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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, on my lunchtime gun store amblings, I ran across a S&W Model 38-2 (a pre-lock J-frame 5-shot .38 Special with a blued finish, aluminum frame, and a humpback protecting the hammer - which still has DA and SA capability).

It was priced at $350, and it was in . . . eeeehh, maybe 95% condition (though with two noteworthy scratches in the blacking of the aluminum frame, but no real blue wear; there was a little scratching on the cyinder face from cleaning). It wore a pair of Hogue Bantam stocks. Carry-up was perfect, endshake was minimal, side-to-side motion of the cylinder was maybe a teensy bit more than I like to see but really pretty much exactly like that on my 37-2, and both the DA and SA trigger pulls were quite good.

I figured that I could pull the Hogues, put them on my 37-2, and use the 37-2's wood stocks on the 38. I offered $320, OTD including tax (which, here in Santa Flake, runs 7.8%). The guy countered with $320 + tax (which would be just under $345 OTD).

I just didn't need it, so I took a pass. At first.

Thing is, you just don't see decent shape pre-lock J-frames any more for under $399 - at least not here in NM. And I've always had a thing for the Bodyguards. And they're not making any more pre-locks (except for that still-unavailable new Centennial w/o the ability to pin back the grip "safety").

I posted about it over at HandgunPlace Forums, and the majority of the folks who responded encouraged me to pick it up. So, I did. :)

I went ahead and traded out the stocks with my (just back from S&W for the shooting-to-the-right problem) 37-2, and here are some photos of the results. I'm looking forward to getting them out to the range this weekend, to see how they both shoot and chrono. :)







 

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Excellent pics, and a good buy IMHO. Those bodyguards grab me, too, & the itch just has to be scratched from time to time. Congratulations!
Regards, G>M>F>
 

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Hello Erich,

Congradulations my friend!

It's a real good score and I hope you will be pleased with it!

Chris
 

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Mr.Erich you sure do some fantastic photo work with your guns. Now you got me wanting a M-38 to go with my other J frames. That little beauty would go for $425 to $475 around my neck of the woods. There's no doubt in my mind about that. Let us know what you think after you have shot her some. Good luck with your new gun.

Best:Baldy.
 

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Howdy Mr. Erich,

Another nice find sir. I am looking forward to your range reports on both of them. While I simply prefer my J-frames to be on steel frames with hammers, I do share your appreciation of the J-frames in general.

I may have a really nice 3" m 65 lined up. Too early to say, but if it works out, it will be mine.

twoguns
 

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Twoguns,

Nice catch! Like you the Bodyguard has always made my heart go pitter-patter. That said, the only S & W snubbie I have ever owned is my M-19 2 1/2". Think I need a .38?
Wife on the other hand cannot be parted from her early M-60 3" .38 Special. It's racy...with those adjustable sights and full underlug barrel. Heck, I even offered to get her a "nicer" pistol. No deal...rats... :-/

Wes
 
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not to hi-jack the thread but what was the "fix" for the 37-2? Also, nice bodyguard, I would not trade my 638 for anything!
 

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That humpy looking gun is downright butt ugly, so you better send it to me; most of my neighbors are so ugly themselves that they wouldn't notice.

Seriously, I almost wish I hadn't sold my 49, but it was just too heavy for me. I'd love to have another Airweight, though. My M638 has the lock and has never failed to go "bang," but if and when I get another, it'll be a pre lock 38 instead of one of these newfangled thingies.
 

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Hello Erich,

Man, what a nice Bodyguard! The bluing looks about 100%! I wonder what S&W did to repair your M37-2?

In any event, super great deal Erich and I hope you'll let us know how it shoots!

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for your kind words. :) I'm really happy that I got this one, and I feel blessed that I was able to get it when I lucked into it.

S&W just said "ADJUST BARREL" on the paperwork that they returned with the 37-2 . . . which could mean a lot of things. I'll hopefully get to shoot it tomorrow to see if whatever they did worked. If not, I'll have to call them again after the holiday . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Eeek!

The guys on the S&W Forum say that "adjusting the barrel" involves whacking it with a lead hammer!
Hope S&W did a good job of it!
 

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Oh, Erich, "adjusting the barrel" involves whacking with a precision device called a barrel whacker. I had a Mountain Gun barrel whacked a few years ago.
 

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Howdy Mr. Erich,

First take 3 deep breaths and relax sir. I suspect them folks at the factory know what they are doing honestly. Don't get nervous until you have had the chance to shoot your newly repaired lady.

I once worked for an outfit that used UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters as one of our primary "vehicles". Most of our mechancis were former military folks and were excellent. They had a favorite saying when standing atop the Hawk trying to loosen a part that was being difficult. They would yell down to a bud on the hangar floor and say "toss me up a bigger hammer". But trust me, they always knew what they were doing. I suspect the folks at Smith do too Mr. Erich.

Let us know how she shoots when you get the chance.

twoguns
 

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The traditional phrase used by all skilled mechanics when faced with a stubborn problem has always been "get a bigger hammer". I know from personal experience it is also used by many UNskilled mechanics & is excellent advice (sometimes).
My experience is that it is not wise to say this to talented gunsmiths, however--their charges immediately increase :'( Regards, G>M>F>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The 37-2 shot fine, and chrono'd amazingly consistent with my handloaded defensive DEWCs; I know what I'll be carrying:

(Albuquerque city range, 5950 feet above sea level, c. 70
 

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Howdy Mr. Erich,

I am glad to hear that both revolvers performed well for you. There is simply a lot to be said for Smith's fine J-frames. In my opinion far too many people give up of this platform, because they simply do not shoot them enough to become proficient with them, and to stay proficient. But they give a lot of bang in a small package.

Glad to hear they both shot well, and I would have been surprised if they did not.

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you, sir!

Here's a new pic from today's hike. Up Bear Canyon, behind my house . . .

 

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Howdy Mr. Erich,

I am glad to hear both J-frames made you smile when you shot them sir.

Wow, great pic. Now if that is behind your house - or at least the view without the walk anyway - how do you make yourself drive to work.

Thanks for the pic, as it will help some folks appreciate the fact the SW desert is not all sand dunes as some movies would suggest.

It is getting to be that time of year too sir. You might want to load up a few snake shot loads and keep them handy too (tips my hat).

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oddly, I rarely see snakes up that canyon . . . Santa Fe, where I usually work, is pretty easy on the eyes, as well. :)
 
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