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Old 01-29-2018, 11:22 AM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Default Hard to pass up, but I did model 37

I always keep an eye out at my favorite gun shop for good deals of .38 special revolvers especially older Smiths. A model 37 popped up the other day for $299, descriptions said "Original with wood grips" so I called, and the salesman said it had some holster wear, but no rust and locked up tight, could use rebluing. I know the guys at this shop sometimes give "loose" reviews on guns because all of them are collectors, and have some pristine examples...

So I went to check it out for myself. I wanted it bad at that price.

When I got there, they pulled it out, and my heart sank. He meant it when he said it needed to be reblued. On the tip of the barrel it had typical wear from reholstering, no big deal. The cylinder had two spots where the holster touched it that all the bluing was gone and there was definite damage to the metal. Basically looked like it had been in a leather holster for many years without being cared for, and all the high spots on the front of the cylinder had damage on it, and the grips were very worn as well. About 1/3 of the checkering was gone.

I held it, and played with the trigger and cylinder for a long 10 minutes before I finally had to say no on it. I was hoping that I would be able to just clean it well, and use a bluing pen to touch it up, but the pitting or oxidation on the cylinder was pretty bad. The rest of the frame wasn't bad, and the barrel I could have lived with, and the grips I would have just changed. I really wanted it at $300 but just couldn't do it.

It's still in their case after a few more days which is very unusual for this shop, and means it will probably sit for a while. Who knows, maybe if it's there for a few weeks, I can try to get it for less - if I got it for $250 I would do it, but for some reason that extra little bit makes it all the harder to but it. Its a 1955-57 year range too, serial number started in 598- sorry just realized I posted this in the wrong section... I tried deleting it, but can't for some reason- Mods can move if they have to.

They had a really nice model 12, model 15, and model 60 in stock, but were more in the $500 range which for as nice as they were was still a good deal, I just didn't want to spend that much.

SO I guess I'll have to think on it, and if it sells it was definitely not meant to be. I only want it because I have a 3" barrel model 36-1 with a heavy barrel, and I want a blued snubby. I would even buy a Charter arms undercover in blued finish just to have one. But I also want a 638 or 642 as well. I just love revolvers.

Last edited by GT_80; 01-29-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:21 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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'atta boy, stick to your guns!

Did you look at the bottom of the frame for a crack (where the barrel goes through the frame)? If it's cracked even $100 would be too much and make your decision super easy. If not, then your $250 thought might be reasonable, but without a photo it's hard to say for sure.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:50 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two-bit cowboy View Post
'atta boy, stick to your guns!



Did you look at the bottom of the frame for a crack (where the barrel goes through the frame)? If it's cracked even $100 would be too much and make your decision super easy. If not, then your $250 thought might be reasonable, but without a photo it's hard to say for sure.



Best of luck with your decision.


I donít think it was cracked. From what I could tell, it maybe had a couple hundred rounds through it if that. Rifling was great, no cylinder drag marks even, just looked like it got corroded from being in a leather holster for 30 years. Action was tight though, cylinder spun fine, and trigger felt nice.

I dunno, may need to go back and look at it this weekend if itís still there... weíll see.


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Old 01-29-2018, 11:25 PM
JohnRippert JohnRippert is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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I don't mind patina or finish wear at all, but draw the line at pitting. You made the right choice.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:40 PM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRippert View Post
I don't mind patina or finish wear at all, but draw the line at pitting. You made the right choice.
I'm glad you guys are backing me up. I still feel like I should have bought it, but I will have to see if I can get it for $250 to feel ok
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:52 PM
ky wonder ky wonder is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Keep your eyes open. I bought a 98% in matching box nickel, 37 no dash yesterday for 400, ended up trading it off before I got home
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:59 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Picked up this nice model 37 no dash at the local gun show this weekend. Almost new. Wound up doing a trade. Think I wound up with $425 invested. 1st 37 Iíve seen in several years
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-865ba1d0-93b2-485e-b862-571a8f6b0c28-jpg   Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-9ed1add1-364c-4c0a-a822-857b2a89abcf-jpg  
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:22 PM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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I wonder if it would be worth it if I got it for $250, then buy a used cylinder for around $50-60 - are there any issues with cylinders not being perfectly timed on the gun? Are they all file fit or anything in the factory or if I swapped a cylinder, would it be OK to just swap it and fire away if it locks up tight and cycles correctly on the trigger?

I am guessing that I could get it for less, but I have no idea- I have haggled on pistols at this shop before, and have gotten like $40 off a used pistol before, mainly because they like turnover.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:28 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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if you look at this listing on Ebay, and click on the enlarged pics, this is about the condition of the cylinder ON THE OUTSIDE. The inside of the cylinder that holds the rounds look mint, and the barrel is OK, the frame is OK

I guess I am still loving that gun even despite it's wear, and need reassurance that if I do buy it, replacing the cylinder or trying to clean and reblue it myself is feasible...

Smith & Wesson Model 32 J Frame .38 S&W Cylinder & Crane | eBay

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Old 01-31-2018, 12:28 PM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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I called the shop and the gun was in on consignment, so I offered $250 cash on it, and they're calling the owner to see if they accept. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm actually feeling nervous for some reason lol.

I guess I treat firearms differently than buying tires or other stuff used, but I still don't mind haggling.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:29 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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just heard back (that was quick) and $250 was acceptable, so I am going to get it now- Pics to come!
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:49 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Congratulations!

Sounds like you got a good, serviceable handgun at a good price.

