View Full Version : Changing a Revolver Barrel

July 8, 2004, 04:37 PM
I've been doing my own smithing for some time on my own firearms (with a lot of help from Jerry Kuhnhausen and his fine shop manuals). However, there's one area I haven't dared to tread yet and that's the changing of a revolver barrel, pinned or crush fit. The task looks daunting to me given the precision necessary to achieve a final Top Dead Center result. Have any of you guys done this operation? Looks like a default to the respective factory to me if you want it done right. What do you think?

July 8, 2004, 05:01 PM
I would leave that to a full time gunsmith or the factory

paul salchow
July 8, 2004, 05:19 PM
with the correct tools its simple,we have different clamps for the frame depending on make of firearm and special nylon blocks for the barrel,the barrel blocks go in a special vice that is mounted to the floor,its probly 50 years old but does what its ment for.indexing mark or witness marks don't help with barrel changes just if the same barrel that is comming off is going back on.its easier to do the work than it is to describe it.it is some thing better left to someone who knows what there doing because there are other parts that need to be fit or adjusted.

July 9, 2004, 08:21 PM
Too money to spend on the tools, even assuming you've got a lathe. The proper vises and wrenches are big bucks, so unless you're spinning barrels several times a year, I agree -- send it to the factory.

September 24, 2004, 04:57 PM
This is where the difference between the home gunsmith and the professional become apparent. The pro has, and can justify the cost of buying, specialized tools for jobs like this. As an amateur I removed the barrel from a rifle once. Putting that same barrel back on wasn't as easy as I thought it would be but I got it finally. Best to let a shop do it.

September 24, 2004, 06:58 PM
Over the years I've seen a good number of firearms that were ruined by the notion that a gun barrel is "just a piece of threaded pipe" that can be screwed on and off at will.

Gun barrels, especially revolver barrels MUST be carefully fitted by someone with the tooling, the knowledge, and experience to do it right.

There's MUCH more to it than just screwing a barrel on, and in fact, that's just the FIRST step of many.

Few people ever consider, or even know about establishing the barrel/cylinder gap, head-spacing, and proper cutting and gaging of the forcing cone.

I once actually DID see a grown man cry, when he brought his Python in to find out what was wrong with it.
What was wrong was a do-it-yourself re-barrel with the infamous hammer handle-through-the-frame trick.

Result, a completely ruined Python.

In my experience, the old adage "Everybody is an expert car mechanic, watchmaker, and gunsmith" is all too true.

October 17, 2004, 01:17 PM
If you're NOT a full blown machinist (as a gunsmith, that's only one talent we are taught and use), with all the tools, including the barrel press/clamps (I've used both setups), then just pay someone. It's cheaper if you aren't going to do it but once or twice. AND if THEY screw it up it's on their head, NOT YOURS.

IF you are, then by all means, have at it.

October 18, 2004, 10:24 AM
Thanks for all your thoughtful responses. I would certainly have a qualified gunsmith do the job if not the factory itself. One thing though, I'd love to watch the process up close just to marvel at the expertise it takes to perform such a task. Are there any videos that show it being done?