Smith and Wesson Model 36 Review

May 23, 2023
David Sunnyside

sw model 36 review

The Smith and Wesson Model 36 is a small revolver chambered for the.38 Special cartridge and was first introduced in 1950 as the “Chief’s Special.” It became the Model 36 when Smith and Wesson adopted a model number only system seven years later. The Model 36 is the first J-frame in the S&W line of revolvers, and its five shot cylinder holds just enough ammunition to make it a useful self defense handgun.

The Model 36 is a popular choice among law enforcement detectives and private eye types who want a light, compact, and powerful backup for carrying in the waistband of their pants or strapped to an ankle in a holster. It has also been a popular choice for off duty police officers and plainclothes officers who wish to carry a smaller, lighter sidearm than their main issue duty gun.

There have been numerous variants of the Model 36 over the years. For example, in 1951, the Airweight Model 37 was introduced, which used an aluminum frame and cylinder that proved to be problematic and the cylinder was eventually replaced with a steel one. The LadySmith variant of the 36 was also produced, which included a 2 or 3 inch barrel and a special grip that is designed for women.

There is also a blank firing only replica of the Model 36, which has a full metal body with plastic S&W combat grips and can be fired in single or double action. It is available from a few different manufacturers and can be purchased legally for use in U.S. states that allow it.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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