For years, grumpy old S&W fans clogged internet gun forums and groused at each other about how Smith didn't make any more of the guns like they wanted. All these newfangled guns were stainless steel! They had full underlugs and sometimes even unfluted cylinders! If S&W just made blue steel revolvers with skinny barrels like they used to, why, these guys would start buying Smiths again.
(This conveniently overlooked the fact that if the grousers had kept buying those blued guns when they were still for sale, they'd never have been discontinued in the first place.)
Anyhow, eventually the lone carbon steel holdout in the Smith & Wesson revolver lineup was the lowly Model 10. That's right, the original .38 Military & Police was still popular enough with the rent-a-cop market and the occasional constabulary here or there that it held on over a hundred years after its introduction.
Meanwhile, as a sop to the curmudgeonly, a trickle of "classic" models has turned into a flood: Models as diverse as the Model 17 .22 Target Masterpiece and the Model of 1917 in .45 ACP are reappearing in carbon steel, albeit with high-zoot pricetags to match. Of course, the gun forum curmudgeons point out the MIM parts and the locks and the frame-mounted firing pins and turn their noses up with disdain, giving one the feeling that a lot of these guns will be available for very reasonable prices from closeout specialist CDNN in the not-too-distant future.
Now in the 2010 catalog, the Model 10 Military & Police revolver is finally gone. However, there's a new, Classic Model 10 on offer, with an MSRP of only(!) $814...
Now, I can kinda see a Model 27 or 1917 "Classic". The originals, after all, are hard to find, pretty expensive in their own right, and are appreciating steadily. But the Model 10!?!?!
Let's see... Should I shell out more than half a thousand dollars for a copy, or should I just go to the nearest gun show and buy the real thing? I mean, they only made some umpty-million of the things over the course of a century or so, so it shouldn't be too tough to scare one up, and for considerably less th... heh... snerk... BWAH-HAH-HA!... sorry... considerably less than eight bills.
Really, this is the kind of marketing genius I'd expect from Colt, not Smith.