The S&W 4046../.Is it a good gun?


September 10, 2003, 06:22 PM
My buddy just bought one for duty use (a police trade-in for $350) and we're wondering what their reputation is. Of all the guns he handled at various shops, this one just fit his hand the best so that's what he went with. A Browning HiPower was in the running, but the price and feel just wasn't right to his mind. Of course, not being stainless didn't help!:D

Anyhow, we're curious about the weapon's history, capabilities, parts/magazine availability, reliability, et al. Have you owned one? Shot one? Thrown one in the rubbish heap? Was this a good buy? Is there a reason the local PD would get rid of them besides obviously just wanting something newer/better at taxpayer expense?

Any thoughts would be most appreciated. He's off to NG drill this weekend but will be taking it to the range next week for at least 200 rounds of fmj.

If you enjoyed reading about "The S&W 4046../.Is it a good gun?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 10, 2003, 06:39 PM
Carried and used one for over a decade. The Smith 4046 was our department's first departure from revolvers. It was an enormous improvement over the .357's we had previously carried in terms of firepower. Nightsights were nice, also. The pistols had several "recalls" (upgrade's?) during the years we used them. Don't ask me what they were. I gave the armorers the gun. They put in the new part and returned it. This happened I believe three times. These were not based on numerous catastrophic failures, but on discovered problems that were fixed before they became catastrophic. One batch of weapons was delivered with cracks in the barrel assembly. (A downturn in quality control?) The real downside to the weapon and our eventual reason for turning to something else (Glock 22C's) was the abysmal trigger pull on the weapon. Tactical training requires pinpoint shot placement, not just center of mass. The trigger had turned our Department into "spray and pray" shooters as opposed to officers with the marksmen skills that were developed and maintained with the revolvers. The creep-creep-creep-bang nature of the 4046's trigger was the cause of its eventual downfall for our Department. The gun also has twice the number of parts as a Glock. HOWEVER, the gun is reliable (presuming the appropriate upgrades were made at the PD that previously had your weapon.) It will go bang (eventually) when you pull the trigger and properly eject the spent casing.

Brownell's sells all (I think) the parts for the weapon. In rereading my response, it sounds a bit negative. The gun should be fine for self-defense/home defense use. It's design, however, is dated and overly complex and would not be my first choice for on-duty law enforcement/security work.

Walt Sherrill
September 10, 2003, 07:48 PM
The biggest problem with the gun is the trigger, which will get on your nerves. If you have a good gunsmith around, however, that can be fixed.

September 10, 2003, 09:07 PM
There were two different trigger pulls on the DAO S&W pistols. One was short and nice, the other was the regular DA pull that is on the TDA S&W pistols. If I recall my history correctly, the gun was introduced with the long pull, changed to the short pull (at some point in time), and changed back to the long pull sometime in 2001.

September 11, 2003, 12:27 PM
I own two samples (soon to be three) of the traditional double-action (TDA in S&W-speak) version of this pistol, the 4006, that were used by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Mine are exactly like regular 4006's with two exceptions: 1) front cocking serrations, and 2) the safety lever on the slide is a decocking-only lever.

Mine are all 1994-vintage, and the double-action trigger is definitely a bit disconcerting. My 4006's are primarily range pistols; however, I believe one could master the double-action trigger with enough practice. Reliability has been 100% with the limited number of rounds I have fired.

I was warned to look at all of the barrel ramps since S&W did have a quality issue with a CNC cutter which caused some barrel ramps to crack and/or fracture. Other than that, these pistols seem to be too much pistol for the .40 S&W. I would expect a very long service life with the all-steel 40xx-series pistols. For the price asked, I rather have one of these police trade-ins versus laying out the cash for a new TSW pistol.

September 12, 2003, 03:56 AM
Thanks, guys, for the info. I warned him about S&W autos not being the best choice ( I got really jaded after that Sigma experience), but he liked the look and feel and price compared to other weapons.

Personally, I'd have scrimped together some more mula and, dare I say, bought a Glock. That's the nice thing about this country, though: you have a choice.

Al Thompson
September 12, 2003, 08:55 AM
Vaughn, I think the 3rd Gen (4 digit model numbers) S&W autos work just fine. I've seen a bunch shot and reliability/accuracy is (IMHO) on line with every other modern auto.

Big Mike
September 13, 2003, 02:33 AM
I had the opportunity to dry fire a 4043 (alloy frame). I would say it was one of the smoothest, shortest and consistent trigger I have ever pulled on an auto. I did not shoot it, it was in a shop and also a police trade in. They wanted $450 for it!:eek: I researched SmithWesson forum and a couple of other places and the general consensus is they are well built, if not over built for the .40. The 4043 felt good in the hand, light for its size and pointed well for me. I am now considering one to purchase as a .40 Beretta Brigadier Inox DAO is hard to find (haven't found one actually) and almost $300 more. We'll see! Mike

November 26, 2007, 04:27 PM
Old thread, but new question.

My buddy was offered a NIB 4046TSW, for about $300. Any current info on these pistols? Reliability, trigger pull, price?

November 26, 2007, 08:55 PM
Sounds like a good deal to me. In my experience they're quite reliable, decent trigger pull, and a super reset.

November 26, 2007, 10:14 PM
If you like the .40S&W round, $300 is a good price.

November 27, 2007, 01:54 PM
My 4046 was well made, accurate, and reliable. The DAO trigger was much improved via lightening of the trigger springs with Wolff Gunsprings. Smoothest DA pull I've had in a semi auto.

November 27, 2007, 03:56 PM
Pretty decent price, I think. I also think that Smith "Third Generation" pistols are some of the most under-rated/under-appreciated pistols around. Very reliable, durable and ergonomically pleasing guns.

November 27, 2007, 05:37 PM
I got a chance to shoot the 4046 while I was at FLETC. I really liked it. I'd buy it if I were looking for another .40 (I have 2 plus my issued gun). I would not buy the Beretta .40 DAO. I carried one for 8 years. Talk about a looooonnnnnggggg trigger pull. Did i mention that it was looooonnnnngggg. The Smith reminded me of a slightly shorter Kahr trigger pull.

November 27, 2007, 07:15 PM
Prefer the 4006 over the the 4046... but I'm kind of biased since I have a 5906 already...

November 27, 2007, 09:10 PM
Which is the 9mm alloy frame version - but I think the same trigger action.

Mine is fine to shoot - the hammer is always "half cocked" and therefore you only have to move it the rest of the way, resulting in a lighter double action only trigger.

I find mine easy to shoot well and I it points naturally - like a 1911.

If you enjoyed reading about "The S&W 4046../.Is it a good gun?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!