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  #1  
Old 09-12-2009, 06:48 PM
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Default Today's gun show find - a S&W 646!

Went to the Bangor gun show today, walked in about 0930 and found this 646 at the second table. The shop selling it is not known for good deals but the gun had a "show special" price of $425 on it. I had never seen or heard of a 646 before, hell, I didn't even know S&W made a dedicated .40S&W revolver! It has the original aluminum case, the fired round, the moon clips and the unloading tool, but no paperwork. The story from the guys manning the booth was that somebody brought it into the store the other day and needed cash. I'd put it at 98% with very little use, there is only a faint wear ring on the cylinder. It cost me $446.25 with tax.

Now, what can you guys tell me about these guns? From what little I've been able to find I know it has a titanium cylinder and they didn't make too many. I'm really curious about production numbers and dates and the value. The fired case envelope is dated 9-17-03.

Interestingly, I had no .40S&W ammo when I left the house this morning so I bought 100 rounds of reloads at the show after buying the gun. Then I sold a Taurus 905 to a guy I know and got 900+ mixed rounds of .40 as part of the deal!!

Also, next Tuesday is my son's 21st birthday but he's in Afghanistan and isn't due home til January. I picked up his birthday present - a new Rock Island GI 1911 for $400 total. It'll be his first pistol of his own. It'll get new sights and custom engraved grips with his name and birth date on one side and the TACP crest on the other. They're much nicer guns than you'd think for the money, I've got one in .38 Super and it's quite rugged and reliable and a helluva shooter.




Last edited by WC145; 09-12-2009 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:19 PM
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Thats a big deal for living in such a small state. Can't give you any info on the production of these. But I could venture that if you don't fire it you could almost double your money and buy something else.

I have a 610, the N frame 10m.m./40s&w. and love it. I just don't know how the smaller 646 would handle ,especially with the titanium cylinder.

Congrats , that was a great price on a very collectible gun.

Allen
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:58 PM
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Didn't realize that Bangor was this weekend or might have taken a run up. Sounds like a good buy - not familiar with the 646 but 40 cal is a good round. I agree though that I'd check on value before I fired it - you might be able to make some $$ on the deal and still find something you want.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:29 PM
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I would have broken my arm getting my wallet out to buy that pistol. That is a very hard gun to find and an excellent carry piece. You made the buy of a lifetime and should probably buy a lottery ticket as well with luck like that. Congratulations on a great buy on a fantastic pistol.

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Old 09-12-2009, 08:34 PM
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I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!.................I've been looking for one of these for a long time now and have never found a decent deal much less a great deal like you have. That is a verrrry good deal and I'll make it better,,,, I'll give you $680 for it! Come on,,,Please,,,,,. Congrats on you new gun, When you shoot it I want a full range report.

Last edited by Smee78; 09-12-2009 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:41 PM
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Default From Suprica's 3rd Volume

I've never seen or heard of this one so I looked it up. According to Suprica's 3rd volume, there were 300 of those 4" full lug barrel guns built in 2003 with the titanium cyclinders. The Performance Center guns have flat sided barrels. So, if the book it correct, you have 1 of 300 made. Should be a collectable, but I don't know.

Take care
Chris
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:30 PM
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Very nice gun and hard to find, I have one around here some place. Here it is:

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Old 09-13-2009, 12:48 AM
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Default Helluva Deal!!

WC: Wow! Did you do good! Amazing that you bought it from a gun shop at a show & they didn't know any better. I snagged one at a show a little over a year ago for $600 and thought I'd made a killing. I'd buy a 2nd one tomorrow for the price you paid. It's a great gun both in size (for my smallish hands) and calibre. Every time I open my safe, it wants to go to the Range. I have the hardest time taking some other Smith model out & leaving it behind. If I had to sell off all my modern revolvers but one, I don't know which other one it would be. Good for plinkin', good for competition, good for carry.

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Old 09-13-2009, 08:37 AM
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very very nice i like it.I also didnt know they made a 40sw revolver.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:17 PM
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Very nice find and at 425.00 that's a real steal of a deal, I wish I still had mine! Congrats on great find.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:19 PM
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I one picked up about 18 months ago for just a few bucks more. It is a helluva shooter. keep it unfired if you like, but you are really missing out.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:28 PM
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Good price, I picked up one a couple of years ago. They are very good shooters. You should enjoy it.My records say that they made 300 of them.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:52 PM
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I don't know production numbers for the regular 646, (I've got one and it is sweet!) but of the performance center guns, supposedly less than 400 were made. I have a pc 646 as well, it is a nice shooting piece. Congratulations on yours, that is absolutely the deal of the century!!
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:23 PM
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I don't think anyone knows the production numbers for sure but the most commonly quoted number is 900 something, the guns are great shooters and that was a great deal. I would say the value is around $800 or so, it is hard to put a number on them because you will rarely find them on the gun auction sites or our classifieds.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:44 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. Of all the guns I've owned this is certainly one of the coolest, of course the great deal makes it that much better!

