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S&W Model 36 2 or 3 Inch Barrel

Introduced in 1950, the Smith & Wesson Model 36 is a five-shot revolver chambered in the .38 Special caliber, with a 2 inch or 3-inch barrel. When the Model 36 was first introduced, it was officially called the .38 Chief’s Special but was commonly referred to as the Chief’s Special. In 1957, S&W changed the name to the Model 36 revolver and began offering the Chief’s Special revolver as a separate model.

Smith and Wesson Model 36 Holster Options

Click this link or scroll down to see all the S&W Model 36 holster models we carry

The first series of Model 36 revolvers were offered with a 3-inch barrel, and a 2-inch barrel model was introduced later. The Model 36 is built on S&W’s J series frame and is part of S&W’s J frame revolver series. Currently, the Model 36 is only offered in a 2” barrel configuration.

Over the years, S&W has offered the Model 36 in several variants, including:

  • Ladysmith 36 – This series was marketed towards women and featured grips designed to fit the female hand. It was available in a 2” or 3” model.
  • Model 36-6 Target – This uncommon variant had a 3” barrel with adjustable sights.
  • Model 36 Airweight – This version was built on an aluminum frame and cylinder to reduce the weight. Unfortunately, this version had some issues with the cylinder and was discontinued in 1954.

The Model 36 comes with an exposed hammer and operates as a single action or double-action revolver.

Holsters for the S&W Model 36

Since the Model 36 was originally designed as a concealment revolver for plainclothes law enforcement offers, it’s an ideal option for concealed carry.

Our top-selling SW Model 36 holster models are inside the waistband (IWB), high riding belt holster models, and ankle holsters. The 36 was a popular backup weapon for police officers carried in an ankle holster for emergency use.


Here are some of the common questions that we see dealing with s w model 36 holster options:

Will a Ladysmith Model 36 fit a regular S&W model 36 holster?

The Ladysmith 36 is a variant of the Model 36 revolver, which will fit a holster made for the Model 36. However, since the Ladysmith was available in both 2” and 3” versions, you would need to order a holster made for the correct barrel length.

Will a SW Model 36 fit in an S&W J frame holster?

The Model 36 is part of the classic S&W J frame series of revolvers so it will fit a holster made for the S&W J frame.

Can you recommend a leather paddle holster for a SW 36 with a 3” barrel?

Our top-selling leather paddle holster is the MTR Custom paddle holster, and it’s available in a version to fit a 3” Model 36.

Can you recommend a S&W Model 36 pocket holster?

Our top selling pocket holster models for the 2” Model 36 are these:

Don Hume 001

MTR Custom 001 Front Pocket

Do you have any SW Model 36 ankle holsters for sale?

Since the 36 is offered in both a 2” and 3” version, that’s a bit of a two-part question. If you’re asking about a 3” S&W 36, then, unfortunately, we don’t have an ankle holster that will work. If you’re asking about a Model 36 with a 2” barrel, then this ankle holster is our best-seller:

Don Hume H760 Ankle Holster

Any of the gun holster models displayed below are available in a version to fit the S&W Model 36, although the barrel length availability may differ.