S&W 645 Questions


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cedjunior
December 4, 2006, 05:55 PM
CDNN's current catalog has used S&W 645's for $299 in "Very Good to Excellent" condition. Is that a decent price? Or am I getting all worked up and about to buy a gun over nothing? Also since I can't seem to find any info on it being discontinued and all, how does the size of this gun compare to a full size 1911? Thanks.

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kenpocop
December 4, 2006, 06:15 PM
The 645 was the first major venture into the 45 auto market for S&W. It has not been a production gun since the early 80s. It was replaced by the 4500 series s&W automatics.

I can't comment on how good a deal it is, but it sounds good to me. Magazines are expensive for the 4500 series, but I don't know if they are compatable with the 645.

Onslow77
December 4, 2006, 08:47 PM
I just recently traded in a 6 in. Smith and Wesson Model 28 on a 645. So far it's been a great gun, reliable and accurate. The trigger on mine in single action has a fair bit of creep but isn't hard to get used to. The double action pull is very smooth. The 645 is a pretty big pistol compared to a 1911 but I don't find that to be a big deal. I'm new to Smith and Wesson autos and have a question regarding the decocker/safety. Is it considered safe to carry the pistol with the hammer down and the decocker in the fire position? I was concerned that it might not be drop safe in this mode. Any info would be appreciated.

kenpocop
December 4, 2006, 09:41 PM
Yes it safe to carry hammer down. The weapon has a firing pin disconnect safety that prevents the firing pin from moving without the trigger being pulled.

isp2605
December 4, 2006, 10:33 PM
I carried my 645 when I was running a couple of drug task forces. I put a set of Wolff springs in mine which, along with running a whole bunch of rds thru it, turned the trigger into something really smooth both DA and SA. Size is about the same as a 1911. Our issued guns at the time was 5904 and even tho the 5904 is a bit smaller I could conceal the 645 easier because it is a bit narrower being single stack. 645s are generally 100% reliable and will feed anything, including empty brass. I still carry mine some but more just to get it out for fresh air every so often.
I carried this combo on a lot of drug raids and stake outs.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/ispcapt/guns/SUN2.jpg

Wyndage
December 4, 2006, 11:01 PM
If I was a druggie, I think that knife would scare me more than the gun. :eek:

schmeky
December 4, 2006, 11:13 PM
The 645's are under-rated. They were a solid foundation for .45 acp and S&W put forth a lot of effort to build a reliable good functioning pistol. To go against the myriad of 1911's out there meant the 645 had to be good, really good.

My FFL holder recently tried to sell me a tuned/slicked used 645 for $750.00. This guy is total dumb b_tt, but it just goes to show some folks think these are exceptional pitols, they are, they just aren't exceptional values.

$299.00 is a great price.

yhtomit
December 4, 2006, 11:14 PM
I've never heard of one of these before; until scrolling down to that picture, I was hoping it was some model of .45ACP revolver I'd never heard of (like my 625).

Despite that slight disappointment, it looks like a nice gun -- in the same way that you can look at a car and have some (small, often wrong) idea of what it would be like to drive it based on geometry, I look at that grip angle and it looks extremely comfortable; that also looks like a nice spot for the thumb, and decent grips on the pictured example.

When I get a job ... [adds to list]

timothy

Onslow77
December 5, 2006, 12:11 AM
Thanks for the info on the decocker. The 645 is my first DA/SA pistol and I've had a great time with it. I was looking to get an affordable, reliable, stainless .45 ACP and it fit the bill nicely. I love my GLOCKs but it's very reassuring to have a big chunk of American steel around. It's hard for me to understand why the 645 was in production for such a short time though. Could it be those pesky screws in the decocker that like to come loose after a few hundred rounds?

cedjunior
December 5, 2006, 12:14 AM
isp2605, I think I saw that pic in every post you've used it in during my search of THR :D . I was holding out for a 1911, but I'm thinking that $299 is too good to pass up. I've got an HK USP so I'm no stranger to large pistols, actually a 1911 is small for me and ideal for ccw, so this gun being similar in size is a good thing.

