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  #1  
Old 06-26-2011, 05:57 PM
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Default Model 15 - For the USAF SPs

First off, this is not a USAF revolver but I wanted a Model 15 similar to the ones I carried as a SP.

I bought this Model 15-2 but it didn't have the correct target trigger and hammer. One of the forum members here was kind enough to sell me a really nice set for a fair price. I just got them installed today.

With a little banging around and some holster wear, this will match the ones I carried.

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Old 06-26-2011, 06:07 PM
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stick it in a wet holster for a day or so, and bang the stocks into your car door about 76 times and it will look original.....
Seriously, that is a nice piece, I am glad you were able to make it right for you
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:21 PM
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That blue looks like liquid steel. Nice!
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:31 PM
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Beautiful Model 15 ..........the blueing {IS} liquid-like
How did you spit-shine it?
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:36 PM
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wow that is a nice model 15.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VM View Post
Beautiful Model 15 ..........the blueing {IS} liquid-like
How did you spit-shine it?
Thanks.

Only spit-shined the boots and those days are long past (though I still have a pair that would pass inspection).

I just wiped the revolver down with my CLP rag and the sun was right.
It really does look better in the photo than it does in real life. After some time at the range it will take on the proper look.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:42 PM
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I passed up a fairly nice M15 for $250 with USAF stamped into the side because it looked like it was done by an unsteady hand. But they actually were done by hand.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:46 PM
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Beautiful 15!! NICE picture too!

rags
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:07 PM
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Beautiful example. We didn't have any like that in the armory when I was an SP and I picked through them, I was an armorer for a while.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:17 PM
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Neat to see that revolver, have been quietly looking for one for awhile. While not in SP, I have carried one a good deal in Air Force duty. I even won a leg match with one "in the day." I shot lots of them, and despite frequent criticism about their inaccuracy (from folks who weren't good shots themselves), I found those I shot extremely accurate.

Thanks for the memory...
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:42 PM
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When I was an AP assigned to flight line security, in Florida '63-'67, we used old M&P .38's stamped, Property U.S. Navy. When I was assigned to Base Police we used worn out Colt Official Police, also .38's. I guess when the Air Force change from AP to SP they got new guns as well as new bagdes.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:21 AM
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Very nice Model 15.

Now, a question from an old ground pounder.

Were you SP folks trained to fire single-action or double action?

My 15-4 has a smooth combat trigger that, for me at least, is much easier to manipulate in DA firing than the TT would be.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:07 AM
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Nice old Smith.
I finished up at KI Sawyer in '76, and never had a problem qualifying with any Model 15 I ever carried.

Years later, I picked the best one from a plastic 5-gallon bucket of local sheriff's office trade-ins at a cop shop because I wanted that model. It has the SO stamped on it & doesn't look anywhere near as nice as the one pictured, but on the other hand it's in better shape than many I saw during my 4-year hitch.

On a side note, my SP badge was lost somehow when it came time to turn in my issued gear on separation. I had to pay an exhorbitant fee of something like $3 to Sam to cover the loss. I felt very shamed over my inability to take proper care of government property, could barely hold my head up in front of the supply sergeant.

Not too long after returning home as a free man, the badge miraculously reappeared in my suitcase, of all places.
I considered contacting my former SP commander at KI to return the badge & get a refund on my three bucks, but reluctantly decided it'd probably cost the government accounting people at least $30 million dollars to do the necessary paperwork and dropped the idea.

Denis
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:50 AM
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This thread brings back a lot of memories as I was an AP 1966/70. I never could figure why the USAF specified target hammers and triggers. Perhaps that great gun guy general Curtis Lemay may have had something to do with it. No matter though they were and still are great revolvers, especially for those of us who carried them.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:29 AM
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Nice M15! The ones we carried never looked that good. All of the ones I ever fired were extremely accurate, unless the rear sight was loose. The accuracy came back as soon as it was tightened. Thanks for posting this, it brings back a lot of memories.

Krehmkej; We qualified and trained double action with these. I remember a lot of double action dry firing, in the classroom, with a quarter on top of the barrel.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:24 PM
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Beautiful 15.
I made this set up to match what I carried in the early '80's at Grissom AFB.

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krehmkej View Post
Very nice Model 15.

Now, a question from an old ground pounder.

