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S&W Model 13 Aircrewman Barrel Replacement?


hyrax222
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hyrax222

I need an original barrel (I'll wait till you're done laughing) or an excellent reproduction.

Anyone able to help me? Thanks!

 

hyrax222

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Charlie Flick

Hello Hyrax:

 

The task might not be as tough as you might think.  The original steel barrel on your M13 should say "Smith & Wesson" in one line on the left side.   On the right side it should say ".38 SPL. CTG." in one line.  The original barrel would have had the revolver's serial number marked on the barrel flat. 

 

With the original serialized barrel damaged or gone you will have to go with a replacement barrel.  I would search for a 2 inch blued barrel for a Military & Police .38 Special, either the steel version (a pre-Model 10) or the alloy version (the pre-Model 12).  Below is a pic of what the barrel should look like.  It is taken from the site of Gun Parts. Corp.  which says on its website that 2 inch barrels are out of stock.  The proper barrel will not say "Airweight" or "Aircrewman" on it.  If you can get a new replacement barrel with no serial number on it that would be best, but you may have to accept one that is a used take-off barrel that is already serialized.   You will also need a new barrel pin.

 

Another alternative may be to hunt for one of the demilled examples of the M13.  They are easy to find but almost all of them have had their barrels crushed or torched as part of the demilling process.  Finding one with a suitable barrel may be difficult. 

 

One last alternative is to check Ebay and gunbroker.com.

 

I hope that info helps you.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

M+P 2 inch barrel GunParts Corp.jpg

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hyrax222

Charlie Flick- Thanks for the reply. I have the orig. barrel, but there is a hole burnt into it. I have a new Model 36 barrel but it is not maked correctly for an Aircrewman. So, online auctions are one of the few choices left. I'm not very hopefull!

 

hyrax222

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Charlie Flick

The Model 36 barrel is for the smaller J-frame guns, not the K frame as is the M13.  It won't work for you. 

 

Am I correct in guessing that your revolver has been demilled?

 

Charlie

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What is the serial number (or at least the range)?  Above a certain range the barrel markings reverse, i.e. S&W jumps to the right side and the caliber marking moves to the left side.

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hyrax222

Right side of barrel-".38 SPL. CTG." Hole burnt through.

Left side of barrel-"SMITH &WESSON".

Frame and crane stamped- "26582".

Bottom of butt-"C289479".

Bottom of barrel- "269478".

 

What a hodge-podge of numbers!

Does any of this help? 

 

hyrax222

 

 

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The frame/crane number (26582) is an assembly number used to keep parts together during manufacture but other than that it doesn't mean anything.  The barrel has been replaced since the serial number doesn't match the one on the butt.  When these were demilled the crushed, torched and/or cut parts were sold as scrap and dealers would try to put guns together from the pieces.  Does yours still have the markings on the back strap and top strap?  C289479 would have shipped in mid-1954, probably to Norton AFB.

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hyrax222

Marking intact on backstrap-"Revolver, Lightweight M13".

 

hyrax222

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I may be misunderstanding you but the back strap should be "Property of U.S.A.F." and the top strap should be "Revolver, Lightweight M13."

 

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digi-shots

Interesting revolver... are you sure about the numbers on the butt and barrel not matching?  An 8 can look like a 6 or 9.

Could the burned out hole have distorted the numbers under the barrel?

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Maybe it would help if the OP post a pic of the piece to show the numbers.

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hyrax222
On 6/21/2021 at 11:29 AM, hyrax222 said:

I need an original barrel (I'll wait till you're done laughing) or an excellent reproduction.

Anyone able to help me? Thanks!

 

hyrax222

 

20210628_103027.jpg

20210628_103039.jpg

20210628_102458.jpg

20210628_103450.jpg

20210628_105053.jpg

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hyrax222

Many thanks to Charlie Flick, kwill, story and digi-shots-

 

Numrich pic and ad close, but out of stock.

 

I miss-read the ser. no. on bbl. It matches the no. on butt.

 

I have been on S&W Forum. Checked avail. on Brownells, Gunbroker, Numrich, Jack First, Slinks, Popperts, Sarco, Ebay...nothing.

 

Many J frame bbls. and no K frame 2" bbls...this could take awhile, unless someone coughs up one out of their "stash"!

 

hyrax222

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I hope you find a barrel but even if you do I would advise against shooting it.  Thanks for posting the pictures.

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copdoc

I agree with others.  It's too rare valuable and fragile to shoot. 

 

Since number matches and you should not shoot it there are people who could repair that barrel.  

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hyrax222
On 7/6/2021 at 2:52 AM, copdoc said:

I agree with others.  It's too rare valuable and fragile to shoot. 

 

Since number matches and you should not shoot it there are people who could repair that barrel.  

Whom might that be? I would like to make their acquantance!

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copdoc

I had a friend that passed away that could have made it look presentable.  Not to shoot.  Just for appearance. Maybe ask one of these c3 guys that build kits. Liability of welding a barrel will be a difficult sell. 

 

It's such a rare gun it would be worth the effort to ask a few. 

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hyrax222

Thanks copdoc! I was asked to "restore" it to as original as I can.

 

hyrax222

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digi-shots

If the gun is to be used for display only, have you thought about some type of plastic/polymer filler?  I’m not very familiar with them but I would imagine the process could be reversed with heat?  Having the original barrel is a plus.. the gun is original only once.  The polymer filler would just be a cosmetic fix (you could plug the barrel with a waxed wooden dowel and remove it after the polymer dries).  Or… just put the gun in a shadow box with the good side showing!
 

I kinda like it as it is… the damaged barrel is just a part of it’s individual history… may not be pretty but sort of a “battle scar”.

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