M10 .38 Special Revolver
Gary's U.S. Infantry Weapons Reference Guide

TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1: M10
  2-Inch Barrel 4-Inch Barrel
Alternative DesignationsSmith & Wesson Model 10 Military and Police Revolver
Country of OriginUSA
Date Of Introduction?
Caliber0.38 in (9.65 mm)
Cartridge.38 Special
System of OperationRotated chamber
Number of Chambers6
Weight 1.66 lb (0.75 kg) 1.91 lb (0.86 kg)
Length 7.25 in (184 mm) 9.25 in (235 mm)
Safety FeaturesNo manually operated safety
Trigger PullSingle-Action: 2.5 to 5 lb (1.1 to 2.3 kg)
Double-Action: 16 lb (7.3 kg), maximum
Basic Load18 rounds
  2-Inch Barrel 4-Inch Barrel
Muzzle Velocity950 fps (290 mps)
Maximum Range 950 yd (869 m) 1085 yd (992 m)
Maximum Effective Range 50 yd (46 m) 65 yd (59 m)
Front SightFixed 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) serrated ramp
Rear SightSquare notch


The M10 is a six-shot, breech-loading, manually operated, hand-held weapon. The M10 has a solid, one-piece frame; a swing-out cylinder with six chambers; and a hand-actuated extractor for easy unloading.

Built-in mechanical devices are provided to prevent the revolver from firing except by a deliberate pulIing action on the trigger. No manually operated safeties are provided.

The sights are fixed, the trigger is serrated, and the hammer thumbpiece and forward portion of the extractor rod are knurled. The grips may be checkered or smooth.

The M10 revolver is a selective double-action type since it may be fired by drawing the hammer back with the thumb to the cocked position and releasing it by squeezing the trigger (single action); or by squeezing the trigger to allow the hammer to be cocked and released (double action).

Replaced in U.S. service by the M9 9mm pistol.


Round Butt, 4-Inch Barrel (NSN 1005-00-937-5839)
TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1: M10
The 4-inch barreled revolvers are used by aviators and military police.
Round Butt, 2-Inch Barrel (NSN 1005-00-937-5840)
TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1: M10
The 2-inch barreled revolver is used mainly by Army CID and counterintelligence personnel.
Square Butt, 4-Inch Barrel (NSN 1005-00-214-0934)
TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1: M10
The 4-inch barreled revolvers are used by aviators and military police.


The M10 revolver fires only when the trigger is pulled all the way back (the hammer block is lowered by the rebound slide only when trigger is pulled all the way back).

Firing Single Action.
  1. When hammer is pulled back, sear engages full-cock notch in hammer.

  2. Pulling the trigger lowers the hammer block allowing hammer to fall.
Firing Double Action.
  1. When the trigger is squeezed, it engages the sear raising the hammer to nearly full-cock position.

  2. Continued pressure on trigger allows sear to escape from trigger and the hammer to fall.

  3. When the trigger is squeezed, the rebound slide pivots the hammer block downward. The hammer block strikes the cartridge primer.
Action of Cylinder Stop.

The cylinder stop prevents the cylinder from making more than one-sixth revolution each time the revolver is cocked.
  1. The cylinder stop withdraws from the cylinder as the trigger moves.

  2. Trigger hand pivots and engages the ratchet on the extractor portion of the cylinder.

  3. The trigger slips off the cylinder stop as it continues rearward. The cylinder stop engages the next notch.


Ammunition for the M10 is issued in the form of a complete .38 Special round. A complete round (cartridge) consists of all the components (cartridge case, bullet, propellant powder, and primer) necessary to fire the weapon once. Click here for more information.

More M10 Art

TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1
M10 revolver assembly
TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1
M10 barrel assembly
TM 9-1005-206-14&P-1
M10 receiver assembly.
Click on image to see full size: 770x640, 43K, GIF

M10 Photos - Click on image sample to see full size image.

U.S. Army Photo
537x400, 27K, JPEG