Were you SP folks trained to fire single-action or double action?

My 15-4 has a smooth combat trigger that, for me at least, is much easier to manipulate in DA firing than the TT would be.
I was taught to use both SA and DA fire. As I recall, the idea was to cock the hammer if the opponent was over 15 yards away. But instruction may have varied by base and time.

I was second man in my graduating class at what was then AP school at Lackland AFB. I still have an honor citation for that, I think.

Someone posted here awhile back that the target hammer and trigger were to make the gun more useable with gloves on. Don't know how true that is. I heard that LeMay was desperate to get his troops shooting passably, and he may have thought that the target parts would help. I really prefer the std. hammer and trigger on K-frames.

We were issued a swivel holster, but they were in short supply and I often wore a Threepersons holster made for me by a shoe repair shop in Dallas. Also had a Lawrence holster, but don't know the model number. Bought it off-base in Denver.

T-Star

Last edited by Texas Star; 06-27-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GF1 View Post
\I found those I shot extremely accurate.
Agreed.
I shot Expert at Kadena with one, as issued. When I finished my 100 rounds, there was nothing but a hole in the middle of the black, with no fliers.
Definitely satisfactory accuracy.
JP
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:21 PM
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Great guns, here is an original one that survived in pretty decent condition, if I recall the grips are not numbered to this gun.



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Old 06-27-2011, 05:45 PM
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The first time I was issued a M-15 in the Air Force was when I was assigned, as a 2/Lt, the additional duty as a Pay Master, we paid in cash then. I qualified Expert the first time I took it out. I got to shoot one quite a bit as a Training Officer at AF Officer's Training School, Lackland AFB, but was never issued one. When I entered the AF Office of Special Investigations it was our issue weapon for a while. I was issued a 2" barrel M-15. In 1982, while on temporary duty at Lackland I was a "walk on" in an Excellence In Competition Match. I took home a Bronze Leg metal, won with a line M-15 I had never seen before. Great old guns!!!! Many memories. Keep shootin'
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:15 AM
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They were nice guns, especially compared to the "US Navy" marked Victory Models that were still in circulation in the mid-60s. I took some handloads over to SEA with me--12 grains of Unique and a cast 150 grain SWCHP to load in the M15. I would load up the 130 grain FMJ ball ammo at guardmount and later on post swap in those Keith loads.

I had a nice ex-police one that I put Spegels on for a while but my son pried it away from me. I need another.

Concur that we need a USAF commemorative but S&W would probably make them with MIM parts, a lock, and a Liddy light.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:35 AM
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ERRATA: Not 12 grains of UNIQUE (!) but 12.0 of #2400.

It's been a long day.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:36 AM
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Thanks for the quick correction, BG.

I nearly gagged on my coffee when I read 12.0 gr. Unique. Currently, I am developing a Unique load by edging upwards toward 5.0 gr. Unique/158 gr. SWC and the thought of 12.0 was a shock.

Honestly, my first thought was, "Obviously this guy never fired one of those rounds because he is still alive!" ;-)
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:42 AM
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Many years ago, when I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca, I recall an event when the SPs on gate guard at Davis Monthan were screwing around playing "quick draw". Guess this was was with their mod 15s. IIRC, the one who was hit did not make it. Guess that was with USAF issue loads, too. RIP
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:49 AM
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Never used an M15 during my 21 years USAF active duty. A lot of my Air Police (later Security Police) friends did, though.

However, when I was a flying as the Electronics Maintenence Technician on USAFSS flights, we were issued an S&W short barreled K-Frame in our survival vests. Had 6-rounds of hardball, and 6-rounds of tracer ammo provided . Don't remember what the model number was.

Later, when I was with AFOSI as a Technical Agent, we had S&W M36s with 3" barrels. Unfortunately, they didn't hold up very well to the USAF issued hardball ammo.

But, yes, the M15 was a very nice gun. I almost bought one some years ago, but decided instead to buy my M66 no-dash, which I still have.

