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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning from sunny Florida guys.

I’ve had my SBH since 1979 and its in beautiful shape. My intention is to cut the 7 ½ “ bbl down to 5 ½ “
which I wanted too do for along time now.

Cutting the bbl with a guide for the hacksaw blade clamped to the bbl. would be my choice of cutting it down. Crowning doesn’t seem to be a problem with the right tools, which can be had from Midway or Brownells.

The other day I was checking out the different custom S/A gun makers and found a front sight kit from Jim Stroh, it comes with drills, taps and instructions to mount this sight. It costs $137, different size post heights are available for $37. ea. I have a drill press and the necessary tools; all I have to do is grow a bigger set of gonads to do it. I try to convince myself saying “there are plenty of 7 ½ “ bbls on Gunbroker, go for it” Carl.

I then found an article about a barrel band front sight made by Gary Reeder it sells for $200. I’m tempted to pay the extra $$$ just for the convenience of it but…

All thoughts and ideas are welcome……Carl
 

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...found a front sight kit from Jim Stroh, it comes with drills, taps and instructions to mount this sight...are I have a drill press and the necessary tools...

All thoughts and ideas are welcome……Carl

I like the setup above, that way if you ever have an urge to cut down additional barrels in the future, you won't have to worry about solder flux removing bluing or buying another barrel band setup.

I used a pipe cutter to score a fine line around the barrel, cut it with a hacksaw well back from the mark, and then filed/sanded to bring it up square.

Just food for thought.
 

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If you have access to a lathe then that's what I would use to cut the barrel down with. As for the front sight if you have access to a gas torch set why don't you just solder your own sight blank on and save some money. A simple file set and a bit of time at the range will get you the right height and shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
BRL, that’s what I did this past Saturday I scored a 360 with my tube cutter around the bbl a hair more than 5 ½” for the kerf. This weekend I’ll hack the 2 ½” off.

I bought a length of 5/8” angle iron, which I’ll cut two pieces from, clamp them to the bbl and make a guide for the sawblade. I also bought a length of 5/8” bar stock, which I’ll use to practice the drilling and tapping process before actually doing the bbl… I don't want to screw it up.


TNWNGR, unfortunately I don’t have a lathe or access too one. I do have a Mapp torch, and I appreciate your money saving aspect, but I could see the red insert melting already. Back in 79 red inserts were all the rave that’s why its there, this also voids filing the front sight down at the range.

The Stroh sight kit has a variety of post heights you can choose from @ $38. ea. I’ll do some research and hopefully I’ll be able to determine the correct height for a 5 ½” bbl. with my cast bullet reloads which is a Lyman 255gr. GC bullet #429421. I’m not going to play ennie meenie minie moe on this one.

Guys, thank you much for your input....I do appreciate it. I'll post updates to keep you informed...... Carl
 

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I’ve had my SBH since 1979 and its in beautiful shape. My intention is to cut the 7 ½ " bbl down to 5 ½ “
which I wanted too do for along time now.
I swapped my 7.5" SBH, to get a 5.5" tube when they came out. It's neither fish nor fowl as barrel length goes, not that much handier, and several states have a 6" minimum for hunting. If portable is the plan, go to 4 5/8 or the 3 3/4" tube. Once it's shorter than that 6" length, portability is it's best feature, and more portable is better in my tiny mind.

Honestly, I'd look hard for a pre-owned 4 5/8" SBH in good shape. I've often considered cutting mine to 3 3/4", but when I priced it, it was as much as a decent used SBH, and mine is a very fine shooter, so the risk/cost is just buy another one.
 

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...I also bought a length of 5/8” bar stock, which I’ll use to practice the drilling and tapping process before actually doing the bbl… I don't want to screw it up... I'll post updates to keep you informed...... Carl
Bar stock sounds like a good idea to me.

I read a post somewhere where someone drilled through the barrel wall and actually launched the front sight & screw upon firing. :eek:

You'll do fine, don't forget to post the results...PICTURES! :D

...Just thought of something, you could also use the removed portion of the barrel for practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
TMan, finding a bbl would be a waste of time, my 7 1/2er" is scored at 6" + a hair. So I can forget about that.

Portability wasn't a problem I carried my SBH many a time in the wood and the length didn't bother me. Its just that I always pictured it shorter and that was ever since I got it back in 79; just didn't have the heart too do it.... now I do and if I screw it up I'll get another bbl. Florida doesn't have a bbl length limit for handgun hunting, I've been over the regs. and never seen any reference regarding bbl size. Maybe I had a senior moment when I was looking?

