SOLD FOR: $1200
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: U.S. Navy Contract Overrun Model 36, The .38 Chiefs Special
Serial Number: J581656
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1977. Shipped 1978 (Smith & Wesson Letter)
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: 5-Shot, Double / Single Action, Swing-Out Cylinder Hand Ejector Revolver.
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”. The left side of the frame, below the cylinder release, is marked with the “S&W” trademark logo. The right side of the barrel is marked “38 S.&W. SPL”. The right side of the frame, below the cylinder, is marked with the four line “Marcas Registradas” address. The yoke cut is marked “J581656 / MOD. 36”. The yoke is marked with inspection marks. The front face of the ejector is marked with the serial number. The sides of the grip frame are marked with inspection marks. The backstrap is marked “MADE IN U.S.A.”.
Barrel Length: 2”, Pinned
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp integral to the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered wood magna stocks with S&W medallions. There is a lanyard loop mounted on the butt of the grip frame. There are no major defects, just light handling wear. The checkering is sharp. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its new metal finish. There are a few faint scuffs that have lightly worn the finish, the most noticeable is on the trigger guard. There are some scattered light handling marks. There are a few little spots of finish loss under the grip panels. There is a thin hardly noticeable turn line that does not go through the finish on the cylinder. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder lockup has almost no movement. The double-action trigger is smooth and the single action is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a serial matching two-piece box, Smith & Wesson letter, cleaning rod, bristle brush, and paperwork including the manual.
Our Assessment: This small revolver, designed primarily for plainclothesmen and off-duty police officers, made its public debut at The International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in 1950. At the conference, the Smith & Wesson sales force asked the police chiefs to vote on a name for the new revolver. The most commonly suggested name was .38 Chief’s Special. Designed with the needs of law enforcement officials in mind, the Chief’s Special proved to be a popular revolver for personal protection due to its size and weight. When Smith & Wesson adopted model numbers in 1957, the Chiefs Special became the Model 36. This Model 36 is a Navy Contract overrun revolver as confirmed by the Smith & Wesson letter and has a lanyard loop on the butt of the grip frame, a serial number relocated to the yoke cut, and special backstrap markings. This revolver comes from the collection of author Kevin Williams, best known for his work on the topic of General Officers Pistols & Clandestine Organization Pistols of WWII. There are only about 112 of these overrun guns and this one looks fantastic, it will be a great addition to your collection. Please see our photos and good luck!