In recent months, it seems the 10mm cartridge has been gaining a lot of followers. The problem is, there aren’t many firearms currently manufactured that shoot the 10mm. Consequently, the prices of used 10mm handguns, like the Colt Delta Elite, have been climbing.
Smith and Wesson, rather quietly, has been selling a 10mm handgun. Rather than an autopistol, S&W is selling a revolver chambered for the 10mm: the Smith and Wesson model 610. The original 610 was introduced almost two decades ago, and Smith discontinued production for a period of time. However, S&W brought the gun back and it is currently available.
The S&W 610 is a stainless steel revolver with either a 4″ (3 7/8″ actually) or 6 1/2″ barrel. The handgun holds six rounds, has nice Hogue rubber grips, and weighs in at 42.5 ounces and 49.4 ounces (unloaded) respectively. Loading is handled via full moon clips.
Two major advantages exist for chambering a revolver in 10mm. The first is a lot of 10mm owners like to hunt with that cartridge. A revolver offers increased reliability in adverse weather and environmental condition, making the 610 a good platform for 10mm hunters.
The second advantage of a 10mm revolver is the 610 also chambers .40 S&W cartridge. While the 10mm is clearly a superior hunting cartridge, the .40 S&W is much more common and cheaper to shoot. Additionally, all major manufacturers make .40 S&W personal protection ammunition with the latest bullet designs, while few make 10mm ammo with the current generation of self defense bullets. So, .40 S&W ammo may be better for self defense applications.
These two advantages mean that one revolver can be used for plinking, self defense, and hunting…without a decrease in reliability in virtually any environment…simply by choosing which ammunition to feed it.
The S&W 610 retails for $980, but I have seen them significantly cheaper at some dealers looking to move them due to a lack of interest. The funny thing is, I imagine that they are not selling as well as other Smith products due to a lack of advertising, not due to a lack of interest. If more people knew about them, they would probably be selling a little quicker with the dealers I talked to.