View Full Version : A little help w/price on a S&W mdl. 36

October 05, 2009, 19:24
Have a buddy at school that is wanting to sell a Smith and Wesson Model 36. Supposedly by the serial number it is the second year made. It is in 85-95% condition. Seems to time well and pass checks though I couldn't check headspace.

What is a good price?

Looks just like this one except maybe not in as good of shape. The one in this gunbroker ad looks refinished.



October 05, 2009, 19:30
I just sold a model 36 no dash like new no box for 400.00.

October 05, 2009, 19:36
His has no dash. Is that relevant?

It has no box, no accessories.


October 05, 2009, 20:41
$300-400, earlier flat latches may go for a little more if in 90%+ condition. Box and papers adds around $50 on 90%+ condition specimens.
The one in the GB ad appears to be original finish.

October 06, 2009, 08:36
Originally posted by GRUMPY
$300-400, earlier flat latches may go for a little more if in 90%+ condition. Box and papers adds around $50 on 90%+ condition specimens.
The one in the GB ad appears to be original finish.

My exact thoughts, look at the case color on the hammer and trigger as references for refinish.

October 06, 2009, 09:39
some I have seen will have a model number dash 1,2,3 and so on.

October 06, 2009, 11:28
Is $350 a fair price?

I wanted to buy it and re-sell it. I doubt I could get much more than $350 for it.



October 06, 2009, 12:29
According to recent lessons learned, the "dash" numbers are design changes.

October 06, 2009, 12:46
Originally posted by owlcreekok
According to recent lessons learned, the "dash" numbers are design changes.

The dash numbers are usually designations of design change upgrades. In J frames I can't think offhand of definite exceptions, though I do seem to recall it may be used to designate a 3" bbl and/or target sights in some variation(s) of the Model 36 and Model 60. In at least one N frame series (the Model 25, aka the 1955 Target), they can designate a cartridge change (they do so in the case of a few Model 25 variations in .45 Colt instead of .45ACP, if I recall correctly). My fuzzy memory says that 25-2 is a .45ACP, but 25-3 is a 125th Anniversary Commemorative in .45 Colt, and the 25-5 is a standard production Model 25 chambered for .45 colt.

The definitive reference on things S&W (unless there's something newer of which I'm not aware) is by S&W's official Historian, Roy G. Jinks (hopefully I'm recalling correctly), and is entitled "The History of Smith and Wesson". Good stuff if you are interested in S&W.

October 06, 2009, 20:32

Your friend's S&W is worth about $350. Any more than this would be a windfall.
Your friend could certainly get less than $350 depending on area(unemployment,recession and all)

As stated, dashes indicate an engineering change.
A 36 no dash will mean it has a skinny barrel

If you're interested, your friend's S&W would be referred to as a "36 no dash pinned barrel"
Any knowledgeable S&W buyer would want to know those two things(pinned barrel and dash number or no dash in this case)

Anything you would want to know about Smiths can be found on this site

I just bought a 36 no dash, pinned barrel a few weeks ago and paid $400.
This deal was done only because a trade was accepted on a Taurus that I wanted to get rid of.
After trade, price was $275 for S&W
I got a little bit screwed but wanted to get rid of the Taurus

Hoot G
October 07, 2009, 03:05
The Model 36 no dash was made from 1957 to 1988.
The -1 was the designation for the 3" heavy barrel, starting in 1967, and made concurrently with the no dash version.
To further complicate things, there was a no dash 3" standard barrel.

In 1957, the first Model 36 serial number was 125000. In 1962, a serial number used was 295000. Sorry, but that's close as I can get on early s/n's.

The one you linked to on GB has a s/n starting with ANT, which would probably be from the late 1990's.

Mr. Jinks' book is a great history of S&W, and well worth the read. The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas is the collectors bible. Expensive, but a huge amount of reference material, and invaluable to a serious S&W fan.

When dealing with S&W, the rule to remember is that there are exceptions to every rule. It's more like the rules are a guide, and not set in stone. Normally the dash number denotes an engineering change, but, as already mentioned in this thread, not always. The 36 had a number of changes that never got a dash number, and the irregularities in the 25 series noted above are other deviations from the "rule". There are lots more.

Without knowing more about your friends gun, I'd say $350 is a fair price. I wouldn't buy it at that and plan on making any money on it. Finding any 90% S&W in a popular caliber now days under $300 is getting difficult. However, there isn't a lot of collector interest in "plain jane" Model 36's, as they are pretty common. Looking at completed GB auctions supports that estimate.


October 07, 2009, 07:42
While we are on the Mod 36 question, I have one about 90% that I paid $150 for. This is my usual carry gun, and it is accurate.

It has faintly stamped on the crane "OTV". Can any one tell me what that might mean?

Para Driver
October 08, 2009, 08:34
in today's market, prices are depressed, and cash is king...
He'll won't get 350 for it, I think $300 is about right...

October 09, 2009, 09:47

I looked everywhere for the "OTV" marking an could find nothing.
All of my S&Ws have numbers on the yoke that don't seem to correspond to anything. I think the yoke numbers and letters are just a S&W production item concerning internal phases. Once the guns are assembled, the yoke number has no value.

I just joined the Smith and Wesson form and was going to ask about the "OTV" but didn't want to use the term "crane" instead of "yoke".

Apparently, Colt uses "crane" and S&W uses "yoke".
This is a big sin in S&W speak and I want to make sure I use the right word.
This is somewhat similar to calling a magazine a "clip".

S&W would stamp a production run with whatever you want if you ordered enough of them but there is no organization called "OTV" and it would not be stamped on the yoke.

