Need help finding out info and value. USAF Model 15

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    1. #1
      Member plentyofpaws's Avatar
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      Need help finding out info and value. USAF Model 15

      Thanks to all.

    2. #2
      Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash scooter's Avatar
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      It looks like the standard issue 38 that we carried in the 70's when I was a USAF Air police.
      The hammer and trigger were standard too at that time.
      I would go to gunbroker and see what they are going for now. I havent even fired one since 1980 so I dont have a clue as to its value.

    3. #3
      Senior Member TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
      It looks like the standard issue 38 that we carried in the 70's when I was a USAF Air police.
      The hammer and trigger were standard too at that time.
      I would go to gunbroker and see what they are going for now. I havent even fired one since 1980 so I dont have a clue as to its value.
      and still being used until 1985-86 at least, when we had to re-qualify with the new fangled m9

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by plentyofpaws View Post
      A friend popped by last eve and asked if I could find out some info.

      The piece has the original box and military packaging, see link to pics. Both the wrapper and box are marked 1963, but only reference I can find is to a 1965 version.

      The piece is in excellent shape. Odd thing to me is it seems to have a very oversized hammer thumb pad and trigger. I don't recall ever seeing a piece with these features. There are a few spots where the blueing appears discolored, but there is no rust or pitting that I see. Cylinder locks up very tight.

      Anyone have an idea of value?

      Link to pics: SW USAF pictures by tawcat - Photobucket
      I was a USAF Combat Arms Training and Maintenance specialist/technician during my time in the service, and based on my experience inspecting and shooting hundreds of these weapons, it looks to be a genuine USAF M15 to me. The only other things I can think of to check, is the model number "dash number" (if there is one, it will read "15-1", "15-2", etc.), stamped inside of the frame cutout where the cylinder crane is located when closed, and the serial number, to make sure both these numbers match the era in which the revolver was produced (according to the packaging).

      If it is original, and in the condition shown, it may well be worth quite a bit more than the average S&W model 15 to a collector of military arms. Be aware, however, that it could be a Vietnam-era bring-back "duffle-bag special", and as such, the weapon/serial number may have been reported as stolen at some point in the distant past, depending on the conditions of its release from service. There was at least one legal way for an officer to obtain a personal weapon that he had used in a time of war (awarded to him at his request, during retirement), but that would seem to be inconsistent with the condition of this weapon (doesn't look like it was ever carried), and usually, there needed to be a personal connection to the weapon (used it save his life, etc.).

      Interesting photos, in any case. I have a non-military model 15 that I purchased after my retirement, simply because I had spent so much time training folks in their use, and shooting them myself. It has a worn finish, but shoots well, and I enjoy taking it out and shooting it (on rare occasions) quite a bit.

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane...

    5. #5
      Member plentyofpaws's Avatar
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      Thanks for the info.

    6. #6
      HGF Forum Moderator
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      In that case, it has a clean history, and would definitely be of interest to most military arms collectors. Heck, a plain-Jane non-USAF-marked model 15 in that condition is probably worth $450 or more; if the box and wrapper are included, I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's worth quite a bit more.

      Edit: Here is a link to a similar gun I found on an auction website:

      *U.S.A.F. Marked Smith & Wesson Model 15-3 Revolver - Cowan's Auctions

    7. #7
      Senior Member TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
      In that case, it has a clean history, and would definitely be of interest to most military arms collectors. Heck, a plain-Jane non-USAF-marked model 15 in that condition is probably worth $450 or more; if the box and wrapper are included, I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's worth quite a bit more.

      Edit: Here is a link to a similar gun I found on an auction website:

      *U.S.A.F. Marked Smith & Wesson Model 15-3 Revolver - Cowan's Auctions
      awesome find

    8. #8
      Member plentyofpaws's Avatar
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      Wow


      Quote Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
      In that case, it has a clean history, and would definitely be of interest to most military arms collectors. Heck, a plain-Jane non-USAF-marked model 15 in that condition is probably worth $450 or more; if the box and wrapper are included, I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's worth quite a bit more.

      Edit: Here is a link to a similar gun I found on an auction website:

      *U.S.A.F. Marked Smith & Wesson Model 15-3 Revolver - Cowan's Auctions

    9. #9
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      All the information I have says that a Model 15 with USAF markings will get 200 to 300% more than the same condition non marked M-15.

    10. #10
      Member plentyofpaws's Avatar
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      Sorry for such a tardy reply. Thanks for the replies. After much research and chatting with several collectors, I figure the piece is in about 85% condition with a fair value of about $1500. I plan to put it on auction hoping to get $1200. Very scarce with box and wrapper. Thanks again.

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