This is a discussion on Interesting S&W .38 special within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Last month, my wife and I decided we needed to get a gun for home defense and concealed carry. I went to the LGS and ...
Last month, my wife and I decided we needed to get a gun for home defense and concealed carry. I went to the LGS and picked out an innocent looking S&W .38 special revolver. In the past month, I've learned a lot more about guns and started to notice a few odd things about my gun. I decided to go to the S&W website, look through their catalog and see if I can find my gun. Interesting enough, I could not find my gun in their catalog. So I called them up to see if I can figure out what was going on. I was told that the gun was a limited edition run for Japanese LEOs. After fulfilling the order, S&W decided to sell some locally. I was going to give this gun to my wife for her concealed carry, but now I might have to keep it for myself.
Just thought I should share the story and see if anyone else has heard of these. Here are a couple of pics.
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That is a model 360J, they've made a coupe of runs of them, the first one a few years ago. Scandium frame, steel cylinder (carbon steel originally, I'm told they have stainless cylinders now), a plain Jane no frills, lower cost, .38spl version of the M&P 360. Lots of speculation out there on the origin of this model but I don't think anyone knows for sure and S&W isn't saying. They're great guns, very solid, they weigh a couple of ounces less than the 637 Airweight. I bought mine in 2009 for a 9mm customization project and have been very happy with it, carry it almost everyday, it has held up extremely well.
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Nice wheelgun! Should serve you well...congrats. I have ran across a couple of "oddities" from Smith's line before and they are really interesting to research and learn about.
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Every once in a while I come across non-catalog items. Some S&W, some Browning. Always interesting. You have got yourself a great j frame there. Very nice.
Everyone needs a wheel gun.
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Nice little wheelgun! I'm looking to pick up something similar, either later this year or early next.
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That's pretty cool! I like the grip shape. Great choice of weapon.
...there is no arguing with such snivelling puppies, who allow superiors to kick them about deck at pleasure.
— Captain Bellamy
I believe that S&W has frequently made custom runs of their various guns for police or military agencies that were willing to order a significant number of units. This is described in the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" by Jim Supica (2007). The custom runs might include unique features that the agency felt were important, such as finish, grips, sights, etc. I own one of these guns myself, a model 19-5 in .357 magnum with 2.5 inch barrel that was the standard issue sidearm for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) of the US State Department for several years. This is the branch of the State Department responsible for guarding US diplomats and embassies.
This model is similar to the standard model 19-5 but has a matte black finish from the factory that was non-reflective, unlike the standard polished blue finish on the commercial version of this gun. The gun is shown below (with Ahrends grips that I added myself - the original grips were black rubber Pachmayrs). Evidently the DSS thought the polished blue finish was too reflective and bright for a concealed carry gun. The second photo shows a comparison of the matte black gun with a similar blued 19-5 that I own.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
...that special order finish looks almost like the M28 finish, compared to the M27 finish...I prefer it...