S&W 3rd Gen questions


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novaDAK
November 25, 2008, 09:10 PM
Hello everyone.

I'm looking at a used 5904 with a round trigger guard.

If I'm reading some posts correctly, it looks like S&W discontinued the full-size 3rd gen pistols around 2007. Is that correct? And if so, can I still expect them to service the gun if needed in a few years?

Second, the gun has a 'blued' or 'black' finish. Is the slide stainless under the finish (like the M&P) or is it plain steel?

The pricetag is 399 btw.

Thanks.

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The Lone Haranguer
November 25, 2008, 09:33 PM
And if so, can I still expect them to service the gun if needed in a few years?

I see no reason why not. So many of these were made (the myriad of different models only differ in metals, finishes and sights) that they should have parts for quite some time to come. And they don't break very often.

Second, the gun has a 'blued' or 'black' finish. Is the slide stainless under the finish (like the M&P) or is it plain steel?
Plain steel.

novaDAK
November 25, 2008, 09:46 PM
thanks for the info. I had wondered about parts after hearing on a different forum (GT) that S&W no longer has replacement barrels for their M66 revolvers so if the forcing cone cracked you hope a gun smith has one in stock.

I'll be seeing the gun tomorrow and will probably come home with it if it checks out.

rbernie
November 25, 2008, 10:12 PM
The price is high, in my opinion - at least for north Texas it would be. You should probably offer no more than $325.

PX15
November 26, 2008, 08:50 AM
novaDAK:

Well, first let me admit that I'm a big fan of the 3rd gen Smiths, and I honestly don't think you'd have a problem finding parts for them.. www.gunparts.com offers some parts now, and you can bet if S&W stops offering other parts then www.gunparts.com (or others) will step up to provide them.

S&W was making some 3rd gen Smiths as late as March of this year, because I've bought a 3913LS and a CS9 mfg. at that time. I bought a new 5906 & 6906 mfg. in 2006.

As to any firearm manufactured by S&W, if you bought it new then you have a lifetime warranty on it (your lifetime) and if there were no parts to repair a defective S&W firearm then S&W would replace that firearm for you with a new one, or new model of another type but of equal value. I should think if you didn't care for the replacement option you could raise enough cane to get your original investment back..

S&W has one of the absolute best, or best, Customer Service/Warranty Repair departments of any firearms manufacturer I've ever dealt with.

And really, if past history is any indication the entire line of 3rd gen Smith firearms are pretty tough and it's not often you have a major failure in one anyway. You might "google" or "search" that, but I believe it to be true.

Betcha if you buy a nib 3rd gen Smith it will outlast you.. :)

Just personal opinion,

Jesse

P.S. Here's a photo of my 5906 & 6906. (each was $399.99 NIB @ CDNN)

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a73/Laserlips/100_9825.jpg

MachIVshooter
November 26, 2008, 08:57 AM
can I still expect them to service the gun if needed in a few years?

Yes, but it's unlikely that your gun will need servicing at all. I have 6 3rd gen pistols, all of which run flawlessly and have never broken.

novaDAK
November 26, 2008, 11:31 AM
Thanks everyone. I've heard these are very durable guns as well. I'm going to take a look at the gun today and see if he'll come down on the price.

SwampWolf
November 28, 2008, 09:49 PM
Another long-time user (on a professional level) of one of the most underrated handguns ever made-the Smith&Wesson line of third generation pistols. Reliable, well-made, accurate and reasonably priced, the 5904 you're looking at-in very good to excellent condition-is not overpriced @ $399.00 in my neck of the woods. Get 'em while you can, I say!

novaDAK
November 28, 2008, 11:39 PM
got it...paid $399. Can't wait to get it to the range!

rscalzo
November 29, 2008, 01:06 AM
We still have 2nd. gen S&W's in service. Function perfectly..

Storm
November 29, 2008, 10:54 AM
got it...paid $399. Can't wait to get it to the range!

Good for you! I own several 2nd and 3rd Gen Smiths (20 or so) and I think that these are the most underrated guns around, guns that have been serving for upwards of 20 to 30 years that have proven themselves over and over again.

