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Discussion Starter #1
Passed down from my father, I have this older Chief's Special, SN 248XXX. I know little about it except that my father took it in leau of wages from his employer during hard times. It's in fine condition.....tight and smooth. I fire a couple of boxes through it a couple of times each year when my sons and grandsons come for a visit. An enjoyable time for all of us. Other times, it sits, loaded and ready for that time when it may be needed, locked away in a HG safe.

Lately, I have been looking at laser grips (my eyes aren't what they used to be). Searching this forum, I find nothing about laser grips. Am I in the wrong place? I'm looking at two....Crimson Trace LG-105 and J Max. Each have their +'s and -'s. The few reviews I've seen have said the LG-105 is hard to actuate and the J Max is awkward to turn on with the thumb. The J Max has grips that look similar to the Hogue Bantam grips that I'm currently using and the LG-105 Grips are different. Are they comfortable? I like the fact that the LG-105 is grip actuated....no battery drain when not actually squeezing the grip. On the other hand, you can use the J Max with the laser off when desired.

Has anyone on this forum used either one? What are the pro's and con's of each? I've never actually had my hands on either.....just read literature.

Any information about this revolver? When made? I'm thinking 60's era?



Jack
 

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First off, welcome aboard!
The 295000 series of s/n's were supposedly started in 1962. Yours may be sometime in 1961. A factory letter is really the only way to determine when it was shipped originally. Very nice!
 

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Jack the model 36 is my preferred carry gun for every day use. As far as the laser grips go I can't see them in sun light. They work OK for an indoor shooting range. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks f150guy

c pierce, I carry it when in the woods and hardly know it's there. Don't have a CC license.....yet.....been thinking about it though. Once, many years ago, during a hunting trip, I was packing a small .22 mag. deringer in a belt holster......forgot it was there and carried it into a small country store. Was at the checkout counter when a small boy got in line behind me with his mother......."Mommy! Mommy! He has a gun!". Not illegal here to carry in the open, but not wise in some cases. The clerk looked a little nervous. I just payed my bill and quickly left.

Not needing the laser in bright sunlight might be a good argument for the J Max with its' on-off switch. Of course, sunlight is a rare thing here. Decisions, decisions.
 

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Jack, welcome to the forum. Nice gun to keep in the family. The crimson Trace is all I have handled and for me my large hand gets in the way of the beam sometimes. Check out both before you buy because they aren't very cheap. Jmo, James
 

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Nice gun! Welcome to the forum.
The 2" J frame 38 is still the numero uno preferred carry gun for a LOT of people across this nation.
Are you saying the Crimson Trace grips have no on/off switch? Unless I am mistaken they have an on/off switch on the bottom. At close range in most conditions you can in fact see the red dot quite well. Except in bright sunlight, but green lasers aren't exactly easy to pick up in bright sunlight beyond 10 yards anyway. I think you'll find that a red laser is more than acceptable for typical self defense ranges of under 10 yards.
It isn't a good thing to think of any laser as any sort of cure-all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Jamn 44 and Geoff40 for the input.

The CT LG-105 does not have a master on/off switch. The other J frame models do, however. But they are quite a bit more expensive and larger, too. My hands are small compared to most, so I dooubt I'd have trouble with hands in the way of the laser. My biggest concern is the location of the grip switches in both. Of the few reviews I've found, one said the CT LG-105 took a tight grip to turn on the laser. The tighter I hold this piece, the shakier my hand is. Another said the J Max buttons were not positioned correctly for easy operation (and that would seem to be correct if my Hogue grip can be used as a test). Because my thumb does not come anywhere near where the on/off button is on the J Max in normal firing position, I'm leaning toward the CT LG-105. Just worried about the button pressure needed on that one.
 

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Though I like the hammerless variations and have lately found myself wanting a one of those cute ugly duckling Model 49 Bodyguards, I still think the Model 36/Model 60 is my favorite way to do J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers.

Thanks for showing that really clean little Model 36, Jack D. Glad to have you aboard!
 

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c pierce said:
Jack we are neighbor's I live in Eugene. :)
I lived in Eugene since 1950, except for a stint in the Navy. Before that, Medford (born there). Moved to Elmira (from Santa Clara)12 years ago to get away from the kids that kept vandalizing our place. We lived near a school (River Road area) and the kids kept me busy cleaning up after them and replacing fence pickets that were kicked out. Even found a cube of butter stuck to the house once. Grafitti on the fence and shop were the worst, though.

