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Thread: Model 16-3 S&W Homage

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Model 16-3 S&W Homage

    Well, something over a year ago I was offered (and snapped up) an original K-32 barrel, so I did what any self respecting S&W lover would have done... I gathered up a reasonably nice Model 14-3 and a K-22 cylinder and took the whole package to a respected gunsmith with instructions to do as Smith did lo those many years ago and recreate a Model 16-3 conversion. (the M16 was such a slow mover they would use M14 frames and add the necessary parts to make 32 S&Ws out of them.) Mr Gunsmith got all the parts last November and I got a call from him that he is mechanically done and needs only to blue the cylinder due to the alterations he needed to do on it.

    I should be able to pick it up Friday afternoon. Stay tuned for the range report! (Yes, I am more than a little psyched!)

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Froggie, we are brothers in spirit. Please post photos and a range report when you get your breathing rate under control.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I'm a bit envious. Please post pictures when you can.

  4. #4
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    Ditto on the Range report and pictures.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Color me green. I have always wanted a set of the K frame triplets.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Color me green. I have always wanted a set of the K frame triplets.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Mine will be a set of non-identical triplets since the K-22 and K-38 are 5 screw, narrow ribbed examples from 1948, while the K-32 will be a "younger" Model 16-3 vintage 1971. The family resemblance will still be pretty strong, though.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Froggie;
    That sounds like a DANDY! I can hardly wait to see and shoot it!

    You do know that this calls for another "North/South .32 Skirmish" do you not? I will practice tirelessly in order to uphold the honor of the north

    Dale53

  8. #8
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    Nobody ever offers me stuff like that! Congratulations! I eagerly await photos.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Whatever you do, don't make a "Canadian K-32".

    About 40 years ago, I saw a gun on a gunshow table that was labeled as a "Canadian K-32 Masterpiece". Someone had a real barrel from a K-32. I don't know if the chamber was real or if it was machined from something else. My guess was it was real. They married the two to a S&W Model 10 frame. It was an abomination. In addition, it was about 3 times what a K-22 or K38 cost at the time. I think he would have gotten that much if he had sold the barrel and cylinder alone.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Can hardly wait to see the pics Frog..... I love my converted Model 53...was just shooting it last week.

    I forget...did you have it chambered for .327?

    What are you going to use for loads?

    Bob

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Since this barrel was an original K-32 barrel and since I had already built a 327 FM (“Project 616”) this was a complete homage to the original Masterpiece Series, a copy of the Model 16-3 in 32 S&W Long. While my barrel was original NOS, the cylinder was made from a reworked K-22 cylinder and like the factory sometimes did in the early ‘70s the frame I used was a Model 14-3.

    As soon as I finish all my correspondence this morning, I plan to go down to the shop and load some HBWC bullets over light loads of either Bullseye or Unique (I’ve got to check which I can throw better with my equipment) and take them, along with some jacketed stuff from Georgia Arms and hit the indoor range. Meanwhile, here is a quick iPad photo of the finished gun. Ignore the grips... they were just put on it to give the gunsmith something to hold onto while he was doing his work.

    Froggie
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    "It aint easy being green!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM52 View Post
    Can hardly wait to see the pics Frog..... I love my converted Model 53...was just shooting it last week.

    I forget...did you have it chambered for .327?

    What are you going to use for loads?

    Bob
    Howdy, Bob. I have a M53 barrel awaiting such ministrations. Who rebored yours, please?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Nueces,

    For several years, the go-to guy was Jim DuBell in Washington State. Unfortunately, he is no longer in business, so it will be interesting to find out who can and will do this kind of work now. An alternative is to do as Jebus35745 did on one of his guns, start with a blank and have a custom barrel turned for your gun... the gunsmith who just completed my Model 16-3 homage told me yesterday that that would be his suggestion and that he is set up to do this since he still builds PPC revolvers. You might do better this way even that reboring the Model 53 barrel, which you could then sell to recoup some of your costs.

    Update on MY progress: I found what was left of a large box of swaged Hornaday SWCs that I have used in the past. Since they are a "known quantity" I went on and loaded them up for my range test today. This way I'll have factory round nose, factory reload JHPs and my "baseline" LSWCs to get a feel for what the gun wants to do and likes to eat.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Thanks, Froggie. I won't proceed unless I can use a properly contoured factory barrel with the proper markings, costs be hanged. Bob Sconce, of the old Miniature Machine Co (MMC) in Deming, NM, politely called me a purist. Yessir, that I be.

    Even barrel blanks with a 0.313" bore are hard to come by. I won't compromise on a 30 caliber bore. For the blank for a replacement fast twist barrel for my Dan Wesson 732 in 32 H&R, I found a new condition cutoff in 303 from Canada, bore was 0.3135", just about perfect for 0.314" bullets.

    I have a hang fire on another 32 rebore job, for a Wm Evans rook rifle with a trashy 25 bore, that one to be taken out to 32 H&R, a modern case version of the old 300 Rook.

    To quote George Patton, after an exchange with Omar Bradley, "Lord help me, I do love it so"

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    I've been looking for a model 53 barrel for quite a few years for a similar project in 32-20. Heck i'd even take a whole S & W Model 53 with an Aux. 22 LR cylinder and sell the Jet cylinder - That would probably be ideal for me. Sure like the look of the ejector rod shroud. Just call me crazy. My thoughts on the rebore would be Ham Bowen or Jim Stroh
    Being human is not for sissies.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by square butte View Post
    I've been looking for a model 53 barrel for quite a few years for a similar project in 32-20. Heck i'd even take a whole S & W Model 53 with an Aux. 22 LR cylinder and sell the Jet cylinder - That would probably be ideal for me. Sure like the look of the ejector rod shroud. Just call me crazy. My thoughts on the rebore would be Ham Bowen or Jim Stroh
    I’ve never dealt with Stroh, but Bowen announced several years ago that he would no longer work on S&Ws, only Rugers. If I had to bet, I’d guess that decision was driven by MIM parts and the Hillary lock. I do know that Bowen used DuBell for rebore work while Jim was still doing it, but I haven’t heard who does his rebore work now.

    Still haven’t gotten to the range yet today, visiting my aged mother at Senior Care. Did get ammo ready, so maybe before closing time!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Went to the local indoor range (25 yards) just before closing time today and was able to get in a quick half hour trigger time. Not optimal, but life keeps getting in the way! Regardless, I trekked in with a half a box of Georgia Arms JHPs, about the same number of Winchester Super X round nose factory ammo of indeterminate age, and most of a box of my standard reloads of 2.5 grains of Bullseye behind a Hornady 90 grain swaged lead SWC. Everything shot to just about the same POI at the 7.5 and 25 yd ranges I tried. Shooting one handed, bullseye style I shot about to the level I've ever shot with a revolver of late (amazing how rusty one can get in a short decade or two of laziness!) Anyway, I've got a box of 400 HBWCs and almost that many SWCs (both the discontinued swaged Hornady 90 grainers) so I'll load up a goodly supply of both and knock that rust off! The gun is as much like the original as it could possibly be and I'm very pleased with it. My cell phone camera is charging, so I'll put some pix in later.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I would ask John Taylor.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check