Re: Cartridge Chamberings?
I know a feller who had a model 24 Smith, 44 special. He wanted to turn it into a 44 magnum. "No problem. Just get a chamber reamer and make the chambers a little longer, so the magnums will fit. After all, that's the only difference. They're both Smith and Wesson N frames, right?"
No. Smith is in the business to make money. That means they are not going to spend more than they need to. 44 Special has a pressure of around 15,000 psi, so they heat treat the cylinder to take, maybe 20,000 psi pressure. There is no need to make it any stronger. You put 44 magnums, that run around 35,000 psi, in it and it explodes when you shoot it. If you want a 44 magnum, buy a 44 magnum.
"Oh. Okay, that makes sense. Well, how's this idea? I picked up a model 27 cylinder in trade. 357 runs with the same pressures that 44 magnum does. I take the 357 cylinder and have it bored out to 44 magnum? It's an N frame magnum cylinder, so it should be fine, right?"
No. One of the reasons the 357 cylinder will take the pressure is the amount of metal around the holes. Drill that 3/8 inch chamber hole out to 15/32 and you have less metal around the hole. Now it won't take 35,000 psi pressures. 44 magnum cylinders are treated differently than 357 cylinders. If you want a 44 magnum, buy a 44 magnum.
"So how's this? I'll get a 44 magnum cylinder. That's made to take the 35,000 psi pressure, even with the big holes. I'll slap that in my 24, and I'll be good to go. N frame is an N frame, right?"
No. Back to the money thing. Smith heat treated the 24's frame to take the pounding of firing 44 specials. Start shooting 44 magnums in it and even though the cylinder will hold together, the frame will start to stretch. If you want a 44 magnum, buy 44 magnum.
Haven't seem him for a while. Hope he either got over his need for a 44 magnum, or bought a 44 magnum, instead of trying to make one of his other guns do what it wasn't designed to do.