it ain’t no glock that rocks my socks.

I don’t have anything profound for the blog today due to acute finish-this-damn-novelitis, so here’s a picture of a proper fighting sixgun instead:

Model 13 on wood desk 001

For the gun geeks: it’s my S&W Model 13, which a bunch of you have already seen a bunch of times.  This is the FBI issue gun of old, the three-inch heavy barrel version of the M13.  It’s been my main and only carry gun for a few years now.  (There’s a S&W Model 10 locked away in a case upstairs that is pretty much the fraternal twin to this M13–same barrel length, and the same Pachmayr Compac Pro rubbers–but that one’s strictly a hot spare.)

The leather is a DeSantis Speed Scabbard and “Second Six” speedloader carrier, and the rounds in the speed strips are Winchester .38 Special +P Silvertips.  The cylinder is generally stuffed with the time-tested .38 Special LSWCHP +P 158-grain load.  The M13 is chambered in .357 Magnum, but I carry .38 Specials for less recoil and faster recovery.  With a 33-ounce steel frame, even +P loads are easy to control.

She’s not much to look at, with the worn finish and those un-flashy Pachmayr grips, but we’re pretty used to each other at this point, and she’ll put ’em right where I want ’em.  Blue Book values aside, there’s nothing on the shelf of any gun store anywhere that could tempt me into trading this old thing for it.


19 thoughts on “it ain’t no glock that rocks my socks.

  1. BobG says:

    That’s a beautiful old classic.

  2. Jay G. says:

    What’s more, Marko can shoot this gun like nobody’s business.

    He might only get six shots, but given how he shoots, that’s five more than he needs…

    And I’ll tell you, Marko, I was never rocked by Glock, either. Until I got my G30…

  3. […] Proper fighting six gun. […]

  4. Tam says:

    It makes me happy to see that. 🙂

    The three guns of my carry battery are just starting to get comfortable, with the Springer Pro and the 296 coming up on eight years and the vest-pocket 432 being the baby at only 4 years on duty…

  5. MarkHB says:

    There is something just very [i]right[/i] about that weapon. And whilst you say “she’s not much to look at”, I disagree. Fine engineering lasts, but the care given to it also shows in the tiny details. That adds up to more than the sum of it’s parts.

  6. Brian Dale says:

    “She’s not much to look at…”

    Liar. 😉

    Beautiful piece.

  7. Eric says:

    Do you know what stocks originally shipped on your revolvers?

    “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

  8. Drizzle says:

    You are indeed fortunate to have two 3″ round butt K frames, to be able to keep one as a spare. I would be jealous of such largesse if I hadn’t managed to find a 3″ M10 round butt of my own a couple of months ago. What a great weapon.

  9. Dave says:

    I wish my model 14 had the three inch barrel, it has the 6 and is just too big to carry. Wonderful to shoot though.

  10. Crucis says:

    I carry a M13 as well. Only difference is that mine has a 2 1/2″ barrel instead of 3″. In fact, I use the same load of LSWCHP. I have four boxes newly arrived from Buffalo Bore.

  11. Marko says:


    I’m sure they were standard “service” stocks. I have a set or two, but they’re not really hand-friendly unless you use a Tyler T adapter. The Pachys are ugly, but they’re the best compromise of concealment, comfort, and control I’ve found.

  12. if you haven’t already, it might be interesting to look up the year that fine little .357 was built…they were very popular around the time you were born, and wouldn’t it be cool if ya’ll entered this world together?

    a while back i developed kind of a thing for stuff of my own vintage, starting in ’94 when some doofus swapped a beautiful little colt cobra snubbie for -what else- a glock. when i researched it and found it was made in ’54 it seemed that it was meant for it and me to be together; and so we have been since then. yes, its potmetal frame could fail one day, though the light loads i practice with make that unlikely; but its barely-there weight as i carry it about in the old bianchi leather paddle means it is never unpleasant to tote even when i’m in my standard florida attire, and the +p’s are there to do what i hope is never necessary.

    then for my fiftieth birthday in ’04 my wifey bought me a nifty little ’54 chevy hotrod pickup that was the last year for the round nose design that is as homely as i am…and when i inventoried my showcases in preparation for the sale of my business in ’05 i found that the simple little omega seamaster wristwatch that had been patiently sitting there waiting for a loving owner for over a year turned out to be 1954 as well…it took over the timekeeper’s job that had been handled by a succession of rolexes that i would wear to help snare a buyer for them.

    these are all pretty simple, basic devices that perform a single chore capably and without hassle; to me that is a feature and not a detraction. to the degree that one can love an inanimate object i do love them; and the thought that they (and especially the old colt) will outlive me and bring pleasure and security to my heirs brings even more warmth to my heart as i use them every day. i’ve got a feeling that your lovely roundbutt m13 will be companion to your son or daughter one day as well.


  13. Marko says:

    I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to pass down both those guns to my kids. I take care of my stuff, and the .38 Special doesn’t exactly beat up those steel frames.

    The M13 was made in 1983, when I was twelve. The M10 is even younger, dating to 1986. One day I’ll find a nice Smith & Wesson made in 1971, I’m sure.

  14. Is there any particular reason for not carrying the FBI-load in the speed strips as well?

  15. Marko says:

    Yes. The FBI load has lead bullets, which rub off in pockets. The Silvertips have aluminum-washed bullets, which don’t rub off or tarnish like lead or copper-jacketed stuff does.

  16. Noah D says:

    So I came here expecting to do a search to find an older article about…that S&W.

    It’s stuck in my head from the last time you posted about it (well, from when Tam referenced it at The Arms Room).

    And I mean *stuck*.

    I try to tell myself that it’s good planning for a possible near-future AWB to shift to one of those and a Marlin 1894C…

    …but I think I just want a revolver and a lever-action rifle.

    I had a Glock.

    I have a pair of 1911s.

    And now I want a wheelgun?

    I’m moving backwards in firearms time.

    How much should I expect to pay for one of those?

  17. Marko says:

    The three-inch K-frames are a lot more in demand than the four-inchers, for good reason.

    Once upon a time not too long ago, you could find used M13s or M65s (the same thing in stainless) for $300-ish, but prices seem to have crept up. I haven’t been to a gun show or a decently-stocked gun shop with a good “Used Guns” section in a year and a half, but it wouldn’t surprise me if one of those in reasonable shape will set you back closer to $500 now. For a minty one, it all depends on local availability, and how rabid the S&W collectors in your area are.

    Your best bet would be to be on the lookout for an old duty gun in stainless (M65) that’s been scuffed up, and then have it re-polished or bead-blasted by a good ‘smith. That’s what I did with both the M65s I owned, and I paid less than $300 for each gun.

  18. Noah D says:

    Marko – thanks, the nomenclature info helps a great deal.

    If you don’t mind, two more questions:

    1) When looking for a used revolver, what should I seek out or avoid?

    2) Having only carried Glocks and 1911s, how does one go about carrying (concealed) something like that M13? I tend to prefer IWB, and ‘tuckable’ has been essential for places like church, etc. But that’s from my experience with semiautos, so far.

  19. Tam says:

    If you have a 3″ K-frame, for IWB there’s the Bianchi #3S “Pistol Pocket”. Their part no. is 13769.

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