S&W 6946 or Beretta Mini-Cougar or XD9c?


June 21, 2004, 08:11 PM
Help me decide which to get for all around pistol (home, carry, range):

S&W 6946 - $300
Beretta Mini-Cougar 8000 - $350
XD9 Compact - $420

And, you thoughts on why one over the others. Also, if you have any thoughts on why definitely NOT to get one in particular. Thanks.

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Big Mike
June 22, 2004, 05:48 AM
I own,shoot,carry the S&W 6946. That's my vote. Cougar, larger of the three, good pistol, not as comfortable for me as the 6946. I don't know on the xd9. Good Luck! Mike


June 22, 2004, 08:30 AM
I'd vote the 6946. If I could find one in decent condition for $300, I'd pick it up in a heartbeat.

June 22, 2004, 10:47 AM
In this order
S&W 6946 - $300
XD9 Compact - $420
Beretta Mini-Cougar 8000 - $350

I have not sho the 6946, but I have shot a 5906 and it's a good gun. The 6946 looks to be a bit smaller.

I've head lots of good things about the XDs and from handleing them in the shops the appear to be a good carry piece.

The Beretta I know very little about.:(

June 23, 2004, 12:08 PM
For the money I would get the XD. I was sceptical at first with all the good things everyone has been saying about that gun, but once I bought one and shot it a bunch it was like I had a revelation. What a sweet shooting gun.

June 23, 2004, 12:33 PM
I would also vote for the 6946.

The fact that it has an actual hammer puts it over the XD (weak primer strikes happen in Glocks when crud gets in the striker channel, and I would assume the same thing happens to the Croat guns) - I've never had a primer fail to go off after being whacked by my 6946's hammer. The Beretta - well, the mags are more expensive (whereas the S&W full-caps are plentiful and cheap) and the gun is more expensive. Chunkier, too, IIRC.

George Hill
June 23, 2004, 02:19 PM
Cougar or XD?
That's a tough one.
I guess it would come down to if you want a manual safety or not.
That being said, personally, I REALLY like the XD. I'd probably get that.

June 23, 2004, 05:15 PM
I bought the XD9 Sub Compact. I considered a S&W 908, but I just don't like decockers. Something about the name just bothers me. Plus I don't like the trigger pull on the first shot, as old and slow as I am, I may only get one, if that. As for the Beretta, I can't say, I have never handled one.

June 24, 2004, 12:06 AM
I have no experience with the specifically mentioned S&W or Beretta handguns. Although I tend to dismiss Beretta's out of hand based on my service experience with the M-9.

I do own a XD-9 Subcompact, and will be upgrading to the XD-40 Subcompact shortly. It is a fine weapon. I really wouldn't change a thing about it. It points well, I really like the manual of arms, and it's performed flawlessly out of the box.

Check out this website for some good XD-9 pictures, and some advise on concealing it. -

June 24, 2004, 01:44 PM
My department issues the S&W 6946 as a duty weapon. We have had a lot of problems with reliablility and frame cracking. I would not buy a 6946.

I had a 3913 that is basically a single stack 69xx series gun. It was totally reliable and a great little gun. I'm not really sure why the big difference between the two.

If you find a good 6946, great, but my department is not the only one in the area that has had serious problems with the 6946. Most of the area PDs are dumping it in favor of Glocks.

June 24, 2004, 02:09 PM
Hmmm, thank you very much indeed, Landric, for your post. That's the first negative I've heard about the 6946. But, your post is certainly food for thought - and timely, as I was going today to purchase the 6946.

Your post gives me second thoughts. Sounds like you are speaking from experience with the 6946 model itself and not just one specimen. Being that the pistol I am looking at comes from a batch of police trade-ins, makes me wonder if they were traded-in for a good reason.

Reliability is No. 1 and I also want something I can shoot a lot without breakage concerns. Sounds like 6946 has issues in both areas. Too bad, because I love the ergonomicss of the 6946 and the price is right.

Argh :mad: Back to the drawing board. Just not many guns out there at the $300-400 price range that give the right combo of quality, durability, ergonomics and reliability that I thought the 6946 would offer.

Just so I know, Landric, where on the 6946 frames were cracking problems occuring?

June 25, 2004, 08:13 AM

Most of the frame cracking I have seen has been in or near the frame rails. I saw one pistol that would fail to go into battery after every shot because of a crack in the frame rails. It was a 6906 rather than a 6946, but it is the same basic gun, just DA/SA vs. DAO. At first we thought it was a shooter induced problem caused by limp wristing. A couple of us instructors tried it and had the same problem. We took it apart and discovered the frame cracks. Not the first time one of these pistols has cracked a frame, but the worst example I have seen.

"My" 6946 will sometimes lock the slide open with rounds remaining in the magazine. The slide stop is not pushed up when this happens, and neither pushing down on the slide stop or pulling back on the slide will release it. The only way to get it to go forward again is to drop the mag and then pull back on the slide and release it. It does this about once every 50 rounds, and none of us has been able to figure out why.

We also have a lot of problems with the magazines. The magazine seems to be a really weak link in the 6946. They rattle when fully loaded, the springs are weak, and we have seen a lot of misfeeds related to magazines. It is almost impossible to fully load the mag with 12 rounds, and it feels like the spring it completely compressed and bottomed out in the mag.

Not all of our guns have had problems, but a lot of them have. Three major departments in my area have all issued either the 6906, 6946, or a combination of both. Two of the three dropped S&W completely and switched to Glock because of reliability problems. The third switched to the 5943TSW, but is now looking at switching to Glock also because they are not satisfied with the 5943TSW either.

I expect the frame cracking problems are mostly due to use and the alloy frame giving out. The other problems related to magazines and unexplained failures to function seem to be widespread in the 69xx series guns regardless of age or round count. The 39xx series guns don't have the magazine problems, and my personal experience with the 3913 was excellent. That pistol would feed anything, including empty cases.

If you buy the 6946, you may get a gun that has no problems at all. Obviously some of the posters here own 69xx series guns they are very happy with. Police trade-in pistols tend to have had a lot more rounds fired than police revolvers did. I'm not sure a police trade-in pistol is nearly as good a deal as a police revolver is.

If it were me, I would not buy a 69xx series gun. The steel frame Smiths and the 39xx series guns seem to be fine. If you find a 3913 or 3953 you like, I would say go for it. I can't reccomend the 6946 based on my experience.

George Hill
June 25, 2004, 11:42 AM
Ol'Sarge2K, I was the same way. But go check out a Cougar .45... You might change your mind.

June 25, 2004, 09:35 PM
Well...I've never had any problems with my 6906 at all. The only problems I have seen and heard about with the 69XX series have usually been linked to a desire by some PD's to be like everybody else and jump on the Glock bandwagon so there is a sudden rash of S&W firearms problems that suddenly appear....or by people that don't like S&W politics. Bear in mind though...I am only 1 person in a pretty large world so I am probably un-informed.

June 25, 2004, 11:12 PM
Hello jc2,

I am new to this forum, but I saw your post about wanting an S&W 6946. I have one that is in excellent condition that I am interested in selling. It has approx. 5 to 6 hundred rounds fired through it. :) I bought it in 93 and have not carried it much. I even have a Kramer holster for it. If interested, email me.


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