About the Handgun:
The Model 36 (38 Chiefs Special) was produced from 1950 to 1999. This was the first snub-nosed gun to re-appear after 1945, built on a small 'J'-frame with a barrel of 2 or 3 inches and a rounded butt. A square butt option was introduced in 1952. Blued or nickel finish and checkered walnut grips were standard. Smith & Wesson re-introduced this revolver as part of their 'Classics' series in 2008.
About the Manufacturer:
This company began in 1852 when Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson entered a gunmaking partnership in Norwich Connecticut. In 1857 they produced the first metallic cartridge breech-loading revolver. Their first double-action revolver was produced in 1880. In 1964 the company passed from Wesson family control, and subsequently several conglomerates took control of it. From 1987 to 2001 Tomkins PLC, a British company, owned Smith & Wesson. In March 2000 Smith & Wesson signed an agreement with the Clinton Administration in order to avoid lawsuits. This agreement was not at all liked by the gun owning public and boycotts and floods of used S&W firearms in the market nearly ruined the company. On May 11, 2001, Saf-T-Hammer Corporation acquired Smith & Wesson Corp. from Tomkins PLC for a fraction of what Tomkins originally paid. The new company, Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation, publicly renounced the Clinton agreement which was received positively by the firearms community.
About the Cartridge:
Developed by Smith & Wesson and introduced along with its Military & Police Model revolver in 1902, this was originally a military cartridge intended to replace the unsatisfactory .38 Long Colt then in use by the Army. Colt brought out its own version of the .38 Special in 1909, which differs from the original only in bullet shape, being a flat-point style. The .38 Special is considered one of the best-balanced, all-round handgun cartridges ever designed. It is also one of the most accurate and very widely used for match shooting.