Removing barrel from LCR for 22LR conversion

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WANT A LCR 22LR

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
88
Anyone remove the barrel from a LCR yet? I'm guessing it screws in and is likely set with locktite. ( the frame is aluminum ) S&W makes a barrel removal tool that looks to engage the rifling, who would sell these tools for a Ruger?

I'm seriously considering converting from 38 to 22LR. The goal is to have a carry ( stock 38 ) and a practice ( 22LR ). 22LR ammo is 25% the cost of 38 and less recoil make this apealing. ( though the cost of conversion will eat into any savings )

The barrel is just the first step. The prototype will get a sleeved cylinder, making a 8 shot cyl would be good but will have to wait. The extractor may prove to be fiddley so I may forgo it for now. Moving the firing pin will require redriling the frame then making a oval firing pin bushing, I'm not sure if the transfer bar is long enough or will need to be remade.

I'm using a S&W 38 Airlite and SW 22LR Airlite as design studies, there are some differences that are unaccounted for, will post them later.

Anyt other ideas?
Thanks
 

WANT A LCR 22LR

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
88
A SW would allow me to fire 22's, but the point is to have a gun the same as the LCR. A Ruger SP 101 in 22LR might be a acceptable compromise. Besides, the SW Airlite 22 isn't mine so I don't have consistent access.

The SW has a push forward cylinder release while a Ruger has push / back. The balance is going to be different, I suspect the angle between grip / barrel to be different. This last little bit, the difference in angle, is critical when building the "point and shoot" skills needed for close up defense. No use practicing with something that requires a different hand position.

Being the engineering type I've given this much thought and broken each mod into different areas. Removing the barrel without damaging the frame is the first step. ( What looks like the barrel exterior is really a continuation of the aluminum frame, a thin wall barrel is then inserted to completer the gun. )

Anyone have any links to a board where people make custom guns from scratch?
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
WANT A LCR 22LR":10fr6ent said:
The balance is going to be different, ?

I applaud your desire to make such an animal, but won't the balance of a standard LCR be different from the balance of an LCR that has been converted to .22 rimfire? heavier barrel and heavier cylnder.


~c.r.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
20,836
While you may be an engineer,, I would think the expense & trouble would be too much when you could just go hunting a SP-101 in 22 LR in the used market. Plus,, the LCR is new enough that not a lot is known about customizing them,, nor are tools available to do such things.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,103
If you wait a while I bet Ruger will come out with an LCR in another caliber, maybe 22LR. :D

...Jimbo
 

mike7mm08

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,709
Jimbo357mag":1tmd3ieb said:
If you wait a while I bet Ruger will come out with an LCR in another caliber, maybe 22LR. :D

...Jimbo

Not until he builds one. The the day after he completes it Ruger will announce it :lol:
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
mike7mm08":2igzo89a said:
Not until he builds one. The the day after he completes it Ruger will announce it :lol:


That's about exactly what happened with me. I had "commissioned" a 44 spcl conversion on the NM flattop 50th anniv 357, then a few months into the wait, Lipseys announced the 44 spcl.

Still have to say that i'm more than pleased with my custom. I hope to wear all the blueing off of it. The Lipsyes just get to sit in the safe :oops:
 

WANT A LCR 22LR

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
88
I've run some numbers on weight, some stuff adds weight, some takes it away, still need to gather some weights. www.matweb.com , go to the tools area then calculate weight. Type in what shape you are using then dimensions, there is also a weight unit converter in the tool page too.

The barrel will add .645 OZ

The cylinder will gain weight due to smaller holes, but it will be a bit shorter making for 2.115 OZ increase ( however the fluting can be increased and maybe even some holes drilled to reduce weight )

So, the nose of the gun gains a slight bit and the cyl most of it, but this is a empty gun. Being 22LR cartridges weigh much less than a 38, there is more to come.

I don't have a 22LR or a scale to get weights, so I used the calculator for a estimate. Using a 40 grain 22LR cartridge and 130 grain 38, both less powder , the difference is about 1.464 OZ for 5 .

So, the weight gain of a loaded gun it about 1.296 Oz, not a whole lot but it is a 9.6 % increase.
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
WANT A LCR 22LR, I say go for it maybe it wont put you in the same class as the first men who walked on the moon, Columbus, or Al Gore the inventor of the internet. John Linebaughs guns were not made by just thinking about it. Might as well add a bunch more dhambers while your at it.
 

WANT A LCR 22LR

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
88
Oh, a bit more.