I took it out back this evening and ran a cylinder full through it, no time for anymore than that, it functions as it should and is quite accurate. All 6 rounds were touching shooting off hand at about 10yds, that's really good for me. I can't wait to shoot it more, I'll have time later in the week to really wring it out. I'll post a range report when I do.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:10 PM
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Just be careful what you clean it with. That titanium is finicky you know.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:48 PM
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Great find WC145

I have a 464 with several thousand rounds through it. The barrel length is 3 and 7/8 and with the titanium cylinder, I find the balance exceptional. I believe there were 800 made and NO, despite the pretty aluminum box, it is not a Performance Center gun.

I used to shoot it for ICORE until I went to a new 7 shot 520 and later to an 8 shot 327. I still shoot it in IDPA ESR class. ESR does require a power factor of 160 (like factory ammo) and even then the gun is very easy shooting. I use 180 grain round nose bullets and with the moon clips and the big cylinder holes itís the fastest reloading of any of my competition revolvers.

Donít worry about that Titanium cylinder. It has a coating that should not be removed because Titanium will corrode but the coating is tough and you can clean it with anything non-abrasive.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:17 PM
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Well, the number of 646's made is elusive and I've gotten a lot of different answers, but a couple of people on other forums have cited the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson", which I would think should be pretty accurate. According to the SCSW, 400 Performance Center guns were made in 2000 and 300 of the non-PC guns were made in 2003.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:35 PM
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I am not sure of the total number of non PC guns but I thought it was a fairly high number becauce when I bought mine the dealer had more than six off them in stock and he was a small dealership. I bought three of them at a price of $400.00 each, in 2003.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:00 PM
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I have to correct myself.

There were actually two slightly different 646's released. The first was a limited run Performance Center 646 with a slab sided barrel - which WC145's definately is not. Those were reported to have some problems the specifics of which I can't recall.

The second run (like mine and WC145's) was not PC but came with the aluminum box.

The second run is described in the quote below. BTW - the only problem I had with mine was due to the varying rim thickness of .40 cases. That is why S&W included two different moon clip thickness. Rather than muck about matching brass to moon clips, I installed an extended firing pin to take care of all variations.

QUOTE: from The Arms Room: Sunday Smith #39: Model 646, 2003.

Thus was born the Model 646 from the Performance Center; a space-age looking stainless steel revolver with a slab-sided heavy barrel and matte gray titanium cylinder. It was only produced for one year, and did not catch on quite as well as Smith had hoped. Unlike other moon clip revolvers such as the 610 and 625, the 646 generally wouldn't fire a cartridge without the clips. Dogged by persistent complaints of sticky extraction, ignition problems caused by varying rim thickness on factory .40 ammo, and a MSRP just shy of $850, it vanished without much comment after its short run.

In 2003, S&W had been bought by Saf-T-Hammer, purveyor of internal gun locks, and the frames and lockwork of their revolvers had been redesigned to accommodate a lock whose keyhole was just above the cylinder release. There were plenty of existing frames of the old style lying around, however, and some were used in a classic example of S&W parts bin engineering. By utilizing these remaining "no-lock" stainless L-frames, along with some L-frame titanium cylinders and 4" .40 caliber full-underlug barrels, Smith released some 300 new Model 646s into the wild. Easily distinguished from their Performance Center siblings by their rather more conventional underlug barrels, the non-PC 646's are also unusual in having a hammer that is clearly notched for the lock, but no provision for the locking mechanism on the frame. The guns shipped in locking aluminum cases, wore Hogue Bantam grips, and came with two thicknesses of full moon clips in order to compensate for varying rim thickness on factory ammo.

Although the manufacturer's suggested retail was set at $575, street prices tended to run much lower, as the gun was marketed as a closeout from the get-go. Purchase price was somewhere between $450 and $475, which was actually no more expensive than a regular Model 686 at the time. Today the gun would easily fetch back the original tariff and then some, provided it still had all its accoutrement.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:25 PM
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Good info there, Acrobat.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:55 AM
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I bought a 646 sewveral years back and forgot all about it. It has been in my safe in the metal box since about t6 or 7 rs ago...I had the action worked on it, then never carried it for some reason(I guess I ,iked my 45 ACPs just a wee bit more, and liked the idea of the extra stopping power more. I saw one for sale last year for $1600.00....I asked the seller why so much, and was told that the lilltle ugly two tone gun is a clollector's item ina big way. As I am not a hangun guy persay, I wish to bsell it for what it is worth. I don't want to pay my house off with it, but I was told that carrying to will mess it up...Any ideas how much I should charge when IK sell---just to be aN HOMNEST GUY> hUH? hUH?
iS IT WORTH THE BIG $$ SINCE THEY DID N'T MAKE MANY OR IS IT JUST A NICE CARRYU GUN T TALK ABOUT TO NEW CUSTOMERS?
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:58 AM
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PS sorry about the typos...I am really not that dim--- Just really tired...
Thanks for any responses folks !
Shoot well and shoot safely...
Shep B
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:13 AM
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Looks like a slightly used one went for $750 and an unfired one for $938 on GB in the last month or so..
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:58 AM
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i sold mine for $875 in april it was used fired about 100 rounds
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1911, 327, 610, 686, cartridge, engraved, hogue, idpa, model 625, model 686, performance center, s&w, scsw, taurus, titanium

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