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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 12/22/2021, 7:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

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?

RoyDean

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Post by Jack H 12/27/2021, 11:37 pm

Do they make a round butt N frame?  and hogue n frame grips for it
A round butt k frame with hogue monogrip is much smaller that square butt grips
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Post by Jon Eulette 12/27/2021, 11:52 pm

Jack,
I had a 625 with the round butt. I always wanted one. But I didn’t like shooting it. Just to big for my liking, and not because of the grip, just the size of the revolver. I really like shooting a K frame revolver. The lighter cylinder weight/mass makes for a much nicer trigger pull.
I think Roy is on to something here. A 5 shot smaller frame would be sweet. Wish I had more time to try and make one.
Jon
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Post by WesG 12/28/2021, 12:02 am

Jon, thats just going off the dim's Roy posted.  There'd be a section of 44 chamber about 3/8" long before you got to the new 45 throat. If it were only .457 dia, it wouldnt be any worse than my first Colt single action ;-)

More meat, and it could be sleeved. But other than a new cyl9nder  the only option might be some sort of plasma spray to build it up. Seems sketchy.

If only the 41 were hugely popular.

My 696 44 special is a round butt. Same grip frame as a K. Feels MUCH better in my small hands than an N.

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Post by Wobbley 12/28/2021, 12:11 am

While a custom build MIGHT be feasible on one of the 5 shot 44magnum revolvers, the forcing cone section of the barrel might become thin enough to crack like the Model 19 357s.  Dunno?  Not that typical bullseye loads would, but the revolver would have to also be able to withstand the “+P” loads out there, if it was to be a factory item.  But even a “L” frame is a big heavy revolver.  Since the loads for bullseye are so low powered, I wonder if the old thin original grips like these might work better? (These are in ivory? But you get the idea)Small frame 45 revolver - Page 2 7fafe510
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Post by Axehandle 12/28/2021, 5:49 am

Look at the Ruger GP-100 and the Super Redhawk.  These two have simply a stud from the frame that attaches the grip.  That should give maximum flexibility about grip shape and position.

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Post by Dan Webb 12/28/2021, 11:46 am

Here's my wish list if TALO was to make/contract a medium frame 5 shot .45 acp revolver: Base gun would be a Smith' M69, polished unfluted cylinder, 5.5" slab sided barrel polished on the flat and bead blasted on the rounds, 1/2 length underlug would be machined to match barrel shape and finish, barrel drilled and tapped for a rib,  Bowen Classic Arms Rough Country target sights, Smith' checkered Grip N- Dale grips, and Smith and Wesson's master revolver action package.

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Post by Dcforman 12/28/2021, 12:14 pm

I think someone mentioned a 1917... when looking for a Colt revolver in 45 to match the OMM models, the only thing I found was the M1917, and I did find that DW King did modify a few with his adjustable sights. Not sure of the accuracy, or trigger, or how large the frame actually was, but it looked similar to the I/E frames of the OMM.

Dave

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Post by Dcforman 12/28/2021, 12:17 pm

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/911989214

Not King sights, but Micro.

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Post by Dcforman 12/28/2021, 12:23 pm

Did some research, looks like the Colt New Service frame (M1917) was actually larger than an N frame Sad

Dave

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Post by LenV 12/28/2021, 1:05 pm

Here is a little-known factoid. The X-frame uses K-frame RB grips. So S&W already makes a  45 for small hands.
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Post by WesG 12/28/2021, 3:07 pm

Barrel thread specs:

K frame: .540-36
L frame: .562-36
N frame: .670-36

GP-100: .625-24
Redhawk: .750-20


Cartridge pressures (SAAMI PSI):

327 Fed: 45k
9mm: 35k
38 Sp: 17.5k
38 Sp +P: 20k
38 Sp +P+: 22.5k
357 Mag: 35k
41 Mag: 36k
44 Mag: 36k
45 ACP: 21k
45 ACP +P: 23k

I'd say if the 69 can handle a 44 at 36k, a +P 45 at 23k shouldn't be an issue. And if they enlarged the thread for the 44 Mag version, so much the better.

