S&W 38 special J-frames

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S&W 38 special J-frames

#1 Post by Simmer down » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:37 pm

The snub nose. 38 specials with a 2" barrel. A very small package with no frills. Its like the trial size aspirin or the kleenex pocket pack. Just in case.

The 38 snub is the standard plot twister in film noir. Everything coming down to the wire and all but wrapped up then, from the shadows, emerges the snub. All bets are off. Its a whole new ball game. Its not a combat gun. It won't take a mule deer at 100 yards. Its a surprise. Just enough to get through the jam and out of there.

The S&W snubs came out in 1950 and had names, not numbers. The Chiefs Special, Body Guard, Centennial. These are defensive guns. They were intended for back up and plain clothes.

Us regular Joes can drop one in our pocket and go about our business. Mine sees light only in the morning when I gather my things and at the end of the day when I empty my pockets. It won't make you a hero and you can't take on a dozen escaped convicts. You have 5 rounds on tap just in case.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#2 Post by stringfellow » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:54 am

Nice post. You've given me an appreciation for the snub nose.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#3 Post by Fukshot » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:16 am

You sir, are a poet.

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#4 Post by Inquisitor » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:11 am


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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#5 Post by MtnMan » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:00 am

Very nice.

To pick a historical nit, weren't there K frame snubs prior to 1950?

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#6 Post by RiverCity45 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:03 am

My feelings, as well. It's my go everywhere concealed carry piece, no matter what else I have on me. Sometimes it's all I carry, sometimes it's my back-up gun.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#7 Post by Simmer down » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:10 am

MtnMan wrote:Very nice.

To pick a historical nit, weren't there K frame snubs prior to 1950?
I believe there were. Colt started making their snubs in 1927 but my faves are the S&W j-frames.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#8 Post by JoeW1911 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:16 am

When I was shopping for my carry gun this is where I decided to go. I have a S&W 442. Comfort and concealability and .38+P in my mind and research seems like just enough to get out of any tight spots should the need arise.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#9 Post by inmediasres » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:40 am

There is a really good link someone posted a while ago that links to a video that discusses nothing but the benefits of snub nose .38's for law enforcement and conceal carry. I believe it was recorded here in Florida in Titusville.

Worth checking out. Definitely presents a good argument.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#10 Post by GuitarsandGuns » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:28 am

inmediasres wrote:There is a really good link someone posted a while ago that links to a video that discusses nothing but the benefits of snub nose .38's for law enforcement and conceal carry. I believe it was recorded here in Florida in Titusville.

Worth checking out. Definitely presents a good argument.
It's a sticky on the handgun page "The art of the snubbie"
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#11 Post by inmediasres » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:32 am

GuitarsandGuns wrote:
inmediasres wrote:There is a really good link someone posted a while ago that links to a video that discusses nothing but the benefits of snub nose .38's for law enforcement and conceal carry. I believe it was recorded here in Florida in Titusville.

Worth checking out. Definitely presents a good argument.
It's a sticky on the handgun page "The art of the snubbie"
http://www.theliberalgunclub.com/phpBB3 ... =7&t=10089
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#12 Post by inmediasres » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:47 pm

Here is a new question.

I have a choice between a J Frame with or without the internal lock. Both are brand new guns and are identical in every way, but without the lock.

How much extra should I be willing to spend to get it without the lock? We're talking an extra $30-$40.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#13 Post by commandZee » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:54 pm

As little as possible, but I'd be willing to go $40. People hate the lock, it really affects the resale value.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#14 Post by JimDowney » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:57 pm

inmediasres wrote:How much extra should I be willing to spend to get it without the lock? We're talking an extra $30-$40.
For some folks, it's a big deal, and they can't stand the locks. Personally, they've never bothered me in the slightest, and I've run thousands of rounds through guns with them over the years without a problem.

But if you do want to remove the lock, it's very easy to do, about one step up from a detail cleaning in terms of difficulty. Takes just a matter of minutes, and there are very good instructional videos online you can find easily to walk you through the process.

Me, I wouldn't spend extra money one way or the other.

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#15 Post by Simmer down » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:01 pm

I used to think the obsession with the lock was the rightie's Government Nanny focus. After my SW M21 starting locking up from the recoil I removed the little tabs that are the locking piece from all my SWs. You can't tell from the outside its disabled. Someone on the SW Forum sells little caps that fill the holes for $30-35, for those who tend to get their panties twisted about this sort of stuff.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#16 Post by Fukshot » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:23 pm

I'd go the extra money for the increased resale value.

I'm not bothered by the locks except that they are another place for dust to enter the mechanism. One of these days I'm going to make a little gold plug with a diamond in the middle of it to replace the lock on my model 60.

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#17 Post by Skeptilius » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:05 pm

Reading this thread naturally caused me to go to the S&W web site and look at the j-frames. I don't have one so my question might seem naive, but why is the Model 36 priced $300. over the other models like the Model 637? The only obvious difference I can see is the grips. What am I missing?

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#18 Post by inmediasres » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:11 pm

Skeptilius wrote:Reading this thread naturally caused me to go to the S&W web site and look at the j-frames. I don't have one so my question might seem naive, but why is the Model 36 priced $300. over the other models like the Model 637? The only obvious difference I can see is the grips. What am I missing?
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#19 Post by JoelB » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:56 pm

As a B picture junkie and a collector of movie prop guns, I have to disagree with you about the use of J frame Smiths in Cinema Noir movies. The most commonly seen handguns are Colt Automatics, but compared to J frames, Colt Detective Specials were much more prevalent. The pre-War Smiths were actually I frame models, but even those are rarely seen in old movies.

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#20 Post by eelj » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:14 pm

Now you can own a piece of history in the making with the Smith & Wesson Classic revolver line. The Classics bring coveted models, with their designs harkening back to the most famous collectibles ever constructed, back in production. Each model, known for its legendary performance, has been enhanced with modern advantages. They are the timeless best of both worlds – Smith & Wesson Classics.
The classic line, guns they discontinued and then brought back as classics charging more than ever for. The M15 "Combat masterpiece" is a bitsa, a M19 with a 38 special cylinder fitted to it.
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#21 Post by MtnMan » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:15 pm

Skeptilius wrote:Reading this thread naturally caused me to go to the S&W web site and look at the j-frames. I don't have one so my question might seem naive, but why is the Model 36 priced $300. over the other models like the Model 637? The only obvious difference I can see is the grips. What am I missing?
In addition to marketing, steel vs. aluminum frames.

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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#22 Post by CowboyT » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:09 pm

We have both the J-frame and the Ruger LCR at the shop. I find the LCR more pleasant to shoot than the J-frame, as do quite a few of of our customers. Others, by contrast, prefer the J-frame. It all depends on how well it fits and shoots in your hands. This is important for those who buy them as carry pieces, as one really should practice regularly with what he/she carries. If it doesn't feel right in your hands, you're less likely to practice with it.

Regardless of which firearm, I've got to hand it to S&W when they designed the .38 Special cartridge. What a wonderful, versatile round!
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Re: S&W 38 special J-frames

#23 Post by Simmer down » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:50 pm

I also like the ease of tuning a S&W. Colts are fine and even hold 6 rounds but I just don't feel as comfortable cracking one open and tinkering with the workings.
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