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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 06-28-2020, 01:54 PM
Audiblehd Audiblehd is offline
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Morning. My neighbor was going to smash and toss an old revolver he stored improperly. It was his dads and is very old...I think. Can you help me identify?

S&W model 36, serial 511516, says ďS&WĒ 38 Special CTG. This is the only one Iíve seen where the S&W appear to hand etched...like cursive. The rest is machine stamped. Thanks for help. Iíve emailed S&W but they were no help.
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Last edited by Audiblehd; 06-28-2020 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:14 PM
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Do you have a picure of the "cursive" S&W you mention?
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:39 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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It is a shame that it was allowed to deteriorate so badly, but from the picture, it looks like there is enough left to save. 38 Special CTG refers to the fact that it is chambered in 38 Special.The Model 36 is also called the "Chief's Special" It has been made over decades in a large number of variations, and was introduced in 1950. Relatively common, and not a real valuable gun, (except specific guns , say #337 given to J Edgar Hoover) even in good condition, it is certainly worth restoring. If your question is value, in new condition, it would likely fetch $650 according to the 2016 Catalog of Smith & Wesson Fourth Edition. The present condition is off the bottom of standard measurement and I guess may be worth $75-$150? I am having a hard time with that serial number, so someone more informed on this specific model may be able to provide an approximate date of manufacture.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:50 PM
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It has the 3" "Heavy Barrel" which were made in several styles. Mine is a fine shooter.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:56 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Many of us on the forum would like the challenge of bringing that one back. In its' condition (which is a little hard to tell), it may be worth somewhere between $75 and $150.

It's worth more than smashing and throwing it away...
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:32 PM
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Hey guys. Thanks for nice welcome. Here a few more pics. I was also told itís a 3 screw??
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Gift 🤠-d658c0a7-b74b-411d-a387-9dc215f3d621-jpg   Gift 🤠-bece315b-ef42-4ea9-8f8b-f50430f713dc-jpg   Gift 🤠-93ae522a-197c-406e-a64b-99a9bec506b6-jpg   Gift 🤠-65af1d07-ef21-44ac-8c4a-3fc38b4953e0-jpg  

Last edited by Audiblehd; 06-28-2020 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Added pictures
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:34 PM
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It isn't that old, I'd estimate late 60's to early 70's. Given some proper attention it cold be a very nice shooting self defense handgun.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:43 PM
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Wish I knew how to refinish. If I renickel it that would probably cost more than a new or one in good shape. If I strip and blue it.....what would that cost?
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:50 PM
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Need a better and few more pics of the right side of the barrel.
Something does not look right.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:57 PM
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Few more pics
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:06 PM
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Get a sealable gallon container and put a quart of automatic transmission fluid and a quart of acetone in it then dump that gun in it and forget about it for a month or two. When you pull it out, you should be able to wipe off the rust with a cloth or some bronze wool. Don't have it refinished unless you are willing to eat the cost. It won't make the gun more valuable.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:11 PM
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Okay. I have no concerns in value. I just want it to look cool and use as my carry. How much is it to blue or nickel? Anyone done it?
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:30 PM
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Wiregrassguy told you right. Nuetralize the rust and remove it with the formula he mentioned. Stubborn spots of rust can be removed with a brass scraper made from a flattened empty cartridge.

Refinish? Only if you can afford to lose the money. You will not regain it on resale.

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Old 06-28-2020, 09:34 PM
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Once you get the rust under control, you can do a home parkerizing job with very basic tools and fluids. These things you can get at Home Depot or any reputable hardware store.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiblehd View Post
S&W model 36, serial 511516
That serial number places it in the last half of the 1960s. The thumbpiece (cylinder release) is the style reintroduced in 1966, so this gun is at least that late. In 1969, the J prefix was added. So there is your bracketed date (1967-1969).

With the round butt and 3" heavy barrel, this should be a Model 36-1. Is that how it is marked on the frame in the yoke cut?
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:30 PM
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Just says model 36. No - or 1. Anyone know why the S&W look different from all the others I see.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiblehd View Post
Just says model 36. No - or 1.
Interesting. But okay.

Quote:
Anyone know why the S&W look different from all the others I see.
I have no idea what you are using for comparison, but it does not look odd to me.

I pulled a Model 36 from 1964 from my safe and looked at the company name on the barrel. It looks just like yours, only smaller because it has the 2" barrel. I also looked at a Model 19-3 that lives next to the Model 36. It also looks the same.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:47 PM
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Welcome to the Forum.

I believe you are referring to the lazy ampersand between the S and the W.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
I believe you are referring to the lazy ampersand between the S and the W.
AH! Yes, that is probably it. It looks funny, but part of that is because it is the "lazy" version and part is because the barrel is damaged by rust at that point.