Assuming the gun is in very good to excellent condition I think you paid a fair price. That's the going rate for around here (North Metro Atlanta) with police trade-ins sometimes selling for $329 and some 2nd Gens like the 469 and 669 selling for a good bit less.

I'd also add that many of the 2nd Gen Smiths are outstanding guns as well. They aren't as refined in some respects, but the 469/669 and 645 and 745 are all great guns. I have a 469 that is incredibly accurate, and smooth. I just had a 669 refinished (Molycoated frame and bead blasted slide) and it promises to be an amazing gun. The SA trigger is appoaching fine 1911 quality and the DA is buttery smooth. Possibly my smith tweaked it a little when he put it back together, but my untouched 469 is similar. Overall, the 2nd Gen are rougher in finish and I'll warn you not to look at what it underneath some of their finishes!

pathfind95
November 29, 2008, 07:00 PM
New member with question for Storm and PX15. Im west of Atl. interested in the 3rd. generation Smiths. Any tips on where to start to find a good one around metro Atl. Thanks Guys

Storm
November 30, 2008, 10:45 AM
Hey Path. You only have to go as far east as Smyrna. Adventure Outdoors (close to Dobbins ARB) has had a large supply of 3rd Gen police trade-ins, mostly from Gwinnett County Police Department and Sheriff's Department. They vary in condition aesthetically but seem to be functionally in very good condition. If the guns aren't in the glass case (back wall to the left) then they might have some behind the counter. Since I have already bought all of mine I haven't kept track of what they have left but they may even have more in the office. The selection was actualy quite good and might still be. You can give them a call at (770)333-9880. They are closed on Sundays. It's a truly great shop. BTW, right now there's a model 645 with adjustable sights that's looking mighty good. If I didn't already have one I'd be all over it. I know for sure they have a couple 3913 and a good number of Forties. Like I said, they may have more behind the counter or in the office so ask. They had a wood holder with dowel rods sticking up on the floor behind the counter with a dozen or more guns on it. Last I saw they also had a CS9 or two as well as a 469, 5904, probably 3900's, and maybe a 4516. You may find a Model 39, 59 and some of the .45 3rd Gens. I haven't paid too much attention as I have already picked through them.

If you find 3rd Gen guns that have more scuffs and light scratches than dings they clean up beautifully with Scotch Brite pads and Brillo pads. With alloy frame guns there is less that you can do yourself. I wrote a refurb post here on how to do it. For rougher condition guns I take them to my gunsmith Andy Gazaway (here in Alpharetta) and he bead blasts them (the stainless steel parts) or Molycoats the alloy frames with an aluminum color that is a great match. $75 is a typical charge. Andy is a great smith. He recently did a 669 and a 5906 for me that came out beautifully.

pathfind95
November 30, 2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the info Storm, the 3913 is what I was looking for.

MNBinPDX
November 30, 2008, 09:35 PM
New guy, here; can someone explain what is meant by "second" or "third generation" when discussing handguns?

Thanks!

Storm
December 1, 2008, 09:43 AM
Thanks for the info Storm, the 3913 is what I was looking for.

Excellent. They most definitely had one or two 3913. You can also try Bulls Eye Range in Lawrenceville, but they have not had the large numbers of the Smiths that Adventure Outdoors has had.

New guy, here; can someone explain what is meant by "second" or "third generation" when discussing handguns?

Basically it applies to significant design changes/refinements to an ongoing model or models, or the introduction of new models, that rise to the level of...well...significance. You will also see this term used with Glock.

In terms of Smiths, here's a pretty good discussion on that: http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg01-e.htm

PX15
December 1, 2008, 12:04 PM
FWIW:

Sorry, can't help you finding a 3rd gen Smith in the Atlanta area. I'm in Metter and I generally deal with CDNN IF they have what I'm lusting after.

But there are lots of 3rd gen Smiths all over the place.. You'll find one, I recommend you buy the best conditioned one you can afford, you won't be sorry as it'll last you as long as you'll need a firearm. :D

You can't go wrong with one of these fine pistols.

