The Smith & Wesson Model 410 hit its stride in the late 1990s, especially with law enforcement users, and today these guns are a diamond in the rough for those looking for a solid shooter.
In 1989, S&W debuted its third-generation semi-auto pistol lines, which featured a greatly improved trigger pull, three-dot sights, Xeony wrap-around plastic grips, a beveled magazine well, and a triple safety system to include both a slide-mounted manual safety and a magazine disconnect safety. The line included guns in 9mm (S&W 5900, 3900, 6900 series), 10mm (1006, 1066, 1076), .45 ACP (4506, 4566) and – drum roll, please – the then-new .40 S&W.
The herald for Smith's third-gen .40s was the Model 4006, which is one downright sexy gun, even today.
The S&W 4006 throughout the 1990s became a staple of high-profile law enforcement agencies, primarily highway patrols and state police units. They were found to be exceptionally rugged in service and were well-liked, although heavy and kind of expensive. This is where the Model 410 came into play.
In 1992, S&W debuted what was essentially a more affordable version of the Model 4006. By using a flat blue finish, alloy frame, carbon steel slide, and fixed rather than adjustable sights, the "Value Series" gun came in a little cheaper ($585 MSRP at the time vs $790 for the 4006). It was just a homelier version of the same horse, while still carrying thoroughbred bloodlines.
Initially termed the Model 411 as it used the same 11-round mag as the Model 4006. The name shifted subtly to the Model 410 in 1996 to reflect that, at least for the consumer market, it would be sold with a 10-round mag thanks to the arbitrary magazine capacity limits that came along with the Clinton-era federal ban on "assault weapons."
We have recently picked up a whole pallet of Model 410s, former LE trade-ins, which vary a bit in wear. Our Rangemasters have graded them out into Very Good, Good, and Fair conditions.
The Model 410 ceased production in 2006, along with most of Smith's third-gen semi-autos, as the company shifted gears away from DA/SA metal-framed pistols to the M&P series of polymer-framed striker-fired guns. Still, these old workhorses are far from being shot out and can make good shooters, ready to fill the role of a backup gun for personal defense if needed.
While no longer made, there are thousands of 10- and 11-round magazines floating around in the wild (the same mag that fits the 410/411 also works in the 4003, 4004, 4006, 4026, 4043, 4044, and 4046) and spare parts are easily found to keep these guns running for future generations. Further, holster bargains abound, particularly if looking at duty holsters on the secondary market.
These guns are supportable.
When it comes to the Model 410's fodder, while the .40 S&W has kind of faded into the bushes over the past decade in favor of a new generation of modern 9mm loads, it is still a viable self-defense caliber all day. Plus, with today's ammo situation, it can sometimes be easier to find. Either way, if you are looking for a diamond in the rough, the Model 410 checks a lot of those boxes, and it does so for about $500 or less – with free shipping through the summer of 2021.