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How to remove a Redhawk barrel??

This is a discussion on How to remove a Redhawk barrel?? within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I would like to remove the barrel from my Redhawk. I have never seen this done. What is the proper procedure and if any, what ...


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Old August 5th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #1
 
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How to remove a Redhawk barrel??

I would like to remove the barrel from my Redhawk. I have never seen this done. What is the proper procedure and if any, what special tools would I need?


Thanks,
Dave

Machinist 13 years



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Old August 5th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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dhherr5, I'm sure you have your reasons for removing a barrel or you wouldn't have asked. That said, there are some things you need to know before you start ... Barrels screw into the frame with right hand threads. The threads in the frame are "normal" but the threads in the barrel are cut shallow on purpose. As a new barrel is screwed into a frame, the frame threads act almost like a die and cut the barrel threads deeper. This works much like pipe threads and hold the barrel nice and tight.

Once a barrel has been removed, the threads loose their ability to hold tight like a new barrel. So what I'm saying ... barrels are intended to be mounted once and not be reused (except for guns like the older Dan Wessons). There are band-aid procedures such as using Loc-Tite that will allow a barrel to be reused but often the barrel will turn itself loose when the gun is fired. The gun's frame is good for about two new barrels ... maybe three. After that, the threads are no longer deep enough to work properly on a new barrel.

Here's the drill ... you will need a large and very sturdy bench vise. You will also need a barrel vise and a frame "wrench". The barrel vise has rounded smooth "jaws" that go in the bench vise to hold your barrel tight without buggering it up. A generic barrel vise won't work with your Redhawk because the barrel is not round. You will need a barrel vise that is made specifically for revolvers. The frame wrench is unique to the gun and fits in the frame to prevent damage from torque. So .... you clamp the barrel in the barrel vise then mount the barrel vise in a bench vise. Insert the frame wrench into the frame and unscrew it from the barrel. The barrel will be very tight at first but as you unscrew, it will turn easier.

The procedure to install a barrel is pretty much the same in reverse. The exception is the barrel will screw on tight the whole way, not just the last few threads.

Brownell's sells barrel vises and frame wrenches. Cost ranges from $80 to over $400. It would be cheaper to pay a gunsmith than to buy the equipment.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #3
 
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Thank you very much for the info, it was exactly what I was looking for.


Cheers,
Dave
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Old August 11th, 2008, 07:39 AM   #4
 
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Iowegan, I have successfully made barrel vices and frame wrenches from hardwood. I crush fit the two piece undersized barrel vice and add rosin. I have never tried this on a Ruger but am tempted as I have a .357 Flattop and a spare period correct 4 5/8" barrel I would like to install.

The crush fit of Ruger barrels scares me. Can this old fashion method be used on Rugers?

John
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Old August 11th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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SAJohn, I can't imagine a Ruger would be any harder to turn than a Mauser rifle .... and your procedure is what I used to use for them. The issue with a revolver is the frame itself. You need something that will apply equal pressure on the top strap and base ... otherwise you will "spring" the cylinder frame. Your first clue is ... the base pin won't align. A good way to trash a frame if you're not careful.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #6
 
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Iowegan, I was thinking about inletting a 2"X2" X 3' long piece of hardwood so that the "inlet" would push equally on the top strap left side and the bottom right side. Do you think that would spread the load out enough and keep it equal?

John

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Old August 11th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #7
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That would probably work ... just keep the "lever" squared in the frame so you don't tweak it.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #8
 
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If I muster up the courage to try this, I will photo document and post the procedure as the desire to switch Ruger barrels comes up often on these forums.

Thank you for the feedback. I will NOT blame you if this doesn't work.

SAJohn
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Old January 21st, 2017, 02:30 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
dhherr5, I'm sure you have your reasons for removing a barrel or you wouldn't have asked. That said, there are some things you need to know before you start ... Barrels screw into the frame with right hand threads. The threads in the frame are "normal" but the threads in the barrel are cut shallow on purpose. As a new barrel is screwed into a frame, the frame threads act almost like a die and cut the barrel threads deeper. This works much like pipe threads and hold the barrel nice and tight.

Once a barrel has been removed, the threads loose their ability to hold tight like a new barrel. So what I'm saying ... barrels are intended to be mounted once and not be reused (except for guns like the older Dan Wessons). There are band-aid procedures such as using Loc-Tite that will allow a barrel to be reused but often the barrel will turn itself loose when the gun is fired. The gun's frame is good for about two new barrels ... maybe three. After that, the threads are no longer deep enough to work properly on a new barrel.

Here's the drill ... you will need a large and very sturdy bench vise. You will also need a barrel vise and a frame "wrench". The barrel vise has rounded smooth "jaws" that go in the bench vise to hold your barrel tight without buggering it up. A generic barrel vise won't work with your Redhawk because the barrel is not round. You will need a barrel vise that is made specifically for revolvers. The frame wrench is unique to the gun and fits in the frame to prevent damage from torque. So .... you clamp the barrel in the barrel vise then mount the barrel vise in a bench vise. Insert the frame wrench into the frame and unscrew it from the barrel. The barrel will be very tight at first but as you unscrew, it will turn easier.

The procedure to install a barrel is pretty much the same in reverse. The exception is the barrel will screw on tight the whole way, not just the last few threads.

Brownell's sells barrel vises and frame wrenches. Cost ranges from $80 to over $400. It would be cheaper to pay a gunsmith than to buy the equipment.
Here nigh on nine years later, your wisdom has saved me a lot of trouble. I have decided to lop off my Blackhawk barrel in frame. Thanks!
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 07:46 AM   #10
 
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Another rule of thumb: "If it works OK, fix it till it doesn't".
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