View Full Version : Dective Special barrel removal question

May 4, 2002, 06:31 AM
I have a new (to me) Detective Special that is apparently from that run in the mid 70s where quite a few got through without the front sight being TDC.

My planned approach is to pull the barrel and mill a tiny bit from the back of the barrel/shroud. I don't need much as the front sight only has to torque over maybe 1/128 or so.

I've pulled some S&W barrels, but never a Colt. My usual approach is to take out the cylinder, remove the pin (if a pinned barrel), pad the jaws of a heavy vice, clamp down on the barrel, run the rubber handle of a medium sized hammer through the frame and unscrew the frame from the barrel.

That doesn't seem to be working here. I'm putting quite a bit of pressure on the lever, but there doesn't seem to be any give.

Before I get a cheater bar (and/or screw something up) - is there anything I'm missing here that would be special to the Detective Special series?

I'd appreciate any sage advice from those more experienced in these things.

George Stringer
May 4, 2002, 07:27 AM
Jim, when I come across a revolver that has a stubborn barrel I'm a little leery of continuing to use the "stick-through-frame" method. I'm always afraid of bending the top strap and I resort to an action wrench. But let some Kroil soak in the threads for while and then try it. If it still won't cooperate I'd either make an action wrench for it or have a smith to remove it for you. George

May 4, 2002, 06:34 PM
The one, genuine, certified way to destroy a revolver is to use the hammer-through-frame method. Yes it will work, SOME of the time, but eventually the frame gets "tweaked" or the frame cracks under the barrel.
The best no damage method is to use an action wrench that fully supports the frame, and a set of barrel blocks.

I've had a number of times over the years where I had to explain to a gun owner why his revolver is not repairable, and most of them are due to frame problems caused by the hammer method.

For more details, see Kunhausen's S&W book. He illustrates what happens.

Colt barrels are not pinned, and are "crush fitted". Sometimes they are very tight, and then's when the frame will go, if you aren't using a proper action wrench.

Sorry for all this, but I really hated to see nice guns destroyed.
The worst one was a Colt Python, with "D" grade factory engraving, which for some unexplainable reason, a man used a handle on and sprung it. The owner just couldn't understand WHY it was ruined and not repairable, he had read the handle method in a gun magazine, and their experts, aren't they?

James K
May 4, 2002, 09:05 PM
I used the wood stick (1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 18") on S&W's and rarely had a problem. But Colt's are something else. I always used an action wrench on those and even then usually had one hay of a time. Hated them.


Mike Irwin
May 4, 2002, 11:23 PM
You should ALWAYS use an action wrench and barrel block on a Colt revolver!

The barrels are generally screwed in a LOT more tightly than they are on a pinned Smith. Even so, an action wrench is always a good idea.

On the newer Smith & Wessons, the ones where the barrels are screwed into place, you should always use an action wrench and barrel block, too.

If you don't want to spring for an action wrench, let a competent gunsmith do the job.

May 5, 2002, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the advice.

Off to the smith it goes.