Adam-12 is the 1968 television series that starred Martin Milner and Kent McCord as police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. The series was co-created by Jack Webb (Dragnet) and the series went to great lengths to accurately portray procedures and tactics of law enforcement. The series aired for 7 seasons on NBC from 1968 to 1975.
The following weapons were used in the television series Adam-12:
Smith & Wesson Model 14
The standard sidearm for patrol officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in the series is the 6-inch barreled Smith & Wesson Model 14 K-38 revolver. LAPD Officers Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord), as well as several other police officers, are seen unholstering and firing their revolvers several times throughout the series. Many suspects are also seen using this gun. At the time, the S&W Model 14 was one of the standard revolvers used by LAPD officers. This model was used for the first three seasons (1968-1970). In 1970 L.A.P.D. transitioned to the 4" S&W Model 15. The show also changed so as to be technically accurate. Something that the production was proud of. For those interested in trivia many of the heavy barreled 6" Model 14's were cut down to four inch barrels by L.A.P.D. armorers. Occasionally one of these converted Model 14's can be found for sale on the used market. They are popular with police revolver collectors.
Smith & Wesson Model 15
In season 4, as the real-life LAPD transitioned from 6 inch to 4 inch barrel revolvers – often Model 14 K-38’s cut down by LAPD armorers, Adam-12 changed to Smith & Wesson Model 15 "Combat Masterpiece" revolvers, at the same time changing to hinged “clam shell” Safety Speed holsters from the more common pouch holsters used the first three years.
Throughout the series, Pete Malloy used distinctive finger-groove grips by custom grip maker (and famous LAPD range master) Earl “Fuzzy” Farrant. Starting in season 4, Jim Reed also wore custom Farrant grips on his Mdl. 15.
This Model 15 was the personal property of actor Martin Milner. He would use it again in 1989 in the made for television movie "Nashville Beat". It came up for auction in 2014. See the discussion page for further details.
Additional interesting facts: When LAPD went to the Model 14 4" type revolvers, all of these issued revolvers were altered to prevent the hammer from being cocked back. This was because LAPD did not want Officers to cock the weapon before firing it. Also, every one of these revolvers that I saw while on the job all had rubber target style grips when they were issued. Some people called these Pachmayrs, but these did not have the Pachmayr logo on them.
Smith & Wesson Model 36
Malloy and Reed are shown with Smith & Wesson Model 36 Chief's Special .38 revolvers in cross-draw holsters when off duty or in their rare plain clothes assignments.
Colt Detective Special
Many Los Angeles Police detectives are seen with Colt Detective Specials in their holsters. The Detective Special was popular with many LAPD detectives (as well as many detectives throughout the country), due to its small size ideal for concealed carry, up until 1988, when the LAPD switched over to semi-autos.
Colt Official Police
Several criminals are armed with Colt Official Police revolvers throughout the series.
Los Angeles Police officers, including Peter Malloy and Jim Reed, are often seen using Ithaca 37 shotguns whenever they must deal with armed suspects. They are equipped with standard 4 shot magazine tubes, 18 1/2 Barrels and have Parkerized finishes. This configuration was referred to as the "LAPD Special". The Ithaca 37 was the standard shotgun for the LAPD for several decades until the late 90s, when they switched over to the Remington 870.
Winchester 1897 Shotgun
A Winchester Model 1897 Riot Gun appears as another shotgun used by LAPD officers in the series.
Double Barreled shotgun
Many of the armed suspects that the LAPD encounters in the show are armed with Double barreled shotguns.
Remington Model 700 BDL Bolt Action Rifle
LAPD SWAT officers are shown with Remington Model 700 BDL precision rifles.
An M1 Carbine is seen in the hands of a suspect in Season 4's "The Tip" (Season 4 Episode 16).
Federal M201-Z Grenade Launcher
Sergeant MacDonald (William Boyett) carries a Federal M201-Z Grenade Launcher in the back of his patrol car, kept with several tear gas grenades in a brown case. He often loads it up when the police are dealing with a barricaded armed suspect, usually giving it to Malloy (Martin Milner) to fire.