Smith & Wesson’s
Model 610

This Classic Comeback is a Perfect “10”

After searching for a good used S&W Model 610 for quite some time, I discovered a couple of things. First, they are not hiding behind every bush — they’ve become somewhat difficult to locate. Second, when you do find one, the cost may involve seriously diminishing the kid’s college fund. Therefore, when I heard the announcement of S&W reintroducing the M610, I immediately ordered one.

Over the past few years, the 10mm Auto cartridge has become much more popular. I’m not really sure if it’s personal defense, recreational shooting, or hunting — or perhaps a combination of all three — driving the market but one thing’s certain, the 10mm comeback is for real. Jan Mladek, General Manager of S&W and M&P brands said, “We felt it was important to offer a 10mm revolver for personal protection and handgun hunting. The N-Frame has long been a staple in big-bore revolvers and the 10mm is a natural caliber addition to the line.” Well, I’m thrilled S&W reintroduced the 10mm to their revolver offerings.

Built on the large S&W N-Frame, the gun is ideal for launching the 10mm Auto while it is also capable of handling the .40 S&W. This is a good-looking revolver as the stainless steel frame, cylinder and barrel match up well aesthetically to the black synthetic grips.

The round-butt grips have slight finger grooves and are most comfortable. I appreciate the full under-lug and, if I could wave my magic wand, I’d really like an unfluted cylinder. The trigger face is smooth and wide while the revolver is easy to cock in single-action mode, thanks to the wide, checkered target hammer.

The new M610 is offered in two barrel lengths — 4 and 6.5″. The 10mm provides plenty of horsepower for home defense and personal protection. It is also a good option for close-range whitetail or wild hogs. Since I’ll be using this gun for hunting, the longer barrel was chosen. My test gun tipped the scales a tad bit over 50 oz. and balances extremely well with the longer tube.

The gun arrived in a nice blue hard case with three moon clips provided. The moon clips make loading and unloading painless. There are quite a number high-cap semi-autos chambered in 10mm, but moon clips narrow the “reloading speed gap” on the revolver side.

Using an UltraDot L/T mounted with Weigand’s new mini mount, the big N-Frame
performed flawlessly and wasn’t picky about ammo.

The reissued S&W M610 10mm will be welcomed by shooters and hunters alike.

If you’re target shooting at the range in ideal lighting conditions, iron sights will suffice. The factory front sight features an interchangeable black blade while the rear sight is fully adjustable and includes a white notch outline. However, with aging eyes I am not going to try fooling myself — I need optics, especially for those early morning or late evening opportunities. I don’t see open sights well enough to place a bullet where it belongs 100 percent of the time.

For many years I’ve enjoyed the dependability of UltraDot, so it was an easy choice to mount their L/T reflex sight on the M610. The four MOA dot size will show up nicely on a big hog’s shoulder and the unit has 10 brightness settings, allowing you to adjust the dot according to light conditions. This is a great asset!

Mounting the UltraDot L/T on the S&W was easy, thanks to Weigand Machine and Design’s sleek and clean-looking mini Weig-A-Tinny mount. (Weigand has a mount for all K-, N- and X-Frame S&W revolvers.)

Loaded with a truckload of ammo, I was ready for a trip to the range to see what the M610 could do. After a few quick adjustments on the UltraDot, the gun was sighted-in at 25 yards from a sandbag rest. The trigger broke crisp and clean, as I’ve experienced with other S&W models. It didn’t take long before five- and six-shot groups were in a cluster. DoubleTap, HSM, SIG, Hornady and a few other brands of ammo were tested and the M610 proved very manageable with recoil a non-issue. HSM 180-gr. JHP put four rounds in the same hole and the other two were almost touching. The M610 flat-out shoots!

I see close-range deer and hog hunting in my M610’s future. There are some excellent hunting loads from a variety of manufacturers including Hornady, DoubleTap, Federal, Underwood and HSM. For plinking, I’ll stick with the 180-gr. FMJs.

I’m probably not the only shooter glad to see S&W reintroduce their M610. It’s already found a secure spot in my handgun battery.

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