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Old 06-08-2013, 04:27 PM
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Default Early Chief Special "Baby Chief" Box Questions

I am looking for some info(and hopefully pictures) on Early 1950's Baby Chief boxes and accessories.In the standard catalog of S&W vol.3 it says early baby chiefs where shipped in red "picture boxes" similar to the boxes the K-22 Masterpice was shipped in.Do these boxes actually exist? I have never seen a Chiefs Special picture box.And does anyone know exactly came with the gun? Ie paperwork,cleaning kit,tools,etc? Pictures would be great!
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:25 PM
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They don't have a picture on them. But they are red. here are a couple of mine. 1 for a Baby Chief and One for a Baby Chief with the Aluminum cylinder.
I thought I had a pic of the standard early Baby but I don't It looks just like the one in pic without the word Aluminum.

The gun on the aluminum box is not the correct one for the box.

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Old 06-08-2013, 05:29 PM
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:41 PM
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Sweet,Thanks guys.So it appears the S&W book is wrong about the picture boxes.Are the serial numbers on the bottom of the box in grease pencil? And does anyone know what cleaning tools and paperwork came with the baby chief's?
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:06 PM
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Does anyone make reproductions of these old boxes? I saw an original one sell on ebay recently for over $200
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:21 PM
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I have never seen a Reproduction of the red boxes, or any S&W boxes for that matter, (Not saying it hasn't been done) unlike some Fake Colt boxes that you see for sale on the auction sites, these originals are hard to find and command a good dollar.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:25 PM
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The last early red chief's special box sold for $255 and it was a little tattered.It was just the box with no papers or tools.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:36 PM
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I paid well over $100 for the one not shown. The one with the Aluminum on the box is rare as it was supposedly for the few S&W made with Aluminum cylinders. there was an Air Force Contract for them as prototypes but that box would not have been for military. Any way that box cost me North of $300. I still don't have any early literature either. I expect when I find it I will pay dearly. You are getting into a pretty pricey little niche. The gun is probably the least expensive of the deal.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:44 PM
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If you know where to get a baby chief for less than $300 let me know!
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:00 PM
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That's exactly what I paid for my 1st one 18 months ago..$300. Gun show and the seller had no idea what he had. I have 3 with the small trigger guard and small grips but all 3 of mine have ramped and serrated front sights. What I wouldn't do for a 3 digit s/n with the half moon sight.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:50 PM
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Here is my box found online months back. I still remember finding the auction, without a thumbnail, clicked the title, and said to myself "please be a sunburst or red box" 3x and here it was a red box. The seller knew it was a 38 chief's special box, but did not know the vintage. He priced it as a 1970s chief special box, and luckily no one else found it.

It came with Helpful hints and some of the wax paper. Its not as nice as Dan Ms box, but worth what I paid






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Old 06-08-2013, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for the great pictures,I have a low 4 digit(17xx)baby chief with the round front sight.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Thanks for the great pictures,I have a low 4 digit(17xx)baby chief with the round front sight.
Wow thats a great one to have. Do you have a photo of it? I actually don't own a baby chief, so my red box is part of my S&W box collection.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:49 AM
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Does anyone know if Smith printed a red box "Aluminum" end label specifically for one of the scarce alloy-cylinder Airweights with a SQUARE butt? Of did Smith just overwrite the "Round Butt" with grease pencil to change it to reflect a "Square Butt?"
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:06 AM
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I have ab early K frame &P airweight pre model 12. It is a Sq but and most were round. They over stamped the Round butt with Square with just an ink stamp. I would assume they would do the same but i also don't think they had that many rules and grease pencil is also possible. The 1st time I lookd at t I missed the Square butt it was so light.

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:10 AM
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Here is an early M&P Airweight that they over stamped the Round Butt with Square. I'm not sure if they every hand wrote such unusual configs but anything is possible at SW.

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:52 AM
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mbliss57, thank you for your response. I am not sure how much relevance a later K-frame M&P box has to a red J-frame Airweight box, but I have some gold boxes where the end label was overwritten with grease pencil to change a finish notation. With the low production of alloy-cylinder, square butt J-frame Airweights, it would seem likely that a grease pencil notation would have been used on a round butt label, but I am wondering if anyone there in the center of the Smith & Wesson Universe has an original example - or a real printed square butt "Aluminum" end label. Anybody?
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:36 AM
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Hi
Here is a picture of a display we did a couple years ago with my Grandson.
These are all the changes from the start to end,with a couple of Rare guns
a Original Nickel half round front sight and a 3 inch with the original box.
The Square butt Nickel is the only one Known to exist, thanks to lee (HandEjector) for
letting me buy it.
Jim