Iím never averse to buying a finish challenged gun if I intend to use it, as opposed to just admire it.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:16 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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So here it is all you gun lovers!!

Fresh outta some old guys holster -

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-008-jpg

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-009-jpg

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-010-jpg

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-011-jpg

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-012-jpg
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:16 PM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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and one more...

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-013-jpg
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:18 PM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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I will be replacing the grips and doing what I can to clean it up and see how it is in total. It really is a tight gun, and feels like it was hardly fired, although you can tell the grips have many years of wear on them
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:20 PM
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loeman loeman is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Ok, so it is a bit cosmetically challenged. So what! If its action and function is good it will make a great truck gun or home defense gun. If I had it, I would be looking for the perfect place in my garage as I tend to spend a lot of time there and having some defense there just makes good sense. Anyway, congrats to you. $250 well spent.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:21 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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I took the side plate off tonight, and the cylinder, and inside was greased so not bad at all. Only a tiny bit of surface rust on the trigger and hammer. When I was cleaning it I fell more in love with it. Original grips, still have the serial number stamped in them.

The side plate screws are a tiny bit marred but itís all good. Action and trigger feel exactly like my 637. The ejection rod is a tiny bent and wiggles when you spin the cylinder, but I donít think it will hurt anything.

I may leave it as is for now, and just watch and see if I find a good used cylinder.

I wouldnít store it in my garage, I always have one on me- at some point in time Iíll put a couple small wall safes in my house and put one in there. I want my wife to get into shooting and be comfortable first.

I love this thing though!!












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Old 01-31-2018, 11:23 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Couple more pics...












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Old 01-31-2018, 11:47 PM
Aircrewman Aircrewman is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Well........ I Like It!!!
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:59 AM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Anyone know what the "87103" stamped in the frame by the butt means? was that a secondary model number or something?
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:18 AM
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357magster 357magster is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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"Its a 1955-57 year range "


I think that's a 1968 gun, not a 1950's gun. A 1950's gun would have a 5-digit serial number. Yours has 6-digits. Plus, the grips are lacking the diamond around the screw hole. Still, no matter when it was born, it has lots of character.


Early J frame serial numbers
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50 and pre model number versions.

1950 = start at 1
1952 = 7369 - 21342
1953 = 28916
1955 = 55050 - 75000
1957 = 117770 - 125000
1962 = starts at 295000
1969 = ends at 786544
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:30 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357magster View Post
"Its a 1955-57 year range "


I think that's a 1968 gun, not a 1950's gun. A 1950's gun would have a 5-digit serial number. Yours has 6-digits. Plus, the grips are lacking the diamond around the screw hole. Still, no matter when it was born, it has lots of character.


Early J frame serial numbers
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50 and pre model number versions.

1950 = start at 1
1952 = 7369 - 21342
1953 = 28916
1955 = 55050 - 75000
1957 = 117770 - 125000
1962 = starts at 295000
1969 = ends at 786544
ahhh thanks for that info! I just haven't had the time to look it up yet.

Anyone bobbed the hammers on these? Good idea? Bad idea? I just figured cause it is already pretty ugly, and I plan to keep carrying it, might make it a little nicer if I bob the hammer... But I may not... I like having the option of single action too...

I'm looking for a set of cool grips that strike my fancy- debating on replacement wood, some wood ergonomic boot style grips with fleur de lis or something off the wall like Buffalo horn (looks like zebra stripes)

Also looking at pancake holsters for it - so far debating on the Speed Classic blackhawk, or maybe a used desantis (i like the thought of this maybe being an old timey cops back-up gun), or maybe even an ankle holster. Not sure which way I'll go on any of that yet... always open for suggestions.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:36 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Nothing beats a diamond in the rough!
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:40 PM
GT_80 GT_80 is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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I finally got out and shot this thing a couple weeks ago, and it was flawless. Love the old guns!

I have been looking around for some cool grips, and came across Altamont falconia boot grip with super rosewood insert for a cheap price, and I bought one - It is the most comfortable J-frame grip I have found yet.

This is the Altamont grip on my 637, and the Uncle Mikes grip on my 37. I want to get another altamont because even though its similar to the uncle mikes, the grip area is a little thicker, and its squishy- very absorbent which is what is good with a small gun.

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-004-jpg

Hard to pass up, but I did model 37-005-jpg

I never really spent a lot of time looking at altamont grips, but the cut and shape of them is really terrific.

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Old 05-13-2018, 09:25 AM
yep380 yep380 is online now
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Nothing wrong with that gun! Looks great, in my opinion. I have an M-38 with probably a little worse cylinder bluing and the sideplate looks worse as well. Nice and tight and works great - excellent pocket gun. I'd leave those original grips on it too!

Nice find for $250. Congrats!
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:43 AM
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Eddie Southgate Eddie Southgate is offline
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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Nothing wrong with $250 for that . Put the original grips back on and hip pocket carry it everywhere you go , you can't hurt it .

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Old 05-14-2018, 01:18 PM
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Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37 Hard to pass up, but I did model 37  
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The factory grip is so worn, and the medallion on one side is sticking out the back of the grip kind of like it would hold the grip away from the gun a little bit - I kind of wanted to replace the grips and keep the originals in case I ever sell it (like that will happen) but I haven't decided yet. I will say Smith and wesson really designed this with concealability in mind. I have yet to find another gun I would rather carry than this on. It is so comfortable I hardly know it's there and I am confident I can hit my target with it, and that it won't fail. I really love .38 specials.
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