Never pass up a decently priced Smith: The Mdl 36 .38 Snubbie
So.. there I was... A dragon to my left, and....... Okay, it was nothing that dramatic. The simple fact is I was looking at some silver bullion as an investment in wealth retention, when I recalled my own advice to others: Silver is nice, but guns can be a better investment. I also recalled seeing this Smith & Wesson Mdl 36 in my favorite dealers cabinet the other day. It was used, far from pristine, but in decent shape and priced right to move.
The Model 36 originated in the S&W stable as the 'Chief's Special', and became the model 36 in 1957 when S&W switched to numerical model designations. This pistol is an original 'Straight 36', having no dash in the model number stamped inside the frame under the cylinder crane.
S&W pistols are highly collectable, given the right model and condition. While certain versions of the Mdl 36 may be collectable, the pistol has been in relatively constant production in one form or another since 1950.... which is another way of saying there are a few out there.
Given the condition of this pistol, with holster wear at muzzle and cylinder, and signs of old rust pitting near the crane pivot, it doesn't rise to a collectable level. That said.... ANY S&W pistol is desirable just as a shooting iron, and this excellent quality old snubby has a lot going for it.
I'll say it again... never pass up a S&W pistol for sale at a good price. In this case, 'good' means under three bills. At that price level, it's an investment rather than a collectable. The moment The Fat Man walked out of the store with this, it was worth more than was paid.
Despite this pistols age, it's still an excellent performer. As a concealed carry pistol, these early snubbies wrote the book on the subject. Back in the day, these WERE the concealed carry pistol of choice. While most pocket auto's of the day were in rather anemic calibers and sometimes iffy in function, the tried and true Smith Snubby came in the same .38 special as most officers carried in their full sized sidearm. On top of that, the S&W revolver line defined 'reliable', a reputation well earned and still valid today. So.... in the safe goes another small storehouse of wealth. Except, unlike silver, this one can be used any day for another valuable service.... defending hearth and home. Again, unlike silver, this little S&W is well recognized and utterly tradable in times of need. That means it can serve as payment directly, without going through a dealer-middleman who might suck up all the investment profit for himself. Guns, especially high quality carry pistols like this, are valuable in ways that gold or silver never can be.