View Full Version : Project Outdoorsman

Timber Wolf
October 01, 2013, 12:28
Here is my old, sad Outdoorsman
http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/l639/chevyoneton/9b29d87b-4273-4d6d-bd11-f8da663593d0.jpg (http://s1127.photobucket.com/user/chevyoneton/media/9b29d87b-4273-4d6d-bd11-f8da663593d0.jpg.html)

The story goes like this. Many years ago with more money than sense I bought this at a gunshow. I can't remember what I paid but probably too much around $300. I did not know what it was but just wanted a short N frame .357 Magnum. Yes, you read that right it was a .357 Magnum. Said so on the barrel and chambered Magnums fine.:uhoh: I shot it that way too! Fast forward many, many years and with the help of the S&W Forum I find out it is really a rebarreled and chamber-bored Outdoorsman. A very nice fellow there was kind enough to hook me up with a NOS Outdoorsman barrel and here the project sits. Some correct grips would sure be nice to have. I have no plans to do anything about the cylinder as this one is serial numbered to the gun. Maybe having the correctly marked barrel back on the gun will keep folks from stuffing any more Magnums in it.

October 01, 2013, 22:34
That's not that bad of a revolver. I like them thangs! :biggrin: That'll be real easy to rebarrel as well. Just cut you some nice hardwood blocks that fit the frame on both sides and put that in a nice vice, clamping securely and squarely. Then, remove the barrel pin, taking care not to scratch or damage the barrel. Lastly, place a large, good quality adjustable wrench over the rear of the barrel up against the frame with a thin leather piece between the wrench and the barrel. Then, unscrew the barrel. Put in the barrel by hand, timing it similarly to the FAL/SLR you are so fond of here. If needed, shave a little from the barrel face for the proper .006 or so clearance and go. Simple.


October 02, 2013, 03:58
Is the short barrel currently on the revolver a Model 27 or pre-27 barrel? Is the top rib checkered?

Are the frame's grip straps grooved or flat?

I just wondered if maybe, when going to the trouble of adding a different barrel, the original owner also added the adjustable sights to a fixed sight Heavy Duty.

I had a local artist make me an Outdoorsman from an abused Heavy Duty years back. Cut the new (J&G Rifle Ranch, Turner, MT, $29.95 at the time) 6-1/2 inch Outdoorsman barrel to 5 inches, added the adjustable rear sight assembly, tuned, polished and finished so nicely that only the lack of grip strap striations gave it away as a fake.

I would guess I have owned 10 or 12 Heavy Duties and 3 Outdoorsmen over the years. One of the Outdoorsmen and most of the Heavy Duties had been rechambered from .38 Special to .357 Magnum. It was a simple, popular and safe conversion back in the fifties and sixties when .357 Magnum revolvers were scarce and expensive and considered exotic. I shot one of mine quite a lot with the once-standard .357 Magnum handload of 15.0 grains of -2400 under a cast 160 grain bullet. There is a lot of good, strong steel in a .38 caliber N frame revolver. While I wouldn't recommend rechambering one now, a rechambered but other-wise in spec .38-44 S&W can shoot factory-pressure .357 Magnum ammunition, either factory or handloaded, just fine. I shot several thousand through mine, which was well-used when I bought it, and I used to see the guy I sold it to at the range, still cranking coffee cans full of that same handload through the old hammer, with a smile on his face and ringing in his ears!

Timber Wolf
October 02, 2013, 08:15
The top rib of both the barrel and frame are checkered. The checkering is slightly different between the two though. I would like to know the story behind this gun. The frame has some honest wear so was used prior to the conversion. Did some fellow own the gun and desire a shorty .357? Or did some enterprising Gunsmith have the Outdoorsman and figured he could make more money selling it as a .357? The World may never know. I also have a Heavy Duty, didn't know what it was when I bought it either.:rolleyes: It was just a cheap .38 at the pawn shop ($150ish).:uhoh: