S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

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Old No7
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S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#1 Post by Old No7 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:19 pm

It seems I've had a love/hate relationship with the J-frame S&W Model 63s...

First I had a 4" one, then sold that when someone made me a decent offer for it. Then I found a 3" one, which was really handy to carry in the woods, but someone else wanted it more than me, and I sold off that one too.

Even though I've got a nice vintage 6" Model 17 K22 and a slicked-up 4" Model 617 10-shot, both K frames of course, I've always kept my eyes open for the longer 5-inch barreled Model 63 J-frame -- as there was something about that different barrel length that appealed to me. Well, I finally found one. But I couldn't leave it alone...

So I proceeded to "upgrade it" to match the 3 Ts that are all of my other Smiths -- adding a Target hammer, Target trigger and Target grips.

Adding the J-frame target trigger was easy -- just found one on ebay, made the purchase and did the install. Done!

S&W 63-4 3Ts 03 (Small).jpg

Adding "target style" grips was easy too -- just go to Altamont and order the oversized rosewood finger-groove square J-frame grips -- and they fit right onto the round frame of the 63-4 and are full in the back, so you don't see it's really a round grip. Done!

S&W 63-4 3Ts 04 (Small).jpg

Adding a J-frame Target Hammer??? Not so easy -- but it's now done! I got a Model 60-4 large-spur hammer and mainspring from S&W Customer Service for a ridiculously low price... I was told it was "just laying around on a bench and not a stock item any longer", so the CS Rep shipped it for the shipping cost. Not too shabby!

But as you can see below, comparing the hammer I got (left) to the hammer of my Model 631 (center, back), the Model 60-4 target hammer was made with an attached firing pin... Not any longer though! About 2.5 hours of careful measuring, filing and fitting took care of that, and the newly modified hammer with the large spur works perfectly! Now I can call this "done".

S&W 63-4 3Ts 01 (Small).jpg
S&W 63-4 3Ts 02 (Small).jpg

Here's an interesting thought and image... The 5" barrel of the Model 63-4 is 83% as long as the 6" K-frame barrel of my Model 17. The overall length of the 63-4 is about 85%, as are several other measurements such as frame height and length, and weight.

So what I show here is basically a (-17%) down-sized stainless Target Revolver -- with the 3 Ts -- shown next to the larger K22 Target Revolver, also with 3 Ts.

S&W 63-4 3Ts 05 (Small).jpg

I really like the heavier-than-the-4" barrel that S&W put on the 5" Model 63; it's not quite a bull barrel, but certainly heavier-for-caliber than it had to be. In fact, it's heavier than the barrel of my 631 in 32 Magnum. I'm really liking how this modified 5" 63-4 handles now, and she's a great shooter too! She's got the heavier barrel and the 3Ts that I added, and all I need to do now is install the J-frame lock plug that's already been ordered. Oh, and try to find a decent 5" J-frame leather holster too -- that may take some work...

Anyway, I do know there are many who don't touch their S&Ws, and I understand that; but for me, I really enjoy the work and challenge to "Make a good gun even better".

To me, this modified 5" Model 63-4 is now the ultimate woods/carry gun, as it's got the lighter weight and smaller size of a J-frame, but the longer/heavier 5" barrel which is proportionately the equivalent of a bigger 6" K-frame. And with a decent trigger job already done, she shoots really well too -- better than any J-frame Model 63 I've had before.

Tight groups!

Old No7
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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#2 Post by JerryB » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:11 pm

Looks like a good woods walker for sure. Nice work.
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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#3 Post by buckeyeshooter » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:33 am

Never have had a 63, but do have an 18-2 with 3T's bought new in the 80's. A great shooter and easy to carry.

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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#4 Post by Pisgah » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:12 pm

Interesting idea, excellent result.

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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#5 Post by marlinman93 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:40 pm

Very nicely done! And it looks like it came from S&W that way!
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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#6 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:57 pm


I like a 5" DA RF revolver, so several years ago, I ordered/bought a 5" Taurus Model 941 in .22 Mag (top/right, below).


I really like the way it handled - but then, the first cylinder full of ammo spit debris back into my face. (I know, I know - I shoulda known better)

So, rather deal with Taurus' very lengthy & torturous warranty process, I swapped it with a dealer I didn't like very much a store credit.

I like what you did with your Hen's Tooth, though - I especially like the grips.

Last edited by Pete44ru on Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#7 Post by Ysabel Kid » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:00 pm

I am very jealous! I can't wait to have some time to tinker with my guns. That looks like it was a neat project. I bet it was quite the stress reliever too! Almost nothing feels as good as a job well done! :D

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Re: S&W Model 63-4 5" Upgrade -- Added the "3 Ts"

#8 Post by Paladin » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:39 pm

Nicely done.
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