S&W M10 & the .38 SPECIAL

S&W M10 & the .38 SPECIAL

This is a discussion on S&W M10 & the .38 SPECIAL within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; As l sit here eagerly awaiting for my cable to be installed tomorrow I have been thinking again about this great combination. I'm also greatfull ...

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Thread: S&W M10 & the .38 SPECIAL

  1. #1
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    S&W M10 & the .38 SPECIAL

    As l sit here eagerly awaiting for my cable to be installed tomorrow I have been thinking again about this great combination. I'm also greatfull for having met folks such as bmcgilvray for sharing his years of knowledge and experience with this combination as well. It is no secret that I have a soft spot for the .41 magnum. However I've found that I enjoy the .38 SPL and the S&W platform more so.

    Don't get me wrong the Ruger Blackhawk .41 is a great revolver and is very accurate, but it just doesn't have the same familiar feeling and balance as the M10. As good as the .41 magnum is though I find that the S&W M10 and the .38 SPL fit so many roles better. It makes a good companion in the woods just as well as on the range punching paper and in the home for SD. It pleasant to shoot allowing one to concentrate on fundamentals a lot easier. It is also a joy to load for at the bench and you get the added benefit of it being very economical to boot.

    No I know it is not capable of taking game like the .41, however I do feel that it is adaptable to a wider range of roles than the various big bores. With the current ammunition prices and price gouging that's going on this combination keeps making more and more sense. There is plenty in the way of SD ammunition out there which can't be said of the larger calibers, and there is no shortage of bullet styles. I know this topic has come up before but I hate to see this great combination not receive the notoriety that it clearly deserves.
    bmcgilvray and wmhawth like this.


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    I agree fully, the S&W M-10 was the first gun I ever carried concealed while in the USAF and still has a special place in my heart.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    My Father gave me a new one when I was ~8 yrs. old, still have it.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

    -Will Rogers

    Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  4. #4
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Bmcgilvray had a lot of bearing on me selecting the S&W M10 after reading his "S&W M10 a revolver for the long haul" thread. After reading that post back in 2006 it made me seriously reconsider my platform and caliber selection. Though I've not rung my M10 out as bmcgilvray has I have not been disappointed with it in any way. I wish I could have the privilege of meeting him in person instead of on the various forums.

  5. #5
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    In person is waaaay more underwhelming than the "magnificent forum persona" projected for sure!

    Was thinking about Smith & Wesson Model 10s just today while checking over a 4-inch Smith & Wesson Model 19 kept around here. Couldn't recall if it was a Model 19-3 or a Model 19-4. This may be an indication that it doesn't see enough use.

    Anyway, was thinking to myself: "Why didn't I gravitate to something a little more glamorous than the plebeian Model 10 and it's .38 Special cartridge."

    I have made a deliberate effort to kill this particular revolver, really I have. Just wear it smooth out! Pour massive amounts of lead through its bore. Abuse it repeatedly over the years with experimental handloading stunts. Drop it. Take it in swimming. Goofy stuff. Ruger's built-like-a-tank image ain't got nothin' on this revolver. All this along with the increased exposure to loss to theft when events inevitably require it to be temporarily left behind in a vehicle, hotel room, checked baggage, or other less than ideal circumstance. Left it behind last October when we were driving home from my wife's sister's house in Phoenix. Got all the way to Tucson before realizing it. Thought: "Oh well, we'll get it next time and there are others at home to take up the slack." But, since we don't see her sister all that often we turned around and tore back up I-10 to fetch it. Good thing too or I'd still be without it.

    Never set out to like the .38 Special. The .44 Special is a particular favorite of mine as is the .45 ACP, in both revolver and automatic. I drooled over the .41 Magnum for many years before finally scratching that itch only a few years back. The "Magnum" suffix sounds much more manly when rolling off the tongue as in: "Well, I carry a .357 Magnum myself." Even 9mm has a more ominous ring to it: "He drew his nine millimeter pistol from its holster, prepared to battle the world!"

    Handguns chambered for straight-walled magnum revolver cartridges abound here as do 9mms but somehow the .38 Special and the Model 10 soldier on. Familiarity is what it is. Being the first handgun ever acquired, it saw extensive use early on. Then as other handguns began to be added, they were "saved for special" or else were "collectible" so that when things got tough, messy, sweaty, or rigorous the Model 10 went along on the most adventures. Since it was always along on hunting, fishing, hiking, and just making general mayhem, it saw the use and the most experience was gained with it from the beginning. Along the way it was observed that the .38 Special never failed to take care of whatever needed shooting with good hits. It was also noted that on occasion, cartridges like the .45 ACP or even the .44 Magnum didn't take care of things with bad hits.

