S&W Model 36

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by mjordan1n, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. mjordan1n

    mjordan1n New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    I have question. It concerns my 1 7/8" barrel model 36 nickel plated steel S&W, serial number J573XXX bought in 1977 (for $135). My understanding is that Remington or Winchester: lead semi wade cutter hollow point plus powder rounds are the optimum cartridge for this gun. I would like to know if this revolver can handle +p rounds without doing damage. I currently load standard Hornady semi jacketed hollow point rounds as my personal defense ammunition, but would like to use the +p rounds if it is advisable. If you have an alternate recommendation of ammunition for this model, please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Mike Jordan
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Messages:
    9,141
    Location:
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hi Mike....welcome to TFF.

    OK....I have a very similar S&W snubby, a Model 49. Basically the same gun as your Chief's Special, but with with a shrouded hammer.

    While neither gun is +P rated, they're safe with +P's.....on a limitited basis and not as a steady diet!

    During fall, winter, spring, I carry my Colt lightweight Commander (.45ACP), but in light summer clothing, it's a bit hard to conceal, so I carry my li'l Smitty with +Ps.

    However, since my Model 49 (and your Model 36) isn't rated for them, I use +Ps for sighting in and carry only. I personally use Federal HydraShok 129gr. JHPs.....but there are lots of other good ones out there.

    In the spring, I sight in the gun with about 10 rounds of +Ps so I know the proper point of aim.....do all of my practicing with lighter loads.....and then load up with +P's when I'm "carrying".

    Works for me..... :)
  3. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    +1 to Xracer.

    mjordan, your steel frame Mod. 36 will hold up just fine with occasional use of +P ammo.
  4. mjordan1n

    mjordan1n New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks for your help!
  5. I have a steel 36 I bought about 25 years ago, together with a couple more modern 637s that I often carry. Xracer has the right of it. The +P ammo is a bit hard on the older 36s (the ones not rated for +P), but S&W told me that you needn't worry about a catastrophic KABOOM if you fire off a few. Too many of them will likely loosen up the revolver over time, so it's wise not to use them excessively. Practice with standard pressure loads with an occasional few cylinders of +Ps thrown in for practice, but carry +Ps for possible "social enounters." :D

    The round I carry in my snubbies is the Speer 135 grain Gold Dot loading. This loading was specifically developed by Speer, at the request of the NYC PD, to perform and expand properly out of a short-barreled .38.
  6. mjordan1n

    mjordan1n New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks for your help!
  7. williamd

    williamd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    772
    Location:
    SoCal
    I have a very nice 3" M36. Yes, it will shoot +P as will yours. But, what do you gain from a 1 7/8 - 2"bbl?????
  8. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Mjordan1n, I caried such a revolver, for three tours, in southeast Asia, in the worst of weather, and conditions, and shot whatever my mom, or brothers, included in a 'care package'; much came in yellow boxes, marked "Super Vel", from Indiana; I met Mr Jurras, some later, when I shot an Irate hog off him, in Union City, (well, just outside) Tn, with a cast bullet reload, out of a '95 Marlin, working as a 'monitor' for a 'pistol only' hog hunt, there.
    The 36, I still own, and would trust with my llife, but for lighter, more powerful arms; ditto, the old Marlin.
    I suppose, with enough bullet, one could shoot the 36 loose, but I tried, 30 some years ago, with the hottest on the market, ammo, of the time, and mine is still perfect.
    Just my $.02.
  9. Smith builds them stronger than they advertise, Terry, no doubt about that. The little 36 I have is still as tight and accurate as the day I bought it, despite having shot +P ammo thorough it on occasion. I must admit, I'm rather fond of the little 2" J-frame snubbies for some reason. I just like the way they feel I suppose. A handier, more concealable revolver has never been designed, and a .38 is still a decent self-defense round despite the fact it is over 100 years old! ;)
  10. mjordan1n

    mjordan1n New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Is the Speer 135 grain Gold Dot +P or non+p
  11. mjordan1n

    mjordan1n New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Thanks for the information. I am a member of the V.V.A Post 172 in Cumberland, MD, and volunteer bar tend there on Friday nights. The booze and food are free (we own the rights to the Reflections print, which generates a lot of income) to members and one guest, so I don't have to collect money, measure drinks, or stay sober on the job. I've heard that many of the in-country Vets carried a 2" .38 for a back-up. I joined the Navy in 73', but never made it to Southeast Asia. I have great respect for the combat veterans I serve drinks to. By the way, I had a box of Super Vels in the early 70', and still have one round left from that box.
  12. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Had my 3" since 68' and limited amount of +Ps Did many hollow based wad cutters
    during that time loaded hollow forward at moderate velocity. Mostly destructive,
    with little penetration. Didn't have Gold Dots or Hyro Shocks back then. Wad
    cutters were pretty close up and personal. Seems to me that Speer loads a special
    load with Gold Dots for short barrels.
  13. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    Central Texas
    A Hollow based wad, loaded upside down, was and is the 'Po Boy' way for a house gun, and it works quite well at 'personal' distances' long before 'high performance' bullets existed.
    They may lead a bit, but that is another topic.
    Makes a great, close quarter, defensive load, for the weapon.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  14. It is a +P load, MJ.
  15. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    7,335
    Location:
    Pensacola Fl. area
    I like the Speer 135 Gold Dot also. It shoots well out of my mod.36. I shoot a standard 38 reload for target practice like the rest of you.
    Ron
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Technical Questions & Information Winchester Model 12 in 16 GA Extraction issue Oct 13, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Harrington & Richardson "Medalist" model 41 22lr Oct 7, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Hi-standard model "B" with no takedown lever Oct 6, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Remington model 788 243 Oct 3, 2014
Technical Questions & Information Winchester Model 25 Sep 30, 2014

Share This Page