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Old March 6, 2013, 12:55 PM   #1
FLChinook
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Are pre-war K/N Frame Grips interchangeable?

I've asked another variation on this question before and understand that generally K and N Frame grips are not interchangeable.

However, for the pre-war grips that "sandwich" the handle and do not encase it, are the general outline shapes of the K and N SB Frames the same?

I have some Magna's that I acquired for my pre-27 but don't fit it (the grips extend about 1/16" below the bottom of the frame) yet they fit my 1931 .38/44 perfectly. Of course, both are N frames so you'd expect them to fit either gun. I frankly was very surprised when they didn't fit the pre-27; I guess more things were hand-done and fitted in those earlier days...

Unfortunately, the 1931 needs the older style grips. Some are for sale now but they are for a K Frame. I'm just wondering if they'd fit my N Frame ...
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Old March 6, 2013, 02:00 PM   #2
Winchester_73
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The grips will not fit, assuming that the grips were even properly identified.
There will be a height difference, a gap, where the gap between the front strap and back strap meets the frame behind the cylinder. The grips were hand fit in those years, so sometimes, grips from back then, for even the same frame may not fit well on a different gun. Also, the grips could have shrunk somehow.

Quote:
However, for the pre-war grips that "sandwich" the handle
There were 2 types, depending on the exact years, but there were pre war N frame magnas (which would look similiar to your post war 1950s magnas) and the service grips. The service grips have a rounded top, and have a uniform amount of wood around the top of the medallion.
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Old March 6, 2013, 04:32 PM   #3
FLChinook
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I was afraid that would be the answer.

Regarding my N-frame diamond Magna's: I'm not sure how old they are. They're marked with 126 over 437 (probably 126437). Would that be the S/N of the gun they originally came with?

They do fit the pre-27; they just extend an uncomfortable amount past the bottom of the butt. They are absolutely tight up against the rounded part at the top of the grip and nestle the front and back straps nicely.

If I wanted to destroy them, I could use a sander on the bottoms and remove 1/16" or so and then they would fit fine. But I won't do that. I'm still puzzled as to why the distance between the top of my pre-27 handle and the bottom is 1/16" less than on the gun the grips were built for...
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Old March 6, 2013, 06:28 PM   #4
James K
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Are you sure someone hasn't altered the pre-27? Is the serial number intact and of the right depth? I have seen the condition you describe on a Colt military contract Army and Navy revolver where someone removed the butt markings, probably to cover up a stolen gun.

Remove the grips from both the .357 and the .38-44 and look at the frames themselves, measuring the bottom parts from the hole to the butt.

Jim
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:43 AM   #5
FLChinook
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I'm pretty confident both these guns are totally original. Both have matching S/N's on both butts and cylinders and the numbers validate the guns' years of manufacture. The pre-27 is literally "as new" and the .38/44 has a little bluing wear but the sides can still be used as a mirror I just love these old S&W's!!

The fact that older S&W's had their grips numbered suggests careful hand-fitting but I'd still think the basic gun frames would all be the same size. Then again, different years may have involved different manufacturing processes so I guess 1/16" could be expected.
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