Since moving out here, we've been burgled once (not the house, just an outbuilding) and had an attempted theft of our vehicles once. Caused $800 damage to our ignition and steering column. We finally got a dog to help watch over the place. She's a lover, not a fighter, but does sound off at strange sounds. Good companion, though. ;)

Lately, I've been trying those Speer plastic training cartridges in the 36. Still not sure what to think of them. Many misfire first time around and some keyhole. Still they seem to go mostly where they're pointed. Using them, I can shoot in my shop without disturbing the neighbors. Not sure what value they have in practice. Close range only (10'-15'). Surprisingly powerful though. No powder, just primer. Will penetrate two layers of a cardboard box and break the other side of the box through a piece of carpet glued inside.

I've been toying with the idea of building a bullet trap and setting up an indoor range in my shop. It's an insulated metal building, 32'x60'. Not sure about the noise problem......maybe with the doors closed?

bmcgilvray, Thank you.
 

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I, for one (usually the only one! :roll: ) like to keep things simple. You've got a nice old M-36....just buy some ammo, and carry it. Why complicate things by adding a fancy,shmancy, expensive, Laser sight? If you practice, you'll get good at SD shooting, and you won't need no Laser sight, in the dark. You'll be able to handle yourself much better too. Adding a fancy sight won't make you good.......only practice will!!! Shooting some IDPA competition is the best way. If you're a wimp (like me), you just go to the range and fire 50 rounds of practice every week. ;) Bob
 

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Bob K said:
I, for one (usually the only one! :roll: ) like to keep things simple. You've got a nice old M-36....just buy some ammo, and carry it. Why complicate things by adding a fancy,shmancy, expensive, Laser sight? If you practice, you'll get good at SD shooting, and you won't need no Laser sight, in the dark. You'll be able to handle yourself much better too. Adding a fancy sight won't make you good.......only practice will!!! Shooting some IDPA competition is the best way. If you're a wimp (like me), you just go to the range and fire 50 rounds of practice every week. ;) Bob
Thanks, Bob. Simple is good. When I design a project, I spend hours trying to find a simple way. Unfortunately, I'm a techno-nut. If there's a way to pay for it, I'll buy the latest gizmo. The thing about gizmos is that you don't really miss them....until you have one. Then you wonder how you ever got along without it. I do see some definate advantages to a laser on a short barrelled (short sighting plane) and an old man with dimming eyes. Not that my eyes are that bad, but they don't want to focus on sights. I tend to see four of them. Actually, at short ranges (10'-15'), I do better just pointing. The front sight is used, but the rear sight is ignored. Anyway, thanks for the opinion.
 

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Jack, I practice Point shooting almost exclusively with my M-36. Usually at ranges of 5'-20', I practice my point shooting. That's the range of most SD shooting. At close range, I don't even use the front sight, I just fire from the hip.

If I want to do target shooting/hunting practice, I use my M-17 (.22)with the Bushnell Red Dot sight. My old eyes (60 years) can't focus on the open iron sights anymore. I use Red Dots and low powered scopes on most of my guns, that aren't used for SD revolver carry.
(SD revolvers are 3 of them. ;) ) Bob

KISS.....Keep It Simple, Stupid!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bob K said:
Jack, I practice Point shooting almost exclusively with my M-36. Usually at ranges of 5'-20', I practice my point shooting. That's the range of most SD shooting. At close range, I don't even use the front sight, I just fire from the hip.

If I want to do target shooting/hunting practice, I use my M-17 (.22)with the Bushnell Red Dot sight. My old eyes (60 years) can't focus on the open iron sights anymore. I use Red Dots and low powered scopes on most of my guns, that aren't used for SD revolver carry.
(SD revolvers are 3 of them. ;) ) Bob

KISS.....Keep It Simple, Stupid!!!
Sounds like we're in the same boat, Bob. Except my eyes are 69 years old. All of mine are either scoped or red dot sighted, too. All except this 36. And that's why I like the Crimson Trace (I'm leaning toward CT over J Max) grip. It will show me where it's pointed and will still fit the holster. No guessing involved. I watched a fellow use one (on and autoloader) at the range in Gig Harbor, WA and that red dot was all over the target......but it was still on the target. I'm not too worried about hitting something at close range. I do fairly well at 10'-15'. The target below was fired at 12' using Speer plastic cartridges. Point of aim was small circle. Off hand (one hand) double action and all shots (5) fired in under five seconds. Of course there is no recoil involved. I would like to improve that considerably. Notice that two keyholed.

 

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i don't even use a target for SD shooting. Just an 8x10 sheet of cardboard.....I'm happy when I'm punchin' holes. That means chest sized hits!!! ;) Good enough! I 'used to' practice more......and it really showed! The more you shoot a gun.....the better you shoot a gun!!! It's true, too!!! Once, I was pretty good, but now....I'm a little rusty!! :roll: :lol: Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's called an Oregon tan. And I'm a lot rusty. Although my dad gave me the 36 some 15 years ago, I doubt I'd fired more than a box through it until recently.

