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Old March 25, 2013, 05:20 PM   #1
Ferretboy
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Model 36

Thoughts on a Smith and Wesson Model 36 with 3 inch barrel for $499? Saw it today and its tempting.
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:33 PM   #2
alex0535
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We have a 1.8" barreled Model 36. I would rather have a 3" barreled version as it would just be so much more shootable.

They are good little revolvers. Built to last. For one in pretty good condition its probably a fair enough price if your in the market for a 38 special.
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:35 PM   #3
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Depends on which dash number it is ....and condition...

Depending on the dash number ...in a 3" it should be a Sq Butt frame vs Rd Butt.../ and I like the Sq Butt frame better ( fits my hands better ). In the early 90's 3" versions were round butt frames.

In general I find the model 36's ( J frames) to be a little small / and since they're all ....38 spl.../ I tend to look at the K frames myself ( mod 19's, etc )...
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:38 PM   #4
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its a square butt, the model designation under the crane just said Model 36. not familiar with S&W yet, been looking for a 3in .357 for CCW.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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I have a model 60 (the stainless version of the 36); it's a 2" round butt. I would rather it be a 3". It would be more shootable. But it's a good little piece either way. The round butt conceals better. The square butt fits in larger hands better. For concealment's sake, I always go with the round butt for smaller revolvers (my hands aren't big).
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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If it just said model 36 - and no dash number / it means its a "no dash" gun....and the S&W book says it was made between 1957 and 1966.
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In the .357 mag calibers.../ model 13's were made in some 3" versions
and 4" of course ( K frames ).../ model 19's were commonly made in 2 1/2", 4" and 6" ( K frames again)...and there were a few 3" but they're going to be relatively rare / same thing on the model 66's with 2 1/2", 4" and 6" being common - with some rare exceptions in 3".

Personally, I have a 2 1/2" in a model 66 ...and a few in 4" in both model 66's and 19's ...and the 4" guns, with full power .357 mag, are a lot easier to shoot than the 2 1/2".....and I use the same holster ( Kramer Leather ) for the 2 1/2" and the 4" models...so if I want to carry a small revolver, I reach for one of the 4" versions I have in mod 19 or 66.

I'd suggest you shoot some 2 1/2" versions of the model 66's and some 4" versions before you spend money on a gun you may not end up liking too much.

Shooting a mod 19 or 66 with .38 spl makes them more manageable of course.../ and the nice thing over this model 36 you've found, is the .357 mag versions give you the option.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:41 PM   #7
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Its still tempting just to have a dedicated .38.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Depends on whether the J frame fits your hands better than the K frames ....

( J frames don't work for me at all )...and you can alter the feel with a variety of grips ...but I'll still take a K frame -- or an L (model 686) --- or N frame (model 27's or 28's ) in .357 mag over a J or K frame( model 10's are K frames too ) in .38 spl...but as you increase in frame sizes to an L or N frame ...they get heavier ( making them easier to shoot in 4" with .357 mag ) ...but a little harder to carry ...

but if you just want a gun chambered in .38 spl ...that's cool too.../ everybody should buy and shoot what they want. .357 mag is my favorite caliber in S&W revolvers...and I really like the K frame model 19's, 66's ...and the L frame mod 686's ...and especially the N frame model 27's.../ and I've accumulated about a dozen of them over the years in a variety of finishes and barrel lengths...so far be it from me, to talk a guy out of buying another S&W revolver....

