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S&W 659/5906

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Headless, Mar 29, 2010.

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  1. Headless

    Headless Member

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    Just bought myself a new 5906 today. Sure is sweet. She's replacing my old shot out 659 whose poor frame cracked. Now I can send my 659 back to S&W and see if they can repair her :)
     
  2. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    Now that you guys have discovered the joys of S&W 9mm's, it's time to go compact:
    P1010003_Vga.jpg
    S&W Model 469
     
  3. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I have a 659 and a 410S and I love them both.

    695.gif

    DSCF1798.gif
     
  4. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy Member

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    I like my 5906- heavy, easy to shoot well, plenty of rounds in the magazine...durable, well made, what's not to like?

    I would like to find one of the compact 3rd gen guns as well, as a companion to this one. Just need a few more dollars... :)
     
  5. carbuncle

    carbuncle Member

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    I had a 5906 for a few years back in the 90s, I had it special ordered for me and loved it. Nicely accurate, super reliable and a good-looking gun as well. The only minus was the weight, but that was one of the pluses as well in that it made the recoil negligible. Still regret selling it, but the 6906 I picked up in January helps dull the pain. I plan on picking up another 5906 as soon as I can find a decent one locally!
     
  6. nascarkent

    nascarkent Member

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    Mine Runs 100% Never had a hick up with it. 5906 3rd gen
     
  7. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I love Third Generation Smiths. I love how well they're made; how nice they look and, most importantly, how dead-nutz reliable they are.

    I love old threads, too. :)
     
  8. cottonmouth

    cottonmouth Member

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    I have a 659 and like it a lot, even more since I removed the magazine disconnect. I never liked that about S&W's, I know why they did it but it's not for me so I fixed mine.

    J.B.
     
  9. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    Owned and carried everything from the 659 up to the last of the 40 S&W line before they were phased out. While they were heavy and as already pointed out the triggers were not the best (except for the later TSW line), they always functioned. but the poly craze and the high cost were the death of them.

    The only problem we ever had was a run of 669's that developed frame cracks in the rail.
     
  10. CSM1995

    CSM1995 Member

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    I own the 1006 and the 5904 with adjustable sights. I've never had a problem with either of them and carry both. I find them to be accurate enough but think Smith and Wesson made a mistake by taking the guards off of the rear sights. I like the idea of not having to worry about knocking my weapon off of my zero when carrying.
     
  11. 404papa

    404papa Member

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    Is the 659 and 5906 the same dimensions? I am looking and getting a Safariland 6004 but I see they only list the 5906.
    Thanks
     
  12. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Member

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    Pretty much identical except for the trigger guard which MIGHT be an issue with regards to holsters.

    The 5906 is below on the upper right ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and the 659 is above on the lower left.
     
  13. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Hmmmm...how did you crack the frame on one of those guns? I would think it would be tough to crack a stainless steel frame unless you poured a lot of +P+ loads through it without changing to a stronger rebound spring.

    The 5906s are better guns, but they also were cheaper to make than the 659s. Too many 5906s were made with the non-adjustable dovetail sights that Smith used to save even more. The grips are the weak link of the 5906 and if you accidentally crack or destroy them, the integrity of the entire gun fails. That, and the removable bushing of the 659, is one reason I'd probably take a 659 over a 5906. But destroying the grips of the 5906 would be very difficult.

    S&W no longer can afford making the 5906 because of how much they'd have to charge for them. They can make mo selling plastic guns.
     
  14. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    I had a 659 back in the mid 80s for a couple of years. It shot just fine and was reliable... bloody heavy and bulky for a 9mm though. Sold it, bought a Baretta 92F... liked that better... then sold that and crossed over to 1911s and haven't looked back.
     
  15. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    I have both the S&W 659 and 5906. Both guns are extremely reliable. I don't know if they would feed empty cases but they have fed every style and weight of bullet flawlessly. Accuracy is satisfactory for defensive purposes and the ca 10 yard pistol games but nothing to brag about. The 659 has that clumsy screw on the right sid eof the safty which should be lcktited in place before it falls out and disappears.
     
  16. Headless

    Headless Member

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    Confederate - well, no +P+ rounds, just factory target ammo and a few rounds of speer gold dots (maybe 150)... but, a lot of them (30k+). Still...not so nice :(
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Dream to Dream

    Dream to Dream Member

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    Any suggestions as to what kind of ammunition to feed a 5906? I've heard 124-grain 9 mil shoots nicely.
     
  18. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    Oddly enough we had one with a frame cracked a few weeks back right in the area of the slide stop. What I really found odd was that the officer sent it back to S&W who would not repair it. Probably due to a lack of parts. No other compensation was offered as far as I know as these are personally owned firearms.

    The handgun did not have a large number of rounds through it since it was put in service back in 85. It is still with the original owner who did not put much more than 300 a year through it, all factory Winchester 149 SXT/Ranger T or the W-W Q load of the same ballistic equivalent.

    What I really find odd is that he wants another 5906 or 659. He doesn't want one of our new Glock 23's. As he's grandfathered in, he can replace it with a S&W unlike new employees. Old habits die hard.
     
  19. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Wow! Ancient post ... but I will briefly weigh in since to was dug up (again).

    I have a 659 that I purchased almost-new from a fellow in 1988. It have always found it to be accurate & reliable ... and a bit heavy. ;)
     
  20. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    That's strange. I can't imagine it would be from lack of parts. Still, who knows?

