Smith And Wesson Model 36 Serial Numbers

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Jan 21, 2017  model 36 revolver sn 484841, s&w 36 serial 4j9634, s&w model 36 serial number lookup, s&w model 36 serial number year of manufacture, s&w model 36 serial numbers, s&w model 36 serial numbers date, smith and wesson model 36 serial numbers, smith and wesson serial numbers dates, smith mdl 36 serial range, smith wesson serial number database for. The Smith & Wesson Model 36 (also known as the Chief's Special) is a revolver chambered for.38 Special. It is one of several models of J-frame revolvers. It is one of several models of J-frame revolvers. While we are talking about Chiefs Specials, how likely is it that one with a serial number around 571900 would have been shipped in a box that does not have the Bangor Punta label? One end has the old style lettering in four lines: Smith & Wesson -.38 Chiefs Special - Blue Finish Model 36 - Round Butt 2-inch Barrel. Smith & Wesson serial numbers, model numbers and dash numbers can get a bit convoluted. The Model 36 (no dash) was made from 1957 until 1988, but the 36-1 was started in 1967 on the 3' Heavy Barrel only. Couldn't find a Model 36 SN that is like yours. 1950-1969 shows 5-6 digit numbers with no letters and 1969-1983 all SN's start with J. Does show that the 36-1 started in 1967. There is a some interesting information listed about the early production models in the 'Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson 3th Edition.

Smith & Wesson Model 36
Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver, which was issued to women in the New South Wales Police Force
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1950–present
Used byUsers
Production history
ManufacturerSmith & Wesson
Unit cost$749.00
Mass19.5 oz.
Barrel length1.811'
Caliber.38 Special
ActionDouble Action/Single Action
Effective firing range25 yards (23 m)
Maximum firing range50 yards (46 m)
Feed system5-round cylinder
SightsFixed rear, front blade

The Smith & Wesson Model 36 (also known as the Chiefs Special) is a revolver chambered for .38 Special. It is one of several models of J-frame revolvers. It was introduced in 1950, and is still in production in the classic blued Model 36 and the stainless steel Model 637 'Airweight'.


The Model 36 was designed in the era just after World War II, when Smith & Wesson stopped producing war materials and resumed normal production. For the Model 36, they sought to design a revolver that could fire the more powerful (compared to the .38 Long Colt or the .38 S&W) .38 Special round in a small, concealable package. Since the older I-frame was not able to handle this load, a new frame was designed, which became the J-frame.

The new design was introduced at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention in 1950, and was favorably received. A vote was held to name the new revolver, and the name 'Chiefs Special' won.[1][2] A 3-inch (76 mm) barreled version design went into production immediately, due to high demand. It was available in either a blued or nickel-plated finish.[3] It was produced as the 'Chiefs Special' until 1957, when it then became the Model 36. The 'Chiefs Special' continued to be manufactured as a separate variant.

Smith And Wesson Model 36 Serial Number Date

In 1951, Smith & Wesson introduced the Airweight Model 37, which was basically the Model 36 design with an aluminum frame and cylinder. The aluminum cylinders proved to be problematic and were abandoned in favor of a steel cylinder.[3]

A page of the 1976 S&W catalog, detailing the Models 36, 37, 38, 48 and 49.

In 1989, Smith & Wesson introduced the LadySmith variant of the Model 36. This was available with 2 in (51 mm) or 3 in (76 mm) barrel and blued finish. This model also featured special grips designed specifically for women, and had 'LADYSMITH' engraved on the frame.[4]

Approximately 615 Model 36-6 Target variations were produced. This variant had a 3-inch full lug barrel with adjustable sights and a blued glass finish.

In 2002, Smith & Wesson reintroduced the Model 36 with gold features (hammer, thumbpiece, extractor, and trigger), calling it the 'Model 36 Gold'. The gold color was actually titanium nitride.

In 2005, Smith & Wesson produced the 'Texas Hold 'Em' variant. This was produced with a blued finish, imitation ivory grips, and 24k gold plate engraving.

A large number of Model 37 variants with a lanyard ring attached were made for Japan. Part of this contract was cancelled, resulting in a large number of these being sold to a wholesaler, who then re-sold them for civilian use. These entered the civilian market in 2001. In 2006, the Model 37 was dropped from Smith & Wesson's catalog.

Serial number 337 was shipped to J. Edgar Hoover and is engraved with his name.

In 1958, Spanish manufacturer Astra developed a high quality revolver line based on this weapon, under the name of Astra Cadix, Astra 250 and Astra NC6.

Design and features[edit]

Model 36-10 with nickel finish and Smith & Wesson ergonomic rosewood grips

Designed to be small and compact, the Model 36 is available with a 1.875 inch barrel.


Smith And Wesson

Like nearly all other 'J-frame' Smith & Wesson revolvers, it has a 5-round capacity in a swing-out cylinder, and features an exposed hammer. It features a nickel-plated or blued finish and either wood or rubber grips.

Smith And Wesson Model 36


  • Japan: Shipped 5,344 Model 37s in 2003 to the National Police Agency.[5] 5,519 revolvers shipped to the National Police Agency in 2005.[6]
  • Malaysia: From 1970 to early 2000, the Model 36 is standard sidearm for plainclothed detective in Royal Malaysian PoliceSpecial Branch or Criminal Investigation Division before Glock 17 adoptation. It also used by RELA Corps Medium/Lower Rank Officer (permanent or volunteer) as training or self-defence weapon before the adoption of the Glock 19/26 and HK USP 9mm and is still used until today.
  • Malta: It was standard issue for the Mobile Squad in the Malta Police Force until the arrival of the Glock 17 in 2007. They have since then been withdrawn from active carry, but they are still all being kept in the General Police Headquarters in Floriana.
  • Norway: Although never a standard service gun in Norway, it is kept in the Norwegian Police Service inventory as a pure self-defensive option, for off-duty officers who meet certain criteria.
  • South Korea: In 1974, it was used in the failed attempt to assassinate South Korean president Park Chung-hee, killing his wife Yuk Young-soo instead. Five years later, M36 Chief Special was, once again, used to assassinate Park.
  • United States: For many years, the Model 36 was the standard police detective and 'plainsclothes man' carry weapon for many police agencies including the NYPD. Many police officers still use it or one of its newer Smith & Wesson descendants as a 'back up' weapon to their primary duty pistol or as their 'off-duty' weapon. For several years in the mid-1970s, the Model 36 was issued to and carried as a duty weapon by administrative and command staff of the NC State Highway Patrol, but it was later replaced when all troopers were required to carry the then duty issue weapon, the S&W Model 66 .357, which was in turn later replaced with the last Smith revolver, the Model 686, before the agency transitioned to semi-automatics in the early 1990s.


S&w Model 36 Serial Numbers

  1. ^Ayoob, Massad. Greatest Handguns of the World (Krause Publications, Inc., 2010) p. 208
  2. ^Jinks, Roy G. History of Smith & Wesson (Beinfeld Publishing,1977), p. 225.
  3. ^ abArmed for Personal Defense by Jerry Ahern
  4. ^'Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson' By Jim Supica, Richard Nahas
  5. ^'Department of State Letter on May 18, 2003'(PDF). US Department of State. Archived from the original(PDF) on October 16, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  6. ^'US Department of State Letter on September 6, 2005'(PDF). US Department of State. Archived from the original(PDF) on October 16, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-09.

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