(Yet Another) New Addition…

Well, my self-control when it comes to snub-nosed revolvers is about as low as it can be. I came across a good deal on Smith & Wesson Model 360s a few weeks back and I couldn’t resist, I bought one this week.

Smith & Wesson Mocel 360
Smith & Wesson Model 360

Yes, I know this proves (yet again) what a bad photographer I am and please ignore the bits of polishing media that seem to escape my tumbler every time I open it.

So, what is this little guy and why did I add it to my ever growing collection of snubbies?

Glad I asked.

I love my little Smith & Wesson 442. It is one of my favorite guns to shoot (yes, I know I am weird). It just feels right in the hand. The one thing I don’t like about it is the sights. The black blade up front disappears in all but the best lighting conditions. Painting it has helped a bit but it’s still nowhere near as usable as the fiber optic front sight I installed on the Ruger LCR. The 360 has a crappy black bladed front sight as well but like the LCR it is pinned and replaceable without the need for a machine shop/gunsmith. With the larger full size grips the 360 feels even better in the hand than the 442 or the LCR but I do know this is completely subjective. The larger grips may make pocket carry a little tougher but in the cargo pants I was wearing today it was not an issue. If it is I can replace them (as I have with the LCR) or swap them for the ones on the 442.

Like most J-Frames the trigger…well…sucks. It’s long and heavy and a bit gritty but I’ll have an Apex Tactical Duty/Carry spring kit here before long. That kit will lower the pull weight a bit and smooth things out (as will sending a few hundred rounds). As good as the trigger is in the LCR I like the J-Frame with the Apex springs even better plus I have less trouble with the trigger reset.

The 360 also has an exposed hammer. In the dry fire practice I did today I didn’t have an issue with it but if I find it get’s in the way of my draw I’m pretty comfortable bobbing it myself. It also has an internal lock which I would prefer not to have but this will be my first Smith with one, I’ll see if it causes an issue. If it does, I’ll look into disabling it. The LCR has one as well.

The bottom line here is that I believe the 360 gives me a combination of the things I like better about the Ruger LCR and the things I like better about the Smith & Wesson J-Frame. So, I’m pretty excited. The price? Well after adding in the cost of the Apex spring kit it will be about the same or maybe a couple of bucks less than the LCR and a lot less than the lock-less PD model that I was looking at.

I’ll post a range report as soon as I can.

God Bless.

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5 thoughts on “(Yet Another) New Addition…

  1. Oh, come on…
    That is a nice revolver. They are meant to be fine tuned. Of course, it functions, hence dissatisfaction but, A honing stone, an emery-board (I pirate my wife’s), some fine emery paper or wet/dry extra fine emery paper.
    (A) Unload weapon, and remove grip.
    (B) Remove the side-plate screws, and pull the cylinder and yoke come off.
    (C) Tap side of frame with plastic of screwdriver or a wood mallet. Side-plate pops off.
    (D) Paperclip in mainspring and remove mainspring.
    (E) The Hammer-Block. Culprit. Use the emery-board to slick the roughness out of the rod section. Finish as smooth as you can get it. The channel on the side-plate where the hammer block, rides in. Use folded piece of fine emery wet/dry, to smooth it out. About half hour work.
    (F) Put a dish towel over the open revolver cavity, and carefully remove the rebound slide. Watch youtube, for how to do it. Be careful. Bottom of the rebound slide, dress only the bottom on a 6000 grit honing stone, unless you want to go higher to 9000, 12000, 15000. Up to you. Then gently hone slightly the sides of the rebound slide. Where that slide sits in the frame and the corresponding side in the side-plate, run the wet/dry emery and smooth out that little piece of frame and side-plate. When finished, re-assemble the internal parts and only give a little lubricating oil where movement or articulation happens. Re-assemble the revolver.
    (G) With an empty revolver, stroke the trigger. Feel the action and, how does that trigger feel to your finger? Wet/dry emery any sharpness out of the trigger. That will improve the feel of the action and should help you. Then, check the double action, and single action, function.
    (H) Should not require anything crazy. Never mess with any sear angle of contact facing.

    The J-frames, when given a spring job, are so sweet. Maybe a gunshop would be the best place for you to have work done. Keep trigger pull weight at 8.0 #, so that any ammunition, will reliably function.

    The front ramp. I used to paint it with typewriter correction fluid. If you want to get fancy, get acrylic paint and make the front ramp any color you like. When the paint or correction fluid wear off when cleaning, simply re-apply. That is why I liked the typewriter correction fluid, and, it is inexpensive. It catches ambient light at night and in low light conditions.

    That little AirWeight, I would put OEM service grips on it, and add a Tyler T-grip. That is all it needs.

    I miss my 1959 J-frame, it was sweet as can be, and shot within 6″ at 75 feet, all day, all night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for all the info. I have never polished up the inside of the revolver. The Apex spring kit lowers the trigger pull by about three pounds. That plus a little dry fire/live fire has the trigger turned the trigger on my 442 into my favorite revolver trigger.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heavy trigger pull weights, are due to the manufacturer being constantly sued. Rather than face negligent manslaughter charges, people allege the gun went off by itself. Lawyers, drool. Answer, heavier triggers from the factory and if a person modifies that weight, the factory is off the hook. NYPD Glocks are 12 # trigger pull weights. All of my revolvers (I had nine of them) broke at 8.0#, where our service ammunition, Winchester (.38 Spl. 158 gr. +P LSWC) would reliably ignite the primers. Federal ammo, uses a 7.5 # primer strike. You always want the revolver to go “BANG!”, and never, “click”. I had many things done to enhance performance of the revolver while not sacrificing safety. Then I would use PTFE lubricant to really slick things up. I love smooth operating revolvers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Based on this, with a factory trigger coming in at 12-14 pounds the three pound reduction from the Apex kit should leave me fine in terms of reliable ignition. I have only had (literally) one or maybe two rounds that wouldn’t ignite in my 442 with the same kit. Those didn’t work in my LCR with bone stock trigger and springs. The SP101 with a hammer mounted firing pin did ignite them.

        I’m trying to decide if I want to put in the Apex kit myself. I was planning on it. I have seen it done and felt pretty confident until I read a recent review that made me second guess that. If I order it through my preferred gun shop the price will be a couple of bucks higher but they will generally install it for free. So I may do that.

        As always, thanks for the feedback and advice!

        God bless!

        Liked by 1 person

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