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S&W Model 59 / 910 / 915 - Which to Buy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by il.bill, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. il.bill

    il.bill Well-Known Member

    I have a chance to buy a used S&W semi-automatic pistol. I have to choose between Models 59, 910, or 915. They are all in good condition.

    Does anyone have any preferences on their features or reputation or info for suggestions in taking one of the three over the other two? I am looking for a basic and reliable 9mm shooter, and would like to add one of these S&W pistols to my collection, but am ignorant about the differences between the three models beyond their general history. This would be an online purchase from a reputable dealer, so I will not be able to hold any of them in hand until after I receive my choice.

    Any information is appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read and maybe respond to this post.
  2. Oldnoob

    Oldnoob Well-Known Member

    In this order 59 > 915 > 910.

    59 is the first gen S&W semi. 915/910 are the value line of 3rd gen S&W semi. 915 and 910 are very similar but few more budget saving features than 915 to other 3rd gen S&W.
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    The 910 and the 915 are mostly the same gun. The 910 was the post-ban version that came out after the AWB was put in place. It came with 10-round mags instead of 15-rounders (though I think the mags still swap fine between them so you can put a 15-round 915 mag into a 910). There were some other very small changes (IE, if I recal right the sights went from steel to polymer), but very little. Both are 3rd gun S&W guns.

    The S&W 59 is a bit older (IIRC its still considered a 1st gen S&W).

    Personally I'd opt for the 915.
  4. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    915 in a heartbeat.

    Introduced in 1971, the 59 had reliability issues, but one thing will keep my away from it more than that: the trigger goes flush to the frame, pinching the trigger finger.

    The 915 will take any 59 series magazine.
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    Of the three, I would go with the Model 915. Some early Model 59's had problems; by the Third Generation (like the Model 915 and 910), all the improvements in the design and manufacture of these guns made them very reliable and proven performers.
  6. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    See if you can't find a 5906 for a similar price. Great 3rd gen gun.
  7. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    I have a 59 and a 915.

    The 915 grip feels much sleeker.

    Unless the 59 is absolutely pristine, with all box, papers, and accessories, its just a shooter.
  8. oldrevolverguy

    oldrevolverguy Well-Known Member

    I owned several S&W 9mm over the years. A 910 was the last one I owned and loved it. I would suggest that you go with either of the 3rd generation pistols, three digit model numbers. They are rugged and super reliable.
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Something earlier or later then a 59!

    I have a 39-2 that is one of the most reliable & accurate auto handguns I own.
    (Except for the 1911's and S&W Model 41 match guns )

    I have owned two 59's, and they were some of the worst.

    S&W learned a lot in the later generation 39/59 series guns.

  10. il.bill

    il.bill Well-Known Member

    #1 - 915 & #2 - 59

    Thanks for all the helpful responses.

    Looks like my first S&W semi-automatic pistol will be a 915.

    Hope you all have a nice Holiday Season!

  11. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Well-Known Member

    You really can't go wrong with any of the old model S&W auto's. I love mine. My LGS got in a used 5906, and I've been wanting one to compliment my 469, but the price... over $400 compared to the $250 I spent a couple years ago on my 469.
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Without a doubt, I'd take the 915...the Gen3 S&W pistols were dead reliable...it is the economy version of the 5904

    While the 59 has some history, it's reliability record isn't it's shinning star
  13. texagun

    texagun Well-Known Member

    I had a Model 59 and it choked on everything except FMJ ball ammo. It was extremely accurate but I only used it as a range gun. I never found a hollowpoint that it could digest reliably.
  14. Fremmer

    Fremmer Well-Known Member

    The model 59 is an interesting and less common gun. Old school s&w. So if the 59 is in very good or excellent condition, I would choose that one. There's a whole lot more plain jane 10s and 15s around, but they aren't making the 59 any more.
  15. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

    There are used 915's on GB that sell for about the same price as 5 boxes of good ammo.

  16. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    I wo,uld go with a 910 or 951 . Very good guns. Both are good choices. Good luck! ;)By the way. The magazine,s fit in the Marlin C9 Carb.,the Dawoo9mm&Kel-Tec P11 . Those are the one's I know about.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  17. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

    I love my S&W 910. I have put thousands of rounds through it without a single hiccup.
  18. BP44

    BP44 Well-Known Member

    My vote would be for the 59, I have two and they both seem to eat anything I feed them and shoot as accurate as any other pistols I own. I like the way the smith auto's look and I love they way the things shoot, I think you would be well served with any of the models ya listed.
  19. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    What is shocking is Sig-Sauer still makes "old school" guns like that and charges "arms and legs" for them.
  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    That is why SIG can still make them and why S&W went to polymer for their main LE pistols

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