Just finished a tack up of a test bullet trap. Not sufficient for .38, but tomorrow I'm going to test it with .22 rifle inside my shop. Can't miss with that from about 30'. I'm interested in testing for bounce back. If it works well, I'll go with heavier steel for the .38. With an indoor range just 125' away, I'll be able to get in lots of practice.
 

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Update! I have applied for and expect to receive, any day now, my Oregon concealed handgun license.

I have purchased a couple of different holsters to try. One that I really like is the Gun Glove IWB, clip forward. It is quite comfortable in the cross-draw position....except for one thing.....that one thing being the hammer spur digging into my gut. I wrote to S&W and they tell me the spurless hammer is obsolete, but that I can bob the spur without problems. Doing this would make it a DAO operation (not a bad thing), but cutting the spur off of this little piece makes my stomach churn. I suppose I could buy another hammer to cut off and save the original. Or maybe I could smooth the sharp edges of the existing hammer spur. Or, perhaps, modify the holster to protect my belly. Pocket carry is a nuisance as the spur snags everything it touches. More decisions. Suggestions here would be helpful.

I made my bullet trap and have been shooting indoors all Winter. Very nice to have your own handgun range. I can shoot up to about 55'. My sons and I have been shooting .22's, .38 Sp., .357 Mag, and 9mm without problems. Lead can be recycled, although I haven't salvaged any yet.
 

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Hi Jack,

Welcome!

Your Chief is a family treasure and your idea of getting another hammer to bob and preserve the original gets my vote. Congrats on getting your carry permit.

I have a Crimson Trace grip on my model 640 but it's the LG-305 grip, the "extended overmold" style. It covers the back strap, has a master on/off switch and; although it is a bit larger than the LG-105, it is very comfortable to hold and intuitive to use. The activation button is under your middle finger and takes practically no pressure to activate. The on/off switch is totally out of the way on the bottom of the grip. It is adjustable for windage and elevation with a tiny Allen wrench included in the package and, once adjusted, it's right on for whatever range you choose. Used it on the range in daylight and had no trouble seeing the dot at seven yards.

I bought the CT just to try it out and use it primarily for nightstand duty with Remington Golden Saber's and occasional trips to the store. I have my concealed carry lic. and normally carry a lightweight model 642 but, when I'm wearing my bib overalls, the extra weight of the 640 in the front pocket is no problem

Bought my first one in 1965...$50 new. I carried my m36 Chief for many years on and off duty and own several variations but the blued flat latch model 36 will always be my centerpiece.

I've been point shooting for 45 years and don't really need sights to meet a close threat but the laser is a nice touch and I can't help but think that that red dot has to be somewhat of an intimidation factor. :) BTW, I'm 73

Jack J.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
ArkieVol said:
Hi Jack,

Welcome!

Your Chief is a family treasure and your idea of getting another hammer to bob and preserve the original gets my vote. Congrats on getting your carry permit.

I have a Crimson Trace grip on my model 640 but it's the LG-305 grip, the "extended overmold" style. It covers the back strap, has a master on/off switch and; although it is a bit larger than the LG-105, it is very comfortable to hold and intuitive to use. The activation button is under your middle finger and takes practically no pressure to activate. The on/off switch is totally out of the way on the bottom of the grip. It is adjustable for windage and elevation with a tiny Allen wrench included in the package and, once adjusted, it's right on for whatever range you choose. Used it on the range in daylight and had no trouble seeing the dot at seven yards.

I bought the CT just to try it out and use it primarily for nightstand duty with Remington Golden Saber's and occasional trips to the store. I have my concealed carry lic. and normally carry a lightweight model 642 but, when I'm wearing my bib overalls, the extra weight of the 640 in the front pocket is no problem

Bought my first one in 1965...$50 new. I carried my m36 Chief for many years on and off duty and own several variations but the blued flat latch model 36 will always be my centerpiece.

I've been point shooting for 45 years and don't really need sights to meet a close threat but the laser is a nice touch and I can't help but think that that red dot has to be somewhat of an intimidation factor. :) BTW, I'm 73

Jack J.

Hi Jack (Don't say that near an airport). I've found, maybe, an answer to the hammer problem......if it will fit. This hammer is from a "J" frame "Bodyguard" model and has a much different spur. I'm trying to find out if it will fit my model 36 before I buy it.


I've decided to get the LG 305 or LG 405 laser grip....leaning a bit toward the LG 405 right now but still teetering back and forth.

I just turned 70, so I'm catching up. ;)
 

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Jack, I just borrowed a Dremel cutting wheel, and whacked off the hammer on my 36. I left about as 1/4" nub on the back, just to give it a little more weight, to insure it will shoot everything, ammo wise. It is my carry gun, and I don't care about looks. Just want 100% reliability.
It looks all business....but, I like your idea, better. (It didn't cost me a cent, though.) ;) :lol: Bob
 
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