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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 01-20-2020, 11:06 PM
Outdoorguy1950 Outdoorguy1950 is offline
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Default Year of manufacture 15-4

New to the forum. Former Military Working Dog Handler. Air Force. Looked for a while now for a good example of the model 15 I carried state side in the late 60s and 70s. Today I found a good clean model 15, purchased it, and now trying to figure out year of manufacture. It is a 15-4, very good condition. Only has some aftermarket grips which I will replace with magna grips. It appears in better shape than most of the ones I was issued. Serial # 84K4748. I would appreciate any help I could get from those more knowledgeable than I. Thank You.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:10 PM
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Welcome to the forum....and thank you for your service in the military.

According to the Standard Catalog, your revolver, known as the K-38 Combat Masterpiece, was manufactured in 1980.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:26 AM
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Hi Outdoorguy1950

Welcome to the Forum.

I was in the USAF around the same time period you were and carried the .38 Combat Masterpiece as well, but I wasn't stateside. Spent two years in SE Asia.

The Model 15s we had were -2 and -3. The -4 did not show up until 1977. But except for one small engineering change, the gun you just bought is the same as the one you carried in the service. Enjoy it.

Here's a pic of one of mine (a -2 from June, 1966).
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:19 AM
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If you used a military contract model 15 in the USAF, it would have had the wider Target hammer and trigger as shown in Jack's photo, and (as you seem to know) the smaller Magna stocks. We like photos, by the way . Enjoy!
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:48 AM
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Also, I recall reading the last military model 15s (used for blank fire training with dogs) were recently taken out of service, being suitable for one handed use with the other hand busy using a leash. Use of multiple blanks with an M9 or M17 with one hand occupied should be...interesting.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:58 PM
Outdoorguy1950 Outdoorguy1950 is offline
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When I was overseas doghandlers carried the GAU-5a, a stubby ar15, with a short barrel and flash hider and collapsible stock. Stateside it was always the model 15. It was all about controlling your dog. Thanks for the response. The 4 series came out about the time I got out. All the 15s I carried were 2-3, but I don't see or know what the changes were. ⁷Close enough for a nostalgia trip.
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
If you used a military contract model 15 in the USAF, it would have had the wider Target hammer and trigger as shown in Jack's photo, and (as you seem to know) the smaller Magna stocks. We like photos, by the way . Enjoy!
I know all the 15's purchased for SAC had the target hammer and trigger, did other military purchases also have them or the standard pieces?
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:53 PM
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All the U.S.A.F. or U.S. stamped model 15s I have seen always had the TH and TT. Others here probably more know than I do and may comment further.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:49 PM
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My experience in theatre ('Nam, Thailand, Okinawa) - all had TT and TH with Magna stocks, as Alan mentioned.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:46 PM
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Once again, you guys amaze me with your knowledge...

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Old 01-23-2020, 08:47 AM
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Welcome to the forum! thanks for your service....lots to learn here
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:14 AM
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Welcome to the Forum from Arkansas! Very nice piece of S&W History You have there! Thanks for your Service. 20 Yr Army Vet here!
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:40 AM
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Hi from North Dakota
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:51 PM
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Welcome to the Forum. I carried a Model 15 as an issue gun with a suburban Chicago police department and as a Weapon System Security Specialist/Security Controller with the Illinois Air National Guard. With my city gun, I replaced the stock magna grips (I was issued a brand-new in the blue cardboard box gun, not a hand-me-down gun) with Pachmayr grips on it; the military gun came out of the armory with magna grips each time we went on duty. You were allowed to swap out the grips for your own grips/grip adapter, but when the gun was returned to the armory, it had to have the magna grips on it.
I was commissioned and went to Undergraduate Navigator Training and after I became a mission ready KC-135 navigator, I carried the Model 15 on operational missions. When I deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 during Desert Shield, I carried a four inch Model 15 with me. When I arrived in Jeddah, I turned in the Model 15 and never saw it again; we were issued Beretta M-9s from then on.

P.S.- I own a 15-2 from 1963 with Pachmayr grips it, just like I carried many years ago.

Last edited by safearm; 01-23-2020 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:53 PM
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i worked with USAF small arms and can verify that all usaf marked handguns had the target hammer and target trigger. 4" model 15s by the hundreds!
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:07 PM
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I too have a Model 15-4 with TH, TT, & magna grips. Shortly after I bought it for my collection, my wife claimed it as her nightstand and travel firearm. Then she asked me to put some Altamont faux pearl magna grips on it so it would "look more feminine and pretty." She shoots her Combat Masterpiece very well. That's why she claimed it!

No doubt, the Model 15 "Combat Masterpiece" is a most excellent revolver!

S&W Model 15-4 "Combat Masterpiece" in .38 Special




Thanks for looking at my wife's Combat Masterpiece.

God bless,
Birdgun
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:57 PM
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I have a 15-4 also. looking for value to sell it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:56 PM
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Default Beautiful Revolver

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
Hi Outdoorguy1950

Welcome to the Forum.

I was in the USAF around the same time period you were and carried the .38 Combat Masterpiece as well, but I wasn't stateside. Spent two years in SE Asia.

The Model 15s we had were -2 and -3. The -4 did not show up until 1977. But except for one small engineering change, the gun you just bought is the same as the one you carried in the service. Enjoy it.



Here's a pic of one of mine (a -2 from June, 1966).
Jack, I love the looks of your revolver. Those target stocks are exquisite!!

God bless,
Birdgun
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