View Full Version : S&W 38 to 357 conversion?

NC Rifleman
November 18, 2009, 12:42
I've got a model 64 and an extra cylinder from a model 66, was thinking about converting the model 64 to .357 and wanted to know what else would have to be modified to make it doable. Thanks

November 18, 2009, 13:29
I'm thinking the "65" and "66" has a better heat treatment on the frame to withstand mag pressure. I would check with the S&W gurus before doing this conversion. Have seen at least two K-38s converted to 357 that didn't last long afterward.

The cylinder is a bit longer, so the crane and barrel may need trimming. Have you miked the parts for a fit?

Are you planning on using a lot of 357 loads in this? I have a 66 and it's not a pleasant gun to shoot mag ammo in. My Colt Cobra and a S&W 686 are much better for this use.

A 65 or 66 makes for a neat carry piece however! :shades:

November 18, 2009, 18:10
I think you are asking for trouble and unnecessary expense in getting it installed correctly, and timed. I would be surprised if any solid S&W smith would take the job. So, you end up probably with a jack-leg installation of something that has to hold 40,000 PSI.

If you want to load a few "hot" .38 rounds, there is plenty of case capacity in the .38.

You can probably get by with shooting the hot .38 loads infrequently.

Soon as you put the "wrong" cylinder on that gun, somebody's gonna get
their hands on it, and won't know better.

Bad idea.

November 18, 2009, 20:14
Sell the 64 and the extra cylinder on http://smith-wessonforum.com/guns-sale-trade/
and use the funds to buy yourself a S&W Model 65 (basically a 64 {K frame, stainless, fixed sight}) which shoots .357 Magnum.

Less chance of getting hurt and you would make 1 or 2 other people happy.

NC Rifleman
November 18, 2009, 22:34
I've got a model 65 too, didn't think the frames were any different. Maybe it would be a better deal to swap a 2" model 64 barrel on to it. Just isn't a round butt like the model 64 which I'd prefer. I probably wouldn't be shooting many 357's thru it, just wanted to make up something unique for an extra compact carry piece.

Hoot G
November 19, 2009, 14:44
Cylinder on a 64 is 1.56" while the cylinder on a 66 is 1.67". A good 'smith could make it work, but it would be expensive. You would be better off, and probably cheaper, finding a 3" 65, and it already has the round butt.

Keep looking. ;)

November 22, 2009, 00:49
The easiest way to change the smith from 38 to 357 is to hock it and buy a Ruger in 357. You've upgraded and maybe even saved some money plus you can shoot some pretty high powered loads in it!