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Old 08-05-2018, 03:17 PM
walter o walter o is offline
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Default help identify a stainless model 36

I ran across a stamped model 36 no dash, pinned barrel in stainless steel with a j serial number .I cant find any reference to a stainless 36 in the Standard catalog of S&W .Is it a miss marked model 60 ? Anyone have a
as to what it is. Idea?
mods as i can't identify this it might be in the wrong section please change if it is
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:54 PM
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Are you absolutely sure it's stainless? Could it be possible that the guns J serial number was stamped in error? I am unaware of any stainless steel M36's but it could have been an experimental model prior to the existence of the M60 designation. With Smith you never know however if you do get to the bottom of this please let us know.

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Old 08-05-2018, 04:04 PM
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My thought would be that it's nickle.
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Wee Hooker View Post
My thought would be that it's nickle.
Maybe it's the one I heard of years ago.. it is the only one ever made.. worth $1000's...maybe $10,000's..

Or hard chromed..
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:16 PM
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Not marked with An "N" It may be bead blasted ,i don't think so though.
Who do i turn to but all the people in the know (S&W FORUM)
I will take a magnet tomorrow ,but some S/S will attract a magnet
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:22 PM
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................wait, what?
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:42 PM
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TEST:

A Stainless Gun will barely if at all attract a Magnet. A Carbon Steel Nickeled M36 will. Electroless Nickel Plating sometimes can fool people into believing it's stainless.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:28 PM
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Most likely it's an aftermarket finish... back before stainless became common, finishes like Armoloy were the ultimate for guns in severe service or outdoor sports. I does indeed look like stainless & fools people on a regular basis.
Armoloy Corporation - Armoloy TDC Chromium Coating
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:57 PM
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Armoloy was very popular in the 1970s and 80s. It was kind of a "poor man's stainless" for lack of a better term. I don't remember what they charged back then but it was cheaper and easier than finding a stainless gun. I personally had several guns done by them back then, and it's true - very difficult (but not impossible) to tell the difference. Among others, I had a 36, a 19, a 2" 15 that was round-butted before refinishing, and a PPKS. That last one showed me the durability of the refinish. I once dropped it from sufficient height that a "crease" formed on the back of the frame. The finish creased too but did not crack or split.
I'd suspect the gun you're looking at is a refinish rather than a unicorn.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walter o View Post
I ran across a stamped model 36 no dash, pinned barrel in stainless steel with a j serial number .I cant find any reference to a stainless 36 in the Standard catalog of S&W .Is it a miss marked model 60 ? Anyone have a
as to what it is. Idea?
mods as i can't identify this it might be in the wrong section please change if it is
The reason you cannot find a reference to a stainless Model 36 is because they did not make a stainless Model 36. The stainless Chiefs Special is called the Model 60.

It is most likely refinished in a finish that resembles stainless steel. Hard to tell without a picture.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:23 PM
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1. Dull nickel.

2. Aftermarket industrial finish (God forbid).

3. No finish at all, just bare metal.

What do hammer and trigger look like?
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
TEST:

A Stainless Gun will barely if at all attract a Magnet. A Carbon Steel Nickeled M36 will. Electroless Nickel Plating sometimes can fool people into believing it's stainless.

Balderdash. A stainless steel refrigerator won't hold a magnet -- but that's an entirely different formulation of steel. A magnet will stick to a stainless gun as well as it will to a carbon-steel blue or nickle one.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
TEST:

A Stainless Gun will barely if at all attract a Magnet. A Carbon Steel Nickeled M36 will. Electroless Nickel Plating sometimes can fool people into believing it's stainless.
Wrong and wrong again. Magnets will stick very well to several types of stainless and stainless guns too.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:09 PM
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Interested to see what this is.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:50 PM
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Ok, Iíll show you my SS 36-0!
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:20 AM
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Ok, Iíll show you my SS 36-0!
Are the hammer and trigger case-color? Hard chrome looks like stainless, but it's worth a factory letter for sure.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:22 AM
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Stainless steels and magnets

the 300 series stainless like 304 and 316 which are commonly used for sheeting or to replace regular mild steel as a corrosive resistant structural member are austenitic and do NOT attract a magnet to any degree unless work hardened. This is caused by the high (8-14%) nickle content used in their composition. The 300 series stainless steels also have a low (08%) carbon content

The 400 series and high carbon stainless steels on the other hand are martensitic and will strongly attract a magnet. Firearm frames and barrels are usually in the range of 416 stainless and will attract a magnet well. 400 series stainless have no nickle. The tool steels in this range can have a high carbon content and be hardened. 416 has a very lean .12% carbon. It can not be made very hard.



