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ByronF
May 12, 2012, 19:49
Picked up a pretty clean little pistol the other day. Looks like it had been reblued because some areas on the frame were not polished very well (bottom of trigger guard), and the barrel may have been swapped (slightly different hue than the rest of the piece). But I thought the price was pretty good so despite the cosmetic flaws it came home with me. Is a 36-1 with a few blems worth $330?

I wonder if this is one of the models prone to forcing cone cracks with +P 125 gr bullet? Maybe that explains the barrel swap. Bore is like new. Forcing cone gap is slightly larger at the bottom than the top, which seems kind of screwy, but so long as it shoots to point-of-aim I'm not going to fret.

STGThndr
May 12, 2012, 20:16
I don't think that these little .38s are made for the pounding of the +P ammo. My preference is either store-bought standard velocity HPs or handloaded inverted hollow base wadcutters. There are stronger revolvers made for the hotter .38 loads. Jes sayin, ymmmv.

ByronF
May 12, 2012, 20:26
Agreed. It's a dainty little piece, not intended for hot loads. And in a light package who'd want to shoot those hot loads anyhow? I intend to load some fairly low power WC or SWC for the wife to learn with. She's not a gun person so I need to start her on something simple, light, and with low recoil. I think this will work well for her. I may like to lighten the mainspring for her, too. SA trigger is remarkable but DA is pretty stiff for little girly hands, such as you'd find on a girl.

Please 'splain more about your WC load. Inverted base? Like a hollow base?

ByronF
May 12, 2012, 20:39
Also, I thought the crane may have been changed because the number on the crane didn't match the serial on bottom of the butt. Then I pulled the grips and found a different number that does match the crane. If the serial is on the bottom of the butt then what is the other number on the crane and under the grip along the bottom side of the butt?

Serial is 1J24XXX. Model 36-1. Anyone able to tell me anything about it?

STGThndr
May 12, 2012, 21:11
Check for a serial # on the cylinder also. You should find a # on the crane, under the crane and on the cylinder. As I have been told these are numbers used to match up parts during the construction of the revolver. Maybe in your case, if parts have been replaced, they are mismatched? Dunno without seeing it, others may be more savvy on Smiths. Ive owned 4 of the 36's and the "airweight" 37. All have been reasonably accurate given the platform and shooter.
The wads are fine for general shooting/plinking. Some Ive used have been a trifle under-powered for defence use. By "Inverted wadcutter" I mean the hollow-base WC reversed. An old reloader's trick which I believe was taken up by some of the ammo companies, forget the name they used for it.
I like the standard .38 hollow points, a good mix of controlability and terminal effect. I have some store-boughts around and a few plastic baggies of HPs I loaded up. Pretty good for the .38, which I rarely carry but enjoy shooting, got other toys for serious social gatherings.

BUFF
May 13, 2012, 00:48
Books say about 1983. By then, S&W no longer put serial numbers on the cylinders or barrels, just on the frame. The numbers stamped on the yoke and inside the frame are as noted above, assembly numbers to keep fitted parts together during finish and assembly.

36-1 indicates the revolver was manufactured with a 3 inch heavy barrel. Is that what your revolver has now?

The 125 grain bullet issue doesn't involve .38 Special revolvers, it involves .357 Magnum ammunition fired in K frame revolvers so chambered, which includes Models 19, 13, 66 and 65. The forcing cone (rear of the barrrel) on these guns is cut pretty thin on the bottom, to clear the yoke. Sometimes, some have cracked there. It's hardly destiny, I have shot several thousand 125 grain .357's through more than one Model 66 and I haven't cracked one. The cracks probably have a lot to do with shooting lead bullets and then not cleaning the lead from the forcing cone before firing jacketed .357's; the lead build-up adds to pressures (no, the jacketed bullets don't clean out the lead, they just smooth it out in the bore). So you can shoot all the 125 grain .38 Special stuff you want.

.38 Special Plus-P ammunition isn't very much hotter than standard pressure stuff. 17,000 psi max versus 20,000 psi. Most factory ammo is loaded well under max.

