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My wife purchased a model 36 before we were married from a gun show.I've been researching the internet for quite some time and getting alot of conflicting information.
All S&W wheel guns had pinned barrels up until 1981 / 1982. If you look at about a half inch past where the barrel meets the frame, you'll see a small pin on the gun on the left. The gun on the left is a 66-1 that was made in 1980. You are correct in that the "Model 36" was not stamped inside the crane on the frame until 1957 and after - but that occurred at serial number 125000 - so it makes no sense that yours is stamped with a model number, but has a 5-digit serial number. If the grips are original to the gun, and have a diamond around the screw, then it was produced prior to 1968, when these were discontinued. Thanks Pizza Bob you brought up the point that I found - the numbers just don't make any sense.
The number inside the hinge which some references that I found say that this is the serial number is 61479. The barrel release is not the older flat from what I can tell but curved.
The info that I've seen reference XX's following numbers - that is not the case with this. I see reference to "pinning" but am not sure what that means.
On the grip butt there is a prefix of AEJ which I find no reference. The revolver is stamped with model 36 inside the hinge which I see means after 1957.
The serial numbers that I found on the internet do not make sense with the numbers that I am finding.