BRL, that's a great idea, I'll Mapp the f/s off and use the cutoff to setup my drill stops before actually drilling and tapping the 6.

BRL, chopping a bbl. I can do once I get my head together.... pics are another story, I can talk, describe, rant etc. whatever you want to call it, but posting pics..... yeah right, never done it before.

I'll have to check for a thread on downloading pics here and see what I have to overcome. I have a Kodak Easy Share Z1012 digital it takes great pics. Tomorrow I'll start taking progress shots.

Guys thanks for you thought and ideas..... Carl
 

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OK don't worry about pics.

Was thinking that you might want to make a practice cut, a ways away from your scribe mark, just to see what the hacksaw cut will actually do.

In other words, it's easier to file down a little metal, than chance cutting too close, and going over the mark.

But at least your using a guide, I didn't...HA! :D

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well BRL I didn't get to do it. For the past two weeks we had family from out-of-state visiting (wedding) so the bbl was put on hold.

I managed to take several pics of the scored bbl. They came out ok.

Last night I was on my notebook PC on AKFiles researching 922 compliance parts for AK building, my wife asks for the notebook and she starts turning the thing upside down and every which way; she finally removes a plastic cover and inserts what turned out to be my SandDisk into it, I asked what the heck was doing she said she's downloading my pics to the PC. Darn, they looked a whole lot better on a big screen than on the back of my camera. This will show you how retarted I am when it come to this techy stuff.

Apparently my SD had a few pics from the wedding which her sister wanted to copy so my wife lent her the SD. Nothings sacred.

Now that I'm picking up on DL'ing pics I'll take pics as I progress along.

.....Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #13
BRL, once I get comfortable with the process there'll be pics. As I progress along I take pics step-by-step, it may take me a little time to find out how to size them and all that but I'll get it.....Carl
 

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Looking foward to it.

Will be interesting to get your overall impression of the product & install procedure.
 

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Dang for all the money yer gonna spend in tools I think I would take it to a GS , so u can blame some one else when chit goes wrong,
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Polaris thanks for posting. As far as tools are concerned I already have what I need to build mostly anything out of metal. How it'll come out is another story.

Specialty tools like the high $$$ crowning tools from Midway and Brownells I don't have, would I buy them for one job, no. If you take your time and plan the job out you can do it. It may not look as professional as a GS's but, I'm not a professional and I get a sense of self satisfaction when I build; its mine, and I made it for me. No matter what happens good, bad, or indifferent I did it.

Polaris, you too can do it if you already haven't done so..... Carl

BRL, D-Day is this weekend, it gets cut one way or another .... with pics of course..... Carl
 

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I get a sense of self satisfaction when I build; its mine, and I made it for me. No matter what happens good, bad, or indifferent I did it...
BRL, D-Day is this weekend, it gets cut one way or another .... with pics of course..... Carl
A brave soul indeed! :cool:

I think you'll have a great time and get a "hands-on" sight installation education as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
BRL, thanks for the vote of confidence; don't think for one minute that I'm not apprehensive because I am bud. But, whats the worst that can happen.... if I screw it up the bbl will 5" instead of 5 1/2". BRL, I'm at an age where I can't worry about it, I'll be nervous, but I'll do my best not too screw it up....

Once I chop the bbl I'll mapp the front sight off, I wonder if the sights are silver soldered on or with regular solder? I can see the red insert melting as I speak.

I'll keep you informed on my progress.....w/pics
 

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BRL, thanks for the vote of confidence...I wonder if the sights are silver soldered on or with regular solder? I can see the red insert melting as I speak.

I'll keep you informed on my progress.....w/pics
I've removed a few Old Model Blackhawk front sights with a torch, and I think that's silver solder holding them on.

Had to get them pretty darn hot to remove, (goodbye red insert) but I don't think it was brazing. (could be wrong)

There is also a small vertical (locating/reinforcing?) pin that is between the sight and barrel that you may encounter if they're still used.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'll keep a look-out for the pin.

I'll try regular propane first, if that don't work I'll break out the MAPP torch.

BRL this weekend can't come fast enough I'm getting antsy.

I have to remember one thing before I start hacking away... draw a fine line from the back of the front sight to the notch in the rear sight to align my Stroh FS.
 
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