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  #1  
Old 02-23-2012, 11:06 AM
redbos redbos is offline
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Default S&W Model 18 Questions

Hi,

Been collecting S&W's for awhile and I dont know much about the Model 18 and I would like to know what you folks would buy for a collectors Model 18. Would like it to be all Target, but not sure if I should buy a Pre 18 or a 18-1, 18-2, etc....

Thanks so much for the info, a picture or two may be nice as well!
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:10 AM
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get any model 18 you can and shoot, shoot, shoot!!

My 18-3 is very accurate and well balanced.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:19 AM
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Buy condition.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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I don't know the engineering changes but here is a model 18-3

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camster View Post
Buy condition.
There are two other things to consider, that would be condition and condition. You've been around here awhile so you know the difference between a good shooter and a high condition revolver.

The only thing to add to that wold be age, the older the better.

And... if it's a gun you want and you know it's a good one - spend the money. Condition remains after price is forgotten.



GF
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:07 PM
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Yes, I typically buy S&W's at least in 95% condition , I do love NIB guns, but sometimes they are not around when I am ready.

Would you prefer a Pre 18 or a more modern vintage?
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:44 PM
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"Would you prefer a Pre 18 or a more modern vintage?"

Going by the condition of the gun I would gladly have a Mod 18 (up to about a -3 ) or even a newer one if the deal was right.

I'm getting where it's all about the older ones but I never look down my nose at a revolver at a good price.

Consider this as far as you being ready, keep the cash on hand and watch the gunshows, online auctions and classifieds. Wait for a good gun and be a bidder/ or make an offer up to where you're comfortable with. The guns I posted above are the only two Combat Masterpieces I own and it took me about four years of looking before I found them.
In the meantime I did find a nice 18-3 that was newer than what I wanted, but at 5 bills it was to good to leave on the table.

So... I guess it's all about condition first - at a reasonable price in your opinion ( and NOBODY else's ) and the hard part is to wait & hunt for both!

GF
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:52 PM
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The K-22 square butt 4" barrel 5 screw revolvers started using the model 18 designation in 1957.

The various engineering changes were:
18-1 1959, extractor rod thread direction
18-2 1961, cylinder stop change, deleted trigger guard screw
18-3 1967, rear sight leaf screw change
1968, deleted diamond grips
18-4 1977, gas ring from yoke to cylinder
1982, eliminate pined barrel
1985, model 18 discontinued

They are all great guns and I prefer them over the new ones.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:30 PM
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Condition is everything if you are looking for strictly a Collector. I usually go for decent condition shooters. I found this Pre-18 about a year ago in a Pawn shop. The problem with Mod 18's is "Finding Them".

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:27 PM
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Doubtful that anyone here would consider it a collector's item,but having a 18-3 already, and wanting another 18 but with target features and not finding one(extra fussy,I also am),I simply bought one of the new classics when Davidson's was running a sale.I bought it for me,not the next guy.Perfectly happy with it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:33 PM
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I hear you Camster, it is an individual thing. I do not prefer the newer guns even though folks say that the quality is there. Yeah, I would rather be picky on Condition and all the "T's" if I have to wait 6 months to find a stunning example, so be it, I can dream till then!
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:18 AM
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I spent several months looking for a decent model 18 that someone was willing to sell and ended up with a unfired 18-4. Little newer then I wanted but the price was reasonable and I will agree with others here when I say that they just don't pop up for sale as often as other models, they are in demand and don't go up for sale much locally.

I'd probably buy an older one if in nice shape and the price was right if I ran across it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:06 AM
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I think you are going to have a VERY difficult time finding an older gun with 3T's. I'm not even sure if I've ever SEEN one. Can someone post a pic if you have one?
f.t.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:30 AM
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I'm with Fat Tom... I've seen two factory all-target 18's in over 40 years of collecting and those were both very early factory ordered guns when special orders were still possible.

There are sure to be others out there, perhaps owner modified guns, but you may have a long, long wait finding one that's original. I'm not sure if other gun parts in their frame size are interchangeable but if they are you may want to add the necessary parts from a 17 to a standard Mod 18. That would seem to be a much more achievable goal...

