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10 Most Popular Smith and Wesson Handguns

These are S&W’s most popular handguns.


Founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson, Smith and Wesson is an iconic American firearms company. Based in Springfield, Massachusetts this company employs over 1500 people to produce firearms and military and police equipment.

Here are 10 of the most popular S&W handguns.

Model 19


The Model 19 was once popular with the US Border Patrol. It was used for hunting, target shooting, law enforcement duty and personal protection. It is a durable, accurate pistol that is quite versatile.

Model 29


The S&W Model 29 is the handgun used by actor Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry films. It was also a favorite sidearm of famed author Elmer Keith, who reportedly used the gun to shoot a mule deer at 600 yards.

Model 41


This .22 rimfire pistol has been a popular handgun among target shooters, campers, hikers and plinkers since it’s introduction in 1957. It remains a popular gun today.

Read More: Why the S&W 629 is the Best Hunting Handgun

Model 642


The Airweight Series of J-Frame S&W’s was an instant hit and sales continue to be strong. The 38 Special cartridge is effective and inexpensive. It is manageable in this pistol, but some hot loads do produce stout recoil. The size, weight, simplicity and price make this S&W highly attractive as a self-defense revolver.

The Chief’s Special


Also known as the Model 36, variations include hammer-less, spur-less hammer and stainless steel. This durable small frame revolver has been popular for self defense since its introduction

Model 10


Originally named the 1899 Hand Ejector, this model has also been called the Victory Model and the Military & Police. Thousands of militaries and law enforcement agencies used this revolver and it is still popular today.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Henry Rifles are the Best

Sigma and SD Series

Photo by Joe Riekers

In the late 90’s and again in the mid 2000’s S&W produced these pistols as an inexpensive, reliable pistol for home defense and personal protection. The availability was widespread due to the price point and marketing that made these pistols available in big box stores as well as small independent dealers.



Within the M&P series, the Shield is a compact pistol that is comfortable to carry and easy to conceal. Those features make it popular with detectives and concealed carry licensees.

Model 586


This model and the stainless steel version called the 686 comes in a variety of barrel lengths. It’s a real work horse and is as reliable as they come.

Related: The History of Smith and Wesson in 10 Pictures



This model is one of the newest offered by Smith and Wesson. The M&P series is widely popular with law enforcement, concealed carry holders and home protection enthusiasts. A number of features make this pistol user friendly and reliable at a reasonable price.

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10 Most Popular Smith and Wesson Handguns