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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Went to the Chisholm Trail Gun Show in Wichita KS.

Found this and decided it could come home with me.

I got it for what I think was a decent price, and it's pretty clean.

Will have to find someone that can look up the serial number for the date of manufacture, but the pistol, box and extra set of Hogue Grips is a nice addition.

Now I'm looking forward to shooting it.
 

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Good luck with a fine edition and addition!
A find of a fine revolver - enjoy it.
 

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Moderate loads only, please....
 

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Moderate loads only, please....
Why? I spent a part of my military career in the Air Force, where I carried one daily and qualified twice per year. We fired the ball ammo which was known as the PGU-12/B Velocity is given as 1125 fps. Pressure is 20000 psi. That is the Plus P max limit. Back in my time, when I actually used the model 15, 72 million rounds were made at Lake City for the USAF in 1979-80, the only time Lake City made .38 Special ammunition.

I was also issued a SW model 36 square butt with the 3 inch barrel. We fired the same stuff in the little gun. It had some recoil but they held up well. One I have is the Model 14 the forerunner to the Model 15, I shoot it that hot and hotter and never ever had a problem. The pin barrel model 15 is a sturdy gun, in my opinion you can never hurt it with any 38 or 38 Plus P ammo, they are just that good. IMHO

Anybody have any data otherwise? Not trashing your comment, I just disagree based on my experience. If your comment was meant to lightly use it due to its collectability, I would agree, They do not make them like that anymore, that is why I have a pile of them.
 
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I guess I meant to remind you that it's not a .357 Mag, and I hope you won't try to make it into one. The PGU12/bravo round is supposed to be 130gr. @ 1125 f/s from an UNVENTED 6" barrel and closer to 975 + 25 f/s from a 4" vented (real) barrel.
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You may have carried your Combat Masterpiece daily with such ammo during your military service (for which, thank you), but you didn't SHOOT it daily (at least I HOPE you didn't have to), nor qualify with it daily, with PGU. Sixty rounds (or however many) on a qualification course 2x a year isn't too punishing. Run ammo like PGU12/bravo through it often, say monthly for a while, and things will loosen up. I'd hate to see that happen to a fine old revolver like that one.
Sorry to have offered unwelcome counsel.
 
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According to Smith and Wesson K frames with model numbers are suitable for plus P ammo.
Model 15s and their stainless equivalent the model 67 are the best .38 special revolvers IMHO.
Nonhyphen you did well.
 

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A lovely piece indeed. Minimal turn line on cylinder so, not shot much. Being that it is such a nice weapon, middle of the road ammo would be my choice. Yes, serial # please. Dang I like these older Smiths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Glad y'all like my new pistol.

I thought it a good acquisition, and at $700, not a "Steal", but in this climate, not a horrible bad deal either.

I pulled it apart and cleaned and lubed it up.

No surprises, no problems, so now all I need to do is get it to the range and do some shooting with it.

My .38 spl loads are either 4.0 gr of HP38 or 4.2 gr of Trail Boss, pushing 158 gr jacketed or plated, so they're not "Full Bore Loads", but make for enjoyable and accurate target shooting.
 

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Moderate loads only, please....
Most post war S&W .38 Specials used the same cylinder as the magnums. It can literally take the same pressures as a model 19. So that means it will eat up ANY reasonable .38 Special load, including .38/44 high speed. The M15 is a very tough .38 special.
 

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Most post war S&W .38 Specials used the same cylinder as the magnums. It can literally take the same pressures as a model 19. So that means it will eat up ANY reasonable .38 Special load, including .38/44 high speed. The M15 is a very tough .38 special.
I didn't know that about the cylinders, but I'll defer to your expertise and concede it. Now, what about the rest of the revolver? Even the M19s had trouble with shooting loose, with original .357 Mag loads. When it was decided to "revise down" the chamber pressures for the .357 Magnum, the problem became less prevalent, but certainly did not vanish. Every police department with which I had any acquaintance (mainly in Texas) in the mid-70s/early 80s told me that officers issued k-frame .357s did their qualifications with .38 +P, their practice with standard .38, and that .357 Magnum ammunition was classified as "carry only".
I guess where you use the term "reasonable" to describe .38 special ammunition satisfactory for use, I used the word "moderate". I should have picked my adjectives better, I guess. I'm REALLY sorry that I "stirred up" all of this. It was NEVER my goal.
 
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Just commenting about the strength of the M15, not making recommendations to shoot tons of heavy loads.

Given the more common .38 Special factory ammunition available today, there are no loads I'd be concerned about in that revolver. Now something loaded to the pressure levels of the .38/44 High Speed, I wouldn't pump thousands of those through a pristine M15. What people are loading and selling as .38 Special +P these days is never going to harm a S&W M15. Military .38 Special will be just fine, even by the bucket load.

Personally if it were mine, I'd find a nice mild .38 wadcutter for 98% of my shooting, and a good +P load should someone want it for defense. I don't use revolvers for defense anymore, so if that was my M15 it would have a very soft, easy life.

If a guy wants a .357 magnum, well it's cheaper and easier to just buy a .357 magnum. Even my magnums typically get 95% of their shooting with my light wadcutter load.
 

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Will have to find someone that can look up the serial number for the date of manufacture, but the pistol, box and extra set of Hogue Grips is a nice addition.

Now I'm looking forward to shooting it.
15-8 started after 1977.

10K001 – 24K9,999......1977
25K001 – 56K9,999......1978 – 79
57K001 – 91K6,800......1980
91K6,801 – 124K000.....1981
125K000 – 269K9,999....1982
270K000 – 311K273......1983
 
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