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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!

I've just brought home an M36-1, S&W revolver with a 3" bbl. The revolver seem to had been used very little and it looks in the "very good" to "excellent" conditions. I paid $350 for it (too high?) but I actually had the opportunity to try it out first and it turns out to be very accurate. Is this a decent gun? For the same price they had a Taurus lite gun new; but I ended up with the Smith instead because of the track record. What about holsters for this gun? Is the M36-1 a +P or not?

Thanks for any info on this gun.

Camba
 

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Camba: I do not believe a M36-1 is +P rated, but you can always go to the S&W website and find out directly from them.

The M36 is one of a series of S&W's j-frame 5 shot revolvers. I believe it is the all steel revolver, with the M37 being a lightweight aluminum frame and the M38 being the Bodyquard with the humpback and concealed hammer. You need not worry about having that revolver +P rated: standard pressure 158 gn swc and 200 gn swc will serve you well.

$350 - all things considerin', it's about right. JMTCW. Mikey.
 

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I am quite honestly out of touch with what such guns are going for these days. It's hard for me to get past those long ago days when S&W J's went for a couple hundred at most and often less on the used gun market. Yeah I'm an old stick in the mud. But the new J's these days are selling for totally unrealistic prices so iffen it's what you want I'd guess you'd not get hurt at $400.

Guns from that time period were not +P rated but should be fine for occasional use of them and for sure for carrying for protection only but don't shoot them regularly or you'll wear it out rather quickly. I don't think it's a matter of it blowing up on you but of accelerated wear. That's the way I've always done it at least.

I bought my wife one exactly as you mention perhaps 30 or more years ago and it was a nice little gun. I loaded mostly wadcutters for her use to hold down recoil and they were quite accurate in it and shot really close to point of aim in the little gun. They are quite nice carry guns and do passably well for plinking.
 

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I'm another old poop who thinks $200 is a lot for a used gun, but I have to say the M-36 in a 3-inch version is one of the best carry guns ever. It's small and light but still big enough to hold onto firmly, and most are more accurate than the people shooting them. I made an offer to buy one from a cop friend when he retired, it was his everyday off-duty gun, but then he let his wife shoot it, and that was that. I've still got my eye out for another one, but I guess for now my M-65 3-inch will have to do.

Papajohn
 

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I know it will be a stretch to shoot this revolver at a 25 yd range but what the heck, I've got nothing to loose to try. I will let you know how we do (hopefully this weekend). Thank you for the info on this gun.

p.s. Just to tell you a secret... I think I am more afraid of this gun than my 44 mag. Because this is always loaded and ready at home while the 44 is in the safe.

Camba
 

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If you are up to the task the gun will be also. I've shot that old M36 3" of my wife's at 25 yards with pretty good accuracy back when I could still see a front sight that close to my eyes. My 3" M60 .357 magnum has adjustable sights which aid in getting POA and POI to coincide but the sight radius is still short and the front sight is still way too close to my eyes. I have it mounted with a CTC laser grip and me and it shoot better with the laser than the sights on the gun.

It's the gun under the pillow on my bed at night. Up close and personal it hits close enough to where that red dot is that I don't have to be concerned about sights and no matter how dark it is in the house that laser is easy to see on the target. You really should think about adding the CTC laser grip to yours then at 25 yards you'll shoot it as well as your longer barrelled guns. That laser also lets you see how much your hands shake and these days mine sure shake a lot more than they did 30-40 years ago.
 

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I absolutely love mine! I have one of the older nickled 3" that is one of the smoothest revolvers I have ever owned. I take that back, it IS the smoothest. Hope you enjoy yours. I have never shot groups with it other than to verify the sights when I first got it. Two shots on the paper at 15 yds were right on the sights and 1/2" apart. Then I turned to a 12" gong at 100 yds and rang it with the next 3 shots! Your gun was worth every penny you paid! 44 Man
 

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I love this gun! ;D

I need to start reloading for it. I have the .357mag dies but I don't want to mess with them. They are all tuned up for the 357 mag. I should buy a new set for the .38 Special. Thank you for the words of encouragement. Many times I buy a gun from just the "love at first sight" kind of feeling and once I am home and more relaxed, I start thinking about whether I made the right decision and paid a good price for it. I think I will settle with the 158gr bullets SWC for this gun. Any good recipes on this bullet weight? Thanks.

Camba
 

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I've bought a box of Rem 130gr copper plated or solids with a flat point and went to the range. The results: 2.5" at 25 yds. I could not be happier. The only thing on the group was that it was at least 4 to 5" straight below point of aim. I have to try my own reloads when I get to it. Is there any thing that can be made to raise the point of impact to the point of aim?

Camba
 

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Camba: with the 158 gn swc or rn slugs you can use a couple of charges to get you to the 826-850'/sec standard velocity for the 38 Spl with that/those slug(s): 6.0 of SR 4756 is highly recommended as a accuracy load; 4.5 of Unique with that weight bullet gets you right to 850'/sec, as does 9.5 of 2400.

In addition, I have always liked Winchester powders and like how WW231 performs. 4.3 gns of WW231 is the factory duplication load, at 865'/sec with either 158 gn slug. But, I hafta admit that I am overly fond of the 200 gn cast SWC from either Mt. Baldy Bullets or Colorado Cast Bullets over the WW231 factory charge of 3.8 gns. Very accurate, a hoot to shoot, and standard pressure loadings.

Gotta tellya that from my snubbies, those 200 grainers move slowly enough to see the bullet travelling downrange when the ground is covered by snow or even on a bright day, and you should hear them smack a 12" diameter gong, or metal plate at that distance. Fun part is being able to adjust your fire for target aquisition. Good luck and HTH. Mikey.
 

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I love my 36-1. It just may be my favorite j-frame - either this one or a 3-inch mod 60 with adjustable sights.

One reason I like it so much is I got the proverbial screaming deal on it that makes us all envious when we hear of it. On the other hand don't feel bad about your price as it is fair and a lot closer to what I typically pay these days.

I'm not all that old to have been able to buy S&Ws when they were deep blued like this one and NIB. It's is nice to have a least one copy or two of these. Now if I could only find a screaming deal on a older blued mod 29 - right ;)
 
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