Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: The .38 Chiefs Special, Pre-Model 36
Serial Number: 1458
Year of Manufacture: 1950 1st Year of Production
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver (SA/DA) with Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The butt is marked “1458”. The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”. The yoke cut is marked “2 / 25675 / 6” and the yoke is marked “25675”. The right side of the barrel is marked “.38 S.&W. SPL.” The right side of the grip frame is marked “U / 61”. The right side of the frame is marked with the four-line marcase registradas. The left side of the frame is marked with the S&W monogram logo. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “1458” as is the barrel flat above the ejector rod.
Barrel Length: Nominal 2” measures 1 7/8″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a round blade integral to a rise in the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with S&W medallions and smooth diamonds around the grip escutcheons. There is no notable wear or damage to the grips other than light handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There appears to be light erosion at the rear of the bore, though this may prove to be stubborn fouling after a patient cleaning.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 90% of its metal finish. There is thinning at all edges, heaviest to the left and right of the muzzle. The cylinder has a turn line, two spots of very light surface oxidation and horizontal lines of wear to one side of three of the flutes from laying on its side and being moved ranging from a semi-solid line of wear on one flute to a very light line of wear on another. There are two marks through the finish on the butt, a few on the rear of the shoulder above the backstrap, one on the right edge of the top strap and a dent on the right side of the rear sight channel as well as scattered light handling marks. The screw heads show responsible tool use and have strong slots, though the grip screw has slight deformation from over-tightening with a screwdriver which was too thin. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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: None
Our Assessment: This is a .38 Chiefs Special, Pre-Model 36 from 1950, the first year this revolver was produced. The first of Smith & Wesson’s small-frame revolvers to be chambered in .38 Special, this revolver is the progenitor of all the J-frame Smiths that were to come. Consistent with its first year production, the revolver has many older features including a 5-screw frame, flat latch, pinned barrel and an early round trigger guard. Despite its age, this revolver is in Fine condition and would make a great addition to any Smith & Wesson or revolver collection. In the unlikely event that a collector doesn’t manage to get this, it will still serve as a great concealed carry or home defense revolver. Please see our photos and good luck!.