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Small frame 45 revolver

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Jon Eulette
Bill Mccaughey
Dan Webb
BE Mike
NuJudge
WesG
Axehandle
LenV
Tim:H11
Allgoodhits
RoyDean
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Post by RoyDean Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:03 pm

Most of the 45 revolvers mentioned on this forum are N frames. My hands are medium, but shortish fingers, I Double Action sustained fire and find the N frame too big for me.

Are there any 45 revolvers built on a smaller frame?

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Post by Allgoodhits Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:42 pm

RoyDean wrote:Most of the 45 revolvers mentioned on this forum are N frames. My hands are medium, but shortish fingers, I Double Action sustained fire and find the N frame too big for me.

Are there any 45 revolvers built on a smaller frame?
I know of none. I would be interested as well. Charter Arms made a 5 shot .44 Special called a Bulldog, so a 5 shot .45 acp on a smaller frame is possible. Until then, narrowed trigger and the smallest grips I can find will have to do.
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Post by Tim:H11 Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:45 pm

Due to the caliber size, which kind of dictates a minimal cylinder size, 45’s are usually a large frame revolver. I’ve actually never seen a medium size frame in 45..
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Post by LenV Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:09 am

You might want to look at a Redhawk Small frame 45 revolver Screen18
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Post by Axehandle Thu Dec 23, 2021 6:58 am

Smaller 45?  Charter Arms Pitbull
Small frame 45 revolver KUH9gJa
Small frame 45 revolver 6eh4fyC

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Post by WesG Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:57 am

I think SW makes a 5 shot 44 mag on an L frame. Pretty much the same thing as the 44 Sp I have, only available without paying collector pricing. Would be a ton of work to convert,  but make a really sweet gun I think.

Ruger has made distributor exclusive 5 shot GP-100's in 44 Sp.

Again, a lot of work. I don't think the cylinders could be reamed out to 45 without leaving some ugly remnants behind. Maybe wait until someone orders a batch of 41's ;-)


Last edited by WesG on Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by NuJudge Thu Dec 23, 2021 12:43 pm

The grips on most of the S&W N frame revolvers I have are way larger than the actual grip frame.  One of my N frame .357 revolvers was made before they started calling it the Model 27, and its grips are much smaller than the others, but the actual frame is the same.  If you have a smaller hand, get smaller grips.

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Post by BE Mike Fri Dec 24, 2021 10:02 am

WesG wrote:I think SW makes a 5 shot 44 mag on an L frame. Pretty much the same thing as the 44 Sp I have, only available without paying collector pricing. Would be a ton of work to convert,  but make a really sweet gun I think.

Ruger has made distributor exclusive 5 shot GP-100's in 44 Sp.

Again, a lot of work. I don't think the cylinders could be reamed out to 45 without leaving some ugly remnants behind. Maybe wait until someone orders a batch of 41's ;-)
Smith & Wesson's model 69 wouldn't be my choice for a bullseye pistol. It is very light weight. My buddy has one. The titanium frame, when heated up from shooting, ends up binding up the cylinder. He's sent it back to S&W for this issue and it is a little better, but the problem remains.
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Post by WesG Fri Dec 24, 2021 1:14 pm

I don't see anything on SW's site, or reviews, that suggests the M-69 is anything other than stainless steel throughout. Claimed weight is 37.4oz for the 4.25" barrel version.

The 329 has an aluminum frame and Ti cylinder, 25.2oz, and it's an N frame. Maybe what your buddy has?

My 696 is 35.5, my old K-38 is 36.4, and my 1911 is 37.1. So I think the 69 is in the ballpark weight wise. But there's still the issue of a cylinder. The barrel is the new 2 piece liner/shroud system, so that should be relatively easy.

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Post by Dan Webb Sat Dec 25, 2021 10:05 am

What specs. would be wanted if S&W made a  model 69 .45 ACP? Barrell length? Contour? Grips? Sights? 

