Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols > Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:51 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hawkeye turned Longhorn
Posts: 152
Likes: 1
Liked 20 Times in 11 Posts
Default What caused the demise of 3rd Gen. Smiths?

Hello,

I realize demise is a bit strong-members of this forum appreciate thes fine guns-with good reason.

In today's market of lightweight polymer and aluminum-framed guns, I realize the interest in all-steel guns not designed around 1911 is limited, however both Sig and Beretta continue to sell their fair share of aluminum-framed DA/SA guns while the S&W aluminum-framed autos have been dropped from the company's line up.

Why is that? I understand S&W is pursuing the polymer market with the M&P, but why aren't they going head to head with Sig and Beretta with Aluminum-framed autos?

Best,

Heekma
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:54 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 379
Likes: 34
Liked 19 Times in 16 Posts
Default

Price. Polymer pistol production is inexpensive and much easier than a metal framed weapon. Add that to the lower price points that prevail in the firearms retail market and it adds up to good business sense.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:59 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 642
Likes: 98
Liked 166 Times in 101 Posts
Default

Their steel framed guns were as heavy as boat anchors, and none of them were as reliable across the board as the older Sigs and Berettas. The DA/SA guns are dead as far as major Police contracts are concerned, and the M9 is likely to be the last such for the military too. S&W made a smart decision IMO to drop the Gen 3 guns, and is hard on Glock's heels for the US Police market now. Production capacity and hand fitting (yes the Gen 3 guns did still need some hand fitting) combined to end them.
__________________
Run Fast, Bite Hard!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-19-2012, 03:21 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Va Beach
Posts: 1,516
Likes: 221
Liked 326 Times in 157 Posts
Default

"S&W made a smart decision IMO to drop the Gen 3 guns"


Blasphemy.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-19-2012, 03:30 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 161
Likes: 5
Liked 20 Times in 13 Posts
Default

Agree with most of what was said in the above two posts. Mostly, it is just no longer cost - effective to make the 3rd Gen. pistols any longer.
Most Law Enforcement is going with some sort of stiker-fired polymer, and the civilian market is doing the same. Not very many people go for a metal framed DA/SA auto anymore.
Not to mention, the cost of making something along the lines of a 5906 today, I'm sure S&W would have to charge somewhere between $800 - 1000. People seem to be willing to spend that much on a 1911 type pistol, but I really don't see a market for a SA/DA pistol in that price range, when you can buy an M&P for almost half the price.

From what I've seen, most metal framed SIG's seem to go for around $800+, and they seem to be starting to get more aggresively into the polymer framed pistols. I don't know how many P220/226/229 pistols they sell nowadays, but I would not be surprised if SIG ceased making most of their metal framed model DA/SA guns in the next decade or so.

Last edited by jdesro1911; 02-19-2012 at 03:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-19-2012, 03:44 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South
Posts: 1,816
Likes: 2,026
Liked 1,405 Times in 547 Posts
Default

Glock undercut the market and Block fan boys thing there is nothing like their gun, why that is, is beyond me. They are good guns, if you can get by the crappy ergonomics, but no better than several others.

I can see some limited 3rd Gens being sold again, as high end PC guns for those who appreciate their quality. They will never be cheap enough to compete with plastic.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 02-19-2012, 04:15 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 23
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Default

I really don't have anything against Glocks, but the way they were marketed to law enforcement agencies/departments caused the death of a lot of metal framed autos, not just Smith. The 3rd gen pistols were/are very reliable, just heavy. I can understand how many cops try to carry the least amount of weight as possible. To this day I believe that Smith was caught off guard by what Glock was willing to do to get their foot in the door.

IMO, the best looking pistols ever made are 3rd gen Smiths and SIG's classic line. The 1911 series comes in 3rd. YMMV
__________________
.40 S&W = 10mm Kurz
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-19-2012, 04:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Upstate California
Posts: 494
Likes: 5
Liked 24 Times in 20 Posts
Default

It's simple. Drop in sales caused it. If people kept forking over $ for them they would still be offered. S&W is in business to make money like any other.
__________________
Jon
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-19-2012, 05:22 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 339
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I really like S&W gen 3 pistols. Owned 2 4506-1's. Great guns.... BUT too big and heavy to carry.

Just picked up a minty (like new) 3914 9mm. Going to try it for off duty.

3913/14 series pistols are perfect for CCW/OFF duty.

Now about Glocks.

