Author Topic: S&W Model 48 .22 W.M.R. & .22 L.R. The Red Headed Step Child K-22 Revolver  (Read 10343 times)

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Offline Hammerdown

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Hello
I am sure we all have swapped off or Sold a Gun that we later Regretted. For me, that would have been a S&W Model 48-2 with the Optional Factory fitted .22 L. R. Cylinder. In 1959 S&W came out with a revolver chambered in the brand new then caliber of .22 W.M.R. These revolvers were made in a Four screw configuration and Offered in a 4" & 6" Barrel configuration that first Year, and later offered in a 8-3/8" Barrel. In 1961 S&W Offered the very same gun in .22 L.R. Caliber as they factory fitted a spare .22 L.R. cylinder for them.

Due to the new caliber of .22 Magnum, these revolver's got off to a slow start in sales, so it is not often you see them in a Four screw design or a Plain Model 48 No dash series. Most out there for sale that I have come across are Dash-2's or later Dash-3's & 4's. The Dash-4 series seeme to be the ones produced with the most optional .22 L.R. cylinders accompanying them.


I wanted a first year issue of 1959 and found the one below. It was later sent back to S&W and fitted for it's Optional .22 L. R. cylinder as I said, they were not available until after 1961 and this one has the Left hand Extractor Threads seen after 1961 and the Magnum cylinder that came with the gun back in 1959 has the Older style Right hand threads. These Guns were very Versatile as they changed from the .22 Magnum caliber to .22 L. R. by simply Pulling the most forward side plate screw, then you remove the Guns crane and replace the .22 Magnum cylinder with the .22 L. R. cylinder on the revolver's crane, then Place it back in the gun and Tighten down the side Plate screw and you are ready to fire the .22 L. R. round.



The first thing I noticed with my Earlier Model 48-2 in this caliber was when you changed calibers, there was no need to adjust the sights to accommodate the caliber change. As weird as this sounds the revolver shoot's the same point of Impact with Both calibers on Target. Don't ask me how it does that as there is a world of difference in velocity between the two calibers but it does. These models are very hard to find with Both cylinders but I was lucky in finding this one and will not be getting rid of it. So here you have the Red Headed step child to the famous S&W  K-22 revolver line up, The Model 48 The Convertible .22 L. R. -.22 Magnum ....Hammerdown





"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Graybeard Outdoors


Offline lynneil

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Excellent info. I'll bet not too many people have heard of this revolver.

Offline Hammerdown

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Excellent info. I'll bet not too many people have heard of this revolver.

Hello lynneil
Like I said, They are not Rare by any means but are Rare to find in the No dash series with the Optional .22 LR cylinder as the One above. Here is my 4" Four screw example and this one shipped in 1961 and is also a No dash model 48 series. The Four screw series was made from Late 1957 time span to late 1961 time span so those revolver's are harder to lcoate than the Previous Five screw examples and the Later Three screw varities that are far more common and still made today...Hammerdown






"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Offline Drilling Man

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  Many years ago i had one of those early M-48's...  It was in my snow-mobile suit "pocket" when i was attacked by a VERY out of control german shepard dog.  I pulled it out and gave him one shot to the head, ending his time on earth.

  It was a very accurate gun, and i have no idea what i sold or traded it for, but i figured it wasn't doing anything my M-19 couldn't do in the same size gun, so out the door it went.

  DM

Offline while99

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I have a 4" M-48 but it doesn't have the spare .22 LR cylinder.  I bought it about 6 years agon and like it very much.  It is very accurate but the caliber is too small for a "carry" gun. 

Offline Waldo Pepper

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Offline Drilling Man

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  Choro,ing my M-48 waaaaaay back when, is pretty much what sent it down the road.  I figured i may as well carry my M-19, as it was the same gun, with mucho more power and about the same noise...

  DM

Offline Waldo Pepper

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Offline Autorim

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Same here, I have owned .22 mag revolvers in the past, but no longer. I never liked the muzzle blast and flash. To me, the .22 mag is a rifle round. If I am going to practice, I will do it with the .22 rimfire.

Offline Waldo Pepper

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Offline Hammerdown

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Re: S&W Model 48 .22 W.M.R. & .22 L.R. The Red Headed Step Child K-22 Revolver
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 05:26:59 am »
Hello
I started this Thread to symbolize the existence and Provence of the S&W Model 48  Revolver and it is apparent Extreme Thread Drift has been the Outcome by the recent responses and to me, some very Unfounded statements have been made in this thread. There is no way anyone can attest to the fact that a revolver in .22 WMR is so Drastically different in Revolver  form Versus Pistol velocities, as each and ever specimen can and will differ in this area.


