Smith @ Wesson autos.....


May 20, 2004, 05:17 PM
Had a friend at work today ask me about S@W autos. A friend of his has a S@W 9mm for sale and he asked my opinion on it. Here's the deal.

Model 5906 9mm
3 factory 10 rounders
1 aftermarket hi-cap
and "a bunch of 9mm ammo"

Guys asking $350. Private sale. Said that he's never had any problems with it. My friend said that it's in excellent shape finish wise. I don't know about the internals.

I told him that price seemed pretty darned good to me from what little I know about S@W autos. He also asked me if I knew of any commonly known problems with them. I told him that my interest and knowledge of S@W autos was slim to none but that I'd ask around, which is were you guys hopefully come in. Other than the much maligned Sigma's I can't recall any horror stories that I've heard. Any info on them would be much appreciated. Also any opinions on the price. Thanks in advance.

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The Reverend
May 20, 2004, 05:52 PM
Other than the much maligned Sigma's I can't recall any horror stories that I've heard. Any info on them would be much appreciated. Also any opinions on the price.

Much to the contrary, S&W 3rd gen. autoloaders are among the best in the business. All of the S&W's I have owned have been excellent performers and are worthy of checking when in the market for a high quality pistol. You will hear some folks take their shots at S&W, but much of that is politics and not necessarily based on the product itself.

By 4906 I believe you may mean 5906. The 5906 is S&W's all SS hi-cap auto loader that was introduced back in the early 1980's. Prices are good due to police trade-ins, and the price you are getting for what you are getting seems VERY GOOD assuming the gun is in good shape. For $350, I think you should jump at it.

Good Shooting and God Bless!

May 20, 2004, 06:00 PM
Thanks for pointing out my typo. You are right, I ment 5906 not 4906. Long day, I fixed it in the post. Thanks again for the info and the spellchecking.

May 20, 2004, 06:06 PM
I've had my 5906 for about 15 years and love it. One of the most underrated pistols out there. I would snatch it up for $350 if it is in excellent condition.

Al Thompson
May 20, 2004, 06:18 PM
That's a fair price for just the pistol, but it edges into the very good category when you include the magazines.

I too love the 3rd Gen S&Ws. They are a very well kept secret that is slowly getting out. :) Mine (with Gold Dots) wiill run with any SIG ever made. IMHO, the Georgia Arms 124 grain loads seem to work very well with a variety of 9mms.

May 20, 2004, 06:26 PM
I bought my 5906 right when S&W was transitioning to the TSW guns. I paid $500 new for it. It has been great. I have 7 3rd generation guns - three of them are 5900 series (5906,5946,5943). My favorite is the my 5946. The aftermarket standard cap is worthless (probably useful as a range mag). However, factory pre-bans are all over the place. I'd say $350 is a snatch it up price for a pristine gun.

May 20, 2004, 06:56 PM
The 5906 and 6906 are excellent autos. I prefer the lighter blued versions but the stainless are hard to beat. The only thing I dislike are the Lexan grips because of the sharp checkering. That's an easy fix with a Dremel or with Hogue grips.:D

May 21, 2004, 08:53 AM
I think one of the biggest mistakes S&W ever made (and there have been plenty) was to discontinue the 59 & 69 series pistols.

I think they should have kept ALL of the 3rd generation pistols in production. But then nobody asked me.

May 21, 2004, 10:41 AM

May 21, 2004, 10:45 AM
Good price for a great pistol.:)

May 21, 2004, 10:51 AM
The only S&W I own is a 1006 10mm, and I'll just say that it is probably the last gun I would ever sell. If the "06" means the same thing in the 9mm line as it does the 10mm line (full size, all stainless) I wouldn't hesitate at $350 if it is in good shape.

May 21, 2004, 11:44 AM
If you don't want it, I'll take it; I'm serious.

I've had my 5906 for 15 years...I love it; *never* a problem.

Sawdust (you don't want it, you contact me...'kay?)

May 21, 2004, 02:12 PM
5906, excellent hangun and excellent price.

May 22, 2004, 01:53 AM
My dad bought one for $400 "factory" new. Nice little gun one of these days I hope it finds it's way to my house.

Alan Fud
May 22, 2004, 05:14 AM
ttbadboy, the 1006 is a full-size which the 5906 is really more of a mid-size. People consider it a full-size until you compare it to the 1006 and see that the 1006 is about an inch bigger.

If I get a chance, I'll post a photo over the week-end of my 1006 next to my 5906 so you can see the difference.

