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Thread: Re-imported S&W 10-5

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Re-imported S&W 10-5

    Last year I posted about a Rock Island M200 that I bought, and how for such an inexpensive revolver, I like it a lot.

    Well today I found what I had really wanted, an old S&W 10-5 from the mid '70s, for only $30 more than I paid for the Rock Island. The grips are rough and the finish is spotty, but mechanically it feels great. The bore looks perfect and the trigger is, well, a S&W (perfect). It has little bit of endshake but not bad, and timing is great. As much as I like the little Rock Island revolver, this beat up old police trade-in S&W is in a whole different class.

    One question I had was that this S&W is a Century gun. It had a small importer stamp on the butt identifying it as such, and some kind of department stamp on the frame in front of the trigger guard: "JF 60". Based on this, I assume it's an old foreign police gun that's been re-imported. Anyone have any idea where it might have come from? I remember reading some years back that a bunch of them came back from Hong Kong, but that was quite a while back.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Is it chambered in .38 S & W? Or in .38 Special?

    Hong Kong I think tended to stay with the .38-200 / or .38 S&W Chambering at any rate, for use with the .38 Webley / Eley legacy tradition of former UK Colonies.

    Usually the K Frame S & Ws of recent era when chambered for the .38 S&W, would be a "Model 11" I think, rather than a Model 10.

  3. #3
    I believe Hong Kong later used Model 10s in .38 Special. Apart from markings and an obviously added lanyard swivel my former Customs and Excise weapon is a garden variety Model 10. I have seen photos of RHKP Smith and Wessons which appeared identical. In the recent civil disturbances in Hong Kong news footage occasionally caught police using what appeared to be Smith and Wessons

    I am not sure on this next, but some of these weapons may have come back to S&W and been resold, in which case they would not have come through Century Arms. I am thinking anything imported by Century Arms is marked as such, and I have not seen them being modest in the application of such markings. If it is important enough, one can pay Smith and Wesson for a factory letter indicating where the weapon was shipped when new.

    To add further confusion, I believe a number of .38 Special Model 10s have come back to the US from Australian police agencies.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I think I read recently that some of them had been imported from France.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy TDB9901's Avatar
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    The one I picked up a year or so ago came back from Canada. Montreal I believe.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Interesting, thanks guys. It's definitely .38 Special, and definitely a Century gun. Fortunately the Century stamp is tiny. It's on the bottom of the frame by the serial number- a very small "C.A.I. Georgia, VT. MADE IN U.S.A." It's so small that I need reading glasses to see it, and I've only recently needed reading glasses for anything, usually only things like instructions on pill bottles.

    I swung by the range and tried it out this afternoon. I tacked a piece of paper up at about 30 feet, and drew a quick bullseye on it with a pen. I then proceeded to put 12 rounds into a silver-dollar sized group, dead center bullseye.

    I'm curious about where it's been for the last 45 years, but either way I think it's a keeper. $230 seemed like a pretty good price, nowadays.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    230 is an outstanding price. You have a wonderful six shooter.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Excellent price. I've paid well over $300 for nice specimens.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    For anyone interested, I googled the part number on the box and came up with a bunch of places that have them right now, from $200 and up. Judging by the one I got, it's a heck of a deal. I wish I could afford to buy several.

    I don't know anything about this place, just an example: https://www.kcfirearms.com/products/...7450073272-387

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Nice knockabout .38..........
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Now I have a decision to make. It looks like I can get another one, same condition and price. I have a lot of old surplus guns that I've bought in pairs. Hmm, a great price on a neat old gun is worth buying one, so maybe worth buying two...

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    For anyone interested, I googled the part number on the box and came up with a bunch of places that have them right now, from $200 and up. Judging by the one I got, it's a heck of a deal. I wish I could afford to buy several.

    I don't know anything about this place, just an example: https://www.kcfirearms.com/products/...7450073272-387
    Well I'll find out soon enough as I just ordered one from them (I knew I should have skipped this thread). For a hair over $200.00 I couldn't pass it up.
    Without the dark night, you would never see the bright stars...

    You can live forever if you give up all of the things that make it worthwhile.

    Why a .45...Because they don't make a .46!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    (I knew I should have skipped this thread)
    Sorry about that.

    I was showing it to a friend yesterday, and he just looked down his nose at it. Clearly not everyone appreciates old-school revolvers. You'd think it was a clunky old '83 Chevy or something.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Yeah, no place for a picatinny rail and red dot scope...
    Without the dark night, you would never see the bright stars...

    You can live forever if you give up all of the things that make it worthwhile.

    Why a .45...Because they don't make a .46!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    An 83 Chevy or a solid model 10. either One will get it done........
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I've done some light research but unable to answer these questions.

    How old are these revolvers?

    Can you use a C&R FFL to purchase a qualifying pistol. (over fifty years old)

    762
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
    My amendment can beat up your amendment.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I have two model 10 revolvers that were re-imports. One was easy to identify because it has the lanyard ring on the butt and "RHKP" (Royal Hong Kong Police) heavily stamped on the back strap. That one is a 10-7.
    The other one is a 10-5 and it's a bit of mystery where it went before coming home. That 10-5 was absolutely pristine inside and out with one exception, it had a huge barrel to cylinder gap. It looked like it was un-fired or maybe fired very little. My guess is it failed some inspection (probably due to that B/C gap) and was placed on a rack for 40+ years. I had the barrel set back to correct that one flaw.

    $230 for a functional model 10 is a good deal ! You really can't go wrong.
    I've noticed a lot of re-imports of Model 10's in the last few years. I suspect there was some foreign agency that sold off their reserve armory after storing those revolvers for years. I've heard speculation ranging from France to Canada and a few other countries as well.

    Everyone should own a 4" Model 10, it's an iconic American gun.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Models 10, 64, and 65 have been coming in large numbers from foreign and domestic turn in's. Great time to be in the market for classic S&W revolvers that will put to shame most new guns if you don't mind a little surface wear. On the stainless models that's not even an issue.

    No MIM parts, hammer mounted firing pins, no external lock, no two piece barrels, inexpensive. A plethora of factory and aftermarket grips. What's not to like? I bought a 64 followed by a 65 within the last year. 64 is redundant, will probably sell.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Well kcfirearms decided to cancel my order stating that they do not ship to Hawaii. Like Fatelk I googled the part number (HG2422) and found another source which cost $3.00 more.

    Keeping my fingers crossed...
    Without the dark night, you would never see the bright stars...

    You can live forever if you give up all of the things that make it worthwhile.

    Why a .45...Because they don't make a .46!

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Thank you. I've been looking (casually) for one. Just ordered one. I'm trusting their description. As long as it shoots I'm fine. $224.42 including shipping and credit card fee. Best price I've seen and this one has a tapered barrel, all the decent ones on gunbroker are heavy barrels.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

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