Brought a 3” Model 36-1 back from the dead

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Riomouse911, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,982
    Location:
    Ca.
    All the neat threads about 3” J frame S&W revolvers piqued my interest, so I looked about for one that was in my price range. I saw a Bubbaed up 36-1 listed on GB that had the bluing polished off, so put in a rather low bid...and won.

    The gun was a CAI re-import. The previous owner tried to buff out the CAI import mark on the frame under the cylinder. A bit of the markings were still visible, some of the S&W trademark was buffed down, there were some scratches on the barrel and some light swirl marks were pretty much everywhere in the steel.

    B88B4817-C190-46DC-A4DE-EEA768A6A84E.jpeg 3FD0650C-3B4E-4622-906C-E8D1A291FB82.jpeg ABEB6702-95A6-49F2-A960-B2349613C110.jpeg

    When I held it at the receiving FFL the lockup was tight, there was no play in the cylinder and the trigger function was good in both DA snd SA.

    Since this looked like a decent gun that merely had a kitchen table gunfinisher try to work on it, I had my gunsmith friend polish out the swirl marks and remove what he could of the remaining CAI marks. It was then rust blued and reassembled.

    B567EC44-1F6F-4309-925C-540ECF57864E.jpeg
    720459A7-1199-4DFB-8466-4A00555F1744.jpeg FCE8EC40-5E0E-433C-B604-6FF1503C5374.jpeg 7C484EB5-F7A6-4547-84BA-86C3F3167678.jpeg DA3A25E9-F9A4-4C84-9026-A71CB475AA20.jpeg 5E4D1141-42A9-4607-8258-C50205CC045D.jpeg
    198593F1-D055-4383-8D0F-6C72F97A356B.jpeg

    I think it turned out pretty good for an orphaned and semi-abused old gun. It certainly won’t pass as factory polishing and bluing, but considering what the old gun looked like when I got it I thought the results are pretty nice. (I’ll also be replacing the grips as these are a bit hashed.)

    I’m hoping to get out and put some rounds through it soon, starting with 148 gr WC and ending with mid range .38 Spl. loads. (I’ll be avoiding +P loads in this gun.) When I get a chance I’ll post how it shoots for me.

    Anyone else pull a gun back from the abyss of abuse and wind up with a good gun when you were done?

    Stay safe.
     
  2. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    217
    B8A8CE2A-1BA2-4BFF-A5ED-CBC0EB035528.jpeg C7E494E4-F517-4515-852A-8D1614D1DBEF.jpeg 8042AC0B-6AFA-428D-8D41-5C1737BD1A56.jpeg 259EB072-2D97-4837-977E-C57E94D09BC1.jpeg E7F9F4FA-11E3-415E-8342-83E6BA94FFDB.jpeg A884AA86-8C5C-4C34-BBA3-209C82C362FD.jpeg Nice resurrection!

    I have a model 15-3 that I bought at a pawn shop. Someone put a 6" model 14 barrel on it and buggered up the front sight. The b/c gap was less than .002 and would bind after shooting a cylinder or two.

    I found a 2" barrel for $25 on ebay and had a gunsmith mount it. I then put a set of Altamont grips I got on GB for 1/3-1/2 the normal price.

    The gun is a great feeling pistola now!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    H&R Glock, horsemen61, DR505 and 10 others like this.
  3. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,056
    I like that 3in J!
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  4. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    3,897
    Location:
    Southern California
    I agree. It looks great! I have never understood why someone would do something like that to a gun. Kitchen table gunsmiths start off with good intentions, I’m sure. I can’t say much about that as I did a Krylon camo job once on an AR-15 that truly was hideous when I got done with it. Luckily I had a can of acetone standing by.
    The end result wasn’t detrimental, just embarrassing. :rofl:
     
    GeoDudeFlorida and Riomouse911 like this.
  5. Haywood

    Haywood Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    792
    Location:
    N. Ohio
    20710653-8ED4-499E-9B47-1F027D32D54A.jpeg 646F31DE-1FB8-4E03-9947-D6ABE1A4D832.jpeg They are great shooters. And easy to carry. Mine came to me in mint condition. These pictures don’t do it justice.
     
