Since its first introduction in 1950 the ubiquitous J-frame has been produced in a staggering variety of variations and models. An entire book could (and probably should) be devoted solely to the subject. Despite the fact that the J-frame’s diminutive size makes it a less than a perfect fit for an adult sized man’s hand, it remains a great choice any time concealment is at a premium. Boiled down to its essentials the J-frames can be divided into three style groups: the classic exposed hammer J-frames (Chief Special models), the hammer shrouded J-frames (Bodyguard models) and the fully encased hammer J-frames (Centennial models.) These three model types can be further sub divided according to the materials used in the frame and/or cylinder. (See below.) Disregarding for a moment the sub-varieties by frame material, the three basic J-frame types – Chief Special, Bodyguard and Centennial – possess several distinct elements worth noting.