This is a Factory Authenticated Smith and Wesson “Aircrewman” .38 Special Revolver. This extremely rare U.S. Air Force issued handgun was made to be extra lightweight and was factory fitted with an aluminum cylinder. It weighs only 11oz. fully loaded. It was intended for mid-range, moderate pressure .38 Special ammo only and was eventually deemed unsafe. Therefore, after being issued, the entire contract was recalled by the government and destroyed by a combination of “torching” or melting and crushing before final discarding. Very few examples escaped this destruction and typically bring very strong prices on the collector market today. A few crushed/torched examples also survived- probably taken as souvenirs by those ordered to oversee the elimination of these weapons. Of those that were salvaged, many or most were flattened almost beyond recognition and are usually missing cylinders or other major parts. This fine example of an Aircrewman is serial numbered C 298887 on the butt and is in the correct serial range for this obscure model. The back strap correctly marked “PROPERTY OF U.S. AIR FORCE.” The top strap on the left side also correctly marked “REVOLVER, LIGHTWEIGHT. M13” The frame retains the S&W logo as well as the usual Smith & Wesson address and the barrel retains the Smith & Wesson marking on the left side with the caliber designation on the right side. This is a 5-screw model with correct flat latch that was made in 1954 and retains 98% of the original deep blue/black finish. Grips are factory checkered Walnut in excellent condition, serialized to the gun. Trigger has grooved front face and retains case colors as does the hammer. Included with revolver is original Black leather USAF issued holster with lanyard in excellent condition with Air Force markings and ID number. This revolver functions perfectly, but should not be fired with standard .38 Special ammunition. An extremely important martial arm that is almost always missing from even the most complete collections, this is a chance to own an example that was issued and used by our fighter and bomber pilots in the Cold War years of the 1950s and finally recalled and destroyed by our government. The revolver qualifies as a Curio & Relic Handgun, and requires FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check. Serial Number #C298887 is found on butt of grip frame, cylinder, barrel and inside of grips. Includes factory Jenks letter from Smith and Wesson to authenticate this rate military revolver.
We believe this to be the highest condition, original, complete and authenticated example of this model offered for sale anywhere.