S&W Model 15 vs 28

Model 15 or 28

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Theyre both fine models of gun.

But if it were me, I'd go with the Model 28. For house use, I'd be using 38 Specials, not 357 indoors. Since using 38 Specials, I'd like that little bit of extra velocity and likelihood of an expanding bullet opening up with the 6" barrel. I personally find the 6" barrel to be about the maximum that I still consider reasonably handy (depending on the type of barrel). The 28 has a tapered barrel and I'm guessing that the 15 has a bull barrel. You'd likely find that the 6" M28 is much handier in 'feel' than a 4" lug barrel 686, for example. Barrel profile makes a big difference.

If/when you do go to the range and shoot 357 in your gun, you'll like the extra weight of the Model 28. Good luck !

P.S. - what you described as 'a bit of rust built up' covers a lot of ground. From minor to major. That put me off a bit on the 15.
The M-15 can be more fun to shoot. It handles quick and K frames fit most hands better then big N frames.
A hot 38 spl for defense is good.
I have owned a 6" M-27 and it was big and heavy and not very handy to carry or sit in a car with. It would not hide in as many places around the home as a 4 inch M-15 will. Won't fit in a hat.
Old K frame police holsters were pretty common on various auction sites.
Safariland K frame speed loaders are pretty common.
I have a M-15 that hangs around the home and is used a couple times a year for our local ICORE shoot. Its kind of like a grandfather Glock.
Personally, I would find the model 15 much more enjoyable shooting at the range and base my decision on that. All the more so if you factor in carrying it either on your person or in the automobile. Big deal if the model 28 shoots 357. If I want an occasional hot loaded 38 Spl I'll make a few.
They are both fine revolvers. Both will give you a lifetime of service with the proper care. I collect Smiths and have versions of each. If it was MY decision, I would opt for the 28.

I have shot both lengths of barrels extensively and in a home defense situation the extra 2" on the 28 will make no practical difference in handling. The versatility of the .357 is what makes me vote for the 28.

It is truly one of the greatest cartridge/gun combinations there is. Loaded up, or down it can fill many rolls from hunting to home defense. They are accurate and while not as pretty as their fancier brother the 27, they get the job done. Also you can shoot .38 specials in them which makes it less expensive to practice with. And make no mistake, it is practice, practice, practice that will make you proficient with your new gun.

I would advise that if you are not familiar with handguns in general or revolvers in particular, invest some time in acquiring the skills to allow you to shoot your new gun well.
So which did you choose?

I have a Model 28 and a family member has a model 15, so I get to shoot either gun whenever I want to. I'll say you can't go wrong either way. Both are real sweet revolvers. The 28 is a big brute, but you can shoot 357s all day long and it won't break a sweat. Your hands won't take a beating either. Shooting 38s feel like 22 magnums in that gun. Then again, the 15 just balances nice and feels good in the hand. Both shoot great.

As far as durability, both are strong. The Model 28 is a tank it will take anything you can dish out except for maybe a steady diet of 180gr magnums. The smaller frame model 15 is probably less durable. I'm not sure if it is up for +P ammo or anything like that.
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Tough choice. I own both (6" mod 28 & 4" mod 15) and love them both.

Having said that : appropriately loaded .38 Specials are suitable for defense, others highly suited for target practice & due to its size , my 4" mod. 15 can be handled by any member of the household (some find the 28 too big).

And finally : as it has been said before & I agree : all 15's I ever handled were excellent guns in every respect.
Extra remark about the 15's strength & durability :
I don't think it's fair to compare the .38Spl K-frame mod. 15 to a .357 Mag L-frame 686 (or Ruger GP 100).
Last mod 15 I used, I shot about 100 - 150 rounds (mixed 148 gr wadcutters / standard velocity 158 gr SWC & 125 and 158 gr +P's) a week with for the last 18 years.
It is beginning to get a bit loose but still shoots 1.5" - 2" groups at 15 meters all day with any load.
I'm buying another soon.
I'm guessing you're in CT--maybe split the difference and get a Model 19/66 with four-inch barrel?

Model 28s are fairly rare in CT, Model 15s tend to be a little more common so you might want to keep looking for one in better shape. On the other hand, four-inch Model 19s/66s are a dime a dozen. Hoffmans, Cabelas, any gunshop in Fairfield County will have at least one.
He said for HD and punching paper. Model 28. The choice is remarkably simple.
Oh, my... :)

What a happy and consternating problem to have.. I own a 6" 28 and a 4" 15, and love them both dearly. The 28 was the first I'd seen with a lanyard loop on it, a feature I am not opposed to having, so I had one put on the 15 as well.
Before I go further, wasn't the model 13 a 38 spl?
While I think you will love either, as both are splendid shooters with excellent sights and, excellent reputations for ease durability, reliability, etc, as my advice is sought, I will recommend the 28 now, and the 15 later. :)
For me, the longer barrel and it's longer sight radius enable me to be more accurate; it does give one an option for magnums if one wishes; I have not noticed any difficulty in handling it and household distances; the barrel also seems to help contain muzzle signature.
Finally, even though the frame is larger, the wood grips can be changed out, inletted, filed, sanded, etc to make them quite comfortable even in my tiny hands... one of the reasons I like them so much is how personal a person could make the grips. :)
Please do let us know what you decide.. it would be hard to go wrong and you will most likely be quite happy either way. :).
I voted for the Model 15 before I read of the rusts issue.

I agree with rcmodel about a 5" Bbl. 28 being a bit rare.
I know in the late '70s a small shop in SPokane, had S&W
Model 28s in every bbl. leng offered at that time including
a 5" Bbl. model. I told a freind about this, and he bought
the 3 1/2" model He ended up selling it after finding out
how much muzle flash etc. with that short bbl. and .357s.

However the Model 28 is a great platform if you're considering
converting to a bigger bore/chambering.

For home defense, I would vote for a gun without adjustable sights, like a 4" Model 10. If it is sighted at all right from the factory, you don't need to adjust the sights at "across a room" distance, and the less to catch on something (robe, pillow, futon, whatever) the better. And without adjustable sights, the gun will be cheaper as well.

The 28 sounds like a pretty good deal, was it pinned and recessed? I prefer the 4" barrel version myself.

The 15 is a good gun, but for $400, you should be able to find one that is not rusty. Last year I bought a 15-nothing in the box in about 95% condition or better for $300.

If you like how the 15 handles, you might also want to look for a Model 10 (the original M&P). Same as the 15 but with fixed sights. Can be had in defferent barrel lenghts and both tapered and heavy barrel. Police trade in are less than $400.
Man, I'm stumped, I love both my 15 and 28. I got a pristine '79-'80 model 15 a couple years ago for about $380, and I shoot that thing better than any handgun I've even shot. I LOVE that pistol.
But, I traded into a model 28 a few years ago,and though it's a bit long in the tooth, with noticable finish issues and sloppy lock-up, that gun is a VERY sweet shooter. So much so that I've tried to find another.
As much as I'd like to recommend the model 15, I have to go with the power and verstility of the .38/.357 model 28.
Also, as others have stated, $400 is too much for the 15 if it has rust on it, but $500 is pretty fair for the 28 if it's nice,clean specimen.
Inside a house where carrying is not an issue, a 6" N-frame is a very nice tool; I have a S&W Mod 28 and it's not too big. Recoil is much more controllable and an N-frame .357 Mag can handle .38 Spl +P all day. Now an 8 3/8" S&W Mod 27 (got one of these also) would be a bit big, but the 6" barrel is a nice size IMO.
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