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Old 02-04-2013, 10:23 PM
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Default Chiefs Special question

Hello
I was just doing a little reading in the SCSW (3d Edition). On page 207, discussing the .38 Chiefs Special, it says 2" pinned barrel with round butt or 3" pinned barrel with a square butt. The same language appears on page 150, discussing the pre-model 36.
Well, this can't be right, can it? I know from owning them and from many I've seen that 2" square butt guns are abundant both from before and after 1957. Is this just another mistake in the Standard Catalog? I don't recall seeing it in the list that was posted here a while back, but it was a long list and maybe I just missed it.
Will someone please set me straight on this?
Also, does anyone (Hondo?) have a relative count on round vs. square butts on 2" Chiefs? Is one particularly more common than the other?
Thanks.
Jack
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:47 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Hi Jack,
Good questions.

The SCSW, particularly for the small frame models is not consistant with itself regarding the use of the Pre-Model term. ‘Pre-Model’ as a description of all post war pre #d I & J frames (except 22/32s) in the SCSW 3rd edition, although consistent as described on pg 423 in the index is in conflict with N frame categorization on pg 153 and with the 22/32 I frames. It would seem that 'Pre-Model' should mean the same thing regardless of frame size. For example: a Baby Chief is not a pre model 36, it's a pre model 1953 Model.

And this in turn leads to attempt descriptions for way too long of a production period all in the same paragraph. By using the same text in many cases, across model lines and/or in both the pre model section and the model #'d section the variations thereofre get muddled together. It can kinda' be sorted out by looking at the -# changes but it's laborious. I was confused by your reference but got it now. The sq or rd butt availability had nothing to do with barrel length, so the book is not correct. I believe that was an editing issue where text was re-used from the .32 HE/RP and .38 S&W Terrier/Reg Pol sections where butt shape and barrel length were specific.

But to your question, in actuality I agree with you, the Chiefs with sq butt were introduced before the 1953 Model, albeit scarce maybe even rare. And subsequent to that they have never been as popular as the round butt since the model was designed primarily as an undercover model.

I'll admit up front, I don't know of any actual numbers. Before 1957 the sq butt was not common but not scarce and then picked up somewhat, however based on my observations over many years my sense is that rd butts out number the sq by ten to one after '57.

Probably someone wiser than I has more qualitative knowledge.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 02-05-2013 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:21 PM
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Perhaps should have read:
2" or 3" barrel lengths observed in both RB and SB configurations.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
Perhaps should have read:
2" or 3" barrel lengths observed in both RB and SB configurations.
Yes. That would have been both more clear and more accurate.
Thanks.
Jack
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