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  1. #1
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    Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    Most of what I know about guns I learned in a couple of hours of online research last night. My father recently gave me this gun. He purchased it new in May 1978 (I have the bill of sale) as an investment for me, but I have no interest in guns. The box says Model 15-3. The gun has never been fired and he kept oiled it over the years. Some helpful folks at the firingline.com forum suggested that I sell the gun on this forum or on gunbroker.com. It has also been suggested that I not sell the gun at all, or wait for its value to increase, but I don't know how to care for a gun and I don't want the value to decrease because of my negligence.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1) how would I determine the selling price if I listed the gun on the classified forum?
    2) if I chose to hold onto the gun for a few years for its value to increase, what would I have to do to maintain it in its current condition?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    [attachment=0:25idu94j]P1020466 33.jpg[/attachment:25idu94j]
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  2. #2
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    If you have no appreciation for this item, then you may be best served to just blow it off and be done with it... condition is nice and complete, but unfortunately for you it's not a big ticket item.

    Go to Gunbroker.com, do a search on these and look at what the prices realized are. Ignor the single bid auctions and the buy-it-now prices... these are almost always inflated.

    You didn't ask, and I'm not making an offer, but if I were buying this for myself I'd put my price at $350.

    Drew
    ".... Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing...."

  3. #3
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    as s.s. said, it is probably not hardly rare enough, or old enough to be a hot collectible yet. but, it is evidently complete and in pristine condition. i would agree with his 350.00-400.00 assessment. if you decide to sell it, there are a few things you need to be aware of. handgun laws are all over the place. what state do you live in? do you have any relationship with someone who has a federal firearms license? the easiest way to sell it is probably face-to-face in your home state. if you sell it to someone in another state, it will have to be received by a f.f.l. holder. lots of ffl holders will not receive from a non-ffl holder, so you may need an ffl on your end also. another wrinkle is that an ffl holder can ship by uspostal priority, usually for 20 dollars , or so, with insurance. an individual (without an ffl) has to use fedex or ups, and is forced to use overnight shipping. ups can run 60-80 dollars, fedex, maybe a little less. i personally found an ffl holder a long time ago that is easy to work with. he is next door to a post office, and charges me 10 dollars to handle the paperwork, plus actual uspostal charges.

    so selling it is a little bit involved, but do-able.

    on to keeping it! there is no doubt that its value will increase, as long as it is in pristine condition. guns are, historically, a very good investment. my personal feeling is that, with a 15-3 not being really rare, you could probably carefully shoot it some, and not reduce its value too much. the thing that will kill its value is evidence of negligence or abuse (rust, lost finish, dents and dings). if it stays pristine, it will appeal to collectors, who will probably pay more than anyone else. if it is in very nice, slightly used condition, it is going to appeal to shooters, who will always pay the fair market value for a quality gun (i'd say 300.00-350.00 at the moment). a crusty old, beat up model 15 is gonna be hard to move for 225-250.

    as for maintaining it, the very most important thing is to keep it away from any moisture. period! moisture kills old blue guns in a hurry. gently rub a light coat of gun oil on the surfaces of the blue finish a couple of times a year, and maybe rub a light coat of wax on the grips once a year or so, and keep it in a DRY, safe place, and it will be fine. if you decide to shoot it some, you will have to maintain the bore and chambers. clean and oil them after every use with a bore brush, and bore mop, or patches.

    it is a beautiful gun, and it is impressive for you to have it in such perfect "as-purchased" condition. good luck with your decision, and welcome to the forum. s&ws are pretty addicting. they really are works of art. you may find yourself getting attached to it!

  4. #4
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    jtnjw,
    Here's something you might want to consider or think about. You don't need to be a "gun nut" to enjoy handgun shooting, or target practice with one. There are numerous clubs dedicated strictly to competition shooting and they are very popular with all kinds of shooters.

