Smith and Wesson model 13


December 30, 2012, 06:29 PM
I dont hear much talk about this model, but after considering a 58-1(.41mag classic series w/lock), I put money down on a 13-1 w/original box owners manual&cleaning kit,99%blueing(possibly never even shot). With ammo cost being what it is and no reloading equipment i figured it would be more economical. Anyways what can you guys tell me about this revolver(s&w quality during mid-70's etc), it does have beautiful blueing, pinned/recessed(according to dealer is desireable??). Also, this will be a shooter/carried and not stored away. Asking price was $699 and dealer would not budge due to condition, seemed high compared to other K-frames I have looked at. I value all of your opinions and appreciate your feedback...thank you

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December 30, 2012, 07:01 PM
The S&W M-13 is the premier workhorse K frame. It is a very solid revolver in .357 Mag and of course you can shoot .38 Special also. I usually carry the 158 grain, lead hollowpoint, Plus P .38Special in mine and practice with the same weight bullet, round nose or whatever. The price you mention seems high to me but if you are happy with it, that is all that counts. The 3" barrel, round butt version is pretty close to the perfect carry piece, but the 4", square butt isn't far behind. After you shoot this one some you will be hooked and need a few more. Good choice. Keep shootin' and check 6

December 30, 2012, 07:06 PM
This one is the 4" version, sorry forgot to mention that.

December 30, 2012, 07:09 PM
Isn't the Model 13 the fixed sight variant of the M19? I would like to have a short barrel M13 some day but I'm not all that sire $700 is all that good a price. The M10, M13, M15 and M19 are all great revolvers...


December 30, 2012, 07:22 PM
The Model 13 is a nice gun but not worth $700 Look them up on Gunbroker finished auctions to get a value.

December 30, 2012, 07:23 PM
The S&W M13 is a great revolver, watch out as it will grow on you quickly. The only thing that I'd be leery of with any K frame magnum is feeding it a steady diet of hot 125gr JHP ammo. This ammo has a reputation for being harsh to K frame forcing cones. Some will of course say that this is untrue then there are just as many that will say the opposite.

I'd still take it easy on the ol' girl anyway since M13's are no longer made.

December 30, 2012, 08:08 PM
Always wanted a 3", w/R.B. S&W Rov. They have always been popular! But that's alot for that model. But if it's in good shape, it will give years of use. So if you are happy you got a good buy!

Jon Coppenbarger
December 30, 2012, 09:28 PM
Locked in the safe already but picked up a model 64 today for under $250. Forgot to see if it has a dash something and have not measured the barrel but it seems to be like 2 1/2" or 3" with a round butt.

December 30, 2012, 09:40 PM
A little high on price, perhaps, but who cares so long as you're happy? All of us who collect have at least once paid a touch more than we ought to have for a piece -- but here's the save: tell yourself you paid fair market price, just a year or two early. ;)

What's also worth taking into consideration is if the item is as you described, a true 99% or better Model 13 inside and out, with all factory accoutrements like the box, papers and tools -- that's a collector's level package and does command a premium. If that, the price is closer to reasonable.

And yet another way of looking at it: a comparable new S&W would cost as much or more, and you'd have the internal lock, a perhaps lesser build, MIM internals, and zero current collectibility.

Instead, for the same price, you have essentially if not actually a new S&W, no longer made, in an excellent, desirable platform, from a time when build quality is thought to have been better.

The Model 13 can alternately be called a .357 Magnum sibling of the Model 10 heavy barrel, or a fixed sight, heavy barreled sibling of the Model 19. Same either way.

It's an excellent fighting gun. P&R (pinned and recessed) refers to the pin that secures the barrel to the frame, a feature S&W did away with around '82; and the cartridge recesses in the cylinder that are a throwback to when .357 ammo was more likely to rupture on ignition -- the recessed cylinder allowed the cartridge to sit farther in, offering the gun and the shooter better protection in the event of a rupture.

The pin is considered desirable for better seating of the barrel, though it might be unnecessary; the recessed cylinder ceased to be needed once better .357 ammo build quality came to the fore.

