A Pennsylvania friend texted us today about two deals he found at Surplus City in Feasterville Trevose, PA. We’ve mentioned their seemingly bottomless wellspring of cop trade-ins before. He stopped in to check on one — a beater cop shotgun — and wound up going home with another, a beautiful Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver. Specifically, this one:


Yes, that is pretty. The action matches, as well: niiiice. It was the only one like this, in amongst the marked department trade-ins. It doesn’t have a PD marking on it. (The Model 10s remaining in stock come with a variety of grips and are marked CDOC for the California Department of Corrections).

The gold-colored marking in the S&W crest appears to be original The walnut grips, on the other hand, may be aftermarket; and underneath them — it’s a round butt!


Very high condition revolver for $250. It may be that old Smith and Colt revolvers in unloved calibers like .38 Special and .32 are the best bargain in used guns today. Being out of fashion means you can buy an excellent revolver for a price even the Chinese couldn’t build it for today, if the Chinese could build revolvers (they probably can, but they don’t bother; they’re as driven by fashion as any other).

This particular example a later Model 10, because it’s +P marked. This could not be earlier than the late 1960s, but probably dates from the 1970s or 80s. (For a fee, Smith & Wesson will document the revolver by serial number).


The original .38 S&W Special was introduced in 1899, loaded with 18 grains of black powder! It led to more powerful smokeless loads, then via Elmer Keith and the .38-44 to the .357 magnum. (.38-44 was basically an overloaded .38 Special meant to be shot only in stronger revolvers built on a .44 frame). Current target max pressure for .38 Special is 16,000 cup and .38 Special +P is 25% stronger at 20,000.

Meanwhile, our friend describes the shotties like this:

Remington 870 Police Magnum previous Wells Fargo weapons. $200.00. Beat up cosmetic condition.

Surplus City found one nicer than that for their Facebook page:


They say some are priced at $200 and some at $250, there. The nicer ones might have been gone by the time our friend bopped in to Surplus City.

He’s thinking of getting one and giving it a cosmetic touch-up before presenting it to his chick. She’s the sort of woman that would be delighted with that kind of gift.

Editor’s note: hey, we’re now up to only 12 hours behind. But we did finally get the lawn mangler towed out of the hole we got it stuck down in, and only broke one towing cable and bent one clevis pin in the process, so there is that. Hoping Tractor Supply or Ace has a bin-o-clevis-pins when we drop by tomorrow. Or we can make one out of the crummy Spanish parts/junk Mausers that Century is grading “good” and flogging to unsuspecting dealers. -Ed.

This entry was posted in Consumer Alert!, Pistols and Revolvers on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

17 thoughts on “Deals from Surplus City

John M.

That is a smokin’ deal. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that these guns are going to transition from their “old and therefore crappy” phase to “antique” pretty soon now. And .38 Spl +P is a whale of a lot better cartridge than anything .32, both for terminal performance reasons and for ammo availability reasons. You can buy .38 Spl anywhere in America that you can buy ammo. Quality defensive loads abound also.

“Being out of fashion means you can buy an excellent revolver for a price even the Chinese couldn’t build it for today, if the Chinese could build revolvers (they probably can, but they don’t bother; they’re as driven by fashion as any other).”

They are also driven by the fashion of their customers. Even if China could build a .38 revolver and get it here for $225, who would buy a Chinese turd for that when they could have this fine piece of bygone American craftsmanship for $250? There’s no margin in that business for the Chinese.

-John M.


Ooohhh….I do love me a good revolver.

A couple of guys I shoot with bought very old and inexpensive S&W model 15s that were disposed of from our corrections department. They’d been refurbished to look like new and had apparently only ever fired a few rounds in their long careers so they shot beautifully…10 ring groups at 50m out of 4 inch barrels. Such guns are bargains indeed.

S&W revolvers in .38 Special are still widely used by PPC style competitive shooters here in Australia because one can shoot better scores with them than with semi-autos. The same guy shooting the same match will usually do better with a revolver.


I was recently given this gun by the widow of a gentleman I knew only a little bit. She knew from a mutual acquaintance that I am into guns, so she gifted it to me. It was his bedside gun for years and years — I’m not sure how often it was fired, if at all. The bore appears smooth and clean.

I guess it’s not related to the post, other than being a S&W and a revolver… but it’s my only revolver, so I thought I’d share.


Wow, excuse the carpet. We have a NotSmallDog, whose only purpose in life is to shed thick black hair everywhere.

Raoul Duke

That’s a collectible piece- in the S&W Standard Catalog!

Good thing you were blessed to be in a position to preserve it.


I have the stainless (M-64) version. Stamped PPD (PHX Police Department). Bought it circa 1993 from my PPD task force partner for $100.00 while they were offering to sell them to their officers. Frank Glenn did a trigger job on it, for what I remember to be $65.00. It’s what the wife carries in the backcountry.


Flat-nose MIM hammer cut for the lock, No lock in frame. Ahrends round-to-square conversion grips.

One of the last of the early-’00s Model 10s; a parts-bin special using up no-lock carbon steel frames.


(The dead giveaway is the lock notch in the hump of the hammer that is left exposed because the pre-lock frames are more deeply scooped in the back from prawl to rear sight.)


A used revolver and Tam posting reminds me: I think xavierthoughts.blogspot.com aka “Nurse with a gun” (which I think I found via Tam’s blog) could make Wednesdays Weapons Websites of the Week. Hasn’t been updated in ages, but a fine source for information on 1911s and S&W revolvers and buying them used.

One of those blogs to download before it gets lost.


I am a relative neophyte when it comes to personal weapons acquisition. Where are the best places to get police trade in arms? I have had good luck with AIM Surplus and will look into Surplus City. Are there other sources I am missing?

-Overly Educated Operations Analyst

John M.

Hit your local gun stores. If all the rifles on the wall are black (or FDE), move on. If many of them have wood furniture, and especially if the store’s decor doesn’t look like it’s been updated since 1970, ask about police trade-ins at the counter. That, or call around.

I’m a big fan of Glock LE trade-ins. I’m led to understand that they are all factory refurbished (including a full spring job) by Glock, but don’t quote me on that.

-John M.


And even if they’re not refurbished, it’s a few bux, and I mean few, well spent to change out every small part.


Much obliged sir. My M&P9 was a trade in and I cannot be any happier with it. I want to acquire a scattergun of similar vintage to go with it.

-Overly Educated Operations Analyst


Check out summit gun broker, in their riot guns listings…

Jim Scrummy

Hmmmm, I smell a roadtrip in my not to distant future to my old stomping grounds of the Filthadelphia suburbs.

Sir Lord Baltimore

My meager wallet curses you Hognose!!! Thanks for the heads up. A trip to the Philthy Suburbs for some fine Dim Sum and firearms acquisition might be in order. Ah, the simple things in life… Who said being a PA resident didn’t have its perks?

Thanks again


Surplus City is a good time. Last time I saw them at the Oaks gun show (next one is in a week – who’s going?), they had a table full of $250 stainless Model 64s, .40 S&W Glocks, and S&W TSW automatics in 9mm, .45, and .40. I’ll be near their shop next Monday, so I’ll be sure to drop in. Pity I’m no longer a PA resident, otherwise I would likely walk out with something. Once can never have enough K-frames, and the S&W automatics are highly underrated.