Onslow77, maybe try some Blue loctite on those screws. Strong enough to keep them from vibrating out, but still allows the screws to come out easily when you want them to.

kenpocop
December 5, 2006, 12:43 AM
Don't know if it was as much a failure of the design, as much as it was a so-called upgrade in the design. If you find a pic of a 4500 series, you can see the similarities.

MD_Willington
December 5, 2006, 01:54 AM
check out summitgunbroker.com , mark has a few of the 45xx series in... look pretty slick.

MD

1557
December 5, 2006, 08:42 AM
It's a big old boat anchor! Seriously,tho,they are good pistols,if on the heavy and bulky side.This was the pistol that was tested and tried by the Ga. State Patrol before they eventually issued the 4506's.
My partner on the Sheriff's Dept. bought one and it was a great shooter.
I carried a customed 44 mag at the time,but put quite a bit of trigger time on his 645. It was a fine weapon at the time,functionallity was excellant,if not perfect. I personally would pay that price for it if it's in good shape.

cedjunior
December 5, 2006, 04:37 PM
Great. I'll try to get the ball rolling on a purchase tomorrow. Whats the deal wit the front sight? Is it integrated with the slide as one piece, or separate?

noresttill
December 5, 2006, 07:06 PM
Mine doesnt have that kind of front site. Its a black post dove-tailed in :uhoh: .

Jesse

isp2605
December 5, 2006, 07:20 PM
Whats the deal wit the front sight? Is it integrated with the slide as one piece, or separate?
2nd Gen S&W were part of the slide. 3rd Gen S&W were a separate piece.

noresttill
December 6, 2006, 02:18 AM
2nd Gen S&W were part of the slide. 3rd Gen S&W were a separate piece.

Were there any exceptions to that rule?

Jesse

isp2605
December 6, 2006, 09:00 AM
Could be, and no doubt there have been custom jobs where someone has ground off the front sight and installed a dovetail front sight. That's not unusual of a job if someone wanted night sights installed. But I've never seen nor heard of a factory dovetail in a 2nd gen. That was one of the mods when S&W went to 3rd gen.

cedjunior
December 6, 2006, 11:58 AM
Well, CDNN is sold out of 645's already, oh well :cuss:

torontogunguy
January 27, 2008, 04:25 AM
I picked up a 645 in a trade. At first didn't like it much... seemed like a hey rube 1911; but in the end I find it to be more reliable than my 1911's; a great carry piece due to the thin profile, etc.

At $299 I would consider it a steal. I would guesstimate street value at more like $400- $500 in excellent condition. These are very reliable but heavy carry pistols. Very thin. SOLID.

You cannot go far wrong with a S&W 645. They may not be as pretty as some (although mine in SS is pretty enough) but they sure do the job well. I would bet my life on one of these.

engine3nfd
June 19, 2008, 06:52 PM
My friend just picked up a 645 for $425. Looks like its brand new, is there anyway I can tell what year it is, and does it field strip like a standard 1911? I cant seem to get the catch released. Any info, links or advice will be greatly appreciated.


-Mike

The Lone Haranguer
June 19, 2008, 11:44 PM
These S&W autos are not quite like a 1911. To field strip any of them, pull back and hold the slide in a pinching motion so that the slide stop notch is centered over the front rounded portion of the slide stop. Then push out the slide stop from right to left. Sometimes you may need to give the end of the shaft a little rap with the butt end of a screwdriver or similar non-marring object. When the slide stop is out, ease the slide, barrel and recoil spring - which remain together - off the front of the frame, then pull out the recoil spring/guide rod and barrel from the bottom of the slide, moving them to the rear. Take note of the little half-moon-shaped cutout in the barrel where the guide rod's flanged end sits. When reassembling, you have to push down the ejector/magazine safety actuator and the firing pin block levers before the slide will go all the way on.

dogrunner
June 20, 2008, 01:38 AM
There WERE exceptions to the 'rule' relative to the integral front sight vs the later types. I own one, and it's one of the last of the 645 series and fitted with the 'new model' slide. I've only seen one other so outfitted and I suspect strongly that S&W was just cleaning up the older style frame with that slide assembly.....regardless, it's been a great pistol and was in fact the last duty pistol I carried in over 30 plus years as a LEO. As stated by another poster, the thing will feed nearly anything you can get in the magazine, even empty cases!....