The determining Factor to a revolver's velocity will depend on forcing Cone Gap, and Barrel length, along with ammo used and the seasoning of a barrel even play's into this equation as well, so that Post's a wide range of variables as many examples differ in the forcing cone gaps, Barrel seasoning, and what ammo works best in the Gun used. I feel there would be little to No difference between a revolver's velocity when compared to a Pistol's velocity due to the function of a semi-Auto Pistol action's Blow Back design, They Loose velocity as well. In The single shot arena a Thompson Arm's closed Breech will certainly Trump any revolver or Semi-Auto design as the charge is fully Burned and the Bullet is propelled with all it's  Kinetic energy in a closed Breech style pistol, Loosing No Velocity when fired like the revolvers and Semi-Auto's do



As Far as Velocity Goes, Ammo is Key when comparing velocities and in the past 5 Years there has been a boat load of new Hotter Velocity offerings in .22 WMR rounds as far as Much Ligther wind efficient Bullet weight's and newer Hotter Powder's used in the round. As an example here, CCI for one has expanded Much on this caliber making one of the hottest rounds in .22 WMR due to their Lighter weight 30 Grain Bullets used in The Plus-Velocity rounds that they now Offer. If you make an assessment on Old School standard .22 WMR rounds, with heavier Bullets and slower Powder's you will be very much In the dark, on your findings as these older Loadings of the Cartridge are much slower than what we have Currently available today.



Bottom Line, if you use Older ammo in this round or Buy it in Classic form as Federal offers it, they will be much slower rounds period. If you want performance you must pay for it, and I find that Those willing to Talk Smack about this caliber are Often Too Cheap to step up to the Plate and Buy Higher grade Performance ammo. I have not had the time to sit down and sort out what ammo my Model 48 Favors the most, but when I do, I will set up my Crony velocity meter and get some True  Range results and report back what I found with an Unbiased Opinion of such of the Varied Velocities between Manufacturers & Bullet Weights.



I Prefer CCI ammo so Cost is not a factor when I am shooting this round. I have found it to be super accurate and cleaner than most .22 WMR rounds out there eliminating the stuck case issues.  I do have some of the Older Federal Classic .22 WMR ammo and will test and show what velocities are gotten using it. I don't own a Pistol in .22 WMR caliber as many other's,  as the Only manufacturer I know to offer one is AMT and They have had several extraction issue's in this caliber with that Pistol in the past, so they do not look attractive to me for a Purchase. I can Tell you that it is my Belief that the .22 LR caliber shot from any of my Classic K-22 S&W revolver's will Not come Remotely close to the Velocity obtained with the same Frame Model 48 revolver in .22 WMR caliber being both with 6" Barrels. So far from what I have Observed, the Felt recoil  of the .22 WMR caliber shot in this revolver is a Very Noticeable difference, compared to the same revolver in .22 LR Form so I would say the velocity will Yield much different results.



In closing here, Can we Please Keep this Thread about The S&W Model 48 Revolver ? I could care Less about any other Brands as the Thread does not pertain to them, so if you want to brag on your NON S&W Revolver, Please have the Courtesy to Post your own Thread pertaining to it, as I don't care about anything in the Line of hand Guns that did not come from S&W, Nor do I care how a Semi-Auto fairs velocity wise to a S&W revolver, as all that type of responding does is start Flame War's  Between member's and that in my eyes is not in the Best Interest of This great Forum MR Gray Beard has given us.  ;) Regards, Hammerdown
"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Offline Waldo Pepper

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Re: S&W Model 48 .22 W.M.R. & .22 L.R. The Red Headed Step Child K-22 Revolver
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 06:13:37 am »
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Offline pastorp

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Re: S&W Model 48 .22 W.M.R. & .22 L.R. The Red Headed Step Child K-22 Revolver
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2010, 08:30:16 am »
Sorry Waldo, but I don't see in the posts who "stole the  thread " before you. It's real easy to start a thread of your own. If your going to bash S&Ws though you might want to choose another forum to start it in.  ::)

Hammerdown, The model 48 has been a favorite of mine for years. I have a 6" & a 8&3/8" . Years ago back in the 60s I got the bright idea to ream out 3 holes in my model 18 to 22mag. Best of both worlds. In those long-ago days of ignorant bliss I fired lr and mag in the 3 mag chambers. That gun is long ago gone but it met my needs at the time. My gunsmith rechambered it for me. Charged $2.00 a piece to rechamber them.

Regards,
Byron

Christian by choice, American by the grace of God.

