Smith 5904?


July 30, 2008, 07:49 PM
I have a chance to get a used one in good condition at a good price. How are these Smiths as far as reliability, etc? Good pistols, or should I pass? Thanks.

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July 31, 2008, 12:01 AM
The 5904 was our issued duty gun for several years. We had about 1900 of them issued out. It was rare to see one having trouble.
One of our range officers decided to wear out a 5904 by shooting our W-W +P+ ammo thru one until it quit. When he retired he had documented 65,000 rds thru it and the only maintenance he did was replace the barrel and springs once. The barrel was getting shot smooth about 50,000 and he replaced the springs just as a precaution. When he retired he bought that same gun and as of last fall was still shooting it. Knowing how much the guy shoots he has to have over 100,000 rds thru that same gun.
Shooting $25,000 worth of ammo is probably more than most people will ever shoot in their lifetime. And if you can afford to shoot $25,000 worth of ammo then you can afford to buy a new gun every 100,000 rds. It will outlive you.

The Lone Haranguer
July 31, 2008, 12:39 AM
The one I had never malfunctioned, ever, nor has any other S&W auto of this type. I put perhaps 2000 rounds through it.

July 31, 2008, 02:10 AM
I bought a new 5904 in 1989 and like me I think it gets better with age :cool: I've never had any issues with it, actually shot it at the range this past weekend. Sweet as ever.

Wow ISP, that's a bunch of rounds! I think you're right about this model outliving us.


July 31, 2008, 05:50 AM
Been wanting to get the 5906 (which is the same gun-Stainless model)... had a chance to shoot my friends the other day (100-rnds)... and IMHO, it's really a great gun!!
I'm very used to CZs (all-metal) and this S&W is a SOLID, heavy, all-steel gun (in a day of 'plastic' toys this is a classic)... can't even feel much recoil (9mm). Friend has had it for 5+ years, probably 10,000 rounds and ZERO problems... he loves it!!!
Like to find your 5904 (black) NIB, but it's hard... CDNN has the SS NIB... may go that route.
Regarding your question, the several folks I talked with (ex-LEOs) love the gun and swear by its RELIABILITY... ditto isp, the gun will probably out-live you! If you like that 'heavy' feel of all-metal and don't mind buyin used (and its in good condition) I'd jump on it. You didn't mention the $$$... CDNNs SS start at $300 and go to $400.

July 31, 2008, 07:14 AM
I bought mine new in 1998 and still have it. It has a heavy trigger pull (it is a duty gun, after all), but apart from that I have no complains.

July 31, 2008, 09:33 AM
It's funny, with the gun biz today with everyone running to the the next craze, hopping on the next bandwagon, here we have guns (3rd Gen Smiths) that have pretty much had it all for the past 20 years.

July 31, 2008, 02:41 PM
Can someone give storm an 'Amen, Brother!"

PS: How could you forget the 'plastic craze' storm?

July 31, 2008, 05:06 PM
I've been trying to find a used 5904 for a while; they are not easy to come by.

What is a 'good price' for one?

July 31, 2008, 06:39 PM
rbernie... Like you, I've been tryin to locate a S&W-5904 (preferably NIB) and it IS hard!...
I'm sure you know CDNN has a bunch of 5906's (but their stainless) from $300-400...
If you find a source, get yours first, then PM me. I'd appreciate it!

July 31, 2008, 07:17 PM
I didn't like the S&W's at all until one day I decided on a whim to rent a 908. It was a little small, but changed my opinion on S&W. I now own a 910 that I'm perfectly happy with and would trust it if it was the nearest gun when the zombies come banging on the door.

CDNN has 5906's and 4006's for $299. Great bargain if you ask me. I've spent too much on guns this year already, so no deal for me:(

July 31, 2008, 08:49 PM
I see both 5904 and 5906's on gunbroker. I own a NIB 5906, it is heavy, but a nice functioning gun.

August 1, 2008, 12:35 AM
I have a 5904, it was my first gun, last year. Used of course with serious holster wear. The consensus is these are a solid, reliable gun and thanks to being "old news" there's so many out there for a bargain. I paid $300 at a gun shop and I think its a little high for with holster wear like mine, a lot of bluing worn. Last year I saw these sitting on gun broker all the time, some over priced but others between $225 and say $350. Some people claim the aluminum frame''s will wear out or crack somehow compared to the heavier 5906 but testimonies seem somewhat lacking on this?

You won't regret it. As already said if you want stainless go 5906 if you want blued and less weight on the aluminum frame go 5904. Good gun. Lots of old police trade ins out there. Oh, I noticed on mine it had some wear down on the slide stop lever where the rod contacts. Not sure how many rounds or how normal that is.

One good thing is hicap mags are plentiful and cheap, get a mec-gar for $18 new at the right vendor.

August 2, 2008, 10:08 AM
I'd also mention that with all of the great Smiths out there going at great prices a very helpful book to own is "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" by Supica and Nahas, 2006. The book is a wealth of knowledge and offers detailed info for each model. I picked one up last night at the book store and am one happy camper.

August 2, 2008, 03:29 PM
The more I thought about it; how it looked, shot, felt... I said 'screw-it' can't find a NIB 5904, so bought the 5906 NIB from CDNN...
Should have it this week... will be a great addition to my CZs!!

Janos Dracwlya
August 3, 2008, 12:23 PM
I had a S&W 915 from 1994 until 2005 and had zero problems other than a little normal finish wear on the frame. I probably only had a couple of thousand rounds through it, but it was a good performer. I traded it off for a Sig P-226; the Sig, now gone, was even better, but I still miss that 915. I have since picked up a used 5906 (part of a special run that were made without the magazine disconnect), and it has been a great gun. No malfunctions, even better accuracy than the 915 (though not quite as good as the Sig for me). I don't plan to ever part with it.

Heck, when I had the 915 - during the AWB years - I never even had problems with any of the cheap after-market 15 round mags I collected.

The S&W guns are great. The only problems are that they tend to be a little heavy and the magazine disconnect, which not everyone would consider a problem anyway.

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