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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 08-06-2020, 02:50 AM
Moq Moq is offline
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I inherited this Model 15-1 from my late grandfather who used it as his bench gun while he was a Judge. The story is he bought it from his bailiff and kept it behind his desk while working. The knife is a prisoner's shank found after a days worth of cases.

Im curious to know if the grip, hammer and trigger are original. I can't seem to find any info or pictures of similar looking ones on this model of revolver. To my knowledge this is the way my grandfather bought the revolver. He didn't use it much, he wasn't much of a firearms buff. He had it to be used as a tool and nothing else.

Serial is K452xxx






The bigger the image the more detail. Also I cant figure out how to make them smaller while keeping detail. Sorry!



Imgur: The magic of the Internet

Last edited by Moq; 08-06-2020 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:26 AM
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Based on the serial number, your Model 15-1 should have shipped from the factory in 1961. The Target Hammer may be original to the gun but the Trigger Shoe, and the jeweling on the Trigger and Hammer are not how the gun was originally configured. The stocks appear to be a set that have been modified post factory and it's doubtful, in my opinion, they shipped with the gun.

This should be a four screw, but I couldn't verify that from your photos. The fourth screw is on the front of the trigger guard.

The Model 15-1 is sought after by collectors, but they will mainly be looking for one that hasn't been modified from its original configuration.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:01 AM
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Awesome info! Do these seem to be original grips that have been modified or some after market ones? Looking at pictures of grips online for the model 15 it seems a good amount of them have the Smith and Wesson "logo", for lack of a better term, embossed in them. I don't know enough to say whether only S&W does that or if other companies do that as well.

Im also interested to find out how much it would be to get the History back on this gun. I looked on S&W website and found the .PDF but I couldnt find a price.

Again thank you for all your help!

Edit: The single action on this gun is absolutely amazing. Wow.

Last edited by Moq; 08-06-2020 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:55 AM
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What a great family heirloom.

The stocks almost assuredly began life as factory target stocks with checkering. In 1961 they were 'clubby' and not that great for most hands and the modifications likely improved them a whole bunch.


The logo in the stocks are not embossed; they're actual brass medallions originally nickel plated and inletted in the stocks.

The original finish on the hammer and trigger was color case hardening.




An historical letter is $100 for non SWCA members.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:34 AM
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As mentioned the stocks probably started life as a set of checkered or smooth targets and were modified with the finger grooves.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:14 AM
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A stock hammer and trigger could be installed in the gun to take it back to factory original. Ditto with the stocks. But, then it wouldn't really be your Gr4andfathers gun anymore
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moq View Post
Im also interested to find out how much it would be to get the History back on this gun. I looked on S&W website and found the .PDF but I couldn't find a price.
The historical letter is $100, but it will not tell you anything about what happened to it after it left the factory - mainly just its shipping date and its first destination, nearly always to a S&W distributor, sporting goods or hardware store, etc., rarely to an individual. If it was part of a police buy direct from the factory, the letter might tell you that. Additionally it will provide a few paragraphs of boilerplate general information about the background of that model, which you can easily find on the internet if you google on "S&W Combat Masterpiece." Knowing this, if you still believe that the information provided in the letter is worth $100 to you, look here: Smith & Wesson Collectors Association

On my list, the closest SN to yours I have is K4593xx which shipped in 9/62. Yours could have shipped before or after that, but will probably be fairly close. It is definitely in the 1961 serial number manufacturing range (K429,895 K468,098).

The jeweled hammer and trigger and the modified grips (likely not original to the gun) have pretty well negated any collector value, but in your case that probably doesn't mean much. Model 15s are very common, and unless it's in like new condition and in its original box, it wouldn't have significant collector interest anyway. It's not too difficult to find correct style grips and hammer and trigger replacements, but it's not worth it to do so.

Last edited by DWalt; 08-06-2020 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:47 AM
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"Jeweling" used to be a thing. Lots of gunsmiths and gun owners would jewel metal parts on guns. This Model 15 has had it's hammer and trigger jeweled. Basically, it was done with a bit on a drill press or milling machine. It's just a surface decoration.

It also appears that a Tyler trigger shoe has been installed. You could remove that by loosening the two set screws on the side of the trigger shoe.

The grips have been modified (likely) or aftermarket.

The Model 15 is a six-shot .38 special revolver that was in common use during the 1950s up until the mid-1980s. Lots of police officers used them. Unlike it's S&W sibling, the even-more-common Model 10, it had adjustable sights. Otherwise, the same basic gun, with a slightly different barrel profile. The Model 15 was available with either 2 or 4 inch barrels, with the 4 inch being the most common.

The Model 15 is one of my favorite S&W revolvers. As a general purpose shooter/range/house gun, it's hard to beat.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:53 AM
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Most -1 model variations shipped from S&W in 1962. Based on the serial number of your Combat Masterpiece, I am sure yours did too.

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Old 08-06-2020, 08:12 AM
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You can't beat a 4" K-frame with adjustable sights.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:18 AM
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Welcome to the forum. I think your grandfather left you a very nice heirloom. That 15-1 should be a great shooter!
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:55 PM
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While jeweling is decorative there is some belief that the small swirls will hold a tiny bit of oil better than a smooth surface. I did it to a 6" model 28 I used to shoot in PRC years ago. Put, a new trigger and hammer in it before passing it to my oldest son.
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:30 PM
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Thank you all for all the awesome info! It's great to learn more about this family piece.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:05 AM
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K 419088 shipped in March 1962. It's a 17-1
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