NRA LIFE

Offline Hammerdown

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Re: S&W Model 48 .22 W.M.R. & .22 L.R. The Red Headed Step Child K-22 Revolver
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2010, 03:58:27 am »
Sorry Waldo, but I don't see in the posts who "stole the  thread " before you. It's real easy to start a thread of your own. If your going to bash S&Ws though you might want to choose another forum to start it in.  ::)

Hammerdown, The model 48 has been a favorite of mine for years. I have a 6" & a 8&3/8" . Years ago back in the 60s I got the bright idea to ream out 3 holes in my model 18 to 22mag. Best of both worlds. In those long-ago days of ignorant bliss I fired lr and mag in the 3 mag chambers. That gun is long ago gone but it met my needs at the time. My gunsmith rechambered it for me. Charged $2.00 a piece to rechamber them.

Regards,



Hello Pastorp
Now, that is something I have not heard of being done before Two calibers in One cylinder...Did it Group decent ? Hammerdown
"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Offline pastorp

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Re: S&W Model 48 .22 W.M.R. & .22 L.R. The Red Headed Step Child K-22 Revolver
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2010, 12:52:29 pm »
Of course all the mag ammo available back then was what you called old school so I don't know how it would a grouped with this new high-speed stuff, but It shot close enought to point of aim to be usable. I've never been much of a papper shooter, but it would shoot minuite of tin can with either round.  ;D

Regards,
Byron

Christian by choice, American by the grace of God.

NRA LIFE

Offline fs4724

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I have a M38 no dash in 8" barrel with both .22 and .22 mag cylinders. I guess it is an original from the first edition. I have a problem with .22 mag cases extracting. They want to stay stuck in the cylinder. Any ideas? Shoots very nice. FS



Offline fs4724

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I mean M48 - please excuse typo.

Offline Waldo Pepper

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I mean M48 - please excuse typo.
You probably need to have the cylinder rehoned or replaced. Sometimes people shoot shorts or longs and fail to clean the cylinder properly and a mild scrubbing is all that's needed, but that's rare and owner has problem until he cleans it propper. I have heard of people using cleaning brush chucked drill to clean & polish cylinder not realizing they are ruining a cylinder by giving 10 to 20 years of wear in just a couple minutes.
I would suggest having a good gunsmith look at it and see what it needs. On my Dan Wesson I had a bad forging I guess on a cylinder as it was sticking fired shells in all but one cylinder. Anyway I sent gun back to factory had new 22LR cylinder installed and asked to have old cylinder bored to WMR. Kieth at DW said it might get past the bad spots and might not, but would try. Anyway it worked and now have interchangable WMR & LR cylinders. I haven't shot the WNR cylinder since I cleaned it after the crtoney testing, I may put it back on and shoot the last couple hundred rounds of WMR I have left just to hear the loud bang.
However the reaming out a few chambers for WMR and leaving rest as LR seems to me a dangerous Idea to me, but I'm somewhat forgetful and would probably fire a LR in WMR chamber and hurt myself.
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Offline bobthenailer

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Around the late 1970s  i owned a 8 3/8  S&W 48 with full target options , bought it brand new!  sent it back to S&W for a aux 22 lr cyl , i think the cost was under $100.00 ? for the cyl .   a nice combo
 I also had a S&W 53 8 3/8 with full target options & aux 22 lr cyl .
  at one time i had every model of S&W revolver that came with a 8 3/8 barrel there all gone now!  some replaced with there SS counterparts.

Offline Dixiejack

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Gentlemen,
For the most part the has been an interesting and entertaining read.  I have learned at lot!  I have always wanted a Model 48 w/8 3/8" barrel.  On occasions I have run across a 48 but the price is more than I want to indulge.  I have a question and even though it is not about a 48, it is about a Smith & Wesson model 17.  I have two 17's, one is 99% and will remain as such. The other is about 85-90% and I have very little $ tied up in it. Both have 8 3/8" bbls. All that to say, could I have the chambers reamed to .22 MRF and leave the barrel as is? The issues with this 17 is all cosmetic and it will never be anything but a shooter.  I want a .22 mag. for shooting crows and an occasional wild dog , coyote, and even feral hogs that show up. I am even thinking about putting a 2X scope on it if I can convert it.  It will be a truck gun.
One other thing I would like to say in the defense of the .22 mag. when people start to talking about handguns in .22 mag. sounding like a .357 mag. Don't you wear hearing protection or is it a macho thing to shoot hundreds of rounds without protecting your hearing.  I am an old man and have been wearing hearing aids for about 10 years and my ears ring constantly for about 30 yrs.  Back in the day, even in service the only protection we had on the shooting ranges was cigarette filters stuck in our ears. Little did we know. Thanks for your time and any advice you can shoot my way will be appreciated. (bobthenailer--Earl and Bob Lee are my heroes.)

