Courtesy Austin Knudsen
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By Austin Knudsen

Is the Smtih & Wesson 1006 still the best 10mm pistol ever made?

I never really got on the 10mm train. Sure, I’d read the articles and knew all of the history. The 1986 Florida FBI shootout. Colonel Jeff Cooper. And the cult gun of all cult guns, the Bren Ten.

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Miami Vice Detective Sonny Crocket with his Bren Ten 10mm

It really is a fascinating cartridge development story, and a novel concept: chamber a near-magnum power level handgun cartridge in a semi-automatic pistol platform.

But I grew up a Montana farm and ranch kid who also spent a fair amount of time in the mountain backcountry. And out there, you carry a large caliber magnum revolver. Period. I’ve owned a .357 magnum and a .44 magnum revolver (both S&Ws, thank you very much) since I was legal, so I really didn’t have a use for a 10mm semi-auto.

Fast forward a few years and a few handguns later…and the 10mm started to intrigue me. Articles are legion. The 10mm is revered in hushed tones. Word is that only Zeus’s lightning bolt hits harder than the 10mm.

Then my brother got himself a GLOCK G20.

GLOCK 20 10mm

And a good friend landed himself a Colt Delta Elite.

Colt Delt Elite 10mm
Courtesy Colt

Both loved them and continue to the virtues of the Blessed Ten. I convinced myself that it was a niche I needed to fill.

Any excuse to buy a gun, right? I got the opportunity to purchase a Gen4 GLOCK G20 for a decent price, so I did. I’ve always struggled shooting the large-frame GLOCKs well, but I carried it a little and appreciated it for what it was: a lightweight, simple platform holding 16 rounds of near-magnum powered cartridges.

Then I watched this:

As a serious handloader, this was something I’d always feared about the 10mm cartridge in the GLOCK platform: you have what is basically a high-pressure magnum revolver round, being fired in a polymer framed pistol (which, in and of itself isn’t that big a deal), without a fully supported chamber in the GLOCK barrel.

My G20 went down the road, and I went on through life without a 10mm. Then, fortune smiled and in the midst of a high-powered gun trade, I ended up with an excellent condition Smith & Wesson model Model 1006.

This pistol, along with a few variants, was built from 1990 to 1995 and is known as a “third generation” S&W autopistol.

The 1006 is a full-size, all stainless steel pistol with a 5-inch barrel. It utilizes a single stack magazine holding nine rounds, which makes the pistol easier to grip for those of us with short fingers.

It’s a double action/single action (DA/SA) design with a de-cocking lever, meaning the pistol can’t be carried “cocked and locked” like a 1911. It’s designed to be carried with a round in the chamber, de-cocked and thus in double action mode for the first shot. All subsequent shots are fired single action, until the operator de-cocks the pistol again.

My 1006 came equipped with a Novak rear sight and a drift-adjustable white dot front sight. The pistol was also manufactured with an adjustable rear sight, which was protected by tall “ears” (as were other 3rd generation S&W autopistols), such as the example shown here:

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

Along with the full size model 1006, which is a 5” barreled, exposed hammer, DA/SA with a slide-mounted decock lever, S&W also came out with a range of other 10mm variants:

Smith & Wesson Model 1026
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

The 1026, which is a 5” barrel, hammerless, DA/SA, with a SIG style (frame-mounted) decock lever;

Smith & Wesson Model 1046
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

The 1046, a 5” barrel, double action only (DAO);

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

The 1066, a 4” barreled, hammerless, with slide mounted de-cock lever.

Smith & Wesson Model 1076
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

The 1076 was a 4” barreled, hammerless, DA/SA, with a SIG-style frame de-cock lever.

This is the pistol that was designed for and awarded the FBI’s short-lived 10mm pistol contract.

Smith & Wesson Model 1086
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

And then there was the 1086, a 4” barreled, double action only pistol.

All of these S&W 10mm pistols use the same single stack, nine-round magazines. Fun fact: these S&W 10mm mags are made of pure gold. OK, not really, but they are priced like they’re gold.

These damn things are STUPID expensive to buy. My 1006 came with two magazines, but like any good pistoleer, I wanted some extras. So online I went. The cheapest I could find in used magazines was two for $120 on Gunbroker. Nothing on Midway, Brownells, CDNN, etc. So, I guess I’ll make do and hope nothing happens to the 2 magazines I have.

Smith & Wesson Model 1006
The Smith & Wesson 10mm magazine, aka GOLD. These things are not cheap. (Courtesy Austin Knudsen)

The 1006 is large and heavy. This brute of a handgun can be used as an effective blunt object in the event you shoot it dry and don’t have a reload. But for a cartridge like the 10mm, weight and strength is a good thing.

