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Old March 27, 2014, 11:11 PM   #1
TenDriver
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S&W6906 Shoots Low?

I've had my 6906 for a few years now and realized I have to cover my target with the front sight to hit my target. Aiming this way, the pistol is deadly accurate. Aim conventionally, and you're hitting low.

Anyone else shoot a 6906 and have this issue? Doesn't seem to matter what ammo I'm using either. Factory or handloads.
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Old March 27, 2014, 11:54 PM   #2
sauer1911
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are you aiming higher or lollipopping the front sight? I have always lined up front sight with the back and covered my aim point. If I am low, it usually means I havent warmed up myself and the gun. Possibly anticipating the kick? Seems to go away after a few mags.

be safe.
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Old March 28, 2014, 12:38 AM   #3
9mmepiphany
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What is the difference in the group size between the different aiming styles?
At what distance?
How much displacement is there between the groups?
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Old March 28, 2014, 06:53 AM   #4
The Lone Haranguer
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Quote:

I've had my 6906 for a few years now and realized I have to cover my target with the front sight to hit my target.
That sounds right. This gun's intended target is not a black bullseye on white paper. The target shooting "six-o'clock" aiming point, at the bottom of the black bullseye, is a different point of aim than point of impact.
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Old March 28, 2014, 08:46 AM   #5
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I had a 6906 for a year. I went through about 500 rounds trying to become accurate and proficient with that gun ; always wound up low left. I finally gave up , traded it away , and acquired a 5906 - the all steel predecessor to the 6906. Now I find center of target with very little effort.

My personal conclusion is : I do not have faith in the concept of taking a proven design , then "improving" it by converting the frame to a lighter alloy and shortening the barrel. The designed balance and "pointability" are altered greatly by those changes.

These are only the experiences and opinions of one person. (That person now owns TWO 5906's...)
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Old March 28, 2014, 09:18 AM   #6
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I've virtually never found factory sights to be "right on"... that's why most sights are adjustable at least for windage. Everyone holds their gun differently, every load is different, bullets have different characteristics... you name it and whatever variable you're talking about is conspiring to NOT assist in delivering the bullet to the intended point of aim.

When people get rid of guns because they don't hit the point of aim without first adjusting sights (or stance, or grip, or sight picture; whatever), I think they're making a mistake and perhaps dumping a perfectly good gun.
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Old March 28, 2014, 03:44 PM   #7
9mmepiphany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
My personal conclusion is : I do not have faith in the concept of taking a proven design , then "improving" it by converting the frame to a lighter alloy and shortening the barrel. The designed balance and "pointability" are altered greatly by those changes.

These are only the experiences and opinions of one person. (That person now owns TWO 5906's...)
I'll only add that the 5906 is really just a variation of the original M-59, which became the M-459 and than the M-5094...all of which had aluminum alloy frames.

The M-6906 isn't an evolution of the M-5906, but a factory copy of the Devel chopped M-59...which traces it's roots back to the ASP (which was itself a M-39).

The M-5904, and M-6096, weren't converted by going to an alloy frame. The M-5096 was converted from the original alloy frame to a steel frame to meet the market demand for a stainless M-59
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Old March 28, 2014, 04:19 PM   #8
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Clearly my knowledge of the lineage of the 5906 is exceeded by that of 9mm epiphany. About 2 years ago I read that the 5906 was a popular LEO carry , but the demand for better ease of carry resulted in shorter lighter 6906.

My experience is anecdotal , being just that - mine , but having stated that disclaimer I know this : the steel 5906 points more easily and naturally for me than did the 6906. I worked hard with the 6906 ; obviously my options for sight adjustment were limited. I could go on about my comparative experiences with the two variants but it's better to rest my case rather than sideline the thread any further.

I will follow the rest of this thread ; I am confident that the crew on THR will be helpful to the OP.

"When people get rid of guns because they don't hit the point of aim without first adjusting sights (or stance, or grip, or sight picture; whatever), I think they're making a mistake and perhaps dumping a perfectly good gun."
Point taken. In my case , I wound up with a K38 Combat Masterpiece. I could not be happier. 'Ski
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Old March 28, 2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
...I read that the 5906 was a popular LEO carry , but the demand for better ease of carry resulted in shorter lighter 6906.