As for Ruger making a LCR 22 , I've asked them and they have no plans. I would like to see a bunch of people requesting one, if we can show a market perhaps it will be built.

A 22 would be a great tie in sale to those new to self defense gun ownership. Firing a 22 is much less dramatic allowing them to learn then move on to the 38. To a new gun owner, running 38 +P in a LCR having never fired before just has to be intimidating and a bit unsafe. Besides, 22 ammo is 25% the cost of 38.

My first few hundred shots were with a 357 in a large frame revolver, then probably 500 of 38 and finally 200 38 in the LCR. Even though I'm a machine guy, I still found the LCR a bit hard to control for the first few shots.

I can see the poster now:

3/4 above view of 2 LCRs with the tag line " Learn to shoot with this one ( pointing to the 22 ) survive with this one ( pointing to the 38 +P one ) "
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,103
In regards to re-doing the firing pin; if the bore of the barrel were lowered and the cylinder chamber holes were moved inward on the cylinder the firing pin would then hit the top of the rim on the 22 cartridge and maybe the shell could be ejected by the star ejector.

In other words no changes to the firing pin just relocate the chambers inward and lower the bore.

...just a thought, Jimbo
 

I_Like_Pie

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
659
I don't see Ruger ever making a .22lr LCR. They learned their lesson with the SP. May be wrong, but custom is the only way they will be seen.
 

Aggie01

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
968
With your stated goal of shooting the same gun cheaper, you are going to put in a lot of time and money that you could use to take up handloading.

Custom guns and cheaper are two contraindicated ideas.

I would imagine that for the price of the second LCR, not to mention the conversion, you could buy a reloading starter kit and enough components to shoot the first few thousand rounds through the gun you have.

Now if it's something you just want to do, go for it. I bet properly hardened 6061 would be plenty strong for your cylinder and super light.
Saves weight without all the tooling it would take to flute one like ruger does.

Or call Hamilton Bowen. Just be sitting down before he gives you a price.
 

Rob72

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
93
I'm gonna pitch these guys at you: https://www.dinaarms.com/
They specialize in shotty conversions, but they might do pistol lengths. Dina's product is nice because the adaptor has rifling; the only other maker I know of is smoothbore, IIRC.
 

Rob72

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
93
Aggie01":3etewqo0 said:
I bet properly hardened 6061 would be plenty strong for your cylinder and super light.
Saves weight without all the tooling it would take to flute one like ruger does.

Or call Hamilton Bowen. Just be sitting down before he gives you a price.
?? Not without steel liners, though that would not be too taxing, if you were already doing the milling.
 

WANT A LCR 22LR

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
88
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, keep them coming.

The Ruger CEO link sounds good. I need to draw up a letter stating the goal is to have new personal protection shooters practice with the 22LR for it's low recoil / ammo cost then move to the 38 +P. Besides, Ruger does not have a 22LR tackle box / kit gun for sale. It has been said the SP101 22LR had poor sales, but try and find one for less than what it cost new. Besides, SW supposedly recently started making a small frame stub 22 again, so there has to be a market.

Moving the barrel off center would change the feel of the gun, don't know if that move will affect how the sights work. Also it would be difficult to line everything up.

Someone at the gun store says the barrel is press fit ( barrel frozen , frame heated ) . When pressed for specific info, they said most aluminum frame guns are made that way.

They also stated the cylinder is investment cast, I can see how this helps the process. ( Investment casting is where you start with a finished part made from wax or styrofoam , pack it casting sand, heat the whole mess to burn out the wax / styrofoam, pour in the metal. This allows for better finished part dimensions, however it still needs machining. )
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
1,598
I think you will spend a lot of much time and money building a custom LCR22. I believe you'd be ahead if you spend that same amount of time and money practicing with the LCR .38. (If the purpose is to become proficient with the LCR .38.)

Of course if the actual purpose of the project is to have an excuse to get a custom LCR22, that's a different matter entirely. :wink:
 

WANT A LCR 22LR

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
88
arfmel":2hu0krmk said:
I think you will spend a lot of much time and money building a custom LCR22.

Yea, I know, but being a engineer / machine / impossible task kind of guy it's a interesting possibility.

arfmel":2hu0krmk said:
Of course if the actual purpose of the project is to have an excuse to get a custom LCR22, that's a different matter entirely. :wink:

Yep, it is evolving into that, though I'd be pretty happy if Ruger builds a 22 first.
 

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