Pawn shop pickup: S&W Model 10-5. A classy old veteran.


October 19, 2011, 12:35 AM
Hello all. Found this 10-5 at a local pawn shop today, marked $194. I elected to snatch it up. No box or paperwork, and the blueing ain't perfect, but seems to function great. The trigger is slick as butter, and the shiny wood grips look and feel awesome. The bore gleams like it's brand new. I hope to run some ammo through it soon.

I'd never had the chance to handle an old K-frame like this, read a lot about them though. I'm shocked how light it is, and how perfectly it balances and points. I bet that classy tapered barrel helps a lot with this.

Serial # is C863xxx, am I right this puts date of mfr at '66 or '67? It has another marking next to the serial too, "SPM". Does anyone know what this might signify?

Also, I'm thinking of making this thing my main CCW, how much +P can I put through it without worrying? I wouldn't be using much anyway, just six when I first buy a box of SD loads to test the recoil, and another six every few months when I clear out the old loads.

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October 19, 2011, 12:52 AM
I'd say you just won the Firearms Lotto! That's a GREAT deal!

If you believe folks around this forum you'll understand that today's .38+P is yesteryear's regular .38Spl. So doing what you're talking about shouldn't be an issue at all. Especially if much of your practice will be with today's regular .38's.

As someone who lives in a land where I'm not allowed to own 4 inch or less barrels I envy you your find. I've shot 4 inch K frame guns owned by folks who where grandfathered to be allowed to own such "dangerous" firearms. The balance of the 4 inch barrel is devine. Meanwhile I'm "stuck" with my 6 inch revolvers.... :D

October 19, 2011, 01:28 AM
Nice find, you lucky booger! I've got my eyes peeled for a 10, just haven't found the one I'm looking for,again, nice piece!

October 19, 2011, 05:15 AM
Funny I should notice this thread. I don't spend much time in the revolver section, but I happened to just be examining my late grandfather's old Smith & Wesson Model 10-5. This one is a 2"-barreled snubby with the later more squared grips. The finish is almost perfect. Barely even a turn line on the cylinder. I just installed a Wolff reduced-power hammer spring to ease up the trigger pull. This revolver isn't even broken in yet, and the trigger isn't yet as smooth as it could be.

Smith & Wesson says it's fine to shoot +P through pretty much any of their K-frame revolvers. However, you should check with them before using it in a J-Frame, and avoid it entirely in the old aluminum Airweights.

October 19, 2011, 05:43 AM
I would not worry about using +P ammo (usually about 100fps over std. load) in that gun. That is very good price on nice classic revolver. Whoever sold that to the pawn shop must have gotten screwed.

October 19, 2011, 07:59 AM
Good find. I've got three Model 10's and I'd jump on another one for that price.

You can shoot P+ through it 'till the cows come home.

By the way. A 10-5 from the mid 60's ain't "old." Even this one from 1947, isn't really old. Your's is just getting started. ;)

October 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
I'd've scrounged up the money to buy that! Sheesh. Nice deal. That's less than I paid for my first one, more than ten years ago. It was also a 10-5, and I have kicked myself many times for being foolish enough to sell it.

+p is just a nice warm load in that gun. Enjoy!

That gun wasn't born with those grips, BTW. You can see from the finish wear marks that it came with the grips that come up further on the grip frame, what I remember people calling "magna" grips. Unless a previous owner cut down the originals to look that way, which, from the looks of things, could have happened. Nice grips.

October 19, 2011, 12:24 PM
I would have snatched that up too! That is a great deal on a Model 10!!!

Black Knight
October 19, 2011, 01:09 PM
The 10-5 can handle +p loads til the cows come home. Any S&W K-frame 38 with a model number instead of a name can safely handle +P loads. S&W changed to model numbers in 1957 according to my research so any made after 1957 should be just fine with +P loads. Looks like you got a nice one there. Those grips look as if they came from a pre-WWII or Victory model. The correct grips would be the magnas that can be found almost anywhere. I saw some on Ebay going for $20 - $50 a few days ago.

October 19, 2011, 01:24 PM

now I need a model 10 now.

your fault!!!


October 19, 2011, 01:35 PM
Im picking up a model 10-5 on Friday. Great gun and trully is a classic.

October 19, 2011, 02:04 PM
Welcome to the Club.

Model 10 made the the pistol shooter I am today, I tend to put mostly SWC's down the family one, though ours has been shot so much it's getting a bit of excessive spray from the forcing cone... not sure if it's repairable or if I should retire it, but the trigger is as amazing as it was the first time I shot the thing over 25 years ago.

Aim small, miss small to quote someone else recently :D Line up spent 12 gauge shotgun shells on twigs and blades of grass at 10 yards or more.

Remember, shooting the grass or the twig supporting the shell only counts if you call it in advance ;D

October 19, 2011, 10:34 PM
I notice yours has the "Davidson's Prescott, AZ" import(?) mark. I picked one up last spring with the same mark, as well as the SPM following the serial number.(C806xxx)
I haven't been able to figure what that meant. I thought it may have been somebody's initials, but that doesn't seem to be the case now.
Nice price you got there, mine was $219 and has some more wear.
It locks up tight though and still shoots awesome.

Hondo 60
October 19, 2011, 10:42 PM
10's are just that one gun that EVERY gun owner should have.
A 10-5 was the 2nd gun I bought.
Unfortunately, it let me know what terrible piece of crap my 1st gun was.

October 20, 2011, 09:55 PM
Guillermo, I've seen all the Colts you've been buying up lately. Can you at least try and save some S&W's for the rest of us? :-)

October 21, 2011, 09:16 AM
Can you at least try and save some S&W's for the rest of us?

I think you might be exaggerating the pace of my revolver purchases just a little.:neener:

October 21, 2011, 10:05 AM
Dnaltrop, I'm not a gunsmith but IIRC it sounds like a carry up problem. It shoud be a pretty easy fix for a reputable gunsmith and still give you more years of service. Here is a good read that all M10 owners should read. I read this quite often, even printed it out for myself

October 21, 2011, 10:26 AM
Great buy! Cajunbass you got all the nice toys!

October 21, 2011, 11:00 PM
Thanks for all the kind, informative posts, fellas.

I carried it for the first time today, put some Winchester 125gr +P JHPs in it. It carried like a dream, even with the crappy nylon IWB holster I had it in.

I hope to make a proper leather holster for it soon.

October 21, 2011, 11:14 PM
A classy old-school revolver like that deserves classy old-school ammo, like the old FBI load by Remington ( or Federal. (

Nice gun. :)

October 22, 2011, 12:32 AM
The most comforting firearm I ever owned.

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