Thread: SW 12
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:42 PM
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Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
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Please note that the only negative replies seem to be from members that admit never owning a Model 12. There is also typically some inaccurate information given.

First, no model-marked Model 12 ever had an aluminum cylinder. The ones with aluminum cylinders were the earliest M&P Airweight guns that were manufactured prior to 1953, and model marking began in 1957-8.

Model 12 frames do not crack because the barrels were "overtightened", they were glued in using either "Loc-Tite Sleeve Mount" (high strength green), or a similar resin product. The M-12 barrels which I have removed in the past have had what definitely appears to be green Loc-Tite on the threads! The truth is that while frames sometimes do crack in the lunette, no one seems to really know what causes it! Same with J-Frame airweight models.

I have owned 4 Model 12s, a no-dash, a dash 1, and 2 dash 2s. I still own 3 of them, 2-2" and 1-4". In total I have fired thousands of rounds through them, some well exceeding +P pressures**, and have had no problems with any of them! Steel K-frame revolvers have been known to crack too, they do not get the publicity the Airweights do! In addition to my own guns I have handled probably in excess of 100 Model 12s of all dashes over the years and I have never seen a cracked frame!

(** Loads from an early manual when everyone assumed published loads in manuals were all safe!!!!) 125 gr JHP/4756 load from Speer #8. This is not a recommendation.

Model 12s are like any other gun, a tool. If used as intended they will wear and sometimes break, whether abused or not. If you worry about this then pass. If you are willing to take your chances then buy the gun and enjoy it.

So far as scarcity is concerned, if the gun you ask about is a round butt 4" then it is fairly uncommon. The majority of 4" M-12s I have seen have been square butt. And probably more than 90% of the Model 12s I have seen have been 2" barrels. As I recall I have only seen some 6-8 4" Model-12s, and all but 2-3 were square butt.
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961

Last edited by Alk8944; 07-16-2017 at 08:50 PM.
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