Nice to read through this thread. Even brought back memories for me, even though I wasn't in the APs/SPs. Like I said, a lot of my friends were. When you're stationed on an AC&W Radar Site, we all got to be friends, just wasn't enough of us there to not be.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:56 PM
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I was a civilian LEO in 1978, issued a NIB 4 inch Model 15. I was also a Security Specialist in the ANG and shot Expert with the 4 inch Model 15 at the Medina Annex ranges at Lackland AFB. After commissioning and navigator training, I was assigned a 2 inch Model 15 to carry in a survival vest during deployments and alerts. The gun was issued by the Life Support/Personal Equipment shop. When I deployed to Desert Shield, I carried a 4 inch Model 15 and converted to the M9 while in Saudi Arabia. I still have my original AF blue web belt, swivel holster, and (a replacement) drop box that I carried as a Security Controller, as well as a replacement 4 inch and 2 inch Model 15. The 4 inch gun has the target trigger and hammer just like I carried at my first LE job. Great memories of and with those guns.
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:55 PM
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Went thru SP/LE Tech school at Lackland in Aug-Sept 1979 (6 weeks, 3 days as I recall). First three days of school, you board a bus to firing ranges at nearby Medina. Model 15 with target hammer/target trigger. Lots of .38 wadcutters. The "Red hats" taught us. I can't remember the course of fire, but I do remember them encouraging us to shoot the gun "single-action" as much as possible. Holster said "Oklahoma Leather" products stamped on back. Green nylon web belt; dump pouches. That's about all I remember. Then on to 5 weeks of Air Base Ground Defense school at nearby Camp Bullis. But thats a different story.....
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:36 AM
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As the Maintenance Support / Supply Officer in SEA, Udorn 68-69, I saw my share of Model 15's. Previously I had purchase a Model 18 ($88.00 in 67) for my own practice since we had very little range time stateside at Shaw. (When you were making $303.90, that $88.00 was stiff.) I wanted my own Model 15 but they were a little hard to find in the late 60's. At last I found a new one in Lubbock, TX in late 1970 just before leaving active duty. Price $108.00 at Furr's. Fortunately, both are still with me. But I am still looking for the right USAF marked one.

My brother was an AP/SP in the early to mid 70's. He is very sure that at some time he carried a Model 14 in 4 inch. If any one else remembers carrying a Model 14, please let us know.

Thanks and enjoy that really nice 15.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florange View Post
As the Maintenance Support / Supply Officer in SEA, Udorn 68-69, I saw my share of Model 15's. Previously I had purchase a Model 18 ($88.00 in 67) for my own practice since we had very little range time stateside at Shaw. (When you were making $303.90, that $88.00 was stiff.) I wanted my own Model 15 but they were a little hard to find in the late 60's. At last I found a new one in Lubbock, TX in late 1970 just before leaving active duty. Price $108.00 at Furr's. Fortunately, both are still with me. But I am still looking for the right USAF marked one.

My brother was an AP/SP in the early to mid 70's. He is very sure that at some time he carried a Model 14 in 4 inch. If any one else remembers carrying a Model 14, please let us know.

Thanks and enjoy that really nice 15.

I knew an officer at Lowry AFB in Denver who carried a Model 14, but I'm pretty sure that it was his own gun. It had the usual six-inch barrel. All the M-15's I saw were the usual four-inch.

Your friend could have seen a Model 15 that was mismarked, using a Model 14 frame. Otherwise, I suspect that his memory is off a digit.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S. Hammer View Post
Beautiful 15.
I made this set up to match what I carried in the early '80's at Grissom AFB.


What goes in the green webbing pouch behind the holster? I wasn't issued that setup. I had the black swivel holster on the leather garrison belt. But I mostly worked law enforcement posts, not flightline security.

I did work as an access controller at sensitive posts like the Nuclear Weapons School and the Air Intelligence School. But I wore khakis and the black gear. White hat, before the blue beret was issued.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:56 PM
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Very nice looking model 15 there. I too needed a model 15 as my nostalgia gun from my days as an SP. Although the vast majority of my time I carried either an M-16 or M-60 doing nuclear security, I carried the M-15 on special occasions and used it to compete as a member of the base rifle/pistol team (don't bother looking for me in the record books).

My son and I recently picked up a pair of shooter grade model 15's. On our first trip to the range he shot his better that any handgun he ever fired. He's hooked!!