Interesting fact all steels become austenitic and will not attract a magnet at around 1480f as the carbon content starts to go into solution

Winchester experimented with nickel steel, but it only had 5% nickel and no chrome. I suspect these guns have rather weak magnet attraction.

Last edited by steelslaver; 08-06-2018 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:53 AM
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Most likely an aftermarket finish. M60s were nearly impossible to get in the ‘60s and ‘70s due to very high demand from law officers and servicemen serving in Vietnam. There was accordingly a substantial cost difference between the M36 and M60.
This was set up most likely as a “poor man’s M60.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:19 PM
walter o walter o is offline
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checked the mod 36 again today and could not determine what the finish was ,definitely not Nickle,so i passed on it .
Thanks for the help
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walter o View Post
I ran across a stamped model 36 no dash, pinned barrel in stainless steel with a j serial number .I cant find any reference to a stainless 36 in the Standard catalog of S&W .Is it a miss marked model 60 ? Anyone have a
as to what it is. Idea?
mods as i can't identify this it might be in the wrong section please change if it is
Model 60's don't have J serial numbers, so is obviously a hard chromed, or similar re-finish model 36.
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:01 PM
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For what it's worth, the only stainless steel gun I have here at the cabin, actually the only SS steel gun I own, attracts a magnet like, well, a magnet. Just did the scientific test. Also, I vote for Armaloy or similar. Have a great day!
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walter o View Post
I ran across a stamped model 36 no dash, pinned barrel in stainless steel with a j serial number .I cant find any reference to a stainless 36 in the Standard catalog of S&W .Is it a miss marked model 60 ? Anyone have a
as to what it is. Idea?
mods as i can't identify this it might be in the wrong section please change if it is
IT may be a 36 blued gun someone polished, I 've seen it..Try some cold blue on the gun in a inconspicuous spot, G96 works good, see if the bluing takes, if it does it's carbon steel someone polished, you can easily polish off the blue...
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:19 AM
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OK - I stand corrected regarding Magnetic Attraction to Stainless Guns. I did try it and yes, a magnet is attracted to my Stainless guns. I guess I had been thinking of the Refrigerator doors. Sorry for the wrong advise.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:23 PM
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Easy answer... a stainless J frame is a model 60, 60’s do not have J serial numbers and the finish certainly appears to be a hard chrome version like SS Metalife or similar. The magnet test is not correct. Nothing wrong with it and certainly serviceable but don’t pay for a unicorn cause it is not one...
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:06 PM
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Hay, if anyone was wondering, my 36-0 was hard chromed at least 30 years ago! APW did it back in the day.
Semper paratus
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:31 PM
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Default Stainless Steel and Magnets

"Interesting fact all steels become austenitic and will not attract a magnet at around 1480f as the carbon content starts to go into solution"

True enough, and the temperature at which carbon steel no longer attracts a magnet is called the "Curie Point". Additionally, nickel is ferromagnetic, although only about 20 percent that of carbon steel. A good bar bet is to state that nickel is magnetic; most will argue with you since their experience is with the U.S. 5-cent coin, wich is not nickel. A Canadian 5-cent coin, which IS nickel, will be attracted by a magnet.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:50 AM
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Hay, if anyone was wondering, my 36-0 was hard chromed at least 30 years ago! APW did it back in the day.
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
TEST:

A Stainless Gun will barely if at all attract a Magnet. A Carbon Steel Nickeled M36 will. Electroless Nickel Plating sometimes can fool people into believing it's stainless.
Stainless Steels commonly used for firearms are typically either 416 or 436 Stainless, Ferritic Stainless steels and are FULLY MAGNETIC. BTW, type 416 can be hardened with the exact same procedure as 4140 and when heat treated have such closely matching mechanical properties that some call 416 the Stainless 4140.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
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Easy answer... a stainless J frame is a model 60, 60ís do not have J serial numbers and the finish certainly appears to be a hard chrome version like SS Metalife or similar. The magnet test is not correct. Nothing wrong with it and certainly serviceable but donít pay for a unicorn cause it is not one...
Yes, thank you, Metalife is the other finish I couldn't remember earlier.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:21 PM
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Whatever it is, and however it got that way, you certainly do have an interesting "Model 36" . It'll be interesting to watch the thread to see if someone can solve the riddle.
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