This doesn't have to be an impossible dream. TALO Distributors contracts small runs of interesting firearms from several major gun makers. Most of them are just made for the "cool/different" factor. Although the the sights on their Glock 43 GloPro are as nice of a carry sight that I've ever seen. I own a TALO Ruger 10/22 with a skip lined checkered French walnut stock that is just plain classy looking.

I'm sure TALO would at least listen to an idea for a "TALO Bullseye .45" revolver. Let's hear the specs. that you guys would want. Heck, I've never been interested in bullseye revolver mostly because I have small hands. I'd be interested in a "TALO Bullseye .45" revolver.
                                      http://www.taloinc.com/

                                                     Merry Christmas!
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Post by Dan Webb Sat Dec 25, 2021 10:53 am

BE Mike wrote:
WesG wrote:I think SW makes a 5 shot 44 mag on an L frame. Pretty much the same thing as the 44 Sp I have, only available without paying collector pricing. Would be a ton of work to convert,  but make a really sweet gun I think.

Ruger has made distributor exclusive 5 shot GP-100's in 44 Sp.

Again, a lot of work. I don't think the cylinders could be reamed out to 45 without leaving some ugly remnants behind. Maybe wait until someone orders a batch of 41's ;-)
Smith & Wesson's model 69 wouldn't be my choice for a bullseye pistol. It is very light weight. My buddy has one. The titanium frame, when heated up from shooting, ends up binding up the cylinder. He's sent it back to S&W for this issue and it is a little better, but the problem remains.
That's incorrect Mike.
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Post by RoyDean Sat Dec 25, 2021 11:39 am

Interesting. 

Get a 6" bull barrel fitted - no need for a front or rear sight as I would mount a micro red dot anyhow. Don't know what it might take to get the cylinder modified to 45ACP with moon clips. Trigger job. Grips as preferred.

Does not sound like a huge project for the right revolver smith. 

Interesting.

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Post by Dan Webb Sat Dec 25, 2021 12:35 pm

Everyone has to remember that limited run would be 500 or so units. They need to be able to sell these. There'd be a way better chance of something like this coming to fruition if it could be used for Distinguished Revolver as well as bullseye and also appeal to some non-competitive shooters. I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about Distinguished Revolver. Let's hear some wishes and ideas.

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Post by WesG Sat Dec 25, 2021 1:01 pm

Type and type, hit send. Shows my post. Come back to edit ... nothing. Soooooo frustrating.

So a short version, which is more in line with Dan's post. It's gotta be universal. I was suggesting interchangeable sights, but BE would be such a small market it's more practical to leave that to a specialty gunsmith. Or a Bomar style rib perhaps.

5" full underlug barrel. Off the shelf Hogue or Pachmayr grips. Combat trigger. Standard (ish) S&W sights.

Small frame Ruger? I've only fired a few rds from a friend's 327. Remember NOTHING about the gun itself, just the blast and sharp recoil. Hence my daydreaming about converting my 929 ...

One more thing, as long as we're dreaming ...

A 1-13 twist.

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Post by BE Mike Sat Dec 25, 2021 2:15 pm

WesG wrote:I don't see anything on SW's site, or reviews, that suggests the M-69 is anything other than stainless steel throughout. Claimed weight is 37.4oz for the 4.25" barrel version.

The 329 has an aluminum frame and Ti cylinder, 25.2oz, and it's an N frame. Maybe what your buddy has?

My 696 is 35.5, my old K-38 is 36.4, and my 1911 is 37.1. So I think the 69 is in the ballpark weight wise. But there's still the issue of a cylinder. The barrel is the new 2 piece liner/shroud system, so that should be relatively easy.
My buddy's revolver is a model 69. I've shot it with his .44 SPL handloads that are pretty mild. It does feel much lighter than my model 19 with 4 inch barrel, but I never weighed it. He claims that they are around 700 fps. He told me that it had titanium, so he might be wrong. I know that he says he can't fire 50 rounds through it at an outing without it binding up. It would bind up much sooner before he sent it off. I don't think he has fired many .44 Mag. rounds through it. He says the recoil is very stout with magnum ammo. Like I said, it still wouldn't be my choice in a .45 ACP revolver for bullseye shooting.
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Post by WesG Sat Dec 25, 2021 3:05 pm

M-19, a K frame? SW spec shows them roughly the same weight as a 4" barrel 69. A few oz heavier than the 2-3/4.

