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LGS Model 12-3 on consignment...Reasonable offer?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GeoDudeFlorida, Apr 19, 2021.

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  1. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    One of the locals I frequent had a S&W 12-3 in the shelf for $700. It looks to be in "good+" condition, overall. I have zero experience with these "lightweight" Smiths - I've always leaned towards the Cobra and Agent for lightweight .38's - so i have no idea if $700 is a reasonable price for one or if I should bother making a lower offer. According to the people I know who work there, the seller is in a selling mood, not a buying or trading mood so a reasonable offer may be okay but, they don't want to make a suggestion. Can't blame them, really, it's not their gun. Any ideas?
     
  2. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    If you compare online $700 and higher seems to be about the going rate. Personally, I would offer $600 for a 4”. Less for a snubbie, IMO. Can’t hurt to make an offer even less. The sale is going through a dealer so it’s purely numbers and not a personal, face to face interaction. Bias is out of the mix. Offer less, if he/she takes it, good. If not, maybe they will tell you what they really want, bottom line.
     
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  3. golden

    golden Member

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    GEO,

    Unless you just have to have it, I would limit an offer to $400.00 to $450.00.
    The model 12's are getting slightly collectible because they were discontinued, not because they are popular. They are the same size as a S&W model 10, so they are not as concealable as a Cobra or Agent. Also, you will want to avoid using +P ammo and never use +P+. The alloy framed, model 12 is more susceptible to the same problems that soured police departments on using the model 10. Namely frame stretching and being shook loose so that the gun will not work or go out of time.

    On the positive side, they are much better to shoot, in my opinion than the COLT revolvers which have smaller grips. I love K-frame revolvers with HOGUE grips. They feel just about perfect in my hand.
    I did some side by side testing with a S&W 4 inch model 12 and 4 inch model 15 revolvers. Shooting standard velocity and pressure, 130 grain fmj ammo and 110 grain HORNADY Critical Defense ammo. Both worked well in the model 12 and 15.
    I also tried WINCHESTER Defend 130 jhp, which is standard pressure, but it proved unreliable in my guns. This is a problem with most WINCHESTER ammo in my S&W revolvers.
    Then I tried some COLT 110 grain jhp ammo made by Double Tap, in both guns, side by side.. This is a higher velocity. It claims to be standard pressure, not +P, but is about a 100 to 150 fps faster than the 110 grain HORNADY load.
    The flash is much brighter and the recoil is stronger with the muzzle rising quite a bit more on the model 12, than on the model 15.
    It is controllable, but I would save my COLT ammo for use in a heavier gun than the model 12 and stick with the HORNADY ammo. In the model 15, I would go with the COLT load or my ammo of choice for a .38 Special, the FEDERAL HST 130 grain jhp.

    I like the model 12 for use as a walking gun. I like long walks after dinner and a 2 inch barreled, model 12 was preferable to my S&W model 36 (about the same weight as the model 12) or CHARTER ARMS Undercover. I could carry the 5 shot model 36 and Undercover in a pocket holster, but preferred the model 12 in a pancake holster, along with an HKS speedloader for reload.

    If they won't deal, then try GUN BROKER or another on-line sight.

    Overall, they model 12's are good guns, but not as capable or versatile as a steel framed model 10 or model 15.

    Jim
     
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  4. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    They're cool little guns.

    First, I'd inspect it closely. The Air Force found them fairly easy to use-up and powered down the ammunition to try to accommodate that.

    While one may argue that a Service revolver would get shot more than the average civilian model... we are still talking about the Air Force.:evil::neener:

    Then, there's paying a vintage premium for a pistol otherwise represented by more modern, stronger and arguably less expensive pistols by several manufacturers.

    It doesn't seem you're specifically motivated to buy this pistol so offer accordingly. What is it really worth to YOU? Whether or not you are familiar with them.

    If they want seven, and were I them, I would not be insulted by a polite offer starting at around $480-$520.

    From your post, I sure don't feature you in particular paying more than $600 as it is "... not your bag, Baby*".:D

    Todd.
     
  5. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    Something I was thinking about. “IF” you really want this gun.
    Most gun stores in my area and the Northwest charge 20% commission. Often people will price the gun high to get what they think that can get in pocket.
    A $700 nets the dealer $140 and the seller $560. Human nature being what it is I would bet that $500 is the magic number that the seller wants to stay above.
    Offering $600 would put the seller’s cut at $480. Below my imaginary made up guess of $500. Offer $600. If they bite I would think you got a good deal, but I am not one of those magical people that finds S&W model 10’s in 99% condition for $200 that seem to be in every forum.
    BUT, if they don’t bite I would bet their magic number IS $500 so I would counter with $625 and that will put $500 in the seller’s pocket.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope I made sense.
     
  6. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I like my 12-2 snub for carry. As others have stated, use standard pressure ammo only, and avoid the "hot" standard pressure boutique stuff. Be advised that unlike the 12-4, the 12-3 still uses model specific parts like grips.
     
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  7. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Basic Instruction did not put a huge emphasis on small arms. One of the TI's put it really well, "The nice thing about bombs is, they never miss. They all eventually hit the ground." :)
     
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  8. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Great info! Tells me what I need to know and I think that's going to be a "pass" for me. If it were something that was going to accrue value over the long haul, maybe I would go for it but, from I'm seeing here, it being a -3 and not a -4 makes a big difference in future value. When my current consignments at that same store sell and I have some shop credit, I may offer $450 and see if I get a response.
     
  9. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I traded a good used 43 for my 12 no dash ..
    I felt like a thief...
    1E063657-A23B-4278-8040-36569D16F042.jpeg
     
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  10. reloaded_in_pa

    reloaded_in_pa Member

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    My local shop had two of the 12-3 models, each was priced at $525.
     
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  11. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    I didn’t notice anyone else mention it so I will.

    If you do decide to go for it, check the frame closely in the area under the barrel. The model 12s are known for cracked frames. I have 3 -2s that are fine and a -3 that has the cracked frame.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Maybe offer $500 and see if they will meet in the middle.
     
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