Smith & Wesson designed the 1006 and its variants from the ground up around the 10mm cartridge rather than trying to shoehorn the 10mm cartridge into an existing pistol platform. cough GLOCK cough1911

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some 1911’s, but the platform must be properly sprung to handle the 10mm, and the cartridge still has a reputation for wearing out 1911s. Similarly, there are LOTS of examples out there of exploded GLOCK 10mms and .40S&Ws. Not so with the Smith & Wesson 10mms.

The 1006’s chamber is fully supported, the barrel is surrounded by a stainless steel slide, and mated with a fully-railed stainless steel frame. Simply put, the S&W 1006 is “hell bent for stout,” and to my way of thinking is the ultimate 10mm reloader’s pistol.

This thing should withstand any published 10mm handload you can put through it.

The downside to all the 1006’s beef and brawn is all that weight is no fun to carry. The pistol weighs in at 38 ounces, which makes it just slightly lighter than a 4” barreled S&W model 629 revolver in .44 magnum. Add in 10 rounds of ammunition, and the 1006 becomes even heavier.

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

When you carry the 1006, you never forget you have it on. These large frame S&W autos were often seen on TV carried in a shoulder holster, but I hate shoulder holsters, so I set about trying to find a belt holster for mine. Holsters for these large third generation Smith & Wesson’s aren’t impossible to find online, but they aren’t exactly plentiful either.

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

I got lucky and after rummaging through my tote full of holsters, I found an Old World leather belt holster that I bought decades ago for a 1911 or a Hi-Power. The thumb strap wouldn’t fit around the 1006 far enough to snap in place, so I wetted it, worked it a little, and stretched it over the pistol and into the snap.

I then left the holster and pistol like that for a few days and let the leather dry. Now I at least have a functioning belt holster for the 1006. It’s not something that I’d use for concealed carry, but let’s be honest: I’m not going to conceal carry this cannon. This rig is more of a general, carrying in the field holster which is precisely what I was after.

Anyhoo, I got my 1006 all set up, and promptly put it in my safe and ignored it for a year. I had recently been doing some accuracy testing on a few other handguns, and one afternoon I looked up on my shelf and noticed that I had two untouched boxes of factory 10mm ammunition: a box of Remington 180 grain FMJ, and a box of HSM 200 grain FMJ.

I decided it was finally time to see what the S&W 1006 could do.

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

I fired two five-shot groups at 25 yards. I was seated with the pistol resting on a shooting bag. A sixth round was loaded into the magazine, so as to maintain consistent pressure on the bottom of the chamber throughout testing (if you believe in such things).

As I was shooting for groups, I opted not to fire the first shot double action (as intended with this and all DA/SA pistols). Rather, I fired all shots single action.

The results:

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

The 1006 loved the 200 grain HSM load, and almost made my heart stop when the first three shots piled up in the three shot group you see here. Two slight flyers opened the group up a little, which can be attributed to my own stage fright and anxiety at such an amazing first 3 shot group. In any case, a one inch, 5-shot group at 25 yards. I have no doubt that in a Ransom Rest, the 1006 and this load would have torn small, ragged hole.

The Remington 180 grain group, while still certainly acceptable, wasn’t as exciting as the HSM 200 grainers. A decent one-inch four-shot group, spoiled by one flyer (the 3rd shot) that opened the group up to just under two inches.

Bottom line: this sumbitch shoots. The S&W 1006 genuinely startled me with its accuracy.

Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm
Courtesy Austin Knudsen

I’ve done enough of these reviews on service 9mm semi-autos that I rarely see sub-2 inch accuracy. And with the 1006, I did it while barely trying.

The single action trigger, while a little heavier than I would have preferred, breaks cleanly and is very useable. Recoil is more than manageable due to the weight of this pistol.

More testing is needed and I’m itching to try some reloads in this thing. Colonel Townsend Whelen said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” The same applies to handguns, and I suddenly find myself very, very interested in the Smith & Wesson 1006.

SPECIFICATIONS: Smith & Wesson Model 1006 10mm Pistol

Sights: Fixed Novak rear with white dots, drift adjustable front with white dot
Weight: 38 ozs. with empty magazine
Length: 8 ½″
Height: 5 7/8”
Width: 1 ½”
Slide: Stainless steel
Frame: Stainless steel
Barrel: 5″ Stainless steel
Grips: one-piece plastic
Magazines: two 9-round
MSRP: $720, circa 1990. Today, prices range on GunBroker hover around $1,000 and up.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Ergonomics * * * * * 
While double stack third generation S&W autopistols (like the 5906, 915, etc.) feel strange in my hand, the 1006 does not. The grip on the 1006 is certainly longer front-to-back compared to other designs, due to the length of the 10mm cartridge. But it’s not uncomfortable and the single stack magazine keeps the grip circumference manageable for those of us with short fingers. No sharp edges are present, and the trigger guard is nicely undercut. While I’m not a fan of DA/SA de-cocking pistols in general, the 1006’s de-cocking lever is easy to reach and intuitive to operate.