I was issued a Glock 9mm in 1994. Still carry a Glock (on/off duty). Shot many matches with Glocks.

I must say that as a tool, Glock in 9mm is hard to beat.
They are great in more than one way.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-19-2012, 05:42 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 467
Likes: 0
Liked 118 Times in 29 Posts
Default 3rd Gen Autos

Putting aesthetics and tradition (...guns should be made from steel becuase thats the way it always was...) aside for a second it makes absolutely no sense to make the Gen 3's anymore from a cost standpoint.
On top of that, i have owned andextensively shot about 2 dozen Performance Center autos over the last 16 years, including CQB's , 5906 PC's, Shorty .45's and Shorty 40's, 6906 Recons, Shorty 9, etc.. These were all beautiful/awesome guns for sure. I now have 2 9mm M&P's, and have had a smattering of others in .45. NONE of the PC stuff shoots any better (in some cases they shoot worse) than the M&P's . I know i will be accused of bad things for saying this but its fact.
M&P's are real good polymer, cheap (relative to Gen 3) and easy to produce kick *** pistols.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hawkeye turned Longhorn
Posts: 152
Likes: 1
Liked 20 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Folks,

I appreciate the replies, I really do, but the gist of my question wasn't why the steel-framed S&W autos have been eclipsed by polymer-that's a no-brainer-but why the aluminum-framed Smiths seemed to have been passed by Sig and Beretta when those two companies are providing a very similar product?

Best,

Heekma
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:46 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 339
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by heekma View Post
Folks,

I appreciate the replies, I really do, but the gist of my question wasn't why the steel-framed S&W autos have been eclipsed by polymer-that's a no-brainer-but why the aluminum-framed Smiths seemed to have been passed by Sig and Beretta when those two companies are providing a very similar product?

Best,

Heekma
Sig P226 and Beretta 92 series 9mm are used by MANY units (Military and LE) all over the world.

SIG's and Beretta's in 9mm are SUPER reliable and can take abuse.

From my experience with Beretta 92 (since 1985,in some very nasty parts of the world) I can say that it is the most reliable 9mm pistol I have ever seen.

The only danger that Beretta 92 and SIG P226 are facing today...................is the Glock 17.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:53 PM
Silversmok3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Western South Dakota
Posts: 533
Likes: 3
Liked 309 Times in 120 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by heekma View Post
Folks,

I appreciate the replies, I really do, but the gist of my question wasn't why the steel-framed S&W autos have been eclipsed by polymer-that's a no-brainer-but why the aluminum-framed Smiths seemed to have been passed by Sig and Beretta when those two companies are providing a very similar product?

Best,

Heekma
In a word, Profit.


Gunmakers exist to generate a profit from buying and selling firearms and their related parts & components. This point must be stated at the outset, as only with that idea understood can my answer to your question make sense.

Beretta & Sig make money on metal frame pistols due to the U.S. Government. The largest reason metal frame Sigs and Berettas are even a viable product on the civilian gun counter can be credited to Uncle Sugar.

Today a Beretta 92 is considered in the category of the expensive range toy, as is Sig which is fast becoming a boutique niche brand of firearms. The wife has her Jimmy Choo shoes, and the husband has his Sig 229 pistol.

As far as daily use and carry goes, the current generation of concealed carry shoppers look for lightweight polymer frame guns that are easy to carry and shoot.From the standpoint of the individual user polymer does one thing that metal cant, and that's shooter fitment. The 1911 gets a pass on account of its single stack frame and chamber size, but double stack metal frame guns are a literal pain to hold and carry.Even for my hands they do not feel ideal, and to the female gun shopper 90% of double stack metal 9mm's aren't remotely useable to their hands.My 5906 didn't fit my mother's hands at all, but id bet real money an M&P9 with the small backstrap would work perfect.

A man today can share the same exact pistol with his wife or daughter by simply switching a part on the grip frame.That wasn't possible without two different guns being used in the past.

For the manufacturer the advantages of polymer are a little less charitable.

Milling a metal frame is much more expensive in terms of cost to manufacture than polymer, and its harder to do in a limited time frame. Glock by some sources can make a polymer frame in 85 seconds.

