Much Loved GunsYou just have to love a well worn gun. A gun that has been used a lot, but not abused, and has seen countless days serving its owner in the day to day drudgery that is the life of a normal working gun. I Bought this little gem off of the web a few years ago. I had put in a bid on the gun at $1 over the minimum and forgot about it, never thinking I would win. Nearly a week later I'm surprised to get an email informing me that I was indeed the winner, no one else had even bid on it! I am sure because of the condition many potential buyers turned their noses up at this one, just too much wear. This fine old revolver wasn't "collectable" enough for them but it was fine for me, I'll take every serviceable old Smith & Wesson .38 I can get for $100!
This is an early production Chiefs Special made in 1953. It is all original and all matching numbers including the grips. The Chiefs Special went into production in 1950 so the model had only been out about 2 ½ years when this one came out of the factory in Springfield MA. This revolver is an early "5-Screw" gun and has the first type trigger guard but has the later ramp type front sight. Very early Chiefs Specials had a round "half moon" type front sight but weren't produced very long before they went to sights like on this example. Later on S&W would change to model numbers and this gun would become the world famous Model 36.
This gun had obviously been used a lot and that was probably the reason that I had absolutely no one bidding against me for it. The gun has considerable holster wear, especially on the cylinder, but the worst wear is on the grip of the gun. The finish is completely gone on the grip frame and both grips are well worn, the right side grip is nearly worn smooth. This gun had clearly spent many years, if not decades, being carried. It showed all the signs of a gun that had spent a lot of time on someone's belt.
This gun also came with a "gun story" absolutely free! Many old guns have stories that come with them, true or not typically they're worth what you pay for them. The story that came with this gun was that it had originally belonged to a NYPD Officer. The gun was used by him in over 30 years of service on the police department and when he retired he took the revolver that had long served him to retirement with him in Florida. Later his widow would sell the gun to a FL gun dealer and that's how it ended up on a national gun auction site and finally in my safe. I have nothing to prove (or disprove) the story, other than the gun was obviously carried quite a bit and has a lot of wear associated with those seen carried by the police, so the story is at least plausible. It's fun to speculate about where a gun might have been or who might have used it, but the only thing that can be said for certain is that this fine old Smith & Wesson served someone faithfully for a very long time.