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Thread: Rebuilding a S&W model 57

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Rebuilding a S&W model 57

    Hellow members.
    Today, I get to go pick up my new to me Ruger SBH Hunter .41 magnum. It finally made it here from Arkansas.
    My plan in getting the Ruger, was to give my model 57 a bit of a rest. I bought it in 72, and it's been well used. The other day while cleaning it, I noticed a crack that started at the forcing cone, and ran down the bore, give or take, 9/16". I have been shooting hotter loads, over the last few months, but not over maximum. I want to get it rebuilt. I called S&W and ask about a replacement barrel. The person on the other end (CS) said they had no barrels. I can understand that, being the vintage it is. I need to have it checked by a "good" gunsmith, and have him check the frame. I would like to replace the cylinder as well. Here's the question: If the frame checks out, is there much of a timing procedure to be done, to fit another cylinder to the frame and barrel?
    I have found a cylinder, but dont want to invest in it until the gunsmith checks it out.
    Any help is very much appreciated.
    Regards

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    S&W still makes a 6" barrel model 57, they have barrels, maybe not at the moment.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Frank Glenn out of Phoenix Arizona is who Id use:

    http://glenncustom.com/

    Ive seen him work and hes a master revolversmith from back in the day.

    Call him and Im sure he will be able to guide you in this endeavor.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    A barrel shouldn't be that hard to find. Why do you need a new cylinder? If the original cylinder is o.k., then timing it should be a matter of replacing and fitting a new cylinder bolt and hand, much smaller and less expensive parts. ATCDoktor's lead with Glenn Custom sounds like a good way to go.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I contacted Frank Glenn. He stated that the cylinder probably didn't need replacing. I was concerned because some of the edges of the cylinder grooves looked a little wore. One in particular has one small piece missing on the edge. However, it does lock up solid. Meaning, when the hammer is pulled and drops with the trigger pulled back, the cylinder locks up very tight. As for the barrel, the newer version barrels will not replace the older barrels?
    That makes no sense, same thread, right? Just a matter of mating it to the frame, and it fitting to the cylinder, right? I would think that S&W would have plenty of them in stock.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    It could be the timing of the threads. But, a barrel, even a new/old barrel, is probably obtainable from one of the parts houses like Numrich Gun Parts.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Are you referring to TPI. aka, threads per inch?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, I'm on the hunt.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlejack View Post
    Are you referring to TPI. aka, threads per inch?
    Not exactly. It's the length of the barrel shank and how many threads are on it, but not the TPI. But if the shank is longer or shorter there will be more threads on it, and so when you screw it into the frame the barrel won't necessarily stop top dead center, but off to one side or the other. The TPI is the same, just more or less threads and revolutions. But a barrel made for a specific generation model of revolver, the same run, has a good chance of turning up correctly to TDC. (top dead center) So, example, if your Mod. 57 was made in the early 1970s and you can get a barrel, either surplus or takeoff from that era, there's a good chance it will fit properly. However, even one that isn't timed correctly can be adjusted by a competent revolversmith.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Ok, I see. That makes sense.
    Thanks for the information.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Let us know how this comes out please....

    If you look on ebay and GunBroker there are regularly used, most like new, 57 barrels for sale for that era. Even if it is a non-pinned barrel from the 1980s it is still the same thread add the groove for the retaining pin can be cut into the threads.


    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/859825177
    Last edited by ReloaderFred; 04-03-2020 at 01:17 AM. Reason: ebay links aren't allowed on this forum.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Bob.
    I've been looking at those. First off, I need to have the frame checked out. I'll keep ya'll informed of the progress.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Isn't there a difference in the threading of the pinned barrels from the 70's and the newer crush-fit threading of newer barrels? Maybe that's the reason S&W doesn't have a barrel in inventory for a '72 vintage revolver. It may be a job for their custom shop.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Not sure how set you are on a factory barrel or your budget but it is obvious you have history with the gun. Maybe a nice air gauged custom barrel fitted by a good smith? Bowen has done amazing things along those lines. Heck buy yourself a present and gussie that old friend up a bit. It would probably shoot like a rifle.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Have seen numerous Model 57 barrels for sale on different Gun Broker and Guns International adds. Thumbcocker is on the right track possibly as I would have one built up like my deceased friend Kent Lomont. His was a Model 29 built by Ron Powers with an 8 and 3/8's Douglas 1 inch diameter bull barrel topped off with full length Bomar rib and tuned action. Boy was that thing sweet!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Norske, I did find out that the custom shop is about 3-4 months behind. Still, it is an option.
    Thumbcocker/Don, just wanting to bring the 57 up to operating mode. Nothing fancy. I have the new to me Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter to keep me occupied.
    Thank you all for you input.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Purcell View Post
    Have seen numerous Model 57 barrels for sale on different Gun Broker and Guns International adds. Thumbcocker is on the right track possibly as I would have one built up like my deceased friend Kent Lomont. His was a Model 29 built by Ron Powers with an 8 and 3/8's Douglas 1 inch diameter bull barrel topped off with full length Bomar rib and tuned action. Boy was that thing sweet!
    I remember that gun! I saw some groups he shot at 100yds with a Ransom rest and they were amazing. 1 big ole' ugly hole.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    The first time I went shooting and camping with Kent he handed it to me and said "Try this out". He let me shoot it as much as I wanted which wasn't enough. That was Thanksgiving weekend of 1980. He eventually cracked the forcing cone and frame and sent it back to Ron Powers to be repaired. I happened to be talking to Powers on the phone when he told me about it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    I can't recall the exact number of of rounds he said that gun had through it but the number was astonishing to me, and it still shot 1" groups at 100 yds. Kent was a pioneer for us handgun hunters along with Major George Nonte and Lee Jurras. We owe them and Steve Herrett much. Apologies for the hijack.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I met Kent face to face for the first time at the 1980 NRA Convention in Kansas City after several phone calls between us. That Thanksgiving was when I shot the gun and he told me he had over 15,000 through it then.

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