Just sayin'
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:44 AM
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This is actually my first post here...glad I found this forum.
My model 18 which is also my first pistol...I bought it in 1981 and my dad had to sign for me..I was 13.
It has been SHOT! a tremendous amount but cleaned religiously and is still perfect.
I still have the original box/papers and the S and W holster I bought the same day.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:54 AM
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In 1972 I bought a new 18-3 no T.s NIB for $115.00. I made maybe $3.75 per hour.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:00 AM
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Two Weeks pay after taxes- climbing poles and making a living. Is it Obamas fault ??
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:15 AM
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I see, didnt know the Model 18's where mich more rare with all the T's...

I will settle for a nice minty one though!
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:36 AM
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Years ago, when I used to pour over an old dog eared copy of "The Shooters Bible" I wanted every gun I saw. But a Model 18 was near the top of the list. It had the looks of the bigger 38/357's but used the cheap 22 LR cartridge. What could be better?

Flash forward a bunch of years, and I still wanted one, but really didn't look seriously for it. Everything I read indicated that they were all priced in the $700-800.00 range. I didn't want to spend that much. I already had a 17-3, so that would have to do me.

Then while on a trip to Illinois, I saw a post on this board that the shop back home, where I did most of my business, had one for sale. I called the first thing the next morning and had them "hold" it for me.

Two days later, I got there to pick it up. It turned out to be a 1953, five screw, "pre-18", with diamond magna's numbered to the gun. As far as I know, it was the first one I have ever layed eyes on. It was sort of flat looking, but I have since learned that's normal for the post war guns. They were asking $499.00 for it which I thought was a steal. I tried to be cool though, and offered $450.00. They came back with $460.00. I was afraid to push it any further.

I don't know if that was a good price, or bad, or about normal. I was tickled to have it.





I had it out yesterday shooting it. Went through a couple of boxes of ammo. Man, it is a fun gun.

I don't think I've seen another one since. If I do, I might buy it.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:55 AM
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Default Any Model 18 will do.

Nothing like a k-22 thread to bring out the pictures. I lucked into this mint 18 for a very good price along with a 67 in the same deal. I was looking for quite a long time before I found it. Buy the first nice one you see in decent condition for a fair price, regardless of age. Shoot and enjoy it. Keep your eye out for an older one in high condition. You can always trade up or start a collection. They are certainly addicting. Never met a K-22 I didn't like.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:06 AM
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There's a nice 18-3 on G/B, seller is Locust Fork....
JIM............
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:00 AM
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I picked up a 18-2 a couple months ago from a coworker with box, tools, matching numbered grips and a spare set of target grips. I really like the way it shoots - this one gets handed down for sure. It also had the original sales receipt - purchased in 1968 for 70 dollars after a 20 dollar Colt 22 trade-in. I paid a few dollars more
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:13 AM
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I love going out to the range with a case full of .22 revolvers.
It is the SO range and the deputies who happen to be out there love shooting them-I usually bring an extra brick just for them to blow through. The K22 and the old three screw single six seem to get the most use. They think it's neat to be shooting a couple of guns made in the 1950's. I get carte blanch use of the range and every now and then I find a couple of boxes of 9 or .45 on the hood of my suburban-win win all around.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:14 PM
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I was looking for a model 17 when I found mine...it all worked out.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:15 PM
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I picked up my model 18 no dash at a gun show a couple of years ago. Paid $345 CDN for it. It was carried by a trapper for years, and looks it! Shoots very well though.



Frosty
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:54 PM
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So Jeff, would you think that every revolver stamped "Mod 18-1" was made either in 1959 or 1960 or 1961? And what about the earlier engineering version, the "Mod 18" (no dash) guns? Would you think every "Mod 18" stamped gun was made in 1957, 1958 or 1959? It seems logical that there would be no "Mod 18" guns made after "Mod 18-1" guns production had begun. Can you state where you found that table showing the years of engineering changes? Here's a somewhat related question: Do you think that the "Mod..." stamp is always done after the serial number has been stamped into the frame?
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:13 PM
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I bought this 18-4 (one of the last pinned barrels) 7-8 years ago for $300. It was ANIB when I bought it, but with incorrect grips. I didn't care. I've shot it a bunch, and it's of a model that S&W will work on if anything ever goes wrong with it. If you get too picky nowadays, better have a fat wallet.

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Old 11-28-2012, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDC View Post
I'm with Fat Tom... I've seen two factory all-target 18's in over 40 years of collecting and those were both very early factory ordered guns when special orders were still possible.

There are sure to be others out there, perhaps owner modified guns, but you may have a long, long wait finding one that's original. I'm not sure if other gun parts in their frame size are interchangeable but if they are you may want to add the necessary parts from a 17 to a standard Mod 18. That would seem to be a much more achievable goal...

