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S&W 500 with a Dan Wesson inspired mod~
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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 3:36 pm
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After owning several DW wheel guns in the past I borrowed one of its best attributes and applied it to my S&W 500 Magnum revolver. Its not normal to put a new revolver in a band saw but the results can be interesting......

 

If you are curious what a S&W 500 with the 8 3/8" factory comp barrel looks like removed and the various parts look inside......

The end goal is a 6" barrel S&W 500 with external barrel but / no comp.

 

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cal50
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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 3:50 pm
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Time to start machining parts..... Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics.

I put the saw cut barrel shroud in the lathe, set it up with a 4-jaw chuck to face the saw cut end square and parallel to the opposite end of the shroud ( the end that contacts the frame ).

Face off in lathe~

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This was a simple and not a hard thing to do. I still need to mill a .250 slot and tap a hole for the new front sight base but that's another day. I put the saw cut barrel in the lathe and faced off the saw cut end. I then cut an 11 degree crown and polished it up so its burr free and nice looking.
Now that the barrel is faced and crowned it needs threads for its new barrel nut. S&W uses a 36 pitch thread in the frame and barrel so I am using the same 36 pitch for the new muzzle nut & OD barrel threads. This is a simple single point thread cutting job. I could not find my favorite flip tip carbide tool so I used my other good threading tool. I cut the threads until I have a sharp "V" thread.

Cutting threads~

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Once the barrel threads were finished I looked around for a piece of O-1 tool steel to make a new barrel nut from. I will heat treat the nut and finish it in black Cerrakote or similar when I wrap it up.The only material I had was 1 1/4 diameter so I turned it down to .875 ( the width of the barrel shroud ), drilled and bored the ID to the proper diameter for threading.

Now its single point threading the ID threads~

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Once I got close to size I used the barrel I just threaded as a gauge to fit the nut to. This amounts to getting close in size then making .001 diameter passes and test fitting the barrel and nut together. On fine pitch threads .001 a pass does not sound like a lot but it really is.

Test fit~

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Once I was satisfied with the proper fit the nut was removed from the lathe chuck. If it did not fit its a pain in rear to try to pick up the thread lead and forget about finding a tap that size...

I wiped down the barrel shroud, screwed the barrel into the frame, slid the shroud on and.....

Nice threads and crown~

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Side view~

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Now I screwed on the barrel nut and calling it a night. The nut is WAY long and I will use a groove tool to cut it to the exposed barrel length and have enough left over for a extra. I will need to face the nut to length then mill slots to engage a tool to tighten it ( I have not made it yet ).

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I might add a radius to the front under lug on the barrel, undecided now.

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 3:54 pm
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Some progress on my project-

My cut down shroud now has no front sight or base. I am using a quick change gunsmith base that requires a .250 slot milled into the shroud and a 6-48 hole drilled and tapped to retain it. First I needed to do a little math and see how high my factory / stock sight was. With the sight blade installed it measures 1.9405 so I want to duplicate this height with my new sight and base. A quick measurement of the base & sight sitting on top of the shroud and subtracting the two gave me a difference of .084 milling depth into the shroud to duplicate the same sight height.

The cut off section measurement- 1.9405

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The shroud with new base installed- 1.9410

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The difference is .0005 thousandths and I can live with that.

Slot milled / hole tapped-

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Tapping the hole straight-

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Looks good-

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 3:57 pm
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After a detour for family related health issues some progress....

I milled notches in my soon to be barrel nut that will mate with the tool I have not made yet to tighten it down. This a A2 tool steel and I have not heat treated it yet.

Milling .093 slots-

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After its cut and faced off to length to match flush with the exposed barrel threads-

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I added a radius on the bottom of the shroud for cosmetic appeal. It has not been buffed up yet to a mirror shine.

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The business end with nut hand tight-

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An idea how the new profile will look. Think of it as my pistol having a massive nose job....
The balance is MUCH improved.

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 4:00 pm
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Wrapping up my project....

I heat treated my barrel nut and spanner tool. I made them from A2 air hardening tool steel. I flame hardened and normalized them. The black finish is just quench oil that once the parts cooled I dunked them in quench oil and put them back in the oven and let it burn off. Its temporary until I have other parts to finish. The spanner tool I inserted a donor craftsman socket for the 3/8 drive so I can attach it to a hand breaker bar or torque wrench.

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 4:03 pm
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My barrel had a burr on the area around the forcing cone / barrel face. I  removed it, lapped the barrel face flat then polished it. There is no  way you can accurately measure or set the barrel gap with a burr on this  surface. Maybe this is why my gun measured .010 which was on the high  side. I will be setting it to .005 which is a nice middle of the road  size.
I applied some anti-seize to the barrel threads and inserted into the frame.

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New gap set- DW Old School!

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What  is left to do is tighten the barrel nut. I torqued it firmly and will  need to test fire. It should be similar to my old Dan Wesson but I will  keep an eye on it.