The steel J frames are strong little guns. I have shot lots of Plus-P through both them and aluminum J frames with no problems at all, as have lots of other shooters. If there is any additional wear to be seen, I haven't seen it.

ByronF
May 13, 2012, 07:23
Buff,

It is a 3" bull barrel. The reason I think the barrel was swapped is a slightly purplish hue in the barrel bluing, absent on the frame and cylinder. Also, there is a raised burr at the top front edge of the frame as if a barrel was maybe under-timed but gronked on anyhow? It's minor and I'll dress it down with a needle file and cold-blue, but makes me think the barrel was changed for some reason.

Byron

Retired Bum
May 13, 2012, 15:17
The S&W Model 36-1 was developed for the Japanese Tokyo Police Department. They specified a three inch heavier than normal barrel. Everyone that I have seen including the one I owned was a square butt model with magna service grips, blue finish, and a serrated trigger.

These 36-1's were carried in a full flap leather holster by the uniformed Tokyo Police. I don't know what load they used but I would bet even money that it was the old 158gr RNL police service round.

Mine was a decent little shooter that I sometimes used as a trail gun loaded with the Federal 125 gr Nyclad HP. But then I bought a new Model 60-4 stainless J frame with the three inch full lug barrel with adjustable rear sight. This piece is rated safe with +P loads and I began carrying it on those hikes in the woods.

A retired police officer I know wanted the 36-1 for a CCW piece so I sold it to him at a "friends" price of $250. And we made the transfer at a FFL dealer to insure that it went to the new owner legally.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

W.E.G.
May 13, 2012, 16:00
I located a nice no-dash.

Charming gun indeed.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/Smith%2036/36no-dash1.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/Smith%2036/36no-dash2.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/Smith%2036/36no-dash4.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/Smith%2036/36no-dash3.jpg

W.E.G.
May 13, 2012, 16:04
I'd be surprised if any of the Smith and Wesson snubs shot to point of aim with hot 125-grain ammo.

What's the point of it?
If you need explosive bullets, get a 10mm or a .223.

Otherwise the 158 grain bullet is just what you need.

The "plain old .38" has been laying bad guys to waste since 1899.

TideWater 41009
May 13, 2012, 18:23
What W.E.G. said. I would suggest semi-wad cutter or hollow point bullets.

STGThndr
May 13, 2012, 19:15
Come to think of it I had a 3 inch bull barrel J-frame .38. Lost it some years ago in a divorce... I shot nice. The Former somehow left it in her purse and some sort of liquid mixed with aspirin! got on the finish and ruined the bluing. I liked that little gun but ended up with a 1.9 inch J-frame which had been under a matress for a time and somehow bent the crane. Dunno how to fix that but my Makkie caries well and has more shots.

Beryl
May 13, 2012, 19:35
My dad gave me one of those in the box when I turned 18 (30 years ago). Still have it today, and it is a great carry pistol. Mine is a round-butt, and the only problem I have had with it is the cylinder release cuts my thumb on recoil. A set of Pacs fixed that.

Good rounds to use are 110 JHP+P, Glasers, 158 LHPSWC, or 148 HBWC loaded upside down. Ultimately, it's all about shot placement.

W.E.G.
May 13, 2012, 20:58
Been carrying these rounds (yes, these actual rounds) since about 1984.
Remington +P SWCHP from the MPD.

I pull 'em out of the pouch every now and again, and wipe-off the verdigris.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/MPDammopouch.jpg

This load is pretty much the same stuff except probably a few FPS slower.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/ammunition/BuffaloBoreFBIload.jpg

FUUN063
May 13, 2012, 23:40
Man, Gary, I didn't know you had good taste! :uhoh: I thought you only picked up the el cheapo pistols!:biggrin: I kinda' like the three incher's myself. But, you really ought to rotate your ammo stock. Your life may depend on it.

