Smith & Wesson 610 10mm Revolver Review

Like the 10mm Auto cartridge? Like revolvers? Smith & Wesson has your gun; the Model 610.

Once left for dead, the 10mm Auto cartridge is going gangbusters today. The resurgence started in the 1911 platform, and the round is now moving into striker-fired guns. But wheelgunners aren’t being left behind, thanks to the Smith & Wesson Model 610 revolver.

Built on the legendary N frame, the Model 610 I received for testing has a 6.5-inch barrel; a four-inch version is offered as well. The barrel is a one-piece affair and sports a full underlug.

The rear sight is fully adjustable and has a white outline on the rear notch. The front is a ramped blade, plain black, that’s pinned to the barrel, and the flat barrel top is grooved to reduce glare. The barrel, frame and fluted cylinder are stainless steel.

The grips are black synthetic. I have a Model 629 Classic .44 Magnum, also an N frame. My 629 is several years old and came with a Hogue Monogrip, which doesn’t fully wrap around the frame’s backstrap. The 610’s grip does. Also, the finger grooves on the 610 are much more subtle, and the indentations don’t extend back on the grips.


 Smith & Wesson Model 610
The grips on the 610 are black synthetic, feature subtle finger grooves and wrap fully around the frame. They’re easily changed by removing an Allen screw on the right side.

On the one hand (pun alert), I like the 610’s grip better because the shallow grooves allow me to position my hand and fingers exactly where I want them, and the full wrap prevents the bare metal of the frame from stinging the web of my hand, which can happen with full-power .44 Magnum loads in the 629.


But on the flip side, the deeper, extended grooves on the 629 essentially produce a smaller grip circumference. I have medium-size hands, and the 629 fits me a little better. In other words, whether the grips on the 610 suit you depends on your hands. Fortunately, the grips are easy to change if you don’t like them. Turn out an Allen screw on the right side, and the two halves of the grip can be separated.


Double-action trigger pull was 11 pounds, 15 ounces, and it was consistent with almost no stacking. Single-action pull averaged four pounds, five ounces, with about five ounces of variation over 10 pulls. There’s a safety mechanism just above the cylinder latch. Turning it with the provided key blocks the hammer, preventing unauthorized use.

 Smith & Wesson Model 610
Chambered for the 10mm Auto, the Model 610 is a serious revolver, but it’s also a lot of fun to shoot. The gun comes with three moon clips.

It’s a six-shot revolver, and Smith & Wesson includes three moon clips to accommodate the rimless 10mm.

Twenty-five yard accuracy was great, as indicated in the accompanying chart. These days there are plenty of 10mm loads to choose from, and the Model 610 liked all the ones I tried.


 Smith & Wesson Model 610
Notes: Accuracy results are averages of four five-shot groups at 25 yards off an MTM pistol rest. Velocities are averages of 10 shots recorded on a ProChrono chronograph set 12 feet from the muzzle. Abbreviations: FMJ, full metal jacket; FP, flatpoint

I got the tightest groups with Winchester’s 175-grain Silvertips—an excellent hunting load I’ve used in other calibers—and the average would’ve been better except for a few flyers. Those may have been me, or maybe they weren’t, but unless I definitely call a shot out it stays in the calculation for the average.

As you would expect for a large-frame revolver with a long barrel, it’s a hefty piece of hardware and weighs 50.1 ounces. Between the overall weight and the full underlug that puts more mass out front, recoil of the 10mm is tamed to what I think is the perfect level. You know you’re firing a serious cartridge, but you’re not being punished for it, and shooting the gun double action was a ton of fun.

Winchester’s USA load in particular was a real pussycat in the 610, and that’s great because it’s relatively inexpensive and makes for excellent practice. I should note here the gun can also handle the .40 S&W cartridge—essentially a shortened version of the 10mm Auto—which would produce even less recoil. And .40 S&W ammo can be had at lower prices.


The only thing I didn’t like about the revolver was the plain black front sight, which got lost on some targets. Yes, it’s easily changed because it’s pinned, but I think Smith & Wesson should’ve gone with at least an orange insert in the ramp or, better yet, a fiber optic—especially if the gun was to be used for hunting.

 Smith & Wesson Model 610
The flat top of the 610’s barrel is grooved to prevent glare. It’s an accurate revolver, although Rupp wishes the front blade was something more visible than plain black.

We don’t cover hunting per se in Handguns, but this would indeed be an excellent choice for medium-size game such as deer and wild boar. With its 6.5-inch barrel you’re going to wring out every bit of velocity the 10mm is capable of. The aforementioned Winchester load generates just under 570 ft.-lbs. of energy, which while not on the level of, say, a 240-grain .44 Magnum is still serious medicine.

And although you would lose some of that velocity and energy with the Model 610 with a four-inch barrel, that version would be ideally suited as a defensive tool for home or trail—against two-legged and four-legged threats alike.

It’s great to see Smith & Wesson offering the newly popular 10mm Auto in a wheelgun. And depending on your needs (or, be honest, wants), the fact the Model 610 is available in two barrel lengths means there’s something for everyone.

SMITH & WESSON MODEL 610 Revolver Specs

  • TYPE: double-action centerfire revolver
  • CALIBER: 10mm Auto
  • CAPACITY: 6; 3 moon clips included
  • BARREL: 6.5 in. (as tested)
  • WEIGHT: 50.1 oz.
  • OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH (AT CYLINDER): 12.25/6.0/1.7 in.
  • CONSTRUCTION: stainless steel.
  • GRIPS: black synthetic
  • TRIGGER: double action, 11 lb., 15 oz. pull; single action, 4 lb., 5 oz. pull (measured)
  • SIGHTS: fully adjustable white-outline rear, black ramped blade front
  • SAFETY: tool-operated trigger block
  • PRICE: $969
  • MANUFACTURER: Smith & Wesson, smith-wesson.com

Buy it now. Log on to GalleryofGuns.com, select this firearm, pay a deposit and it will be at your local gun store in two days.When purchased from GalleryofGuns.com, Davidson’s guarantees to repair orreplace this this firearm for life.

Recommended for You

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm. 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Going To The Range

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer SKU # 180023) is an easy-racking, soft-shooting pistol. Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo with these 10 low-priced pistols. Compact

10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

See More Stories

More Reviews

The Ed Brown KC9 1911 is an ideal carry gun that is compact, lightweight and reliable - all for a great price. Reviews

Ed Brown KC9 1911 Review

Keith Wood - November 13, 2019

The Ed Brown KC9 1911 is an ideal carry gun that is compact, lightweight and reliable - all...

The SIG P365 is an excellent 9mm carry pistol—one that's rated for +P ammo—and it's now available with a manual thumb safety. Reviews

SIG Sauer P365 MS Review

J. Scott Rupp - July 25, 2019

The SIG P365 is an excellent 9mm carry pistol—one that's rated for +P ammo—and it's now...

The American-made CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready 9mm is ready to take on the heavy hitters. Semi-Auto

CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 21, 2019

The American-made CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready 9mm is ready to take on the heavy hitters.

See More Reviews

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.