M36...Chiefs Special?


December 24, 2006, 11:40 PM
Would appreciate some advice and information regarding the 36.

I have never owned and don't know much about this model but really like its looks and feel.

Is the 36 referred to as the Chief Special?

I have a chance to purchase an M36 serial number 550XXX with a pinned barrel.

Will someone please tell me when this revolver was made and would this be a tapered barrel?

I also believe the firing pin is on the hammer.

Any information regarding this particular year and what to look for and expect from this gun would be appreciated.

They are asking 249.00 and it is probably a 95% gun. There is not a box or papers…gun only.

I don't know if it is a 36-1 or 2, etc.

In your opinion, what is this snubbie worth?

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

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December 24, 2006, 11:44 PM
more than 250, i sold mine stainless in like new condition for 350.

i say you buy it asap blued or ss, it really is a nice piece

December 24, 2006, 11:50 PM
The first edition of it was the original Chief's Special. It was introduced at a convention of police chiefs (times have sure changed with that bunch). I don't believe the name was continued by S&W once they designated it M39, but they have used "chief's special" for other firearms which confuses matters.

I've found the pinned ones have smoother triggers. That price is about right if it's in good shape. Tt's not a collector's piece unless it's one of the very early ones. It is, however, a fantastic pocket revolver or CCW piece.

December 25, 2006, 01:36 AM
I have one I carry on a daily basis. They are going for around $275-$300 around here in good condition.

December 25, 2006, 10:08 AM
I have one that I bought at the local pawn shop for $200 out the door. It looks like hell, previous owner laid it in something that ate alot of the blue off it but mechanically it's perfect and fired very little. AS ugly as it is, it's one of my favorite guns and rides with me in my plumbing truck everyday.
Here's a pic of the crusty little runt:

December 25, 2006, 07:20 PM
Here is one of the early pre 36 Chief's Special. It is supposed to be unfired, but who really knows? I gave $375.00 for it, and it's the only safe queen I've ever had.:o

1 old 0311
December 25, 2006, 08:14 PM
Hi Kymasabe,

A tomato will do that to the finish. Voice of experience.:cuss:

December 25, 2006, 08:58 PM

This is my S&W model 36 (no dash) that I bought in July. It is probably 95% and I paid $325. Serial #435*** would probably put it around 1963 / 64. It has a 3" barrel which is a little more rare than the 2".

Not sure but I was told that if the gun is a no dash model then the barrel will be tapered.

Sounds like a good deal. I'd get it.

December 25, 2006, 09:05 PM
You can tell the exact model # by opening the cylinder and looking on the inside of the frame. Also if you have the S/N a call to Smith and Wesson customer service will give you the year that it was made, I call them all the time and ask them. I have owned and carried Model 36's and think that blue steel is just dam sexy with wood grips on a revolver. I have since sold my model 36 and replaced it with a 640 and a 638-5, which are both pre-locks. The 638 is a daily carry piece in an ankle holster. You really can't go too wrong with most any Smith revolver and some of the older ones, as stated have excellent triggers. If you can afford it, get it, I am sure that you wont be sorry. They make great CCW guns and in a proven caliber. I would not reccomend a steady diet of +p ammo in it as it will accelerate wear. Do like most people here do, shoot standard factory stuff in it for practice and carry +p for CCW.

Good luck.

December 25, 2006, 09:10 PM
I have a chance to purchase an M36 serial number 550XXX with a pinned barrel.

"Probably" about 1965-66 or so. But that is a guess based upon the serial number ranges published by Supica and Nahas. It is almost certainly a Model 36 no dash. I would say that $249 is a good price based upon your description. If I didn't already have a few I would pay that. I'd try to bargain the guy down out of principle, but if he didn't budge I'd do it.

December 25, 2006, 09:13 PM
I bought mine from a friend. I won't even tell you how much I paid for it. Well, okay.....I paid $200 for it. It is in absolutely mint condition and the trigger is smoothing out just a bit now.

December 25, 2006, 09:14 PM

Great looking snub...it makes the M36 I am looking at not seem worth only 125.00 less.:confused:

December 25, 2006, 09:16 PM
Kymasabe, that is one seriously funky looking runt. How does it shoot?

December 25, 2006, 11:28 PM
The Model 36 is a classic that was the start of a complete, extensive line of snubbie revolvers that runs up through today's titanium, hammerless models. It was, is and will continue to be a serious, great little pistol for personal defense.

December 26, 2006, 02:40 AM
Mine is a dash 4 , which is the round butt shortest barrel stubby. I first saw it in my Dad's possesion circa 1970; I bought it from him around 1990 for $250, along with the blue original box, cleaning rod, parts list/warranty and a cool little screwdriver. It is pristeen; I don't think he ever fired it, and I have popped maybe 100-150 rounds through it. What does pinned refer to, as seen in earlier posts?

I'd post a photo, but my photographer went to Barcelona for her monthly mani/petti in our Gulfstream.


December 26, 2006, 06:42 AM
I got this nice 3" nickel model 36 with the original box for $325


Phil DeGraves
December 28, 2006, 02:27 PM
They are great guns; I have two plus a three inch M60. The price you gave is very reasonable. If you want to shoot it, replace the factory grips with something larger, either Hogue, Butler Creek, Pachmayrs or the S&W target grips like the 3" pictured above.

December 28, 2006, 02:41 PM
I gave $225 for my m36-1

Mine was in 80% condition.


December 29, 2006, 09:50 PM
I have mine. It is my father's from 1954. Almost cherry.
I just retired it since I bought a 642 today.

December 29, 2006, 10:15 PM
I paid $300 for mine, it out shoots my Wife's Taurus 85 2" for me haveing a pre-lock is priceless.
:D 50137

funny book flapjack
January 12, 2007, 12:38 PM
I just got one yesterday. Don't have a digital camera, but it looks like Robereno's.

3" barrel, 36-1, in perfect condition. It was my Aunt's, & she's had it sitting in a box for the last 22 years unfired.

It was oiled/greased well before storing, not a spec of rust. It's had less than 25 rounds through it EVER! I basically just got a brand new 36-1. And all it cost me was a great big hug & kiss! :p

January 12, 2007, 01:01 PM
There seems to be a resurgence of interest in the 36's. If you can get a good quality one I wouldn't haggle too much over price.

January 12, 2007, 01:04 PM
I bought this 1971 3" RB M36-0 about four years ago for $300 (exclusive of the Spegel grips).


January 12, 2007, 02:33 PM
I have a flat latch 2" Model 36. I have had it a long time and can not recall what I paid. Today I would pay $250 for one like you described.

January 12, 2007, 10:01 PM
How's she shoot? GREAT! Mechanically she's perfect. I don't think previous owner shot it very much, it's still a tight little gun, perfect timing. And, I was really impressed with the accuracy.

LT 102
January 13, 2007, 06:25 AM
I have a flat latch no dash model 36 ( SN 22xxx )that is in about the same condition as the one Daryl posted a pic of. I only paid $180 for it about 2 years ago. It is one of the nicest little guns I have it goes with me everywhere

January 13, 2007, 06:38 AM
Ok. You forced me to show off my newly aquired M36 no dash.:)

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