The Winner

So what was the reason for Smith M10’s (and the related medium-framed M15 and M19) eventual primacy in the LE market? Well, there was the cost per unit difference. Although the actual MSRP differential in 1968 was around 34 bucks, shelling out an additional 65 bucks over the OP’s asking price would get you a Python! Then there was the fact the M10’s grip was more user-friendly across a broader spectrum of hand sizes.

I’ve wound up sticking a Tyler T-grip adapter on nearly every ’50s to mid-’60s Colt I’ve ever used. The exception? The Python — but I haven’t ever been wealthy enough to own enough of them to worry about!

Aside from these reasons, I’m pretty certain Smith just did a better job of marketing their revolvers to the LE community. Colt was heavily occupied with the AR15/M16, Peacemaker and Government Model. Their DA revolvers, prestigious as they may have been, were simply sucking up too much money. Although the OP wasn’t as expensive to make as say, a Python, it was still a fairly pricey item.

Then there was the signature naked ejector rod on the OP. Perhaps some PDs were leery of timing and alignment issues should some patrolman damage his while attempting to use his OP as a club.