May 22, 2004, 05:27 AM
In S&W terminology the digits 59 = 9mm staggered column magazine
In S&W terminology the 3rd digit 0 = full size
In S&W terminology the 4th digit 6 = stainless steel frame and slide

The 5906 IS a full sized 9mm. It is not a "mid-size" pistol.
It is, in fact, the largest 9mm pistol S&W makes.

May 22, 2004, 10:30 AM
The 5906 is a 4" 9mm and the 1006 is a 5" 10mm.

May 22, 2004, 12:51 PM
Like Glock S&W has 2 different frame sizes (I'm not talking about cut-down versions of the same frame such as G26, G19 etc.). For Glocks, .45/10mm uses one frame size, while 9mm and .40s use a smaller frame. The same thing applies to S&W. The 1006 and 4506 used the same frame (although there were other differences between guns chambered for the two calibers besides the obvious). 9mm and .40S&W were built on the same (smaller) frame size. Hence, S&W has two full-size frame sizes for autos. Smith has never named small, medium, or whatever. However, 1006 series and 4500 series guns are so frequently called large frame that the term seems to have stuck.

Alan Fud
May 22, 2004, 01:18 PM
... The 5906 IS a full sized 9mm. It is not a "mid-size" pistol.
It is, in fact, the largest 9mm pistol S&W makes ... You are correct that the 5906 is the LARGEST 9mm that S&W makes but ...

... it is roughly the same size as the 4566. The 4566 is smaller than the 4506 by about an inch. If the 4506 is a full-size, then the 4566 (which is smaller) can not also be a full-size. If the 4566 is not a full-size, then how can the 5906 be a full-size?

Here's a photo of both my 5906 next to my 1006 ...

... they are obviously different in size. To call both full-size is misleading. Either one is a full-size and the other one is a mid-size or one is a full-size and the other one an 'extra-large' :rolleyes:

Alan Fud
May 22, 2004, 01:24 PM
Never mind.

SouthpawShootr posted while I was posting ... so S&W has two full-size frames -- a large and a small. :rolleyes:

I guess it comes down to how you define your terms ... full-size & mid-size VS small full-size & large full-size.

May 22, 2004, 03:44 PM
A picture is worth a thousand words while the terminoligy is quite vague. Thanks.

Is the finish on your 1006 factory original?

May 22, 2004, 03:58 PM
Let me know if you don't want it.

Ala Dan
May 22, 2004, 04:54 PM
I concur with other's who said this is a very
attractive price. I would jump on it! :uhoh: :cool: :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

silent one
May 22, 2004, 05:50 PM
Say, Jake,

Grab that baby N run. "you snooze, you lose". At that price, it won't be around long. Another nice aspect to consider, is the ammo is cheap, and plentiful. As my friend Ala Dan stated, "jump on it," you can't go wrong. If you don't like it, you could always send it to me. I'll more than gladly take it off your hands:D

good luck, and be safe,


lee n. field
May 22, 2004, 05:54 PM
Much to the contrary, S&W 3rd gen. autoloaders are among the best in the business.

Not being a S&W expert, could someone clarify for me what makes a gun "3rd generation" gun vs. some other S&W auto.

May 22, 2004, 06:15 PM
As an example:
1st Gen = 59
2nd Gen = 459
3rd Gen = 5904

Indicates significant changes in the models.

The Reverend
May 22, 2004, 07:54 PM
Keep in mind the economy line up which also carries a three digit call sign (ie: 915, 910, 410, 908, 457)

Other than the names changing on the pistols, there have been numerous improvements on the S&W line of autos (at least as far as S&W is concerned. Many still wish nothing had been done to the original 39 and 59).

- Obvious cosmetic and asthetic alterations have been made.

- Most definitely improvements in the metals and fabrication of the 3rd Gen guns, Don't know if that would apply to the TSW line.

- The grips have been "improved" since. I and many believe the 1st and 2nd gen guns did not have good ergonomics, and many believe little has been done to improve the 3rd gen. The fact is that guns are like clothes and you simply need to find what fits. I bought my 4506 when I still owned my SIG P226. The SIG filled my hand very well, but when I finally grew into the 4506, I now find the grips on most S&W to be very comfortable. Different strokes for different folks....

- Steady imporovements in the function and reliability of the S&W's. Most who have experience with the S&W line of autos I have heard give the guns high marks in these areas. While the 39 series has a good reputation the life of the 59 series was spotty until the 3rd gen gun arrived on the scene.

These are just some minor details I can think of, and I am sure there are more. Bottom line is this... S&W has a very good handgun in the 3rd gen. line up, at any price, and have for some time. Quality and performance are up there with the others (SIG, Ruger, Beretta, et al.). At least this has been my experience with about a half a dozen S&W through my safe and several more loaners and rentals.

Good Shooting and God Bless!

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