Does Anyone Else Like 3" j-frames?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Tallball, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. jstert

    jstert Member

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    i have two 38sp, 3”, five-shot, j frame revolvers: an older, steel, interarms alexandria va, rossi without a model # and an airweight, blued, s&w 37. the rossi is my bedside piece. this size is the perfect compromise. so, why aren’t i shooting them more?
     

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  2. tubeshooter
    • Contributing Member

    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    Although I'm sure I paid probably at least 3 or 4x what the gun cost originally (1970's vintage), my Rossi was pretty affordable.

    But for a true Smith J, especially a rare or prized configuration... yeah, you're right.
    I sure don't run into them much...


    I forgot about a 3" model 317 that I bought and had modified.
    Nice kit gun after all was said and done.
    Took a little while to get there.
     
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  3. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
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  4. Mark 40
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    Mark 40 Contributing Member

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    Tallball- great thread with commentary and pics. Yes I like 3" J-Frames as well. Have two, recently purchased Model 60 .357 and a Model 31 32 S&WL pictured.
     

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  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    A 3" HB Model 36 was my favorite service revolver for many years.

    Increased sight radius, a little more weight up front to tame recoil, and it fit nicely in a holster meant for a 2".

    Regretfully, when we went to Glocks, I sold it.
     
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  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    If memory serves me right I had a 3" tapered barrel Model 37 which had a somewhat thin serrated ramp front sight on it. With it's slender, tapered barrel, the sight even looked a bit taller than the ramped front sight on the heavy, non-tapered barrel on a 3" Model 36.
     
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  7. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Posted before but yet again…

    A 3” Model 60 .38 Special with adjustable sights, rescued from a tactical store, having been traded for some semi-auto something. It’s quite accurate but I carry its 2” Model 60 cousin because that’s what I have trained with. It’s comforting to have this as backup in case the snubbie breaks.

    4BFD2C39-E9FC-46EC-A557-085119433BA8.jpeg
     
  8. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Those are Mustang Grips made with Zebra wood. Those grips came on the gun when I bought it. I went to the dealer to pick up a Marlin Camp Carbine I won on GB and while there asked if he had any 32 mag revolvers for sale. He said no but he did have 32 long if I was interested. I was and bought the gun without a second thought.

    If you notice there is no wear on the ejector rod. I don't think the gun had been shot much when I bought it and I haven't shot it much either. I let my bud fire the first shot from it and his first shot was dead center of the bullseye. The gun shoots to the sights and groups well using Lee 94gr SWC lead bullets with around 2.7grs of Bullseye powder. I am really pleased to own this gun.

    And I just remember I have one more 3" gun. Another 32 long on the I-Frame. I posted a picture of it on here a while back and you guys told me it was made in the mid 1950's. I will try to get another picture of it for y'all.
     
  9. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    I saw a nice 3" Model 36 at a small LGS last year and almost bought it for $650 OTD. Looking at the photos here I almost wish I had. I seem to do better with k frame or larger revolvers so I left it there. I found a pre lock Model 64-5 3" recently that feels perfect in my hand, carries well IWB and shoots very well. I like 3" fixed sight revolvers and have a Ruger GP100 3" & Speed Six 3" & 2 3/4". They're habit forming!
     
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  10. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    On the lookout for a Model 30/31 in .32 Long. 3” would be my first pick.
     
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  11. lincen

    lincen Member

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    All four are 3” barrel 32’s. Top one is a Taurus, next is an INA also from Brazil. The blued Smith is a 31-1, and the bottom one is a nickel plated model 30.

    1FB1A2BD-87CA-45B0-82A1-4502E1633B31.jpeg

    Top one is a Smith model 43 in 22lr. The middle one is my modified to hit point of aim Charter Arms Professional in 32 magnum. Bottom one is a model 36-1 of course in 38 special. I have other 3” barrel revolvers but wanted to stick with the J frames.
    3F6211F7-C489-46B9-A614-ADCD612EE7E9.jpeg
     
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  12. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    As promised here is the 3" I-Frame I forgot that I owned. I bought this one about 3 months ago when a friend decided he wanted to sell off most of his guns. I paid him $450 for it. Probably too much but I didn't want him to think I was beating him out of his gun. It hardly has any wear on it and the recoil shield doesn't even show where rounds have been fired and left the brass case mark. It feels really nice in the hand. And for that $450 I also got around 400 pieces of brass, several boxes of loaded rounds and a set of 32 long dies. So maybe not too bad for what I paid for it.

