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Old 05-17-2017, 11:23 AM
hfrank hfrank is offline
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Default Model 36 and +P ammunition

My sister-in-law inherited what appears to be a Model 36. There is no model number on the yoke or elsewhere, so I am guessing it is a pre-model version. From the serial number (285xxx) I am likewise guessing it was manufactured in 1961. The gun is in pristine condition. If I'm right about the model and vintage, can it take +P loads?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:08 PM
Pisgah Pisgah is offline
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If you mean "Can it fire +P loads without blowing up?", then the answer is "Yes". S&W does not recommend +P for pre-Model Number revolvers, but this is not a matter of safety; rather, it is a caution that extensive use of +P will cause accelerated wear. Back in the '50's, Elmer Keith fired thousands of .38 Heavy Duty loads through a Chief's Special without apparent damage, and those loads were a WHOLE LOT more potent than +P.

Personally, I would not hesitate to shoot a few +P in practice and use them for a self-defense load, but bear in mind that the added performance edge over standard loads is very small, and higher-pressure loads do increase the rate of wear to some degree, especially in small/light guns.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:45 PM
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To the question, there is no safety issue with shooting +P in your steel J frame revolver.

But this part is a bit puzzling:

Quote:
appears to be a Model 36. There is no model number on the yoke . . .

From the serial number (285xxx) I am likewise guessing it was manufactured in 1961.
When you say "on the yoke" I assume you mean on the frame in the yoke cut. At serial number 285xxx one would think there should be MOD 36 stamped there. 1960-61 is about right for the serial number and model marked guns started shipping in 1958. It is, of course, entirely possible for one to show up with no model mark.
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