October 09, 2009, 14:41
Ok, wound up picking up the pistol today. I traded a CTR stock and carbine buffer spring w/$235 for it. My cost is ~ $335.

Pistol is in 90% condition, a few minor scratches, some very minor wear, and shows a little use.

Marked MOD.36. On yoke it is marked X1X34 and an L16 overstamp.

Serial number on butt is ALC0352.

The guy said it was a second year production, but I am guessing late 80's early 90's.

Anyone able to tell me for sure what I have?

I'll try and snap some pics later today.



Hoot G
October 09, 2009, 15:19
ALCxxxx s/n would put it about Nov. 1985. Nice gun, not a bad deal!

The stampings in the yoke are normally assembly numbers, and from what I've been told by S&W employees, have nothing to do with anything once the gun is assembled. There's no way to track any information from them. Usually they're letters and numbers, but with S&W anything is possible.

October 11, 2009, 10:33
Good to know, thanks for the info.

Do you think since it is a 85' would this be safe to fire +P from or should I stick with regular 38's.

Since it is older and in 90% condition I have no qualms shooting and carrying it.

thanks again for everyone's help.


Hoot G
October 11, 2009, 11:04
Yer welcome!

I'd shoot regular .38 Special target loads to get familiar with the gun, but for serious work, +P shouldn't be a problem. If you shoot a lot of it, the gun will eventually loosen up some, but it won't explode. :biggrin:

I shoot +P in my Model 38 (humpback alloy J frame) but only sparingly. Maybe once a year, just so I remember how to use it. It's not pleasant, it's expensive, and I'm not trying to get bullseye target accuracy with the little feller.

They're good guns, and perfect for their purpose. You got a great little hand cannon there!

October 11, 2009, 15:01
I've used the Winchester 130 Gr. FMJs in mine and it shoots to point of aim.

October 11, 2009, 17:33
I'm going to re-fit my dillon to .38 when I get home in december. When I bought it that was what it was set up to, but not having a .38, I changed it over to .45.

I bought a box of .38 Saturday to shoot. 148gr HBWC. $27.43 for a box of 50. It was Black Hills, which was the cheapest stuff the shop had. Needless to say if I am going to get any practice I am going to have to start loading for this little guy.

I'll stick with .38's for practice, I will load some +P's if I'm carrying. If I need to shoot 5 +P's I am not worried about loosing up the frame :eek:

Now that I have shot this 36 it reminded me I had an old revolver (or parts of) my uncle gave me. Kinda made me want to rebuild it for a beater/shooter.

Thanks again for the assistance everyone. Check out my other post soon to be up on this other Smith.. whatever the heck it is.


October 11, 2009, 18:47
Here are the pics of the new Model 36 no dash, non-pinned barrel.



A picture of my small Smith & Wesson family.

The 629 is actually a friends I have to check out and replace the barrel, but I couldn't leave it out.


Timber Wolf
October 30, 2009, 07:26
That's a cute little revolver you have there. Just picked up a pined, no-lock, no-dash airwieght model 38 a couple of days ago for $350 cash face-to-face. Has a couple of very minor blems to the finish on one side but that will just make me carry/shoot it more and not worry about keeping it pristine. I have several hundred 148 wadcutters to shoot for practice and have it loaded with 110 grain Win. Silvertips for serious work.

October 30, 2009, 13:45
Fal Grunt, the only thing more addicting than FAL's is the Smith bug. I've had it for years and cannot shake it! Nice snubby 36. I just purchased one in a gun shop for $260.00 out the door (his price). It is a 36, no dash, pinned barrel, no box.

It looks like you're getting started right, though. I have slowly evolved into the older Smith's and have about 30 or 40 of 'em at any one time. It seems that the newer ones are moving out slowly and the older ones keep finding a home here!

Anyway, good luck and you can never go wrong with a Smith. I would advise you to get the book "Smith and Wesson Standard Catalog #3" if you're going to buy anymore. It's full of information, very valuable information.



October 30, 2009, 15:56
Here's some of mine

Model 37-2
Forged hammer, forged trigger and no internal lock. 2008 run.

36 no dash pinned barrel. Must be from around 1970 as SN is 1J39x


October 31, 2009, 19:40
Great to carry, but a B_____ to shoot! $300 would be my top price

November 17, 2009, 13:56
FAL Grunt,

Your model 36 was made not in the second year of production, but some time in the early to middle 1980's, which you can tell from the serial number. The alpha-numeric serial numbers were introduced by S&W around 1982 or 83 IIRC. I have an S&W Mdl. 586 that I bought when they first came out in the early '80's, and it has a serial number not too different from your Mdl. 36. As far as variations go, there are probably dozens of them due to Smith & Wesson's policy of building guns to order for anyone who ordered 5000 or more. Lew Horton is mildly famous for this. They've had S&W make up a whole bunch of semi-custom revolvers over the years, some of which have a different dash number and some of which don't. Your Mdl. 36 looks like it was a regular production run gun, though, which there are lots and lots of floating around.

S&W revolvers are kind of like eating peanuts. If you buy one, you can't stop there. I started off with the 586 I mentioned, then wound up buying and/or trading for, a 686 4", a 24-3 3" bbl .44 Spl. (Lew Horton gun), a Mdl. 25 4" in .45 Colt, a Mdl 25 6" .45 Colt with a presentation box, another Mdl. 25 .45 Colt 4" nickel which I traded a worthless stainless Mini-14 for, a Mdl. 649 .38 Spl. humpback, and a Mdl. 15 .38 Spl. 4". All of them are blue except for the 686, which is stainless, the Mdl. 25 4" which has been hard chromed and has a John French action job, and the 649 which is also stainless. I think you did pretty well price-wise on your 36, and I think you'll be happy with it. They're a great little gun.