In terms of practical accuracy, well, I have never "Ransom" rested the piece, but it will very easily hold it's own with any Colt M/1911 and will still cut the center out of a 25 yard BE target.

The earlier versons of the 645's had a slightly different action than the revised models. Every unaltered first model I've seen had a highly polished hammer side and a 'safety' notch. That notch is missing from the 2nd issues and it seems to me that the geometry of the action was slightly modified and gives an improved DA. I say this because I had occasion to send mine to the factory for a safety replacement and it was returned with the newer style action..........frankly it was a very welcome surprise improvement, but what I really appreciated was getting rid of that damn screwed in right side safety lever..........screw either broke or kept shooting loose..........If your gun has the old style one I'd most strongly advise replacing it......Numrich has 'em..

Like I said, damn good gun and one I have never regretted purchasing.

Confederate
June 20, 2008, 01:56 AM
I love my 645 and would recommend it highly. You can't let grass grow under your feet when you see a deal like that. Best do a quick search here rather than post and wait.

My 645 has a smooth, light double-action trigger. As far as size, I don't think it's substantially larger than a full-size 1911. I can't think of a 1911 production piece I'd rather have, in any event. Just after I'd obtained mine, I found eight magazines for them in a gunstore bin and paid about three bucks for each of them (the gunstore owner was tired of seeing them). All appear to operate flawlessly. Then I found one a new universal military holster at a yard sale for five bucks. Fits like a glove. Oh, and the sights on the 645 are some of the best I've ever seen on a combat gun, bar none.

It really sold me on the 9mm S&W stainless models, too.

poet
June 20, 2008, 03:20 AM
Wow a 645!!! I loved mine when they came out way back when. It took a little getting used to coming as I did from the 1911 platform. I wish that I still had it now . . . all I have left of that lineage is the 4506.

engine3nfd
June 20, 2008, 06:18 PM
Thanks lone for the quick lesson, ill try it out when my friend comes over this weekend. Any other tricks or tips i'll take also. It looks like a really nice piece, not a scratch on it, and for the money I dont consider it a bad deal.

Confederate
June 20, 2008, 06:29 PM
I think you'll love it. I also strongly recommend one of the universal military holsters, available on eBay. They'll fit just about any auto from a Glock to a Smith 59 series, to a Beretta to a Smith 645. Very nice for the money and there are some great deals around.


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW5906_Holstered.jpg

JBadgley
August 8, 2008, 01:19 PM
im in the process of buying a model 645 myself and i was just wondering if there are any other kind of mags that will load into it or do i have to buy gun specific and if so about how much are they and where do i find them for good prices

The Lone Haranguer
August 8, 2008, 09:08 PM
im in the process of buying a model 645 myself and i was just wondering if there are any other kind of mags that will load into it or do i have to buy gun specific and if so about how much are they and where do i find them for good prices
It has to be made for that gun. The same magazines also fit its "third generation" counterparts (4506, 4566 and so on).
Here (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=250602) are new factory magazines for $30.

schmeky
August 8, 2008, 10:04 PM
Really glad to hear the good comments on the 645. I have a 4506 on order and just closed a deal on LNIB 4006. I look forward to giving these a workout in the near future.

I have wanted a 645 for a few years but was into 1911's in a big way. Time to expand my horizons.

Would love to read more about the 645/4506 from owners.

Mortech
August 8, 2008, 11:11 PM
I love it when I see other catch the S&W fever . Now I'm torn between buying a 4506 or a 645 first .
If you really want some info on the 645/4506 pistols try here , I spend ALOT of time on that forum .
http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve

Storm
August 10, 2008, 12:47 PM
I recently picked up a 645 and am loving it. It looked to be shot very little but was said to be aprt of a local police trade-in (Gwinnett County, GA) but isn't stamped like the others. I paid jsut under $400 for it and consider it a great deal. There were some scuffs and scratches on the slide, but tose are now gone thanks to some Scotch Brite pads and steel wool.