Time to build is a factor because having customer orders backed up may sound good for marketing but its very bad for business, as that backlogged customer base represents revenue that you could have in your pockets now if you had the capacity. Ruger is learning that lesson now with their own 1911 model, which is so hard to find dealers have 37 person wait lists for the weapon. Mutiply that times just ten FFLs and that is a lot of money Ruger is losing for not being able to churn out product fast enough. Had the SR1911 been made out of polymer such a backlog wouldn't exist.

Thus from the gun company's standpoint, they would like to see a marketplace where the only metal guns up for sale are ones on special order for four figures a pop, with polymer being the frame of choice for everything else. In probably 10 years they'll get their wish.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:07 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,072
Likes: 16
Liked 408 Times in 245 Posts
Default

The nail has been struck firmly on the head. Years ago, Beretta & Sig managed to land significant military contracts. However, the metal framed pistol as a general issue military sidearm is a dying breed and they will probably be the last. You will note that the HK Mk23 doesn't have a metal frame and works just fine under extreme conditions and has a service life at least as long as a metal frame.

The metal frame weapons simply can't compete on a cost basis-at least so long as the frames are machined. Instead of machining a gazillion frames, a given number of molds are vary carefully machined and then put into service casting polymer. Also, there are actually some actual user advantages to the polymer frame, or at least some of them. I'm personally not wild about the ones where the frame rails are also polymer.

I've heard from several sources that S&W will cheerfully build metal frame 4 digit guns for LE customers if the order is large enough-like the California Highway Patrol model 4006 order a couple of years ago. If the money is guaranteed up front, no problem. One of the things most have to realize is that the MSRP is about a 60% markup from what the manufacturer actually gets from the distributor/jobber for his product. So that piece you just paid $1K for, netted the maker ~$400. From this, he pays employees, buys ads, pays taxes, insurance, interest on loans, dividends to stockholders, buys new tooling & machinery, pays for material to build more guns, funds product development, fixes leaky roofs....

When the time came to retire our 1006s, we could have bought the guys who needed new guns enough 4006s to match the other guys or we could buy everyone an M&P40, plus gear and have a few bucks left over. Simple choice, and since our average scores went up, a good one for our purposes.

There's a whole lot more people willing to spend ~$400 on a gun than ~$1100. Also, quite bluntly, a whole lot of folks would be a lot better off to spend the 4 bills on the weapon and the the rest on ammo for practice.

Last edited by WR Moore; 02-19-2012 at 07:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:15 PM
Mosinguy's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 47
Likes: 9
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I think what everyone else has said is true. The time to manufacture, costs of manufacture, and the profit from all that has caused S&W to do the sensible thing in order to stay in business: They have made 3rd gen autos a "special order" item and made polymer pistols as their prime breadwinners.

Now, as long as Smith and Wesson makes parts available for purchase to fix broken 3rd gen autos (broken 3rd gen?!?! WHAT?!?), then everything will still be alright in the world.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:27 PM
Denver Dick's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ventura County, CA
Posts: 1,046
Likes: 63
Liked 282 Times in 103 Posts
Default

The rise of the plastic guns along with the increase in costs to produce steel pistols.

Glocks started showing up in the U.S. around that the time that S&W 3rd generation pistols were introduced in 1989. By 1992, both seemed to be fighting hard for attention and buyers' dollars. Glocks seemed to increase in price very slowly while 3rd Gens rose more quickly. Now it seems like it's become a plastic world. Is that progress?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:39 PM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Lets see,

1. they cost more (twice as much as a polymer gun)
2. they weigh more
3. they do nothing more

I always chuckle a little at the "Glock marketing killed the 3rd gen S&W" theory. I think progress killed the 3rd gen S&Ws. The majority of the shooting public has lost interest in the double/single action, exposed hammer all metal pistol. The consumer voted with their wallets, and S&W 3rd gen pistols lost. Painful for many here, the truth none the less.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #18  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:41 PM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosinguy View Post
I think what everyone else has said is true. The time to manufacture, costs of manufacture, and the profit from all that has caused S&W to do the sensible thing in order to stay in business: They have made 3rd gen autos a "special order" item and made polymer pistols as their prime breadwinners.

Now, as long as Smith and Wesson makes parts available for purchase to fix broken 3rd gen autos (broken 3rd gen?!?! WHAT?!?), then everything will still be alright in the world.
My department currently issues the 5906 and 6906. S&W stopped supporting the 6906 a few years ago. In the near future I think parts for the 5906 from the factory will become an issue.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:50 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,312
Likes: 3
Liked 248 Times in 130 Posts
Default

I have a S&W 915 and it easily one of the best handling and most balanced 9mm pistols I own, and I have many.

