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Help with S&W Mod 36 .38 SPL info

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by lostbird, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. lostbird

    lostbird New Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    North Central Texas
    I'm looking for information on a S&W Model 36 .38 SPL that has been in the family since the mid 1980's. It has a 5-shot cylinder with a 2" barrell and round butt. The finish is nickel plate. It has AEU13xx stamped on the bottom of the butt. The yoke is stamped Mod 36, C23, 99414. The barrel is stamped S&W .38 SPL. The only other markings are Made in U.S.A., S&W, Springfield, Mass. Can anyone help me with the meaning of the different stampings on the yoke? I assume AEU13xx is the S/N, but what does the "AEU" prefix mean? When was it manufactured? What is the approximate value? It is in new condition and appears to be unfired. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.
  2. DB

    DB New Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Hi Lostbird, and welcome to the forum. Good folks are here. AEU prefix to serial # puts it probably manufactured in 1984. Numbers stamped in the yoke area, other than the model # & serial, are normally just assembly numbers that don't mean anything to anyone other than the S&W factory workers on the assembly line. Approximate value of your particular nickel mod 36 is a bit hard to say, but IMHO is likely in the neighborhood of $400-$450 in the "new" condition you describe. Although, you may get differing opinions on that. Sounds like a nice gun for sure!
  3. Rolando

    Rolando New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    I'd bet yours doesn't have a pin in the frame just rear of the where the barrel fits the frame. Meaning it isn't "pinned". The pin is a feature valued by collectors. Not necessarily for function but because they don't do it anymore and it shows another step in the mfg.
    Date would be roughly Nov 1984-Jan 1985.
    Yoke stamping would be assembly numbers.

    New condition it would probably bring about $350, maybe more. Box, paperwork, and tools would up the value but the newer models (not pinned) aren't hot collector items. How bout posting some pics!!
  4. Purple95

    Purple95 New Member

    May 7, 2006

    The c23 and 99414 stamped on the yoke of your Model 36 are numbers used at S&W for manufacturing processes, lot numbers, or whatever.

    Your serial number of course is AEU13xx. The AEU has no separate meaning rather than being part of S&W's serial numbering sequencing.

    The Standard Catalog of S&W, 2nd ed. places the manufacture date of your revolver at approximately 1984.

    Not to nitpick but all S&W's are test fired at the factory, although it is common to refer to guns unfired post shipment as "unfired". Unless yours slipped through somehow, it was probably fired three times.

    They usually load two adjacent charge holes, skip one, and then load the third round. If your gun has not been fired after shipment, there should be blackened area around only three of he charge holes as described above. If all five charge holes show blackening on the end of the cylinder, then the gun has been fired post shipment. Of course, these are just general guidelines, not carvings in stone. Smith likes to play mind games with us collectors/users/lovers of their guns. :)

    Check gunbroker.com for final sale prices on similar guns to get an idea of what your gun is worth.

    The J-frames are delightful little guns that perfectly fill the niche for which they were designed. I love 'em. :D

    dan :)
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Hi lostbird My Friend-

    Alphabetical letters began to be used by S&W in the early 80's, and
    aside from use in a weapons serial number really have NO special type
    meaning. I got lucky one day at the gun shop, and while putting several
    nice used handguns on display; I ran across a gem mint S&W model 442
    that had my first name (DAN) as the alphabetical characters, followed
    of course by four numbers (9xxx). The gun appears to have never being
    fired, but did not have box or docs. I thought that was pretty cool :)cool:),
    so I gave the owner $200 for it; and it now resides in my snubby collection.

    Of course, I tell a little white lie that I had S&W make that gun especially
    for me (Laughing Loudly :D :D :D)~! Honestly, it was just a stroke of luck
    and probably would never happen again in a lifetime~! :)
  6. lostbird

    lostbird New Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    North Central Texas
    Thanks to all for your responses to my questions regarding my Model 36.

    DB Thank you for the welcome. I agree there are a lot of good folks on the Forum with a lot of knowledge that they are willing to share. I just wish I had discovered the Forum earlier.

    Purple95 Thanks for pointing out that I misused the term "unfired". I realize all firearms are generally test fired before leaving the factory. I should have said more correctly my Model 36 appeared to have been "test fired only".

    Rolando You are correct about my 36 not being "pinned". I haven't figured out how to post pics on the Forum just yet.

    Ala Dan That's an interesting story about your 442's S/N. That is a special handgun that you will want to hold on to for sure. That's also a pretty cool price you paid for it.

    Once again. Thanks to all for making this a great forum.

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