I like my 3913ls so much I'm thinking about getting another 3rd gen smith in .45. Not sure which model yet, but almost all of them have that awful craptical rail on the underside of them, which to me, totally ruins the lines of an otherwise unmistakable and fine pistol. I'm just wondering if the rail comes off, and if it does, are there tap holes or something in the dust cover when you take it off? The 457 doesn't have it at all, but that's their "american pride" series which I understand to be less refined than the ones with a 4 digit designation, just as there is the 3913 and the 908.
So, if anyone's got pics, field reports of the 457, etc. Any and all info is appreciated. I've got too many 9mms (not a bad thing), but I'd like a good compact .45, and I really like smiths.
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The Lone Haranguer
August 17, 2007, 06:49 PM
Except for the Ladysmith, all S&W seems to have in their metal-frame pistol lineup are the "Value Line" (e.g., the 457 and 908) or the "Tactical." (The "Tactical" rails are integral to the frame and not removable.)
August 17, 2007, 07:27 PM
(The "Tactical" rails are integral to the frame and not removable.)
Actually, they're held in by a rivet that is removable.
August 18, 2007, 03:30 AM
S&W recently discontinued commercial production of the 457 series. Ditto the CS45. I was told the pending MP45 Compact is considered to be their replacement for a compact .45 ACP pistol.
The 4513TSW's are presently only being produced for LE sales.
The original 4513TSW's were produced for approx 2 years. They lack (pre-date) the TSW's equipped with accessory rails, and have a grip frame which was cutaway at the front. They use a 6-round magazine which had a wider and flatter base pad.
Here's a clickable image of my original 4513TSW with the original magazine configuration (not the stock sights, though).
Here's an image of the same 4513TSW (top pistol) with a standard (newer) curved butt plate on a 6-round magazine. The pistol below it is a CS45 using a magazine butt plate of the type shipped with the original 4513TSW magazines. I've been told S&W no longer stocks the original wide & flat TSW butt plates, and only stock the narrower curved ones (used on the current production 7-round 4513TSW/457 magazines).
The original 4513TSW's came with the standard Delrin grips, and Hogue never made any rubber grips for them. I had to modify a couple of sets of standard Hogues (for 4516/457 pistols) for a couple of the original 4513TSW's.
While I can carry an issued current production 4513TSW, I'm glad I picked up my original 4513TSW model when I did. I sort of wish I'd picked up a newer railed 4513TSW to complement my original model, though. A partner of mine has one of each. It saddens me a bit that S&W decided to discontinue commercial production of most of the metal-framed TDA (DA/SA) models. Such is market-driven corporate decision-making, though. Less expensive polymer-framed pistols have made an undeniable impact on the commercial market.
The TSW models are more refined than the standard 457/457S models in some aspects and offer some enhanced features, such as thicker Box-type rails, closer tolerances and delayed unlocking, but they are expensive to produce.
The factory can remove the two rivets and plug the frame's dustcover holes on the railed TSW's, although the black rounded rivets used to do this will protrude below the dustcover.
The 4513TSW's use the same non-captive dual recoil springs used in the 4013TSW's & 4040PD's.
It wasn't uncommon to hear folks with large hands offer the opinion that the slightly shorter grip profile of the original 4513TSW's (with the 6-round magazines) was 'too short' for some hands, while the later production models with the 7-round magazines (used in the 457 series) offered just enough more grip surface for the user's little finger.
August 18, 2007, 11:27 AM
The 457 is sort of the sleeper of S&W's line. When I was commanding a couple of drug task forces I carried my 645 as my primary and my 457 as backup. Later when I moved to another assignment I continued carrying my 457 as primary. Still carry it some now that I'm retired. It conceals very well with the narrow butt, capable of doing 3" or less at 25 yds with the right ammo, and feeds everything even empty brass. I've never had a jam or any problem with mine.
This is what mine looked like when I first got it and it came with the slip on grip. I've removed it soon after and the 457 now has a bit more blue wear.