Over at the Smith & Wesson forum, in February 2009, in the Wish List section I posted a wish that Smith & Wesson would issue a commemorative Model 15 .38 Special to honor the U.S. Air Force.
I also suggested that Model 10s be issued to honor the Army, Navy and Marines.
Many people do not realize that the .38 Special revolver was carried in all the services, as regular issue or for special applications, from the 1940s through the early 1990s.
Most of these .38s were Smith & Wessons. The Air Force had the best issued .38 Special in the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece: 4" barrel, adjustable sights, target trigger and target hammer. It was light on the belt, very accurate, utterly reliable and easily maintained. Alas, the USAF load was weak: 130 gr. full metal jacket at 800 fps.
I just checked, and my four-year-old suggestion has collected 129 messages and had 32,081 hits!
I have also written Smith & Wesson three times through the years, but never received a reply.
I still think that a .38 or .357 revolver makes a fine commemorative gun. A good .38 is about the handiest and most versatile pistol extant. It will function with very light loads, shotshells, blanks, +P loads, etc.
I love my Kimber 1911, but the .38 is a pleasurable gun to shoot, cheap to feed, low recoiling with target loads, easy to collect the empties for reloading, and with the right loads can be a good self defense gun.
Through the years I've introduced many confirmed semi-auto shooters to the pleasure of a 4" .38 Special with adjustable sights, and most were hooked.
Yes, the .38 is not authentic to most modern units, but it does offer utility and its own panache. Don't overlook it as a commemorative that will be welcomed.
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)