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So every now and again you have to go back to your childhood days (OK....you can't say these kind of things until you've at least hit the 1/2 century mark) and fulfill one of those "I wonder what it would be like.....". I grew up with Dick Tracy in the Sunday paper (there wasn't a daily that far out in the country) and a detective show or two that aired weekly on one or the other of the two TV channels we got on the old black and white Philco TV set. One of the good guys always had a snub nosed revolver. I always wondered what it would be like to have one of those little snubbies.
In 1950, Smith & Wesson introduced their 5-shot "J" frame Chief's Special in
.38 Special. It is still available today in a variety of different
offerings including a scandium alloy frame with a titanium cylinder. (yes, S&W
thinks highly of that particular model)
The Airweight is chambered in .38 Special and rated for +P
loads. It holds 5 rounds and weighs in at 15 ounces without the five
cartridges. It comes with rubber grips and fixed sights, front and rear.
The 1 7/8" length barrel is stainless steel, as is the cylinder, while the small
Chief's Special style frame is made from an aluminum alloy. It sports a
matte finish and measures in at 6 3/8" long.
I haven't gotten the screens for my range timer/chronograph yet so I can't tell you how the 2" barrel affects .38 Special velocities....but it will be a compromise, that is a given.
My Model 637 was delivered with grips not from Smith and Wesson but rather
from Uncle Mike's. They are part number 59010. While I appreciate a
nice looking set of wood grips, I'm not complaining about the synthetic
For carry rounds, I'm looking at using Hornady 125 gr.HP/XTP +P rounds.
These yield about 220 fps more out of a 4" barrel than does the non +p loading.
I'm hoping that I'll get near standard .38 Special velocities from my 2" barrel
(or hopefully a bit better). I'll know for sure when I get around to
getting some sky screens for the chronograph.
So how small is the snubbie? I consider my self to have
average sized hands. As you can see, I still have some hand left over, so
to speak. I wanted a carry gun for those times when couldn't adequately
conceal or did not wish to carry my XD45.
I had a chance to hit the range today and try the Model 637 on some targets. You can see the results here and also any follow-up ammunition comments that comes along.