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Old December 3, 2002, 09:54 PM   #1
WhoKnowsWho
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Smith and Wesson Model 37

Who has one of these old alloy J Frames? A shop here deals with a lot of old LE revolvers and for $150-$175 I don't think I can pass one of these up. I can live with the holster wear.

Anything I should know about these? Any comments, good or bad? Thanks.
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Old December 3, 2002, 10:15 PM   #2
BobR
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Great little gun. Don't shoot +P's out of it on a regular basis and you should be fine. If it is a police trade in, there is a very good chance it has been shot very little.

I give mine a steady diet of Federal Personal Defense (110g Hydra Shock) ammo.

If you want to be profecient with one, you need to practice, you can get surprisingly good with a snub, if you take the time to learn.

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Old December 3, 2002, 10:20 PM   #3
Johnny Guest
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GET ONE!

Maybe two.

They are GREAT concealed carry items. One of the best combinations of power, lightness, size, going. They are light enough to drop in a pants pocket or to wear in an ankle holster, without feeling like you're wearing training weights. In a pocket holster, you can almost forget you're carrying.

If these are old police department guns, chances are pretty good they've been carried a lot and seldom fired, except in mandatory qualificaitons. The alloy frame .38 is not a pleasant gun to shoot much, especially with full service ammo, so a lot of guys issued these guns bought their own steel frame guns to shoot at qual time. So, the holster wear might not indicate a lot of mechanical wear.

These little airweights are not at all bad to shoot with wadcutter target loads, or the lighter service loads, like the 130 FMJ. They are NOT rated for a steady diet of +P ammo. Fire a few service loads, just to see where it shoots, and then practice with the light loads. I prefer Rem or Win LSWCHP +P for carry. A fgew of these will not immediately cause your revolver to shake to pieces. Another advantage is tht they usually shoot close to point of aim with the fixed sights.

Please look at the top of any TFL page and see "Library." Click there, and, down toward the bottom, is a very good treatise on examining used revolvers before purchase. Member Jim March wrote it and did an outstanding job. Read it a couple of times, and better still, print it out. Practice the checkout drill with another revolver. Wouldn't hurt to take it with you to the shop, so the seller knows you have a frame of reference.

A dealer will often cut you a deal if you buy more than one item at a time.

Sounds to me as if you've made a good find. I know I wouldn't be able to resist.

Best,
Johnny
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Old December 3, 2002, 10:23 PM   #4
Ala Dan
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I second the motion to buy the S&W model 37! What
a great little J-frame. You know that Smith & Wesson
re-introduced it in stainless steel don't you? It's called
the model 637; same great feature's as found on the
model 37. I think I would rather have a nice model
37!

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Old December 3, 2002, 11:30 PM   #5
MikeJ
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Definitely get one. I've got a beautiful nickel plated 37 bought new back in the late 80's and they are fantastic little guns. Mine still looks brand new and I will try to post a picture of it sometime, when I figure out how to take good pictures. Take care, Mike
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Old December 4, 2002, 01:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the comments! I read the used revolver information before I even went to the place. They had 8 of the same revolver out front and they had more in the back. When I go purchase one next month, I should have plenty to choose from to find the best one. Though I was planning on getting a nickel, chrome, or SS revolver, I think one of these M37s will satisfy me, along with the Glock 22 I am paying off next week.

I was planning on getting a Kel Tec P11 or another semi-auto for concealed carry, but loaded with +P, this sounds to be fine for normal carry. And a new M637 would be nice, but I can get 2 of these used ones for that price, almost 3 of them! One for me, one for my wife, and one for the dog!

Again, thanks for all the comments! Now I feel better about wanting to get one. Or two.
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Old December 4, 2002, 02:16 PM   #7
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One more question, do the older trade in models have a firing pin block like the new ones?
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Old December 4, 2002, 02:49 PM   #8
Ala Dan
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Greeting's Who Knows Who-

It really depends on how far back you go. I doubt that
very early model 37's had the firing pin block; but I do
not know for sure?