Oh, BTW the green pouch on the web belt above looks like what we used as a lensatic compass case. They were also quite handy to keep a pack of smokes in so your shirt pocket stayed flat.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:05 PM
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Just remembered an episode of Star Trek from 1969,
Looked it up and its Part 36 "Tomorrow is Yesterday"

They basicly go back in time and get caught by Air Force security .


I viewed it on You Tube,
Weird thing is they are wearing white plastic imitation stag handled Model 10's turned backwards on their left hips.


Here is a link for those who are fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOvSH...eature=related

Last edited by Engine49guy; 07-05-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:36 PM
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Here's why: Nickel plated Victories
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:01 PM
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I found a ex police Model 15 and grabbed it. It has some holster wear but it is mechanically tight. I carried one of the as an SP also. I was carrying on when SPs were still APs. Oh how we grow old. The gun shoots better than I do, very accurate. I just obtained a K22 Model 18 See Dream Realize in the 1896 - 1961 Thread. It's the same weight and size as the Model 15.
Enjoy your 15, they are really classic firearms.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:08 PM
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Default SAC AP

I was stationed on a SAC base, '63-'67 as an AP. I remember seeing a picture of an AP w/ an AF blue wool shirt, white ascot w/ a SAC w/ emblem on it, blue beret, a black leather belt, silver belt buckle and cross draw black holster. His M15 had stag stocks. I believe this was the dress of AP's at SAC Hg, Offut AFB.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
What goes in the green webbing pouch behind the holster? I wasn't issued that setup. I had the black swivel holster on the leather garrison belt. But I mostly worked law enforcement posts, not flightline security.

I did work as an access controller at sensitive posts like the Nuclear Weapons School and the Air Intelligence School. But I wore khakis and the black gear. White hat, before the blue beret was issued.
It was supposed to be a compass pouch, but we were issued them for our handcuffs. They were a good fit for the issue cuffs.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:52 PM
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I was in from Jun 63 to Jun 67, and carried a Model 15 when I worked Town Patrol while stationed at Clark Air Base, PI. I also carried a Model 15 when I worked Law Enforcement at Webb AFB, TX. I do not remember if the guns had TT & TH though. Back then we were called Air Police whether we worked Law Enforcement or Security.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:22 AM
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I was in from Jun 63 to Jun 67, and carried a Model 15 when I worked Town Patrol while stationed at Clark Air Base, PI. I also carried a Model 15 when I worked Law Enforcement at Webb AFB, TX. I do not remember if the guns had TT & TH though. Back then we were called Air Police whether we worked Law Enforcement or Security.
In the immortal words of Gary Cooper...yup.

And at the bases where I was, I worked law enforcement one day and security the next. Same uniform. I never wore fatigues on duty until I was transferred to a base in Newfoundland. The only post we had there was Desk Sgt./Access Controller to the radar room.

Most of our security augmentees barely remembered how to work the .30 carbine, and didn't care. None of them knew how to operate the .45 auto, which was still the issue handgun there. I worried quite a bit about what would happen if a Soviet sub landed spetznaz forces to take us out before their bombers came. The purpose of our radar site was to detect incoming enemy aircraft, and they often tried to find holes in our defenses. When they were spotted, the Weapons Control Officer in the dome called F-106's down from Goose Bay to run them back out to sea.

Last edited by Texas Star; 07-06-2011 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
Just remembered an episode of Star Trek from 1969,
Looked it up and its Part 36 "Tomorrow is Yesterday"

They basicly go back in time and get caught by Air Force security .


I viewed it on You Tube,
Weird thing is they are wearing white plastic imitation stag handled Model 10's turned backwards on their left hips.


Here is a link for those who are fans.

YouTube - &#x202a;Tomorrow Is Yesterday - Kirk interrogated&#x202c;&rlm;


I recall that episode well, and think the liberal producers presented the AP's as being pretty stupid. But the F-101 driver came off pretty well. (I think I remember the fighter as being an F-101.)

T-Star
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:21 AM
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The SAC Elite Guard was only at SAC Headquarters, Offutt AFB, NE.
SAC Elite Guard

Last edited by safearm; 07-06-2011 at 09:24 AM.
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  #41  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:33 AM
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Default Mod 15 USAF

I carried one for my time 1971/1974. I shot on the SAC R/P team
at SAC HQ, then the PACAF one in SEA. Loved it. Had same 15 before I went in.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
In the immortal words of Gary Cooper...yup.