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Post by Wobbley 12/28/2021, 7:11 pm

Dcforman wrote:Did some research, looks like the Colt New Service frame (M1917) was actually larger than an N frame Sad

Dave
I can attest to that, I have two Colt New Services, one in 45 Colt and one in 455 Eley.  The 45  Colt has a 7-1/2 inch barrel.  It needs wheels.
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Post by RoyDean 12/29/2021, 5:30 am

WesG, thanks your data about barrel threads, that is all totally new territory for me.

"going off the dim's Roy posted. There'd be a section of 44 chamber about 3/8" long before you got to the new 45 throat."

But is this somewhat similar to shooting 38sp ammo in a 357 revolver? Lots of folks happily do that and get decent groups.

Next question. In an L frame with a 44 magnum barrel. Is there enough meat at the threaded end to have the barrel machined and install a new 45ACP barrel insert/extension? Or would it be better to have barrel re-bored and rifled?

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Post by WesG 12/29/2021, 11:12 am

The 69 has the 2 piece barrel. A new liner would be turned and threaded and cranked in to replace it. Easy-Peasy ... sort of.

38 in a 357 is about 1/8" jump, and the bearing surface on the bullet is longer than that. Visualize a typical 45 SWC flying thru an open space 3/8" long.

Then again, there's the 32 SW in a 32 L, in a 32HR, in a 327. Plenty of testing opportunities there.

*** I updated the drawing on page 1 with 'real' dimensions, including a leade the 44 chamber has ***

Drawing shows a minimum chamber for the 44, which is .458 at the leade. Of the 5 44 revolvers I've measured, 2 were .459, the other 3 .460.

My 696 cylinder is 1.56 OD, a 44 chamber leaves a wall of .050.

Here's another concept, boring the cylinder and sleeving it before reaming 45. Sleeve is only .010 thick after reaming. I'm not sure how I feel about that ...

Small frame 45 revolver - Page 2 Cyl_4414

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Post by BE Mike 12/30/2021, 8:08 am

Dan Webb wrote:
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.
I was just going with what my buddy said, but he still has issues with the gun binding up when it heats up (or maybe it is because it is dirty). It still would be a hard pass for me for bullseye, where guns are shot a lot and reliability is important.
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Post by RoyDean 12/30/2021, 9:59 am

I did not want to ignore LenV's advice that S&W already make a 45 revolver that happens to have a modest sized grip, so I googled X Frame.

"Smith & Wesson® “X-Frame” revolvers are designed for the hardcore fi rearms enthusiast and avid hunter. These are the world’s most powerful production handguns. Built on the massive “X-Frame” they deliver maximum power for serious handgun hunters and outdoor enthusiasts drawn to the added challenge."

They all seem to be chambered for the 460 magnum or the 500S&W. They even offer one with a bipod! But no doubt LenV can handle them all one handed!

Small frame 45 revolver - Page 2 YvUkXDFgqSAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC

Coincidentally, till just recently I owned a very large revolver that also had a relatively modest sized grip  - Taurus Raging Judge Magnum - chambered for 45LC + 454 Casul + 410 shotshell. It was a monster and was definitely not comfortable for me to shoot one handed.

Thanks Len!

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 12/30/2021, 10:14 am

Roy the X frames with the compensated ~10" barrels are actually not bad to shoot 1 handed - the gun is so heavy and nose heavy at that. But my acquisition time with that weight and thrn reacquisition times with that 45 caliber 460S&W have so far seemed prohibitive for sustained fire Very Happy also the sight length may not be legal
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Post by Dan Webb 12/30/2021, 12:05 pm

BE Mike- The claim that the M69 has a titanium frame is what I was calling out as incorrect. When there is a fundamental error such as this, I tend to question the validity of this second-hand report.

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Post by WesG 12/30/2021, 1:48 pm

Running more numbers. Note the results are pure BS.

Using the chamber ID and wall thickness to the outside of the cylinder to get an equivalent tube diameter. With that, a yield strength for 4140 HT (28C) of 125ksi, and Barlow's Formula, I got the following for safety factor:

N frame 44 Mag: .9
L frame 44 Sp: 1.5
K frame 32 HR: 2.1
K frame 38 Sp +P+: 1.5

M-69 44 Mag: .6

Ouch! I'd guess they're using something better for material. Ruger uses some grade of PH SS, 655 comes to mind but I couldn't find any info on it, for one of their bruisers. 17-4 (aka 630) is common as dirt. Using a yield of 170k (H-900) for that, the safety factor goes up to .9 ... Hmmmm ....