I shot the gun the first time this past Friday and it's a sweet shooter. Reliability was 100% with WWB with hollowpoints and PowRBall the next trip to the range. Recoil and muzzle rise are very, very acceptable, in fact, quite smooth (not a surprise with the weight of the gun) and accuracy approached a good 1911 (but I was only shooting at 15 yrards). The SA trigger isn't quite up to good 1911 quality. I suspect if it was accuracy might match many 1911s, but still isn't far off as it is. DA shooting is quite good with a smooth trigger. I didn't see a significant decrease in accuracy when shooting DAO. I had considered putting in a lighter recoil spring from a pack on order from Wolff, but I have decided to let well enough alone and put it in my 5943 SSV. I am replacing the recoil spring as I can't say absolutely for sure how much the gun has been shot. It's not a big deal for an $8 part.

Overall I like this gun a lot. I can see it becoming a favorite. I love the old red/orange insert on the front sight.

http://img388.imageshack.us/img388/5578/img4119cr7.jpg

schmeky
August 10, 2008, 02:01 PM
Storm,

Great report. I really enjoy reading from knowledgeable shooters like yourself. I have never read anything negative about the 645 or similiar 3rd gen smiths.

I am presently having a mild love affair with my CZ-97B. I plan to shoot the 4506 I have on order, along side the CZ. Should be a ton of fun. Like you, I will probably replace the standard 4506 recoil spring since some of these guns are approaching 20 years of age.

Thanx for the slide clean-up technique with the scoth-brite and steel wool. My future 4506 will probably get this as well.

GZOh
August 10, 2008, 02:16 PM
schmeky... from this point on, until further notice, we're limiting you to ONE NEW GUN PER MONTH!!

schmeky
August 10, 2008, 07:35 PM
GZOH,

Well, I'm finally broke. I mean busted. May be at least 31 days before my next purchase:evil:

Storm
August 10, 2008, 08:09 PM
Storm,
Great report. I really enjoy reading from knowledgeable shooters like yourself.

Glad to!

As to knowledgeable, I've screwed up enough times in the past thirty years that it might be mistaken as "knowledge" :banghead: I like to call it "knowlegeable by default".

Case in point: having sold my 5606 and 4506 back in the early 90s. The only savings grace is that it planted seeds for grabbing 2nd and 3rd Gen Smiths now. I think when I owned those two guns way back when I wasn't even aware of the existence of the 645.

rduckwor
January 7, 2009, 12:03 PM
I just got a 645 in a trade. One hell of a shooter! Mine is in beautiful condition with only handling marks. Nice walnut or rosewood grip panels. as well. It's a keeper.

RMD

Storm
January 7, 2009, 12:23 PM
Congrats on a good catch. I am considering adding a second one to my arsenal, one with the adjustable sights. Maybe tomorrow....

KevMorris
May 11, 2009, 05:38 PM
I purchased my Model 645 new way back around 1987. Considering it's an early S&W auto, it has been an excellent gun. I've fed it hollowpoints and FMJ's and it always feeds and fires flawlessly. This despite a poor record of cleaning it on my part.

It's definitely on the heavy side. Heavier then a friend's Colt 1911. It feels good in the hand. The DA trigger pull is decent. The SA trigger pull is pretty good, though there is a fair amount of slack.

I recently took it out of storage a few weeks ago, where it had sat for 3 years still dirty from the last shooting. Shot 75 more rounds flawlessly. After giving it a good cleaning, it looked just like new.

I'm not a cop or anything, but I would not hesitate to bet my life on this gun.

mick321
July 15, 2009, 09:34 PM
I purchased my 645 brand new in 1985. Fantastic pistol out of the box. 100% dependable. Over the years, a few mods made it a bit more user friendly.

- Pachmayer grip panels
- Larger mag-release button from S&W 745
- Larger safety lever from S&W 745
- Novak high-mount rear sight from S&W 745
- Recut front sight from ramp to post style
- Tungsten recoil spring guide with buffer stack
- Dual-element recoil spring system
- Tuned trigger mechanism and magazines
- Trigger overtravel adjustment
- Magazine safety deleted

Kick down my front door? Pull me out of my truck? Say hello to my little friend.

