A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pinned & Recessed

Click to enlargeI'm occasionally asked by someone what pinned & recessed means. It's a term used by Smith & Wesson afficianados.
A pinned barrel is one in which a pin runs through the frame to secure the barrel once it has been screwed into place. The pin positively prevents the barrel from turning out of place from the bullet's torque.
A recessed cylinder is one in which the chambers are counterbored, allowing the cartridge to fit flush in the cylinder. This provides protection in the event of a casehead rupture, but it also looks more finished.
Neither of these refinements are truly necessary in a revolver.
Smith & Wesson discontinued them both years ago in a cost cutting measure to insure the company's survival. These refinements endure, however, as indicators of a revolver that was skillfully crafted by artisans who loved their work.

Pinning of barrels and recessing of cylinders ceased in 1982.

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Anonymous freddyboomboom said...

Cool. I wondered about that, not being a S&W wheelgun afficianado...

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good info, thanks. Were J frame cylinders ever recessed? I've seen a pinned barrel model 36, but not recessed. The owner is convinced it is a late 80's or early 90's model.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

It's definitely pre-82 if it's pinned anon. I am unaware of and recessed J frames.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only the magnum revolvers were recessed. the 36 being a .38 only was only ever pinned. the magnums were recessed to protect from case head ruptures (which were especially common with older cases)

10:49 PM  

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