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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 01-15-2011, 06:14 PM
Ross3913 Ross3913 is offline
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Default 610 in .38-40 (updated with a pic)

That's what I just put on layaway at the local pawn shop.

I was perusing the guns and spotted a stainless N frame with a full lug, 5" barrel. At first I thought "625", but on the side of the barrel was stamped the caliber .38-40. I checked it out of course after seeing that. Sure enough the cylinder is indeed chambered in .38-40. Open the cylinder and it says "610" below the S/N. No suffix. The Gun has no lock, firing pin on the hammer, and the trigger is smooth as silk. It wore very nice custom looking grips on a round-butt frame.

I seem to remember some distributor having these made back in the day, but I can't think of anything else.

Price $479, used, excellent condition. Yeah, I put it on layaway, so no pics yet.

So just what do I have?

ETA:Picked it up and took a quick pic. Found Black Hills .38-40 ammo on sale for $25/box, normally $38, so I picked up a couple hundred rounds. That should last me and give me some brass to reload to begin with.


Last edited by Ross3913; 01-23-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2011, 06:27 PM
AkRay AkRay is offline
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I would have bought that one too, mostly because it's a little different than all the rest. Good find!
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2011, 06:29 PM
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Ruger's distributor - Buckeye Sports - had some Blackhawks made with 2 cylinders[10mm & 38-40] about 20 years ago. Never heard of a S&W made up with the 38-40 cyl.
We'll see what other responses you get.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:49 PM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
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You have a distinctly oddball chambering in the 610, I hope you setup for reloading. One positive is that you can probably still purchase a 10mm cylinder for your 610 and use it for with either the 40 S&W or 10mm which will be much easier to find ammo for.

As for the why of this being made, according to wikipedia there has been a resurgance of this caliber amoung Cowboy Action shooters and some distributor probably thought he could sell a modern double action revolver in this chamber to that market segment. Personally, I suspect the distributor was quite wrong, I would expect Cowboy Action shooters to have a distinct preference for single action revolvers. As a result you have a "curiousity" with little appeal for a collector in an anitque rifle caliber. If I were in your position I'd be cruising the net looking for a new cylinder, it will have more value as a 5 inch 610.

BTW, until I looked the 38-40 up on wikipedia I couldn't understand why S&W would use a 40 caliber frame for a 38 caliber revolver. Now I'm wondering why Winchester labled a 40 caliber cartridge as a 38 way back when.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:55 PM
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I would have bought that in a North Carolina second! One of my favorite calibers, I only have a Colt SAA for it.

Good score. If you change your mind about buying it. . . .
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:28 PM
Iowahunter Iowahunter is offline
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I have heard of guys having an extra cyl in 38-40 fitted to a 610. It is a great cartriage. If you ever want to part with that cyl let me know.
I have several 610's and a couple 38-40's
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:04 PM
haggis haggis is offline
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The 610 in .38-40 compared to .40S&W is about like the 625 in .45 Colt compared to .45ACP. Different strokes for different folks.

The .38-40 is a bit more difficult to reload because the cartridge case at the bullet is much thinner than most pistol cartridges. If you're going to reload it, I recommend getting a Lee Factory Crimp Die which uses an ingenious radial crimping motion versus the axial motion that most crimp dies employ. I hardly ever lose a case anymore.

Buck
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:21 PM
MDaly MDaly is offline
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I have about a dozen firearms chambered in the 38-40 including a Model 28 S&W converted by Hamilton Bowen.

If you are going to reload for your 610 do yourself a favor and use Starline brass. It is the correct dimension while the Winchester brand brass will work in most first gen Colts, it will not chamber in my newer Single Action Army Colts nor my Model 28 nor my 1940 Winchester Model 92.

Try 40 cal bullets instead of 38-40 bullets because you can get some nice 140gr lead bullets or 155gr and 165gr jacketed bullets. These shoot really well in my Model 28.

I am jealous of your 610. What a great find at a good price.

Mike
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:52 PM
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Where do I get one??? The 38-40 is my favorite cowboy cartridge. My grandfather had a Winchester Model 92 chambered in 38-40 that I was allowed to shoot once in a while as a child and I've been hooked ever since. I have an original Colt and several repro Colts in that caliber. It's my understanding that the old cartridges were classified according to bullet size over black powder grains, i.e. 44-40 meant a 44 caliber round over 40 grains of black powder. For some reason the 38-40 was reversed so it was actually 38 grains over a 40 cal bullet (the reloading manual calls for a .401). Maybe Winchester thought it just sounded better than a 40-38?
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:13 AM
panamajack310 panamajack310 is offline
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I agree with everyone I am a fan of dying cartridges I currently carry a 44-40 S&W model 544 on duty so the 38-40 would be another good one to carry and shoot.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:48 AM
Andy Taylor Andy Taylor is offline
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For me, it would be a good candidate to have Hamilton Bowen convert to .45 Colt.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:19 AM
Ross3913 Ross3913 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggis View Post
The 610 in .38-40 compared to .40S&W is about like the 625 in .45 Colt compared to .45ACP. Different strokes for different folks.

The .38-40 is a bit more difficult to reload because the cartridge case at the bullet is much thinner than most pistol cartridges. If you're going to reload it, I recommend getting a Lee Factory Crimp Die which uses an ingenious radial crimping motion versus the axial motion that most crimp dies employ. I hardly ever lose a case anymore.

Buck
Thanks for the advice, I'll use it. I've been handloading as long as I've been shooting, and that's a pretty long time. It's one reason I don't mind "odd-ball" calibers.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:36 PM
Ross3913 Ross3913 is offline
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Updated with a pic. I'll try to take some better ones later.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:04 PM
Shooting4life Shooting4life is offline
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Like the grips
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:45 PM
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I think it's a very cool find at a good price - I would have bought this and I'd not look for a 10mm cyl (I already have a 610 in 10mm), I'd keep it for it's uniqueness and for the great if unusual caliber.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:55 PM
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I'd a bought it for that I imagine, I am set up to reload and like old cartridges myself....good gun at a good price.
I would find a 10mm cylinder and get it fitted, just 'cause
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:58 PM
OKFC05 OKFC05 is offline
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Quote:
Now I'm wondering why Winchester labled a 40 caliber cartridge as a 38 way back when.
Old blackpowder calibers were backwards the way we do it now.
The old .36 caliber actually used a .375 bullet, thus was more logically a .38 caliber.

But now we call our guns .38 caliber, when they actually take a .358 bullet, and more logically could be called a .36 caliber.
The .38 ACP is actually 9mm, while the 9mm Makarov is not.
Oh well.......
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45acp, 610, bowen, cartridge, colt, crimp, lock, model 28, model 625, ruger, saa, starline, winchester

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