Hello. They're not particularly rare, but they are certainly not common. I am not an S&W historian, but I don't think that S&W bobbed the spurs on the Model 12; I know that they did not on the 2" RB guns I owned years ago. Hopefully, there will be a member or members here who can answer better than I on the Model 12.
Despite it's K-frame, I'd shoot standard pressure rounds in it. I've seen two with cracked frames below the bbl, but they were both shot with the old Winchester armor-piercing ammunition and I don't know how hot it may have been.
Mr. Camp is right...I've seen a few in the gunstores around here, but not really very common. I don't think the M12s could be obtained with bobbed hammers from the factory, unless it was some sort of large bulk order for an agency so that S&W would be willing to do the hammer bob. I'd guess that the hammer bob was probably done outside the factory, so check the work carefully and make sure it was executed correctly and not a sloppy cut. Also, check timing carefully to make sure that the bolt locks the cylinder before the hammer falls, but doesn't drag excessively on the outside of the cylinder.
The Airweights were meant to be carried a lot, but not shot as much as a regular carbon steel revolver. As Mr. Camp has said, check the frame carefully for cracks to ensure that this gun has not been abused nor routinely fired with +P or +P+ ammo...just won't stand an unlimited amount of that, plus you would find it unenjoyable to shoot anyway because of the light weight of the gun.
If the revolver has been cared for and limited to standard pressure ammo, I think you'll find the M12 a very nice carry revolver and one which can be used for a fair amount of shooting if you stick with standard pressure. If you're interested in more shooting and +P or +P+ ammo, you might want to look for a 2" M10 or M15...I saw a pristine 2" M10 this afternoon at a local shop for $425...which is pretty high, but this is California and that is the junk we have to put up with in order to obtain nice guns...
Thnx for replying.I have one with the bobbed hammer.I definetley agree about the +p.I have never shot mine with anything but standard loads.When I managed a security service it made a good back up to my Model 64.Thnx again.
The Standard Catalog of Smith&Wesson makes no mention of a bobbed hammer for the Model 12, so your bobbed hammer is probably not factory-original. (I say probably because I have Smiths that have features not described for that model in the book but are, beyond a doubt, entirely factory-original guns. So . . . . .)
Does the hammer have the typical Smith&Wesson hammer and trigger case-coloring, including where the spur would have been?
I believe most, if not all, blue-finished Smiths during the period of the Model 12's production had case-colored hammers and triggers. (We are talking probably 100's of thousands of Smith revolvers made during this period, so exceptions are possible.)
If you really need to know, you can get a factory letter from Roy Jinks, Smith's historian, for a relatively small fee. See www.smith-wesson.com for particulars.
Smith and Wesson is notorious for not letting any parts go to "waste" and very well could have used a "bobbed hammer" in a small run of M-12's during the time period of production and offered them as a special run of M-12's.
Yes, but I consider it highly unlikely that the hammer and trigger wouldn't have been case-colored, as that's how Smith was finishing these parts on both blue and nickel-finished revolvers during the period of the Model 12's production (1952-1986).
So it is (to me) a "red flag" that the bobbed hammer isn't factory original. (But, "exceptions are possible.")
"No it (the bobbed hammer) is blued. It matches the trigger,barrel,and cylinder exactly.":
A perfectly-matching finish on all the parts of a blued handgun can suggest an aftermarket refinish, and this is why: The parts on a factory blue-finished handgun are not usually blued at the same time in the same bluing solution because the parts are made at different times, blued at different times, and then assembled into a complete handgun at some later date. If one or two parts were blued in a bluing solution that was at a different temperature or was a bit worn out compared to that the rest of the parts were blued in, those parts can have a slightly to markedly different color than the rest of the handgun. This is usually not obvious at the factory but becomes really apparent over time as the compromised bluing has changed in color after the handgun has left the factory. It's not uncommon for an "off-color" part to be observed on even a high-quality handgun. Case in point: I have a 1980's-production Smith Model 24 .44 Spec. whose cylinder has a marked purplish hue. I doubt if it left the factory looking like that. On the other hand, if a 'smith refinishes a handgun in his shop, all the parts were extremely likely have been blued in his bluing tanks together at the same time and, thus, will have a perfectly-matching blued finish.
an aquaintance of mine has a 2" model 12 with a RB, he had the hammer bobbed and the Birdsong finish put on it.
it is a nice looking piece for as plain as it is.
and like any other Al. frame S&W wheely, limited +p is advised unless its marked for such loads.....i have yet to see a cracked airweight J frame, thank God, because i shoot +p in mine but due to the unpleasant recoil, its only a 50 round box or two a year.......
the man i speak of loads his with cor-bon DPX, though he only "practices" with maybe one of those boxes a year. the rest is 130gr. fmj standard loadings....