Ordnance Notes -- by Bob Stoner GMCM (SW) Ret.

Smith and Wesson Model 10 "Military and Police" Revolver

A representative S&W Model 10 (M&P) revolver as issued during World War 2. Note the lanyard loop attached to the butt of the gun. This gun is also called the "Victory Model" Military and Police revolver and shows a phosphated finish and wooden grips that were typical of the type. Model 10s produced after the war returned to the dark blued finish.
A post-war Model 10 with a heavy barrel. (Photo: Smith and Wesson)

The S&W Model 10 is probably the most successful revolver ever produced. The Model 10 began its life in 1889 as the S&W "Hand Ejector" in .38 S&W caliber. The "Hand Ejector" was upgraded to the popular .38 S&W Special cartridge in 1902. During the 1920s, S&W renamed the piece as the "Military and Police" or "M&P" model. The M&P added the "Model 10" to its designation in 1958. It is still in production with over 6 million delivered; 1 million of which were delivered in World War 2. At the height of its popularity, over 80 percent of the law enforcement agencies in the United States used the Model 10.

The Model 10 is a conventional 6-short revolver in .38 S&W Special caliber. It has a cylinder which swings out to the left. The center-mounted ejector rod will simultaneously eject 6 rounds from the cylinder for reloading. There is no manual safety. Finish may be blued or gray "Parkerized" (manganese phosphate). Most WW2 production guns are Parkerized and have a lanyard loop on the butt. WW2 guns have their rear sights milled into the top of the frame and have wooden grips. Post-war Model 10s may also be blued and may be found with plastic grips, adjustable sights, and heavier barrels.

The Model 10 M&P weighs 2.2 pounds, is approximately 9.3 inches long, and has a 4-inch barrel. Its most common civilian loading is with a 158-grain lead bullet. Its most common military loading is the M41 with a 158-grain full metal jacketed bullet. The M41 cartridge is known as a very poor "stopper" for serious social encounters. Nevertheless, the Model 10 was very popular with aircrews and other personnel.

© 2005 Bob Stoner R3