Cosmetics * * * * *
The 1006 looks great. I love satin finished stainless which gives the 1006 a serious, pure business look. Mated with the black Delrin (plastic) grips, the 1006 looks like it belongs in a law enforcement officer’s holster.

Accuracy * * * * *
Again, I was stunned by the 1006’s accuracy. This is a level of accuracy I’ve only ever been able to achieve shooting revolvers. In the last few years, I’ve accuracy tested a LOT of service semi-autos, many of which ended up published on this website. The S&W 1006 is hands down the most accurate semi-auto pistol I’ve ever fired.

Trigger * * * *
The double action pull is long, but smooth with some stacking before it breaks. I deduct a star here only because the single action trigger is a little heavier than I would prefer.   However, it breaks cleanly, is consistent shot to shot, and honestly the trigger pull weight is probably appropriate for a duty or field weapon. As the groups attest, the single action trigger allowed for excellent bench shooting. Aside from the barrel, the trigger is the most important factor in a firearm’s accuracy, and the 1006’s trigger was pretty good.

Reliability * * * * *
I had no reliability issues with the 1006 so far. I’ve only put a few hundred rounds through it, and no hollow points or lead. Yet.

Overall: * * * * ½ 
I was happily surprised by the Smith & Wesson 1006. I’m a little sick in the head, and I enjoy big bore guns that kick hard. But the 1006’s weight and size tames the recoil of the mighty 10mm. The trigger, while a bit on the heavy side, was clean and consistent, which allowed me to fire some exciting groups. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with various hollow point and hard cast lead bullet handloads in the 1006. Weight and size are issues with the 1006, and honestly I don’t see it taking the place of my big revolvers in grizzly country. But this might be the ultimate platform for the 10mm cartridge. If you can find one, the S&W 1006 is highly recommended.






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  1. The EAA Witness 10mm was always my go-to 10mm gun. Still, I wouldn’t mind having one of these S&W 10mms to add to my collection.

  2. 2 things. Firstly you never need an excuse to buy a new gun. Do you need an excuse to buy food? To breath? Guns are the staff of life.

    What is it about the mags on S&W autos. I bought a Sigma. In spite of all the flak they get it was a serviceable piece. And still is for the person I gave it to during the lockdown. But I only paid 250 for the gun. Mags for that cheap gun were 35+ dollars each.

    • Yup, and it’s nothing new. I recalled sticker shock 30 years ago trying to buy extra mags for my Marlin Camp Carbine 9mm, which used S&W pistol mags. The 2 extra mags I bought were like 1/3 of the price that I’d paid for the slightly used rifle…with a scope!

    • I always encourage my friends to purchase as many magazines as they can when they purchase a handgun. Only because the supply will later dictate the price. If a gun is popular and successful, prices may be reasonable. Once the handgun is discontinued, the price goes up.

      I was happy to read that the new Hi-Power clones will use magazines that are compatible with older models. Mine is a favorite carry choice but my 4 magazines are getting old.

  3. lol
    I would hate to get one and not be able to fire it. Not sure I see the point to this.

    As for Glock,
    An exploded Glock is a great ad for perfection.

    • And losing the FBI contract for the 10mm sidearm over neverending jamming and leading the FBI to abandon 10mm altogether (but for HRT) is a fine advertisement for S&W.

      Glock fixed the problem and has kept going with 10mm continuouslt for 31+ years.

      S&W baled out of the 10mm game for decades. Ran away with their tails tucked between their legs.

      And even when they released the .40 cartridge with their name right on it, they still didn’t get the 18-year .40 pistol contract from the FBI.

      Who did? Glock.

      S&W: less than 2 years of 10mm with the bureau, characterized by repeated jams, and 2 recalls.
      Glock: 18 years of .40S&W with the bureau.

      Advertise that.

  4. Man, a second article about a real 10mm, in less than a week. Someone trying to tell me something?

  5. As again pointed out by the G20 and I quote… KABOOM!

    Guess this is why you you don’t buy a handgun from a curtain rod maker with zero firearm experience.

    Glocks the most over-rated handgun, period.

    • “Guess this is why you you don’t buy a handgun from a curtain rod maker with zero firearm experience.”


      If had bothered to watch the ‘Ka-Boom’ video all the way through, Underwood took full responsibility for the failure, since they didn’t seat the projectile fully into the case, *causing* the overpressure failure and the carnage that followed.

