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New (to me) M12 S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Al Thompson, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Even a blind hog occasionally finds an acorn.. :)

    Picked up a M12 with square butt and 2 inch barrel today. Have not had time to range test it. But tomorrow's close at hand.

    I've wanted one of these for years. Not sure what I'll do with it, but, heck, I had a set of Uncle Mike's Boot Grips for a K frame Square butt, so had to protect that investment! LOL!

    It appears that it was a service gun. The exterior of the top strap has interesting wear marks. I think it was carried in one of those upside down holsters or some other form of spring clamp holsters.

    The rest of the gun looks pretty nice, some finish wear, but that's fine with me.

    The sideplate seems to be alloy as well - won't hold a magnet.

    Any tips on care for the aluminum? I'm reluctant to apply Flitz or any other polish.

    S/N is D23xxxx. If any kind soul can give me a born on date, I'd appreciate it.

    Range results to follow!
  2. cmsgt

    cmsgt Active Member

    my model 12

    I found a model 12 in a pawn shop; and it has turned into a keeper. I put Hogue hardwood grips on it; and it looks really nice and shoots great too! I installed Wolff springs to give it even a smoother trigger pull. I like it better than my 2 in model 15, and almost as much as my Colt Det Sp.
    My 12 was owned by a cop -- only owner.
  3. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    Made sometime between 1969-1970.
  4. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Hello, and kudos on your M12. I regret having had a few of those in the distant past and letting them get away. I seem to recall that substituting any after-market grip on the 12 left a small gap visible between the upper portion of the grip and the rear of the sides of the revolver. It appears that they might be thinner! They're still very nice revolvers. You already know this, but I sure wouldn't fire +P in this old snub. I don't know how it was rated way back then, but in the '70s, I saw two of these pistols crack frames under the bbl from firing .38 Spec Armor Piercing ammunition and while I don't remember the number of rounds for sure, I THINK it was under a cylinder-full.

  5. ranger7

    ranger7 Well-Known Member

    I found a M12 at my favorite small dealer about a month ago. (He said it was the first one he's ever had for sale.) Great condition, just a little lightening around the trigger guard. It's a really nice gun to shoot. Very accurate for a snubby.

    I've carried it a few times but prefer either something more powerful like my Glock 36 (6+1, .45 ACP) or something much smaller (Kel Tec P-32). Still like the M12. It's a keeper!

  6. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Hello. I fully agree. I think they're just nice and fun to shoot. Loaded with std pressure ammo, they're easy to carry if need be as well. I've always had a fondness for them.

  7. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Alan, I agree. My primary pistol is a G19, but something about the older K and N frame Smiths just appeals to me. They tend to shoot very well in my hands. No real use, but fun to have.

    Stephen, your right. They do gap at the top - very interesting.

    Mike - thanks for the date. :)
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    I had a Mod 12 snub issued to me in 1971 by Army Intel. it was to be carried in black Bucheimer shoulder holster that had spring retention around cylinder. The holster sucked , but the gun was accurate! I would have thought the K frame would take +power with no sweat , but will bow to Steven Camps experience! I wish I had a round butt version, I didnt like square butt for concealed carry. I used a grip adapter and grip was good.:D
  9. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Gordon, while any newer steel K frame should, I too am leery of the aluminum frame and plus P loads. If I carry it, I'll have 158 LSWCHP +Ps in it, but am not planning to shoot more than a cylinder full to check POI/POA.
  10. FPrice

    FPrice Well-Known Member

    Stephen A. Camp...

    "I seem to recall that substituting any after-market grip on the 12 left a small gap visible between the upper portion of the grip and the rear of the sides of the revolver. It appears that they might be thinner!"

    They were, at least up until the Model 12-4 introduced in 1984. The frames up till that time were about .080" thinner than other K-frames. If you get a Model 12-3 or earlier you need to insure that you either get the original grips or be prepared to build up the frame to make new grips fit.

    I have a 12-2 and it is a neat gun, but I have considered selling it to make room for other things.

    Attached Files:

  11. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Hello, Mr. Price. Thanks for the information on the date of the frame width changes. I thought something like that had happened, but sure didn't know for sure or when. Thanks again

  12. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks for the image, Frosty.

    When you said you might want to sell your M12, my floppy ears perked up, but I see yours is a square butt. I have this thing about having the big brother to my RB M37. ;)

    Don't ask me why, ‘cause many of the regulars here know I carry a Commander, but I'd REALLY like to have an M12 RB with 3" barrel. I know, S&W never offered one. Friend of mine put a M10 3" bbl on a RB M12 about a dozen years back, and it was truly sweet. He died, though, and I missed it in the estate sale.

    Another friend carried a 2", but she died last year, and I just didn't have the heart to ask her widower about the gun. I gotta find another way to shop for Airweights . . . . :(

  13. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I suggest not trying to "do" anything about wear on aluminum. There are aluminum blacking compounds sold, but in my experience none of them work very well or hold up very long.

    For temporary, one of those heavy duty marking pens works pretty well to cover scratches.

  14. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Fprice: I'm interested(for old times sake) but wonder what logistics out of PRof Mass into PR of Kal?
  15. proudrace

    proudrace Member

    S&W M12 flatlatch

    saw one today as follows: 2" bbl,rb, in the C serial series. did they put the flat thumblatches on the older K frame airweights?. i know the older Jframes had the flatlatchs. any help?
  16. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    The model 12 was the last flat latch gun S&W made, model 12-2 had them. In the year since the beginning of this thread I now know that the model 12 -3 and earlier is on the weak side for +power loads and will crack with +p+ !!:uhoh: However you should buy that gun if under $300, I would and shoot only standard .38spl. A great 'sleeper'!;)
  17. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Congrat's on your find there AL my friend.

    As you know, a good S&W model 12 is as scarce as hens
    teeth; at least here in this part of DixieLand! Enjoy~

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  18. VictorLouis

    VictorLouis Guest

    SAC, I'm pretty sure that AP ammo is/was probably a LOT hotter than most any typical plus-P available, at least today. Colt's alloy D-frames of the same era were rated for plus-P with the caveat that you have them inspected every 1K rounds, or thereabouts. Since the K-frame is a bit large dimensionally, all around, I personally don't think that light use of plus-P will hurt anything. However, that's just MHO.;)
  19. popeye

    popeye Well-Known Member

    I've had 3 12's. The pre 14-4 frame is roughly 5/32" thinner than standard K-Frame. You can however sand the inside flats of standard magna grips in about 15 minutes to fit the gun, nicely, if you need grips. I would not shoot +P in a 12, but that's my choice. I would buy a 12 2" RB (which I've never owned) for carry, but 12 SB is big for carry and not much lighter than my Det Spec. SO I traded my 12-3's (all SB 4") as I can't afford to "collect" anymore. Sad but true.

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