And at the bases where I was, I worked law enforcement one day and security the next. Same uniform. I never wore fatigues on duty until I was transferred to a base in Newfoundland. The only post we had there was Desk Sgt./Access Controller to the radar room.

Most of our security augmentees barely remembered how to work the .30 carbine, and didn't care. None of them knew how to operate the .45 auto, which was still the issue handgun there. I worried quite a bit about what would happen if a Soviet sub landed spetznaz forces to take us out before their bombers came. The purpose of our radar site was to detect incoming enemy aircraft, and they often tried to find holes in our defenses. When they were spotted, the Weapons Control Officer in the dome called F-106's down from Goose Bay to run them back out to sea.
The first night I was at Ben Hoa AB, VN, we were hit by mortars. I was put in charge of about 20 personnel, and we were stationed along a fence line. The personnel were cooks, clerks, etc., and most of them didn't know what to do with an M2 carbine or an AR15. I told them not to load their weapons, which some did not know how to do, and prayed a lot. One Ssgt was given a new AR15, and he knew absolutely nothing about it and had never seen one till then. It was a long night, but fortunately all we got were mortars and not ground troops coming in afterwards.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:46 AM
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I have a Pre Model 15 K-38 blued with very little wear I'd love to get rid of.
It's a beautiful gun, and shoots well, but as I learned from my blued Norinco, my house is just too humid to avoid spot rust without daily maintenance.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:43 PM
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I have been looking for a M-15 2" like I was issued as aircrew up through Desert Storm. Would love to find one, especially stamped USAF, but realize probabilities are low. I did just find a pristine M10-7 2" at the Orlando gun show but alas no M-15 2" guns found.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:19 PM
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It's been pointed out that the 2" K frame I remember being issued as a C-130 pilot in the 1987-1992 timeframe may have been an M56 rather than an M15. Perhaps so, I can't recall for certain. I did read in Supica's book that the M56 guns were made in 1962-1963 for USAF. The ones I drew from the armory were in pretty darn good shape and if they were 25 years old then, well they had not been to Vietnam! Maybe 15, maybe 56, I don't know. I would be very happy with a 2" M15 for myself though as the now very rare M56s are quite expensive...most were destroyed apparently!!
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
I recall that episode well, and think the liberal producers presented the AP's as being pretty stupid. But the F-101 driver came off pretty well. (I think I remember the fighter as being an F-101.)

T-Star
It was actually an F-104A Starfighter. That is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. I think they did a pretty good job equipping the AF personnel, probably as close to authentic as they could get.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:21 PM
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Thumbs up My 15-3 2" Nickel

What a GREAT thread!

Bought my 15-3 2" Nickel from a buddy who said it was his "back-up" while he was "guarding the B-52's during the Cold War".

His favorite boast was that "we never lost a single B-52 on the ground" while he was on duty...

He asked (& I gladly paid!) $100 in 1992, as I recall: have the original wooden grips (would these be Goncalo Alves?), case hardened trigger and hammer.

Cheers!

Last edited by STORMINORMAN; 08-13-2011 at 12:22 PM. Reason: speling typo
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STORMINORMAN View Post
What a GREAT thread!

Bought my 15-3 2" Nickel from a buddy who said it was his "back-up" while he was "guarding the B-52's during the Cold War".

His favorite boast was that "we never lost a single B-52 on the ground" while he was on duty...

He asked (& I gladly paid!) $100 in 1992, as I recall: have the original wooden grips (would these be Goncalo Alves?), case hardened trigger and hammer.

Cheers!
Walnut stocks at that time. We like photos .
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:05 PM
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that is a beaut for sure. love when a firearm is like a time machine. any time i pull my old 870 pump and rack the slide its just like setting down into a duck blind. i can almost feel the nip of autum and smell the marsh just thinking about it.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:09 PM
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I carried the venerable model 15 for my four years in the USAF SPs. Of course, when I went in, we were called Apes, (Air Police). I really enjoyed the model 15 and like so many here, have finally obtained one for myself. Not a USAF model, but a 15 nonetheless. Good to hear so many love this gun. Keep your powder dry.
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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 Thread, Model 15 - For the USAF SPs in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; First off, this is not a USAF revolver but I wanted a Model 15 similar to the ones I carried ...
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