Thinking about an S&W 5906.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by benEzra, Apr 5, 2011.

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  1. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    For many years, my primary range gun/HD sidearm/USPSA pistol has been a single-stack S&W 3913LS. But lately, I've been thinking that I'd like something with a bit more capacity and sight radius for when concealment isn't an issue. Also, the 3913's aluminum frame is starting to wear under the mag catch from all the magazine changes over the years. So I've been kicking around the idea of picking up a full-sized 9mm to supplement the 3913.

    My wife shoots a Glock, and I really like the G17, except I prefer DA/SA and a manual safety to DAO. I thought about a Springfield XD, but the manual safety is only available on the .45. I decided that an S&W M&P 9mm (the DA/SA variant with a manual safety) would seem to fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, real life intervened, and I couldn't justify sinking $700+ into a handgun with my son's medical bills and whatnot.

    But today, it just dawned on me that (1) I really like 3rd-gen S&W's like the 3913, and (2) S&W made a 3rd-gen full-size DA/SA 9mm, the 5906. It's a little old-school, but it's DA/SA with a manual safety, capacity 15+1 or 17+1 depending on magazine choice, and the manual of arms is exactly the same as the gun I currently shoot. Duh!! The main downside is weight, but I can live with that since this wouldn't be an EDC.

    I see that CDNN is currently listing used police trade-in 5906's for $299, which I can probably swing if I trade/sell my Polish M44. I think I'm going to swing by my local dealer tomorrow and see what the out-the-door cost would be on one of those 5906's, and how much I could get for the M44, to see if it's feasible.
     
  2. txhoghunter

    txhoghunter Member

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    I would say that its a good plan. Police trade-ins are almost always in perfectly functioning order and I have only heard good things about the S&W 5906.

    Also if you can find one used or just a good deal, maybe a CZ P07?
     
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    The 5904 and the less common 5903 are the same gun without the weight. But they probably won't be $299, either. :D My first semi-auto pistol, in 1991, was a 5904. I couldn't make the thing malfunction. :)
     
  4. GZOh

    GZOh Member

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    Third-generation S&Ws are great, classic pistols... Great quality, built like a 'tank', reliable and very accurate. Best bet is to hit GUNBROKER and GUNSAMERICA auction sites. They can be had between $300-350 in good condition.
    As LH said, the 5903/5904 have 'alloy' frames and are lighter. If you want the heavy, all-metal feel, go 5906. Have had all three and the 5903 is my favorite.
    Get one, you'll enjoy a true classic!
     
  5. isc

    isc Member

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    great pistols at a low price with common mags. I have two, both police trade ins. Their only downside is that they are a bit heavy if you intend to conceal carry it and you have to think a bit to disassemble it.

    The fact that they're stainless is a big plus.
     
  6. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, there's the cost issue. Also, this would do double duty as a competition gun, and my alloy-framed 3913 is getting some slop in the mag catch from all the mag changes, so I think I'd prefer a steel framed gun for shooting matches regularly. I figure it will be more durable in the long run.

    As to CCW, the 3913 will stay in that role, so the 5906 would just be for other purposes.

    If disassembly is the same as the 3913, then it should be a royal pain, yes. I've gotten pretty good at taking the 3913 down, but it surely does take three hands until you get used to the "hold the slide in just the right position one-handed while you push the slide stop out" move.
     
  7. Sky

    Sky Member

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  8. kellmark

    kellmark Member

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    Why don't you look at a 6906? Smaller, yet holds 12 rounds and you can get 15 rounders with an extended grip which works great. You have the best of both worlds. I also replaced the flush hammer on mine with a normal hammer which you can cock manually if you want to. Its a great setup for me. They are great guns.
     
  9. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Kellmark, I thought about a 6906, but I already have a 3913 (basically the single-stack version of that gun) for the CCW role and wanted something with a full-size sight radius and capacity. Mecgar makes OEM-quality flush-fitting magazines for the 5906 that hold 17 rounds, which is what I'm looking to pick up since the CDNN trade-ins only come with 1 magazine. Also, I believe 6906 prices are higher than the $299 I'm seeing for the 5906, and price is a big part of the equation.

    The 3rd-gen S&W's are indeed great guns. In the 15 years or so I've been shooting my 3913LS, I have only had one failure of any kind, and that was a round of Walmart Winchester white box FMJ that was apparently missing the priming compound, and the accuracy is quite good.
     
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    It is. And if you try to push the slide on without depressing the ejector first, you can make your own "idiot mark" on the back of the slide. Not that I've ever done it ... <whistle> (Fortunately it is barely noticeable.)
     
  11. th1229

    th1229 Member

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    Had one. Too heavy for my taste.
     
  12. dewalt-2

    dewalt-2 Member

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    Get one! If you can find one like my '89 with adj. rear sight even better. Love my old 5906...
    016.gif
     
  13. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    I would get one just to see a gun built before stupid rails were invented.
     
  14. Dunedain

    Dunedain Member

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    Don't think about it, buy it. :)
     
  15. Nico Testosteros

    Nico Testosteros Member

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    I really like my 5903 which is aluminium framed rather than the stainless of the 5906. Go for the 5906 because at $300 it's a helluva value on an all metal pistol.
     
  16. carbuncle

    carbuncle Member

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    I love my 5906, very fun gun to shoot. Tough to stop buying 3rd Gen Smiths once you get started, though!
     
  17. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I carried a 5906 for a number of years. They are good solid guns. Very reliable. Back in the late 90's, I bought my issued one, plus 3 high-cap mags, for $180.
     
  18. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Third generation Smiths are some of the most reliable, best-built semi-autos ever built. Before retiring, I qualified twice a year with a Model 6906, using lousy agency reloads for over a decade and never experienced a malf. I still carry the pistol concealed as one of my primary pieces as a "civilian".
    Gettem while they're hot, I say!
     
  19. Omaney

    Omaney Member

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    The 5904 I owned for 18 years was 100% reliable. I just kicked myself again for having traded it away. The 5900 series is one of the unsung super-nines out there.
     
  20. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    I have the 40 caliber version. Its a good gun. Very solid
     
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