This small revolver, designed primarily for plainclothesmen and off-duty police officers, made its public debut at The International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in 1950. At the conference, the Smith & Wesson sales force asked the police chiefs to vote on a name for the new revolver. The most commonly suggested name was .38 Chief's Special. Designed with the needs of law enforcement officials in mind, the Chief's Special proved to be a popular revolver for personal protection due to its size and weight. When Smith & Wesson adopted model numbers in 1957, the Chiefs Special became the Model 36.