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Latest Odd Addition: S&W Model 12

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I don’t know why, but I’ve wanted one of these for a while.  


The Model 12 is an Airweight K frame .38 Spl.  Basically an aluminum alloy framed Model 10.  You could get it in any combination of 2” and 4” barrel, round butt or square butt grip frame.  I’m getting a 2” round butt.  


But then again, it’s not just an alloy-framed Model 10.  An odd fact is the Model 12’s frame is thinner by .08”.  

Well, the Model 12. 12-1, 12-2, and 12-3 is. The last ones, the 12-4s, were standard K frame width.  Who would want that?  


Weight: 18oz. 

For comparison sake, the smaller 5-shot .38 J-frame concealed hammer Airweight 442/642 is 15.8 oz.  


I even have a couple boxes of standard pressure Federal Nyclad 125 HPs saved up for it.  


For some reason, I’ve had a thing for Sam Spade, Noir-style gats lately.  










Freakin’ Gunbroker.


Maybe a Detective Special will be next.


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I’ve had it in my hands for maybe a week now and it still seems weird to see  “AIRWEIGHT” stamped on a K frame.    

I’ve carried it in a jacket pocket some and it rides well.  My iPhone in the opposite pocket is enough counterweight to make the jacket hang right.  


I think S&W is missing out by not making these now, but in Scandium.   Add some better sights and it would be slick.  A 3” barrel option would be a neat variant also. 

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Since things are pretty slow around here, here’s an update.


The Model 12 is still receiving attention from me.  It hasn’t slipped away as old news and been forgotten yet.  


I painted the front sight green and put a BK grip adapter on it, and made no other changes.  http://bkgrips.com

With the narrower than standard K frame, aftermarket grips for these are scarce and/or require a long wait.  Standard ones leave a gap at the top.  The grip adapter was a temporary solution, but will remain permanent.

Ahrends Grips was a possibility, but they are going bankrupt.


The only other change I can foresee is a possible trigger and hammer change.   Both are Model 12-specific parts due to the frame width.  The trigger is narrow, but grooved, and grooved triggers are not my preference for DA shooting.   Rather than permanently modify original parts on an otherwise unmodified 50 year old gun, I looked online for original parts to attack. What I found was some trigger and hammer sets.   If I get one of those pairs, I’ll bob the spare hammer.   I have gone back and forth on a hammer bob, but if I get a spare I can try it out without fully committing to it.    The gun has been carried in a jacket pocket some this winter, and that hammer grabs like a big fishhook.    


Admittedly, I overlooked these for a long time, but it’s a pretty interesting gun.  I’ve read before that they “carry like a J but shoot like a K” and that’s a good way or putting it.   

Recoil is similar to an Airweight J frame, but it’s much more controllable to make a follow up shot.  


It’s even made it to a class already.  I attend the same Low-light/Night pistol class each year in December.  Since I was using my Kimber K6s in the class this year, I took the Model 12 also.  I’ll hold details of the challenges of managing revolvers, flashlights, and speedloaders for another time, but both guns were fine.


New toys arriving since the M12 have all been S&Ws.  A streak.  That’s just how it worked out.  A new M&P 15-22 rifle came first, then a nice old Model 39-2 9mm and a somewhat tired looking Model 65 3” RB. It was odd picking up the 65 last week in the shop with empty cases and gun racks.  

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