LGS where I bought it said that would amount to blasphemy.

What would the collective opinion be?
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I would look at what it is worth before being modified, then, how much the modification will cost you to do.
Let's say it is a $700 revolver now, cost $200 for the work (TOTAL swags here!). In the end, it may be worth $500 or less as it has been modified. So, about a $400 loss when the work is included.

May be better off to sell it and buy a shorter 45 if that is your want.

Also, (been there and done something like this) the sights may get taller/shorter than you want if the barrel is tapered and now has a shorter radius on top of it all.

In then end, I would not do it for several reasons.
I tend to leave old guns alone, but as has been pointed out, these generally aren't especially rare. If it's in unusually good condition I would advise leaving it alone, but if it's the typical beater, you won't be depriving the world of anything it can't live without.
I had it done to a '37 Brazilian and don't regret it a bit. It went from being a gun I would never shoot to one I really like. In fact I just put 24 rounds of Moonclipped 45 ACP through mine today.

I'd love to post a picture but my computer seems to have decided I'm not supposed to post pictures any more. Gonna meet with my IT guy soon about that. He understands these new-fangled things. LOL

Here is my suggestion.



This is my last one. I have owned maybe a dozen, probably 6 or 8 got shorter barrels. Back then I was able to buy a bunch of replacement barrels. They were made by the Brazilians, the Israelis and by S&W. I cut my first one back in the 70s and enjoyed it. Someone else liked it also and bought it. Same with the next bunch of them. This one in the image may be my last effort. It does make a nice carry piece but S&W has finally produced a great substitute (now out of production).



So, go ahead and cut it. If you can do the work yourself, it costs little. If you have to pay someone, the cost goes up. As for value? All the naysayers should be thanking you for cutting it! It just increased the value of theirs by a nickel!

And I believe you meant to type 1937, the year of the first contract.

When those Brazilian 1917s hit the market a ffl had the full barrel and for a little more a 2" barrel. The short barrel does little for the utility. I bought the full barrel. It was by bedside gun for a while. Still have it.

Your gun your choice.
If it's in really nice shape, that might be kind of depressing. If it's a beater, it doesn't matter either way.
Certainly something I've considered having done. I have a couple or three of the Brazilian Contract guns and would like one with a shorter barrel.
In the recent Covid panic there haven been all sorts of price jumps for many guns that prior to that time weren't worth a hoot.
Yes, it's your gun, but it does have a historical value. Unless it's shot out and ready for the scrap heap, I'd say hold on to it.
I've never seen one and would like to see one some day in it's original form.
Story - I had a pretty nice SW Model 19. Had aftermarket grips on it but I had the original. Circumstance led me to sell it (sigh). So I put in on consignment at the LGS (I prefer to sell through FFLs if I don't know you personally). I get a call we have a hot buyer! Wow, he takes off the stocks and finds the past owner engraved his name on the frame under the stocks. That knocked off a chunk of change. Needed the money - so it went. Thus, if you want to sell it as original, this is a cautionary tale. If it's shooter, have fun.