Model 36 Chief's Special


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ohio58
March 16, 2010, 02:24 PM
I am getting ready to purchase a Smith and Wesson .38 special Model 36 Chief's Special. The gun looks to be in excellent condition. Blue with checkered grips and square butt. Just wondering the DOB on this nice revolver..serial # 672J83 ? wondering if anyone may know a close date it was made. I think S & W charges something like $45 or $50 for a nice letter of Authenticity........?

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vanagon40
March 16, 2010, 03:58 PM
I'm guessing 1971-1972.

Found this on the web:

Early J frame serial numbers
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50 and pre model number versions.

1950 = start at 1
1952 = 7369 - 21342
1953 = 28916
1955 = 55050 - 75000
1957 = 117770 - 125000
1962 = starts at 295000
1969 = ends at 786544

J serial Prefix serial numbers.
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50.

1969-1970 = J1 - J99999
1971-1972 = 1J1 - 999J99
1973-1974 = J100000 - J250000
1975-1976 = J250001 - J370000
1976-1977 = J370001 - J610000
1977-1978 = J610001 - J670000
1979-1980 = J670001 - J760000
1981 = J760001 - J915400
1982 = J915401 - 1J18600
1983 = 1J18601 - 1JXXXX

1955 - 4 screw side plate ends
1957 - stamping of model number at 125000
1966 - flat latch ends
1968 - diamond grips end
1975 - heavy barrel standard
1982 - end pinned barrel

Starter52
March 16, 2010, 07:46 PM
Collectors pay for Letters to add to the value of their scarce or unusual S&W guns. I would not get a letter from S&W for your revolver. It's a good gun, but neither scarce or unusual.

mesinge2
March 16, 2010, 08:09 PM
Post the SN on this thread:

DOB thread for S&W Revolvers
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=372213

The responses are usually very quick!

madcratebuilder
March 17, 2010, 07:10 AM
Look for the serial # on the bottom of the grip frame. 672J83 sounds like an in-house assembly number.

ohio58
March 17, 2010, 12:11 PM
Thanks for all the information above.....very very helpful.
I guess i dont need to spend the $50 on the S&W letter. I was just wanting to know when it was made. I think i"ll take the $50 bucks and add it to another nice Snubnose purchase !! I something about these little older snubs that i really like. Everytime i get a new one , i call the guys at Tyler T Grips in Oklahomea City for some new grips. They work really well and feel great in the hand........

DickM
March 17, 2010, 12:49 PM
vanagon40 is correct - 1971 to 1972. The "J" during this time appeared in different positions within the SN, so it has come to be known as the "wandering J" period.

vanagon40
March 17, 2010, 01:11 PM
vanagon40 is correct . . . .

Those words sound so sweet and yet so rarely heard.

Will you marry me DickM?

___________________________________________________

If a man makes a statement but there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

ArchAngelCD
March 18, 2010, 03:49 AM
I have a M36 that's just a few years younger than the one you're getting. (1975 vintage) You will not regret buying that revolver, I know I'm not sorry I did. Not only are you getting a great revolver but it's also like owning a little piece of history. (IMO of course) Don't forget to post pictures when you get it home...

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/M36-1.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/M36-2.jpg

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/M36-gripadpt_s.jpg

Guillermo
March 18, 2010, 10:12 AM
Will you marry me DickM?

upon closer inspection that is one heck of a funny sentence

madcratebuilder
March 18, 2010, 10:26 AM
Those words sound so sweet and yet so rarely heard.

Will you marry me DickM?

___________________________________________________

If a man makes a statement but there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?
ROTFLMFAO!

That strated the day right.

ohio58
March 18, 2010, 08:08 PM
ArchAngleCD, That sure is i nice looking 36 -- Looks identical to the one im getting, the only difference is my Tyler t's that are going on it are gloss black. I love these little snubnose revolvers. I'll post a pic.....supposed to be here saturday. Im in Ohio but its coming from Maine (from estate) Thanks for posting pics of yours.......

S&Wfan
March 18, 2010, 11:05 PM
They are nice revolvers in that era. My "always" gun is a round butt, "Airweight" version of the steel M36, the aluminum-framed Model 37, and mine's a 1971 vintage.

It was originally owned by a widow's second husband (she survived three), and it was #2's nightstand gun. Probably hadn't been fired twenty times in all those years. I've had it a couple of years now an it is a nice, nice revolver to complement my 1964 Model 36 round butt.

I'm quite fond of the J-frames!

Here's my M37, with a gloss black Tyler like the set up you are contemplating:
http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/282194/2328567IMG0121e.jpg

My original, serial numbered to the gun stocks were too nice to keep on that gun, so today they are saved in the safe, and it wears a set of Patrick Grashorn (Grashorn Gun Works) American Elk Stags. Sturdy and beautiful . . . and not either my first or last set of stags from Patrick either!

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/277718/23916581971Model37e.jpg

ohio58
March 19, 2010, 12:41 PM
I have seen Patrick Grashorns website. He has very nice stocks and they look great on your gun. I may have to give him a call. I believe your 1971 is close to the same year mine is. I called Smith and Wesson and there historian said mine was a 71' or 72' with my serial number...thanks for the picks...very nice 36

mesinge2
March 19, 2010, 03:41 PM
The Js make great carry pieces and there is nothing like carrying the 36 a piece of history that can save your life.
I have found that with the right grips they can be quite accurate out to some large distances

Here comes a 36 pic thread:

117985
117984

117986
117987

rswartsell
March 19, 2010, 03:48 PM
WOW mesinge2,

That's a lot of grip on that top example.

mesinge2
March 19, 2010, 03:52 PM
That's a pre-36 from 1955-57 with Smith and Wesson model 10 sized conversion grips, not +P rated.

I use Buffalo Bore Wad cutters in it for target practice and competition only.

It does not get carried

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