Offline Hammerdown

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Gentlemen,
For the most part the has been an interesting and entertaining read.  I have learned at lot!  I have always wanted a Model 48 w/8 3/8" barrel.  On occasions I have run across a 48 but the price is more than I want to indulge.  I have a question and even though it is not about a 48, it is about a Smith & Wesson model 17.  I have two 17's, one is 99% and will remain as such. The other is about 85-90% and I have very little $ tied up in it. Both have 8 3/8" bbls. All that to say, could I have the chambers reamed to .22 MRF and leave the barrel as is?Thanks for your time and any advice you can shoot my way will be appreciated. (bobthenailer--Earl and Bob Lee are my heroes.)

 
Hello Dixie Jack
You can Not turn a K-22 Model 17 into a .22 W.M.R. cartridge hand gun. The reason is because the bore of a model 17 being that it is a .22 L.R. cartridge's bullet is .0223 in diameter and a .22 W.M.R. Bore handgun is .0224" in diameter. I hope this helps, Hammerdown
"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Offline Dixiejack

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Yes sir, that answers my question.  Guess I will have to go to plan "B" and keep looking for a Model 48.  One can't have too many guns.  :)

Offline Waldo Pepper

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All manufactures use same barrels for WMR as LR and have forever that I know of, I chalk this up to old wives tail. A guy can't trust those old wives.
I have actually asked the following mfg's: S&W, Dan Wesson, Ruger and Heritage, with S&W I checked twice. All you need to do is use some common sense when considering this, example is 222 and 223 rifles use 224 dia bullets.
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Offline Dixiejack

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Hammerdown, getting back your discussion of the Model 48 (I apologize if I got off the subject), Has the Model 48  ever been produced with a full lug barrel? 

Offline Hammerdown

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All manufactures use same barrels for WMR as LR and have forever that I know of, I chalk this up to old wives tail. A guy can't trust those old wives.
I have actually asked the following mfg's: S&W, Dan Wesson, Ruger and Heritage, with S&W I checked twice. All you need to do is use some common sense when considering this, example is 222 and 223 rifles use 224 dia bullets.

 
 
 
  Hello
I don't know who you Talked to at S&W But you & They are Wrong, and very Misleading... They may use the same barrels for the K-22 Masterpiece chambered in .22 L.R. as  they do for the Model 48 Chambered in .22 W.M.R., but they sure do Not use the same cylinders as the Model 48 is of a higher heat treating to take the much higher pressures of the round compared to the .22 L.R. cytlinder and that is Exactly "WHY" S&W Offered the Model 48 Magnum with the Optional .22 W.M.R. cylinder Attempting to convert a standard K-22 .22 L.R. cylinder could be Lethal to the shooter, there is a ton of difference in just the Cartridge pressures alone not to Mention the bullets are of different Diameter, Which quickly escalates the pressure in the forcing cone area as well as the barrel. These two Very different Cartridges have Nothing on Earth to do with Rifles caliber's of .222 Or .223 That use the same exact size bullets to begin with and share the same bore size only differing in the amount of Powder used as the .223 making it Much more Potent than the Remington .222 Caliber, but I bet the chamber of the .223 is far more beefier than  that of the Remington .222 to Take the extra pressures involved... How about We stick to the Pertinent 48 .22 W.M.R. discussion and keep it safe and useful...Not Misleading or Dangerous. I wouldn't suggest even attempting to convert a .22 L.R caliber cylinder to a .22 W.M.R. caliber that's Just Ingredient's for a disaster... Are you Prepared to  Suffer from the Legal consequences if someone get's hurt or injured by your Insane suggestions here  of Modifying a factory bored cylinder ? and Besides the cylinder Throat's of the .22 W.M.R. cylinder is smaller than that of the .22 L.R. cylinders.....
"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Offline Hammerdown

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Hammerdown, getting back your discussion of the Model 48 (I apologize if I got off the subject), Has the Model 48  ever been produced with a full lug barrel?