My late production 5906 is super reliable and a very good gun.

I won't repeat what has been said above, every gun maker has gone to polymer for their semi-auto's and S&W has to stay competitive. They aren't going to stay tooled up to make 5906's to sell them to a niche market when they are selling M&P's hand over fist. Even Beretta has gone to poly frame guns with the Storm and the short-lived 90-Two series. They still make the 92fs and the 92A1 but alloy frame autos are being phased out.

Poly frame guns last longer, are just as light and are easier to make.

As for me, give me an all steel 5906 any day
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:54 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South
Posts: 1,816
Likes: 2,026
Liked 1,405 Times in 547 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CQB27 View Post
Lets see,

1. they cost more (twice as much as a polymer gun)
2. they weigh more
3. they do nothing more

I always chuckle a little at the "Glock marketing killed the 3rd gen S&W" theory. I think progress killed the 3rd gen S&Ws. The majority of the shooting public has lost interest in the double/single action, exposed hammer all metal pistol. The consumer voted with their wallets, and S&W 3rd gen pistols lost. Painful for many here, the truth none the less.
....and Glock undercutting the market for 2 years ala Wal-Mart had nothing to do with it right? The fact they lost money and a lot of it per unit in order to undersell Smith and force competition out of the market is immaterial, correct? Neither the story or your assessment of Gen 3's is as simple as your post..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #21  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:02 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 38 Times in 9 Posts
Default

In 27 years working as an LEO I carried steel, alloy and polymer handguns. Today, I carry/own only metal frame weapons. Guess I have the luxuary of carrying what feels right in my hand. Today, folks buy what is modern..trendy. Polymer does work fine, but it is a matter of quality. Truly fine watches and jewelery will never be made of poylymer and neither will FINE handguns.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #22  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:08 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South
Posts: 1,816
Likes: 2,026
Liked 1,405 Times in 547 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by K Frame Keith View Post
In 27 years working as an LEO I carried steel, alloy and polymer handguns. Today, I carry/own only metal frame weapons. Guess I have the luxuary of carrying what feels right in my hand. Today, folks buy what is modern..trendy. Polymer does work fine, but it is a matter of quality. Truly fine watches and jewelery will never be made of poylymer and neither will FINE handguns.
Exactly...polymer works....but it's like comparing Rolex and Seiko.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:08 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
Posts: 3,346
Likes: 24
Liked 524 Times in 216 Posts
Default

Beretta and Sig always had a certain amount of commercial sales that I think likely exceeded those of the third generation autos. The 3rd generation guns seem to have done best with institutional sales. I don't know that as many people bought them commercially.

Institutional sales continue for the 92 series (the 96 is as far as I know no longer offered b/c LE sales dried up) and the Sigs (particularly the P229s).

S&W also failed to offer increased capacity mags as a factory option. Higher cap (than 15) mags are readily had from Sig and Beretta for their 9mms. While S&W at one point made 20rd mags (I have an old logo one dating to the original 59) they don't seem to have marketed them aggressively, nor bothered to have MecGar stamp a S&W logo on their excellent 17rd mags. They did increase capacity from 14rds to 15rds in the early 90s but that was it.

Steel frame exposed hammer guns are still made and sold by CZ btw. At least last I checked. The Italians (Tanfoglio), Turks, and Filipinos make copies or variants there of as well.

FN meanwhile makes rather nice DA/SA exposed hammer polymer pistols, though everyone seems to ignore them.

I took my early 90s square guard 5903 to the range no long ago, with MecGar 17rd mags. It was a delight to shoot and quite accurate. I did replace the grips on mine with a set of Uncle Mikes aftermarket panels after the original ones broke though.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:11 PM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StatesRightist View Post
....and Glock undercutting the market for 2 years ala Wal-Mart had nothing to do with it right? The fact they lost money and a lot of it per unit in order to undersell Smith and force competition out of the market is immaterial, correct? Neither the story or your assessment of Gen 3's is as simple as your post..
OK it's all Glock's fault.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:22 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Upstate California
Posts: 494
Likes: 5
Liked 24 Times in 20 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
a whole lot of folks would be a lot better off to spend the 4 bills on the weapon and the the rest on ammo for practice.
True that!

