Should S&W have named their autos instead of giving them numbers?


PDA






albanian
January 26, 2006, 11:37 PM
I really feel that part of the reason that S&W autos don't get much repsect is because nobody knows what to call them. They all have strage numbers and are hard to remember and tell apart from each other. 6906, 3913, 4046, 5906, 4569, 90210 blah, blah, blah!

At least the revolvers had names that you could remember. Chief's Special, Bodygaurd, Centenial, Combat Masterpiece, Kit Gun. When you hear these, you know what gun is being talked about right away. When you hear some four digit number, even the S&W fans have to think for a second to make sure they have the right one in mind. Is that the 9mm or the .40? Is that the SS or the blued? Is that the DAO or the DA/SA version? Hmmm, forget it, I will just buy a Glock and then I won't have to think about it anymore.

If you enjoyed reading about "Should S&W have named their autos instead of giving them numbers?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
mmike87
January 26, 2006, 11:45 PM
Yes. This is why I don't know anything about S&W autos. Too many numbers keep track of.

thunder
January 26, 2006, 11:58 PM
I've thought about this before. I've always come to the conclusion SW could have done much better with some solid names. Or atleast an "intuitive" numbering system like Glock's. Who wants to buy a 4046 when they could get a Desert Eagle or a Kimber Warrior? Just my personal opinion, always thought they were ugly and funny feeling too...

Standing Wolf
January 27, 2006, 12:15 AM
That would have required far too much marketing creativity.

rocky
January 27, 2006, 12:17 AM
they should have made more ergonomical autos. Geez, a Glock fits better in the hand than a S&W auto.

albanian
January 27, 2006, 01:09 AM
I don't know, some of the S&Ws are not too bad in the hand. Try a 3913 with a set of Hogues and finger hook mag and you may be surprised at how good it feels. The 3rd gen guns seem to feel better than the eary ones. Also, there is always Hogue to fall back on if the factory grips are not the best.

Moonclip
January 27, 2006, 01:11 AM
Some S&W autos do have names, like the Sigma, M&P, chiefs special. Many named revolvers also have a number, 686 is the Distinguished Combat Magnum.

benEzra
January 27, 2006, 01:15 AM
Actually, I like the numbering system. I can't keep the revolver names straight.

The reason the Glock system is easier to remember than the S&W system is that S&W has made more models and variants over the years than Glock has.

Rob1035
January 27, 2006, 01:27 AM
I can hardly keep the wheelgun frames straight, I know the J frame is the smallest, and X frame is the biggest, other than that i'm ignorant

warwagon
January 27, 2006, 02:00 AM
Rob,

If my memory serves me right,the frame sizes in order from smallest to largest run, I,J,K,L,N,X.

Just for information:)

Blair

progunner1957
January 27, 2006, 02:16 AM
I vote for names - Colt has had the Python, Diamondback and Anaconda.

S&W could have the Puff Adder, the Milk Snake and the Hissing Viper:neener:

Tom Servo
January 27, 2006, 04:12 AM
Heck no! Part of the fun is grinding your teeth when you're trying to remember whether to order a 6958-66-4529-4 or a 6958-66-4539-4! :rolleyes:

benEzra
January 27, 2006, 11:32 AM
It's an in-group thing, like a secret handshake. It's how we S&W owners separate the True Owners from the posers. :D

Conversation between two S&W owners at the range:

"That a 39 or a 39-2?"
"No, it's 3rd-gen."
"3913, 3953, or 4040?"
"3913."
"TSW?"
"LS."
(Secret handshake)
"Welcome to the range, my brother..."

Kramer Krazy
January 27, 2006, 11:52 AM
I used to HATE the way S&W named their models with numbers. Since my wife has become a S&W freak, I'm starting to see the association with the numberings. I'm becoming quite familiar with the numbers of their 59 series and the model 36 and 60 with the dash-numbers. She'd been looking into the 45-series and recently picked up a 4566, so I'm a little more educated on those models, too. I think S&W requires more research and study of model numbers than any other manufacturer, but they have so many different models that I'd hate to have the job of trying to come up with catchy little cutesy names for all of them.

pcf
January 27, 2006, 12:01 PM
39.. compact single stack 9mm
59.. double stack 9mm
69.. compact double stack 9mm
10.. 10mm
40.. 40 S&W
45.. 45 ACP

..0. full length barrel TDA
..1. compact barrel TDA
..2. full length barrel Frame Decocker
..3. compact barrel Frame Decocker
..4. full length barrel DAO
..5. compact barrel DAO
..6. mid size barrel TDA
..7. mid size barrel Frame Decocker
..8. mid size barrel DAO
..9. Performance Center number

...0 Scandium frame
...3 Silver alloy frame
...4 Black alloy frame
...5 Blue steel frame
...6 Stainless frame
...7 Performance Center number

The only exception to the numbering scheme is the 69.6 pistols that have aluminum frames.

