Smith and Wesson Model 13-1 – Great Find

by Woodsbum

Because I got so lucky and ended up getting a very fair price for a wonderful firearm, I decided to do a quick write up on it. I felt that this was important because it seems that everyone is so engrossed in automatics and tactical firearms that many phenomenal pistols get overlooked and ignored.

Here is my newest bush pistol, the Smith and Wesson Model 13-1.

Smith and Wesson Mod 13-1

Smith and Wesson Mod 13-1

I am almost a little embarrassed to admit, but I almost passed on this pistol. These pistols are the old military and police models that remind me of the 1980’s TV shows like TJ Hooker. It doesn’t fit my hand very well, and I am not fond of that little bump at the top of the handle. Overall, it just isn’t that pleasing to my eye. Then I handled it and started to think more logically about this little gem.

First off, this pistol has fixed iron sights. There are no adjustments to ding up and where you point it is where the bullet seems to go. Secondly, the entire cylinder swings out for the allowance of speed loaders to be used. Speed loaders are about $10 – $15 per loader, which is more than cheap enough. There is even an extractor that almost dumps the spend cases from the cylinder. Third, this is a .357 so I can also shoot .38 for cheaper plinking. Fourth, it is a revolver that mechanically allows all 6 cylinders to be loaded without the firing pin resting on a cartridge. You have to pull the trigger all the way for the hammer to go completely forward to strike a primer. I can now carry all 6 cylinders loaded without worrying too much. Lastly, the action is incredible for both single and double action. I swear it is the smoothest action I have ever used in a factory pistol except for the Python and Anaconda. It is incredible and the double action is smooth enough to not seriously through your aim off. It’s great.

Here it is from the other side.

Smith and Wesson Mod 13-1

Smith and Wesson Mod 13-1

My entire thought on this pistol was to get it all rigged up for use as a bush pistol. As such, I ordered an old military M-3 style holster and borrowed a set of oversized K frame grips until I get the ones I want. Here is what the holster looks like.
M-3 .38 Holster

M-3 .38 Holster

Here are the old, borrowed grips I threw on there for now.
Butler Creek Grips

Butler Creek Grips

Now back to my thoughts……  I already have a single action .44 mag that I built a cross draw holster for. It is an absolute nail driver, but it is a .44 mag. Both the pistol and the ammunition is heavy if you carry much of it. By getting something a bit smaller in caliber and a considerably lighter pistol, I will have a much easier to carry package. Even if I only carry a few .357 and mostly use .38 I will be much farther ahead with consideration of weight.

The other thing I wanted to do was cut down the length and size of my bush pistol. My .44 has a heavy frame and a 6 inch barrel. Even though that is not too bad for someone my size (6’4″ and the size of a small black bear) it does get unwieldy after a full day of trampling through the brush. By even cutting down a few pounds and 2 1/2 inches of pistol length it will make a difference after a hard day of hiking.

I did think about just using one of my semi-automatic pistols like my Glock or Beretta. The problem with that was the whole idea of having something that I could get completely nasty and dirty without creating doubt as to whether it would fire. I also wanted a pistol that could double for hunting if need be. By getting a .357 and 4″ barrel, I could quite easily take a deer if I needed to.

After really considering the possible scenarios and using some logic that skirted around my dislike of the frame/shape of the pistol, I did get it and have been quite happy ever since. This really taught me a valuable lesson that I would like to pass along to my readers. Just because you might not like the “old school” look of something, don’t discount its usefulness. This 1970’s pistol looks exactly as such, but it really is a diamond in a pile of cut glass. It’s smooth, dependable, and tough enough to take anything that I might dish out. Most importantly, however, is the fact that I found an old pistol that was unloved and have now given it a good home……  Poor little lost pistol!!!

Now get out there and find your own bush pistol.

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