      Glock has now been manufacturing handguns for over 40 years by this point.

      You consider 40 years of experience as being “zero firearm experience”? Congratulations, your credibility as a firearm critic is roughly 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

      EDIT – Make that 0 on a scale of 1 to 10, since I don’t recall seeing your made-up username of “Gaston ” I Put The KABOOM In” Glock” having commented in TTAG before…

      • Anyone know how a projectile not being fully seated causes an overpressure failure? Isn’t it more likely to have had a double charge of powder?

        • “Isn’t it more likely to have had a double charge of powder?”

          I suppose it could have, but the manufacturer accepted the responsibility of not having properly crimped the rounds at the time of manufacture.

          I dunno, ask Jeremy S, it was his hand that took the brunt of that K-Boom…

        • According to the guy in the video, Underwood said that some of the projectiles were slightly under sized which caused the projectile to be pushed back in to the case when it was chambered. That caused an over pressure condition which kaboomed the Glock.

  6. 10mm? 🙄

    That’s for those who don’t shoot 45 Super and 450 SMC thru a Mark 23.
    Cut the stock barrels chamber 1/16″ deeper and shoot 460 Rowland.

    This results in a gun that shoots everything from light loaded range 45 ACP up to 1000 ft/lb 460 R without ANY parts swapping. The patented HK adaptive recoil system feeds all power levels of ammo flawlessly.

    Bonus: The HK Mark 23 will outlast everything else.
    Even dropped in a surf zone for a few days, it still works.

    • HK guys always bring up “45 Super” in discussions on 10mm. The funny thing is that 10mm is a downright popular caliber in comparison to the 45 Super’s obscurity. I can go into just about any gun store around where I live and find a decent stock of 10mm. If I find even one box of 45 Super on the shelf, it’s got cobwebs on it. I guess if you want to nerd out on doing all your own handloading for 45 Super you can, but otherwise there is no future in 45 Super. There’s also not much of a future for the massive, heavy MK23, except among collectors.

      • Hi Hammer.
        First time poster? Regular TTAG contributor hiding identity? 🤔 No matter, I’ll respond item by item…………

        ‘HK guys always bring up “45 Super” in discussions on 10mm’

        I own fewer HKs then almost all other brands of firearms in my collection.
        So you started off totally incorrect.
        FYI: More of a Walther guy.

        ‘The funny thing is that 10mm is a downright popular caliber in comparison to the 45 Super’s obscurity’

        Firearms capable of shooting 45 Super also shoot 45ACP, which is more popular then 10mm.

        ‘I can go into just about any gun store around where I live and find a decent stock of 10mm’

        The VAST majority of 10mm ammo on store shelves is not loaded anywhere near the power levels of the 10mm Norma specs that 10mm owners like to quote. Most shelf 10mm should be referred to as ‘long case 40 S&W +P’.
        Besides, If I chose to go ‘brick and mortor’, Scheels near my house usually has plenty.

        ‘If I find even one box of 45 Super on the shelf, it’s got cobwebs on it’

        There’s this thing called online purchasing, look it up.
        When I picked up my Mark 23 around 16 months ago, Buffalo Bore was selling 50rd boxes of 185gr/1320 fps 45 Super for $35, no tax, free shipping. The price has doubled since then, but that makes it around the same price point as full power 10mm ammo.
        I purchased (and received) nearly the cost of my Mark 23 in Buffalo Bore 45 Super ammo prior to purchasing the HK. No shortage of brass for reloading.

        ‘I guess if you want to nerd out on doing all your own handloading for 45 Super you can, but otherwise there is no future in 45 Super’

        Name calling of handloaders? 🙄 Weak.
        I have access to a friend’s automated Dillon loading system.

        ‘There’s also not much of a future for the massive, heavy MK23, except among collectors’

        The S&W Model 1006 is around 5 oz heavier then a Mark 23. Facts matter, even in TTAG comment sections.
        If a handgun that’s around an inch longer then a 5″ barrel 1911 (and weights nearly the same) is too ‘massive’ for you (or anyone else who makes that statement) that’s on you.

        Lots of documented issues of failures from shooting full Norma specs 10mm regularly in classic handguns designed to shoot the stuff.
        I know two Bren Ten owners who won’t let full Norma spec 10mm near their guns. These are guys who shoot 124gr +1200 fps 9mm+P thru Lugers that are more rare (and expensive) then their Bren Tens too.

        • The fact that you felt the need for such a lengthy and highly defensive response to my comment is pretty sad. On top of that, you’ve said literally not one single thing I’m not already well aware of, yet you’ve said it with a tone that seems to imply you feel a need to “educate” me.

          Btw, I’ve shot lots of “full power” 10mm in my P220 without issue. Bren Tens were an admirable attempt at producing a good quality 10mm, but they were also an infamous failure with tons of problems. Citing the Bren Ten as some sort of cautionary tale about running full power 10mm speaks volumes about your 10mm experience. Have fun with your MK23.

        • Really sad you refer to my list of fact as ‘highly defensive’. Not surprising.

          Like how they have a pic of Sonny C and a ’10mm’ in the storyline.🙄 All the Bren Tens used in Miami Vice were chambered in 45 ACP.😄

          Enjoy the underloaded 10mm.👍

    • DayAtTheRange shot 6in 1911s with 10mm and .45Sup Underwood through clear gel early in 2022.

      230gr .45Sup XTP: 12 in
      200gr 10mm XTP: 16in

      This appears to be pretty typical for gel tests on YT.

      Yeah, 10mm is what people shoot when they don’t shoot .45Sup. With results like that, 10mm is what I shoot BECAUSE I won’t settle for .45Sup.

      I have a .45 G21 upper for my G20 just in case I find some good deep penetrating .45, but I don’t bother.

      • 230 grain?
        I specifically referred to the readily available Buffalo Bore 185gr/1320 fps 45 Super. This exceeds 700 ft/lbs of muzzle energy out of the polygonal barrel of a Mark 23.

  7. The reason why these pistols are “stupid expensive” is because people want them and are willing to pay up to own them, indicating that there is real demand for a full-house 10mm handgun.

    Fully loaded to potential, in a gun that supports the chamber fully, you have in the 10 a cartridge that is almost the equal of the .41 Magnum, which is quite potent. The problem for both the 10 and the .41 is that the handguns that are strong enough to contain them are weighty, and wearing them all day on your belt makes you happy to take them off.

    When you start examining all the various cartridges you could carry for CCW or open carry, and you want penetration, versatility, power, and a track record… you keep coming back to the .357 Magnum. There isn’t anything like it in 9mm autos unless you go after the 9×23 Winchester, which died due to legal bickering.

    • Dyspeptic Gunsmith, “..the .357 Magnum. There isn’t anything like it in 9mm autos.. ”

      I imagine the .357 Sig comes closest. Although it is a 9/40 hybrid.

    • Where I live the largest animal I can encounter, outside of cattle and horses, is black bear. My 7 shot Ruger gp100 in .357 is just fine for that situation. At my home I have both a 9mm Glock and my ,357 loaded and available. I recognize the short comings of the 9mm but the ability to quick reload in a home invasion scenario makes it a very viable option.

      And if the cops take the Glock and shove it into an evidence locker? No big loss.

    • The 10mm intrigued me a few years ago after I fired a neighbor’s Glock 20. The power is there, but the gun is large, square, and bulky. Looking at, most of the 10mm rounds listed are approximately the same as the .357 magnum, though there are many that are more powerful. I opted for a Glock 32 in .357 sig for carrying a semi-automatic, though I find myself reaching for one of my GP 100s just as often. It is the protection I’ve carried far more often than anything else. I find the GP100s very comfortable to carry (in a Simply Rugged holster), have shot thousands of rounds through them without any problems, and old habits die hard.

      Though I own one, 9mm is a plinker.

      Great article. More like this, please.

      • Jimmy Beam,

        Be careful comparing factory 10mm Auto cartridges to factory .357 Magnum cartridges: factory ammunition is available for both cartridges that is loaded quite weak all the way through full-power. Thus you could easily find a weak .357 Magnum factory load with less muzzle energy than a full-power 10mm Auto factory load, and vice versa.

        If you compare full-power loads for both, .357 Magnum definitely produces more muzzle energy. Having said that, full-power 10mm Auto loads are not far behind full-power .357 Magnum loads.

        I believe the main advantage of stout .357 Magnum loads over stout 10mm Auto loads is that .357 Magnum bullets have greater sectional density which translates to better penetration. Of course the main advantage of 10mm Auto over .357 Magnum is more ammunition capacity and much faster reloads.

        The beauty in this: you get to decide which is more important to you and purchase whichever platform you like better!

        • Despite being significantly shorter and no larger in overall diameter (rimless) 10mm benefits from piston area and no cylinder gap. Underwood’s best 10mm load beats nearly all .357 loads (even their own and Buffalo Bore’s) – especially apples-apples (breechface to muzzle), and it’s finally back in stock! The other difference is recoiling against a spring vs. making you the spring.

        • Umm,

          I have examined the published ballistics of various loads of both cartridges in the past and, if I remember correctly, .357 Magnum produced higher muzzle velocities for bullets of the same (or very close to the same) weight–with respect to full-power propellant loads that is. I will have to double check that based on what you are saying.