Leland
:fal:

Retired Bum
May 14, 2012, 14:01
My first Model 36 was a no dash that I bought from a man in my unit in Vietnam. $50 bought the 36, a IWB holster, and a box of GI .38 M41 Ball ammo in 1966. It was easy to carry the 36 under my jungle fatigue blouse. I weighted 170 pounds when I arrived in country and in just over two months I was down to about 135 pounds. I could have carried a Desert Eagle .50 concealed if such a thing had existed back then....

On the day I was due to rotate back to the states I sold the 36 to the NCO Club manager for $100. Never fired the thing during the almost 11 months I owned it.

My latest 36 is a no dash made in 1981. Two inch roundbutt with a pinned barrel. Factory nickel plated and still unfired new in the box. This one is a safe queen. I have numerous Model 60's, 640's, and a 642 that I shoot. So the 36 stays a virgin so to speak.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

1MOR
May 14, 2012, 16:48
Had a 36 round butt that I purchased new in 1968 for $95. Used it for an off duty weapon in a fitted IWB holster, backup weapon in an ankle holster during the summer and in a jacket pocket during the winter. It was loaded with SuperVel 110gr +P. It was superb for one shot use when taking down large farm animals that had been injured, along with road injured deer.

Saved my bacon one night when my service revolver ran out of ammo during a gunfight with a deer poacher.

After retireing and moving to Florida, I could not keep the rust off of it when using it as a CC weapon. Sold it and went to a plastic fantastic G26.

Retired Bum
May 14, 2012, 22:40
1MOR,

That SuperVel .38 Spl 110 gr JHP wasn't a +P round. It was actually more like +P+P+. When SuperVel started offering that load circa 1965 the organization known as SAAMI didn't exist. So there wasn't any such thing as a +P rating for any cartridge.

Lee Jurras, the founder of SuperVel rated this load at 1000 fps from a two inch barrel. I remember shooting this ammo in my first Model 60 in 1970. It was a sensation to say the least. It gave a very bright muzzle flash and the recoil was substansially more than standard pressure loads produced.

I bought my first chronograph in 1985. SuperVel had gone out of business in 1975 when the "Big Three" ammo makers refused to sell him anymore cartridge cases. I still had a handful of the old 110 gr JHP loads from the early 1970's on hand. I put five of them over the chrono from that Model 60 and got an average velocity of 1077 fps. That is a smoking hot load that I seriously doubt any reputable ammo maker today would try to duplicate. Which is probably a good thing. You want magnum performance then buy a magnum chambered revolver.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

1MOR
May 14, 2012, 23:29
1MOR,

That SuperVel .38 Spl 110 gr JHP wasn't a +P round. It was actually more like +P+P+. When SuperVel started offering that load circa 1965 the organization known as SAAMI didn't exist. So there wasn't any such thing as a +P rating for any cartridge.

Lee Jurras, the founder of SuperVel rated this load at 1000 fps from a two inch barrel. I remember shooting this ammo in my first Model 60 in 1970. It was a sensation to say the least. It gave a very bright muzzle flash and the recoil was substansially more than standard pressure loads produced.

I bought my first chronograph in 1985. SuperVel had gone out of business in 1975 when the "Big Three" ammo makers refused to sell him anymore cartridge cases. I still had a handful of the old 110 gr JHP loads from the early 1970's on hand. I put five of them over the chrono from that Model 60 and got an average velocity of 1077 fps. That is a smoking hot load that I seriously doubt any reputable ammo maker today would try to duplicate. Which is probably a good thing. You want magnum performance then buy a magnum chambered revolver.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

We had to qualify with the service carry piece and our off duty weapon. I had to shoot out to 50 yards off the barricade, right and left handed with the 36 using Remmy 158gr lead ball. Accurate weapon with a very smooth DA.

I knew that the SuperVel ammo was hot stuff, but never knew that it was mega hot. They also made some gonzo 357 ammo that I carried and used. Probably why I had so many problems with my K19!

Had to put a round using the M36 in a horses head from about 5 yards, aiming at the western cross. The 110 gr SuperVel set him back on his haunches and he dropped straight down, never moved. Don't know if the bullet or the fireball killed him. It was right at sunset. Impressed the $hit out of me!!