Before 1957, this gun was referred to simply as "Chief's
Special-Airweight"; stamping of the model designation
began in 1957. The Standard Catalog Of Smith & Wesson,
2nd edition by Supica & Nahas list an internal hammer
alteration in 1962. Just for future reference, the serial
prefix letter "J" was issued starting in 1969. So, maybe
from this information you may be able to determine
whether or not yours has a firing pin block.

Best Wishes,
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Old December 4, 2002, 05:39 PM   #9
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Okay, thanks a lot! I figured the original models did not have the block, when I go back, I'll be sure to try and find one that does.

Hope to post a picture in less than a month or so!
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Old December 4, 2002, 06:55 PM   #10
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Does this shop have a name? or a phone number,i'am in phoenix but don't mind a little road time for a good deal
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Old December 4, 2002, 10:54 PM   #11
Ala Dan
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Who Knows Who,

Just a little FYI, if the said shop has an older* S&W model
60-nothing (stainless Chief's Special) with the 2" barrel,
and the "R" serial prefix at a reasonable price; that surely
would be the way to go, my friend! You give up a few
ounce's, but the gun is fabricated from stainless steel
with a "flash chromed" trigger and hammer. Actually, the
weight of the model 60 is only 19 ozs!

*FootNote: Smith & Wesson re-introduced the Airweight
Chief's Special as the model 637. You might want to check
out one of these; but be prepared to pay a higher price
for one found in NIB condition. The figure "6" in 637 says
it is made of stainless steel.
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Old December 5, 2002, 09:10 AM   #12
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bpisler: Diamondback Police Supply Co (520) 886-8338 Open to the Public

Ala Dan: I would have noticed any SS or Chrome S&W but there were none. They did have the steel frame model 36 for about the same price if I remember correctly.

I feel a NIB S&W would not be a direction I would go, they seem a bit over priced when compared to a new Taurus. Of course, if money was no object, new is always nice!

I'm in between purchases that I want right now no matter how I look at it. Monday, I will probably go back to take a wider variety look at all the revolvers. Now that I know more about them.

And on a side note, I e-mailed S&W about their warranty. It says the firearm is warrantied for life for the original owner but when I asked them directly about it, they don't care if it was bought used or not, so if my gun decides to crack in half while in my holster, they will fix it or replace it I suppose!
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Old December 5, 2002, 08:15 PM   #13
bpisler
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WhoKnowsWho
Thanks abunch for the info,i hope to put it to good use,thanks again
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Old December 6, 2002, 08:28 AM   #14
Wild Irish
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y' Betcha

One of my carry guns is a 3-inch 37, and one can forget it is there. Mine likes the WinClean 125 grain sjsp, 775 fps, puts five holes very close to the center. Also, try the Remington 148 grain wadcutters.
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Old December 6, 2002, 10:06 AM   #15
jimmy
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I have a two-inch, square-butt Model 37 made about 1985. I can recommend it as a fine gun. I definitely do not shoot +P's in it, however. Apart from the stress on the gun, there's the stress on my shooting hand. Anyway, for concealed carry, I load it with standard pressure Nyclads.
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Old December 15, 2002, 07:31 PM   #16
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Hey, I need grip suggestions. Either modifications to my own grip or aftermarket grips to purchase. I went out and fired about 30 rounds and the knuckle of my middle finger took a small beating. Any ideas? And shoot less is not acceptable!
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Old December 16, 2002, 05:54 AM   #17
Ala Dan
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Hogue's "Bantam Grips" are SUPER.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
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Old December 16, 2002, 12:06 PM   #18
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Ala Dan: Funny, those are the ones in my shopping cart at Midway... I'll check my local shop to see if they have them also.
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Old December 17, 2002, 09:58 PM   #19
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Personally I'd go with either the Mod 36 or the 60LS...I want the weight for modest recoil attenuation and control. I got the stainless as I was looking at the 637 and simply was afraid it was too light. Am darned happy with mine.
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