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Posted: 10/6/2003 9:20:57 AM EDT
Does anyone here have experience with this gun. My local PD is selling off some of their older service pistols most of them used by detectives. They are all S&W 6906's with 1 12 round magazine. They seem like a decent gun, but I don't hear much about them.

They will also have night sights installed. The owner of the local gunshop which is getting them said he will be changing some of the barrels out if they have too much wear. He says he doubts that will be necessary since most haven't been fired more than one would expect.

Any info would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 1:43:05 PM EDT
Pretty standard third generation Smith compact, coventional DA/SA in stainless. Probably have Novak sights. Smith nines tend to be a love or hate sort of thing. I've owned three over the years, a 39, a 59, and 5946. Still have the 39 and 5946. I've always liked them and have never had any trouble with them. Smiths need to be kept clean and lightly oiled but if you do your part they will do their's.

The magazine safety gets flamed alot but is a non-issue with me. I don't quite understand why Smith put it there but it's never bothered me. The old story about being able not being able to use the gun in a survival situation if you lose the magazine is an old gun writer's fable that never seems to die.

The third generation Smith's have better ergonomics than the earlier ones and usually are more accruate. The third's did away with the barrel bushing and that seems to have helped. Lots of them out there, parts are plentiful if needed. Preban mags still pretty common and not as over priced as SIG's or Glocks. Lots of used leather out there also, if you have dealer that sells it.

Price is typically in the low to mid 300 range, depending on condition and options.

Link Posted: 10/7/2003 3:34:18 AM EDT
Well I picked up that 6906 for about $350. Good gun. I shot it last night, and it seems not to recoil too much.

It has night sight which were really neat to use. I never fired a pistol with night sights before so this was a new experience for me. The gun came with two 12 round stainless magazines and I bought another two from the dealer. I also picked up a hogue grip since I didn't like the feel of the plastic checkered grip.

Overall I am happy with the gun. I've shot Glocks and not liked them, and I really want either a HK or Sig, but can't afford them right now. I like the magazine safety feature, its sort of a dumb-dumb thing since you should be paying attention and checking the gun (and should not have your finger on the trigger!) but its nice to have.

Link Posted: 11/3/2003 2:00:38 PM EDT
I just traded a 6906 on a Walther P99, wanted to move up to .40.

I had the 6906 for about 7-8 years and liked it, more or less. Not the greatest trigger in the world and there is no easy sight adjustment.

This is basically a close in defensive weapon. Also, if you want to fire the first shot single action, you need to bring the hammer back with the trigger a little ways then pull it back by hand to lock it in battery.

It's not real finicky about ammunition, but I used to reload and some of my loads were too light for reliable cycling. If it doesn't cycle, it can be bear to unjam.
Link Posted: 11/12/2003 9:57:30 PM EDT
I have two former police Mod. 59's. They function perfectly with every kind of junk to bargain ammo. I have shot each many 100's of times with never a bobble. Recently, I decided to take them a little more seriously. Get some classy (top dollar) HP ammo. and make a double holster gunbelt. To my surprise the expensive new factory ammo.(from a rest) seems to shoot even less accurately than the cheap. I always associated iffy accuracy w/ the ammo. as an excuse. Is this why no one uses these now, and they are so long discontinued? Is there a well known accuracy "fix"? Such as a specific barrel or bushing. With the greatest of care, I can keep 5 shots in 3.5" at 25 feet(yes,feet). Thanks for any comment!
Link Posted: 11/13/2003 4:18:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By berdan:
I have two former police Mod. 59's. They function perfectly with every kind of junk to bargain ammo. I have shot each many 100's of times with never a bobble. Recently, I decided to take them a little more seriously. Get some classy (top dollar) HP ammo. and make a double holster gunbelt. To my surprise the expensive new factory ammo.(from a rest) seems to shoot even less accurately than the cheap. I always associated iffy accuracy w/ the ammo. as an excuse. Is this why no one uses these now, and they are so long discontinued? Is there a well known accuracy "fix"? Such as a specific barrel or bushing. With the greatest of care, I can keep 5 shots in 3.5" at 25 feet(yes,feet). Thanks for any comment!


Having had several 59's myself, I found a few of them to be fairly accurate, some so-so and one shot 6 feet low at about 20 yards!
I can't say for sure if a newer barrel/bushing (from a 659) would help or not because other parts may be worn too.
The 659 I have left is really awesome.
They weren't discontinued because of accuracy per se, it's just that the competition was getting better in all catagories.
Then Smith came out with the 459/659 which improved on the basic design until 1988 when the 5904/5906, known as the 3rd generation were introduced, so the basic gun is still being made, even though few parts still interchange with the early 59.
It sounds like your 59s are reliable, just not ready for a match as is.
You may just need to clean the barrel to remove any copper fouling and try another type or two of ammo.
3.5" @ 25 ft. is poor, even from an old 59.
Link Posted: 11/13/2003 7:15:52 PM EDT
Thanks gene; for the knowledgeable reply to my mis-filed newbie post. I got thinking, how I came to have these. I picked them out of a large drawer of 59's. Some were "real" junk, AND some were partially dis-assembled. These rattle and "move" alot and I think they may be mismatched or canibalized. I also understated how much I fired them( way back)by about 1500 rounds of German surplus. Fully loaded each accepts 18 rounds (17+1), and I have 11 mags. I used to do a 2 handed Sten impression. I still claim no bobbles in all. I think I'll fix these up if I can fiqure how.
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