38 spl info


August 27, 2007, 10:42 PM
i have recived this 38 spl from my father in law he was a fireman in cailf. its a model 15-3 s#3K78725. i was just wanting to fire it and didn't want to reducr it value. as for the machaincs it seem tight and smooth. any info would be of great help. thanks

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August 28, 2007, 12:25 AM
Older guns are expected to have been fired. As such, you firing it isn't going to reduce it's "Value" at all. But while on the subject of "Value", there's only 2 types of "Value". Monetary and personal/sentimental. For something to have monetary value, you must be willing to sell it. Are you willing to sell it? If not, then it has absolutely no monetary value at all. The value is strictly personal/sentimental. As such, you should take the gun out and shoot it. Enjoy the gun for what it was intended to do. Enjoy the fact that your father-in-law gave you a gun that he once used. Enjoy the history behind it. That enjoyment can not even be compared to that of pulling a gun out of a cabinet once in a while and just looking at it and cleaning it. That's not what that gun was made for.

Obviously there are 2 types of guns that I wouldn't shoot. One would be a collector type gun that is definitely going up in financial value. I wouldn't fire it because I want the value to go up. I would have every intention of some day selling it. The other type might be a true antique. Something more than 100 years old that besides being valuable in history could also be too fragile to take a chance on shooting it.

The gun was meant to be shot. If it's a safe gun and doesn't possess any historical value and you weren't going to donate it to a museum, then enjoy shooting it. Later... Mike....

August 28, 2007, 12:31 AM
The model 15-3 was introduced in 1967 and ran until 1976. The Standard Catalog of S&W 3rd Edition has that gun listed for $450 ANIB, $400 Exc, $300 VG, $235 Good, $135 Fair and $85 Poor. In 1968 there were 5,000 Model 15-3's made for the USAF. If you have one of them it's worth more and can be sold for ~$750 in Exc. condition. The Model 15 is also known as The K-38 Combat Masterpiece.

You have a very nice S&W revolver there. For the most part it's not a very rare revolver and revolver were made to be fired. Unless it's new in the box I would fire the gun and enjoy owning a fine revolver that was made back when craftsmanship was important.

Welcome to the forum...

August 28, 2007, 12:57 AM
You have a real gem there but it is made to be shot. I had a 15-4 that was the best shooting gun I have ever had. I traded it to my father-in-law and he carries it daily because he is a much better shot with it. Go out and shoot the darn thing it will give you :D

Brian Williams
August 28, 2007, 09:54 AM
Get some regular loads for 38 spec and have fun. The 15's tend to like 158 gr bullets.

August 28, 2007, 11:52 AM
Go shooting! Good gun for plinking, light hunting, and self defense. Doesn't get any better than this! Older Smiths rock.

August 28, 2007, 12:30 PM
20yrmarine - Model 15-3, SN3K78725 was manufactured in 1972. (SCSW 3rd)

Ala Dan
August 28, 2007, 02:27 PM
One of the finest shooting .38 Special revolvers ever made- Enjoy~! ;):D

August 28, 2007, 08:28 PM
thanks for the info . the father in law keep the 38 looking like new and didn't want to lessen it value. i myself like the wheel guns more so than the semi autos. shot the 45's in marine corps then the 9mm still would go with the revolvers. have two revolvers this 38 smith and a colt 357 peacekeeper have pacmire grips on the colt. anyway again thanks for the input

tasco 74
August 28, 2007, 09:31 PM
like the other have said go ahead and shoot it an enjoy it. as long as you shoot regular .38 spl loads in it and take care of it you really can't hurt it. my wife has her dads .38 colt det spl he carried 36 years ago when was a cop here in town an she shoots ammo i load for it once in awhile. i load 150 gr swcs over 3.0 grs of bullseye for her to use. she gets a kick out of shooting knowing that it was her dads gun. she has shot it lots more than he ever did. a marine should know how to take good care of his weapon;).

August 28, 2007, 11:28 PM
My late father carried a Model 15-3 in the USAF and bought one when he went to work for Topeka PD afterward. They're great handguns and will usually shoot better than you can.

Elm Creek Smith
August 31, 2007, 12:59 AM

My nephew lives in Osage City!


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