Have you sold a firearm and almost immediately regretted doing so? If you read my April 2021 Blog post entitled You Can Go Home Again you know that I have. If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.
In the summer of 1976, I was 23 years old, recently married, and thought it was time for me to own a handgun. When I was about 12 years old Dad had taught me firearms safety and how to shoot. But I didn’t know enough about which handgun to choose. After conversations with more experienced friends, I decided I wanted a Smith & Wesson revolver in .38 Special with a 4” barrel for use as a home defense and one day carry gun.
I visited a local gun shop and the salesman recommended a new S&W Model 10 with blued finish, a 4” barrel and round butt. It was a very nice looking revolver with beautiful blued finish and great SA and DA trigger pulls. I didn’t know that the square butt S&W’s were the most preferred at that point in time, far outnumbering the round butt K-frame medium size revolvers in numbers produced. In 1977, I obtained my PA concealed carry permit and as that 10-5 round butt was my only centerfire handgun, I carried it a lot.
Back in the 1970-80s, if I wanted to buy a gun I had to sell a gun. What I didn’t mention in Part 1, is that in the early 1980s I had sold my first handgun purchase, that Smith & Wesson Model 10, to raise the money for purchase of a Smith & Wesson Model 66-2 .357 Magnum with 6” barrel. Yep, I regretted the sale of the 10-5 immediately, but financially I had no choice.
As the years turned into decades, I owned and shot a lot of rounds through various S&W revolvers. I came to appreciate the venerable Model 10 and was able to add a vintage Model 10-6 blued, 4” heavy barrel, square but to my collection. It has a great action and shoots like a dream. But I still missed that 1976 Model 10-5, 4” thin barrel, round butt.
It seems that once a collector, always a collector. Apparently I was born with the collector gene. As a child I collected coins, stamps, rocks, fossils, arrowheads, comic books, baseball and football cards and on and on. As an adult I focused my collecting on US martial arms. But as a side collection I have also collected a few 1970-80s vintage S&W revolvers and Colt commercial Government Models.
Lately, I seem to have the S&W vintage revolver bug. I’ve noticed as I am closing in on age 70 that I have developed an interest in firearms that I had once owned and sold along and with those that I could not afford when I was young. Yep, you guessed it, a few years ago I decided to begin the hunt for a 1970s vintage Smith & Wesson Model 10-5, blued, 4” thin barrel, round butt revolver preferably with the original box, papers and cleaning tools. This quest proved more difficult than I had expected. In three or four years of causally checking local shops and online auctions, I have only encountered three. The first I found was priced far too high and the second was in well-worn condition. Then recently on GunBroker I found the exact match to my 1976 Model 10-5. This one was in made in 1975, was in excellent condition, with box, papers and cleaning kit. The seller was Kittery Trading Post in Maine and they had a very high Feedback rating. I was the high bidder at a fair price for buyer and seller. I received it a few weeks ago and am quite pleased with my purchase. Now I need to make time to take it to the range. Yes, I shoot my vintage S&W revolvers a bit. No safe queens for me.
You can go home again with vintage firearms purchases; it has been great fun. So much so that I’ve been pondering what the next target to add to the collection may be. Perhaps a S&W Model 66-2 with 6” barrel as I sold that one too. Stay tuned …
BY SCOTT A. DUFF