Attended a CCW class recently and 3 of the 5 shooters were all over the paper at 25' with very few hits in the kill zone at all. One shooter wasn't even hitting the paper! They were talking about what new gun they wanted to upgrade to. What they needed more than a fancy gun, as the above poster so wisely suggested, was practice practice practice.

(those 3 were shooting a Ruger LCR, Ruger GP100, and a Sigma)
__________________
Jon
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South
Posts: 1,816
Likes: 2,026
Liked 1,405 Times in 547 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CQB27 View Post
OK it's all Glock's fault.
No one said that and you can save your eye rolls. Your assessment was polymer is better and cheaper than metal, which it is cheaper, better, not in a large group of people's opinions. There were a myriad of factors involved beyond what you cited, being my point.

Last edited by StatesRightist; 02-19-2012 at 09:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:39 PM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StatesRightist View Post
No one said that and you can save your eye rolls. Your assessment was polymer is better and cheaper than metal, which it is cheaper, better, not in a large group of people's opinions. There were a myriad of factors involved beyond what you cited, being my point.
Kindly quote where I said polymer was better. What I said was all metal 3rd gen S&Ws cost more, weigh more and do nothing the current array of polymer pistols can't do. The "polymer is better" argument is yours alone. I was simply responding to the "Glock and Walmart" killed the S&W gen 3 pistol theory. I stand by the , you know the free speech thing.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:46 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South
Posts: 1,816
Likes: 2,026
Liked 1,405 Times in 547 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CQB27 View Post
Kindly quote where I said polymer was better. What I said was all metal 3rd gen S&Ws cost more, weigh more and do nothing the current array of polymer pistols can't do. The "polymer is better" argument is yours alone. I was simply responding to the "Glock and Walmart" killed the S&W gen 3 pistol theory. I stand by the , you know the free speech thing.
The only people I know who roll their eyes are teenage girls...so you'll pardon me if I feel like this conversation is going nowhere positive or on a level I care to indulge in and end it.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #29  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:59 PM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StatesRightist View Post
The only people I know who roll their eyes are teenage girls...so you'll pardon me if I feel like this conversation is going nowhere positive or on a level I care to indulge in and end it.
Since now choose to hide behind insulting my manhood while ignoring addressing your claim that I said "polymer is cheaper and better than metal", I have zero problem ending this.

OP, my sincere apologies for the hijack.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:04 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,339
Likes: 65
Liked 225 Times in 151 Posts
Default

Plastic frames and stamped sheet metal internals makes for good margins. Creative destruction at work here.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:18 PM
Silversmok3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Western South Dakota
Posts: 533
Likes: 3
Liked 309 Times in 120 Posts
Default

What seems to be happening in the shooting world is a collision of two schools of thought.

On one side of the table are the old timer shooters who believe in a frame made of steel and a great trigger pull. Such a shottist believes that pressing the trigger and hitting the target is of prime import, and all other considerations regarding end use or treatment of the pistol is secondary as long as the piece is a quality unit.

The other side are populated by people who believe polymer frames are the way to go in terms of capacity and reliability, sometimes taken to extreme levels.Such hold the belief that the traditional double action pistol is obsolete and that any who would decide to carry such a piece is stuck in the past, as after all haven't Glocks and other polymer frame choices been on sale for some time?

I would state that Glock has done nothing new or innovative to change the status of the pistol world that wasn't done already in 1911 with the Colt pistol of the same name, or in 1935 with the Browning Hi-power, or in 1959 with the S&W model 59. Ironic that a small cult of people cherish a pistol that has an inferior trigger pull built to standards of reliability that they will never reach. I have yet to see a practical instance of a shottist needing to recover a fallen carry piece lost during a 10,000 ft skydive, but I see at every range trip a need for the return of the excellent trigger pull. Perhaps then people will be motivated to shoot their guns instead of flapping e-gums about them.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #32  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:47 PM
lhump1961's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Great Midwest
Posts: 1,586
Likes: 721
Liked 894 Times in 427 Posts
Default

We can go on and on about the +/- of steel and poly guns and be mostly right depending on what you like in a gun. I agree with the comment that progress was the demise of the 3rd gen Smiths. The buyers dictate the market and they have spoken. I don't own a poly gun only because I like steel and my guns aren't just "tools" for me...they are one of my passions. I like craftsmanship and style in a well made gun to go along with great functionality. As for what people will pay? I just saw a NIB 6906 go for $725.00 on GB. But probably not enough people like that to support production.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #33  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:09 AM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,242
Likes: 4,084
Liked 4,421 Times in 1,978 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by squidsix View Post
"S&W made a smart decision IMO to drop the Gen 3 guns"


Blasphemy.
"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:12 AM
blujax01's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: C-Bus
Posts: 6,242
Likes: 4,084
Liked 4,421 Times in 1,978 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennettfam View Post
True that!

