Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Quintessential American Cop's Gun
At Least It Was, Before the Rise of the Wondernines

The Smith & Wesson Model 10-5:


The 10-5 was produced from 1962 to 1977, a long production run for a S&W postwar engineering variant. S&W widened the front sight and the notch in the rear sight, which made the sights more visible than the skinny front sights of the earlier models.

When one considers that the Model 10 was originally named the "Hand Ejector" in 1899 (to distinguish it from the break-top automatic ejecting handguns S&W made at the time) and then the "Military & Police" before it became the Model 10, it is likely that the Model 10 has been in production longer than any other firearm, with 6,000,000 being made. The lockwork supposedly hasn't changed much since the Great War. You can still buy a new one, but only with a 4" heavy barrel (and the dreaded "Hillary lock").

Some authorities say that the pre 10s are best not fired often with +P ammunition. Others say that what is now +P ammo is close to what was originally loaded for .38 Specials back in the day. YMMV.

While I'm on the subject of ammunition, several hundred thousand M&Ps were made for the British during World War II; those were chambered in .38/200, also known as ".38 S&W". .38 S&W rounds are not interchangeable with .38 Specials; the .38 S&W's bullet is .004" fatter than that of a .38 Special. The .38 S&W's cartridge case is shorter, as well. A number of .38 S&W revolvers have had their chambers reamed to accept .38 Specials, which are functional, but not rumored to be particularly accurate.

While prices of all Smith & Wesson revolvers have been creeping up (the prices of Model 17s and 19s are getting insane), there are still good Model 10s to be had for reasonable prices. I bought this one recently, the "out the door" price was $300. It has all the hallmarks of a gun that spent quite a bit of time in a holster and hardly any time on a firing range. There is a faint line on both sides of the frame that suggest that the gun once had a set of target grips installed, which a previous owner kept. It wears its original "PC Magna" grips. The grips don't have a little solid diamond around the grip screw holes, which dates this particular revolver after 1967. (What "diamond grips" look like.)

Even to this day, the Model 10 is as close to "everything you need and nothing you don't" as you can get in a handgun.

7 comments:

Old 1811 said...

If I recall, a .38/200 Victory Model (WWII production) M&P reamed out to .38 Special is what Lee Harvey Oswald used to kill Officer Tippit.
Therefore, they are evil and should all be banned.

Murphy's Law said...

A most excellent pistol...and a most excellent write-up. Smith and Wesson is definitely spoken here at The Lair.

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that the Model 10 is the longest produced handgun but the Winchester 94 rifle would hold the title for the longest produced firearm as it is still in production with over 7 million sold since 1894.

Al_in_Ottawa

w3ski said...

I called it the "Andy of Mayberry" revolver.
w3ski

Comrade Misfit said...

Al, not so. The 1894 went out of production in 2006. When production resumed in 2011, the rifles were and still are being made by Miroku in Japan. If Uberti entered into a deal where they made rifles for Winchester, would they be genuine Winchesters? I submit that they wouldn't, and neither are the Miroku rifles.

It'd be like Colt subbing out 1911 production to Armscor (as they do to Walther/Umarex for their .22s).

Smith & Wesson, on the other hand, has made Model 10s in its plant in Springfield, MA and continues to do so.

Anonymous said...

Winchesters made in Japan? Surely this is a sign of the apocalypse.

Next you'll be telling me that Fender Stratocasters aren't made in the USA. Kidding, I know that CBS farmed guitar production out to Japan and then Mexico to cut costs.

Al_in_Ottawa

Old NFO said...

Very nice find! Enjoy shooting it!!!