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I  dropped my gun on the scales to see how much weight I lopped off. The  beam balance said it weighs 1781.5 grams or 62.8 ounces. I did not weigh  the stock gun but S&W lists it at 71.9 ounces so this would be a  weight loss of 9.1 ounces. I can REALLY fell the difference and it  balances Sooooo much nicer now.

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The final pics-

It  was a fun to do project and I now have a pair of guns that share the  same caliber in title and model but feel completely different.

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brucertx
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June 13, 2015 - 4:37 pm
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Wow. That is some impressive craftsmanship. Thank for sharing. How many man hours did you put into the project?

To the paranoid people who check behind shower curtains for murderers:

if you find one...what's your plan?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bikeridertim
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June 13, 2015 - 5:53 pm
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3efb0b6e-b7be-477f-9e74-396eb4b5917e_zpse6db0b24.JPG

 

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 5:57 pm
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brucertx said
Wow. That is some impressive craftsmanship. Thank for sharing. How many man hours did you put into the project?I

I did not keep track. I am a toolmaker by trade and do my own gun plumbing projects so it's more a hobby. Cylinder & Slide offers a similar conversion but it's pricy IMHO.

S&W has a patent for their barrel mounting process. It offers zero to the owner but makes it easier for S&W to assemble revolvers and is a cost save for manufacturing.

Dan Wesson still hit it out of the park IMHO

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zoommb
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June 13, 2015 - 6:19 pm
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D2X_0011_x_sm.jpg

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brucertx
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June 13, 2015 - 6:32 pm
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cal50 said

brucertx said
Wow. That is some impressive craftsmanship. Thank for sharing. How many man hours did you put into the project?I

I did not keep track. I am a toolmaker by trade and do my own gun plumbing projects so it's more a hobby. Cylinder & Slide offers a similar conversion but it's pricy IMHO.

S&W has a patent for their barrel mounting process. It offers zero to the owner but makes it easier for S&W to assemble revolvers and is a cost save for manufacturing.

Dan Wesson still hit it out of the park IMHO

So... is there a range report in our future??? big-grin

To the paranoid people who check behind shower curtains for murderers:

if you find one...what's your plan?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 8:06 pm
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brucertx said

cal50 said

brucertx said
Wow. That is some impressive craftsmanship. Thank for sharing. How many man hours did you put into the project?I

I did not keep track. I am a toolmaker by trade and do my own gun plumbing projects so it's more a hobby. Cylinder & Slide offers a similar conversion but it's pricy IMHO.

S&W has a patent for their barrel mounting process. It offers zero to the owner but makes it easier for S&W to assemble revolvers and is a cost save for manufacturing.

Dan Wesson still hit it out of the park IMHO

So... is there a range report in our future??? big-grin

 

Yep.

I need to get my video camera and my three (3) 500 mags to the range for a muzzle rise comparison.

I have a performance center 10 1/2" , another ported 8 3/8" and my shortened 6" no comp I want to shoot side by side to demonstrate the muzzle rise difference. I have some stout Sierra JSP's loaded up to around 1800 fps and are punishing on the sending and receiving end.

 

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cal50
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June 13, 2015 - 8:07 pm
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bikeridertim said
WOW! Very nice work, and I'm a machinist!

drooldrooloccasionoccasion

 

....be careful when cutting your guns in half......

 

surprised

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June 13, 2015 - 9:24 pm
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You did an excellent "Dan Wesson" style barrel shroud conversion that S&W 500. It was quite a pleasure to see your work like this!

If I owned a 500 Smith and Wesson revolver, I would want it to be done just that way myself.

My hat is off to you sir. You possess an incredible skill set, and you performed an amazing job with the removable barrel, threading, and muzzle nut on that 500 Revolver. I would guess that if you wanted, you could sell such a conversion like this to others quite easily.

Thank you very much for sharing it with us all.

 

- Bullwolf

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photohause
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June 14, 2015 - 12:45 pm
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"my three (3) 500 mags"

 

Are they named Chip, Ernie, and Rob?

Very nice job...you are excellent at your craft. Thanks for sharing.

 If you're going to drink, don't drive. Don't even putt. 

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June 14, 2015 - 3:03 pm
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Very nice work! Thanks for sharing the build with us here.occasion

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cal50
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June 14, 2015 - 3:46 pm
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For those that want a similar conversion Cylinder & Slide does something similar but adds barrel porting into the barrel sides and clears the barrel shroud.

 

 

http://www.cylinder-slide.com/sw500.shtml

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bunny
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June 14, 2015 - 4:07 pm
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cal50 said
Its not normal to put a new revolver in a band saw but the results can be interesting......

I want that on a T-shirt.

Very nice post cal50.

Regards,

-d

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cal50
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June 14, 2015 - 8:37 pm
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bunny said

cal50 said
Its not normal to put a new revolver in a band saw but the results can be interesting......

I want that on a T-shirt.

Very nice post cal50.

Regards,

-d

 

LOL!

I made multiple jumps from a perfectly good aircraft , which defies logic as well!

 (Fun stuff when it works )

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