I recently purchased a gun. This, of course, is not news. I own a number of guns. That number is none of your business, but that fact is for another story. This story I feel comfortable sharing.
Smith & Wesson Model 10: A True Classic
The gun I purchased is a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver. Specifically, it is a Model 10-6. I’ll talk about the personal importance of this later. This is the true, classic police-issue handgun. Prior to about 1985, it was arguably the most popular gun issued to police officers around the world. Model 10 revolvers, like Mauser bolt-action rifles, were used just about everywhere around the globe.
This particular revolver has the 4-inch heavy barrel, a square butt, fixed sights, a grooved trigger, Pachmayr rubber grips and a few patches of the original finish. Clearly this gun saw lots of holster time but, true to the world of policing, very little range time. The cylinder is perfectly timed, the lock-up is super-tight, there is very little end shake, the crane is in great condition, the forcing cone is crisp, and the bore is clear and bright with nice, deep rifling. As far as I’m concerned, it is a new used gun — or a used new gun. You choose. And best of all, I got the gun for less than $300. Oh yes, the S&W Model 10 revolver is still quite affordable. I have seen some out there for as little as $225, but they are getting snapped up pretty quickly.
There Are Many Like It, But This One Is Mine
Why is the 10-6 important? Well, I have this silly habit of looking for items made in the year of my birth, and this Model 10-6 appears to have been made in either 1966 or very early 1967. It is apparently one of the last of the C-series serial numbers. And that is why I wanted it. I’m sure I could get much better information by sending off the serial number to Smith & Wesson or checking with the collectors’ society, but right now, the information I have is good enough for me.
Let The Naysayers Say Their Nays
Here we have a piece of precision machinery that is more than half a century old. It was built while I was still drooling and making that stupid face just before I forced one of my parents to wipe my butt. And, after all these years, the gun still operates exactly as it was designed and will still serve the purpose for which it was intended. Some might claim the caliber is not effective or the sights are old-fashioned. Others will tell you the gun is too heavy and the barrel is too long for effective concealment. And it only holds six rounds. How on Earth will we stop the zombie apocalypse with only six rounds? I’m not listening. I own the gun because I want to own the gun and that is the only explanation anyone needs from me.
Someone said I could get this old revolver refinished and add some flashy new grips and “give that gun some new life.” I disagree. I don’t think this revolver needs new life. I think this old wheelgun is fine just the way it came out of the shipping box. The gun may be a little beat up on the outside, but the internals are there. The basis for effective action remains. The gun will do what I want it to do and, as far as I can tell, it will keep doing it long after I am gone and my sons are dividing up the contents of my gun vault.
I will likely run some more tests on this gun, and maybe it will appear on the pages of Concealed Carry Magazine in the near future. Keep an eye out. It may be old, but it still works really well.