Not for sale.

Mick

SwampWolf
July 17, 2009, 01:06 PM
For those who might be interested in the "ultimate" 645 (maybe even the ultimate Third Generation Smith), check out the fabulous Performance Center 945. Admittedly, a little on the pricey side. :(

MGW-Fla
August 27, 2009, 01:53 PM
I recently purchased a 645 from the original owner. Its a great gun. I've shot it twice & it performed flawlessly. It is a Stainless Tank, but that's the #1 appeal to me.

After the 1st cleaning I had problems getting the slide on due to difficulties in depressing the levers near the hammer(firing pin safety block, etc.) I was finally able to get it on.

However, last night after a 2nd outing, when reassembling the slide, it stuck on the rails, right at the safety levers. The slide only moves about 1/8 inch in either direction. Nothing I tried worked to free the slide. The trigger has a wiggle, but no real movement. The hammer is now back in the cocked position. You can't fully insert a magazine either.

Does any one have any ideas, or is this headed to a gunsmith or back to S&W to cure?

I really like this gun, so far, more than my new Kimber .45cal. I appreciate any tips or advice. I don't have any pics now, but I could take some & post if that helps.

I posted this on the S&W forum & rec'd some advice, but I need all the help I can get!

Thanks in advance!

MGW-Fla
August 27, 2009, 04:14 PM
Well, after some additional persistence, I was able to depress the remaining lever & get the slide to go the rest of the way into position! Whew! It would not budge for a good while though.

I'm glad it finally gave in cause I hope to take it to the outdoor range tomorrow. I really like everything about this gun, the weight & feel, the trigger pull both DA & SA. And its so heavy that if you ever had to defend yourself with it & ran out of ammo/clips, you could beat someone silly with it!:D But yet with the single stack clip, its thin for a big gun.

Both times at the range, even though I've had multiple other guns with me, both times I took out my 645 & shot it, people noticed it. One guy the 1st time out came over & asked if he could look at it.

I just wish I could get a set of Crimson Trace grips for it, but their 1911 grips have wider set screws. Without rails either, I guess there's no hope for mounting any type of laser. That'd make it a perfect home defense gun for me. Heck, if a bad guy just saw you pointing that big Stainless Tank of a gun at him & then saw a laser dot on him too, he'd head for the hills for sure!

SwampWolf
August 28, 2009, 07:12 PM
I wonder if Laser Max makes a unit for your pistol?

Noveldoc
September 12, 2009, 11:11 PM
Had a 645 and just got a 4506-1. Great guns. Accurate and very reliable.

I don't mind a bit of extra weight since it went into solid structure.

Tom

DougDubya
September 12, 2009, 11:20 PM
It's hard for me to understand why the 645 was in production for such a short time though. Could it be those pesky screws in the decocker that like to come loose after a few hundred rounds?

It wasn't developed until a few years before Smith and Wesson did the whole 3rd Generation redesign based on updates made during the XM9 trials.

The screws on the decocker coming loose is something I'd never heard of, though late model 645's didn't have "Phillips heads." Most of the changes were cosmetic.

They were fairly popular in the 80's - Brookfield Zoo police chose the 645. Strong enough for a lion, but good enough to take down a man.

Also saw them on the hip of some of the cops my uncle worked with - K9 police or gang crimes officers in Chicago.

In fact, the 45XX family is STILL around, in the form of the 945 from the Precision Center. I'd still love to see them back with the slide decocker/safety.

Confederate
September 13, 2009, 01:47 AM
The S&W 645 is more reliable than any out-of-the-box 1911 ever manufactured. It follows a half-dozen or more attempts by various other manufacturers to ptoduce a stainless steel .45, and it provides (in most cases) a nice double action for a quick first shot.

The 645 is eviidence that the profit margins on most 1911s are obscene and that a large .45ACP can be reliable right out of the box. It makes me wonder how S&W can crank out such pistols while other manufacturers can't produce a 1911 that doesn't need work before it becomes anywhere near as reliable as the 645.

