Gun Report

S&W Model 36-1 Chiefs Special 38 Special

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Highly polished blued steel and checkered walnut are the earmarks of earlier S&W handguns, and the Chiefs Special was no exception. We found some machining marks, and as collectors know, the older the better for finest vintage Smith quality. We liked this gun, but would have liked it more if the hammer had not been cut off. Still, we did our best and fastest DA work with it.

S&W Model 36-1 Chiefs Special 38 Special

Gun Details

Model Name
Home Defense
Concealed Carry
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Overall Length
Barrel Length
Sight Radius
Overall Height
Front Strap Height
Back Strap Height
Maximum Width
Grip Thickness Max
Grip Circumference Max
Frame Material
Barrel Material
Grip Material
Trigger Pull Single
Trigger Pull Double
Trigger Span Double

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We could get all our fingers onto the Chiefs’ handle, which helped us shoot it extremely fast in DA mode. We could shoot this gun faster than either of the other two revolvers, at close range, with good hits. We found the gun shot as accurately for us DA as in SA shooting. It required careful work to cock the hammer, and we do not recommend bobbing the hammer, nor trying to use a bobbed hammer in the single-action mode.
We were only able to get two fingers securely onto the short grip of the Centennial Airweight. However, this proved to be enough to control it. The swell in the grip panels helped us hold onto the gun.
We got all four fingers onto the slim grip of the Bodyguard. Despite its being a very light gun, it didn’t bother us in recoil at all.

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