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Smith & Wesson Model 10 (Military & Police)

The Model 10 was available with a variety of finishes, barrel lengths and stock options, even had a victory version during WWII.


Smith & Wesson’s original Military & Police revolver—not to be confused with its current polymer-frame semi-automatics and .357 Mag. revolvers—simultaneously introduced the K-frame, an improved thumb-operated cylinder release and the .38 Spl. cartridge. Consequently, it became the most popular and prolific wheelgun of the 20th century.

The M&P began as the Hand Ejector Model of 1889, chambered for the .32-20 Win. cartridge, plus a beefed-up version of the anemic .38 Long Colt that had failed to stop the Moros during the Philippine Insurrection. This more powerful “stretched” .38 loading fired a 158-grain bullet and became the .38 Smith & Wesson Special. The new gun and cartridge combination immediately caught the attention of both Army and Navy, which each ordered 1,000 guns. Seizing the opportunity, S&W renamed its new revolver the Military & Police.

Initially produced with a blued finish, walnut stocks, round butt, fixed sights, and barrel lengths ranging from 4 to 8 inches, a nickel finish and optional checkered rubber stocks were soon offered. A square butt was added in 1904 and a version with a 2-inch barrel was introduced in 1905, along with subsequent refinements, which collectors refer to as First, Second, Third and Fourth Changes.

The M&P quickly garnered a reputation for accuracy and reliability. During World War II it became the Victory Model, denoted by a “V” prefix serial number and a lanyard ring, among other features. In 1957 the Military & Police became the Model 10. A ramp sight was added in 1960.

With more than 6 million guns produced, the M&P remains as a round-butt version with a 4-inch barrel in S&Ws Classic line. Its iconic profile has inspired Hollywood to cast it with actors such as John Wayne in “McQ” and Harrison Ford who, in “Witness,” packed a Model 10 snubby similar to the gun shown.

With its 2-inch pinned barrel and retaining all of its blued finish and case-hardened hammer and trigger, this 1963-manufactured gun is marred only by a slight blemish of rust near the muzzle. Considered by some as too bulky for a carry gun by today’s standards, this hefty revolver nonetheless would prove a good choice, and given its 98 percent condition, commands a $425 to $475 value.

Gun: Smith & Wesson Model 10
Caliber: .38 Spl.
Barrel length: 2"
Serial No: C656XXX
Condition: Excellent (NRA Modern Gun Standards)
Manufactured: December 1963
Value: $425 to $475

Smith & Wesson Model 10

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8 Responses to Smith & Wesson Model 10 (Military & Police)

Fred Burger wrote:
March 24, 2013

I was issued a model 15 in Viet Nam. Carried one as a LEO in the 60s & 70s. Liked them so much I have at last count eleven of them, models 10s,12s,13s,15s,19s,64s,65s,and66s. Still occasionally carry one today. All mine except one are round butt and not a barrel over 3". Great shooters.

Rich Murphy wrote:
February 22, 2013

In my second tour as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1970 I was issued a 4" barrel, round butt Model 10 to carry in a shoulder holster.

James A. "Jim" Farmer wrote:
January 31, 2013

To understand my appreciation for this classic handgun I urge readers to access American Rifleman: I Have This Old Gun: Smith and Wesson Model 10. Below video I posted three online comments embracing this classic, historical, and verstatile revolver.

Jim Martin wrote:
November 05, 2012

I carried a model 10 2" as a Security policeman on a S.A.C. base in 1966.

Jack Bell wrote:
October 25, 2012

Not only is this a fine gun, but it was and is one of the most copied guns around. I have a Spanish copy that was made in the early 1900s. JB

Thomas Cartier wrote:
October 22, 2012

Hi, I have a S&W revolver that looks like the picture of the Model 10 (Military and Police) shown here, but with 4" barrel. The difference is mine is 5 shot and the American Rifleman shows it to be 6 shot. I wonder what model mine is.

Robert Hahn wrote:
October 15, 2012

McQ carried a Colt 2" Diamondback .38. Not a Smith model 10.

Keith Mickle wrote:
September 19, 2012

I carried one like it in MPI at Ft. Bragg N.C. when I got back from Viet Nam. It shot like a champ. An I carried it's Model 13 cousin when I worked on a PD.