P&R is considered representative of a superior time in S&W craftsmanship -- though that can be debated -- but is why a "P&R" gun is more sought after.

Might to consider an alternate piece for carry if this one's truly collector grade -- in leather that finish won't stay pristine. But do enjoy shooting it at least a little -- you can shoot and maintain a gun's great condition with some conscientiousness and care.

Or heck, call it yours and ride it hard -- what matters is it sounds like you got a great revolver. Enjoy.

December 31, 2012, 05:11 AM
The price is a bit...stiff. Of course, as the old saying goes: "It's worth what you're willing to pay."

$375.00 is much more reasonable, or 450-500 for one unfired/ANIB...again...subject to how badly you want it.

The boomstick gods smiled on me a couple years ago, and I picked one up in pristine condition. I'd be willing to bet that it hadn't been fired more than 50 times. I gave 200 bucks for it in a Lowe's Home Improvement parking lot...all legal. Bought it from my ex-wife's oldest son who sold it to me for what he gave for it. He snagged it because he knew I'd be interested. Don't hate me. It was one of the few times that I've been that lucky, and I was past due for a break.

December 31, 2012, 05:46 AM

By now you've probably heard that $699 is a pretty steep asking price for this particular Model 13 and I would have to agree with that. However it's actual value is whatever someone is willing to pay for it and given its LNIB condition, along with the obvious fact that S&W isn't building them like that anymore (P&R, no ILS), means that if you want it you'll have to pay the price of admission.

If you do decide to get it, you'll be getting a solid, well balanced, and very effective .357 Magnum revolver which will last you through many years of dependable service. Let us know what you decide to do and if you do get it, pics are a must.

December 31, 2012, 06:10 AM
Good morning
Carried a model 13 3 " heavy round barrel in Peru off and on for numerous years. They make a nice revolver with a Hip Grip on it tucked into the waist band.
Also a good car revolver in a open top holster inside the Suzuki Samurai while traveling the lonely mountain / desert roads.
Sold mine a couple years back to a newer missionary who needed a good revolver to even the odds while he and his wife were out and about. Happily none of us have ever needed to brandish that .357 but it sure is comforting to have it nearby.
Mike in ILL (till 26 Jan)

December 31, 2012, 04:46 PM
I have a Crimson Trace on mine. It shoots where the dot is. They have a couple models and I got the wrong/cheaper one.

December 31, 2012, 05:52 PM
I've had a 3" model 13, round butt, for years, excellent gun. I had a 2 1/2" model 19 but traded for the 13, I did not want the adjustable sights on a gun like this one. I think that the 3" model 13 was at one time the FBI issue handgun.

Too high a price? Who knows. It's a question of it's value to you unless you're trying to make money on the deal. At a gun show last weekend (Kansas) I looked at several older Colt and Smith revolvers (particularly interested in a Colt Detective Special). Found several in the $350 range but all very rough re finish and general condition. One very clean Detective Special was $675, and I'm thinking that's the current market even it if does seem a bit high. At gun shows around here I find that there aren't a lot of old revolvers on the tables but good ones carry a high price. Diamondbacks and Pythons well over $1K (sometimes near $2K), Smith 27s and 29s at or near $1K.

December 31, 2012, 10:36 PM
I carried one as a duty weapon for a while. No better testimony can I give of a handgun!

January 1, 2013, 10:32 AM
I had the model 13 with a 3" barrel as one of my 'grail' guns for the past 20 years.

It was known to me as the "FBI" gun from back in my days as a rookie LEO.

I got one a few months back in very good [ 95% ] condition and I was VERY lucky to pay 450.00 for it,I would have gone much higher to have one FINALLY.

Hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine,its one of the few times I will carry a wheel gun and feel well armed [ with a BUG of a S&W snub of course ].

I am of the 125 grain believers so that is my prefered loads.