        • uncommon_sense,
          FYI, the benchmark load I’m talking about is Underwood’s 155gr XTP at 1500fps / 774ftlb (1620 / 903 from a 6″ barrel)
          A few things to keep in mind:
          -If you’re checking calculated ballistics tables (e.g. BBTI), be sure to compare with the real-world results (where the gap rears its ugly head).
          -BBTI doesn’t test any of the “real” 10mm
          -A revolver is at least 1 5/8″ longer, breechface to muzzle, than its published barrel length

    • The problem for the 10 . . . is that the handguns that are strong enough to contain them are weighty, and wearing them all day on your belt makes you happy to take them off . . . you keep coming back to the .357 Magnum.

      What .357 that you’d actually want to shoot (i.e. not a Scandium “Masochist’s Special”) is significantly lighter? At the same weight as a 586, my Witness Hunter has a far better (no thumbs) trigger, twice the capacity, and lower recoil.

        • OK, true, but so is the Glock 20 (which still holds a lot more rounds and kicks less).

          My hasty words don’t diminish the main point: The notion that the “weightiness” of 10mms would drive a sensible buyer to .357s is simply false. The weight range of handguns in both calibers is roughly similar, with the heaviest .357s heavier than the heaviest semiauto 10s. As I acknowledged earlier, the lightest .357s are lighter than any 10mm semi – but they are not only instruments of self-torture, but also don’t deliver magnum ballistics.

        • Umm,

          … the lightest .357s are … instruments of self-torture …

          Well said–thank you for the morning chuckle!

        • uncommon_sense,
          Happy to be of service! Also happy to be rid of my little scandium object of self-abuse.

      • If I’m choosing the load, yes, almost anything I can put up for awhile in a revolver will best the 10mm.

        The downside to all those hot loads that those guys are putting up for comparison, however, will be seen in a few hundred rounds when they start noticing the top strap being eroded and cut.

        When we start reloading, revolvers beat semi-autos, especially if you’re a gunsmith or have lots of spare money to give your gunsmith to trick up a revolver. Look at what John Linebaugh does to revolvers, and there’s no semi-auto that matches.

  8. I have a 3rd gen problem. I have a 457 and a 4516, but a good 4506 eludes me. I consider the 1006 my unicorn gun. The rest of the gang: 3913, 3913LS, 6906, 5906, 5906TSW, 5904, 915, 4006CHP, and 4026. I dig ’em. 😎

    • Yup, 3rd gen S&W are a thing of beauty. I don’t have the collection you do (my own fault, since I’m old enough to have purchased them at their original prices), but the ones I have are some favorites.

  9. I only have two of the old Smith metal guns left, a 1006 and a 645. Also a few old Performance Center revolvers. The 1006 is a creampuff to shoot.

  10. I done up and got me a Glock 20 Gen4 10mm and wanted more chamber support so purchased a KKM Precision Match barrel and strangely enough ended up liking it… don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it as much as I like my revolvers, but that Glock is now as accurate as a pistola gets.

    After using a Glock for a while, I really don’t see how you could manage to kaboom one with any sane load…. maybe you could if using loads that weren’t pressure tested, or shooting it with a blockage in the barrel, but that thing feels practically indestructible.

      • I love that KKM barrel and think it was worth every cent and worth the wait to get it.

        The KKM barrel was 100% drop in with no fitting required and when tested on paper at 25 yards it slashed group sizes by more than 50%.

        The one other shootability mod I did was a set of Heinie Slant Pro Straight 8 sights.

        • Good to hear, if I go the glock route for 10mm I think the 7in may be on the pick up later list. Shame the do not do anything for 9×25 for that I can find.

  11. PS, Glock didn’t try to cram the 10mm into an existing platform.

    The Glock 20 was designed around the 10mm. The Glock 17, 18, and 19 are all on a smaller frame than the G20.

    • Glock would have designed the gun around SAAMI spec ammunition at least and proofed the gun before it left the factory. And proof loads are significantly hotter than standard loads. Usually 10-20% hotter.

      However, reloaders doing something wrong can blow up just about anything. Sounds like the KABOOM cartridge didn’t have the bullet seated properly and this increased the OAL to the point where more of the cartridge was unsupported than the design allowed.

      • When in school I worked part time in a gun shop… none of the guys who reloaded their own ammunition had a problem. Then along came this one guy who was a Vietnam vet and he managed to kaboom three handguns in one year. The ones he kaboomed were a S&W 25 in .45 Colt, a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum (HOW????), and a 1911. And to everyone’s amazement, he indicated that each weapon or cartridge had shortcomings which caused the kabooms….