    Shot placement, who'd a' thunk it?!

    Would I prowl the alders of coastal Alaska in search of bears with my trusty Model 10 as the side arm? Nope. But the Model 10 has tended to Texas and all encountered therein for getting close to 40 years now. Man, I'm old!
    336A, nechaev, Stevew and 2 others like this.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Is your S&W model 10 a number 5 with a 4" barrel by chance?
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
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    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
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    I shot the M10 in the AF and shot it very well. Why I never got one is questionable, probably something to do with buying a Blackhawk .41 Magnum and enjoying that so much. One of these days I'll run across one shouting, "Hey, stupid! Take me home!" and will.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  8. #8
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    Hi Searcher 45;

    It's a Model 10-6 revision, the -6 referring to the 4-inch heavy barrel. A factory letter reveals that it shipped from Smith & Wesson in June of 1971 so I suppose it has a birthday this month. I bought it used in late 1975.

    The Model 10-5 is the tapered barrel version, manufactured concurrently with the Model 10-6. Both the -5 and-6 revisions were produced from 1962 to 1977.

    This Model 10-5 dates to 1974.


    This is the Model 10-6 that dates to June of 1971.


    Honestly, I like the "traditional" appearance that the tapered barrel Model 10 gives the best and I can't tell the difference in recoil between the two. The bull barrel feels the most familiar.
    wmhawth and msgt/ret like this.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    Bud's Gun Shop list them for sale at real good prices quite often.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

    -Will Rogers

    Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  10. #10
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    I like my Blackhawk .41 mag too oldvet. I have one of the newer ones that have the new slim hard rubber stocks, they really make it a chore to keep a good consistent grip. The dang thing seems to squirm around in my hands. Eventually I'll get some new stocks for it, I sure wish Ruger stuck with the wooden stocks as they feel better in my hands.

  11. #11
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Bmcgilvray, I'm amazed that your still with us after all those years in the Texas brush with all of those ravenous pigs down there I'm still curious how the .38 Special would fare against one of those porkers. I never did get the opportunity to find out for myself.

  12. #12
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    That .41 Magnum Ruger would be more to the point for ravenous pigs. The place 10 miles west of town that was so infested with them a few years back has been pig free for a couple of years now. Of course the land owner was committing mass execution on them. Perhaps the survivors took the hint.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Great thread!

    Just tonight I was shooting a steel match and running the clock on a guy shooting a M64, the stainless version of the M10. Heavy barrel, fixed sights. The stage where I timed him had 3 positions requiring 7 rounds each so he was at a distinct disadvantage compared to the auto shooters, but he dumped his empties and reloaded with Safariland speedloaders diligently. No way would I want to get into a shootout with him!
    336A and bmcgilvray like this.
    Smitty
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    Member Array zdinnd's Avatar
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    Oh yeah. This thread is making me have the warm fuzzies for my mod-10.

    10-10, 4 inch heavy barrel, ramped front site painted with my wifes nail polish, houge grip, minor blueing wear.

    I picked it up, along with another model 10 and 200$ in a trade an AK in 2008. I sold one to a roomate, and kept the one I have now. Like other posters have mentioned, its not a special gun. Its not collectable, its not rare, its not a high end custom; so it gets carried on a lot of feild work. All my hunts, hikes, road trips, and other times "I just needed a gun" have been paired with my model 10. It rides in a cheapo 80s thumb break holster (Good god I need to get a new one...), a vinal bag, center consol of a car, and its pulled its fair share of night stand duty. (About to go back to it too) I don’t care if it gets scratched, worn blueing, or shot to death. It just works, and works well.

    Its not special, but it gets used the most-which kind of makes it special.
    bmcgilvray and 336A like this.
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  15. #15
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Same here, for some reason the M10 is the revolver that my hand keeps reaching for when I want to go get some woods time. I'm going to have to try to make a conscious effort though to take the .41 more often. I took the .41 out the other day to expend the last remaining 4 rounds of Rem 210gr JSP that I had from a old box and a couple Sierra JHC loads as well. It was not pleased with me for having neglected it for so long, the reulting groups really showed it as well. The word abysmal or lost cause readily come to mind

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