January 1, 2013, 04:46 PM
...or 450-500 for one unfired/ANIB...again...subject to how badly you want it.If you can find an as new, unfired Model 13 (in any configuration) with the matching box, paperwork and tools for $450, grab and run. ;)

January 1, 2013, 09:16 PM
I carried one as a narc in the mid 70s and used it . I carried it as an off duty gun as a reservist in the early 80s , switched to a .45 Commander.The 3" version, which I used, is about a perfect gun. The pinned and recessed ones are my favorite of course. I traded mine in 1987 for a Glock 17, which were hard to get. It was valuable even then!

Loc n Load
January 2, 2013, 01:30 PM
Bought a 4" M-65 in 76 which I believe was when they were introduced...carried that k frame as a duty weapon, off duty wpn, competed with it, hunted with it. Documented 32,000 rds thru gun....little over half of those mag loads with 160 gr SWC's over 2400, rest were 38 spl 158gr over max load of twenty years of everyday service I replaced four hammer noses ( which had crystalized and broken), three cylinder ratchet pawls ( what advances the cylinder), two main springs and six hammer nose springs.Had to peen the cylinder locking lug cutouts a few times, and had to replace three cylinder lock lug springs. ( I am a S&W trained armorer) Had trimmed off the hammer spur early, and rounded off trigger edges. Of all of the handguns I have owned I shot this one the most. There is a trace of flame cutting on the top strap.
Moral of story: Used it a LOT, shot it a LOT, and like all mechanical devices it had to be maintained and serviced. Still have it, and when I pick it up and point it with the Houge grips that are on it, it is like an extension of my arm.
Hear a lot of input about K frames and mag loads, most folks will NEVER approach the number of rounds that I put thru that gun. And the wonderful thing is that I could sell it today for several times what I paid for it.
Enjoy ur M-13...take it out and shoot it!

January 2, 2013, 02:22 PM
If you want it, buy it. You may not find another in that condition.

I came across a 3" a couple of years ago, looked unfired. Paid $500, no box, no papers. It is mine, mine, mine. My kids can fight over it when I am dead.

January 2, 2013, 06:24 PM
I love my 13-3 4" square butt. It's my favorite gun to shoot, and all my friends as well. Every time we go to the range they all ask "Did you bring Black Betty?"

It's my nightstand gun as well as my trail/camp gun. I just love it.

Not trying to be a jerk, but I paid $300 for mine. Then again, she was used (90% finish) and no original box, manual, grips, or tools. It took 3 years of gun shows before I found original S&W grips to put on her. If I knew what a great gun she was, I would have paid more if asked.

January 2, 2013, 06:29 PM
To add, I think the reason we don't hear about M13's being talked about all that often is because those of us that have them never get rid of them, thus not many people are purchasing them and bragging about them. I know I got mine off of a couple of guys who were selling off their father's collection after he passed.

January 3, 2013, 01:13 AM
Sent my 3" round butt to S&W pro shop for trigger and finish upgrade and its now the nicest revolver I own. Handles and shoots like a dream. A little too heavy for me as a daily carry piece, but great for house or truck. The few times I've seen them for sale they go for around $600.

January 3, 2013, 01:18 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but, my LGS has a model 13, only chambered in .38 spec (yes, that is correct). Any thoughts on where and when that might have happened?

Going on, I have several K-frames, as I am awfully fond of them. The 13 is one of the best revolvers out there.

January 3, 2013, 09:13 AM
My 2 cts. :
Condition (99% blue) & features (pinned & recessed) probably jerk the price up, but don't make much difference in the revolver's quality as a "shooter", which is very high indeed.
The 13 is (IMHO) absolute tops in this respect.

Some have already mentioned it & I am living proof : K-frames are addictive.

May 25, 2013, 12:21 PM
I have read of the 13 being made on special order in .38 special and also some M 10s in .357 which I think were transitional and marked as M 10 with correct bbl markings as .357 not a reamed out 10 or Frankin gun pieced together.
Smith has a reputation of doing some weird things with parts in stock.

May 25, 2013, 02:58 PM
Model 13 is my favorite K frame.
That's all I have to say.

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