  6. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    1,352
    9514A9CF-A5F8-465E-80AB-365FF2DFF090.jpeg

    36 no dash
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    23,618
    Riomouse911

    That there is a great save! The 3" barrel Model 36 is one of my favorite J frame models!
     
  8. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,340
    Nice resto, it’s ready for the next 60 years!
     
  9. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,982
    Location:
    Ca.
    Thanks for the kind words, I sure hope it goes another 60 :thumbup:.

    I have a 3” 317 .22 and a 3” 13 .357, so this .38 falls perfectly in between them. You guys with the 3” .38 J frames like the ones above are what attracted me to this one, I can’t wait to see how it stacks up against my 1 7/8” versions.

    Now to just grab some better grips. I love the look of wood, but a) these are pretty messy and b) the wooden panels just don’t work for me very well on J frame guns. :(

    Stay safe.
     
    Haywood and bannockburn like this.
  10. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    7,844
    Location:
    Flatlandistan
    Nice job, good looking gun!

    I carried a 36 for many years, and many iterations, 2", 3", blued, stainless, round butt, square butt.

    The 3" heavy barrel round butt was my favorite, never tried a 3" tapered barrel though.
     
    JFrame, Twiki357 and bannockburn like this.
  11. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,860
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Rescues can get scary but are heartwarming when they work! Well done.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    23,618
    Speedo66
    Mine too and you use to able to pick them up for a song because everyone and their brother were out trying to track down the mythical Model 60 that was the new hotness at the time.
     
    JFrame, Speedo66 and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  13. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    7,445
    Location:
    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    I had a beautiful 3" Airweight, briefly. Turns out they are extra vulnerable to frame cracks.

    Thats a nice one you got there, Rio!
     
  14. Monster Zero

    Monster Zero Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    471
    Will definitely be interested in the range report.
     
  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,136
    About four years ago I won a Single Six for a $120-something bid on Gunbroker. It looked rough in the pictures.

    The bluing on the barrel and above the cylinder was pretty bad, and if you look carefully at the "before" picture, you'll see the little button that you push to remove the cylinder pin was missing.

    I think the button and spring were $20 with shipping. A bottle of cold blue was $10. It's a very good shooter, much more accurate than I am.


     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  16. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,984
    That is a beautiful 3"!

    For some reason a 3" Smiths with fixed sights intrigues me.

    My best friend just inherited a pristine twin to your Model 60. His step-dad bought it during the Night Stalker summer of 1985 and then packed it away until the Rodney King riots of 1992. After the riots calmed down, it went back into the factory box until my friend found it in his step dad's stuff recently.

    He lives in AZ now, but we are going to shoot it when I am out there this summer.

    Very cool and very nice restoration! Congrats.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
  17. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,969
    Location:
    Kansas
    Good save. I love to see rescues. My favorite is a 1st gen Colt SAA in 32-20. It had been in a flood, followed by a Bubba fix. Shoots like a dream, and it will remain nekkid for as long as I own it. I've also rescued some old Winchesters.
     
  18. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    7,844
    Location:
    Flatlandistan
    When my agency transitioned to Glocks, we were one of the last agencies in NYC to do so.

    I sold my 36 for $25 and it was hard to find a buyer. Due to the lack of citizen permits, very limited handgun market there, as you can imagine. A probation officer bought it, her agency hadn’t gone to semi-autos yet.
     
  19. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,346
    I love bringing guns back to serviceable condition. It provides me a way to afford examples that might be out of my price range otherwise, and gives me a chance to learn the gun and its design features.

    Here’s my revolver back-from-the-dead project:

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/new-to-me-smith-64.846725/
     
    Tallball likes this.
  20. bdickens

    bdickens Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,787
    Location:
    Hockley , TX
    Fantastic!
     
  21. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    7,628
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    Nice work. The three-inch is like my ideal revolver barrel length for carry. I have the Interarms-imported Rossi version of that 36. It's kinda rough, but well-balanced.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice