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Tanaka Revolver S&W .38 Chief Special Airweight Baby Aircrewman Version 2 Heavy Weight Model Gun

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  • Faithful Replica of Cold War Era Lightweight Emergency Sidearm
  • A Must Have for Cold War History Buffs
  • Limited Production Run
  • Real Wood Grips with US Air Force Shield Grip Medallions
  • Non-Firing Replica
  • Compact Form Factor
  • High-Quality, Metal Like Polymer Construction
  • Includes 5 Metal Shells
  • Realistic Operation
  • Jan Code: 4537212011204

The Smith & Wesson M13 Aircrewmen Revolver, was a gun so light it was unsafe to use. The M13 was contracted by the United States Air Force, specifically the Strategic Air Command to arm their airmen with a lightweight emergency sidearm. The US Airforce contracted both Colt and Smith & Wesson to produce the M13 Aircrewmen revolver with the same specs, both guns had the same name but the parts were not interchangeable between the Colt version and the S&W version. The need for a lightweight emergency was simple, it was 1950, the US Air Force had to keep nuclear-capable bombers in the skies at all times as a nuclear deterrent to the Soviets, and being shot down over hostile territory was a real concern, the M13 was officially adopted by US Air Force servicemen in 1951. The Smith & Wesson M13 Aircrewmen was super light, weighing only 11 ounces fully loaded with 6 rounds of M41 .38 Special. The M41 round is a low-pressure .38 Special load with a 130-grain FMJ projectile, and it was not recommended to fire regular .38 Special ammo, this is because of the aluminum-constructed nature of the frame and cylinder. The real Smith & Wesson M13 Aircrewmen revolvers are super hard to find nowadays as not many were made and the problem was that someone might try shooting regular .38 Special ammo, which was very unsafe since it was much too powerful for the aluminum cylinder. The Air Force ultimately decided that the risk was too great and recalled the guns. Most were recovered and destroyed in 1959. if you would like to learn more, we do recommend watching the Forgotten Weapons YouTube video where Ian McCollum talks about this piece of Cold War history.

The Tanaka Colt Aircrewman 'R-model' Heavyweight Model Gun is a faithful replica of this Cold War era antique and Tanaka did give this particular revolver the extra details it deserves. All the details that are featured on the real gun are featured on this model gun, as it has the correct markings in all the spots and it comes with a pair of real wood grips that features the US Air Force shield grip medallions. Tanaka has truly crafted a gem that, at first glance, looks as if it is a metal gun. However, this detailed finish can easily deceive even the keen-eyed among us, as the revolver is made of high-quality heavyweight plastic. Do not be fooled, though plastic, nothing about this gas revolver can be considered "cheap" as it carries a fair amount of weight and when paired with an assortment of metal parts, it certainly feels as if it's a metal gun. Metal parts such as the hammer, trigger, and cylinder give the pistol a real-life-like aesthetic making it not only a great choice for collectors but can even be used in film.

The operation of this model gun is a joy as the double action is smooth and direct, pulling the trigger slowly feels buttery with no "grit" feeling at all. The trigger breaks nicely and its reset is crisp and very positive, leading to the sound of the cylinder rotating readying the pistol for the next shot. This exemplifies the effort Tanaka put in to make this revolver stand out.

Since it is also quite hard to find not to mention owning the real gun because it was produced in a very limited number and a lot of them were subsequently destroyed, this is a real chance if you wish to keep a piece of Cold War history at home.

Please note that this is a non-firing model gun.

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  • x1 Tanaka Revolver S&W .38 Chief Special Airweight Baby Aircrewman Version 2 Heavy Weight Model Gun
  • x1 User Manual
  • x5 .38 Special Dummy Shells
BrandTanaka Works
Originating ArmoryS&W
ModelM10 M13 M19
Replica TypePISTOL
Net Weight (kg)0.44
Length (mm)185.0
Content Included

Tanaka Revolver S&W .38 Chief Special Airweight Baby Aircrewman Version 2 Heavy Weight Model Gun

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