        • If I hadn’t met people (yes plural) who have done almost the same thing (redhawk and sig 220) I would have trouble believing you. Impressive the guy stuck to the script for 3 guns though.

        • In Nevada where we used to live, there was a guy who would show up at the range on a frequent basis who was nicknamed “Maximum Bob.” He gained that nickname from reading reloading manuals and starting his reload testing at the maximum load specification.

          Needless to say, when Maximum Bob showed up at the range, we’d stand back off the firing line and watch.

  12. I absolutely LOVE my 1006!
    At my core, I’m a wheel gun guy and only own a few semi-autos. A Colt series 70, a Browning Hi-Power and the 1006.
    I was stung by the 10mm bug back around ‘07, when a fellow gun club member let me shoot his. I decided then that I needed to own one. It was about a year later that luck led me to one at a local show. Asking was $675. It was in beautiful shape with one mag, fixed three-dot sights and Hogue rubber grips. Ammo was scarce and I scoured gun shows buying every round I saw. I paid $45 for a second mag and $50 for a third. I upgraded them to the white followers that were still available from S&W.
    Ammo became more common and I stocked up. I and the gun love the S&B 180gr for range fodder and the old-school Federal Hydra-Shocks for carry in a shoulder rig.
    Agreed that the service trigger is heavy but positive and consistent. I was told later MIM parts might improve it but I’ve chosen to leave it stock. I can blow the plate rack down with it every time single action. That D/A first shot is a little tougher to hit with but is well within minute-of-bad guy.
    It’s one of the guns I can never imagine selling. It’s that good.

  13. The Smith 39 from which the 10 mm was derived from was a real turd of a pistol.

    People often wondered why the frame had a saw cut in it. Smith had numerous frame failures with the 39 in the milder recoiling 9mm resulting in frame cracking so at the crack point the geniuses at Smith (sarcasm) simply made a saw cut at the known cracking point rather than do it right and redesign the frame so it would not crack.

    The cheap ass cast safety was noted for breaking and I personally knew several people who experienced this. George Nonte of Shooting Times magazine in 1972 did a 5,000 round test of a model 39 in 9mm and midway through the test the brittle cast safety broke and pieces of the rear frame rails broke off as well. The pistol lost quite a bit of accuracy during the test as well. Nonte also in that same test , tested an aluminum frame post war Walther P38 that came through the 5,500 round test with flying colors.

    I remember the first time that I picked up a Smith 39 at a gun shop and the double action pull really turned me off.

    Considering how much more recoil the 10 mm Smith gives I imagine the failure rate had to be higher than for the milder recoiling 9mm model 39.

    I remember that Colt had problems with its 1911 10mm gun as well as the recoil was just too much for a gun designed around the .45 acp cartridge.

    I suppose if I wanted a 10mm (I do not) I would go with the Glock, at least it has a massively thick slide that should take the recoil of the 10mm. Whether or not the plasticky frame will hold up is another question.

    • Duncian, you have never touched a S&W 39 in your life. I know it. You know it. You know everyone knows it. Please. Be quite.

    • I don’t post much..
      but you’re constantly posting and constantly full of sh**

      one of those people who are seldom right but never in doubt
      I envy the people who don’t know you

    • I’ve had three 39’s through my shop, none have exhibited any saw cuts in the frame. Two were aluminum/alloy frames, one was steel. One had been fired for thousands and thousands of rounds, and needed a new firing pin. The others were clean/lube jobs, no problems found other than dirt and congealed oil.

    • Hilarious!
      I’ve launched probably well north of 3K rounds through my own 1006, all of them the full power stuff, none of that American Eagle or other lesser loads.
      Guess what?
      I haven’t had a single breakage of any sort, and the only feeding failure I had was from the two or three times that I limp-wristed it while shooting.
      Your words are those of a clown long on speculation and short on facts.

  14. After the First Gulf War I decided that I wanted one of those brand new Glock 20’s so I took one for a test drive at a store in Phoenix. On the fourth round the extractor disintegrated at which point I returned the pistol and declined the purchase. Haven’t been interested in a Glock 20 since.

  15. Had a Glock 40 in 10mm set up for deer hunting. Nice RDS on it and everything. It shot really well and I had 0 problems with it.
    Never did go hunting with it and eventually sold it.

  16. I bought my first 10mm in 1994. It was a 1006 and I think I paid $530 for it. The 5 mags I have for it would cost nearly that much today.

  17. I like all steel guns and wood furniture. Plastics may lose some of their structural properties over time or if stored around some solvents. I’ve no doubt most big dollar militaries spend money looking for fast acting plastic destabilizing agents.

