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Posted: 5/12/2003 7:54:06 AM EDT
Just a little curious. The old model 59 was S&W's classic double stack 9mm, so what's the difference between this and its stainless sister and the Model 5906?
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 2:27:20 PM EDT
The 659 died in 1988 to make room for the "upgraded" 5906.
The front sight of the 5906 became removable, dovetailed in.
Gone went the barrel bushing, half cock notch and grip screws, going to a one piece grip.
The safety uses a better system on the 5906 than the ever loosening screw on the right hand side lever the 659 once had.
Overall, the 5906 will outshoot the 659 and went on from a 14 round magazine to the 15 and now the 10 rounder.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 6:05:18 PM EDT
The 5906 and 5904 also had an improved trigger over the 1st and 2nd Gen S&W's. As was mentioned by Anothergene, the grip was changed. Alot of people liked the new-improved grip alot better. The older grip felt like hanging on to a straight block of wood. The 3rd Gen pistols also had extended mag plates for better mag seating, as opposed to the flush fitting older models. They also had a beveled mag well and a longer trigger guard.
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 8:01:52 AM EDT
There were changes made within the 5900 series after it came out too.
The trigger guards went from an oversized checkered front to a rounded "normal" one.
Later ones had a narrowed trigger, even putting blue ones on stainless guns.
There were improvements made internally along the way, to enhance user friendliness and durability.
For a real good story, in detail, if you can dig up a Shooting Times, December '88, it is very in depth, describing all the changes.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 4:23:23 PM EDT
The 659 is the older POS and the 5906 is the newer re-designed POS. Either one is a great doorstop.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 4:53:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DesertRat1:
The 659 is the older POS and the 5906 is the newer re-designed POS. Either one is a great doorstop.


My 659 POS has not jammed in 15 years, let alone KBed or anything else...true enough, they weren't known for being the cream of the crop of autos. My 5 are just great, however.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:55:55 AM EDT

My 659 POS has not jammed in 15 years, let alone KBed or anything else...true enough, they weren't known for being the cream of the crop of autos. My 5 are just great, however.

The only negatives I've heard in regards to the S&W autos is that they're a bit dated as compared to the current generation of auto pistols. For many years the 59/659 were the only American-made double stack 9mms.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 3:36:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 3:41:30 PM EDT by anothergene]
"Dated" must be a relative term...
Example being my "old outdated" 659 outshoots my "modern" Beretta 92FS and not by just a little bit either!
As a matter of fact, bring ANY service 9MM on to compare.
I'll catch heck for this but given the choice, it's 659 all the way...at least my example.
That being the case, I should dump my 1911's as too "dated".
Who's doin' the datin' anyway?
If you want me to copy that story from the magazine article, IM me with an address and I will copy/mail it for you.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:14:11 PM EDT

Dated" must be a relative term...
Example being my "old outdated" 659 outshoots my "modern" Beretta 92FS and not by just a little bit either!
As a matter of fact, bring ANY service 9MM on to compare.
I'll catch heck for this but given the choice, it's 659 all the way...at least my example.
That being the case, I should dump my 1911's as too "dated".
Who's doin' the datin' anyway?


It's just what I've heard, not an actual comment. I've never owned a S&W auto, but I'm getting tempted to buy one with the attractive prices I'm seeing out there, hence my posting of the original question.

All of the S&W autos I've handled and shot, all shot well. No complaints from me. I just got done giving my B-I-L's 4516-1 a thorough cleaning and the quality on it was outstanding as far as I can see (it shot very well that last time I took it to the range).

I don't understand the "dated" comments either, was just hoping someone might shed some light on it.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 6:25:45 PM EDT
There are several articles on the development of the 3rd Gen S&W from that time period. They give a good comparison between the 2nd and 3rd Gens. They also have comparisons between S&W, Beretta, and whomever else competed for the military's new pistol. This was all big news at the time.

Likewise, I have those old magazines. If you're really interested, I'll dig them up and mail you copies.

One thing that I don't like about these pistols is the mag disconnect. It prevents the pistol from being fired if the magazine is removed. It was supposed to be a safety feature, all sorts of ridiculous reasons were given. A gun that can't fire is a useless hunk of metal. This feature is easily bypassed to allow the gun to fire without the mag.

Since these pistols went toe to toe with Beretta several years ago, wouldn't that make the 92FS equally outdated, and pretty much any pistol with a nonplastic frame?
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 6:43:27 PM EDT
I'd be interested in copies. I'll IM an address to you. Thanks.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 11:38:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/28/2003 11:39:58 PM EDT by man0ica]
I have a 5906 and a stainless Beretta 92FS, and much prefer the 5906. It was less expensive, smaller, and is more accurate. The mags are plentiful and cheap. Dependability has been flawless. The only thing I don't like about it is the inability to fire it without a magazine inserted in it, and that can be fixed. So far it has not been a problem. Several friend told me I was crazy for buying it, but now agree it is a fine pistol.
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