Timber Wolf
May 15, 2012, 06:59
A 3" J frame has a very pleasing, proportional look to me. I do not have one but have other J frames and 3 1/16" Ruger SP101 that is a favorite. If a little 3" 36 gets too close at the right price it will be mine.;)

W.E.G.
May 15, 2012, 09:05
A 3" J frame has a very pleasing, proportional look to me.

Right on.

I can remember when they only allowed us to carry revolvers.
So, I got me one of these.
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/SW%20Model%2060/SmithandWessonMode6038specialsmaller2.jpg

I was never really satisfied with it.
Always figured there were several ways it could be better.
Then one day, I was at this gun show...
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/SW%20Model%2060/SmithandWessonModel60357magnumsm-2.jpg

STGThndr
May 16, 2012, 02:18
1MOR sez: Saved my bacon one night when my service revolver ran out of ammo during a gunfight with a deer poacher.

And thereupon hangs a tale, I am sure! (hint).

1MOR
May 16, 2012, 15:18
1MOR sez: Saved my bacon one night when my service revolver ran out of ammo during a gunfight with a deer poacher.

And thereupon hangs a tale, I am sure! (hint).

Yes and, I promise that no whales or baby seals were harmed. However a Jeep 4X4 and a 440 cubic inch Mopar product were not so fortunate.

Catching the pic of WEG's stainless round butt 36, kinda solves the Florida corrosion thing, high humidity, sweat, salt etc! Hmmmm... :D:D

W.E.G.
May 16, 2012, 16:26
Catching the pic of WEG's stainless round butt 36, kinda solves the Florida corrosion thing, high humidity, sweat, salt etc! Hmmmm... :D:D

The stainless guns are both Model 60's.

One in .38 SPL and the other in .357 MAG.

Combat
May 17, 2012, 06:22
I like the mod 36-1. I have two of them. One is a NIB safe queen. http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp60/combat10/016.jpg The other one is my "fishing" gun that I carry for snakes and such. http://i397.photobucket.com/albums/pp60/combat10/012-2.jpg

NEWFNL1A1
May 17, 2012, 08:31
A 3" J frame has a very pleasing, proportional look to me.

My Dad had a J frame Model 650 stainless .22 Magnum kit gun with a 3 inch barrel. Pointed well....

Had a bulletproof vest sales rep tell me that a Safariland salesman got killed back in the late 70's when they were doing demonstrations of their vests. According to the story, he would stand behind behind big ballistic panels and invite PD officers to shoot the panels. An off duty detective asked if he could try and then shot through and killed the guy with his Model 650 stainless .22 Magnum. Apparently the panels weren't designed to stop a 22 mag.

Sounds like a total BS story to me but hey, it was a gun shop...I heard BS every day.

metalreptile
May 18, 2012, 20:40
My no dash model 36. Square butt makes for much better shooting, for me at least. Cylinder latch has never bit me with this one. Within 7 yards, it's as accurate as it needs to be. May not be noticeable in this photo, but the barrel on this one also has a burgundy hue to it. And I do know it's the factory barrel. I've actually seen this on a number of these little revolvers. Great little concealment pieces, and if you didn't know, Blackhawk makes their Serpa holsters for them! Almost like not wearing a weapon! A bobbed hammer, or Model 49 Bodyguard would be nice tho, as the hammer digs into my flab when driving. :rofl:

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k102/metalreptile/003-5.jpg

1MOR
May 18, 2012, 20:47
..., as the hammer digs into my flab when driving. :rofl:

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k102/metalreptile/003-5.jpg

And that kiddies, is a serious problem when ya put 30 lbs on, most of it around your waist. For some reason, that bothered me even when I was 175lbs. I had seen somebody slip a pencil erasure over the hammer to help remedy the problem.

metalreptile
May 18, 2012, 20:51
I usually tuck my t-shirt down between the hammer & my side....works OK if not driving far. :biggrin:

Ironhandjohn
May 18, 2012, 22:18
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq355/Ironhandjohn/1329173676.jpg

http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq355/Ironhandjohn/1329173669.jpg

I like the shrouded hammer, myself...


