Two gun shop finds


October 5, 2012, 10:37 PM
I went to a LGS today with revolvers in mind. I found a Ruger SP101 in .38 Special (NOT .357 Magnum) with a 3-inch barrel. It was about 95% and priced at $399. I also spied a nice 2-inch S&W 36-7 with a square butt. It was 99% (very pristine) and had the original box. The S&W was $400. So revolver experts, which is the better deal here? How are the prices generally? Thanks.

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Brian Williams
October 5, 2012, 11:08 PM
As much as I like my S&WS, I would pick the SP as I don't like square butt model 36s

October 5, 2012, 11:22 PM
S&W, their triggers are so nice!!

October 5, 2012, 11:29 PM
I would be tempted by the 3" SP101 in .38 Spl. $400 is top dollar in my opinion. The Smith is the better "deal" IMHO.

October 5, 2012, 11:36 PM

October 6, 2012, 12:34 AM
As much as I like my S&WS, I would pick the SP as I don't like square butt model 36s

Agreed. I never really understood a square butt on a j-frame. As walkalong mentioned, though, $400 is on the high side. the .357 models carry a premium over .38 and i'd expect a used SP101 around $400.

October 6, 2012, 03:54 AM
Well to be honest I would get the S&W because I collect S&W revolvers and a square butt M36 would be a great addition to my collection. It has nothing to do with real world considerations. Sorry.

October 6, 2012, 06:57 AM

Over the years I have had several square butt J frames, though most of them had 3" barrels. I remember I use to get them for a fairly decent price since most buyers were typically looking for the shorter barrel and the round butt frame.

So to answer your question, I would get the square butt S&W Model 36.

October 6, 2012, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the input. I had thought these prices were decent, but it sounds as if they are barely so. Perhaps there is some room for negotiating on either or both. I guess what surprised me the most is that the shop even had models like this in the case. It has been ages since I've seen a 3-inch SP101 anywhere, and I also don't often see an older S&W revolver that doesn't have significant wear on it. As for the square butt on the 36, I am ambivalent. I thought the gun felt really good in my hand, perhaps even more so than the Ruger.

October 6, 2012, 10:04 AM
The one problem I had with the square butt J frames was finding any sort of aftermarket grips for it. Usually I simply added a Tyler T-Grip adapter to it and felt the grip was improved enough for CCW.

4v50 Gary
October 6, 2012, 10:09 AM
Ruger > S&W.

October 6, 2012, 10:10 AM

Sorry I did a drive by earlier.

SP..what is the point of a 38?
J Frame..with the square butt makes it hard to conceal

October 6, 2012, 10:14 AM
I wouldn't give more than about 250 bucks for a .38 SP and then I would have to be hard up for a gun.

October 6, 2012, 12:02 PM
The S&W is the better deal. That said ,only you can determine which one fits you best.

October 6, 2012, 12:22 PM
Ruger > S&W.

If you prefer overweight guns with gritty actions, sharp edges and the owners manual stamped into the barrel, then yeah.

I used to like Ruger DA revolvers, and then I got a S&W.

I used to like Ruger SA revolvers, and then I got a Uberti

I am down to my SP-101 .32 Mag, Single Six .32 Mag and SRH .454. If S&W made something between the N & X frame that competed with the SRH or a .32 mag that was between J & K frame that competed with the SP-101, those would be gone. If Uberti made a 3/4 scale .32 H&R, I'd trade the Single six for it.

October 6, 2012, 12:38 PM
I own a SP101 in .357 and would not be tempted to get a .38.

And YES to the 3" barrel as that is a fun gun to shoot and if you get the 'stacking' method down - you can shoot the Ruger as well as the S&W,leastwise I taught my self AFTER many years of trying them both for a while and selling the Rugers off [ and then buying another ].

But the S&W is a very well made revolver but square butt - not for me as a carry gun.

If not for concealed carry,like trail gun/house/car = yes to the S&W.

But the Ruger with real magnums is a joy to carry and shoot,even used as a bear gun in Alaska by women who dont like a large,heavy gun.

I have more S&W's than Rugers,but I also have a Ruger Security Six with a 2 3/4" barrel that is too much fun to shoot all day with magnums.

I also have a S&W 386 ,7 shot 'L' frame scandium that is not near as much fun with magnums.

BUT it gets carried more as it weighs half the Ruger S.S. gun.

October 6, 2012, 01:27 PM
Every J frame I've shot had a horribly gritty trigger pull, unless it had a trigger job.
Even Rossis have better triggers.
I've never had a gritty trigger on a Ruger revolver.

October 10, 2012, 02:32 PM
I went back yesterday and looked at the revolvers again. I had already decided that I did not want the SP101; if I'm going that route, the .357 chambering seems the way to go. The S&W, though, really spoke to me. Upon closer inspection, it appears totally new. Except for a very faint turn line, there is no indication it's seen any use at all. The box and papers look brand new, too, including a small bore brush that is still sealed in plastic. Anyhow, I worked a nice trade with a 9mm semiauto that I was looking to sell, and I'm now the happy owner of a S&W Model 36! Hopefully I can post some pics later on.

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