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My new favorite handgun- S&W Model 15 Combat Masterpiece

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by mdrisc85, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I came into handgun ownership late in life , about 11 years ago. My breakthrough revolver was a worn but seviceable nickel refinished model 15. In the ensuing years I have searched and researched for a better all around shooter. I have learned a lot , and accumulated some very nice revolvers , but I keep going back to the Combat Masterpiece.

    The OP summed it up nicely:
     
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  2. mdrisc85

    mdrisc85 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies- this has been a a fun thread. This is one gun i wish i had gotten ten years ago.

    I'm envious of those who have both a snub-nose and .22 LR version to complement their .38's- definitely on my list. Another one of my recent hobbies has been collecting vintage gunleather off of eBay and other sources.

    Did some bargain shopping the other day and put together a budget rig for my Model 15, then spent the day taking advantage of the wide open spaces here in the high desert practicing my inner Bill Jordan...

    What do you guys favor for carrying your Model 15's?
     

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  3. zeke

    zeke Member

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    15-3 IMG_0165.JPG
     
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  4. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    We seem to be getting a little bit off topic, but I will answer your question anyway.

    I had to dig out all my K-22s so I could give you an answer. They all have a little bit of 'wiggle'. I have no good way to measure it, but they all exhibit a few degrees of rotational play. None have any appreciable endshake, but they all have a little bit of rotational play when in battery. The one in the center, the old one from 1932 has maybe a teeny bit more rotational play, but as I said, it is the most accurate of the bunch. I attribute it's accuracy to its single action trigger, which is the lightest and crispest of the bunch. Frankly, unless you are buying a custom revolver (which I have never done) a little bit of rotational play doesn't bother me. That's what a forcing cone is for.

    Model%2017-3%20and%20K-22s%2002_zpsseajrhvu.jpg




    I am a bit curious about your comment about Colts. I don't have as many Colts as I do Smiths, but most of my Colts have a little bit of rotational play too.

    This 22 Officer's Model Target from 1935 has a little bit of rotational play to the cylinder, about the same as the Smiths.

    Officers%20Model%20Target%2022%2001_zps6wuy5aug.jpg




    It is no slouch in the accuracy department.

    Officers%20Model%20Target%2022%2002_zpsk7viyxzs.jpg




    This 22 Police Positive Target has a little bit of cylinder rotational play. It is pretty accurate.

    police%20positive%20target%2022%2002_zpss95x4nl2.jpg




    Not a 22, but this 38 Police Positive Special from 1922 has virtually no rotational play to the cylinder. But it clearly has been fired very little over the years.

    police%20pos%20sp%201922%2003_zpscxl7bmrt.jpg
     
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  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Since the Colts achieve final lockup when the trigger is pulled and the hand applies pressure against the bolt, a Colt should not wiggle at all if the trigger is held . They will have a bit of wiggle when the hammer is cocked but before the hammer is pulled.
    The Smith and Wessons go into lock upon cocking, so they should be tight even before the tigger is pulled and holding the trigger doesnt make as much of a difference unless there are severe timing issues.

    My centerfire Smiths all lockup very tight, I was just wondering if the rimfires have some inherent wiggle since the hand and ratchet on the one Im thinking of buying dont appear to be excessively worn.

    Since it seems this is consistent with your guns, Im feeling pretty good about making the guy an offer. Thanks, Driftwood!
     
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  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    My snub nose Model 15. Sorry, just keep an eye out, they show up once in a while.
    [​IMG]

    Not as impressive as Driftwood Johnson's collection, but here are my 22 RF K-frames. The top two are Model 17's, 8-3/8" and 6" barrels. The bottom one is a Model 18, the 22RF version of the Model 15.
    [​IMG]

    I like Pachmayr Presentation grips. I do have the original S&W grips if the next owner wants to use them.

    My daughter and her British husband were in town last week from the UK. They enjoyed shooting the Model 18 and the 8-3/8" Model 17.
     
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  7. mpd61

    mpd61 Member

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    Way back in 1983, I carried and qualified NRA Distinguished Police Expert with a model 67 while with a federal agency. In the mid 90's I bought a brand new model 15 with the heavier profile barrel and uncle mikes. Used it as a Boston PD Special. Couldn't seem to miss. Sold it when That gig ended.....Happy ending is I bought the wife a 15-1 born in 1962 just like her ; smooth profile, slick action, diamond grips, and can't seem to miss......LOL
     
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  8. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    A model 15 Ft Worth police turn in has been my HD gun for at least 28 years. I have it loaded with Remigton 158 SWCHP lead bullets. A parole officer I did work for gave me the ammo. My uncle was on the Ft Worth PD and got the gun for me for $200. What a nice shooting gun it is. And like was mentioned its nice to shoot a gun that is actually chambered in 38 and not 357. I wish more 38 only guns were offered.