Shoot the hell out of it, I don't think you'll wear it out in your lifetime.

metalreptile
May 18, 2012, 23:32
I like the shrouded hammer, myself...


I gots ta get me one o' them.........:beer:

Retired Bum
May 19, 2012, 16:59
I had a gunsmith bob the hammer on my first Model 60. That solved getting the piece out of the inside the pocket holster I used. I carried that 60 for 20 years before buying my first Model 640. I retired it and it now just lays in the safe lonely but not forgotten. Picked up a second 640 as a backup to the first one. Then I was offered a NIB Model 60 for only $250 in a private sale. Couldn't say no to that attractive a price. Then picked up the 3 inch 60-4. Then a 642-1 no lock. Then a 432PD..... I see a nice J frame Centennial and I buy it unless it is battered or a .357 maggie. I have no desire to own a .357 J frame. Just too much cartridge for not enough gun IMNSHO.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

metalreptile
May 21, 2012, 16:49
Dangit Ironhandjohn........I was doing ok til you showed that Bodyguard. I mentioned that "I gots ta get me one o' them"......well, now I have one laid away. So I have three running layaways going right now.....I gotta be good for awhile! :rofl:
The S&W Model 49 I laid away is a 70's production & looks close to mint condition. Really nice piece. I'm learning that one can never have too many J-frame Smiths. Set me back a pretty good chunk o' change, but what the hell.
Lots of far worse things I could be spending it on I suppose. :beer:

gobbler
May 23, 2012, 17:14
Still kicking myself for letting a nickel M 37 get away I carried. Damn thing saved my bacon 3 times while working in Miami & I wasn't even in law enforcement, only working & living in Liberty City about the time of the riots. As far as the debate on the +P or +P+ ammo use, who is going to feed one a diet of that ammo to hurt the frame? That little bastard is for carry only, not target.....it will bruise the sheeet out of your palm! But is a sweet carry....

gobbler

Andy the Aussie
May 24, 2012, 03:33
The 3inch M36 was standard issue to all Queensland Police and Prison staff until the late 80s. The Police initially changed to Ruger .357s for some years and then went to Glock 22s. Queensland Corrective Services continued with the M36s for some years after that and now have a cobble of different sidearms.

The 3 inch M36 was issue to Police in NSW who could NOT handle a M10, most female Police were so issued right up till the mid 90s when the G22 was adopted. 2inch M36s were also issued to Detectives and Commissioned Officers. A previous NSWP Commissioner was known to have a 2inch Model 12 as his issued sidearm.

Andy

BUFF
May 25, 2012, 04:04
"As far as the debate on the +P or +P+ ammo use, who is going to feed one a diet of that ammo to hurt the frame? That little bastard is for carry only, not target.....it will bruise the sheeet out of your palm!"

There is no SAMMI standard for .38 Special +P+, so ammo labeled as such can be anything.

+P from any of the established manufacturers might hurt your palm, but it won't hurt the frame on a S&W J frame, especially the steel frames. Most standard pressure and velocity .38 Special stuff is loaded way under permitted pressures, and often times +P isn't much hotter than the same maker's standard pressure rounds. They are stout little guns. My oldest, "I-bought-it-new-so-I-know it's-history" small S&W is a 2 inch Model 60 I got May 29, 1982, which will be 30 years old next week. I have shot at least 2,500 rounds of factory Winchester and Federal +P through it, as well as that many handloaded rounds, and it is just fine.

I like the little J frame S&W's a lot. I think the 2 inch 5 shot .38's are as small a handgun as you can buy that still has near total reliability, fair "stopping power," is big enough to hang onto while small enough to hide easily, and is light enough to carry anywhere while still having enough weight to be controllable.