My experience is anecdotal...
Mine is too, I just happened to be very much into guns when each of these guns were introduced.

The 6906 is a 3rd Gen S&W and was proceeded by the 2nd Gen 469/696, which were cut down versions of the 459...all with alloy frames.

The 5904 was the 3rd Gen gun S&W was pushing for LE agencies as a balance of weight and magazine capacity. The 6904/6906 were marketed as issue guns for detectives.

THE 5906 was for folks willing to sacrifice carry comfort for a steel frame. The 5906 and the 3906 (single stack) were more popular in the non-LE market...likely because they didn't have to also wear a duty belt for 10-12 hours a day.

I owned one of the first 469 available in town and found it just didn't feel very good in my hand. They came with much thinner grips to try to squeeze a 5904 package into a 3904 sized (width) frame. It just didn't fill the hand as well as a normal 3904. They later introduced the 3913/3914, which were a cut down 3904 which was much better. The single stack frame had more hand filling grips
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Old March 28, 2014, 10:49 PM   #10
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OP, what you are describing is the difference between a bullseye sight picture and a combat sight picture. Your 6906 (a gun I've wanted for years) is a combat pistol, and would have issued sight set for a combat sight picture.

Got any pics?
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Old March 29, 2014, 04:11 AM   #11
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S&W6906 Shoots Low?

Not sure what you're talking about with "lollipopping".

I doubt I'm flinching with this thing. My of my pistol shooting is with my 44 in a fairly relaxed stance and cat fart loads with a few full house magnum loads every so often. I'm dead nuts on with the 44.

Epiphany, the groups are very tight out to around 25 yards. At 25 and above I usually plink with it using cast bullets. If I aim a tad higher than normal I rarely miss the plastic 20 oz bottles left behind by others. I put the credit for that in the pistol. At close ranges, say 15 ft, a 5 shot group is one large hole. If I cover the bullseye, it's in the black. If I aim as I do with my 44 the one large hole is just below the black.

Sixgunner, what you're saying makes sense. No pics at the moment, but I'll see what I can round up.

I went through three pistols before settling on this one several years ago. Started with a PA-63 which I liked, but sold for personal reasons. Bought an Ultrastar shortly after, swapped it in on the 6906. I liked the Ultrastar, but love the Smith.

Last time at an indoor range with it. Started with 50 rounds. This is where 38 went. Target was between 15-20ft. I give the credit to the gun. Can't do this with most of the other stuff I have, even with it shooting low.

Last edited by TenDriver; March 29, 2014 at 04:19 AM.
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Old March 29, 2014, 04:20 PM   #12
9mmepiphany
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^^^

At 5-7 yards, if you aren't flinching your shots, you are squeezing your strong hand fingers as you press the trigger.

From that group it does look like you are anticipating the trigger break.

It would help if you'd fire a series of 3-5 shot groups at different 1-2" squares.

It would also help if you'd address the questions in Post #3
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Old March 30, 2014, 04:07 AM   #13
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I'll see if I can get out to the range again and get some answers. Right now I can't address those questions because it's been a while since I've taken it out.

Never thought I was anticipating the trigger break, but if there's evidence to the contrary I'm all ears.
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Old March 30, 2014, 11:35 AM   #14
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TD,

I've owned a 6906 and mine always shot low. Conversations with others on the S&W Forum revealed that this was a common characteristic for several owners. I think several called S&W and the front sight height was was traded out for a higher one. I always had to completely cover the target I was shooting at and once I got oriented, it was fine. Great little pistol though.
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Old March 30, 2014, 11:39 AM   #15
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If the gun is actually hitting low, then the front sight needs to be lower, or the rear sight needs to be higher. Raising the front sight will only exacerbate the problem in that case.
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Old March 30, 2014, 03:20 PM   #16
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As an owner, issued user, firearms instructor and armorer for the S&W 3rd gen pistols, the most common cause of low impacts by shooters (especially with the lighter weight alloy models) is shooter anticipatory flinching.