The numbering scheme is very useful.

OH25shooter
January 27, 2006, 12:19 PM
I've got a 908S S&W auto and it doesn't fit into that numbering system. I heard (was on a forum somewhere) it stood for:
9-9mm;
0-
8-8 rounds
S-Stainless

CAnnoneer
January 27, 2006, 02:03 PM
Any way you look at it, it is confusing for the customer, and therefore, counterproductive. It is an example of awkward marketing.

Even a silly baby-daddy-granddaddy naming system would be better than the Borg designations they have now.

:barf:

P. Plainsman
January 27, 2006, 03:00 PM
Good post. The S&W autoloader numbering system is not very intuitive. Hard to remember.

For whatever reason I don't have a problem with the S&W revolver numbering system. Most of the old sixguns had simple 2-digit model numbers, and even today the models top out at 3-digit numbers, most of which start with "6" for stainless steel. That's easier to keep straight than 5903, 3913, etc., etc. Then again, I'm a revolver guy. It may be a question of what one is used to.

Gixerman1000
January 27, 2006, 08:30 PM
39.. compact single stack 9mm
59.. double stack 9mm
69.. compact double stack 9mm
10.. 10mm
40.. 40 S&W
45.. 45 ACP

..0. full length barrel TDA
..1. compact barrel TDA
..2. full length barrel Frame Decocker
..3. compact barrel Frame Decocker
..4. full length barrel DAO
..5. compact barrel DAO
..6. mid size barrel TDA
..7. mid size barrel Frame Decocker
..8. mid size barrel DAO
..9. Performance Center number

...0 Scandium frame
...3 Silver alloy frame
...4 Black alloy frame
...5 Blue steel frame
...6 Stainless frame
...7 Performance Center number

The numbering scheme is very useful.

Perfect list for all but the 39.., the 39.. just means single stack 9mm, not "(compact) single stack 9mm", the model 3906 is a full size with a 4" barrel like the 5906.

The only thing I don't understand S&W auto’s numbering system is the 69.. (6906), why is there a 69.. in the first place, the single stack 3906 and double stack 5906 are both steel framed 4" full size, so if the single stack aluminum framed 3.5" compact is a 3913 then why didn't S&W just call their double stack aluminum framed 3.5" compact a 5913, calling it the 6906 just makes no sense to me.

albanian
January 27, 2006, 08:30 PM
For some reason once you get into four digits, many people's brain shuts off. I know mine does a little and I feel fairly comfortable with the number system now but it took more than a little bit of research to get it figuired out. The worst part about it is, they do have exceptions. The system is not perfect so it makes it that much more work to remember.

They could name the models and use a number or letter code to designate certain features. For example, Ruger has a P-95 but if it is the decocker it is the P-95 DC. That is eaiser to remember than just more numbers. Letters stand for something while numbers are more removed.

It is true that S&W has more models than most makers so it is more difficult to make a system for them. They have frames made in blued steel, SS, Scandium and aluminum. They have slide made in blued and SS. They have small medium and full sized frames. They have DAO, DA/SA with safety de-cock, DA/SA with de-cock only. I am sure I am missing some stuff but when you think that most of these guns can be any combo of these features, there are thousands of possible models.

What I would like is a 3913 with an exposed hammer and a DA/SA with De-cock only set up. I don't think the factory ever made one like that but they should. That is the SIG set-up and I think it is the best for a self defense pistol. It combines safety with simplicity. Also, I hate the fact that most S&Ws have mag safeties.

P. Plainsman
January 27, 2006, 08:51 PM
Also, I hate the fact that most S&Ws have mag safeties.
To which let me add two other complaints:

1. Right now most of the good duty-sized S&W autos have that goofy, huge, "TACTICAL Smith & Wesson" logo plastered on the slide -- what is it lately with S&W and huge, obstrusive logos? Think of the early S&W 1911s and the Logo Ranch Special Model 21 sixgun.

2. I was nosing around on their website recently and one of their 3d gen. .40 S&W autos came in two variants: the standard gun with Novak sights and then one with factory tritium sights -- which was designated "For Law Enforcement Only." What the crap? I defy them to give me a single rational, or indeed non-vicious, reason for not selling factory night sights to citizens. Is this true of S&W autos in general?

