Thanks all for your info and input.
I have no intentions of chopping off a barrel on any of my Colts or S & W. I would consider a barrel change if I found one (pistol) that was mechanically sound but worn finish, etc. that wasn't a "collector's piece". In the past when I wasn't really looking, I've run across some excellent shorter barrels by themselves. A person could always switch out barrels and keep the original with the gun for collector purposes. I'm thinking "shooter" though and not a "safe queen".
I'll check it out with the Sheriff's Dept. as well as the State Police when I get back to Michigan - more out of curiosity than anything else. I'm not looking to remove markings, serial # or anything like that. It does bring up another question though that I will ask them. Suppose a person purchased a handgun that the serial # didn't match on? Say the cylinder and crane, etc. had been changed out at some point. I would assume that they would use the serial number on the frame. However, I don't assume anything.
I have been trying to locate a J frame S & W with a 3" barrel but with the "buying frenzy" going on, the shelves are pretty much empty - craziness. I was up at the range that I usually shoot at in Tucson yesterday and noticed that they did have several J frames in several barrel lengths that they rent. The next time I go, I will rent and shoot some of them just to see how they feel and fit. I love my S & W M & P but the 6" barrel certainly isn't what I consider a CCW pistol.
Thanks again for all of the info and input - greatly appreciated.