I wandered to the range today and I was happy to see many former students there shooting! One former CCH student was there with her retired LEO husband. They were very proud to show off the new Bersa and her M&P. Yeah!
So the husband gives me this and tells that this was his backup/off duty gun back in the day.
He reports that it is not firing all the time, light primer strikes.
This is a Smith and Wesson Model 36-1: The Chiefs Special. Chambered for .38 Special with a 3" barrel. This one was made in 1981.
Working the action revealed that #1 it sounded like a gravel truck and #2 the reset was "crap". So off with the side plate and discover nothing is readily observed to be amiss except for a large amount of sludge laying about. I take the thing apart and clean and lube. The hammer block appears to have been the problem. She is sounding and feeling much better now and I will test tomorrow!
The 36 has a storied history. Serial # 337 went to J. Edgar Hoover engraved with his name. Serial # 38185 was attributed to actor Jack Webb with a nickel cylinder and rosewood grips on 6/4/1954. It sold at auction in 2000 for 6K!
Here she is ready for testing tomorrow:
I am old school and would prefer the checkered wood grips, but ok! I will let you know how it goes!