Rescuing the Model 15-4 Smith and Wesson

In the back of the gun shop, a classic piece of American engineering waited to be recognized.  There was no box or paperwork. The little revolver was used by a police department or maybe prison staff. All we know is that the department got new semi-auto pistols and this one had to find a new home. Luckily someone who has been fingerprinted and background checked from here to the moon had some spare change and nothing better to do that weekend. And so the little revolver had a new home…


But we had to take it apart to see what we were dealing with. Oh dear. That looks like rust. A lot of rust. But underneath the rust, there is potential…

15-2And so the little revolver got cleaned. And cleaned again. Then brass brushes and very fine steel wool was applied…


Some parts were better than others…


But the surgeons kept at it with Kroil and powder solvent….and lots of patience….


When it was clean, it was obvious the little revolver had some rough machining marks courtesy of a hung over S&W employee some time in the mid 1970’s. But the chief surgeon had seen this before and knew how to stone the parts just the right way….


And when the little revolver was put back together, it was so happy it produced a group that wasn’t completely horrible. Unfortunately the front sight is damn near an optical illusion due to an amateur attempt at modification. But the surgeons might be able to fix it in the old school manner by filing a dovetail and pouring resin in to make a front sight insert. But that will be a story for another day….


Safe and Happy Shooting,


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