SOLD FOR: $2900
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: U.S. Air Force Model 46
Serial Number: 29417
Year of Manufacture: 1962
Caliber: .22 LR
Action Type: Single Action, Detachable Magazine Fed Semi-Auto Pistol
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”. The left side of the slide has the S&W trademark logo. The left side of the frame is marked “29417″ and “U.S.”. The right side of the barrel is marked “22 LONG RIFLE CTG”. The right side of the slide is marked with the four-line “Marcas Registradas” address. The right side of the frame is marked “MODEL 46”. The letters “MM” are lightly scratched into the right side of the barrel.
Barrel Length: 7″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Patridge undercut blade integral to a rise at the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch adjustable for windage and elevation dovetailed into the barrel “tail” which continues over the slide to the rear of the firearm. The top of the barrel is matte finished for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown plastic panels with a thumb shelf on each panel. There are some little nicks, scratches, and dings on the smooth borders and thumb shelves. There are some scattered light handling marks. The checkering is mostly sharp with some scattered light marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There are a couple of little spots of minor surface oxidation in the bore.
Overall Condition: This gun retains about 75% of its metal finish. There is wear on the rear sight leaf. There is scattered light surface frost and some areas of finish loss that have taken on light discoloration. There is finish loss and thinning on the edges. There is thinning throughout, some of the most noticeable is on the top of the barrel and frontstrap. There are some scattered little hairline scratches, draglines, and scuffs. There are some areas of finish loss, most noticeable on the left side of the frame. There are scattered areas of discoloration from previous oxidation. There are some little nicks. There are light handling marks. The grip screws are lightly worn. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is light and crisp. We did not fire this gun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a 10-round magazine, Smith & Wesson letter, manuals, a photocopy of another S&W letter, and a copy of the original invoice.
Our Assessment: This is an S&W Model 46 .22 Rimfire Target model. It is basically the same as the top end Model 41 except without the same highly polished finish, no slide cut, no cocking indicator, and less serrations. This model was made with 5” and 7” barrels and in 1964 a 5 ½ heavy barrel was introduced, and only 500 were made. The pistol was developed as a less expensive alternative to the Model 41 for the Army Marksmanship Unit and Air Force shooting team. This one has U.S. markings and was shipped to USAF BSO Chateauroux in 1962. The Smith & Wesson letter states that it is a Model 41 with a 7 3/8″ barrel but it is marked “MODEL 46″ and has a 7” barrel. A secondary photocopy of another Smith & Wesson letter confirms that it is a Model 46 and that the price on the invoice reflects the price of the Model 46 at the time, not the 41 price. There were only around 4,000 of these pistols made and this is a great opportunity to flesh out an already advanced collection. Even better, it comes from the personal collection of Kevin Williams, best known for his exceptional work on the topic of General Officers Pistols & Clandestine Organization Pistols of WWII. This will make a great addition to just about any collection out there, it may have some wear but it was a martial pistol and has a story to tell. Please see our photos and good luck!