    I look on GB ever so often for another model 15 or 67. But the prices are crazy. I also have a Ruger first year Security Six made in 1973 IIRC. It is a little different from the later made guns like the SS I have made in 1986. It has a thinner, lighter weight barrel and is almost the same size and weight as the model 15. Its another gun I am proud to own.
     
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  9. km101

    km101 Member

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    I love the Model 15 and have had at least one of them in my collection for 40+ years. I currently have a 15-2 and a 15-8. I was initially doubtful about the 15-8 but it was too good a deal to pass up. I am getting accustomed to the looks of the MIM parts and it feels and shoots great.

    When I think of a “fun gun” to take shooting, the Model 15 is usually what I reach for.
     
  10. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    I'm really liking those grips.
     
  11. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    That has been my observation as well. Absurd prices. For that very reason I have decided to send my well-worn-bought-it-cheap 15-3 off to a trusted gunsmith to make it the best 15 it can be , rather than overpay for a (maybe) better one. Probably send him my snub nose 15 at the same time , make it a two-fer.
     
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  12. GoPappy

    GoPappy Member

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    What do you guys consider to be overpriced for a 15-2? I've got a chance to buy one in very good condition for $450. Mechanically it is very solid. The finish shows some wear, but no signs of abuse or neglect.
     
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  13. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I would consider that offering to be the upper end of the range. Prices are high ; if you have that 15 in your hand and it checks out , gut check time. Sure would help if you don’t need shipping.
     
  14. ilgac

    ilgac Member

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    If it’s one that you want and are considering it at $450 then I would get it. I’ve paid more than some would on a few occasions and they were all worth more than the purchase price eventually.

    If I really want a particular gun, unless the price is just ridiculous, I’m getting it. I like a good deal as much as the next guy but I’m not walking away to save $25 or even $100.
     
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  15. GoPappy

    GoPappy Member

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    I agree on all points. I have a couple of guns I probably paid $50+ too much for, but they are guns I was looking for and don't see every day and were in good shape and I wanted them. I don't smoke or drink or drive expensive cars, and I've worked hard my whole life. I'm not gonna let a few bucks stand between me and a gun I really want.

    I watch the American Pickers show and those guys always say the time to buy something is when you find it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  16. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Excellent philosophy.
     
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  17. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    In my part of the country the 2 most underrated guns are the model 15 and the model 67. Everyone around here wants a "magnum" (or a Glock). then they realize they can't handle a magnum and wind up shooting .38's!! I've owned several nice 15's and wind up trading them away and kick myself every time. Right now the only one I own is a Pre 15 or just Combat Masterpiece to some and K38 to others. It has been rebarreled and not sure why. Like that when I got it. Shoots great and has a wonderful action. I see them at shows priced high but no buyers. In reality the model 15 is probably the best bargain to be found around here along with the 67. I run across one here and there in the $350-500 range depending on condition. The next nice one I find will not go anywhere. I've kicked myself too many times to let another nice one get away
     
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  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I paid $500 for my 4" Model 15 and $600 for my 2" Model 15. Maybe a bit higher than other parts of the country are seeing.

    Right. In my parts of the country, Model 15's do not show up much.

    If you want sticker shock that leads to a heart attack, price out a Model 16 (32 S&WL), K-32 (32 S&WL), or even a Model 16-4 (32 H&R Mag).

    Model 67's are nice 38 Special guns as well. A good alternative if one cannot find a Model 15. Mine is a post lock but just fine for plinking and range work. One of these days, I'll run into a pre-lock version.
     
  19. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Here is my Gaudy one, I have a model 18 too to match .
    007-8_zps7bc00aec.jpg
    006-10_zpsb3e692f6.jpg
     
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  20. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    Like my redneck friends would say "You just had to show off didn't you?". I like your gaudy gun a lot. the rest aren't what I'd call shabby either. Nice looking group. Anyone would be proud to own those. And behold! they all look like they have been enjoyed at the range! That makes them twice as nice to me.
     
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  21. GoPappy

    GoPappy Member

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    With the good luck you've been having lately with gun finds, I would have thought you'd be tripping over a stack of free Model 15's every time walk down the street. :D
     
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  22. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    I have to be a little different with a nickel 15-2

    Model 15-2 Combat Masterpiece Factory Nickel K frame 4" pinned barrel, 3 screw w/ target hammer & trigger, replacement under cover walnut grips & unlabeled Box. Dates to 1967.


    34 Mdl 15-2 p01.JPG
     
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