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


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Old 06-28-2009, 10:15 PM
AZ Desertrat AZ Desertrat is offline
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Default Model 10 & Model 36 Difference

I was wondering if someone could tell me the difference between the Model 10 and Model 36, epsecially the 2 inch barrel models.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:53 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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The Model 10 is a midsize K frame six shot revolver. The Model 36 is a small J frame five shot revolver.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:56 PM
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Ok.....I did not realize the 10 was a K frame. The snubby versions look quite a bit alike, but I have never seen them side by side in person. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:02 PM
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Hi AZ Desertrat;

I really like the Model 10 snub. I've found that it'll hide most places the Model 36 will and the Model 10 snub is easier to shoot well. It holds six rounds to the J-Frame revolver's five. It offers a better grip (at least with factory stocks) and soaks up recoil better. It is easier to shoot with good accuracy for me. I like my Model 10 4-inch best but will occasionally carry either a Model 10 2-inch round butt or an older M&P square butt IWB or, in cool weather, a jacket pocket.

Realistically though, if one can effectively carry a 2-inch Model 10 IWB he can also manage a 4-inch with the right holster. Lots of folks are drawn to the Model 10 3-inch revolvers.

From memory I think the Model 10 revolvers have the following weight specifications.

4-inch Heavy Barrel: 34 oz.
4-inch standard barrel: 32 oz.
2-inch barrel 30 oz.

The Model 36 with 2-inch barrel weighs 19 oz.

The knowledgeable will be along shortly to correct me if I'm wrong about the weights.

I have some J-Frame .38 Special revolvers but, over the years, have found that I don't choose to carry them as often as the good ol' K-Frame guns.

Model 10 2-inch round butt from 1996


Early 50s Military & Police 2-inch square butt from before model numbers were assigned.


Generic run-of-the-mill beater 4-inch Model 10s, Heavy Barrel and standard tapered barrel


Early Chief Special from before the Model 36 designation
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:10 PM
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A fast way to identify a Model 10 snub from a Model 36 snub (especially in photographs or at a distance) is that the locking notches on the J-Frame Model 36 are situated at the cylinder's rear, directly behind the cylinder's flutes. On the K-Frame Model 10 they are situated at the rear between the flutes. This means that the notches are directly over the chambers on the six shot K-Frame revolvers. They are cut between the chambers on the J-Frame revolvers.

Some say the J-Frame cylinders are stronger because of the way the notches are positioned. Either type will handle any reasonable .38 Special load and even some unreasonable ones.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
A fast way to identify a Model 10 snub from a Model 36 snub (especially in photographs or at a distance) is that the locking notches on the J-Frame Model 36 are situated at the cylinder's rear, directly behind the cylinder's flutes.
Dang, ya learn something new on here everyday! I never noticed that...
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:30 PM
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Dang, ya learn something new on here everyday! I never noticed that...
Wow... Push me over with a feather too..... I always looked at the spacing for a clue.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:29 PM
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I've had both a 2" Model 10 in .38 Special and a 2" Model 36 in .38 Special. From a distance you almost cannot tell there is a size difference, but close up and in your pocket or waistband the Model 36 is considerably smaller.

You want even smaller, try a .38 Terrier. Now that is a little jewel. But only a .38 S&W, not a Special.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:55 PM
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Default Model 10-7's

Here's a picture of my two; I have the letter on the 4 incher--shipped to Iowa in 1978.
And I didn't know that difference in the 10 vs 36 cylinder. Thanks for that.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:55 PM
AZ Desertrat AZ Desertrat is offline
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Very good info guys.....and thanks for the pics. All nice looking pieces.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Here are some J frames with one Model 19

As I understand it, the Model 19 is a beefed up (barrel lug-.357) Model 10 Frame. This pic shows some J Frames with one Model round butt.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:54 PM
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Default A lighter picture

Model Js with Model 19
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:27 AM
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Dang, ya learn something new on here everyday! I never noticed that...
Works good until someone slips in a picture of a M30 or M31.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:20 AM
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Works good until someone slips in a picture of a M30 or M31.
There's one in every crowd, heh heh.

Of course it applies to the .38 models.
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Old 08-29-2023, 12:06 PM
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Default Model 36

I have a 4inch nickel model 19 that is my favorite but difficult to carry in Florida where open carry is illegal. I carry a model 36 but Iím negotiating for a model 10 stubby so hopefully I will be able to compare the model 36 to the model 10 snubby. Considering the relative weakness of 38 special out of a two inch barrel having the extra round makes sense.
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Old 08-29-2023, 02:02 PM
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Works good until someone slips in a picture of a M30 or M31.
An easy way to "see" the difference -- close up or from a distance -- is how well the cylinder fills up the cylinder window. The Model 36 does, the Models 10, 30 and 31 do not.
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Old 08-29-2023, 02:33 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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I have a 4inch nickel model 19 that is my favorite but difficult to carry in Florida where open carry is illegal. I carry a model 36 but Iím negotiating for a model 10 stubby so hopefully I will be able to compare the model 36 to the model 10 snubby. Considering the relative weakness of 38 special out of a two inch barrel having the extra round makes sense.
Welcome to the Forum.

The butt shape has a lot to do with how well a revolver conceals. Also, the type of clothing.

When I lived in Alabama, another hot, humid state, I used either an inside the waistband or an outside the waistband holster, covered with a long patterned shirt, untucked.
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Old 08-29-2023, 02:41 PM
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Default Just for picture sharing purposes.....

J frame M649



2" Model 10



Custom M64 002 - Model 12 "Airweight" barrel
done by TheShootist1894
Added to show a right side

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Old 08-29-2023, 08:13 PM
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Default Side by side comparison

Here are both side by side:
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flutes, j frame, k frame, k-frame, military, model 1, model 10, model 19, round butt, snubby, snubnose, terrier

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