    I'd like to see what S&W said in their note of refusal. I guess any manufacturer can stick to their warranty period, which also may have happened. Still, with steel frames, it's hard to believe a frame would crack easily. I know of several police officers back in the 80s who had 681 .357s with barrels that wore down excessively in the front sights. Turns out the stainless steel was overly soft. S&W had some quality control issues back then, but I'm still sorry I sold my 686s (4-inchers). Never had any issues with my 645 or 659s, but it's possible the frame was purchased defective. Ruger always watched their steel heat treats...they still do, but now that S&W pins their front sights on to the barrels, if the stainless is soft, the owners most likely will never know.

    I don't blame him. I detest the Glocks for a number of reasons, though I shoot them well. I'd prefer that they have safeties and that they fire limp-wristed or not. If I got injured in a firefight, I might not have all the muscle use in my right arm. Although it's most likely rare that I'd have to shoot limp-wristed, I'd want my gun to have flawless reliability nevertheless.

    I hope he's able to get a new/Grade A replacement. I shoot 124-gr roundnose and 115 JHP +Ps and so far no problem.


    SW659_20rounder.gif
     
  21. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    I spoke directly with a law enforcement rep. They provide expedited service for duty handguns. Frames are gone for the 659 or 5906 series and won't be replaced. Cracked frames are not unheard of. We had a few in older 669's. and they were repaired using 6906 frames. However that was years ago. They have been out of decocking levers for years. These handguns have been out of production for years and even when in production, the numbers produced were low. The prices rose to a level that made them destined for doom in light of the newer poly guns less than half the price.

    As far as a replacement, it's either a used 659 or a Glock 23. The 659 is a boat anchor and a pain in the butt to carry nine hours a day. I dumped mine years ago for a 4013TSW when they were authorized. Today only the G23 is allowable for duty use.
     
  22. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Yeah, but to those of us who love them, they're like 1911s that work right out of the box. I'd hate to lose my stainless 659/5906. I've often said that with the price of steel and craftsmanship, S&W simply couldn't afford to publish these for the prices they were asking. And there are lots of people out there who love these guns. It's unfortunate that alloy guns with steel slides and barrels just never were long lived. They work fine with polymer, but steel tended to batter them. Still, they worked fine for a lot of people. I have a 457 that's inexpensive and has all the worst attributes of a polymer gun (boxy, crummy finish) and an alloy-framed gun, which it is. But I like the Smith 2nd and 3rd generation pistols. Sorry to hear they're "disposable." I suspect my 659 will last a while, being all steel. Still, I don't mind the weight; and I like the hammer.

    The Beretta and Taurus models seem to work fairly well, and I hear of people putting many thousands of rounds through theirs. I never found out what the military's problem was with the Beretta and whether it carried over to the Italian-made or Taurus pistols. Never heard of either catastrophically failing. One source on the Internet says, "Beretta USA's continued insistence that catastrophic slide failures of their military Model 92 SB/F (M9) pistols were caused by over-pressure ammunition has had grave doubt cast upon it by official reports obtained from the Armed Forces." I agree. I have two sources: 1) a now retired Navy acquisition head; and 2) a former Beretta employee. But neither know why the Italian models and the Taurus products appear immune. Either it was the ammo, which (1) strenuously denies, or it was something in the manufacturing process of the military pistols. Either way, it gave alloy pistols a bad name.

    The only recourse, to me, was to buy all-steel or polymer. The latter are good guns, with the exception of the Glocks (in my view). I just didn't like the lack of a safety and the limp-wristing issue. If my 659/5906 fail, I suppose I'll get another Taurus P-92 or a Springfield. But like I said, I don't expect failures to happen very soon in either. S&W did have some heat treat failures back then, but that would be the only issue.

    The true irony is that some people who criticized my 659 as being "too blocky" now own Glocks in several calibers.


    Taurus92_2.gif
     
  23. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    I still have mine from 84. Can't bear to part with it even though I never take it to the range. Might frame it one day with a departmental patch.

    I made the deal with one of the largest S&W dealers in the country back in 84. Bought 85 659's for $210 each. Rough guns but they all worked fine and a few are still in use.
     
  24. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Member

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    S&W 559 = a 459/659 on steroids

    I've had a S&W 559 ever since they first came out. It's a blue steel pistol like the 459, but it has a steel frame unlike the alloy frames of the 459 or 659. S&W only made 2500 of them so they're getting to be a collector's gun.

    I bought it because my department was going to transition to semi-autos and the 459/559/659 were on the approved list. After I qualified with it, I made it into a safe queen for almost the next 30 years.

    The gun functioned flawlessly, but I never cared for DA/SA autos and I HATE Smith's push-up-to-fire safeties. After having been issued a 1911A1 in the USMC and keeping up with it all these years - well, old habits die hard.

    Anyone else here have a 559?
     
  25. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I used to have a S&W 559 and regret selling it. The lure of stainless steel was just too great. As far as the hammer drops are concerned, they have limited use. If I found myself in a dicey situation with one of these guns, I'd simply cock it and proceed. There's enough travel in the trigger that it would be more than adequate for safe use. (It would certainly be at least as safe as using a Glock.)

    In short, there's no reason for the hammer drop other than drop the hammer. It doesn't need to be engaged for anything else. Having a cocked and locked/drop system like the Taurus PT-92/96 would be the best of all worlds, but the Smiths are great as they are. The greatest weakness of the Smiths are their lack of quality control. The first generation models were horrible. The second and third generation models were much better. I don't like hearing that they've let their parts supply lapse.
     
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