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From my third edition, the 15-3 started in 1967 and your serial number would be from 1969
What happened to that grip?
 

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The left grip panel has been whittled on a good bit, but it hasn't hurt the gun. Make sure the gun is unloaded, then take the grips off and give the gun a good scrubbing with oil or a gun cleaner. Replacement target grips like those used to look like can be found online, if you want to change them. If your Dad did the modification and you want to keep it, then just clean them good with hot soapy water and reinstall them after they have dried completely. It wouldn't hurt to oil them some too.

I have inserted a picture of what shape they used to be. Those are some of the best guns S&W ever produced if you ask me. They are very pleasant to shoot and very accurate. It would also make a fine home defense weapon.

I hope your Dad just passed it down to you and has not passed away.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The left grip panel has been whittled on a good bit, but it hasn't hurt the gun. Make sure the gun is unloaded, then take the grips off and give the gun a good scrubbing with oil or a gun cleaner. Replacement target grips like those used to look like can be found online, if you want to change them. If your Dad did the modification and you want to keep it, then just clean them good with hot soapy water and reinstall them after they have dried completely. It wouldn't hurt to oil them some too.

I have inserted a picture of what shape they used to be. Those are some of the best guns S&W ever produced if you ask me. They are very pleasant to shoot and very accurate. It would also make a fine home defense weapon.

I hope your Dad just passed it down to you and has not passed away.
Thank you kraynky. Unfortunately it was the later but I feel fortunate to have it. He's been gone for a few years and I've had this stored away. My wife and I just purchased a couple of M&Ps(a Shield EZ and a 2.0) and I thought I'd get this one out and show it some love. Taking it to the range this afternoon to run a few rounds through it for the first time, for me anyway.

I see what Addy'sDad was referring to now from looking at your pic. I will clean them up as you suggested and post an "after" pic. Where would you go to find the grips you mentioned? Would you know where to look for a replacement set of original grips?

Thanks again!
 

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Your father, or someone else, whittled those grips down to allow for a speedloader to clear. The "football" grips pictured by Kraynky are an early attempt by S&W to allow room for ejected cartridges to clear without hanging, but they didn't allow for speedloaders, so it was quite common to whittle, grind, or hack away to make them work. Later on, as speedloaders became more common, Smith and Wesson went to leaving a factory "speedloader cutout" that worked well enough for most people.

Personally, I wouldn't change them.

BTW: I think the Model 15 is one of the best revolvers Smith and Wesson ever made, rivaled only by the Model 19, basically the same gun, except in 357 Magnum.

I go back and forth on which I like best, but since this is about the Model 15, I like that one best. :)

This is my 15-2, made a year or so before yours, with "football" grips as they are called.

470778
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Your father, or someone else, whittled those grips down to allow for a speedloader to clear. The "football" grips pictured by Kraynky are an early attempt by S&W to allow room for ejected cartridges to clear without hanging, but they didn't allow for speedloaders, so it was quite common to whittle, grind, or hack away to make them work. Later on, as speedloaders became more common, Smith and Wesson went to leaving a factory "speedloader cutout" that worked well enough for most people.

Personally, I wouldn't change them.

BTW: I think the Model 15 is one of the best revolvers Smith and Wesson ever made, rivaled only by the Model 19, basically the same gun, except in 357 Magnum.

I go back and forth on which I like best, but since this is about the Model 15, I like that one best. :)

This is my 15-2, made a year or so before yours, with "football" grips as they are called.

View attachment 470778
Thank you CajunBass. That's really good info! After posting and reading Kraynly's post I started looking around some more. I feel really honored to have this gun. Yours is a beauty. I agree with you I am going to leave the grips as is. I think it's kinda cool especially after your explanation of what it was for. I'll also give the whole gun a good cleaning. Do you recommend my taking it to gunsmith to break it down completely and give it a deep clean?

BTW - I LOVE your signature!
 

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Hey there Addy'sDad

Couldn't tell a on the grip. I'm guessing it looks not so good to you?
The gun itself is fine. As has been explained above, the grips have been "worked on"
 
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Welcome to the forum! That 15 looks in great shape and since you got it from your dad... something to cherish for sure. Shoot it often and enjoy.:cool:
 

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Thank you CajunBass. That's really good info! After posting and reading Kraynly's post I started looking around some more. I feel really honored to have this gun. Yours is a beauty. I agree with you I am going to leave the grips as is. I think it's kinda cool especially after your explanation of what it was for. I'll also give the whole gun a good cleaning. Do you recommend my taking it to gunsmith to break it down completely and give it a deep clean?

I wouldn't bother. All I ever do is remove the grips, take a can of gunscrubber and spay the snot out it, shooting it into any nook and cranny that's open on the gun. I let it dry and put a drop of oil in those same places. It doesn't take a lot of oil, but if you put too much, it will just run out anyway.

BTW - I LOVE your signature!
Didn't most Model 15's come with standard grips?
Probably most were, but it wasn't unusual to find them in gun shops with the target grips. Dealers knew both would sell, or you could of course order one with the targets. And back then most dealers had a display of "blister pack" grips right there near the counter where you could pick up a set of factory targets for cheap. Well, we'd call it cheap these days, but I remember gasping at the 12-15 bucks they were back then.

Another option was the ever present "box O grips" that about every dealer had. People would buy a gun, take the factory grips off, put on a set of aftermarket right there in the store. Who wanted a set of factory grips? Prowl through that and you might find just what you were looking for. Boxes went to the dumpster back then too. Never left the store. Who wanted a cardboard box? If we had only known.

There would be another one for holsters that came with trade-in guns too. I've still got a Smith and Wesson holster for a 5" K-frame that I found in one of those boxes maybe 40 years ago.

OK. I'm rambling. Time to stop this.
 

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That's a nice one. I've had several Combat Masterpieces (It's original name) over the years There is a pre 15 Combat Masterpiece sittin' right next to me. Missus Fan thought she heard somebody take a shot at our house so I had her put it next to the computer. Anybody messes with us is gonna get plugged.:cool:
 

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I just purchased a very nice 15-2, congratulations on yours, looks nice,
Steve
 
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