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Old 04-13-2018, 08:04 PM
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Trooper224 Trooper224 is offline
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I've just completed a 200 round session with the Big Smitty and I'm happy to proclaim it good to go.

I replaced the slide stop and side plate, as well as the recoil, extractor and mag springs. Jon651 supplied the slide stop and side plate at a very considerate price. I also purchased a steel guide rod from Paul Howell. As most will know, the original guide rod is aluminum and a multi-piece affair. (way to go S&W, take a boat anchor of a gun and try to save weight with an aluminum guide rod, spectacular) There's a spring plunger on the back end of the rod that applies pressure to a notch in the slide stop, helping to keep the latter in place.

The plunger is in turn held in place by a cap that's crimped into the guide rod. If the cap comes loose you're dead in the water. Mine is in good shape, but since this is another near unobtanium part, I opted to replace it with a steel unit. Paul makes them himself and his turn around was an incredible two days. The rod is beautifully made and functions flawlessly. If you have one of these pistols, the price of $60 is well spent insurance. One of the forum members at Pistol Forum kindly offered to send me an NOS factory grip module for the cost of postage.

As I stated in my original post: I shot one of these only once, way back in the day. I remember liking it, but didn't recall any really detailed recollections. After putting a few rounds down range I will say, I really like this pistol. Third Generation Smiths seem to be a love it or hate it affair, you can put me in the latter category. I loaded up some 230 grain hardball loads over 5.0 grains of Bullseye, the classic service load for the round. Since I was mainly checking function, I wanted to eliminate as many variables as possible and decided to avoid lighter target loads this time out. At the twenty five yard line accuracy was as good as it was during my first outing. I had a few fliers, but that was me trying too hard with an unfamiliar gun. With dedicated target loads the gun will be quite the shooter.

I was very impressed with the way the gun handled during speed drills at the seven and ten yard lines. Two hundred rounds of hardball from one of my 1911s would send my looking for the pain killers due to my arthritis. The mass of the 4506 really dampened the recoil of the service loads and it was quite comfortable to shoot. The grip is a tad narrow for me, but it is rather long front to back and that helps minimize it. The DA trigger is around twelve pounds and the SA at six, but they're both pretty smooth and neither presented an issue. Four years of shooting Beretta 92s has helped in that regard. The reset is crazy short for a DA/SA gun, almost 1911 short. I don't plan on doing anything to the trigger, it's fine as is. The decocker didn't pose any problems for me, since operating one has now become second nature. It's easily reached with either my shooting or support hand thumbs.

The 4506 has been affectionately described as (some times not so much) clunky, massive and cumbersome. Yes, it's big with a capital B, but overall it's no bigger than the 92 I've been carrying and actually quite a bit flatter than the Beretta. Personally, I don't find it clunky and I actually think it handles quite well. It is heavy though, no getting around that, but that's actually a plus when it's time to pull the trigger. I bought this gun for nostalgias sake, but I find that I quite like it as a shooter. I wish Smith and Wesson still made them. If that was the case I'd buy one or two more and run them a lot harder than I plan on running this one. I don't intend for this to supplant my Berettas as my carry gun. However, I will be obtaining a holster so that I can work with the 4506. I like expanding my knowledge base and this one will provide an enjoyable experience.

I'm very thankful to the people who were kind enough to give me the benefit of their experience in analyzing the guns issues and especially to the people I've mentioned for supplying the parts necessary to get this old beast back in action. Cool stuff all around.

Now to find that 1006.

Last edited by Trooper224; 04-13-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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