 
 
 

 
Hello DixieJack
No need to apologize, you had a good question and I responded with Pertinent facts. Question's never offend me, we all have to learn from each other through life and I don't care to share my Information with anyone But when some Richard Cranium spout's off with Babble or unfounded information, it sends me over the Edge as there is no useful Purpose for it, I would Never try to hurt anyone or suggest doing something that the factory did not offer.  ;)  I have been Into S&W's for most of my life so I am fully aware of what work's or not with them and what they have offered in the past. They did Make a S&W revolver chambered in .22 W.M.R. with the full Lug Barrel, but it was the stainless version model 648. They Never offered a full Lug Barrel on the carbon steel model 48's. The Model 648's were made from 1989-1986. They are tough to locate as those that have them do not like letting go of them. Regards, Hammerdown
"yeah, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I shall Fear no evil as I carry with me my Loaded S&W"

Offline Waldo Pepper

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  Hello
I don't know who you Talked to at S&W But you & They are Wrong, and very Misleading... They may use the same barrels for the K-22 Masterpiece chambered in .22 L.R. as  they do for the Model 48 Chambered in .22 W.M.R., but they sure do Not use the same cylinders as the Model 48 is of a higher heat treating to take the much higher pressures of the round compared to the .22 L.R. cytlinder and that is Exactly "WHY" S&W Offered the Model 48 Magnum with the Optional .22 W.M.R. cylinder Attempting to convert a standard K-22 .22 L.R. cylinder could be Lethal to the shooter, there is a ton of difference in just the Cartridge pressures alone not to Mention the bullets are of different Diameter, Which quickly escalates the pressure in the forcing cone area as well as the barrel. These two Very different Cartridges have Nothing on Earth to do with Rifles caliber's of .222 Or .223 That use the same exact size bullets to begin with and share the same bore size only differing in the amount of Powder used as the .223 making it Much more Potent than the Remington .222 Caliber, but I bet the chamber of the .223 is far more beefier than  that of the Remington .222 to Take the extra pressures involved... How about We stick to the Pertinent 48 .22 W.M.R. discussion and keep it safe and useful...Not Misleading or Dangerous. I wouldn't suggest even attempting to convert a .22 L.R caliber cylinder to a .22 W.M.R. caliber that's Just Ingredient's for a disaster... Are you Prepared to  Suffer from the Legalconsequences if someone get's hurt or injured by your Insane suggestions here  of Modifying a factory bored cylinder ? and Besides the cylinder Throat's of the .22 W.M.R. cylinder is smaller than that of the .22 L.R. cylinders.....
Well not sure where you get your info, but I would look to another sourse that's for sure. The cylinder for 22LR & WMR start out the same, no special treating for the WMR cylinder, neighbor had his 617 rechambered to WMR by S&W about 10 years ago, I had a 22LR Cylinder reemed to WMR about 4 or 5 years ago, friend and shooting buddy just had his M-17 (6" 22 LR S&W) recambered to 22 WMR this past winter. I shoot 100 yard with my DW 8" 22LR and with 22 WMR cylinder installed it still shoots to same point of aim depending on ammo used. I sold the cylinder recently because 3 times the cost for ammo that's designed for rifle that has a 30% to 40% velocity drop was just crazy in my book.   
222 and 223 pressures are very close to same. I load 222 for Brn A-bolt, 55 year old Savage of my dad's, my Thompson G/2 Contender, and also for a Remington 600 Mohawk, and in 223 for Ruger Mini 14 and Armalite M4 using same components for both and that has both calibers running 50,000CUP range with some loads of 222 being higher CUP then some loads of 223 caliber.
Remington 600's (18" carbine) were mostly made in 222 caliber with a few in 6.5mm 35 Rem Mag and I think 6mm and only couple hundred in 223 caliber. Now 20 to 30 years later very few 222 can be found as most were rechambered to 223, most of them done by local gunsmiths, but even Remington service was suppose to have offered the service to rechamber.
Anyway you folks have fun. Tomorrow I will be at the gun club on 100 yard range with two of my 22 LR rifles and my DW 22 LR revolver if it don't rain.
 
"How is it you do not understand me when I speak? It is because you cannot bear to listen to my words."

Offline Drilling Man

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  From what "I" remember,
 
  The 22lr can MAX out at 30,000 psi...
 
  The 22WMR is more like 26,000 psi...
 
  DM
 
  OK, i want to edit this link in,  http://www.lasc.us/SAAMIMaxPressure.htm

Offline Rutin2tin

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  • "No Gnuws is good Gnuws"~ Gary Gnu

I have a model 48 full target with 8-3/8" bbl, 22WMRF cylinder only.......however, I also own a model 17 full target, with 6" bbl.
Would be nice to have a 22LR cylinder for the mdl 48, but it's doubtful I'd ever use it.
Here's an image of the S&W pair:

It is.....what it is...

Offline Dixiejack

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Very nice.