Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: Model 15-3, the K-38 Combat Masterpiece
Serial Number: 8K32162
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: Double Action Only 6-Shot Revolver (DAO) with Swing-Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”. The yoke cut is marked “MOD.15-3”and the yoke is marked “78634 / F11”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “F11 / 78634 / F8 / A2”. The butt is marked “8K32162”. The right side of the grip frame is marked “M” in a circle, and “N” in a Square. The right side of the barrel is marked “.38 S&W SPL.” The right side of the frame is marked with the four line Marcas Registradas address while the right sideplate is marked with the S&W trade mark.
Barrel Length: 2” Pinned Barrel
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp on an elevated base. The rear sight is an S&W micrometer click square notch adjustable for windage and elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The square butt grips are checkered walnut with brass S&W medallions. There are only the lightest of handling marks. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is Bright and the rifling is Sharp. There is No erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. There is a faint dragline on the cylinder and a few light handling marks overall. The screw heads are Sharp. The markings are Clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions Correctly in double action only. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included with this pistol is the original box with correct end label. The box is in Excellent Overall Condition and was brought to us by the consignor once the auction has started. We are all glad he did. The S&W screwdriver, brush, swab, and rod are included. All show signs of use. The original Warranty card is present and has had the bottom portion turned into S&W. The card indicates that the pistol was purchased 07/19/1967 from Browns. There is an ad for S&W ammunition and knives. Also included is the original instruction manual. there is only light interior fraying to the cardboard. Please see the photos below for more details.
Our Assessment: The S&W K-38 Combat Masterpiece may well have been the most popular law enforcement revolver of all time. This example with its 2” barrel, Baughman Quick Draw front sight and the ability to adjust the rear sight for both windage and elevation has all the desirable features a lawman could want in a snub nose revolver, including six shots. This one was converted to Double Action Only, likely for police use and is still a serious self-defense handgun.