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Old 06-09-2013, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeColt View Post
mbliss57, thank you for your response. I am not sure how much relevance a later K-frame M&P box has to a red J-frame Airweight box, but I have some gold boxes where the end label was overwritten with grease pencil to change a finish notation. With the low production of alloy-cylinder, square butt J-frame Airweights, it would seem likely that a grease pencil notation would have been used on a round butt label, but I am wondering if anyone there in the center of the Smith & Wesson Universe has an original example - or a real printed square butt "Aluminum" end label. Anybody?
The k frame box is 3 years newer than than the red boxes. I would think there method of relabeling wouldn't change in that short time span. The type of box is irrelevant.
But if anyone knows it would be Jim Fisher who just posted the display of every variation of the early chief specials.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg60 View Post
Hi
Here is a picture of a display we did a couple years ago with my Grandson.
These are all the changes from the start to end,with a couple of Rare guns
a Original Nickel half round front sight and a 3 inch with the original box.
The Square butt Nickel is the only one Known to exist, thanks to lee (HandEjector) for
let me buy it.
Jim

Jim

Jim an unbelievable display. Thanks for sharing! 1st place probably at any S&W show any year! Just breath taking.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:18 PM
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dug around my stash but could only find one with a 32 label, same inside sticker as pictured above.....



close,but no cigar........................but as OP wanted to know, there are NO pictures on the lid.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbliss57 View Post
I would think there method of relabeling wouldn't change in that short time span. The type of box is irrelevant.
You may be right, but the gold boxes I have that have the end labels altered with grease pencil are from the same Early- to Mid-Fifties era.


Mr. Fisher, what a great display of Chiefs Special revolvers! I can see how it garnered that First Place ribbon. What a wonderful thing to share with your grandson.

I gather the display does NOT include Airweights, correct? mbliss57 mentioned that you might have the answer to my question of whether a square butt alloy-cylinder Airweight Chiefs Special would have had a red box with a preprinted end label specifying the square butt configuration, or whether a round butt end label would have been modified, either by a rubber over-stamp, or by grease pencil notation. Do you?
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:24 AM
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Judge Colt
I have a original pre 12 that is all Alum. in the original box I will take a look at it and see how it was marked. it would be from the same time prtiod.
Jim
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:48 AM
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Hi
Here are two pictures of 4 boxes they are marked different ways.
I don't believe there is any one way that the boxes were over marked they used what every they had at the time.
two are rubber stamped, one is marked with grease pen, one has a label
I hope this helps.
The one with the label is marked Bodyguard it is hard to read in the picture.
Jim fisher




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Old 06-10-2013, 09:18 AM
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Thank you! I realize it is only speculation, but it appears that the "round" and "square" notations were likely to be a rubber stamp, whereas the grease pencil changes seem to be limited to barrel length and finish.

The doubt that remains in regard to that conclusion rests on the fact that those end labels with the rubber stamp noting "round" and "square" do not have a pre-printed butt configuration already on the end label. In the case of the early alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special "Aluminum" end labels, the "round" was pre-printed, so when the relatively scarce square butt alloy-cylinder guns came along, it seems unlikely that there was a pre-printed end label showing "square."

Whether and how an "Aluminum" end label with "round" pre-printed was altered to designate a square butt gun remains a puzzle until someone comes up with a square butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight original RED box. (I have a dark gray-black Chiefs Special Airweight Square Butt end label "Ray" box, but its serial number is in the 40,000 range as I recall without checking, whereas my square butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight is in the 29,000 range.)

I realize that there are only supposedly 900 (I think it is) square butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight guns, but here in the center of the Smith & Wesson Universe, surely there has to be at least ONE still in its original box. Is there?
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:33 PM
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Default Early Chief .38

I sent my last unfinished. My chief as a j frame with an I frame trigger guard and I frame grip which is about a half inch shorter. Low 400s sn. half moon front sight and flat cyl. release
Yes I have the RED box first production run in 1950
It has ivory grips with S&W logo. The backstrap has my uncle's name inlaid in 18 carat gold. I rarely leave home without it
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goring's S&W View Post
Here is my box found online months back. I still remember finding the auction, without a thumbnail, clicked the title, and said to myself "please be a sunburst or red box" 3x and here it was a red box. The seller knew it was a 38 chief's special box, but did not know the vintage. He priced it as a 1970s chief special box, and luckily no one else found it.

It came with Helpful hints and some of the wax paper. Its not as nice as Dan Ms box, but worth what I paid








At the risk of being too forward, if you ever want to sell that box, please keep me in mind.
The serial number is very close to my Baby Chiefs Special.

I remember you posting when you got this box, belated congratulations.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:43 PM
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Is that the Baby Chief that wants a new hammer, Malysh? I saw you were still WTB. Good luck with your search.


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Old 03-22-2014, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
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I sent my last unfinished. My chief as a j frame with an I frame trigger guard and I frame grip which is about a half inch shorter. Low 400s sn. half moon front sight and flat cyl. release
Yes I have the RED box first production run in 1950
It has ivory grips with S&W logo. The backstrap has my uncle's name inlaid in 18 carat gold. I rarely leave home without it
We would all LOVE to see that Gun!
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:52 PM
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Is that the Baby Chief that wants a new hammer, Malysh? I saw you were still WTB. Good luck with your search.


