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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post and I have just purchased my first hand gun...a used 38 special S&W. It appears to be in super excellent condition and comes with a plastic S&S case and lots of paperwork. I will get it tomorrow after the background check is done.

Anyway, I would appreciate any information regarding the reliability and accuracy of this revolver. I had no idea what I was doing and relied on the gun shop owner, who is supposed to be a little high priced, but very reliable.

I paid $369...too high? Probably...but I learned a lot talking with him and I was going to buy a 22 magnum, which he talked me out of. So, maybe I paid a little "tuition" for the learning process.

Any thoughts are surely appreciated regarding ammo to use, cleaning, things to watch for, etc....thanks in advance.
 

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If it's really clean, you paid a little too much for an M10, but not a lot. Hang onto it, as a clean Smith & Wesson will only increase in value.

I'd have suggested a .22 LR as a first, since it is by far the cheapest to shoot, and the only way I know to become a proficient handgunner is to shoot a LOT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As I said, I was intending to buy a 22 magnum, but it was to be primarily a home protection weapon....I was convinced by the dealer that a 22 would not pack the power that I would need if and intruder was hopped up on meth or crack or something else...

So, I opted for the 38 special for home protection. Now that I have had a chance to look at some of the gun forums, I am kind of excited about the whole hand gun thing....a "guy and his toys" thing.

I have already been looking at 22 LR pistols for target shooting...there is a range about 3 miles from the house. I suspect that the 38 will NOT be my only weapon....probably lots more in my future...I sure hope so...ha

Thanks for the reply
 

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Re: re: S&W Model 10 38 Special for Newbie

davzog said:
As I said, I was intending to buy a 22 magnum, but it was to be primarily a home protection weapon......
If it's primarily for home defense, a .38 Spl is hard to beat. A reasonably stout 158 grain load with a semi-wadcutter bullet is an excellent defense round. If you're concerned about over-penetration (the bullet passing through a wall and injuring someone in the next room or apartment), you can get frangible loads for the .38 Spl.

Now, you need to get a Smith & Wesson K-22 for practice... same gun, but in .22 LR.
 

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davzog;

Welcome, both to the forum and to gun-owning. From what you say, I believe you have gotten the bug and will probably have more guns. Remember, you can never have too many.
Once you getem, don't sellem, no matter what.
I have sold a few and regret every single one and now that I have time to reflect, I had no real reason for doing so. In fact if I had them back I would be very well off.
As wwb mentioned, one of them was in fact an old model K22, another was a odel 41 8" in the box with the weights from S&W to add as needed for barrel weight and balance.

Anyway. I agree with most of what wwb has told you.
You did spend a little more than you should have regardless of the condition of a mod 10 and I suspect the store owner knew it. Be that as it may, if you like it and it is in good shape, the cost is not out of line and it is a nearly indestructable gun.
The mod 10 was the most accurate revolver ever made at the time it came out. It was an issue gun for the majority of law enforcement around the country for many years, so there were as you might imagine more than a LOT of them made. They were also standard issue for some military and most military police for many, many years. As I said, a very good gun and highly reliable.
I still have two of them, one with my LE officer # engraved on it and one with my father's # and WHP for WY Hiway Patrol.
I keep mine under the seat of my vehicle so that I always have one with me. This in addition to my carry gun(s).

As for HD, because it is reliable it is a good choice. What you pick for your defense load is another thing. What wwb says is not bad and you might want to look at the 125 gr HP in +P as another choice. The good thing is the ammo for them is quite inexpensive so you will be able to afford to practice a lot.

The choice between the 22 mag and the 38 is certainly debatable, but the 22 mag with Hp ammo is probably more effective than any load from a 38 IMHO.

The big difference again is the cost of the ammo. The 22 mag is very expensive, by comparrison.
So overall I think you have the best of the two for now. You will change in time and I am also sure you will find another weapon for your final or optimum HD weapon and it will not be a 38 spcl.

