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Old Smith model 36 38sp

Simon

Operator
I came across one of these at a local shop. Blued and worn. The proprietor of the gun shop said it was a service revolver from a deceased officer. The serial # on the base of the handle didn't have any letters along with the numbers.
S&W website states that all of their serial numbers contain numbers and letters.
Anyone know?
Thanks
 

Recusant

Professional
post pic.jpg
 

Wirenut

Custom
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

J serial Prefix serial numbers.
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50.

1969-1970 = J1 - J99999
1971-1972 = 1J1 - 999J99
1973-1974 = J100000 - J250000
1975-1976 = J250001 - J370000
1976-1977 = J370001 - J610000
1977-1978 = J610001 - J670000
1979-1980 = J670001 - J760000
1981 = J760001 - J915400
1982 = J915401 - 1J18600
1983 = 1J18601 - 1JXXXX

1955 - 4 screw side plate ends
1957 - stamping of model number at 125000
1966 - flat latch ends
1968 - diamond grips end
1975 - heavy barrel standard
1982 - end pinned barrel
 
Open the cylinder; on the frame under the yoke it should have the exact model…36, 36-1, -3, etc.

If it’s a 36 no-dash? That’ll be a nice little piece, depending on what they want for it.
 

Simon

Operator
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

J serial Prefix serial numbers.
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50.

1969-1970 = J1 - J99999
1971-1972 = 1J1 - 999J99
1973-1974 = J100000 - J250000
1975-1976 = J250001 - J370000
1976-1977 = J370001 - J610000
1977-1978 = J610001 - J670000
1979-1980 = J670001 - J760000
1981 = J760001 - J915400
1982 = J915401 - 1J18600
1983 = 1J18601 - 1JXXXX

1955 - 4 screw side plate ends
1957 - stamping of model number at 125000
1966 - flat latch ends
1968 - diamond grips end
1975 - heavy barrel standard
1982 - end pinned barrel
According to that chart it's from 1955. Any idea of its worth?
 
According to that chart it's from 1955. Any idea of its worth?
So…I’m picturing a duty gun; should have holster wear on the high spots (muzzle, cylinder); grips are probably beat up a little bit?

If it’s mechanically sound—no shake, drag, locks up tight—but in definitely worn condition? $4-500, in the current market, I would think.
 

Wirenut

Custom
I have to agree with Hans..
There are a boatload of model 36's out there, condition is everything.
Without pics's it's hard to grade condition, but $500 to $600 is not a bad price if it is in good shape.
If you have an account with Gunbroker, check completed sales that will give you a starting point.
 

Recusant

Professional
How is the lettering on the roll stamps. Are they sharp and crisp or does the lettering appear to be shallow and buffed down? Also how is the barrel? Are the lands and grooves worn or is there any pitting? If it was built in 1955 I doubt it is rated for +P ammo, so that's something you'd want to check on. Unless it's an excellent condition collector piece you can expect the GS probably doesn't have more in it than half the asking price. I was visiting my local gun shop yesterday and watched a guy bring in a fairly new in the box Kel Tec Sub 2000 that he had bought there for a little better than $500. The most they would allow on a trade was $250. They had used ones in the rack for $399.
 
How is the lettering on the roll stamps. Are they sharp and crisp or does the lettering appear to be shallow and buffed down? Also how is the barrel? Are the lands and grooves worn or is there any pitting? If it was built in 1955 I doubt it is rated for +P ammo, so that's something you'd want to check on. Unless it's an excellent condition collector piece you can expect the GS probably doesn't have more in it than half the asking price. I was visiting my local gun shop yesterday and watched a guy bring in a fairly new in the box Kel Tec Sub 2000 that he had bought there for a little better than $500. The most they would allow on a trade was $250. They had used ones in the rack for $399.
On the matter of +P…while it’s not officially rated for it, it is more than capable of handling it…just not a steady diet, which is a good caveat for any weapon running +P.

As I’ve related here before, the relative power of .38 has degraded over the years…most .38’s of a half+ century ago are going to be right around their +P versions today.

Additionally, Elmer Keith tested one of the first Chief’s Specials (the 36 before it got a number) with his hand loaded (which means HOT) .38/44 Heavy Duty loads, which would have been in the ++P++ area today; it held up just fine after a few hundred rounds, and Elmer pronounced it fit for use.

So…+P is ok in it.
 

Simon

Operator
On the matter of +P…while it’s not officially rated for it, it is more than capable of handling it…just not a steady diet, which is a good caveat for any weapon running +P.

As I’ve related here before, the relative power of .38 has degraded over the years…most .38’s of a half+ century ago are going to be right around their +P versions today.

Additionally, Elmer Keith tested one of the first Chief’s Specials (the 36 before it got a number) with his hand loaded (which means HOT) .38/44 Heavy Duty loads, which would have been in the ++P++ area today; it held up just fine after a few hundred rounds, and Elmer pronounced it fit for use.

So…+P is ok in it.
I work for Liberty ammo in Bradenton Florida. Our 38s are +P. Check them out!
 
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