But yes, I was looking at the other side of the barrel because that was what I thought his reference was.
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Old 06-29-2020, 01:16 PM
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Buy a lottery ticket, you got pretty lucky with that. I’d spend time on it.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:47 PM
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I brought a mistreated and rusted Model 36 back from the dead, mine looked just about as bad as yours, and mine was salvageable. Now it's a great shooter.

Give it a try, and keep us updated!
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:54 PM
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All Model 36-1s are 3" barrel. Not all Model 36s with 3" barrels are the -1 variation. No one seems to know why. Remove the grips before soaking the gun as described earlier.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiblehd View Post
Just says model 36. No - or 1. Anyone know why the S&W look different from all the others I see.
It doesn't say"-1" because it's not. That is a standard 3" barrel. The best way to tell is the length of the sight blade - it's almost twice as long as on the heavy barrel. And there's a rib on the top, which the -1 does not have.
The S&W are standard for that vintage, too.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:40 AM
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After soaking you could do a cold blue on it for under $10 & an hours work. Cold blue is available @ Walmart, Brownells, etc. It will make it look better & make a nice carry gun.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:33 AM
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Years ago I had a very similar 3” Chief’s Special. In 1955 they were not numbered as a model 36 and just called a Chief’s Special. The 3” barrel adds about 10% more value over the standard 2”. It also appears to be a round butt over the more common square butt configuration for the 3” but doesn’t add value. I recommend soaking it in ATF and acetone. The previously mention cold blue is about the most cost effective measure for attempting to make it look cleaner. You could also have it cerakoted for about $150. Considering it is a $100 revolver in this condition, a $150 cerakote job may be worth it. A 36 with an aftermarket finish with cheap rubber grips is worth about $300.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:18 PM
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Clean it up good, lube and then shoot it. If you're happy with it, then consider refinishing.
I've had excellent results with a product called Blue Wonder. It requires a little heat to do properly. But an ordinary hair dryer is enough. Read and follow the instructions carefully. It gives a very nice and durable finish.
However, if the pitting is bad, I'd just hit it with some common cold blue and forget it. No need in trying to put a nice finish on a rough gun.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:04 AM
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S&W customer service replied this morning.......it was made 1940!!!!
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiblehd View Post
S&W customer service replied this morning.......it was made 1940!!!!
Proving once again how useless it is to contact the company about matters such as this . . .
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiblehd View Post
S&W customer service replied this morning.......it was made 1940!!!!
Either you gave them the wrong serial number or the janitor took your call. The knowledgeable members here have already pegged the general time frame the gun was made.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
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Either you gave them the wrong serial number or the janitor took your call. The knowledgeable members here have already pegged the general time frame the gun was made.
🤣. Ya I think they just picked a date out of the sky! 🤣
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Old Yesterday, 03:09 AM
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no idea on cost to re-blue it. My godfather is a gunsmith and he has a bluing tank. I bought a 19-4 and thought I would have him reblue it but there isnt any wear at all hardly so I will let it ride and do it if needs it later. But I also like the idea of just keeping at is.

I understand your situation is different. You are trying to restore a gun that wasnt cared for. In a way I think thats is really neat. You got some good advice to get rust off then you can have some fun with it.
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Old Yesterday, 03:44 AM
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I would not mess with the finish. It will look worse when you are done. I suggest just soaking it in oil, as mentioned above.

It is hard for gun guys to just leave bad enough alone, but slapping on some cold blue, or painting it (ugh!) will end up making it look worse in the end. BTDT.

I would get some beat up factory wooden grips from the period for it.

Last edited by Warren Sear; Yesterday at 03:46 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM
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I see a few comments about just cleaning up this old girl and carrying and shooting it. Let's be real- common sense dictates that a good cleaning, followed by a detailed inspection of the bore, cylinder, and internals are required before even thinking about shooting or carrying this Model 36. Maybe even a trip to the local gunsmith for a look see and functional check. If it's determined not safe to shoot, this could be a revolver relegated to just being a wall hanger or parts gun. But with any luck, it'll clean up nicely. I've worked on a few guns in this (or worse) condition, and sometimes it's fun to just practice some shade tree gunsmithing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Either way, have fun and enjoy.
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Old Yesterday, 12:48 PM
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Hey all. Happy 4th of July. I inquired at a few local gun shops and they directed me to Koonce Gun Works of Oregon. Todd is nice and professional. He inspected it and told me that it could not be refinished due to severe pitting and that it is not safe to shoot. Oh well I have the original grips. Time to make it garage art!! Iím now on the hunt for a model 36 in good condition.

Thank you all for you advice and encouraging me to not give up. Iíll find a nice example. Iím more of a polish, clean, shoot... repeat enthusiast anyway!

Last edited by Audiblehd; Yesterday at 12:54 PM.
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