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713 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an old S&W pre-model 10 that had a (pinned) bulged barrel. The old revolver is nothing special; it's just a shooter. I didn't want to scrap it, but it wasn't worth paying a smith to repair. I removed the barrel pin from the frame, but no matter what I tried I could not get the barrel to budge. You have to be careful with these things or you can bend the frame trying to gorilla the barrel loose. I tried everything: heat, penetrating oil, clamping it in a vise and using various wrench combinations, etc. Nothing worked.

Finally, I had a brain storm. I didn't know if it would work, but since I already had everything required I figured I'd give it a shot.

First, I hacksawed the front of the barrel off. Then I found a bolt with a 9/16s head and turned the shank down on my lathe so it would tightly slip into the stub of the barrel. Lastly, I welded the bolt to the barrel. What next, you might ask? Read on!

I attached a 9/16ths impact socket to my air impact wrench and got to work on the barrel. Couple of important notes here:
1.) I didn't put the gun frame in a vise. I just held it in my hand so that there was flex when I turned the impact wrench on.
2.) I did not put my finger inside the trigger guard while using the wrench, but only held the grip. If it got away from me, I didn't want it to take my index finger with it!

After gently hitting it with the impact wrench several times, the barrel stub came out as pretty as you please! It was the succession of rapid impacts from the wrench that finally broke it loose.

I'm sure there are better, approved gunsmithing techniques to do that job, but for me - with no special fixtures or tools - It worked out well. I have a correct spare barrel, but it's not lining up exactly right, so I'm going to have to do a little more lathe work on the barrel's face (where it seats against the frame) to get it to seat flush and on the forcing cone, but I'm almost there.

This probably doesn't make economic sense for a lot of you who are working and don't have the time to spare, but I'm retired, on SS and try to watch the pennies.


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37,436 Posts
Outstanding job!

I have one that I have been thinking of returning to original barrel length by changing the barrel. But was comfortable trying to remove the old barrel.
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