I just sold a USAF .model 15. Tough gun to find,I don't think they were ever surplus just went to capn crunch.
Yep, they were not surplused in the traditional sense and were not sold through the DCM or CMP.
However, the S&W Model 15 Combat Masterpiece did dribble out of the Air Force via legitimate means in small quantities. This was mostly through inter-agency transfers. USGI weapons were, for a time, available to other Federal agencies and to qualified state and local law enforcement agencies. When some of the state/local agencies later on needed new weapons, sometimes those that had been obtained from the US Government were offered in trade to gun distributors/dealers. Those trade-in guns were in turn sold on the civilian market.
I am aware of several USAF marked Model 15s that went that route. I am also aware of a group of USGI Winchester Model 12 trench guns that were transferred to the US Customs Service office in SC. Those guns eventually were traded to a gun dealer and ended up being sold to civilians. Same thing with a group of US marked Colt Detective Special revolvers that shipped to the Army in 1970 but were later sold to civilians by SARCO about 15 years ago. All of these transactions were legit and on the up and up.
The Government has since changed the rules and sharply restricted the transfer of small arms to state/local agencies. It has also insisted upon the return of some small arms transferred in the past.