S&W model 15-3 rebirth

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Biblethumpncop, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    12F1B8C8-3E2E-4D64-A708-9072B36B8409.jpeg B5FFE1E4-41DD-4E02-A750-C7A05A564BBD.jpeg EAD0E4DE-A528-41B1-802C-0FD94D1971EB.jpeg 1168F262-D9F4-43C0-ABF5-14324C8208FB.jpeg 9F4270DF-DA14-41BB-AB35-A97B853FE156.jpeg 02CD2DBF-5544-41AF-BACB-E84F6BF19195.jpeg 5669EAC0-6CA8-4CF8-A0A5-B1A131BAEF7B.jpeg 1C268269-5CAF-442A-86F5-8A9D1A69EEE2.jpeg Odd title, I know, but here is why.

    I saw this Smith and Wesson model 15-3 at a pawn shop over a year ago with a 6" barrel on it for $499. I assumed it was a model 14. I later saw it on Gun Broker listed for $450, but it didn't sell and was relisted for $350. I went into the pawn shop and asked to see it. Lock up was good and there wasn't any pitting or rust, but it was obvious the front of the frame wasn't tapered for a tapered barrel and the rear sight was full length of the frame. I offered $330 plus tax and they accepted ($350 OTD).

    As I researched it, I discovered the gun was made around 1977 and had originally been made as a 2" snub nose. I shot the gun but found the cylinder would drag after getting warm from shooting. A .002" feeler gauge wouldn't fit in the cylinder gap.

    I began a search for a 2" barrel and found one on Ebay, but it wasn't marked for a model 15. The guy evidently didn't know the model number and said it was for a .38 special. For $25, I took it and had a gunsmith install it and set the B/C gap to .004" for $80. It was done in a week.

    Now to do something with the grips. The gun looked like a big bootied gal with a flat chest. I ordered a set of Hip Grips and a set of Altamont grips. As I was waiting for the grips to arrive, I made a couple of holsters.

    The grips arrived and finished the rebirth of this K frame. I have a J frame BK Adapter which seems to fit okay, but I need to trade it for a K frame adapter or just buy another.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Awesome job!

    The snubby M15 is one of the best looking S&Ws ever, and those Altamonts really set it off.:thumbup:
     
  3. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Very nice. I like what you’ve done to it.


    :rofl:

    Hilarious!
     
  4. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    Looks awesome
     
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  5. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Agree. That is a fantastic revolver.

    Nice save, BTC. :cool:
     
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  6. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Very Nice! Looks really good.
     
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  7. blazermark

    blazermark Member

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    very nice job.. usually not a big fan of Altamont's, but these look very good on this
     
  8. reloaded_in_pa
    • Contributing Member

    reloaded_in_pa Contributing Member

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    Fantastic job. The 15 is one of my favorite revolvers. I have a 15-3 with a 4 inch barrel and it's so easy shooting.
     
  9. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    15E5EE33-64DE-4DF2-9143-3AF4F9EC7D54.jpeg

    As you can see I am a fan!
     
  10. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    Just got back from a quick trip to the range. She is very smooth and shoots great- a little to the left. I tried to adjust the rear sight but my screw driver was too small. It isn't horribly left, but I will adjust it for next time.

    I can see why people like the model 15 snubby. Shoots like it has a longer barrel!
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Super reclamation project; definitely has some old school charm about it! Don't see many Model 15s around with the two inch barrel. Really like those Altamont grips and you did some nice work with those holsters!
     
  12. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    Thanks! Those Altamont grips normally are $70. I won them on an auction for less than 1/2 that price, fitting into the budget theme of this project.
     
  13. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Nice work! That thing looks great. :)
     
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  14. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Excellent restoration, it truly has returned to its original glory! My Model 15-3 is a standard 4", but man does it shoot well! Once you get the 2" regulated it'll be great on the range for sure.

    The good old Barami Hip-Grips were all the rage back when I first started in LE, many of the veterans I was around back then had them on their guns. Those Attamont grips look great, as does the holster you made. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  15. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    Great restoration. I have a 4 inch 15-3 that is one of my favorite shooters. Would love to have a 2 inch but they are crazy expensive right now. Love the grips
     
  16. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Dad had a 15 snubby in his shop once. I tried it and loved how it shot but as a new teacher in the late sixties I couldn't afford it on my $371.37/month. Had a wife still in college. I still don't have the 15 shorty but my 4" is nice enough. I've got a 19 2 3/4" barrel that might find a home on some beater 19 someday. I like yours a lot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  17. powwowell
    • Contributing Member

    powwowell Contributing Member

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    I picked up my first S&W model 15 a few weeks ago. I'm absolutely flabbergasted at how well it shoots. It's a 15-3, with a 4 inch barrel. It cost me a bit more than the OP's total costs for his 2" Model 15-3!

    I see that the OP is also a talented leather worker. Great looking holsters.
     
  18. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    This old gal shot perfect at the qualification range today. Only one other revolver there today, a 3" 625. The 625's owner talked to me afterwards and loved my old girl!
     
  19. Catshooter

    Catshooter Member

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    Very nice, very nice indeed.


    Cat
     
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  20. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    Indeed I did, and you shot very well with her. I would like to have a Model 15 like that. I have its stainless cousin, a 4" Model 67 (no dash) I snagged a few years back for $350. Stocks were numbered to the frame so they're original. The Model 15 family is the best of S&W 38's (sorry J-framers and Model 10 lovers), except perhaps for the old 38/44 Heavy Duty or Outdoorsman.

    49837739246_48a416943f_o.jpg
     
  21. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I never considered myself a Smith guy .. but I have 3 Smith & Wesson revolvers and 2 Smith Semis
    They sorta sneak up on you .. and crawl in your safe
     
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  22. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    I like the model 67's and have my eyes open for one from time to time. That one is nice!

    I also have a S&W Model 28-2 that my Grandpa gave me in 1985. It was made in 1966.
     
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  23. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    The Model 28 is a fine firearm. I like them very much...managed to grab this like new 28-2 a few years ago...shipped in 1969.
    49777086113_e8ebe691d8_o.jpg
     
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  24. AZAndy

    AZAndy Member

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    Well done indeed! You saw a problem, figured out how to address it, and got it done without going crazy cost-wise. My hat is off to you!

    The only thing I have that's loosely similar to yours is this poor old thing:
    49snub.jpg
    M&P .38, shipped in September 1949. Original grips! I think you can see why it's next on my "Must Parkerize This" list. :D
     
  25. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    CD30CA02-2596-4BE5-BEA2-3DA5E64B8E67.jpeg 8DF0C112-D7F4-49B6-9B9C-1864C1DD45EA.jpeg I'm partial to hard chrome (Metalife). I had my Diamondback done years ago and it's a great finish! 8C584634-9236-48CE-AD3D-4BC679409A94.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
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