    If you like doing things that take concentration, focus and discipline, hangun shooting really fits the bill. It's not terribly expensive to learn the art of shooting a revolver and the rewards are unmeasureable.
    If you try it a time or two at a quality shooting range you might just find that you like what it takes to be good shooting a handgun. If you try it and don't like it, at least you gave it a chance. If you don't try it at least once or twice, you may never know what you might be missing. You might even like it .
    For 20 years my wife said "No guns in our home". She has a girlfriend that took her to a range one day. After a full day at the range learning the basics about guns and learning to shoot my wife decided she likes shooting, strictly for the sport of it. She now owns a couple of rifles and a pistol that are never taken out of our safe unless she is headed off to the range with her friends. I was totally amazed. It was her idea and not mine. She also found out that she's a really good shot and she's considering joining the ladies shooters club to make some more friends, and get in even more range time.

    There are literally tens of thousands of shooters that would never consider having a gun for personal protection or home defense but they love shooting and range practice. And that's perfectly alright with me and almost everybody here I'm sure. For many of them, their guns are always kept locked up, except for the time it is in use at the range.
    If you don't like the idea of having a gun for those reasons thats fine,
    I'm just trying to introduce you another side of shooting and handgun enjoyment.

    One thing about owning a revolver like the Model 15 you have is they are extremely safe, and very reliable. Even for a person that isn't "into guns" you might learn to use it at a quality range, either indoors or outdoors.
    Something handgun use requires is a great deal of discipline to learn and practice how to shoot one properly.
    Shooting this revolver won't lower it's value much if you keep it cleaned and oiled like the other posts have mentioned earlier.

    Warm regards,
    gearchecker
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    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
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  5. #5
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    Where are you in Colorado?

  6. #6
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    ar15ed, gearchecker, and others...

    Thanks for taking the time to provide such helpful information. I hadn't thought about the FFL not accepting a gun from a non-FFL wrinkle. I'll locate and talk with a local gun dealer near me. I'm in the four corners area of Colorado.

    Oiling it a couple of times a year seems manageable, so maybe I'll think about hanging on to it a little longer to see if it becomes more valuable.

    I agree that target practice is fun. I actually grew up with lots of hunting and guns around. Hunting wasn't for me, but I was usually closer to the bulls eye than my male relatives during target practice. So, I know something about shooting a variety of guns, but nothing about buying and selling them.

    The primary reason for selling the gun is that I would like to purchase a self-defense weapon for grizzly bears protection. My husband and I like doing remote canoe/backpacking trips on Alaska's North Slope and that puts us in barren land grizzly territory. We had a large grizzly growling and circling our tent on our last trip and all we had with us was a Colt Cobra .38 special. We stayed quiet in the tent and it eventually wandered away. Shooting a bear would be a last last resort, but I would do it if we were attacked and had tried everything else.

    So, we were thinking of selling the Colt Cobra and the S&W to help us pay for a Ruger Alaskan .44 magnum - or something similar. We have a lot to learn before deciding on which handgun would be best for our backpacking trip next year.

    Again, I really appreciate all the advice.

  7. #7
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    Sounds like you have a workable plan, and in this case it makes good sense, but I'd still keep it. Another 20 years and it'll be worth noticably more than it is today as long as you keep it in this condition. The Ruger Alaskan is a very nice wheelgun too.

    Good luck and stay safe.
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
    When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, call the undertaker!
    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
    .45 ACP, Because shooting twice is just plain silly!


    http://www.corneredcat.com
    http://www.takdriver.com



  8. #8
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    This is a gun a collector would buy.

    In the condition you describe it is easily worth north of $400.

    I would advise selling it in an auction format.


  9. #9
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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    jtnjw, your dad was a bright guy,he probably picked this M15 for you to learn on. It is a very shootable revolver and inexpensive to feed. One does not step into a 44 mag and have instant proficiency of any sort with no previous experience. Rethink your desire to sell this gun that your dad got you for a reason and that I think was to continue what he could do for you after he was gone. Sold it's gone forever,kept he is with you allways. bobw

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    Re: Selling advice for S&W model 15-3 NIB

    I fall into the keep, but I still have all of my dad's guns that I inherited and those would be the last I would part with because he had them.

    Value here for the condition, you have the box, tools, etc. would be at least $450 on up to the right buyer. The model 15 is pretty common so you are not going to sell it for an overly amount of money.
    I can not abide useless people.

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