Value a S&W 36 (No Dash, Flat-Latch, Square Butt)


October 18, 2010, 11:01 AM
Can anyone give me an approximate value for a 90% S&W 36, no dash, flat-latch, square butt? The gun is blued and the serial number is 20XXX and from the information I have, that dates the gun to the late part of 1952. If I'm wrong about that, please correct me.

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October 18, 2010, 12:36 PM
~ $350

October 18, 2010, 01:55 PM
I'm glad I asked. In my mind, I was way off.

October 18, 2010, 03:02 PM
Now I'm confused again. The information I'm seeing on the net says the Model 36 wasn't designated until 1957, before then it was known as the Chief's Special. And the info I read said the square butt wasn't introduced until serial number 21342.

Is it fishy that the guy that has this gun said the gun says "36" inside the frame and has a serial number of 20XXX? The picture he sent me shows the gun has a square butt. How can the gun have a square butt if it wasn't offered until approximately 1000 guns after this one? And how would his gun say "36" inside the frame when the gun didn't officially become known as the 36 until 1957. The serial number the guy gave dates the gun to 1952. Is it me or are some things not adding up?

October 18, 2010, 04:05 PM
Chinese algerba!

You are correct on the serial number and flat latch making it a 1952 gun.

As for the Sq butt being 1,000 later?
I wouldn't put too much faith on that without a factory letter telling me it wasn't a Sq butt with that serial number. Stranger things have happened within a 1,000 serial number range or more.

If he left off a J prefex, it would be a 1969-70 gun without a flat latch and with a 36 in the frame.


October 18, 2010, 04:32 PM
I can verify the flat latch as he sent me a crappy cell phone picture of the gun. It also has diamond grips, which I hear would come on a gun made before 1968.

$350 for 36 that old seems a little cheap. But I don't know much about Smith revolvers, so I'm out of my area of expertise.

October 18, 2010, 06:41 PM
The trick is that the Chiefs Special is not an uncommon gun and there are few collectors who consider then to be their holy grail, unlike the registered magnum for example. So to most people it is a second hand carry gun, and S&W have a rebate on new 642s.This helps hold the price down.
In 2006 the Standard Catalog of S&W gave a value of $310 in very good condition. Allow a little inflation and $350 is about right. If it was mint with box then it would be worth more, $600 or so.

Now as for numbers, S&W stamped the serial number on the butt. There are usually assembly numbers,which were used to track parts in the factory, on the inside of the cylinder yoke cut out.
He may be quoting those. So the 36 may be an assembly number, as may the 20xxx. You need to verify this.

October 18, 2010, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the info.

My last email this afternoon was to verify the SN on the bottom of the grip frame. The guy said he would check and get back with me in 10 minutes. That was about 4 hours ago. I think I'm probably going to walk away from this deal. I thought I had the potential for a 1952 Smith, but it looks like that's not the case now. I appreciate all the help from everyone.

October 18, 2010, 09:16 PM
Is it a 5 screw, like this model?
If so, I have seen them go for up to $450 at some gun shows. I got this one for $330 and put some CT grips on it for carry.


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