Follow up on the BS part:

The shape of an actual cylinder is nothing like a simple round tube. It's a whole bunch better, but I've got no idea how much. That takes a real engineer and some 'spensive software to figure out.

I heard a story of a guy loading a Super Blackhawk so hot he blew out the bolt notches. I took that with a grain or two of salt.

Just for fun I ran a 327 in an 8 shot N frame (629). SF of 1. Not bad. Might be doable. It also happens to have the chambers on a larger radius than my 44's, .58 vs .55. IOW, the barrel is farther from the cylinder axis. So apparently an N frame is not necessarily an N frame. Maybe an L frame (69) isn't an L frame (696) either.

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Post by RoyDean 12/30/2021, 3:30 pm

WesG - Thanks for all of the detailed info - very illuminating.

The M69 that was ANIB on GB opened at $600 which was interesting, but it got bid up to $760, plus overnight & FFL that would have meant over $900. Too much to spend on a whim! Now I see your updated cylinder wall calcs and it was probably not viable anyhow. Good game in theory through.

Happy New Year all.

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Post by WesG 12/30/2021, 4:02 pm

I think it's totally viable, just likely a cylinder is required vs just reaming it out.

A harder option is a 6 shot 5/686, modified to a 5 shot. Still needs a cylinder, but internal mod's that might be harder to do. I've heard it's tricky, even on a single action. Might be more BS, who knows.

Advantage is an old one doesn't have the safety stuff, and better trigger and hammer. Disadvantage is, I don't think they made many variants with a round butt frame. So that could be even more work if desired.

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Post by RoyDean 1/1/2022, 10:12 am

This might be the best solution - Taurus Tracker 455.

https://www.genitron.com/Handgun/Taurus/Revolver/455-Tracker/45-Auto/Variant-2

But they have been out of production for a while and I have read that some had problems. They are not common and the only one that I can see for sale at present is a 4" version with an asking price of $825 (compared to original MSRP of about $425 - ho hum!).

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Post by Dan Webb 1/1/2022, 11:05 am

RoyDean wrote:This might be the best solution - Taurus Tracker 455.

https://www.genitron.com/Handgun/Taurus/Revolver/455-Tracker/45-Auto/Variant-2

But they have been out of production for a while and I have read that some had problems. They are not common and the only one that I can see for sale at present is a 4" version with an asking price of $825 (compared to original MSRP of about $425 - ho hum!).
Taurus is not a good option for anything other than a paper weight. I sold guns in a large outdoor store for 15 years. My name is on the dealer part of over 3000 4473's and twice as many second checks. We had more defective Rossi/Taurus guns than all of the rest of the brands combined. To top it off I have a piece of bullet jacket material lodged in my right middle finger that came from a brand new, out of time Taurus Tracker that a coworker was shooting next to me at a trade show in 2005. About two months ago it worked it's way towards my skin. I have to have an outpatient surgery to get it removed. I won't hold my breath that Taurus will pick up my insurance co-pay.

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Post by Allgoodhits 1/1/2022, 11:32 am

Since no one has mentioned these obstacles, let me throw out two more.

The 5 or 6 notches in the cylinder where the cylinder latch or stop indents into the cylinder reduces the wall thickness considerably, since those notches are over very near the charge holes. This notch cut must be figured into the dimensional studies.

Increasing charge hole size also means that the "star or ratchet" must also be re-created to the new geometry. My guess, that is no small task.

I think finding grips or making grips that best suit the shooter are the most viable solution. There likely is insufficient market appeal for manufactures to design such a firearm for such a limited quantity market, especially since they can't build enough of what they already build these days.  Any one of custom shop fabrication would be very, very expensive, but it could be done.

Happy New Year!
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Post by WesG 1/1/2022, 12:44 pm

The latch cuts are one of the reasons for going with a 5 shot cylinder. They wind up in between the chambers, becoming a non issue. The rest of the dimensions still apply, other than the webs between the chambers, which also increase.

FWIW, the webs between the chambers on my 929, 8 shot 9mm, are thinner than the wall to the OD of the cylinder.

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