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Need Quick Replies: Used/Exc. Cond. S&W 36 OR NIB Ruger SP101?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by nero45acp, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. nero45acp

    nero45acp Well-Known Member

    I'm going to buy one or the other today, so I'd appreciate some timely opinions/suggestions.

    The 36 is one of the later ones, but has the firing pin on the hammer, and is sans MIM. It's in about 98% + condition, and is about $75 less than what I'd pay for a NIB Ruger SP101. The only reason I hesitate in buying the M36, is I'm wondering if the Ruger's lockwork is less likely to have timing issues than the S&W with heavy use? I probably won't be carrying this revolver, but I will likely put about 200 rds of .38 Spec./month through it, and dry-fire it a fair amount.


  2. Hutch

    Hutch Well-Known Member

    I'm a real fan of S&W, so that's what I'd get.
  3. cocojo

    cocojo Well-Known Member

    The Rugers are built like tanks so if your intention is to use it as a range gun only, I would choose the Ruger. The S&W is a much better carry gun, which still can take a lot of shooting but it's much better for carry. If the S&W has the firing pin on the hammer then it should be pre lock and Mim gun and for that reason alone it's a good move. The Ruger can be had anytime but pre lock Smiths are sought after today. My question to you is WHY don't you want to carry it? The 36 is an excellent gun for carry and make great ankle rig guns, not as nice as the 37, but still a great carry gun and timing should not be an issue. Smith has a great service department if you run into any problems and they pay the shipping.
    Range gun only, buy the Ruger
    Carry gun,value, pre lock buy the S&W
  4. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Ruger is a great gun but I would buy the Smith

    There are only so many pre lock Smiths but they are still making Rugers.
  5. nero45acp

    nero45acp Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies thus far.

    Cocojo, the only reason that I won't likely be carrying this revolver, is that I carry a S&W 432PD. I like having the extra round with my 432, and I feel that I don't give up too much in terms of stopping power with the .32 H&R Magnum. Also, the 432PD has an alloy frame and is lighter than the M36 & SP101. And being hammerless, the 432PD doesn't present the possibility of snagging on clothing when drawn quickly.

    Having said all that, I do like snubbies with hammers, so I want to get either a M36 or SP101 to have fun with at the range, and perhaps use as another HD gun (by my computer desk).

    Again, thanks.

  6. Shade00

    Shade00 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't say that I've looked at a ton of S&Ws over the past couple of months... but I have looked at quite a few. And I have yet to run into one with timing issues. Just treat it right and you should be fine.
  7. machinisttx

    machinisttx Well-Known Member


    I have run across quite a few with bad timing. In fact, I currently own two that need work. One is a 1975 vintage M66 no dash with very little use and likely left the factory that way. The other is a police trade in M65 from CDNN that has seen a fair amount of use. Another of my police trade in M65s is on the verge of slow timing.

    nero45acp, if you want a gun to shoot often, buy the SP101. If you want one to shoot occasionally, buy the M36 as long as it's in good shape and has no issues. (Personally, I'd buy the SP101 anyway because I'm not fond of J frames)
  8. Rugerlvr

    Rugerlvr Well-Known Member

    pre-lock smith FTW, and that's saying something with my moniker.
  9. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Well-Known Member

    For a shooter, go for the SP101.

    I have one and carry it regularly. Yes, it IS a superb carry gun.
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member


    I've had a number of S&W J frame revolvers over the years, and I've never had any problems with any of them. Like someone else posted; they're still making the Ruger SP-101's, but the older S&W's are getting harder to find, and are generally more expensive when you do find one. I'd go with the S&W.
  11. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Well-Known Member

    You will always be able to pick up a Ruger. The S&W particularly, if it doesn't have that infernal lock, will do nothing but go up in value.
  12. nero45acp

    nero45acp Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all of the helpful replies.

    I did what any clear thinking gun lover would do....

    I bought the S&W, and put a SP101 on layaway.

    I've been working a lot of overtime, so I should be able to pay the balance on the SP101 next payday. :D

    Again, thanks.

  13. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Of course this is the best solution

    nicely done

  14. tomkatz

    tomkatz Well-Known Member

    Very nicely played in The Highroad tradition!!!!:D

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