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To the best of my ability I have a Smith & Wesson - Model 36-1 (from what is stamped under the yoke) - Chiefs Special revolver with a 3" barrel. "38 S&W SPECIAL CTG" is stamped on the right side of the barrel. The sights are fixed, and the front has a bright yellow plastic insert. It is a 5-shot cylinder, blued finish, and it is in very good condition. The only sign of wear is on the left side of the very front of the barrel.

Kind of interesting bit of history behind this pistol - It used to belong to a local police chief where I grew up. He was drawing this gun one day at the firing range & it went off directly into his lower, right leg. He ended up getting the lower leg amputated & sold the gun very soon after that. My father got a call from the local gun dealer that this gun was up for sale & he immediately picked it up. He gave it to my Mother for Mother's Day quite a few years ago, and my mom just found it a few months ago while cleaning out her closet & asked me if I wanted it.

Are any other numbers useful to help identify this, or is this enough? I'm looking for the exact model number/name of this pistol & it's approximate value.

Thanks all!
-Matt[/img]
 

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First, the model number yuou already have, the Model 36-1, named the Chief Special.
It is a J-Frame, that is a small frame, 5 shot .38 Special caliber revolver, usually with a slightly less than 2" barrel-the 3" models ar not as common.
Look on the bottom of the handle or grip area and stamped on the frame you will find the serial number, possibly including a letter.Post this number and someone will be able to tell you the year of manufacture. That's about all the information there is on the gun. There will be another short series of numbers elsewhere on the frame, probably under the grip panels. This is an assembly number, and means nothing as far as identification.
The yellow insert in the front sight is not a factory feature, was probably added by a gunsmith. ( some people paint the front sight th enhance visibility.)
As far as the revolver "going off" when the previous owner drew it from his holster, that is impossible unless he had also pulled the trigger at the same time. Guns, especially DA revolvers, don't "go off" in real life, as they often do in fiction and on TV. S&W revolvers since the 1890's are very safe-just don't pull the trigger unless you want to shoot it, and it is as inert as a hammer.

The condition of the gun is very important to even estimate a price. Where I live, (eastern Pennsylvania) I recently saw a nickel plated 3" Chief Special sell for about $275.

You would be better off keeping it and learning to shoot it. They are very good quality revolvers, and many people carry them and use them for home defense.

mark
 
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