    001.JPG
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  13. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    Of my J frames 4 are 3", A flat latch model 37, a 317, a 36, and a 60-15. I like the three inch barrels. My latest though is a 4", a model 34-1 22/32 Kit Gun!:)

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  14. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I really liked my 3” heavy-barrel square-butt Model 60, one of a limited run, made in the Eighties. Sadly, I let it get away, probably when I went through a mostly-auto-loader phase. I “replaced” it, about 2006, with a 3” SP101, into which I swapped a spurless hammer. I have been smart enough, thus far, to keep the SP101.

    Memorably, I very shot a felon, using my 3” Model 60, as he tried to draw a 5.5” Redhawk. (This occurred during a “stakeout” assignment.) He fumbled his draw, dropped the Redhawk, and ran, which made it unnecessary for me to shoot. We caught him, hiding in tall grass, a short distance away. He had just finished a sentence for murder, and decided to try vehicle burglary, and armed robbery, for a living. His freedom did not last very long.
     
  15. gila_dog1

    gila_dog1 Member

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    I have a model 36 with a 3" barrel and I really like it. A bit more accurate that one with a 2" barrel, a bit more power, and still handy and light weight. And it's a beautiful machine.
     
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  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Thanks for all of the gorgeous pictures. Some of the wooden grips are incredible.

    I had a 3" 856 briefly and did not care for the balance or trigger. My friend at the LGS let me trade it in unfired for a decent amount towards a new 642.

    If the Taurus ends up being a range toy (most likely), I will make sure that it doesn't get nicked up or scratched. The original wooden grips are put away safely. If the LGS ever has a decent 3" Model 36, the owner would give me decent trade value.

    If it works its way into my "carry rotation", or if I like it so much that it becomes a nightstand gun, then it will get scratched up plenty and I won't care.
     
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  17. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I have looked at quite a few I frames recently. All were more money than what you paid and none were that nice. Add in the brass, rounds and dies you got a good deal my friend. Nice revolver.
     
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  18. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I only have one small frame double action revolver with a 3" barrel. It's a pretty nifty lightweight shooter.

    CA-PT-BK.jpg
     
  19. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    upload_2022-7-2_11-24-48.jpeg

    I have a 3” J frame. 650. With a fitted .22 lr cylinder.
     
  20. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    the two S&W 60 three inch heavy barreled 38 spls i bought in the mid 80,s and had engraved for my two sons (never fired from new). i wish i had bought one more.
     

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  21. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    One snub I'd not mind adding to my retirement CCW collection would be a 3" M37, especially if the company decided to make it DAO configuration. I managed to have a cop shop locate a nice example of the limited production 37-2DAO before i retired. It had been part of a production run for an overseas police order that was canceled before delivery. If I remember right, the total units produced for that contract run was approx 800 units?

    Anyway when the contract was canceled S&W dumped the guns on the American market through at least a couple of their large wholesale vendors. It was built on the older Airweight frame, with the shorter cylinder window, and the factory used older machined parts, including factory DAO hammers.

    Aside from putting different grip stocks on it from time to time, the only thing I've added has been a dab of bright red/orange polish to the front sight ramp.

    A couple pics of mine wearing different different stocks. (It presently wears a set of the discontinued UM Boot grips, but I never took a pic of it that way.)
    Hogue_Aqua_Right_side.jpg
    grey_37_4.jpg
    grey_37_5.jpg

    Personally, I think a 3" DAO Airweight, especially if made on the newer Airweight frames rated for +P, would be a very handy & lightweight belt gun ... for those times you didn't want to feel the weight of a belt gun.

    Of course, to really make such a never-gonna-happen M37DAO complete, I'd also wish for the factory to install the standard XS/24 Dot NS, and scallop the rear notch, like they do for the M&P 340/360 snubs. :)
     
  22. Monac

    Monac Member

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    It would never have occured to me to laugh at your holster. In fact, it would never have occured to me it was homemade. It looks perfectly good to me. Admittedly, I am not a holster guy, but to me it looks like you do good work. Thanks for putting up a good picture of it and the guns you use with it.
     
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  23. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I got a nice leather OWB holster to keep the finish from getting scratched up.

    It doesn't point or balance like a 2" snub, more like a miniature service revolver, if that makes any sense.

    For most of my life LEO's carried 4" 38's or 357's, so those proportions always look right to me. :)
     
  24. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    i like the larger front sights on the heavy barreled 3" 60,s. i have a 10-5 2" heavy barrel with the larger front sight and shoot it quite well. i shot my 10-5 against my victory model and it held up pretty good against the victory.
     

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  25. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    What're the checkered grips on your Dick Special?

    I'm just going through hitting like on all the revolver picks (and @fastbolt's hats).

    I'm feeling stupid for selling off the 3" Model 36 I picked up at a WAC show a few years ago (unfired, in the box w/papers and tool! Mint condition!) without even shooting it. Just couldn't figured out what role it played for me, and I hadn't gotten serious about my S&W collection then...
     
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