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Dragnet fans...Joe Friday's S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Nathanael_Greene, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Well-Known Member

    I was watching a rerun of Dragnet, an episode in which Joe Friday is investigated for an off-duty shooting.

    During the hearing he describes his gun as a Smith & Wesson .38, serial number 1755806.

    Is that a legit S&W serial number? I'm not sure of the exact model number (though I'm sure a real Dragnet aficionado would know); the revolver is a snub-nosed .38, probably a Model 36, yes?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Model 36 Chiefs Special, probably.

    1,755,806 would be a made up number.
    There isn't enough room on the bottom of the grip for a number that big.

    The highest J-Frame pre-prefix number was 786,544 in 1969.
    Then it started over again at J1 in 69-70.

  3. shooter58

    shooter58 Well-Known Member

    Joe Friday carried a Smith & Wesson Model 10 2-inch.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Guess I was wrong then.
    Anyway, I thought he carried a Colt Detective Special.

    No wait!
    Maybe that was Dick Tracy! :D

  5. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

    I recall it was a 2" Detective Special. If the characters called it a S&W then I am wrong... or the script doesn't mesh with the prop gun. That serial wouldn't work for any S&W model.

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    He carried a colt dick special in the original series. S & W didn't even make their snub when the series was running.
  7. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    Smith made 2" barreled Military&Police (K-frame) revolvers way before the Dragnet television series began. The Chiefs Special (J-frame) was introduced in the very early (1950?) fifties.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  8. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    In one episode in the early to mid 1950s, Joe was expecting a package. He refused to tell his partner Frank Smith what it was.

    When it came he opened it and took out a revolver, and described it as a Colt Cobra. He mentioned the weight in ounces, the caliber, and possibly the fact that it had six shots. Sounded almost like a Colt commercial.

    I can't remember the exact details but I definitely remember the episode and the mention of the Cobra and its specifications.

    Obviously he carried something else before that episode.
  9. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    By the way, if the episode in question was the one about the shot that took some time to find in the laundromat, that was from a later series (different partner--Joe Gannon rather than Frank Smith), and if I recall correctly, Friday did carry a Smith.

    One thing about it --whatever he carried was always either standard or permissible with the LAPD at the time.
  10. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

  12. 3446

    3446 Well-Known Member

    Need the facts, nothing but the facts.
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Well to muddy the waters, Jack Web (aka Joe Friday) visited the S&W factory and was presented with a model 39 pistol - which was a hot item at the time. He was delighted, but I don't believe he ever carried it in a show. He did pose with it for a picture in an early issue of Guns Magazine.

    In early shows he did have the Cobra, but later switched to a Smith & Wesson. The Old Fuff is too young (or forgetful :uhoh:) to remember the model, but he believes it was either a Military & Police/model 10 or a model 36 - or maybe both, depending on whatever the property room had. Whatever, it was carried in a Clark sprigclip crossdraw holster. The Old Fuff still uses one on occasion.
  14. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Well-Known Member

    'Dragnet' still gets some air time here in DFW.

    Since VCRs seem to be going the way of 45 RPM records and 8 Tracks, does anyone know where a DVD of 'The DI', with Jack Webb as the DI can be found?



    'High Noon', 'Thunder Road', and a couple of others are worth keeping also.

  15. yeti

    yeti Well-Known Member

  16. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Well-Known Member

    Got it. Thanks.


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