Smith Model 10 Snub?


January 22, 2012, 02:31 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm really looking into buying a Smith Model 10 snub but I have several questions. Just some background, I own a Model 10 4'' barrel from the '70s and I adore it. I put some Hogue grips on it and it's consistently the most popular gun at the range among friends (even the girlfriend!), so I trust the old name. If I got one, it would be strictly for SD, as snubbies are no fun to shoot for hundreds of rounds at the range. My concerns:

1. How available are the snubs in great condition?
2. Can they handle +P?
3. What would be a typical buying price?
4. How do they stand up to modern snubs in most aspects?

Thanks in advance

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January 22, 2012, 02:53 PM
1. Not as available as 4", but they are out there.
You just have to look longer then for a 4".

2. All Model 10's made after WWII are perfectly fine with +P.
(+P isn't all it's cracked up to be anyway when you compare it to standard .38 Spl prior to +P rating system in the early 1970's)

3. See #1.

4. The S&W Model 10 was the most widely used and most durable police revolver of all time. Need I say more.

4 1/2. Bigger & heavier then a J-Frame and holds one more round.


Geezer Glide
January 22, 2012, 03:21 PM
Not as easy to find at the 4 inchers. If you find one, get it. You won't be disappointed.

January 22, 2012, 03:54 PM
I have a Snub 10 I bought in like-new condition in the late 60's and it's still going strong. I don't shoot +P ammo, for cc use Hornady Critical Defense or Federal Nyclads, but for practice use wad cutters and 158 gr swc, both loaded with middle of the chart W231 powder. Don't abuse a Model 10 and it will last (almost) forever. And FWIW, if you're looking for a 2" revolver and can't find a 10, consider a 64. There were some police trade-ins on GB recently, some from Robertson Trading Post in Tenn. Basically the same thing as a 10 but in SS.

January 22, 2012, 04:26 PM
I'd <best not type that> to have another one myself....

January 22, 2012, 04:41 PM
If it's more for SD/Carry than tons of shooting, then the fine designers at yesteryear's S&W have got you covered: the 2" model 12. Essentially a lightweight model 10, these can be found on gunbroker pretty easily with a bit of patience.

Here is mine (and yes, it is loaded with Remmy +P "FBI"... hasn't loosened up yet...):


January 22, 2012, 04:42 PM
I echo that they're not as easy to find as the 4 inchers.

I just found one a few weeks ago at a gun shop in excellent condition for $450 and jumped on it.

As far as shooting, the model 10 snubs are a joy to shoot. They're not punishing like an airweight J-frame. If you want to burn through 100+ rounds at the range, it's no problem.

Pictured are my 2 Model 10s. A model 10-5 2-inch, and a 10-10 4-inch.

January 22, 2012, 05:39 PM
If I got one, it would be strictly for SD, as snubbies are no fun to shoot for hundreds of rounds at the range.

You'll be surprised by how nice a K Frame snub is to shoot. It isn't like an airweight J frame snub at all. I have K Frame .38s ranging from 2" to 6", and other than the way they balance the felt recoil impulse is about the same.

In addition to the 2" Model 10, the stainless model 64 and the airweight 12 mentioned already, the Model 15 was also offered in a 2" format. This gun is basically a model 10 snub with adjustable sights, a heavy barrel and a square butt (snub 10s can be found in round and square configurations). Prices run $375 to $475 these days:

Keep in mind though that unless you are very short height wise, a 4" barrel revolver is about as easy to carry IWB as a 2". I've got a 4" S&W Model 19 on my hip right now using a FIST #20 IWB holster on a Beltman 1.5" belt and I barely no it's there.

Jim NE
January 22, 2012, 07:46 PM
I've been looking for one for a long time, but haven't found anything, I'll check out the links when I get a chance. Seems to me they're pricier. Simpson's has a nice old one, but it's over twice the asking price for a 4 inch. They also have the stainless version (Model 64) but again, very pricey.

January 22, 2012, 08:38 PM
You may have to do some shopping, but they are out there. It's worth the trouble. No problem with +p. Price depends on condition and location. $350-400 "ish" range.

And yes, they are good shooters.

January 22, 2012, 08:42 PM
Oops--forgot the picture!

January 23, 2012, 09:14 AM
I can't say I looked long and hard for one, because short barrel revolvers don't really interest me. However when I found this one, from 55/56, in what I believe to be, near to, if not unfired condition, with the gold/blue box and papers, I went ahead and overpayed for it.

I see a lot of more mundade ones in the 350-450 range. They'll handle anything marked "38 Special" that you stuff into them. P+ is not a high powered round. It's more of a marketing gimmick than anything else.

How do they compare to modern ones? Handle them both, and you'll throw rocks at the new one.

January 23, 2012, 09:31 AM
K frame snubbies are sweet shooters.

Here's my m12-2 and she's a nice carry piece:

January 23, 2012, 12:17 PM
My two inch Smith & Wesson Model 64 is lots of fun to shoot!
I would buy another if I found one in good shape for a reasonable price.

January 23, 2012, 04:38 PM
Bought these at local shows a couple years back for $200 and $210.

Bagged the stainless version about 2 years back for $265.

Got this from a pawnshop for $135. My wife had it dressed up for my 50th BD.

January 23, 2012, 05:00 PM
there is one for sale on the high road right now

January 24, 2012, 01:20 AM
I like the snub nose K frame too but when I found a really nice M36 I bought it to go along with my 4" 1948 M10.
If a nice short barrel M10 came along I would probably buy it too!

