View Full Version : Barrel replacement on a model 10
February 8, 2005, 01:37 PM
I have an old model 10-5 Smith and it has a 5-1/2" or so barrel. I saw that J&G sales has barrels for them for like $30 or so, what does it take to swap barrels on them, and will any model 10 barrel work? I am looking to put on a 2" or so barrel.
February 8, 2005, 02:43 PM
Please don't think I am attacking you personally, but why do you want such a short barrel? Yes you can have it your way, but you will give up a tremendous amount of accuracy and speed.
What is involved is pulling of the barrel with a barrel vise and reciever wrench. Then screwing the new barrel on. and indexing it up with the sight. Then going through checking everything as to headspace and fit of the cylinders. This will be a whole lot of money to do what you want done. In the end, you end up with a revolver that doesn't point and shoot well and then being mad at the smith that did the work. Go buy a snub nose .38 or .357 and avoid messing up a good gun. Then when you shoot the snub, come back and tell me if you like it.
February 8, 2005, 02:48 PM
I'm no expert but I think you can get just about any kind of barrel you want. There are several barrels to choose from in the model 10 family. Our household has two of those revolvers. My mother owns a Model 10-7 with a 2 inch barrel. (A large frame snubby) My father owns a model 10 Military and Police with a light 4 inch barrel that tapers down. Minus the barrel, they are the EXACT SAME FRAME. The only thing different about them is the barrel length. You can also get a 4 inch heavy barrel which is heavier and bulkier than the model 10 light barrel that tapers down (always makes the gun look like a birds beak to me)
There are also older types of barrels with different sights. The older models have a half moon shape sight while newer ones have sight with a slant down the back like a ramp.
Here is the four inch heavy barrel with rubber grips http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com/store/index.php3?cat=293468&item=831439&sw_activeTab=1
These are model 64 versions of the gun in four inch and two inch (Same gun as the model 10 except 64 is stainless steel)
Here is a model 10 2 inch barrel http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/pr4022.htm
And here is the 4 inch light barrel http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/pr3751.htm
Compare them all. You can see that apart from the barrel it is essentially the same frame.
BTW, what Countryboy says prior to my message is essentially true. It probably will cost a lot of money. Since they still make the model 10 your best bet would be to either buy a model 64 2 inch barrel or get a used 2 inch barrel and send it to the factory (which will do quality work and I understand the S&W factory is better about fixing older guns) with the gun or buy used model 10 2 inch barrel. Personally, I'd keep the current 5 inch barrel on the gun and buy a used 2 inch barrel gun because like Countryboy said it will cost a lot of money and you can find these model 10 guns in various kinds all over used and new. I do disagree with what Countryboy said about the 2 inch barrel. My mother's model 10-7 is two inch and it shoots just fine in terms of accuracy. Although it is true that you do give up power behind the bullet and some degree of accuracy....(accuracy depending on the range of your target)
Hope this helps,
February 8, 2005, 08:01 PM
Replacing revolver barrels isn't something to be attempted UNLESS you are willing to spend some fairly big bucks on tooling, and learn the right way to use it.
So you can see what's involved, here's how to re-barrel a revolver:
First, S&W revolvers have gone through many changes over the years and barrels MAY not interchange at all, or ribs and lugs may not match up with the frame.
USED barrels MAY not be usable AT ALL.
When changing barrel lengths, you often have to also change ejector rods.
After making sure the barrel is compatible AND usable, the old barrel is removed by using a fitted barrel vise and a fitted frame wrench.
WARNING: The old "hammer handle through the frame" trick is pretty well guaranteed to bend, spring, crack, or break the frame.
Many good guns have been ruined by this "shade tree gunsmith" trick.
DON'T DO IT, no matter who tells you it's OK and works fine.
They won't be standing by to buy you a new gun.
With the barrel off, the replacement is screwed on and how much rotation is needed to bring the front sight up to top-dead-center is judged.
The barrel is put in a lathe and the required amount of metal is turned off the barrel shoulder.
The barrel is screwed on and torqued properly, again using barrel blocks and a frame wrench.
The barrel/cylinder gap is properly cut to specs using a special cutter kit that works down the bore.
After the barrel/cylinder gap is set, the forcing cone is cut, using another special cutter kit that also works down the bore, AND a by very carefully measuring with a special forcing cone gage.
The barrel/cylinder gap MUST be set to a narrow spec or accuracy is lost and the gun can spit bullet fragments.
The forcing cone ABSOLUTELY MUST be cut in a new barrel, or re-cut in a used barrel.
The CRITICAL measurement is the outside diameter of the forcing cone.
If that diameter is slightly too big or too little, accuracy is gone.
The specification is VERY narrow, and it CANNOT be "eyeballed"
After the barrel work is finished, if a different length barrel was installed, the ejector rod assembly must be changed out.
The tooling is expensive, and there ARE no "expedient" methods that won't potentially ruin a good gun.
The old "make it work" gunsmiths used the hammer handle, a file to set barrel/cylinder gap, and never even suspected there was something needed in the forcing cone.
This is also why many otherwise fine old S&W and Colt revolvers won't shoot well. A close look finds "tweaked" frames, cracks through the frame's barrel thread area, and other damage.
Bottom line: If you want a revolver re-barreled, either find a qualified pistolsmith, or buy the tools and learn how to use them.
Otherwise, what USED to be a nice gun, is just another piece of junk like so many others.
February 8, 2005, 08:35 PM
No offense taken by any one or anything like that. I have thick skin most of the time. I do these things just to do them, as a hobby, etc. I see the parts available and have the donor gun, I want to try it out. I like the concept of a large frame snubby because most snubbies do not fit my hand well, and this gun does. It is old and less than 50% in finish, but still locks up tight and has an awesome trigger. I a mnoit worried about ballistics, I have other guns for that. Thank you guys for the info.
February 9, 2005, 02:17 PM
I hate that noise when the frame cracks while you are trying to get a 50 year old barrel out of that gun. Good Luck.
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