Just sayin'
I guess it is time to get a letter on this one. The target stocks fit like they were made for this gun. Will post in a couple months.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:48 AM
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I have a 4-screw Model 18-1 I picked up about 20 years ago when no one wanted revolvers, everybody had to have a Wondernine, for $160. Those days are long gone!

It's a shooter rather than collecter condition, but still about 90% shape. It is a terrific gun for the range, I taught several ladyfriends to shoot with it. And I carried it often in the field when bird hunting before I got the 2" Model 63. Made one of my craziest memorable squirrel shots ever with that M-18.....a squirrel ran out on a big oak limb when I was walking in from grouse hunting in the mountains one time. I figured he was about 70 yards away. I needed some Brunswick stew ingredients anyway, so held some Kentucky elevation a couple of inches over his back and touched one off. Nothing happened, didn't even move, just sat there in a position like he was eating a nut for about 30 seconds. I figured I had missed him so badly the shot didn't even get close enough to bother him. Then he just fell, a total dead fall in that same sitting position right off the limb. I went to pick him up and he was centered in the heart lung area. I walked it back and it was 72 paces. Pretty crazy reaction. I guess the velocity had dropped enough it just punched through without much shock and he bled out internally.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:38 AM
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Model 18's are great, 3rd down from the top is an 18-4 with factory .500 TH and .400 TT,
never seen a Model 18 with an original RR/WO though.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:04 PM
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I just won an 18-2 on GB:
Smith & Wesson Model 18-2 Revolver - NO RESERVE : Revolvers at GunBroker.com
At $495, do you think it's worth it?
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:28 PM
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The Model 18 is a great revolver and I have two one an 18-3 and the other a 18-4 without the pinned barrel and they are both great shooters.
The Model 18-4 is Brenda's revolver and she shoots it really well with a set of grips thinen down to fit her hand.

My Model 18-3 with Kurac Colo Bolo grips

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:28 PM
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I think that $495 is a good price; I purchased an 18-2 in similar condition with the original grips a few months ago for $550. It has quickly become my favorite revolver.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:15 PM
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I bought my 18-3 in 1976 new for $160. It's been on many deer hunts, and still looks like new. The only blue wear in on the ejector rod. I took it out the other day and ran about 100 rounds of everything I had, no problems. The gun still shoots and feels good in the hand, and has the nicest action of any 22 revolver I have handled.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:19 PM
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When you add a set of original grips , shipping and transfer fees etc it might be a tad on the high side but one year from now it will be your favorite shooter and you will have forgotten what you paid for it.

BTW the 18-2 came with diamond Magna stocks then changed to non diamond Magnas before the dash 3 change over so depending on when it shipped it could have either.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:18 PM
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I have a Model 18-3 that dates to 1971. It has the Target Trigger and Target Hammer but unnumbered Magna Stocks. I bought it used and have not lettered it but have always thought it odd to only have 2 of the 3 target options. While I have seen many Model 19's with 4" barrels and the 3T options I don't recall seeing many Model 15's or Model 18's with target options.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:10 PM
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I've had my 3T's 18-3 for over 5 years and never knew this an uncommon configuration. Should I assume it was owner modified, or get a letter? Or does it really matter with a -3?

I remember the rack of stocks, hammers and triggers in blister packs at gun shops in the 70's, so it's likely modified. I wonder what 3T's in blister packs cost in the 70's. Probably wasn't cheap even then.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat tom View Post
I think you are going to have a VERY difficult time finding an older gun with 3T's. I'm not even sure if I've ever SEEN one. Can someone post a pic if you have one?
f.t.
Just got an 18-2 today at LGS, 3Ts, box, papers, looks unfired, out of an estate sale. Has RR front sight, WO rear as noted on the box. SN499xxx. When I took the paper clip off the papers I found the papers for the 29 no dash I put on layaway, same condition, but no box, just a wooden one with some tools. $450 for the 18, $750 for the 29. Did I do OK? I need help posting pics.

