This is a discussion on S&W Model 36 within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I don't see much discussion, on this forum, about the S&W model 36 for use as a carry weapon. Not made for many years but ...
I don't see much discussion, on this forum, about the S&W model 36 for use as a carry weapon. Not made for many years but readily available used. It's an all steel 5 round 38 Spl. and under 20 oz's with a 1 7/8 inch barrel. I chose this caliber for my specific reasons.
I would appreciate comments from anyone who carries a S&W Model 36 or anyone else with an opinion on it's suitability.
Neglecting the caliber, what would be the downside to this gun?
IMHO the S&W model 36 was one of the all time greats in J frames. They currently command quite a bit over blue book value on many of the auction sites I monitor.
FYI HAM, you said the 36 hasn't been made for many years, that Sir is incorrect. The 36 is one of the models S&W tried to breathe new life into by the way of declaring it a classic and there are & have been current production runs. I had a student show up with a new one a while back,,,,,it is NOT the same great gun as it once was. MIM process has done no good to those oldies but goodies in my opinion. You just can't beat the older guns made from billet stock.
Downsides or drawbacks? I can see none really, unless one would prefer a Centennial style frame ( DAO ) to a Chiefs Special frame ( DA ). That is purely a matter of choice, possibly an issue to those who prefer pocket carry & prefer the lack of a hammer spur.
It's hard to beat a good J Frame snub for a carry weapon & they are what I carry all the time, My two J Frames are a 940 & 642, both early 100% forged units & are much nicer than anything made in the last 10-15 years from S&W..
The closest thing to a M36 I've ever had was a M60 which is a stainless M36 & it always did what I asked it to & was quite accurate for a 1 7/8" snubbie..
Excellent old guns. I have owned several over the years. Also some model 60's. There is really no downside, unless you compare them to the new ultralight version (model 360). Even that is subjective; some don't prefer a light gun because of recoil.
I could steadily hit a person-sized steel silhoutte at 50 yards with my old model 60 if I did my part. I'm no great shot and my former gun was not unusual.
The j-frames are quite accurate as a group. Most people don't bother to test them beyond a few yards because "everyone knows" they are inaccurate beyond arm's length.
If you choose to do some looking, you can find small frames (I and J) in .22 lr, .22 mag., .32 long, .38 S&W, .38 spec., 9mm, and .357 mag. in varying barrel lengths. More than you wanted to know ... sorry. I love these guns.
You won't regret one if you get one at a fair price ...
Last edited by JAS; October 14th, 2010 at 08:00 AM.
The J frame series has been S&W's bread and butter for decades now. They seem to introduce more changes in the J before anything else. I think the jump to stainless even stared on the J frame. Current J frames are supposed to be able to take .357 magnums that would have sent the old K frame magnums back for repairs several times over. I have seem several airweights that have been punished over and over with +P ammo and limited cleaning and they are still functional and accurate. The IL and MIM are much less of a problem in the 36 than other models. I will add that my 637-2 has seen some pretty good use and while some of the clear coat is peeling, that is its only issue. If you find a good 36 you won't likely be able to afford the ammo it will take to destroy that gun. Your hand will give out first.
OMG, I sound like such a Smith fanboy. I love my SP101 so much more, I swear!
Location: Where the debris meets the sea..America's finest Sanctuary City..
Got one from 1964..it's a square butt with the flat latch and a 3" bbl...beautiful little gun but something about the way they are designed makes it a miserable handful for me...really hard on these old arthritic hands....I put a set of pachmeyer grips on it and they looked so silly I just put the nice matching number grips back on and it's more of a safe queen now...shoot it once in a while to keep it and me loosened up but it's not one I'd prefer for a frequent shooter.
To the OP I think your choice in a S&W Mod. 36 is a vise choice! The Model 36 J frame has always been great revolver. I chose a Ruger LCRX .38 Special +p because it was the smoothest that I could find when I bought my CCW revolver 2 years ago. Had I been able to have found a S&W Model 36 I have bought one!!! You made a good choice!!!