Best Wishes,

Jesse

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a73/Laserlips/100_9996.jpg

The Lone Haranguer
December 1, 2008, 10:04 PM
New guy, here; can someone explain what is meant by "second" or "third generation" when discussing handguns?

For this particular discussion, on Smith & Wesson autoloaders (those with metal frames, not the Sigma or M&P), the "first generation" were the original models 39 and 59. The "second generation" introduced an internal firing pin lock compact 9mm models and a .45; these can be identified by a three-digit model number, e.g., 659, 469, 645. The Third Generation (official S&W designation) added one-piece plastic grips, trigger pull and other ergonomic improvements, and two new calibers (.40 S&W and 10mm); these typically have a four-digit model number, e.g., 4506, 5906, 3913. Here is where you will find the greatest variety of calibers, action types, metals, finishes, etc. Finally, there was a "Value Line" series, a less finely finished "third generation" which, confusingly, also have three-digit model numbers.

spiroxlii
December 1, 2008, 11:24 PM
If you're looking for a 3rd Gen Smith & Wesson in Georgia, the Gwinnett County Police Department just got rid of a bunch of S&W 5903 pistols! Gwinnett is a metro-Atlanta county on the Northeast side of Atlanta. Dealers all over the country snapped them up, but a few stayed in the area. I just bought one from Hilltop Pawn in Snellville, GA (in Gwinnett County). When I was there, they had two nearly identical 5903s in the case. I don't know if the other one is sold yet. Call around!

Storm
December 2, 2008, 10:44 AM
I was just at Adventure Outdoors yesterday and they had three 3913 sitting in the case and a whole bunch of Gwinnett County trade-in on the board on the floor behind the counter, and possibly more back in the office/warehouse. Adventure Outdoors, who I would imagine is the biggest dealer in Georgia, seems to have bought a whole boatload of the Gwinnett County Smiths.

The 3913 were priced at $399. I'm not sure whether they were police trade-ins. At one time the Gwinnett County trade-ins were sale priced at $329. I'm not sure whether that's the case now or they would go for that price now.

Again, these guns for the most part appear to be carried much and shot little.

manfromyard
December 3, 2008, 06:38 PM
I just bought a 5903 on Monday from ed's Guns in Stockbridge (South of Atlanta). It was a police trade in for $295 IIRC. i have taken it apart about 3 times, looks nice and clean inside, with some holster wear on the grip. I will be taking it to the range this weekend to see how it fires.

Storm
December 4, 2008, 10:20 AM
I just bought a 5903 on Monday from ed's Guns in Stockbridge (South of Atlanta). It was a police trade in for $295 IIRC. i have taken it apart about 3 times, looks nice and clean inside, with some holster wear on the grip. I will be taking it to the range this weekend to see how it fires.

Nice price! Those grips can be easily replaced. While I'm not partial to Hogue's, factroy Smith grips can be picked up new many places for next to nothing. Polce trade-ins tend to have a good amount of wear on the grips, especially with dings on the butt. Flattening of the checkering is common as well.

Your gun sounds typical: carried a lot but little fired.

I'm curious, is the gun marked with the department? There were a lot of Atlanta PD guns at one time and most recently it is Gwinnett County. I was wondering if anyone else had sold off their Smiths, but it seems that around here everyone is already using Glocks.

spiroxlii
December 4, 2008, 12:43 PM
The Gwinnett County guns are all marked either "Gwinnett County PD" or "Gwinnett County Sheriff"

manfromyard
December 4, 2008, 01:43 PM
Yes. the gun was stamped "Gwinnett County PD". I thought about the Hogue grips, but the factory grip is large enough as it is (I have smallish hands). Maybe I can find a nice factory grip that I can change out.

dmb
January 10, 2009, 02:20 PM
A lot of folks pan S&W auto's. I have only had excellent experience with them, infact I am picking up a 5904 square trigger guard tomorrow that I got for 310.00 Canadian. S&W still pumps out on occassion 5946's for agencies that will do a fair sized order, the RCMP, allegedly, receintly had a seveal thousand pistol run made for them as opposed to looking to transition to a new platform (23000 plus in inventory).

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