Earlier .45s made of stainless steel either didn't work or they reqired thick oils to keep the slides and frames from chewing each other up. S&W's 645 and other stainless pistols worked fine with only a minimum amount of lubrcant. I find it nice that I can cock the big .45 if I need to or just fire it double actiion.

The gun is a bit hefty, but so are many 1911s with steel frames. It has very visable sights and the best thing about them is that you can buy two 645s for what you'd pay for one 1911.

The 645 and its little brothers in 9mm, .40 S&W, and even .45 (compacts) are great guns and, sadly, have been abandoned to make way for more plastic guns. I'd jump on one for $300, or maybe even two or three if I had the money.

They're one of the great sleepers of all time.

David E
September 13, 2009, 01:52 AM
645's and 4506's had trouble with the Remington +P load. These would fail to extract and I had my own extractor replaced when the Dept Armorer discovered a crack.

We went to the Federal Hydra-Shok soon thereafter.

Other than that incompatibility, they're great guns.

DougDubya
September 13, 2009, 02:26 AM
Another bonus of the 645/4506 - external extractor much easier to maintain or replace.

The SW1911's extractor was developed form the success of the Smith and Wesson extractors.

silversport
September 13, 2009, 10:50 AM
Hey DougDubya...we must have travelled in some of the same circles...I attended a firearms instructor school in 1987 and the "Zoo Guy" had the screw come loose on his safety/decocker quite a few times...they had MUCH bigger stuff to take care of the animals should they get loose...:D
Bill

Noveldoc
September 13, 2009, 11:44 AM
They all do that stickly slide thing from time to time. Just have to wiggle and cuss. It'll eventually go.

I noted my 4506-1 has an extremely stiff recoil spring, much more so than old my old 645. It is nearly twice the length of the spring guide. Think this may be some sort of after market stiffie?

I usually get a Wolff spring for the recoil spring on used autos but this one inspects fine, just is really stiff. Would it harm anything using a stiffer spring except perhaps poor feeding of light handloads?

Tom

DougDubya
September 13, 2009, 01:45 PM
Hey DougDubya...we must have travelled in some of the same circles...I attended a firearms instructor school in 1987 and the "Zoo Guy" had the screw come loose on his safety/decocker quite a few times...they had MUCH bigger stuff to take care of the animals should they get loose...:D
Bill
Well, I was a mere teen when my uncle's friends stopped by for a funeral in full uniform and gear.

And I was in my late teens when I worked the kitchens at Brookfield Zoo for the "other animals" (visitors). Before they standardized on the 4506, two of the officers carried 1911's.

And sure, while they might have had bigger stuff in the car (actually a Bronco or a Suburban), they weren't always in their SUV's.

Between the Zoo cops (and one particular cutie who was so small, she needed a 3906), my uncle's TAC Cop friend, Miami Vice, and Massad Ayoob's articles, I've pretty much fallen in love with the big Smith .45.

(And Vic Mackey carrying one in The Shield helped respark THAT romance.)

As for the screw thing, I'm pretty sure the Phillips-head screws on the early 645's didn't last for too many runs. Most 645's and all of the 4506's had that bar through the circle with a pin setup on the southpaw side.

Oh! 'nudder reason for the love of the 4506 family - ambidextrous decocker/safety. At the time, no one provided factory stock ambi .45 autos. Smith and Wesson provided this southpaw a true joy.

Confederate
September 13, 2009, 02:42 PM
I understand the incompatibility with the Remington +Ps in some of the S&W pistols has been fixed for some time. I've talked to people who have shot them with no problem, and I think you'll have a problem only with older ammo.

The 645 has been known to feed empty (sized) cases right from the magazine. It's a bit larger than a stock 1911, but it's reliability makes it, to me, well worth having.

I'm a fan of the ultra-reliable autos on the market (Berettas, Sigs, Smiths, etc.), but 1911s just have not reached that reliability out of the box. I've seen these gorgeous, expensive Kimbers jam on firing lines all the time and I just can't get over the fact that they don't come out of the box working. To buy a gun at that price and then have it jam is just inexcusable.