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Thanks for your good wishes! It's not going to be easy to find somebody who has one of those they want to sell. I really should take off the sideplate and make sure the lockwork has the early ball end mainspring strut if I do find an early hammer. If I don't check I might have to start hunting an early strut, too. I imagine they are just as hard to find as an early hammer.
The ball end strut and compatible hammer base inlet goes from the beginning of production and was retained even after 1954-55 when the later type hammer started to be used and continued until late 1961 - early 1962. That's when S&W changed to a Y shaped strut which engages a horizontal pin inside the base of the hammer. The base of the hammers which take the ball end strut don't have a cross pin in the hammer base inlet.

So when you look at the profile of a late Baby Chief with a late hammer you can't tell without popping the sideplate which style strut it has. The strut that sits atop the coil mainspring will take both the early and late struts and it's an easy installment, even for a dummy like me.

The odds are that the hammer on my Baby Chiefs (SN 38953) is a replacement rather than a very early example with the late hammer. I'd sooner have the early style hammer, but you can't have everything. It's a shooter and carry gun anyway.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:16 PM
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I only have two red boxes that I can find. The one on the left is 10750 and the one on the right that is in pretty rough shape is 20768. The right came with a serrated front ramp Chief Special that is also in rough shape but apparently spent many years tucked away in the holster shown. It was carried by the Chief of Police from Bogata, New Jersey whose badge was also included in the package.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:08 PM
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I only have two red boxes that I can find. The one on the left is 10750 and the one on the right that is in pretty rough shape is 20768. The left came with a serrated front ramp Chief Special that is also in rough shape but apparently spent many years tucked away in the holster shown. It was carried by the Chief of Police from Bogata, New Jersey whose badge was also included in the package.
I'd love to have a near mint Baby Chief, but I'm happy to see another member have a shooter grade one. Mine is, and I carry it sometimes.

I am sure I get more pleasure from my shooter/carry grade old S&W and Colt snubbys; but it's hard to escape the attraction of seeing or owning a 60-70 year old revolver in new condition!
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:29 PM
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The odds are that the hammer on my Baby Chiefs (SN 38953) is a replacement rather than a very early example with the late hammer. I'd sooner have the early style hammer, but you can't have everything. It's a shooter and carry gun anyway.

Original condition has its place. Also something to be said for a gun with a history of service, both rendered and received.



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  #34  
Old 03-23-2014, 03:00 PM
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Malysh Malysh is offline
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Originally Posted by Derry 1946 View Post
Original condition has its place. Also something to be said for a gun with a history of service, both rendered and received


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Well said.
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  #35  
Old 03-27-2014, 01:22 AM
JudgeColt JudgeColt is offline
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Default End label style for a SQUARE butt all-alloy Chiefs Special

Sometime above, I posed the question about the end label on a box for a SQUARE butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight. There was some speculation about whether there was a preprinted label denoting the square butt, a label altered with grease pencil or a label altered with a rubber stamp. No one knew for sure.

Well, the question is answered.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1395895750

(I wanted to post the pictures one at a time and comment after each picture, but apparently do not know how to do that. Sorry. I cannot move them out of the group, so please try to follow along anyway.)

The first picture shows the rubber stamp alteration of the standarad "aluminum" end label to indicate a square butt version. That means the box originally held a square butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight, right?

Well, then please explain why a square butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight WILL NOT FIT! See the second picture. The gun it too big to fit into the box!

While it is irrelevant to the issue, the third picture shows a round butt alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight fitting nicely in the box.

Now look at the fourth picture. IF I cock the hammer on the square butt gun, it can be forced into the box with a slight bulge in the box at the barrel end. The lid will go onto the box bottom with the slight bulge. Would Smith & Wesson have shipped a square butt gun with its hammer cocked? Probably not, but, if not, then what is the explanation for the end label on a box that will not hold the gun the end label identifies?

The fifth picture shows the round butt version sitting on top of the square butt version. Note how much bigger the square butt is compared to the round butt. The extra butt length is clearly the problem.

Maybe all of this is just the Gun God's way of telling a Colt guy not to mess with Smith & Wesson alloy-cylinder Chiefs Special Airweight revolvers, but is there another explanation? How come the gun identified on the end label will not fit in the box, unless it is cocked and forced in?

You Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special collectors, PLEASE offer your explanation. IF there is one!
Attached Thumbnails
Early Chief Special "Baby Chief" Box Questions-2013-11-06-camera-dump-s-w-sb-aw-box-issues-11-6-13-001-jpg   Early Chief Special "Baby Chief" Box Questions-2013-11-06-camera-dump-s-w-sb-aw-box-issues-11-6-13-002-jpg   Early Chief Special "Baby Chief" Box Questions-2013-11-06-camera-dump-s-w-sb-aw-box-issues-11-6-13-003-jpg   Early Chief Special "Baby Chief" Box Questions-2013-11-06-camera-dump-s-w-sb-aw-box-issues-11-6-13-004-jpg   Early Chief Special "Baby Chief" Box Questions-2013-11-06-camera-dump-s-w-sb-aw-box-issues-11-6-13-005-jpg  


Last edited by JudgeColt; 03-27-2014 at 01:27 AM.
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  #36  
Old 03-20-2018, 12:43 PM
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Etalksalot Etalksalot is offline
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I have never seen one of these boxes before! Learned something new today.
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