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Old 07-10-2018, 04:14 PM
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Default Pawn shop find!

Trying to figure out the year and model
Has 1661 under the yoke.
SN 38317
Says 38 S&W.SPL. on the barrel
Click the links for pics
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Last edited by jln370; 07-10-2018 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:34 PM
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Early .38 Chief's Special.
I have the same model, serial# 33618, which shipped in June, 1953.
S&W didn't ship guns in serial number order, but yours probably shipped sometime close to that.
Nice looking gun, except for the number engraved on the right side.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:34 PM
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AH! the old Police electro pencil ID from the 70s. Seen lots of them. Nice carry gun for a hip pocket. Dont fret about that. You are in to right?
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:37 PM
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Great little hip pocket gun. Seen lots of them from the 70s. Dont fret on it, you got a good price?
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:11 PM
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Great little hip pocket gun. Seen lots of them from the 70s. Dont fret on it, you got a good price?
Yeah I got a good deal on it because of the SSN engraved on the cover plate
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JayCeeNC View Post
Early .38 Chief's Special.
I have the same model, serial# 33618, which shipped in June, 1953.
S&W didn't ship guns in serial number order, but yours probably shipped sometime close to that.
Nice looking gun, except for the number engraved on the right side.
Is it a model 36?
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jln370 View Post
Is it a model 36?
S&W was not using model numbers that early. It was factory designated as a "Chief Special." They were extremely popular and probably didn't spend much time in stock, so yours probably shipped near its date of manufacture. Only a factory letter can tell you for sure, but that will depend on how much you "need" to know. It does appear to be in the range of the early Chief Specials and too late to be a "Baby Chief."

Froggie
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jln370 View Post
Yeah I got a good deal on it because of the SSN engraved on the cover plate
Back in the 1970's we advised the public to engrave their SSN on valuable possessions as a means of identifying them if stolen; the police department even had several electric pencils to loan out for that purpose.

Guess what? We started recovering property engraved with SSN's, and the Social Security Administration refused to provide the cops with owners' identities!

Another wasted idea.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:35 PM
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Back in the 1970's we advised the public to engrave their SSN on valuable possessions as a means of identifying them if stolen; the police department even had several electric pencils to loan out for that purpose.

Guess what? We started recovering property engraved with SSN's, and the Social Security Administration refused to provide the cops with owners' identities!

Another wasted idea.
Yeah, I wish he would have engraved it on the inside of the cover plate, but then again, I probably never would have got it, let alone for the price I did. lol
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
S&W was not using model numbers that early. It was factory designated as a "Chief Special." They were extremely popular and probably didn't spend much time in stock, so yours probably shipped near its date of manufacture. Only a factory letter can tell you for sure, but that will depend on how much you "need" to know. It does appear to be in the range of the early Chief Specials and too late to be a "Baby Chief."

Froggie
Thanks!
It's really small, smaller than I thought they were by looking in pictures. Smaller than my Glock 43
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:23 PM
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Thanks!
It's really small, smaller than I thought they were by looking in pictures. Smaller than my Glock 43
Yeah, but once you get used to it, that little gun just "feels right." A few hundred rounds or so and you will be surprised how it just fits your hand so well that it feels like it grew there.

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Old 07-10-2018, 07:25 PM
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PD Evidence Custodian who is NOT a "Gun Guy". I always attempted to teach the serial number is all that is needed for ID.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:15 PM
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jln370, S&W did not start using model numbers until @1957.
Your earlier gun was known as the Chiefs Special; after 1957 it was called the Model 36.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:57 PM
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Well, with the exception of the SSN on the sideplate, nice looking Chief's Special. Probably shipped around Nov/Dec 1953.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
S&W was not using model numbers that early. It was factory designated as a "Chief Special." They were extremely popular and probably didn't spend much time in stock, so yours probably shipped near its date of manufacture. Only a factory letter can tell you for sure, but that will depend on how much you "need" to know. It does appear to be in the range of the early Chief Specials and too late to be a "Baby Chief."

Froggie
Not too late, it is a baby chief. Check the trigger guard.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:39 AM
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Not too late, it is a baby chief. Check the trigger guard.
Mea culpa. From the angle of the shot, the trigger guard seemed more elongated to me. It IS right on the cusp of production of the "Big" Chief Specials. A good find, regardless.

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Old 07-11-2018, 10:05 AM
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Welcome aboard from Wyoming.

Nice looking Baby Chiefs Special. I'd put it somewhere in early 1954 for a ship date. I show several others about 100 sns lower than yours that shipped in February that year.

Baby Chiefs continued to be made for about 7,000 sns beyond yours. My Baby Chiefs 42829 shipped in May '54, and my Model of 1953 Chiefs Special 47475 (larger oval trigger guard and longer grip handle) shipped in August that year.

Yours appears to have what I consider to be the third style flat latch (all three having been used on Baby Chiefs). The Model of 1953 Chiefs had a different flat latch. Yours is the earliest I've seen with that flat latch. Previously my 40171, shipped January '54, had been the earliest one I'd seen.

Does the sn on the inside of the right grip match the number on the butt, back of the cylinder and bottom of the barrel (with the cylinder open)?

The 1661 number under the yoke on the frame is an assembly number. The same number should also appear on the yoke and the back (inside) of the side plate.
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Last edited by two-bit cowboy; 07-11-2018 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:02 PM
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Information About SSN 357-22-6527
According to our records, the prefix 357 is a valid prefix from the state/territory of Illinois. Social security numbers have been issued with the middle two digits 22. 357-22-6527 was issued in Illinois between 1936 and 1950. Cardholder's estimated age is between 95 and 101.
357-22-6527 is Valid

Last edited by Arizona Commander; 07-12-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:58 AM
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Kudos to the OP for the pictures.
Pull out dash ashtray. Different.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:07 PM
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Nice baby chief. You'll have a ball.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:45 PM
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OMG...

Tragic.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:31 PM
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In about 1970-71 it was highly encouraged to engrave your SS number or later your drivers license number on your guns and valuables. My dad engraved his Texas drivers license on the outside of the trigger guard of every gun he had...later I saw the absurdity of this thinking as there already is a well stamped serial number on most guns.. now my dad has passed on and I have half his guns, my brother has the other half, the State of Texas has reissued my late dads DL number. So now I wonder if they are ever stolen...and some officer checks the drivers license number instead of the serial number...it is certain that some guy in south texas might hit the jackpot...providing he has no conscious.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
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Kudos to the OP for the pictures.
Pull out dash ashtray. Different.
Didn't really think about it, I just walked out of the pawn shop and started snapping pictures, lol. Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
S&W was not using model numbers that early. It was factory designated as a "Chief Special." They were extremely popular and probably didn't spend much time in stock, so yours probably shipped near its date of manufacture. Only a factory letter can tell you for sure, but that will depend on how much you "need" to know. It does appear to be in the range of the early Chief Specials and too late to be a "Baby Chief."

Froggie
It's actually a "Chiefs Special".
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