August 21st, 2007 11:00 PM
Range Report, Smith & Wesson Model 36
I had a ship come in, so I went and got my new Chief's Special out of layaway last week.
My wife and I took it out to the gun club this past weekend.
I don't have pics and I don't know exactly the precise distances I was shooting, etc., but I thought I'd share my experience for the benefit of anyone who might be interested.
I tried out three kinds of ammo- Winchester, Buffalo Bore and Remington, each in 158-grain "+P" loadings. I settled on them because the 36 is a limited run, I'm told, of classic, old school cool. And there is no more classic a load than that old FBI load. The little gun is classic- silky, glossy blue & walnut, etc.
Tightest lockup I've ever had on a revolver, including the previous Smiths I've owned, and a natural pointer. I love the grip, too- I can actually get my third finger on the darned thing (I've got girly-man hands).
Well, the thing shoots better than I do. Most modern production guns are more accurate than their shooters, and this one was too, snubby or not.
All rounds shot tight and dead-on. When I did MY part, my five-round groups would cloverleaf at about seven yards.
As far as the ammo goes, it was a bit of a revelation. The Buffalo Bore, like all Buffalo Bore I've ever tried, was H-O-T. It packed a wallop, and I could feel the checkering on those grips tear my flesh the way you scale a fish. But it was no less accurate than the others.
The Winchester was a barrel-leading, smoke-cloud-making mess. I had a quarter-inch sliver of lead foil sticking out of the barrel after one of the Winnies. But doggone it, that Winnie was just as accurate as the others. All three brands of ammo shot pretty darned well.
The Remington didn't lead or smoke the way the Winchester did and it didn't mince my palm the way the Buffalo Bore did, and it shot about pretty much identically to the others. It is kind of the leader for now.
The Chief's Special is cool and reliable and more accurate than me. With practice, even I could probably learn to shoot it accurately at longer distances (10-25 yards). Not a gun to spend a day shooting "+P's" out of (so that 25-yard headshot with it is going to remain in the realm of fantasy), but it's a darned good little gun and great for its intended (up close and personal) use.
Last edited by randytulsa2; August 22nd, 2007 at 09:58 AM.
Reason: Poor grammar
"...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."
Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.
August 21st, 2007 11:06 PM
Good report Randy - and not too many surprises for me there.
Haha - well all smaller guns can be a tad savage on the skin! Main thing is tho - if accuracy and function are all there - you know that it is something to trust if needed for carry etc.
The Buffalo Bore, like all Buffalo Bore I've ever tried, was H-O-T. It packed a wallop, and I could feel the checkering on those grips tear my flesh the way you scale a fish.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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August 22nd, 2007 07:16 AM
Sounds like you had some good shooting with your Model 36.
I use Remington for most of my plinking and have not had any problems with the ammo. My Model 60 (SS version of the 36) is a very good and accurate shooter so enjoy yours.
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
August 22nd, 2007 08:09 AM
I looked at a 36 at my local shop - sweet looking gun, just wish they weren't limited production so the prices wouldn't be so high. Definitely a nice score on your part, congratulations!
August 22nd, 2007 08:41 AM
Thanks for the review Randy!.....the 36 will be my next handgun purchase,I just like that "classic" feel and look of that handgun.
August 22nd, 2007 10:49 AM
You might want to give the standard pressure
(non+P) Buffalo Bore a try. It's a 158 too.
In my 640 (38 only) the first 2 up are those
and the last 3 are BB +P.
August 23rd, 2007 09:50 AM
I really like those J frames!!! Steve48
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