Yes, even with folks who are typically accomplished shooters of other handguns that may have more felt recoil.

No way to know if that's happening in your case without being able to slip you some mags loaded with an occasional Dummy round, and see what happens to your muzzle when the Dummy round comes up.

If it's not a shooter-induced issue, S&W offered some different height front posts.

FWIW, in earlier years S&W occasionally replaced front sight posts for owners of 3913's who were shooting low (presumably after inspecting the guns and determining it was required). The 3913/6906 (and variations) used the same slides & barrels (although there were some changes occurring over the years which prevented all barrels from being interchangeable with all slides).

As an instructor who's seen a fair number of issued & personally-owned 6906's come through ranges over the years, more than 98% of the time low hits with stock guns are shooter-induced due to mild-to-wild anticipatory flinching (done without the realization of the shooter).

Just some thoughts. Got some Dummy rounds and a friend who could load some in some mags so you wouldn't be able to guess when they came up between live rounds in whichever mags?
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Old March 30, 2014, 03:40 PM   #17
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I'll give the dummy rounds a try and see what happens. Not a bad idea.
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Old March 31, 2014, 03:27 PM   #18
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As long as you aren't changing your grip in anticipation of successfully dealing with the Dummy rounds. I often had to make sure the guys & gals I was checking with them kept up the same pace of fire for whatever drills we were doing, so they weren't just taking their time and focusing more on not flinching for each and every shot.

Quite often I may simply ask to inspect the gun, emptying the chamber, as if checking something (sights), and surreptitiously NOT rechamber a live round while "loading" the pistol, instructing the shooter to quickly take the seemingly loaded pistol and make some quick & accurate shot on the target on which we've been working. Virtually all of the time the shooters get to experience an anticipatory flinch sans the recoil of a live round firing.

Once they actually believe and accept it's happening, it's easier to try and resolve. Nobody ever really wants to believe it's them throwing the rounds off POA, and would naturally rather blame it on the gun.

Dummy rounds are better, as then they can be loaded in various numbers within the usual duty belt load-out of 3 magazines. I just don't let the shooters load the mags, and usually turn away so they can't see how many Dummy rounds are being inserted into how many of the mags they're going to be using.

As a long time owner/shooter of Magnum revolvers, I had to come to my own realization that I was capable of flinching when shooting even low-recoiling 9mm's, In a way, learning not to flinch when expecting recoil and muzzle blast is sort of like learning not to jerk/flinch when startled by a loud noise or unexpected touch when not using a gun.

Training can help mitigate and resolve a lot of issues resulting from how we program the software between our ears.
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Old September 1, 2014, 05:55 PM   #19
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Mine shoots about 1-1.5" low with 115gr. with 124gr and 124gr Nato, it is spot on.
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Old September 2, 2014, 11:29 PM   #20
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TenDriver, that is precisely my experience as well. Prior to owning the 6906 I had a 469 which gave me a typical 6:00 hold. The 6906 does print just a hair below line of sight for me, my targets look very similar to yours holding dead center on the bullseye.
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Old September 2, 2014, 11:41 PM   #21
351 WINCHESTER
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You may want to try a heavier bullet which will shoot higher or get a lower front sight. Personally, I would not worry about it.
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Old September 3, 2014, 11:52 AM   #22
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My 6906 shoots like yours and like"Sixgunner455 said it s a combat gun and set up that way. I really like it and of all the 3rd gen guns I have , the 6906 is one of my favorites .
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Old September 3, 2014, 12:07 PM   #23
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Unless you bought the gun that's shooting high or low NEW, you don't know what prior owners have done to the sights.

Over the years, I've had more than one 3rd Gen. S&W shoot way off POA, including a 4506 that was hitting very low with what seemed to be factory sights.

I couldn't find a higher rear but did pick up a lower front sight from S&W. (The replacement sight was a lot lower -- the lowest one they made for that series of .45s...) The gun then shot to point of aim at around 30' - 50', which was all I wanted.
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