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Opinions on S&W Model 15-3

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Kookla, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    Have credit at a shop nearby and they have a very clean looking S&W 15-3, think it's a 4" barrel. Overall looks very good, great bluing, not much wear, no turn line that I could see, or just very faint. Comes with box and papers. They are asking $600 for it.

    What are your opinions on it?

    Thank you.
     
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  2. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Arguably the greatest .38 SPL only revolver made. The only one that comes close is the model 10 and no I don't count the Colts in the same category while they are nice in their own right. I think the price is a bit high I would try to haggle but even if I needed to pay full price I guarantee that the model 15 would come home with me (pending am inspection of course.)
     
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  3. Hoppes Love Potion

    Hoppes Love Potion Member

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    In that condition, with original box & papers, the price isn't outrageous. They are very fine revolvers. Before 1957, it was called the "Combat Masterpiece". I have some from that era, a 14-3 and a 17-3 which are the jewels of my small collection. Go get it!
     
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  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Kookla

    Buy it before someone else does!
     
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    There is something special about shooting 38 Special in a gun chambered for 38 Special.:)

    Model 14's and Model 15's are S&W blued k-frame 38 Special revolvers with adjustable sights. Generally, Model 14's had 6" and 8-3/8" barrels while Model 15's had 4" and 2" barrels. There were some other difference between the two models like triggers and hammers. As the production neared its end in the late 1980's to early 1990's, the barrel length difference got blurred a bit as S&W discontinued one of the Model numbers and moved those barrel lengths into the remaining Model number.

    They are some of the best shooting 38 Special revolvers around.

    I paid less for a 4" Model 15 5 years ago but it came with no box or papers. I'd offer a little less but if they did not accept the offer, pay the $600 anyway.

    I like shooting my Model 14's and 15's.
     
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  6. film495

    film495 Member

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    Bull or tapered barrel? For me I always like the tapered barrel. If you can inspect it in person and check condition first hand - probably worth that much. If you find any imperfections beyond a light turn ring - that price is a premium, but they'll sell it for that much anyways.
     
  7. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I hope by now you are looking over your new gun and trying to post some pics for us to enjoy. A model 15 has been my HD gun for at least 25 years now. I have never felt the need for anything else.
     
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  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Love mine!
    index-27.jpg

    Its hard to explain, but it just has a different vibe than the K-frame magnums or the M10.

    Ive had 10s, 19s, 64s and 65s.....but the 15 is special.
     
  9. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    What in blue blazes are you waiting for?

    Buy it. Shoot it. Post photos.

    Life is short. Enjoy the best.
     
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  10. murf

    murf Member

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    if it functions, buy it.

    murf
     
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  11. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    Over the years I has often heard of how the M15 was the epitome of development for a duty size 38 Spl. I casually looked at them, never did acquire one.

    A few years ago, a very nice 15-3 fell into my lap at a price low enough that I didn't even try to haggle. After owning it for awhile, I find myself in agreement - the M15 is indeed a superior 38 Spl.

    I should have purchased one 20 years ago.
     
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  12. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    When I competed in PPC, a Model 15 kept me at the top in my division for the Duty Revolver Leg.

    I still have it.

    Kevin
     
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  13. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    This thread hardly needs additional posts as we are all telling you the same thing:
    -The Combat Masterpiece / model 15 is simply one of the best shooting , best looking .38 special revolvers of all time. I would venture one of the best revolvers - period.
    -The one you are looking at is at the high end of the range , but not out of that range.
    -If you acquire that revolver and shoot it , you will have NO regrets.

    This comment was made in an earlier post: "There is something special about shooting 38 Special in a gun chambered for 38 Special."
    This is certainly true. It should be noted that Smith and Wesson designed the K frame specifically for the .38 special round. I believe that they nailed it.

    Assuming that the specimen in question lives up to your general description , (going on that faith with no photos) , make haste and report back.
    BTW - you did state that they were "asking" $600 .....
     
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  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Another fan of the Model 15, although I don't shoot mine enough. I need to fix that.

    I think the name "Combat Masterpiece" is the best "gun name" ever, with the possible exception of "Peacemaker."

    And just because we all like pictures...

    My 15-2 from 1966. Target hammer, trigger, trigger stop, and diamond target stocks.

    100_0730_zpsms8ovsku.jpg 100_0733_zpsykeztvdo.jpg

    I think $600 is on the high side, but if I didn't have one, and wanted one, I wouldn't let a few bucks stand in the way. The next one you see in similar condition probably will be higher.
     
  15. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    Ok, I see a pattern here. Will head to the shop tonight and see if it's still there. Past two nights I've had open houses at the kids' school so haven't been able to get there.
     
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  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you like the M10 you will love the M15.

    @Kookla , I'm not sure you know but the M15 is the M10 with adjustable sights. It was said above the M15 is the best .38 Special ever made, I would whole heartedly agree.

    $600 seems a little high to me too but if you want one, now is the time to buy. Negotiate the best price out the door but don't go home without it! I would think $500 cash on the table will do it but who knows?
     
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  17. murf

    murf Member

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  18. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    While there are some S&W revolvers I would like to add to the ones I have, there are only two S&W revolvers I would really, really like to add... a 4” model 57 and a 6” model 14.

    However, the model 15 you’re describing would certainly be riding home with me if I saw it :thumbup:.

    Stay safe.
     
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  19. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    I went on a shopping spree about 5 years ago. Bought a 15, 19, 37 and a 60 all with in a month. The 15-3 is just a marvel to me. Go for it!
     
  20. Thomas Mayberry

    Thomas Mayberry Member

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    While I regard $600.00 as being a bit high, the pleasure you receive from the ownership and use of perhaps the finest .38 revolver made will offset that.
     
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  21. Overkill870

    Overkill870 Member

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    I'm going to be a butt head here and ask for the $600 price range why not get a 357 magnum capable gun?

    I would think you could find a used model 13, 19, 65, or 66 for that price or less. Why not get that instead even if you just plan on shooting 38s?
     
  22. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The technical reason would be because (all else being equal), a bullet fired from a Special case has a longer freebore jump to the forcing cone than if it were launched from the Magnum case, which can hurt accuracy if youre just shooting Specials in the longer Magnum cylinder.

    My .357 Redhawk suffers a huge accuracy deficit when firing the shorter cases, but is a tackdriver with Magnums. On most of my other .357s I really cant tell much of a difference, go figure.

    Also, shooting a Magnum with a large volume of Specials can cause a fouling ring to develop in the cylinders and make inserting and removing Magnum cases difficult.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  23. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    If you get an opportunity to shoot a Model 14 or 15, you'd understand why folks want them.

    Yes, you can shoot 38 Special in a 357 Magnum revolver but...

    And, yes, there are alot of good 357 Magnum revolvers out there.
     
  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I agree.

    But, my solution is I shoot only 357 Magnum cases in my 357 Magnum revolvers. I do not feel the carbon build up is is a big issue but I eliminate the possibility by using only 357 Magnum cases in my 357 Magnum chambered revolvers. I'm not into full power 357 Magnum loads any more, that is what the 460 Magnum is for. So I load 158 grain SWC at about 900-950 fps in 357 Magnum cases these days.

    It is a good thing that we have options and choices.
     
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  25. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I like the snubs
     
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