* * *

I sure do like my 629, though.

albanian
January 27, 2006, 10:53 PM
"2. I was nosing around on their website recently and one of their 3d gen. .40 S&W autos came in two variants: the standard gun with Novak sights and then one with factory tritium sights -- which was designated "For Law Enforcement Only." What the crap? I defy them to give me a single rational, or indeed non-vicious, reason for not selling factory night sights to citizens. Is this true of S&W autos in general?"

Beats me why they do that crap but Beretta does it as well. As far as I know, the Beretta 92G is only sold to police depts. You can get the 92G Elite but it is more expensive than the regular model G. I have two Beretta 92Gs but I had to buy them from police trade-ins. For those of you that don't know, the G is the de-cock only with the safety. It is the same set-up as the SIGs or the S&Ws that have the de-cock only. The Ruger P-95DC is the same thing. Why is a de-cock onyl pistol more dangerous or deadly than the same thing with a safety?:confused:

CarbineKid
January 28, 2006, 01:41 AM
I really feel that part of the reason that S&W autos don't get much repsect is because nobody knows what to call them. They all have strage numbers and are hard to remember and tell apart from each other. 6906, 3913, 4046, 5906, 4569, 90210 blah, blah, blah!

Glock does the same. For example theres A Glock 17, 19, 22, 21, 354, 792 4,324 etc. Then theres the Sig 225, 226, 229, 232, 220, 210 245 etc.

Majic
January 28, 2006, 04:18 AM
By the time S&W started to build modern semi-autos everything got a numerical name. Just like the revolvers you had to know the code to identify the handgun.

pcf
January 28, 2006, 11:06 AM
Gixer thanks for the correction.

To which let me add two other complaints:

1. Right now most of the good duty-sized S&W autos have that goofy, huge, "TACTICAL Smith & Wesson" logo plastered on the slide -- what is it lately with S&W and huge, obstrusive logos? Think of the early S&W 1911s and the Logo Ranch Special Model 21 sixgun.

2. I was nosing around on their website recently and one of their 3d gen. .40 S&W autos came in two variants: the standard gun with Novak sights and then one with factory tritium sights -- which was designated "For Law Enforcement Only." What the crap? I defy them to give me a single rational, or indeed non-vicious, reason for not selling factory night sights to citizens. Is this true of S&W autos in general?



1. The logos are ridiculous.

2. It's been said before, S&W can't sell the current lineup 3rd Gen autoloaders. S&W does not have a restricitve policy on night sights, if you're willing to buy pistols on a contract (like police departments do), S&W will install night sights as an option. The rational, non-vicious reason for not offering night sights, is that Smith is not going to offer an option that they lose money on.

jerkface11
January 28, 2006, 11:20 AM
For a small fee i'd be willing to name all their pistols for them. They can then put a huge "jerkface11 special" logo on one side of the slide/barrel and the name i've picked even bigger on the other side.

MICHAEL T
January 28, 2006, 12:17 PM
They should stick with Wheel guns Their Autos aren't made for human hands to hold and shoot. A Glock feels better than a S&W auto. Only reason the 1911 feels right is they copied it.

rde
January 29, 2006, 01:14 AM
I like S&W autoloaders. My 9mm Only 8 shot stainless (908S) is great. The secret S&W senior member only club has a special decoder ring that helps with the numbering system.

Majic
January 30, 2006, 12:08 AM
They should stick with Wheel guns Their Autos aren't made for human hands to hold and shoot.
IMO the pistol that started it all, the Model 39, was quite comfortable to shoot. To bad they dropped that design when they went to their highly acclaimed 3rd generation models.

benEzra
January 30, 2006, 02:28 PM
The 39 lives on in the 39xx series, and the 4040 is built on the 3913LS frame, with a change to scandium alloy to handle the increased stresses.

waterhouse
January 30, 2006, 04:17 PM
I think S&W is the company whose pistols I know the least about when my customers ask, and this is 100% due to the number system. I don't know if it is because there are 4 numbers or what (I have no problem remembering which 2 digit Glock is which, and the 3 digit SIG designations are fine, etc.) but I can never keep any of them straight. Same with their revolvers. . .those are 3 digits or under, but there are SO many of them that it is hard for me to keep them straight.

Just looking at the webite, we have 36ls,37,60,317,340,351,360,431,432,637,638,640,642,649
and those are just the J frames, and the list doesn't include the various PD and LS configuratiosn, and then there are the dashes!

I'm all for choices, but it sure is hard to wrap my mind around sometimes.

ShelbyV8
January 31, 2006, 01:32 AM
Most of us S&W auto owners have 3 digit IQ's and we can decipher a 4 digit number. We don't want anyone to figure it out you might reliaze what you have been missing.

If you enjoyed reading about "Should S&W have named their autos instead of giving them numbers?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!