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Revolver barrel fitting question for Old Fuff

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by jaybar, Jan 20, 2005.

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  1. jaybar

    jaybar Member

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    I've got a S&W model 15 with a 4 " barrel that I want to put a 6 " Barrel from a model 14 on. Picked up the 6 " barrel over the web and it appears to be brand new. My question is: "How probable is it that the the new barrel will screw on to the old frame and line up without any lathe work being required?". I replaced a barrel on a Colt Woodsman match target once and it screwed in and fit the perfectly. Can I hope for the same with my S&W combination??
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You may, or may not have a problem with the width of the barrel rib. Early K-38 Target Masterpiece (pre model 14) revolvers had barrels with a narrow rib. The Combat Masterpiece was developed using a shortened version of this barrel, and all subsequent 4" model 15's have narrow-ribbed barrels. Later model 14 barrels had a wider rib. All of this will not have any practical effect except that the rib may not match the frame where they come together.

    Having the barrel screw in to a correct fit is one of those luck-of-the-draw things. It might happen, but don't bet on it. Also understand that if the frame isn't correctly supported as you tighten the barrel there is a high liklehood that it will warp. The blocks and other tools you might need are available from Brownell's (www.brownells.com) but they would be pretty expensive to do "a" barrel job. Brownells also have a tool that will allow you to take a little metal off of the barrel's shoulder without a lathe if that is necessary.

    All things considered, I think you might be better off trading or selling the model 15 and spare barrel, and using the returns to buy a similar model 14 Target Masterpiece with a 6 inch barrel. If not that, I would send the gun to a pistolsmith that already had the necessary tools. If you decide to do neither, then get a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's book; "The S&W Revolver - A Shop Manual" that goes into detail about rebarreling one of these guns. After reading it you'll know a lot more then you do now. Then decide what direction to go.
     
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Let me add this, please: the pistolsmith needs the necessary tools and expertise. You'll pay more and wait longer to have the good folks at http://www.cylinder-slide.com do the swap for you, but it'll be done right.
     
  4. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    Short version. It will probably not be possible.
     
  5. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Shorter..

    Dont do it.

    WildtradeeminAlaska
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    It may be OK IF the barrel is NEW, that is it was NEVER installed on any gun. If it is new, the shoulder will have enough room for some filing (or lathe work) and the tang will be long enough so it has to be cut down for the proper barrel-cylinder gap. But IF the barrel was ever installed, it really is a crapshoot, and you might find it near impossible to install it. (Remember, on an S&W revolver, barrel installation involves not only the tang, throat, and shoulder, plus the sight alignment, but also the front lock position, so the old "set it back" advice doesn't work.)

    Jim
     
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