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Old September 6, 2023, 08:52 PM   #1
Skippy
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S&W model 36 no dash, mid '70s?

I have a day to decide. $600, three hour drive to a reputable gun shop in my state to inspect and possibly purchase.
Go or no go?

I already have a stainless model 60 so everything I have now should fit.


Last edited by Skippy; September 6, 2023 at 09:35 PM.
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Old September 7, 2023, 12:45 PM   #2
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surprised

I checked on Gunbroker and was surprised.....I had no idea that M36's were bringing that much money! Currently listed, with like a dozen bids, is indeed a M36 no dash for over $600. The online revolver my have had an original box with it, which adds value.

The asking price for the shop in question is in line with the online amount. I wouldn't pay that for a M36 I was going to carry, but as an addition to a collection, seems in the ballpark.

Gunbroker yields premium prices, usually, but does serve as a top end guide for me
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Old September 7, 2023, 06:41 PM   #3
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Nice round butt 36.
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Old September 8, 2023, 01:53 PM   #4
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UPDATE: Decided to go with it. It's in remarkable condition, no scratches except for a few slight ones on the grips, barely noticable.

Got it for $550 cash out the door tax included. No shipping, no CC or transfer fees and a beautiful morning drive.

I don't think the cylinder assembly had ever been removed and cleaned so I hosed everything down with Hoppes, scrubbed the gunk away with an assortment of nylon brushes, lubed it up well and ran 50 rounds without a hiccup.

Didn't remove the grips or side plates to clean the internals but that's next on the agenda this afternoon.

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Last edited by Skippy; September 8, 2023 at 02:03 PM.
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Old September 8, 2023, 03:13 PM   #5
jar
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UPDATE: Decided to go with it. It's in remarkable condition, no scratches except for a few slight ones on the grips, barely noticable.

Got it for $550 cash out the door tax included. No shipping, no CC or transfer fees and a beautiful morning drive.

I don't think the cylinder assembly had ever been removed and cleaned so I hosed everything down with Hoppes, scrubbed the gunk away with an assortment of nylon brushes, lubed it up well and ran 50 rounds without a hiccup.

Didn't remove the grips or side plates to clean the internals but that's next on the agenda this afternoon.

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Fantastic. Here's my no-36 no-dash one.

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Old September 8, 2023, 04:33 PM   #6
Skippy
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Fantastic. Here's my no-36 no-dash one.



Question: is the firing pin in the hammer supposed to be loose? Mine's pinned so it doesn't appear it's going anywhere but it freely moves up and down.

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Old September 8, 2023, 06:00 PM   #7
jar
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Question: is the firing pin in the hammer supposed to be loose? Mine's pinned so it doesn't appear it's going anywhere but it freely moves up and down.

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Yes, free floating.
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Old September 9, 2023, 03:30 PM   #8
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That's actually a very good price these days, especially for one in that condition.

My Model 36 is a 3" round butt. I decided to go with that one because, when it presented itself, I already had a newer production 36 2" (which I later sold), an 042 Centennial Airweight, which is my regular carry revolver, and a Model 38 Humpback (which unfortunately needs some gunsmithing love that I've just not gotten around to taking care of).

The J frame Smiths are just so handy.
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Old September 9, 2023, 03:33 PM   #9
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"Question: is the firing pin in the hammer supposed to be loose? Mine's pinned so it doesn't appear it's going anywhere but it freely moves up and down."

Yes. That's actually done to help the firing pin last longer. It's a bit of angular shock absorption since the hammer nose strikes the primer at a scything angle. If it were firmly fixed in place it would put a lot of stress on the hammer nose when it struck the primer.
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Old September 10, 2023, 08:37 AM   #10
jar
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That's actually a very good price these days, especially for one in that condition.

My Model 36 is a 3" round butt. I decided to go with that one because, when it presented itself, I already had a newer production 36 2" (which I later sold), an 042 Centennial Airweight, which is my regular carry revolver, and a Model 38 Humpback (which unfortunately needs some gunsmithing love that I've just not gotten around to taking care of).

The J frame Smiths are just so handy.
Speaking of Centennials: The one on the left doesn't show up very often.

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Old September 10, 2023, 06:57 PM   #11
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Looks nice. I think you got a splendid deal.
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Old September 10, 2023, 08:36 PM   #12
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Looks nice. I think you got a splendid deal.
I sent the pic to a friend before I decided to make the purchase, that I wanted to see it rather than purchase sight unseen online. His reply was, "It's pretty in the photo, but a lot of girls are like that, too."