You can also get them in a vast array of varieties, with regular hammers (Chiefs Specials like the M-36, -37 and -60), mostly concealed hammers (Bodyguards including the M-38, -49 and -649) and internal hammers (the Centennials, such as the M-42, M-40 and M-642), steel, aluminum or stainless steel frames, blue, stainless or nickel finishes, fixed or adjustable sights, 2, 3, 4 and 6 inch barrels, the options are nearly endless. I have them in .22 LR, .22 MRF, .32 Long, .32 H&R Mag, 9mm, .38 S&W, .38 Special and .357 Magnum. They are great little guns.

1MOR
May 25, 2012, 11:57
"....
You can also get them in a vast array of varieties, with regular hammers (Chiefs Specials like the M-36, -37 and -60), mostly concealed hammers (Bodyguards including the M-38, -49 and -649) and internal hammers (the Centennials, such as the M-42, M-40 and M-642), steel, aluminum or stainless steel frames, blue, stainless or nickel finishes, fixed or adjustable sights, 2, 3, 4 and 6 inch barrels, the options are nearly endless. I have them in .22 LR, .22 MRF, .32 Long, .32 H&R Mag, 9mm, .38 S&W, .38 Special and .357 Magnum. They are great little guns.

Ok, after this thread, I got the bug, I want one, again. Has anybody fired both the steel framed and aluminum versions and, if so, how did they compare?

Agreed, a 357 chambered M36 would be a bit much, weight, recoil and muzzle blast.

The stainless M36 is interesting but is a bit heavier.

A few years ago, I shot a friend's Scandium Smith snubbie. It had the comp slots just behind the muzzle under the front sight. I did not care for that experience as it blew burned powder and possibly lead shavings back on my hands.

metalreptile
May 25, 2012, 13:50
Ok, after this thread, I got the bug, I want one, again. Has anybody fired both the steel framed and aluminum versions and, if so, how did they compare?


Back in the 80's I had one of the alloy frame Chief Specials. It was a round butt & I didn't care much for it at all. Every time I shot a few rounds through it, the knuckle of my thumb would be bloodied from the cylinder latch. Not sure whether it was the light weight, or the round butt, but the recoil was pretty bad. I have the steel frame, square butt Model 36 now, and it shoots fine, no bloodied knuckles ever. The Model 49 I have in layaway is a round butt, so I'll see how that turns out in a month or two. Also, I didn't care for the finish on the Airweight. It was blued, and looked good, but just didn't have the "depth" of bluing on steel.
If you're going to carry it & very seldom shoot it, the Airweight might be the ticket. If you're going to shoot it much at all, I'd go with steel. I'd also look around and find a nice, older Smith, not one of these new-fangled, key locked, made cheap as possible, mass produced S&W wannabes on the market today. IMHO, the older Smiths are MUCH better guns, and usually less expensive than the new crap!

Retired Bum
May 25, 2012, 16:43
1MOR,

When I go to my club range to burn some powder I always take a pair of Centennials with me. The all stainless 640 and the Airweight 642. My standard practice handload is Lyman #358477 which is a 150 LSWC over 3.8 grains of Bullseye. This load more or less duplicates the performance of the old 158 gr RNL police service round. It shoots to point of aim in all of my fixed sighted .38 Spl revolvers.

I will fire 50 rounds through the 640 and then fire no more than 25 rounds through the 642. The recoil is heavier in the 642 as one might expect. The all stainless 640 soaks up the recoil just fine. But the 642 can be unpleasant to shoot if I fire more than 25 rounds. Then I put ten rounds of my handloaded +P 125 gr JHP through each revolver. This load duplicates the velocity and recoil of my carry load which is the Federal +P 129 gr Hydra-Shok. Ten rounds of this load in the Airweight stings the palm of my hand but not to the point of being painful.

I have found that I can shoot the Airweight 642 as accurately as the heavier 640. But I do pay a price in more recoil. There is an old saying about Airweight S&W's. They are to be carried a lot and shot little. I shoot the Airweight just enough to stay in form. I firmly believe that practicing with the heavier 640 first helps in that matter.

