The J-frame is a type of small revolver manufactured by Smith & Wesson. All models of the J-frame are generally intended for personal defense and to be easy to carry and conceal.
The first J-frame ever manufactured was the five-shot Model 36, also known as the Chiefs Special, in 1950. The J-frame revolver has since been manufactured in models that take .22 LR, .22 Magnum, .38 S&W Special, .327 Federal Magnum and .357 Magnum ammunition; the revolvers that use smaller calibers generally hold more ammunition. Three hammer designs are also available: shrouded, the exposed Chiefs Special and the fully enclosed Centennial.