If you have a range near as you say, I would suggest you go there and spend a lot of time with your gun and also see if they have a rental program then you can shoot the guns that interest you before you lay out the bucks.

I have a rental program at my shooting range and we do a lot to help buyers from around the Valley even from other dealers and we always send their customers back to them with a much better and more informed and educated opinion of the particular firearms. It has made for less hard feelings with our customers.

Hope this helps and also hope you enjoy your gun and the great people you will meet in the shooting community.

UF
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for all the posts....from what I can tell, it looks like I spent about $75-$125 too much for the gun. Nothing I can do about that, but with all the great advice I got here, I know I'll cut a hell of a deal the next time. Of course, that's the price I paid for not doing research ahead of time.

I really like the look and feel of the gun, so if there is a 22 that is a similar style, it is a no brainer that it will be my next venture...won't pay so darn much...ha

Can I ask about a + P load? Never heard of it, and I suspect it is some kind of power load....

Thanks again for your help!!
 

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davzog

You would be right about the +P loads. They are added pressure for more speed.
Many of the newer models (all) of the S&W models have a disclaimer in the owners manual against using a steady diet of +P loads.

But your gun will handle them without a problem. However they are more expensive so most people do not shoot a steady diet od them anyway.

You did not say whether your gun is the tapered barrel or the bull or heavy barrel but no matter, it will handle +P loads for self defense if you so desire.

So far you have learned a bunch I can tell from your repoonse and again I don't think you got screwed just wiser.

Now you know what to do and what to avoid at least.

UF
 

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I look at it this way: you only paid too much for the gun if you don't like it. However, you will love your Model 10. I bought a pencil barrel 1966 model that probably hadn't had more than 50 rounds through it. I had planned to resell it to my brother-in-law, because I couldn't figure out why I would keep a .38 when I had so many .357s already. BUT, after I fired it first time, I was hooked. It is probably the most accurate handgun I own. I did change grips. I didn't like the little square grips that came on it, and CDNN had some Herrett cocobolo grips for $29, and I couldn't pass that deal up. (They still have them if you're interested.)

www.cdnninvestments.com/smweklfrsqbu.html

You got a great gun for plinking, target shooting, self defense (+P), and home defense. The ammo is inexpensive - not as cheap as .22 of course, but you can buy realoads cheaper than most .22 mag ammo. Plus it's a great round for small game, and a good wad cutter, or semi-wad cutter will even be fine for coyotes. Uncle Fudd and I will probably disagree about the .22 mag being more effective (I tend to think the bigger hole a .38 makes is superior), especially **** huntin', but either way, you're gonna love it.

Yeah, ya did pretty good.

Now save up for a good .22!
 

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I think that you chose well. A .38 is far superior to a .22mag. My HD gun is a Smith model 13. It is a .357, but it is loaded with .38 +P's. I think a .357 is just too much to use in my house. There is a risk of the round passing through the perp and hitting someone else.

You paid what you paid. I have seen higher prices and lower prices. It depends on the condition of the revolver. But if what you paid is high, it is not very high. And you have one of the most reliable firearms ever made. So well done.
 

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S&W's first swing-out cylinder revolver is the grandfather of your Model 10-it is one of the best handgun designs ever made. It is the basis for the entire "K frame" (Medium frame size) line of S&W revolvers. You made a great choice. Your revolver will shoot +P ( slightly higher pressure, higher velocity, thus more powerful) ammo all day with no problem, and the Model 10 is very accurate and reliable.
Practice ammo and even defence ammo is available at Walmart.
Price may be a little high, but these revolvers are increasing in price and if the gun is in very good condition it's not too far out of line.
Get some Winchester White Box ammo and practice with it and you will learn to like it.

Enjoy.

mark
 

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I bought a Bull barrel M10 from a guy I work with for $100 bucks(sucker). It was his fathers service pistol. My first shot out of it was a dead bullseye at 14 yds. Great action, though it's a little big for concealed carry. Good choice for your first pistol.
 
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