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  #1  
Old 02-19-2011, 01:23 PM
Major Wader Major Wader is offline
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Default Model 36 accuracy

or the lack thereof....

Recent purchase was a S&W Model 36, no dash, 3" barrel. Almost no wear, probably less than a box of ammunition through it since it was new in 1976.

We have tried multiple brands of ammunition, and can't get anything to group less than 4-5" at 7 yards.

I'm sure that it's not operator error. I shoot well with every other handgun that we own, including several revolvers from the same time period, semi-autos, and a couple of modern short barrel revolvers.

Any thoughts on repairs, modifications, or adjustments that might help? I really like the gun, but don't want to hang onto one that isn't accurate. I bought it at a good price, so recouping my investment would not be a problem.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:31 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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I'd first try a different set of grips like a Pachmayr Compac or even a Tyler T-grip adaptor.

I too have a 3in Mod 36. It's no K-38 or Python , but certainly accurate enough for it's intended purpose , an a 4in group with defensive loads at 7yds is just fine.

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Old 02-19-2011, 01:39 PM
fc60 fc60 is offline
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Default Accuracy With 3" Barrel

Greetings,

I have the stainless version, Model 60, and for fun I mounted the pistol in a Random Rest to check the accuracy. Using Federal 38 Special Match Wadcutter ammo, It fired ten shots at 50 YARDS that measured 3".

Try to locate a friend with a Random Rest and try some quality Match Wadcutter ammo with your pistol. Be sure it is completely clean before testing.

Cheers,

Dave
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:45 PM
kingranch kingranch is offline
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What mkk41 said.
This one is always loaded and ready to go...but it ain't for shooting paper .
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2011, 02:03 PM
Major Wader Major Wader is offline
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I guess my point is, that I regularly shoot 2" groups with my Ruger LCR, and half that size with my model 10-8 4" barrel.

I expected more from the 3" model 36, and wondered if there might be something wrong with it. I have fired other S&W short barrels before, and never noticed an accuracy issue.

This one came with a Pachmayr Compaq on it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:51 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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Well , aside from checking the bore for excessive fouling , or obvious muzzle damage , I really can't think of a reason for bad accuracy. If ya can find a machine rest , or try a good two-hand rested group.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:26 PM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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I've owned several, both snubs and three-inch guns. All were very accurate. Same for M-60's.

Which ammo have you used? Unless you got a lemon with overbored cylinder throats, I'm at a loss to explain your problem. But I did once own a Model 49 that I couldn't hit the target paper with at 25 yards. Never did figure that one out...

T-Star
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:01 PM
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Agree with T-star, it sounds like a cylinder or barrel problem. Don't know how to solve it short of a trip to the gunsmith or factory.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:42 PM
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Default Model 36 Accuracy

You might recheck the crown with a good light and magnifying glass. Also, if the mainspring is weak/clipped, you could be getting light hits on the primers. Similarly, if the recoil plate-to-rear of cylinder spec is off on the wide side.

Probably others have inquired whether the barrel is leaded badly/irregularly.

There has to be an explanation, so....

Good luck,

Dyson
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:06 PM
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How does the trigger feel? Is it excessively heavy or have a glitch in it? Often a "duty tune" trigger job can solve a lot of accuracy issues. I have 2" mod 36, mod 60, and mod 940, and all will shoot into about 2" at 10 yards. I would also check the muzzle for unevenness.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:56 PM
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Some things that can affect a revolver’s accuracy:

Timing: The cylinder must be in alignment when the hammer drops. Hammer or pin strikes should be centered on the primer.

Indexing: The alignment of the bore to each chamber of the cylinder should be true. Indexing can be checked with a range rod.

Forcing cone: If the cone is too deep or too wide it will affect accuracy. A too wide or deep cone may cause bullet tipping.

Cylinder chambers: The rounds should fit closely.

Barrel: The barrel should be clean with sharp rifling. The bore should not be oversized.

Trigger: The trigger pull should be smooth without binding, roughness or glitches.

Endshake: In a S&W, excessive endshake can alter the relationship between chamber and forcing cone affecting the barrel to cylinder gap. This has an affect on accuracy.

Cylinder–Barrel Gap: The ideal barrel to cylinder gap is .006". A normal usable gap is .004" – .010"

Sights. For revolvers with adjustable sights, check for play or loose sights.

Ammunition: Not all brands and kinds of ammunition shoot the same.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:29 PM
JC4013 JC4013 is offline
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Sometimes shooters new to the "little" guns tend to wrap too much finger around the trigger, especially if they're used to N or K frames, causing them to pull the barrel to the side as they pull. Also, try using light loads until you're used to how it handles and you're sure there's no involuntary flinch. It's more common than you'd think among shooters using the pocket guns.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:39 PM
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The little J frames can be plenty accurate, but the minimal sights do make it a tad more "challenging" from the shooter's point of view.

As for the gun? Well, if it is in good condition and within proper specs, the gun will launch the bullet as accurately from a 2" barrel as an 8 3/8th or whatever.

So, if the gun checks out ok I'd recommend two things . . .

1. 158gn bullets. The older S&W J-frames were regulated to this wonderful weight bullet.

2. 140 gn. wadcutters will generally show you what a gun in proper specs can do on paper.

If I do my part, I can put a full cylinder of wadcutters into a 1" square with any of my J-frame snubbies, and it is even easier with my wife's 3" Model 37 Airweight.

Have patience with the "wee beastie," it might just surprise you yet!

Best wishes,

Tom
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:43 PM
Richard44 Richard44 is offline
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Default Mod. 36 3"

8x10 paper target at 10 yds. Nickel sized bulls eye. Shooting 6" low and 6" to left. Group 2". Filed .050 off front sight and smacked right side of front sight with punch and hammer. Now shooting dead on. Must have been luck!.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:25 PM
shouldazagged shouldazagged is offline
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I love J-frames, and have used one as my CC for over twelve years. I don't think of it as a plinker or target gun, but as a last-ditch weapon to stop a threat at very close range. MOT--Minute Of Thug--is okay with me. But that is strictly my view as an elderly guy who can't afford a lot of range time or ammo. I hope you get your answer and enjoy that little 36 your way.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:32 AM
Etalksalot Etalksalot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingranch View Post
What mkk41 said.
This one is always loaded and ready to go...but it ain't for shooting paper .
Very nice gun sir, I just bought the exact same one, square butt and all! I absolutely love it! Got it for a reasonable price and it came with box and papers. It has since become my carry gun. I switch it out with my Taurus 605 (5 shot J frame sized .357, but I mostly carry it. It's old school, and beautiful as can be!
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:18 PM
Watchdog Watchdog is offline
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This thread is so-o-o-o old. Even the OP hasn't posted in about six years.
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940, airweight, fouling, gunsmith, model 10, model 37, model 60, pachmayr, primer, ruger, wadcutter

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