Last edited by someone; 10-14-2013 at 03:58 AM. Reason: I had the SN wrong.
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  #39  
Old 10-13-2013, 09:18 PM
butchkent butchkent is offline
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IMHO buy what you like based on your use. If you simply collect, pay for quality and you will never regret it. If you only want one yo shoot, buy the best condition non- mint you can find. I say that because while I shoot and collect, I want my shooters to look good and I take good care of them.
On several occasions, I have bought a as news in box with the intent of shooting it. NOT! Just doesn't work for me. So I end up buying a second example that I know has been fired so I have one I'll be willing to shoot. Now am very content. Just broke.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:51 PM
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About two yrs. ago I lucked onto an 18-3 in decent condition for about $350. It sees lots of range time and is one I'll never sell or trade.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:43 PM
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Just joined this forum to get some insight.

In about 1977 or so, I bought a Model 18 with 3 Ts, used, for I believe, 215.00. Shot a jillion rounds through it, then traded it to my Dad, probably for something bigger.

Didn't take long, I wanted it back, but old Dad said sorry.

Fast forward to 2001. Dad passes away. A few months later, Mom is ready to clear out his stuff, and I'm thinking, of all the guns I know are there, I just want the 18. Unfortunately, it was gone who knows where and when.

I post this because I now want one for my son and grandsons, but dang, the price! Have to save a while longer.

Just want the grandsons to have what in my opinion is the finest revolver I know of.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by model17 View Post
get any model 18 you can and shoot, shoot, shoot!!
Amen! I've been searching for a decent one for quite a long time. They are extremely hard to find in my highly restricted nanny state. Sometimes I think I'll have to settle for the more common Model 17 instead... but the truth is that I'll always want a Model 18.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
Model 18's are great, 3rd down from the top is an 18-4 with factory .500 TH and .400 TT,
never seen a Model 18 with an original RR/WO though.
[/IMG]
I haven't lettered this one and don't have the box so it is up in the air on this one.I think I recall some in another thread that did letter that way though.

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Old 02-23-2014, 04:38 PM
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FWIW if you can find a 18 buy it......generally the only time you see an Model 18 these days is when someone dies!!!!!

Locally in the last ...........8-10 years I've seen maybe 5-6 17s for sale and only 1 Model 18-4 (77).....last time I had it at the range I was offered $1000......... and he wasn't kidding!!!!!!
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:01 PM
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Gah, I had a 18 no dash, box, papers and tools about 90%. Traded a 629-6 for it and 75 bucks. I traded it for a rare winchester 1892... don't have it anymore either. I'm still kicking my own @$$ for letting the 18 go. I wasn't serious about collecting then...
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:30 PM
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My 18-3 came w/a target hammer & trigger when I got it used, shooter ++ condition. Does anyone know if they came from the factory equipped that way (I didn't think to ask the seller)?
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:15 PM
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They seem to be much more rare than the Model 17. I lucked into one about five years ago. Double lucky as I got it for $425.00 plus tax from a dealer.

It's a dream to shoot. I've taught a number of people to shoot using it and they've all loved it. My son wants me to sell him mine, but I've told him that it's my daughter in laws once I'm no longer able to use it. She's shot his Taurus 94, but refuses to shoot it now that she's shot the 18.

I've told my son he'll just have to keep haunting the gun stores and pawn shops on the chance he comes across one. One place had a matching set of revolvers in .22LR and .38 Spcl, but wanted about $1,600.00 for the pair.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
FWIW if you can find a 18 buy it......generally the only time you see an Model 18 these days is when someone dies!!!!!

Locally in the last ...........8-10 years I've seen maybe 5-6 17s for sale and only 1 Model 18-4 (77).....last time I had it at the range I was offered $1000......... and he wasn't kidding!!!!!!
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:19 AM
darren.66 darren.66 is offline
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Hi, I've been reading this forum for a while now and decided it was time to register after having lucked out and purchased a mint model 18-3 s/n 6k73xx for US$475.00 (A$650) today.
I also have a 17-3 from the mid seventies so is the 18-3 a similar age?
I will post some pics when I get it in a couple of weeks ( its from another state - our annoying transfer laws in Australia)

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:49 AM
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Darren,
You revived a semi-aged thread but all good info and the only thing that likely is not current is prices that were posted in 2012, etc.
Welcome to the forum and congrats on the M18. It appears it's a 1975 vintage and sounds like a good deal.
Your M17 may be around the same time frame but without the serial #, it's a guess. The 17-3 ran from 1967 -1977, same as the M18-3.
ETA: Yes, pics are required.

Last edited by jack the toad; 08-31-2015 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:03 AM
darren.66 darren.66 is offline
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Thanks Jack,
The model 17-3 s/n is 8k14xx
Darren
ps any rules / etiquette issues regarding old threads I should know about?
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