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Old September 12, 2023, 11:18 AM   #13
Mike Irwin
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A couple of years ago I came across either an early 42 (Airweight) or 40 (steel frame) with the backstrap safety at a gunshop here in Virginia.

It wasn't in particularly good condition, the finish was pretty thin and the metal had a bunch of abrasions. It was tight, so I was figuring a price around $600.

Nope.

$1,900.

Yeah. No.
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Old September 12, 2023, 01:49 PM   #14
Skippy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post
A couple of years ago I came across either an early 42 (Airweight) or 40 (steel frame) with the backstrap safety at a gunshop here in Virginia.

It wasn't in particularly good condition, the finish was pretty thin and the metal had a bunch of abrasions. It was tight, so I was figuring a price around $600.

Nope.

$1,900.

Yeah. No.
Yikes! It's probably still there if you change your mind.

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Old September 12, 2023, 05:51 PM   #15
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In addition to the comments on the firing pin, there should be a tiny spring. If the firing pin flops up and down loosely, then the tiny spring is broken or missing.
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Old September 12, 2023, 06:34 PM   #16
jar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post
A couple of years ago I came across either an early 42 (Airweight) or 40 (steel frame) with the backstrap safety at a gunshop here in Virginia.

It wasn't in particularly good condition, the finish was pretty thin and the metal had a bunch of abrasions. It was tight, so I was figuring a price around $600.

Nope.

$1,900.

Yeah. No.
And my Centennial even still has the pin in the frame designed to lock the grip safety in the "Fire" mode. 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of them got lost the first time an owner took the grip panels off.

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Old September 13, 2023, 05:48 AM   #17
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"Yikes! It's probably still there if you change your mind."

I know for a fact that it's not. I saw it just before COVID kicked off full bore. That gunshop was PACKED to the gills with guns.

Last year I stopped in again and they had maybe 15% to 20% of the guns that they had had in stock in 2019/early 2020. Virtually nothing used, and no used S&W revolvers at all.

Whether it sold or not I don't know, but doesn't matter.

It was, however, a good trip for me because I came across a NIB Ruger American Compact.

The online gun stores had that model for between $550-$650.

I walked out with it... total out the door price of $424.

Not sure why I got such a great deal, but I wasn't going to look a birthday (yep, it was my birthday!) gift horse in the mouth.
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Old September 13, 2023, 05:50 AM   #18
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"And my Centennial even still has the pin in the frame designed to lock the grip safety in the "Fire" mode. 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of them got lost the first time an owner took the grip panels off."

SWEET! I don't think I've ever seen one used that still has the pin in the storage hole.
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Old September 13, 2023, 07:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
In addition to the comments on the firing pin, there should be a tiny spring. If the firing pin flops up and down loosely, then the tiny spring is broken or missing.
Uh, no. Some have a firing pin spring and some don't; at least that's true of the pre lock guns. Came that way from the factory. I've never seen any rhyme or reason but there it is.
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Old September 13, 2023, 08:10 PM   #20
Skippy
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Mine doesn't have the little spring. I put 50 rounds through it last weekend and the primers have direct center hits on the dozen or so I looked at.

I'll be taking it to a revolver smith next week to lighten the trigger springs a bit and ask him what he thinks about the firing pin. I'm not too worried about it.

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Old September 14, 2023, 06:18 AM   #21
Mike Irwin
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Hammer nose springs in Smith & Wesson revolvers are very uncommon. Apparently only a few early models were so equipped and it was dropped fairly quickly after it was found that it simply wasn't necessary.

I'm not even sure that the Model of 1899, the original K frame Military & Police, had a hammer nose spring.
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Old September 14, 2023, 08:38 PM   #22
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Congrats! You'll like that Model 36. I bought my 36 snub maybe ten years ago. IIRC, I think I paid $300 for it - it was a sock drawer gun and in pristine condition - I don't think the previous deceased owner had ever shot it - a couple weeks later, the gun shop called me and said they had mistaken a 3" model 36 in on consignment. West down and bought it for $275 - it was in very good condition with very little wear. A nice one to carry on the farm for critters. I have concealed carry both and still do once in a while. I still have them and wouldn't part with either for love nor money. I am surprised at what they sell for now, but really not surprised - look at the crazy prices of things now. IIRC, when I bought my 36 snub, Smith was making them as a part of their "Classic" line and they were selling for $750 back then new.

Enjoy!
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Old September 21, 2023, 06:05 PM   #23
unit 900
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I still have the nickle 36 I purchased in 1975 when I graduated form the Baltimore Police academy. I wanted a model 60, but they were like hen's teeth. The finish held up remarkably well given the hard use it endured. IIRC I paid about $115 for that baby.
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