S&W 360J .38cal


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Alnamvet68
December 5, 2012, 08:06 AM
Purchased a S&W 360J last night that on first glance appeared to be the 357 magnum, but is a 38 cal. It has a scandium frame, carbon steel cylinder, stainless steel barrel, and the ejector is shrouded just like the 357 Model 60 equivalent. Having done an extensive internet search, I found several pictures, a dozen or so posts in a variety of forums, and numerous opinions as to who the gun was made for...some say a Talo limited edition to the fantastic claim that is was for the Japanese Secret Service. Anyway, the images that I was able to pull up from the www were images from 2008-2010, and showed the gun to have the S&W logo laser engraved below the cylinder release latch, and the laser engraved logo on the right side of the gun as well, and coming with the discontinued Uncle Mike's rubber combat grips. Mine has the no laser engraved logo below the cylinder release latch, instead, the Serial Number which is CTF 40XX, the logo on the right side, and the right side of the barrel roll marked with "Smith and Wesson 38 Cal." No mention or markings indicating that it is rated for +P, but again, numerous posts in several forums indicated that it is +P rated. The SKU # is 160360, and lastly, it comes in a cardboard S&W box vs the blue plastic box shown on the net. My LBS says he suspects the gun was a possible contract gun for some LE agency, but that's just a speculation on his part.

Does anybody know the real history behind this interesting J frame? Oh, and one more thing, the grips are the new S&W logo Combat grips, and the factory fired cartridge that comes with the gun is dated 7/17/2012, suggesting the gun is newly manufactured.

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grptelli
December 5, 2012, 08:29 AM
I have been wondering the same about this weapon. I have seen it for sale at grabagun and buds. Nice piece, but just got a 442 w/o ils which is all I nwed for now.


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WC145
December 5, 2012, 11:15 AM
I bought mine from Bud's a few years ago when they first came out, paid $409 IIRC. I got it specifically for a customization project so it's no longer the same as it came from the factory but it's been a great little gun. I carry it almost everyday, mostly as a BUG, but it also gets a share of primary duty. Mine has the same rollmarks in the same places as yours, came with the longer Uncle Mike's rubber grips and the blue plastic box.

Don't know how the model came about other than just being a lower cost scandium frame option. They also made a run of. 357mags a couple of years ago. Knowing that and the fact that they're making more of them this year it's obviously not an overrun from some foreign secret squirrel agency, probably just a popular piece that is making some money.

Alnamvet68
December 5, 2012, 11:58 AM
WC145, I agree that this gun could prove to be very popular, if more people were aware of them, but I am at a loss as to why it cannot be found in the current S&W catalog, nor is it found in the archived current and no longer in production spec sheets. Perhaps I'll just cal S&W and see if they can help.

WC145
December 5, 2012, 12:51 PM
How much did you pay for yours?

Alnamvet68
December 5, 2012, 01:29 PM
I have an update...spoke with one of the gunsmiths at S&W who was able to shine a light on this gun. First, they have manufactured exactly 6718 of these guns since 2008, and have made changes along the way. Earlier models had carbon steel cylinders that were blued, but this years models have stainless steel cylinders which are finished in melonite. Second, these guns come off the M&P assembly line, and share all the attributes of the M&P 340 except the 357 capability, the lack of a tritium sight, and no M&P logo; other then that, the 360J is the same as the M&P 340 right down to the weight.

The S&W guy did say that the 360J is made whenever a "suit" decides it's time, but they (S&W) have no plan in place to market/advertise this unique model, as far as he knows.

Lastly, he said that the 360J has an MSRP of $799.00; I paid $500.00 out the door.

WC145
December 5, 2012, 02:16 PM
Interesting info. It was stuff like the blued carbon steel cylinder and lack of the other M&P goodies that kept the price down, a $799 MSRP is up there for a .38 snubby. The low price I paid was the only thing that made my project feasable, much higher and I would have ended up using a Ruger LCR as it's the next lightest snubby at a reasonable price.

Alnamvet68
December 6, 2012, 05:15 PM
Interesting info. It was stuff like the blued carbon steel cylinder and lack of the other M&P goodies that kept the price down, a $799 MSRP is up there for a .38 snubby. The low price I paid was the only thing that made my project feasable, much higher and I would have ended up using a Ruger LCR as it's the next lightest snubby at a reasonable price.
Initially they came with blue carbon steel cylinders, but they are now stainless steel finsihed in melonite.

WC145
December 6, 2012, 06:37 PM
Yeah, I know. Mine has the carbon steel cyl but the "blue" was a cheesy matte finish that didn't hold up well at all. Just a day in an ankle holster and the edges of the flutes would have little bits of surface rust. I sent the cyl to Robar and had it coated with NP3, no more rust.

I had a S&W 9mm 1911 Pro Series and the small parts that had a matte blue/black finish on it also rusted easily, maybe they need to come up with something tougher.

This is my 360J, it's a 9mm now-
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YRYzq8g2bfQ/UL4ql52zsaI/AAAAAAAAFBY/SaYrbCVVkRg/s800/SDC10022.JPG

Alnamvet68
December 8, 2012, 07:56 PM
Some pics of this little known gem....

175947

175948

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