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  #1  
Old 01-04-2019, 10:51 AM
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Default shaving a cylinder to take moon clips

Good afternoon Calgunners!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (for those that celebrate).

I am soon to purchase a newer S&W Model 66 that I would like to have modified to take moon clips.

Does anyone have any recommendations for folks that have done it before? I would prefer someone local or near San Diego if possible, but willing to travel reasonable distance. Not much into shipping a gun; would rather deliver it and pick it up.

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:06 AM
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Not local, but these guys do great work.

https://www.tkcustom.com/services/machining

ETA: You’re better off just buying the S&W 986. Unless you’re getting some amazing deal on the 66
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Old 01-06-2019, 1:36 PM
Scota4570 Scota4570 is offline
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I would speculate that you can not just take material off the back of the cylinder. The ejector star would end up too thin. You would also end up with massive play back and forth on the cylinder when opened.
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Old 01-06-2019, 5:47 PM
elk hunter elk hunter is offline
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If you want something that can use moon clips why not look at the 625-8 S&W before you run extra money out.
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Old 01-06-2019, 6:17 PM
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I gave some thought to both of those and a few others.

On the S&W 625, I'm not too up for something in .45 ACP in an N-frame revolver.

The 986 is a thought, and I retain 9mm which is good, considering most of my other guns are 9mm, it makes reloading easier.

I'm hoping to pick up this Model 66 for $575, so we'll see if the math works out. It's .38/.357, but is not cut for moon clips. The only reason I'm into the idea of moon clips is that they're like magazines for the revolver. I don't fiddle with individual rounds in a pinch and have to worry about where I put a speed loader in the reloading process.
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Old 01-06-2019, 6:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scota4570 View Post
I would speculate that you can not just take material off the back of the cylinder. The ejector star would end up too thin. You would also end up with massive play back and forth on the cylinder when opened.
Actually, if done properly, you don't. They only shave the face of the cylinder and the ejector star, but not the center of the star that contacts the face. There should be no significant freeplay beyond any original that might be in the pistol.

The company in question only takes about .02" and then not off the entire face. If you check the website above (which I did), you'll see how they do it.

Sapper
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Old 01-06-2019, 7:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supersapper View Post
I gave some thought to both of those and a few others.

On the S&W 625, I'm not too up for something in .45 ACP in an N-frame revolver.

The 986 is a thought, and I retain 9mm which is good, considering most of my other guns are 9mm, it makes reloading easier.

I'm hoping to pick up this Model 66 for $575, so we'll see if the math works out. It's .38/.357, but is not cut for moon clips. The only reason I'm into the idea of moon clips is that they're like magazines for the revolver. I don't fiddle with individual rounds in a pinch and have to worry about where I put a speed loader in the reloading process.
FWIW I just picked up a 986 off GunBroker for $750.. no headache of sending a gun off to have work done. I see one up right now for ~$700. That might be worth it for you
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Old 01-07-2019, 9:03 AM
mtenenhaus mtenenhaus is offline
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I don't know if he still does these conversions as his parts business has rapidly developed but Randy Lee was/is considered one of the masters in the competition revolver world. Not only very knowledgeable but also a very nice person. You might want to give them a call...Apex Tactical
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Old 01-07-2019, 2:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scota4570 View Post
I would speculate that you can not just take material off the back of the cylinder.
The ejector star would end up too thin.
You would also end up with massive play back and forth on the cylinder when opened.
When done right, the cylinder gets counterbored for the moon clips.
The length of the cylinder remains the same so the endshake does not change.
The extractor star engages the case rims from the INSIDE of the cylinder.
The moon clip engages the rims from the OUTSIDE.
The moon clips should clear an unmodified extractor.
The extractor star still pushes the cases out of the cylinder the same as before the moon clip cut was made.
The moon clip simply hold all the cases together so you can load them all at once and pick them all up as a single package.
Moon clip cut cylinders should still work just fine without a moon clip if they are done correctly.
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Old 01-08-2019, 3:43 PM
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For the rimmed cartridges, below would apply. For rimless, the extractor groove is large, and there is already room for the moon clip built into the system, at least on most revolvers chambered for rimless. There are outliers, like the 547 and others.

When modifying a 686, for example, one does machine the "fingers" of the extractor, to create room for the thickness of the moon clip.
One machines the cylinder out to the outer edges of the moon clip, plus about .010.
The cartridges will still headspace on the rim, against the outer, un-modified part of the cylinder.
The 7-shot version is actually easier to modify than the 6, one can carefully turn the face of the star back in a lathe.
I created a program and do the 6 shot star on my cnc mill - the indexing surfaces stick out farther radially.
The differences in the moon clips allow/require different methods. I could do the 7 shot on the cnc also, but it's easier to do on the lathe.


Regarding a 66, I've never done one. The cylinder is a fair bit smaller, and I'm going to guess there isn't as much room/metal in the clip. The 686/686+ are far more popular and suitable for this sort of conversion.
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Old 01-10-2019, 5:35 PM
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I sent my 989 to TK...great machining and very fast turn around.

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It makes it bigger and longer.
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Old 01-10-2019, 7:36 PM
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Check with Dave's Metal Works in Covina, he's done L frames and I believe he's done K frames.
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Old 01-17-2019, 7:07 PM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'm researching them now! You guys are awesome!
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