Smith and Wesson Terrier Pocket Revolver 38S&W Pre Chief's Special
Guns International #: 101071430 Seller's Inventory #:
Category: Smith & Wesson Pistols - Antique - Smith & Wesson Revolvers
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Seller: Michael Lee
Company: Michael Lees
Member Since: 2/21/09
Country: United States
Phone: (727) 415-0811
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Seller: Private Seller
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This is an excellent example of an early pre-chief's special in 38 S&W caliber. SIH to your FFl will be $62.50
Smith & Wesson did not succumb to the fad for short-barreled revolvers until 1936, when the firm brought out what was termed the “S&W .38/32 2″,” later christened the “Terrier” which was simply the round butt Regulation Police Model with a two-inch barrel. It chambered the .38 S&W, its companion cartridge, the .38 Colt Police Positive and the .38 S&W Super Police with its blunt-nosed 200-grain bullet. Its weight of 17 ounces makes it an attractive pocket arm.
The Chiefs Special, which later came to be known as the Smith & Wesson Model 36 was not the first production .38 Special snubby; that honor goes to the Colt Detective Special in 1927. The Chiefs Special was the first 5-shot J-frame .38 Special revolver produced by Smith & Wesson. I would be willing to suggest that it is the most influential compact revolver design of the 20th Century. The Colt Detective Special is gone but not forgotten, as is the S&W Model 10 Military & Police snubnose, but the diminutive J-frame snubnose remains one of the most popular personal defense handguns in the world. In its essential notes, it is copied by Ruger, Taurus and Charter Arms. Whether or not we would declare it the archetypal snubby would come down a matter of personal taste, but the Chiefs Special is certainly the leading contender for that designation.
The Chiefs Special J-frame was developed from the very popular .38/32 (.38 S&W) Terrier I-frame revolver. The I-frame was a 5-shot hand ejector double action revolver. It was very popular because it was so small and light, but it was not strong enough to handle the more powerful .38 Special round. The demand was great for a snubby that was small like the Terrier but able to handle the .38 Special. Smith & Wesson lengthened the cylinder and frame of the I-frame, and beefed it up a bit. They dubbed it the J-frame. It was introduced at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in October 1950. In a stroke of marketing genius, S&W named the gun the Chiefs Special and thus it has remained ever since. In 1957, S&W went to a number system for designating guns. The Military & Police became the Model 10. The Chiefs Special became the Model 36. The Terrier became the Model 32, and so on. This is why you get the curious pre-Model # designations. Most of the guns that got a model number had a pre-model number name. A pre-Model 36 is a Chiefs Special made before 1957.
Manufacturer: Smith and Wesson
Model: Terrier 38/32
Serial Number: 77128
Caliber Info: 38 S&W
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Excellent