Have you heard of J-frame, Chief’s Special, or the Model 36? All those refer to the classic S&W Model 36 Chief’s Special revolver.
Sometimes picking a winner is easy. Like now. Even though our third-place Taurus Model 85 and our second-place Colt Cobra were both worthy challengers, the classic Smith & Wesson Model 36 proved to be the best .38 Special of the bunch, easily capturing first prize in our inaugural TTAG revolver comparison. In fact, only on paper was it even close.
Even with the recent advent of ultra-compact handguns, the Smith & Wesson Model 36 remains an extremely popular pocket revolver. For years its only competition was the Colt Detective Special. Indeed, the slightly larger six-shot “Dick Special” was the impetus for S&W’s snubby.