Last edited by BigJimP; March 25, 2013 at 06:51 PM.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:58 PM   #9
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In 1976 I bought a new Mod. 36, 3" bbl., sq. butt. I loved that gun, but in 2002 replaced it with a Mod. 60, 3", .357 mag. I had only fired 50-100 rnds. through the 36. 2 or 3 years ago I sold it, like new, in the box, with papers, etc. I'm not a big fan of stainless guns, (although I also have a 63 & 67) but I think, for me, stainless is better for CC. As I recall, I sold mine for around $400. If it's in good shape & you get it, I'm confident you'll like it.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:26 PM   #10
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one problem I am having is the shortage of revolvers in the area, plenty of .22's and some .38's but no snub .357's (Other than the Rossi 461 I saw and talked myself out of, still sitting there.) I like .357's, I like the recoil, I like the feel of my 6in GP100 in my hand or on my hip. I want an sp101 but no luck. My CCP is on its way so I need something concealable.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:32 PM   #11
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If it's a 3 inch barrel, it's a model 36-1.
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:21 PM   #12
James K
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I carried a 3" square butt Chiefs Special for years and like the gun, but unless one is in near new condition, $500 is too much, IMHO. (Note, there are two types of square butt; one is square butt steel, the other a round butt with the stocks made to fill the butt out into a square shape. I referred to the latter which is, again IMHO, the better arrangement.)


Rather than just edit the post, I will add:

Oh boy, I blew that, writing "latter" when I meant "former". I much prefer the full steel grip over the wood "filler".

Jim
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Old March 26, 2013, 08:59 AM   #13
Mike Irwin
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Dang. I've been looking for a 3" square butt 36 for a bunch of years now.

It's hard to say whether $500 is a good price or terrible price, as we don't know about the condition, but I'd say in this environment, it's a fairly average price for an S&W.
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Old March 26, 2013, 09:15 AM   #14
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Forgot to mention earlier that I usually carried my Mod. 36, 3" in a Roy Baker pancake holster. (Black, leather, basketweave) Due to getting arthritis in my hands, I only shoot .38+P in my model 60. One thing the 36 had over the 60 is the plain sights never caught on the holster, clothes, etc.
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Old March 26, 2013, 09:53 AM   #15
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I dont have a pic, but the finish on the revolver is nice, it locks up good, the actions smooth, the stocks look to be origional and in good shape.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:10 AM   #16
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Then you should probably buy it, if you want a .38 spl.....but if you really want a .357 mag...then you should keep looking around.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:35 AM   #17
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IMO, $500 is high, but in today's crazy market - who knows ?

FWIW, before the current craziness, I bought my youngest Daughter (she was 28 y.o. at the time) a 3" S&W Model 37 Airweight (an alloy-framed Model 36) she liked, for $300 - so my opinion is most likely, well - opiniated.........





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Old March 26, 2013, 11:15 AM   #18
mrflash
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Model 37, 3" - what ammo.

@ PetahW - Last year , at my LGS. I picked up a Mod. 37, 3" used in exc. cond. It had been in the case for over a year @ $400 and I knew if I didn't get it I'd be sorry. $375 was as low as he'd go. My question is: what ammo. do you/does she shoot in it? I've heard & read the "horror stories" about the lightweight guns. (Mine was made in 1982) Seems like most of the lower ft. lb. ammo is LRN or FMJ. Input from anyone else would be appreciated, also.
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Old March 26, 2013, 11:26 AM   #19
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In .38 spl and .357 mag....I stay with the traditional 158gr bullet...( and I reload so its easy for me to tailor some reloads in .38 spl for some of the younger grandkids...)

but in .38 spl ...I don't like the 125 grain bullets..they tend to have a faster muzzle velocity up around 900 fps..or a little faster / and in .38spl in the 158gr I like the muzzle velocity for the kids down around 750 fps...for a much gentler recoil / softer shooting round. My reloads in .38 spl are between 725 and 750 fps.

