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jhs1969
08-15-09, 15:38
I have a S&W 637 I bought for my wife a few years ago, I've since gotten her a Kahr K9 and carry the 637 during the hottest summer months myself. It is the newer version with the key lock.

I just bought a S&W 36 which I will resale to my father-in-law. It is an older version with the firing pin fixed to the hammer and no key lock and a pinned barrel.

My 637 is stamped on the barrel as .38 +P, the 36 is just stamped as .38 spcl. Would +P's be ok to use in this revolver?

Is there any advantages/disadvantages in the pinned barrel?

I'm not up to speed on S&W's older relvolvers, is there anything else I need to know?

87GN
08-15-09, 15:49
Probably be fine to carry with +Ps, but I wouldn't shoot them as a regular diet.

Beyond that, I'm no expert, I just carry a 442.

ThirdWatcher
08-15-09, 16:09
If anything, the 36 should be stronger than the 637 because it has a steel frame (and the 637's frame is aluminum). I have fired .38 Special +P's in my 36 (which I bought new in 1976) without problem. I would expect a shortened lifespan for it if I put a lot of +P's through it on a regular basis, though.

S&W does make .357 Magnum J-Frames, although I don't think I'll ever have a use for one.:)

Beat Trash
08-15-09, 17:47
Older J-Frame guns were not rated for +P ammunition, even the steel frame guns.

With that said, a small amount of +P would not hurt them, though a steady diet of it might not be a good idea.

jhs1969
08-15-09, 21:08
Older J-Frame guns were not rated for +P ammunition, even the steel frame guns.

With that said, a small amount of +P would not hurt them, though a steady diet of it might not be a good idea.

Thanks for the replies. Anyone have any thoughts on the pinned barrel? I assume they use threaded barrels now, is this correct?

signsrup
08-15-09, 21:26
Pinning the barrel was in addition to threading. It was eliminated in the early 80s, as it was deemed un-necessary, and added cost.

jhs1969
08-15-09, 23:44
Pinning the barrel was in addition to threading. It was eliminated in the early 80s, as it was deemed un-necessary, and added cost.

Thanks guys,
If I did not already have the 637 I would probably like to keep the 36. I think my father-in-law will be happy with it, I would.

sjohnny
08-16-09, 11:47
A rule of thumb I was given was if it was model number marked (started in 1957) it will be okay with +P. There was a guy on the S&W forum that put several thousand rounds of +P through an older non model numbered K frame and it didn't do any harm. There was another guy who put a bunch through an old Model 12 (airweight) and it didn't do anything to it. Modern +P isn't really all that hot anyway. Some of the older stuff that was standard pressure was hotter than what they pawn off as +P today.

goodoleboy
08-16-09, 16:37
I had a S&W 342 Airlite Titanium I carried when I worked at a gas station while I was in college. It was stamped 38 spl and I ran some 38+P through it once. The recoil on that thing wasn't heavy, but it was very snappy. The +P ammo pulled the bullets in the other chambers (factory ammo) out of the cases just enough to make them block the rotation of the cylinder for a follow-up shot. That happened to me twice on the range and I sold it.

It was an excellent shooting gun (accuracy wise for a snubby), but after those two failures, I wanted to carry something else. I know it was caused by high pressure ammo and a light framed revolver.

I loved the utility of that pistol; it weighed less than my cap pistols I played with as a child, it wouldn't weigh down a pocket, and there was no external hammer or large rear sights to snag when doing a quick draw out of a pocket.

I just couldn't carry the ammo in it I wanted to.

PS This was the ONLY S&W I ever had an issue with.

sjohnny
08-16-09, 16:55
That's a common issue with the airlite revolvers and is more common with the lighter bullets. I've shot almost exclusively 158gr +Ps through my 642 and never had that problem, the recoil is pretty stout though. I can't imagine shooting Magnums from a revolver that weighs less than my 642.

goodoleboy
08-16-09, 17:06
That's a common issue with the airlite revolvers and is more common with the lighter bullets. I've shot almost exclusively 158gr +Ps through my 642 and never had that problem, the recoil is pretty stout though. I can't imagine shooting Magnums from a revolver that weighs less than my 642.

That's what the guy at the gunshop told me. I know now that if I was firing the right ammo in it, I probably wouldn't have had this problem. I sold it before I learned this, though.

It had the best concealed carry utility of any handgun I've ever owned. Those two bad experiences shook my confidence in the pistol (at the time) and I sold it.