  18. I bought my Smith and Wesson 1006 used.
    It used to belong to an FBI agent.
    He had to trade to trade it in for a .45 ACP because he was too limp wristed to control the recoil.

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  23. Howdy, all. FNG, here.

    “Smith & Wesson designed the 1006 and its variants from the ground up around the 10mm cartridge rather than trying to shoehorn the 10mm cartridge into an existing pistol platform. cough GLOCK cough1911”

    This is incorrect. After frame cracks in the Bren Ten and Colt Delta Elite, S&W told the FBI about its 4506 model, and stressed to the agency how heavy duty and over built the gun was for the stoutest .45 loads. The 4506 had a slide-mounted decocker. The FBI said they wanted it converted over to 10mm. That became the 1006. And the bureau infamously wanted the decocker moved down into the frame, which became the 1076. So the S&W 10mm was definitely an offshoot of an existing model.

    Up to that point, Glock only had 9mm models. Not even a .45 variant yet. So when Glock released its G20 in 1991, it had to be an all new design. It used an all new, enlarged frame and grip, and a much thicker and heavier slide and barrel. Sure, it was still a Glock in overall look and action. But it was a built-up Glock, and hardly a case of 10mm shoved into an existing platform.

    And unlike with either the Colt or the S&W, Glock designed its 10mm model first (G20), and then released the lower intensity .45 version based upon it later (G21). Glock is actually the only one that approached it the right way that the author calls for here.

    (The undersupported chamber for ease of feeding being a valid, but separate issue…)

  24. I bought my S&W 1006 new from a dealer in Concord, CA in mid 1996. I paid just under $600. Originally I was thinking of a 9mm or a .40 but I wanted more bang for my buck. In the early to later 70s I reloaded. 357, .38, .45 LC, 30-30, 06 and a few others but never an auto. When shooting a .45 Ruger LC (even my new New Model) if you wanted to shoot anything more than the original 1870’s 650 fps, 250 gr round nose lead you had to load it yourself. Hence, I had those babies shutting out at up to 1,400+ fps with a 240 gr JHP. By 1996 I no longer had my reloading equipment or the time to reload. The 1006 offered good power right out of the box. I have a few boxes of 1,200 fps rounds with JHPs. By S&W’s admission on a phone call, it’s made to take it. I read somewhere that a comparison shootout showed the Glock to be a smoother gun with less recoil. I also firmly believe what you said about it’s durability, or should I say, lack there of. Heavy? Sort of. Would I trust my 1006 in an emergency with those 1,200 fps rounds? ABSOLUTELY! And now seeing what they’re reselling for, my S&W 1006 10mm was an investment.

  25. I forgot to mention; not long after buying my 1006 I picked up extra magazines for about $15-20 bucks. They all store just fine in it’s soft pistol case pockets. In 2016 while driving down to LA I detoured through Paso Robles and had Hogue do a courtesy install of of checkered Rosewood grips I purchased online a few months before. Soo much nicer than those plastic combat style factory grips.

    A couple things that separate the 1006 from other offerings; as mentioned, its double (or single) a ssumong you have a round in the chamber you need not cock it the first time. Another excellent feature is the de-cock lever is on both sides so no matter whether you’re right or left handed you’ll find decoding this jewell is much more practical.

  26. I forgot to mention; not long after buying my 1006 I picked up extra magazines for about $15-20 bucks. They all store just fine in it’s soft pistol case pockets. In 2016 while driving down to LA I detoured through Paso Robles and had Hogue do a courtesy install of of checkered Rosewood grips I purchased online a few months before. Soo much nicer than those plastic combat style factory grips.

  27. Great article.
    I’ve owned my 1006 outfitted with the adjustable sights that you mentioned for over thirty years now, having bought mine brand new in 1990 for $600 when I was in the navy.
    I had to chuckle to myself a little with the comment about not carrying yours concealed, as this has indeed been exclusively my concealed carry sidearm through all those years.
    The key to carrying this brute is to spend the money for a premium IWB holster with a premium belt, which I did, buying the incredible Kramer IWB#2 horsehide holster and their companion horsehide belt.
    Yes, that’s just under $300 worth of horsehide, but it allows me not to settle for a lesser gun out of concern for size and weight.
    It’s not a problem at all to carry wearing jeans and a loose-fitting t-shirt in the summer, or even while wearing jean shorts and a t-shirt.
    I certainly hope that I’ll never need it in a situation other than target shooting or hunting, but there is something to be said for carrying a top quality full size auto that’s as powerful (actually more powerful using the Underwood ammo that’s my carry load) as a .357 magnum, and yes it’s a gorgeous gun that never fails to draw appreciative comments at the range.

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