New to me S&W 15-3, I'm so weak...


February 21, 2009, 01:36 PM
Well, I saw this nice tight lil S&W 15-3 laying around at the gunshop for a few weeks. I couldn't resist it any longer. So I got it for $300. Did all of this series get orange ramp front sights? Trying to figure out the age now too. Might get some new grips for it, and box up the old ones. These are a bit worn. I'll try to get a few picture up this weekend.

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David E
February 21, 2009, 01:55 PM
I don't think any of them got the orange ramp from the factory.

In the 80's, tho, there were many kits available to the home gunsmith, so he could do his own.

If you think yours IS a factory job, sounds like that home gunsmith did it right !

Great price on a great gun, by the way.


February 21, 2009, 02:24 PM
Sweet little shooter, the Model-15. The orange ramp sight might be factory from the late 80s? Maybe... It should also have the Baughman ramp front sight and the blade should have a streamlined curve to it.

The Model-15 is by far my favorite Smith. In 4" it's well balanced and just plain pleases my eye.

February 21, 2009, 03:10 PM

Post your questions, and a photo, on the forum . . . in the appropriate area, and expect an expert reply within an hour or two . . . along with lots of replies and photos by other S&W collectors.

Also, post the serial number (leaving the last two or three digits as "xxx" and they'll tell you exactly when it was made!

That's where the "big dog" collectors of this make of handgun "hang.";)

Then, of course, post what you learned here so the fine viewers of this forum can know too! I love both forums.


Old Fuff
February 21, 2009, 08:07 PM
Some model 15's came with the full set of accessories - target stocks, hammer, trigger, white outlined rear sight blade, and orange insert in the front. Others had only the white outlined blade and orange insert. I have never examined one that had the factory orange insert at the front and not a white outlined rear, and when that combination shows up it's probably an aftermarket job. The standard stock revolver came with plain blued sights.

Posting the serial number (located on the butt and sometimes covered by oversized stocks) as described will get you an approximate date of manufacture.

February 21, 2009, 10:36 PM
I have never seen a 15 with a plastic insert in the front sight but I haven't seen them all so that doesn't mean much. I think the 15 (nee the Combat Masterpiece) is one of those classic revolvers that just seems right in all ways.

This one was shipped to a university campus police department. I finished up the polished stags and I think they turned out OK.

February 22, 2009, 10:57 AM
I finally got some pictures up. It does have the white outlined rear sights. I hadn't noticed earlier. ( ( (

February 22, 2009, 11:01 AM
Three Franklins for that gun?!!

You did good, real good.

February 22, 2009, 11:15 AM
There's a bit more holster wear than I think shows up in these pictures. But the bore looks minty. Gunshop said it was a trade in.
XavierBreath: Hey, you're the guy who's blog I found much of my information when I was researching this revolver before I bought it.
I know at least one guy is really mad at me. I was handed the 15-3 to check it out before I bought, and the owner had just got on the phone got a guy asking about used pistols. The owner told him that they had the one, and the guy said he'd come down from another city to see it. I bought it the second he put down the phone. It sat around for 2 weeks. I think .357s just tend to sell better and faster than plain jane .38 special.

February 22, 2009, 11:25 AM
It's not often that a person can buy a lifetime companion. You have a perfect right to be pleased and proud about this purchase.

February 22, 2009, 06:18 PM
Nice revolver! Looks like it would go good with an M-18 in .22LR. And a Model 10. And an M-19 in .357 Magnum. And why not a K-22 or 17 with 6" barrel while you're adding to the family... ;)

Actually, looks like you scored what I was on the lookout for at the W. Lebanon, NH gun show yesterday. I saw 4-5 15s, one 15-4 that looked minty for $450, and a bunch of -3s that were over $500. (I'm thinking the guy with the big case of S&W's is from the state south of me, where things like used guns cost more because of their laws and regulations.)

Congrats! Dress it up with some leather and nice wood stocks and go enjoy. Careful though, I think older S&W revolvers are addictive! :p

February 22, 2009, 08:31 PM

Very nice aquisition, sure to last you a very long time.


One very beautiful revolver; those polished stag grips look perfect on that gun.

Average Joe
February 23, 2009, 06:34 PM
I have a matched set of 15-3's . I will never part with them, great shooters.

February 23, 2009, 08:34 PM
you aren't weak, you are SMART!

February 23, 2009, 09:57 PM
Nice 15-3, that looks like a add on insert, the angles are different than any of my smith factory inserts I have. They did a nice job. I added the white rear outline to mine but need an insert for these old eyes.

February 23, 2009, 10:47 PM
I have a 2 inch Model 15 Satin Nickel with orange insert and standard black rear adjustable sight. If it isn't factory, it too was very well done. I bought it used two years ago. It is one of the best shooting revolvers I have ever shot. It won't be sold.

February 24, 2009, 09:27 AM
Here's mine - Model 15-3. Think I'll replace the Pachmayers, tho...

February 24, 2009, 09:58 AM
A snubbie like yours, Blues, needs service grips and a Tyler-T.

February 24, 2009, 02:21 PM
I just put a pair of Hogue Monogrips on the 15-3 and I must say the grip is much improved. With the old wooden grips to keep the revolver stable in my hand I had to put my finger on the trigger. The palm swell, and the finger grooves are doing a much better job of keeping it secure while my finger stays safely off the trigger.

February 25, 2009, 01:00 PM
Well as long as we are on the subject of 15-3, I bought a 15-3 with a 2" barrel at a gun show a few weeks ago. I can't for the life of me find a holster. I would like to get a decent leather OWB. Any body else having this problem ? Thanks Steve

February 25, 2009, 10:11 PM
^^ I would think anything that fits the M-19 or M-66 2" would fit just fine.

February 26, 2009, 05:19 AM
nice wheel gun!

February 26, 2009, 01:10 PM
20 Nickels Thank you

February 27, 2009, 02:15 AM
My nickel 15-3 has red paint on the ramp of the front sight.

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