But Smith can build the 645 and make them work at a fraction of the price. How is that possible?

David E
September 13, 2009, 02:57 PM
I understand the incompatibility with the Remington +Ps in some of the S&W pistols has been fixed for some time. I've talked to people who have shot them with no problem, and I think you'll have a problem only with older ammo.

They've certainly had time to fix it. But the problem did exist and, if you find an old box of Remington +P and fire it in a 645, the problem will manifest itself once again.

It's just something to be aware of.

DougDubya
September 13, 2009, 03:02 PM
But Smith can build the 645 and make them work at a fraction of the price. How is that possible?

Because Kimber isn't made to military specifications which allow for dirt and grit to be ignored by the operating surfaces. Mil-spec .45's run quite well. Many Kimbers are designed for better accuracy, being semi-custom models with pretty finishes and non-standard (at that time) features. With the increase in accuracy comes tighter tolerances for grit and detrious on the rails and feed ramps.

Smith and Wesson had been working on the 645 family since they developed the Model 52. There are stories of countless .45 prototypes, so they had a few decades of R&D at the ready (as well as all the work that had gone into the 39 and 59 series of autos) for when they decided to make a service pistol .45 auto.

They took their time to do it right.

As for the 1911 - if you want reliability, ignore the gorgeous .45's. Go with looser and business ready.

Storm
September 14, 2009, 11:47 AM
I've heard of the early Phillips-head safety screws coming loose, but all I did when I got the gun was to hit it with some Loc-Tite blue and it has never been an issue after many rounds. The gun continues to be one of my all-time favorites.

JTQ
September 14, 2009, 01:28 PM
Confederate wrote,
The 645 is eviidence that the profit margins on most 1911s are obscene and that a large .45ACP can be reliable right out of the box.


I'm a fan of the 4506 (and it's siblings), but don't let the years cloud your memory. The 645 has been out of production for many years and all the prices you are referring to are for old, used guns.

I bought a new S&W 4506 in 1988 for $595 and then a new Colt Combat Elite in 1990 for $653. To me, that is basically the same price and the Colt was not a baseline model which would have been about $100's less, two years later. Think what pistol prices were two years ago. I still have both pistols and enjoy them both.

If S&W was still producing the 645/4506, they would no doubt cost as much as S&W's comparative 1911's, though they would be less than the 945's.

This takes nothing away from the quality or value of the 4506, but their prices were, in their day, comparable to a 1911.

Noveldoc
September 14, 2009, 10:31 PM
Re: function issues. Remember the 1911 dates back to, well, 1911. The Smith goes to about 1988. Lots of advances in handgun engineering in 77 years methinks.

Sure many things have been done to clean up the old 1911 but nobody but them uses the old falling link barrel lockup any more.

Kinda like my Garand. Great rifle but gotta admit it ain't exactly modern. To start with, there is that 30-06 cartridge when folks nowadays can reach out and hurt someone with a much more efficient 7.62 NATO.

I plan on getting a 1911 clone late this year but, in my case, it, the garand and my old cowboy type Blackhawk 6 shooter will be there for the fun of historical interest.

But I am sort of hung up on the 4506 generation because I don't particularly like plastic guns. Granted Glocks are good but I can't stand their grips. IMHO, there are a lot of lousy plastic guns out there. Lighter weight for sure, but if I were a cop, I'd rather carry some more weight and go bang every time.

For what it is worth, I had an old 645 when I started to reload and I could not make it jam. Used it for my garbage disposal to shoot ammo my other 45s would not feed. And my 4506-1 feeds empty cases, unsized. Amazing.

For what it is worth, I bought a 645 and an AMT long slide stainless 45 about the same time. The AMT was around $50 more. And many of the Smiths are cheap now because they are cop turn ins with good mechanics but a lot of holster rash.

Tom

DougDubya
September 15, 2009, 12:25 AM
Actually, the 645 started in 1985, and owed much to the Model 39 which goes all the way back to 1949 (and thus received lots of updates in its decades of service).

silversport
September 15, 2009, 09:11 AM
...and wasn't the Model 39 a Walther P-38 copy???...it goes back farther than that ;)...
Bill

JTQ
September 15, 2009, 10:22 AM
nobody but them uses the old falling link barrel lockup any more.

