S&W model 36,reblue or ?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by scaatylobo, Oct 14, 2019.

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  1. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    Just got a 'grail gun' and it is a S&W model 36 with a 3" barrel.

    Not in prime condition,and really could use a smooth combat trigger and a good action/cleaning job.

    So do I suffer it as is,or send it back to S&W for a redo ?.

    Whats your thoughts,too nice to mess with,or a real carry gun and do the works ?.
     
  2. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    The nicest thing about buying an older gun is having the choice to make it yours, or keep it stock. I bought a 64 recently that will be bead blasted due to scratches in the steel. It won’t be stock, but it’ll be mine.

    If it’s finish-worn but serviceable, I’ll say go ahead and make it new again and get the trigger you want.

    If it’s a NIB oldie or a really, really old classic that people clamor over to buy then the advice would be to keep it as-is.

    Expect to wait a while from S&W, I sent a 66-1 in back in early July for some internal work and it’s still there with no return date in sight.

    Stay safe!
     
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  3. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    Thank you,will consider 'making it mine'.
     

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  4. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Nice 3"!

    Looks good to me, I say leave it be.
     
  5. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    if you want to sell it later then leave it as is. if you want to enjoy it to the most do whatever upgrades the manufacturer offers.
     
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  6. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    For a nice old flat latch like that, I'd leave the finish alone. Looks fine to me and will only reduce the value by refinishing it.

    The triggers fair game to tune up though!
     
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  7. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Ya, that flat-latch 36 doesn’t look bad at all, after looking at the pics I’d leave the finish alone until it’s really worn.

    The action upgrade from S&W is a good option if you choose it. The factory work is good stuff that’ll improve the shootability :thumbup:.

    The 64 I was describing looks like it was dropped in a sink disposer, it’s waaay worse than your 36!

    Stay safe.
     
  8. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I would leave it like it is. If the trigger bothers you then buy a replacement that has a smooth face or do what a lot of others have done and use a dremel and sanding drum and make it smooth. Remove it from the gun first though. I think it has class and character that has taken around 60 years to get. Only time and use does that.
     
  9. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I'd take it to my local gunsmith and have the trigger worked on, but other than that the gun looks good to me.
     
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  10. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Your gun, your decision.

    If it were mine & I had the spare cash, I think I'd reblue.
    But neither is mine (gun or cash - lol)
     
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  11. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Wasn't there a thread recently on THR about guns with "character". Your gun your decision but it looks like we'll earned character to me.
     
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  12. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I'm having trouble looking at your photos standing on my head because they are upside down.

    Is yours actually a Model 36? If so it will say so on the frame under the cylinder yoke. The hinge the cylinder rides on.

    Or perhaps yours is an earlier .38 Chiefs Special, which is what they were called before the changeover to model numbers in 1957.

    Anyway, if it were my gun I would leave it alone.

    This Flat Latch Model 36 left the factory in 1961. The older guns mostly had the 'flat latch', which is the flat type of thumb piece.

    Model%2036%20Flat%20Latch%201961%2003_zpscfdunoe7.jpg




    In 1966 the thumb piece on the Model 36 was changed to the standard thumb piece found on all other S&W revolvers, like on this Model 60.

    model%2060%2003_zpsttn8cypt.jpg




    It is of course your gun. If it was mine I would leave it alone.

    If you will post the Serial Number, substituting Xs for the last two digits, I will try to look up when yours was made.
     
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  13. Obturation

    Obturation Member

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    If you plan to carry it, leave it alone - it's honest wear and will return shortly so the refinish is a waste of money.
    If you do not plan to carry it, leave it alone - it wont get any worse sitting in storage.
    The gun looks good, if you like a different trigger by all means get it but be sure you can put it back to orginal if the need should arise. 100% of a guns value is in what it's worth to the guy holding the money. No one would look at an old gun with a fresh blue job and think "thats a mint condition beauty", they'll know she has been carried a lot (at minimum) and likely had a few hot lunches too. Honest wear is much better looking than anything else, means she was loved and gave service in return. Enjoy.
     
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  14. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    You can also try a Wolff spring kit to help the action. While changing the springs won't rival a GOOD gunsmith, a reduced power rebound and mainspring will most likely make it a lot more fun to shoot. I change the springs in just about every S&W Revolver I shoot regularly.
     
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  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I agree with leaving the finish as is and send it to S&W for trigger work.

    Nice revolver.
     
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  16. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    That flat latch looks good to me. That is a great carry gun - unless you have it refinished , than you will dread the first ding or scratch.
     
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  17. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    I have doubts that the factory will work on a gun that old. I strongly suspect that they ran out of spare part a long time ago. If something should break while they are working on it you are stuck with a inoperable pistol.

    Besides your flat latch may be desirable to a collector. If you are wanting a carry piece I would sell or trade it for a new production gun.
     
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  18. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Flat latches are more desirable to a collector.

    If you care.
     
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  19. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I don’t see anything wrong with that revolver that would require a trip anywhere but the range.
     
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  20. Orkanen

    Orkanen Member

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    I'd put in springs to my liking and otherwise just maintain and use it. You do your thing.
     
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  21. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    A 3" Chief was my last duty gun before we went to Glocks, and I think it was the best service revolver I'd had. Carried like a 2", but the extra length seemed to make a difference at the range. It fit perfectly in an open bottom holster for a 2".

    I had a smooth trigger on mine, and I'd bobbed the hammer spur to protect my suits and prevent snags on drawing. Great carry gun.

    As to condition, my choice would be to leave it as it is. Good luck with it!
     
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  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm actually wondering why the OP feels the need for trigger work. Those revolvers were usually made with hand finished internal parts. The triggers were much better back then.

    I found out the difference when I bought a 1948 M&P and felt the trigger compared to a current production revolver.
     
  23. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    I do plan on it being a carry gun and I am not really worried about resale as I am sure I could sell it for more than I paid.

    I own at least 5 [ or is it 6 ] "J" frames and they are a few of my favorite BUG's.

    I have carried them as a primary,but then I just HAVE TO carry 2 :)

    Thank you for the offer, and the serial # is 4267XX
     
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  24. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    The 3" Model 36 was one of my favorite J frames; that and they were a bit less expensive than their snubnose brethren.

    If that particular Model 36 were mine I would probably leave it as is, provided there's no rust on the gun (can't stand it on any of my guns). Down the road if there was a problem with the finish then I would get it hard chrome plated and not worry about it.
     
  25. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I just realized that I have a 3 inch model 36 in my meager S&W collection. The former owner did not properly store it and there are some issues with the finish. No rust just some discoloration where it looks like maybe someone got chemicals or something on it that the finish didn't like.
    Either way it's staying as is.
     
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