Owen Sparks
January 24, 2012, 01:41 AM
I shot one a while back and really did not like it. The sight radius was just too short and I had trouble hitting with it. It also had an unpleasant level of muzzle blast that could have been better spent pushing the bullet faster rather than making extra noise.

Frank V
January 24, 2012, 01:13 PM
The 2" model 10s do have a lot of appeal, they are a nice shooting gun being a K frame.
But when it comes to actually carrying one for defense, the barrel is not what's hard to hide, it's the cylinder & gripframe. Being a K frame unless it's a round butt gun it won't be a great deal easier to carry undetected. It will weigh a bit less because there's not as long a barrel, but the grip frame & cylinder are what are really hard to hide. A good IWB holster & a vest or jacket long enough to conceal the butt will allow a 4" gun to be carried almost as well as a 2". A 4" bbl gun will usually be much easier to shoot well too.
The exception is being able to put it into a vest or coat with a large pocket, here the 2" will carry easily. That said the 2" mod. 10s are really neat & have a special charisma. Heck if it's what you want go for it.
Good luck.

Ralph G. Briscoe
January 24, 2012, 07:50 PM
I picked one up on GB a couple of years ago--99%--$375. Heavy for a snub, but a whole lot more comfortable to shoot that a LW J frame like the 642 I normally carry.

Deaf Smith
January 26, 2012, 12:19 AM
I'd love to find an old M10 2 inch snub!

Got the 2 inch 64 I turned into a DAO snub with Secret Service stocks and red insert front sight, but I've always wanted and old M10 snub with the paddle wheel front sight!


January 26, 2012, 03:06 AM
Still looking for a 3" bull barrelled one myself.

January 26, 2012, 06:25 PM
Mine is an excellent gun! It's not going anywhere......It takes more concentration to shoot accurately than the longer barreled models but the mechanics of it are second to none. It's no wonder that these things have been in production for so long.

Oh yeah, I have the original grips but I like to use these for extended range sessions.

Deaf Smith
January 26, 2012, 07:38 PM
My 64 2 inch was my second CCW gun when CHLs first started here in Texas.

And of course the Speed Six is mine to.


January 27, 2012, 12:40 AM
I decided I wanted one cause of how much I like my 19-3, and found one that weekend at the gunshow (actually a 64, same thing just stainless) so I can't really attest to their availability.

Being said, using standard pressure ammo it's still pretty easy shooting even with smaller grips. It's tied for my favorite small pistol with my HK P7.

January 27, 2012, 04:07 AM
here's a matched pair of M10-5's - One w/ 2" barrel & one with a 4" barrel.
These are great guns!


Lucky 7
January 27, 2012, 08:02 AM
To the OP:
1) The conditions vary greatly, as with virtually every make and model of used firearms. You're area and subsequent used gun market will dictate what's available.

2) Most of the "numbered" smiths will handle +p with ease. Double check with S&W if you have doubts/concerns.

3) I was lucky enough to buy a RB Model 10-5 snub for $330 OTD in great condition back in August of 2011. Area and market will factor into the price as well.

4) The snub Model 10 stacks up very well compared to newer revolvers. My mother ended up taking home my Model 10-5 and prefers it to the SW 315NG that is my current CCW. While I miss the great trigger and heft of the 10-5 (for hotter handloads), for EDC the Big Dot sight. U-notch rear sight, and light weight better suit me for a daily belt gun. Matter of taste, I suppose.


Frank V
January 28, 2012, 11:11 AM
Those model 10 2" are attractive. Thanks for sharing them with us fella's.

January 28, 2012, 11:23 AM
I gave my Mother mine to CC.
She likes it, how can you argue with that?

January 28, 2012, 12:20 PM my LEO Trade in, a model 10-5 with 3" barrel, the original stocks and a BK grip adapter. It is a nice compromise between a 2" and a 4". In a belt slide holster it carries well. It shows to POA with Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158 grain LSWCHP. YOU CAN HAVE THE BEST OF BOTH IMHO.

January 28, 2012, 03:00 PM
The Model 10 snub is a fine shooter. My 10-5 wears Don Collins birdseye maple boot grips these days...

Here's an excellent essay on the Model 10:

January 28, 2012, 03:11 PM
also look for a model 63 3 inch heavy barrel round you the same size,plus 357

January 28, 2012, 07:53 PM
My 2" Model 10 is hands down my favorite snub.

Ghost Tracker
January 28, 2012, 10:05 PM
I have my Dad's S&W M12 2". It's a lightweight, fine-shooting CC revolver. I've recently thought, since M10 4" are cheaper/easier to find & I'm NOT a collector, why not find a tight but rough-finished M10 4" and lop it off? Add a front sight & Duracoat...I'm there.

Frank V
January 29, 2012, 03:45 PM
That Buffalo Bore load is the very one I carry in my pre-+P .38. I've clocked it at 876fps from a 2" bbl. Buffalo Bore claims 850fps. When is the last time we've gotten more than the company claimed? I really like Buffalo Bore ammo.;)

January 29, 2012, 09:43 PM
It is also what I carry in my model 36 2" which is staying home more as my. 3" model 10 gets more carry time. I also appreciate the lower flash at night.

January 29, 2012, 09:58 PM
They make shiny ones too.
My wife carried this one as a duty weapon as a Deputy Sheriff.
It still does night stand duty and I sure wouldn't want get between her and a BG.

Model 12 Airweight.
This one rides on my hip a lot of the time.

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