I've got a 4" M-29, '80 vintage. No too bad with 8.5 Unique and 240's, but not a lot of fun with hot stuff. It used to be, when I was young and dumb(er). The 29 Classic is a bit better, but I'm getting old and soft, so whatever jacketed stuff I have loaded might stay that way, or I'll treat my 'friends' to it. Don't think I'll EVER use the Super-14 barrel again.

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Post by Dan Webb Sun Dec 26, 2021 2:16 pm

In my above post I stated that I know nothing about distinguished revolver. After reading the rules, I guess my post proved that I know nothing about it. Has to be a .38 Special.

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Post by Bill Mccaughey Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:29 pm

No mention of the 1917.

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Post by WesG Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:31 pm

Or the 1950/55? All large frames, correct? Equivalent to an 'N'? Or that is the N frame?

I did some eyeball measure of the bore height above the web of my hand. I think the L frame was about 1/4" lower than an N. Should have written it down.

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Post by RoyDean Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:35 pm

There is a S&W model 69 4" stainless on GB, said to be unfired. 44 magnum. 5 shot cylinder. L frame.

I assume that 45ACP bullets would go through that barrel with no problem. Worst case, get a new 5" or 6" barrel made.

I think that several revolver smiths convert 45 long Colt cylinders to 45ACP by milling out for a moon clip. Can the same be done to a 44 magnum?

Any other issues?


Last edited by RoyDean on Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RoyDean Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:39 pm

44 mag specs:-
Parent case
.44 S&W Special
Case type
Rimmed, straight
Bullet diameter
.429 in (10.9 mm)
Land diameter
.417 in (10.6 mm)
Neck diameter
.457 in (11.6 mm)
Base diameter
.457 in (11.6 mm)
Rim diameter
.514 in (13.1 mm)
Rim thickness
.060 in (1.5 mm)
Case length
1.285 in (32.6 mm)
Overall length
1.61 in (41 mm)
Case capacity
37.9 gr H2O (2.46 cm3)
Primer type
Large Pistol
Maximum pressure
36,000 psi (250 MPa)

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Post by RoyDean Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:41 pm

Case type
Rimless, straight
Bullet diameter
.450 in (11.4 mm)
Land diameter
.442 in (11.2 mm)
Neck diameter
.473 in (12.0 mm)
Base diameter
.476 in (12.1 mm)
Rim diameter
.480 in (12.2 mm)
Rim thickness
.049 in (1.2 mm)
Case length
.898 in (22.8 mm)
45 ACP Specs:-
Overall length
1.275 in (32.4 mm)
Case capacity
26.7 gr H2O (1.73 cm3)

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Post by RoyDean Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:48 pm

OK. My assumption was wrong, barrel is too tight for 45 bullets!

OK. Get it sleeved with a 1:13. Or a complete new barrel.

Cylinder would need to be reamed, honed, machined or whatever to suit 45ACP. 20 Thou bigger holes. 0.10" less meat on the cylinder wall? Problem? I guess that Bullseye 45ACP Loads would be OK. Get the gun proofed?

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Post by WesG Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:17 am

Chamber is gonna look something like this:

Small frame 45 revolver Cyl_4413

I'm not terribly concerned with the chamber walls. The 696 is only .050 to begin with. Could probably get at least half of that back by enlarging the OD a skosh.

Gonna need moon clips too. Fortunately, I know a guy with a laser ...


Last edited by WesG on Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:42 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Jon Eulette Tue Dec 28, 2021 12:35 am

Wes, can you describe your chamber in more detail?
Thanks 
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