I did shoot a .357 chambered Model 60 one time. The piece belonged to a neighbor of mine who wanted to get in a little practice. So he and I went to my club range. The only ammo he had was the full charge Federal 158 gr Hydra-Shok. He was flinching so badly that he literally couldn't hit the inside of a barn with the doors closed. I fired five rounds and the recoil with the Uncle Mike's neoprene grips was brutal. So I convinced my neighbor to use the Winchester +P 158 gr LSWCHP "FBI" load as his carry round. If it was good enough for the feds back in the day it was good enough for him....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

BUFF
May 25, 2012, 21:19
I like the aluminum frame, stainless finish guns the best, exemplified by the DAO Model 642. It has a silver colored anodized frame and stainless steel major parts such as the cylinder assembly and barrel. S&W makes these without the internal key lock most new S&W revolvers have.

It is a personal preference, and I would consider your individual tolerance for recoil as well as how you intend to carry your gun. In .38, I find the aluminum frame guns to have acceptable recoil. In .357 Magnum, I find the steel frame guns to be excessive. I shot a friend's Scandium (aluminum alloy) framed gun with a titanium cylinder with 125 and 158 grain .357 ammo and found it to be both painful and my accuracy suffered greatly.

gobbler
May 26, 2012, 08:17
The wife's model 60 2" is not bad in 357.The boot grips make it manageable.

gobbler

1MOR
May 26, 2012, 10:51
Guys, thanks! Will try to find an older used 642 locally. There seems to be some problems with the lawyer lock on the newer 642s going rogue. I want this primarily as a pocket piece for CC.

I guess if a newer 642 comes my way, I can nuke the nonsensical lock? Anyone know about that?

Some advice I got way back when, take a new revolver, dry fire it 10,000 times, then take it to the range.

Ammo, no problem, I load my own.

BUFF
May 26, 2012, 13:43
Good pick, I pretty well never leave the house without mine. It's my warm weather CCW piece and my back-up gun at work.

S&W is making M-642's with and without the lock. Most I see in the stores don't have the lock. I got my third -642, a Model 642-1, directly from S&W in July, 2011 as part of a warranty claim adjustment. It is the 'Pro' variant which is cut for moonclips (I don't care about moonclips as they bend too easily when you actually carry them, but it was what they had on hand at the time).

Buying a new one is a good idea. S&W has a lifetime warranty that they honor honestly. I had a S&W revolver develop a crack in the frame just below where the forcing cone is. I had owned the gun for 20 years. I returned it to S&W on their dime and they sent a replacement gun directly to my house within two weeks.

Having blown the horn for the aluminum frame J frame guns in this thread, I will offer one caution. The J and K frame aluminum revolvers sometimes crack their frame at the thin portion below where the barrel screws in. It has to do with the stress of torquing the steel barrel into the frame. They may crack when assembled, first shot or sometime way down the road. When you buy ANY aluminum frame S&W revolver, check this area carefully, when it cracks it is easily seen. S&W will replace your gun if it does this, if it was purchased by you since their lifetime warranty was enacted, in about 1989.

The frame cracks are NOT commonplace, but happen often enough to be aware of. This is a topic of discussion on the biggest S&W user site (the Smith-Wesson forum). No reason to shy away from the guns, just something a buyer or owner needs to check.

Gazz
May 31, 2012, 19:28
I sold my my Model 36 a few years ago without ever shooting it! I do keep an older Model 38 loaded and ready to go though. It was my mountain biking gun and still is a carry gun. With the standard factory grips it would make my hand bloody at the range until I switched to some S&W banana grips.

WEG, shoot that old ammo and buy some new stuff!

1MOR
March 19, 2014, 20:39
Yeah, old thread but, update! Time to get to it, I located a new 642 no lock today. Should be at my dealer by Monday, 03/24.

What is up with all this lock crap? Beautiful Smith&Wesson revolver with this ugly black wrench hole on the left side of the frame. Dealer had one of these in stock, had a few more enroute from the distributor and was able to trade out for a no lock.

Looking forward to a new pistola, what more is there to say!:rofl: