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Old August 13, 2014, 11:26 PM   #1
Tallbald
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Smith 15-2 95% price question please.

My loving wife and I were on a mini-vacation over the last three days with another couple. At a local pawn shop close to the lake we visited were two beautiful revolvers. One we bought. It's a beautiful Ruger old (big frame) Vaquero .44 Mag high gloss stainless 7.5 incher. Tickled to death, and I'm told a very good price at $535 out the door.
The other revolver that caught my eye was a Smith model 15-2, .38 Special in at least 95% condition. Aside from a little muzzle wear from a holster, this beauty was almost flawless. It had a wide target trigger and hammer, standard grips serial numbered to the gun, and an extremely light single action trigger. Now this is my question. The crane serial number was different from the frame and grip number. I can't remember if that's normal (assembly numbers?) or indicates a replaced crane assembly or rework. Lord the bluing was beautiful. No box or papers. price on tag was $450, but I suspect I could have had it for $385 to $400 out the door.
Also, I don't remember the 15-2 having target trigger or hammer spur. Did they?
And what age range is a 15-2 variation? I'm guessing mid-1960's to early 70's.
The shop is only about 100 miles away. A morning drive on a free day.
Hoping for some education here folks. Thank you. Don
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Old August 13, 2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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The 3-T's where option's on a factory ordered gun.
(Target Hammer, Target Trigger, Target stocks.)

The goofy number inside the crane cut is an assembly number used on the frame before the final serial number on the butt was added later.

In the condition you describe?
And for $400 bucks out the door?

I'd be coon-fingering it on the couch right now!!!

And they would still have the Ruger.

rc
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Old August 13, 2014, 11:57 PM   #3
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RC the grips weren't what I, as a younger man, remember Smith factory "target stocks" . I kind of lost track of and most interest in Smiths back when they stopped pinning the barrels (1981?). The grips on this 15-2 were the same as the regular grips were on my (K frame) model 18 .22 Smith back in 1973. Weren't the "target grips" the oversize grips like on the old model 19's? That's why I quietly questioned the target trigger and hammer too. I thought it should have had different larger grips.
What's a more common price on this gun as described? Don
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Old August 14, 2014, 01:06 AM   #4
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$550-$650 is what I'd expect to see for that 15-2 around here.
At $400 I agree that it would be a better deal than that ruger...$535 and less is what a vaquero goes for here, even an old model
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Old August 14, 2014, 01:10 AM   #5
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From the way you describe it, for $400 (or the full $450) I would say it’s well worth the 100 mile drive.
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Old August 14, 2014, 01:20 AM   #6
rcmodel
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Target grips are the big ones that fill in in front of the frame, as opposed to the frame size Magna grips on your gun.

You at one time could order the '3-T's', or just one or two T's if thats what you wanted.

It is also possible someone preferred the Magna grips for more compact holster carry, but wanted the wide hammer & trigger.

The Mana grips are original, as you say they are number stamped inside with the serial number.

It still sounds like a heck of a good deal to me anymore.

A few years ago, it was a $250 - $300 gun.
Now, it's More Likely nearly twice that the way old S&W prices have been going lately.

And I could easily talk myself into paying an extra $100 bill for the 2-T's it has on it if they are original to the gun.

rc
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Old August 14, 2014, 01:59 AM   #7
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Might be time for another road trip........Don
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Old August 14, 2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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I agree with the others. A good deal at that price.
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Old August 14, 2014, 04:57 PM   #9
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Have you bought it yet?

That 15-2, in the condition you described, may not wait long for your return.

For $400 cash out the door, I know I would be grinning all the way home and until I fell asleep that night. But then, my wife says I am goofy like that.
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Old August 15, 2014, 06:16 AM   #10
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The 15-2 was produced from 1961 to 1967.
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Old August 15, 2014, 03:21 PM   #11
Stephanie B
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Quote:
Might be time for another road trip.
For that price, I'd be on the road, already.

(And I, too, would have left the Vaquero there...)
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Old August 15, 2014, 03:33 PM   #12
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Not long ago, I paid $550 for an unfired 15-4, in the box, w/papers and original store receipt ... and I happily forked over the cash. For 400 OTD for the one you describe ... you shouldna walked away from that deal ...
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Old August 16, 2014, 08:20 PM   #13
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The model 15-2, also known as the Combat Masterpiece does indeed have the serial number inside the crane on the frame in addition to having it stamped on the bottom of the grip frame. I have serial #K751834 and it is in both places S&W's produced during the 15-2 model run would have come with magna grips with an uncheckered diamond where the grip screw is.

Even though I already have three Combat Masterpieces, I would have left the Ruger there and come home with the Smith.
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Old August 17, 2014, 02:30 AM   #14
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I now will agree that I should have bought the 15-2 also. Have no interest in any Smith wheel gun made after they stopped pinning them. Beautiful gun even with the little bit of muzzle wear on the left side, and it's a quality revolver made during what I consider the heyday of Smith and Wesson. But I sure as heck made no mistake buying the old frame high gloss stainless Vaquero 7.5 inch .44 mag either. A beautiful rugged and classic lined revolver in its own right, and I bought it at a very good price. Shines like a nickeled vintage Smith. Don.
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Old August 17, 2014, 09:03 AM   #15
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My sentiments are similar. I have a polished stainless Bisley Vaquero in .45 Colt that I value more than a Model 15. I wouldn't mind having a nice Model 15, but I like the big glossy single action better.
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Old August 17, 2014, 09:25 AM   #16
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Thank you for the support 420stainless. Both the 15-2 and the old frame Vaquero are beautiful in their own right, but for me the Vaquero is more useful, versatile and less likely to become another safe queen. Don
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Old August 17, 2014, 11:03 AM   #17
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Happy to see this thread. Bought a like-new 15-4 with adjustable sights a few months back at $425.
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Old August 17, 2014, 04:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallbald View Post
I now will agree that I should have bought the 15-2 also. Have no interest in any Smith wheel gun made after they stopped pinning them. Beautiful gun even with the little bit of muzzle wear on the left side, and it's a quality revolver made during what I consider the heyday of Smith and Wesson. But I sure as heck made no mistake buying the old frame high gloss stainless Vaquero 7.5 inch .44 mag either. A beautiful rugged and classic lined revolver in its own right, and I bought it at a very good price. Shines like a nickeled vintage Smith. Don.
Yes Don, you should have bought the S&W 15, but don't regret for a minute buying
the Vaquero. I have a high gloss stainless in 45 Colt that I bought new when they first came out with the Vaquero and still love it and carry it as a sidearm when hunting hogs.
It's pretty accurate and shoots to point of aim which is surprising because around
half of the fixed sight revolvers I have ever shot did not shoot to point of aim from
the factory. Now call that gun store and tell them to hold it for you and go buy it.
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Old August 17, 2014, 07:20 PM   #19
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About 3-4 years ago, I was hunting around the interwebz, and found an outstanding little operation called Summit Gun Broker (in Mo., I believe). This guy had a nearly mint 15-4 for about $360 (IIRC), so I called him up. He told me that a guy had already purchased it, but hadn't called in and actually paid for it. I asked him how long till the gun was free to be sold, and he said it had already been nearly a week, and said to call him back at noon the next day. I called him from work at 12 on the dot, and he said he hadn't heard from the guy, and I couldn't read off my CC# fast enough !!
I still have the factory grips, but I got it a set of Herritt cocobolo target grips from CDNN that really make it pop !! It's been my #1 favorite shooter ever since I got it.
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Old August 17, 2014, 08:05 PM   #20
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Even though I prefer revolver cartridges that start with 4 and end with 4 or 5, a .38 K frame is an amazingly accurate and easy shooting revolver.
Once you take it out and shoot it, you won't have to worry about it becoming a safe queen.
I have two 15s, a 1973 15-3 and a 1989 15-5.
The -5 satisfies my urge to own a 14. It has the heavy barrel and frame of the 14.
My -3 satisfies my urge to own a 15, with the tapered barrel and lighter frame.

They are my two favorite revolvers to shoot.
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Old August 19, 2014, 07:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by highpower View Post
The model 15-2, also known as the Combat Masterpiece does indeed have the serial number inside the crane on the frame in addition to having it stamped on the bottom of the grip frame. I have serial #K751834 and it is in both places S&W's produced during the 15-2 model run would have come with magna grips with an uncheckered diamond where the grip screw is.

Even though I already have three Combat Masterpieces, I would have left the Ruger there and come home with the Smith.
This is sometimes the case, but not always. S&W is weird that way.
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Old August 19, 2014, 06:05 PM   #22
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Last year I stopped by a pawn shop and there in the case was a nickel 15-4 in about 95% condition. Price on it was $379. I ended up walking out with it for $327.50 OTD.
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