Ruger P-90 still does.

DougDubya
September 15, 2009, 04:16 PM
...and wasn't the Model 39 a Walther P-38 copy???...it goes back farther than that ;)...
Bill
It was inspired by the P38, but the Model 39 had more Browning influences.

silversport
September 15, 2009, 04:57 PM
cool...thanks...figured that's why they called theirs a Model 39 (M-39) instead of M-38 (P-38)...:D
Bill

LX Kid
May 30, 2010, 03:50 PM
Finally broke down and bought the 645. Be here the end of next week and can't wait to see how it performs. Paid a little more than I wanted but seems to be in really great shape. This is the first .45 auto-loader S&W made (Second Gen). Going to put the grips on it as pictured below.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd293/LX_Kid/Guns/SW6245B.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd293/LX_Kid/Guns/SWgrips-1.jpg

David E
May 30, 2010, 03:58 PM
If that's a picture of your gun with the one-piece grips, those grip panels will NOT work.

The one pictured is a transitional model between the original 645 (which had grip panels) and the 4506 that replaced it. (which has the one-piece grip)

LX Kid
May 30, 2010, 04:57 PM
Thanks David. I was kinda thinking that also because I didn't see any screws on the grips of the pistol I just bought. It is the one pictured above. Glad I hadn't bought the grips as of yet! Don't really like the look of the original grips that wrap around the back. Got any idea what will fit? Thanks

David E
May 30, 2010, 04:59 PM
Hogue makes some. They are bulkier, so if the gun barely fits your hand (especially trigger reach) now, then the Hogues will be too big.

Also, S&W offered their grip with an arched (like what's on the gun) and straight. (which I prefer on that gun)

LX Kid
May 30, 2010, 05:06 PM
My hands are small so maybe the Hogues probably wouldn't do. What does it look like under the wrap around grip? Can the frame be drilled and tapped for panel grips? If not, I swear I'll Super Glue some on!

TonyT
May 30, 2010, 08:46 PM
I purchased a new unfired (old dealer stcok) without box or paers with 4 mags for $500 sveral yeras ago. Mine has been super reliable with everything from bullseye pistol loads (185 gr. LSWC @720 fps) to fullpower jacketed bullet loads.

MGW-Fla
May 31, 2010, 08:56 AM
I've love my Stainless Tank 645. If you ever ran out of rounds, you could throw it at em & do almost as much damage as a round might!

I want to get another one. I found one locally a few months back, but he said he'd take $650 for it, which is a bit more than I want to pay for a 2nd one. But once you have one, you'll have a great appreciation it for the gun that it is.

I'll make a note about the grip difference on any I look at now, had not paid attention to that before. Mine has very nice after market wood grip panels.

sctman800
May 31, 2010, 10:30 AM
I bought a 645 a few years ago, will never get rid of it. Just bought a 4506 and it is great also, built like tanks and absolutely reliable so far. Jim.

modifiedbrowning
May 31, 2010, 01:17 PM
I have a 745 on layaway that I will be picking up at the end of the week. I can hardly wait.

3845
May 31, 2010, 01:31 PM
"Sized" cases? When I tried empties through my 4505 I just picked 'em up off the range floor. Worked great; I hadn't believed it until then. (Of course, they were sized .45!)

Rob S. Pierre
July 21, 2010, 04:41 AM
I just got one for $400. :neener:

Yankee John
August 10, 2010, 01:08 AM
I picked this one up for $450 with (4) mags a couple weeks ago. It came with the factory plastic grips- I added the wood stocks last week. I have about a 100 rounds thru it so far and I love it!!

John

David E
August 10, 2010, 01:13 AM
Good looking grips.

That front sight is a custom one.

timfinch
January 29, 2011, 04:50 PM
I stiped down to clean.now I cant put triger pin back In.push in spring slide.push up to line triger pin.triger will not go up all the way to line up..Is there a tool to force rest of the way???so close>>

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