The Smith and Wesson .38 Chiefs Special (Model 60) is a five shot revolver that has been in production since 1965 and has the distinction of being the first regular production all stainless steel revolver ever made. The 1965 model's stainless steel finish proved so popular that there was a waiting list at local gun shops for up to six months to purchase one.
In March 2000 Smith & Wesson was the only major gun manufacturer to sign an agreement with the Clinton Administration. The company agreed to numerous safety and design standards as well as limits on the sale and distribution of its products. Gun clubs and gun rights groups responded to this agreement by initiating large-scale boycotts of Smith & Wesson by refusing to buy their new products and flooding the firearms market with used S&W guns. After a 40% sales slide, the sales impact from the boycotts led Smith & Wesson to suspend manufacturing at two plants.
The success of the boycott led to a Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation being initiated under the Clinton administration, targeting gun dealers and gun rights groups, which was subsequently dropped in 2003. This agreement signed by Tomkins PLC ended with the sale of Smith & Wesson to the Saf-T-Hammer Corporation. The new company (Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation), which publicly renounced the agreement, was received positively by the firearms community. However, Smith & Wesson continues to sell guns with internal locks.