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Old 02-26-2010, 12:05 AM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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I put a Chiefs Special on layaway today. The serial number is in the 100,000 range so I'm guessing about 1956. It is not marked Model 36. There is no serial number on the bottom of the barrel or rear of the cylinder. I did not pull the stocks to check but they are the correct diamond round butt style. Did S&W stop serializing those parts on J frames about that time ? Also, what was the purpose of the flat latch design ? I don't find it as aesthetically appealing as the standard cylinder release but am guessing that it may prevent the release from gouging one's thumb under recoil.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:55 AM
lanearl lanearl is offline
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hey, bud mine is 56--- , and i aint crazy about the latch but its and old smith , lots ove appeal. al============
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:27 PM
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I have one made in 1953 and the flat latch design is something you either hate or love and I'm in the latter. I think it was that way for the reason you said plus as a carry gun it didn't stick out as much as the newer design but that's just a guess.

My gunsmith told me that these revolvers were designed to shoot 158 grain bullets and that I should not shoot 125 grain +P's in it at the range but it was OK to carry them for carry. I carry and target shoot with standard 158 grain bullets.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:34 PM
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HAWKEYE10 HAWKEYE10 is offline
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The latch was just the way it was back then. It's a sign that the gun is old, just like the diamond grips. I think it's neat to have a gun that old that is still in good condition. Don
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:07 PM
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tom turner tom turner is offline
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Ditto to what HAWKEYE10 said. It is really neat each time you see one of those early Smiths, and the latch and grips are an exciting giveaway!

There were different versions of the rectangular latches, but I really like my '64 era latch on my Model 36. It kind of grows on ya!

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Old 02-26-2010, 04:32 PM
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Besides all that, they are just peachy cool!

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