If I was going to buy .38 spl ammo ...I'd probably look at MagTech ammo - they make a number of jacketed bullet commercial rounds in .38spl with the 158gr bullet.
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I also tailor the grips to the younger kids...on a K frame / they start shooting a model 18 in .22 ( 4" ), then I move them up to a model 10 4" in .38 spl (K frame)....or a model 19 or 66 4" and keep them in the .38 spl ...until they get enough upper body and hand strength to handle a softer .357 mag round. I have some round butt K frames / and the round butt grips tend to fit smaller hands...and I have a variety of grips for the SQ butt K frames too ...some wood, with finger grooves - the rubber Hogue grips - the standard K frame wood target grips..etc...
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same way I break the young kids into semi-autos ....Browning Buckmark in .22 / maybe a conversion kit on a 1911 / then a Sig 239 in 9mm or a 4" alloy frame 1911 in a 9mm...just let them transition thru the guns as they get comfortable. All kids want to shoot the biggest and heaviest gun they can ...but they have to earn it...( standard T-2 targets at 15 or 21 Feet )...5 nice shots out of 6, on target somewhere in the 7" circle before they move up.

They know when they're ready ...its a sense of pride for them / and they appreciate that I can tailor loads that are best for them to accomplish their goals. A lot of new shooters are ruined in this hobby ...by going to big calibers, or heavy recoil rounds, too fast. I saw it Sunday at my range...guy was making his wife shoot a tactical shotgun - and she hated it more every time she pulled the trigger. He wasn't doing her any favors. Same thing with young kids..

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Old March 26, 2013, 12:13 PM   #20
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Thanks for the info., BigJim. Unfortunately, I don't reload or have any friends nearby who do. I DO have a box of MagTech 158 gr., SJHP, but it's rated at 230 ft.lbs. and I'm not sure if that's too hot for the Mod. 37. Also have some Rem., 130 gr., MC, rated at 173 ft. lbs., but not my first choice for DC.
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Old March 26, 2013, 01:59 PM   #21
BigJimP
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That MagTech load is at 807 FPS ....so its a little faster than I would prefer...but its not too heavy a load for a J frame.

Whether you like shooting it in a J frame or not ...vs something a little slower is another issue / but it sure won't hurt the gun.
---------
Hitting your buddies up for reloads is a bad idea...it makes them assume all of the liability for you shooting their ammo. I won't load for -- or sell -- any reloads to my friends ...I don't want the responsibility or the liability.

Just buy commercial ammo ....or invest in your own reloading setups down the road...you'll be a lot better off in my opinion.
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Old March 26, 2013, 02:01 PM   #22
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I myself am putting together a hand press reloading kit (Accidently bought 2 hand press's though.) just having trouble finding materials.

I am pretty much sure i am gonna hold out for a .357 snubbie for now. ones gotta pop up eventually. I think I am set on a Ruger SP101 first choice, and a S&W second choice. now I just gotta find one.
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Old March 26, 2013, 02:43 PM   #23
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THE S&W M36-1 3" 38SPL is one of the greatest snubbies of ALL gun history. Mine would literally outshoot all three of the COLT PYTHONS I had with any 38SPL load you cared to test. For some reason I cannot explain the 3" BBL's on the S&W snubs were head and shoulders above the 2" snub barrels, far more that an inch of rifled barrel would leed you to believe. My 3" M940 is the same way, No fooling.
And so it goes...
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:24 PM   #24
PetahW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrflash

I picked up a Mod. 37, 3" used in exc. cond.
My question is: what ammo. do you/does she shoot in it? I've heard & read the "horror stories" about the lightweight guns.

She practices with gunstore-bought .38 Special lead RN reloads, but keeps it loaded for business (and occassionally practices) with Glaser Safety Slugs.

She's not an LEO, and has no intention of shooting through car doors, walls, whatever - just putting 5 in dead center mass as fast as possible, which she does pretty well.
(She's a gunclub member, shoots weekly)


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Old March 27, 2013, 01:31 PM   #25
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Right now with the gun craziness going on it might not be so, but when it settles down the Rugers 3 inch .357 should be found everywhere. Not so with the S&W 36 with a 3 inch barrel. I own more that I should admit to but I think the 3 inch 38 spl J-frames are great. Great size and balance for the 38 spl. and the 3 inch barrel really helps with the longer sight radius. Try to talk them down to $400 or $450 and pick up a really fine revolver.

And try to find a S&W 60 .357 with a 3inch barrel, you won't be sorry.It's the model 36's big bad brother.
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