Attended a CCW class recently and 3 of the 5 shooters were all over the paper at 25' with very few hits in the kill zone at all. One shooter wasn't even hitting the paper! They were talking about what new gun they wanted to upgrade to. What they needed more than a fancy gun, as the above poster so wisely suggested, was practice practice practice.

(those 3 were shooting a Ruger LCR, Ruger GP100, and a Sigma)
You see the same thing on the golf course. Dudes spending $500 on a driver just to hit the ball that much farther into the woods!

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 02-20-2012, 08:40 AM
Mosinguy's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 47
Likes: 9
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CQB27 View Post
My department currently issues the 5906 and 6906. S&W stopped supporting the 6906 a few years ago. In the near future I think parts for the 5906 from the factory will become an issue.

I thought they still made the 5906TSW? If they still make that I'd have to assume there are still parts being produced. If not, there are tons on the surplus market. Plus really, what would my 5906 need in 15 years anyways? Maybe some recoil springs, maybe an extractor?
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:04 AM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosinguy View Post
I thought they still made the 5906TSW? If they still make that I'd have to assume there are still parts being produced. If not, there are tons on the surplus market. Plus really, what would my 5906 need in 15 years anyways? Maybe some recoil springs, maybe an extractor?
We actually rarely need to replace extractors. About the only common wear items are magazine springs and a small spring inside the decocker. The most common replaced part is the night sights, and they are not manufactured by S&W.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 475
Likes: 0
Liked 84 Times in 50 Posts
Default

P239 SAS Gen 2

SIG can't make their new P239's, P938's and P238's fast enough and are adding additional shifts to get more guns to markets. The 1911 field is ever expanding. Remington and Ruger are both capturing robust sales with their 1911 offerings, and they seem to be able to make them profitably while MSRP's are under $800.

Several of our local LE agencies have switched from Glocks to Sigs. Almost every officer you talk to, that has a choice , will choose a SIG over a GLock.

These are buyers that S&W potentially lost when they abandoned the 3rd gen market. Maybe it was so they could focus only on their M&P lines, but I think it was a big mistake. They also make plenty of sales and plenty of profits on their "classic" revolver line - they should be able to do the same with a limited edition of wither classic 3rd gens or some "4th gens".

In my opinion, it's really foolish to drop the alloy pistol line up and let SIG and Beretta dominate that segment.

By the way, there are some quality polymer framed pistols. I think the M&P lines are good guns. The Walther PPS is an outstanding weapon in its own right, but maybe one of the best CCW guns out there in Polymer. And my favorite, which another post mentioned above, are the FNH guns with hammer fired actions. My son bought one after I convinced him it was one of the better new pistols out on the market. He likes my 3rd gens and wanted a new gun, and already has a Walther PPS. he wanted the new gun to be hammer fired, DA/SA and high quality. After trying many out he locked in on an FNP9. That gun is great handling and a great shooter. Probably one of the best out of the box triggers I've used in a long time and extremely accurate.

I'm probably going to buy a less expensive polymer framed gun - for my fly fishing waders/vest use. Other than that, I'll stick with alloy or steel framed guns. In fact, I'll probably buy a compact SIG P239Gen II this year. That's the 4th gen gun S&W should be making. De-horned slide and frame, etc. Only I wish it had a frame mounted de-cocker.

On the other hand, I just saw a LNIB 3914 go for $335 the other day on GunBroker. It's just amazing that you can buy 3rd gens, LNIB, like a 3913/14; 4513's, etc., for $330-$500. Every time I think I should get a new 1911 or SIG I find some great deal on a 3rd gen S&W!
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #38  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:46 PM
dacoontz's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southern Utah
Posts: 2,394
Likes: 240
Liked 400 Times in 155 Posts
Default

What demise???



__________________
Daniel #2322
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Like Post:
  #39  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:02 AM
CQB27's Avatar
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Lindale, Georgia
Posts: 506
Likes: 14
Liked 35 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacoontz View Post
What demise???



WOW! Very nice.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #40  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:42 AM
dsk dsk is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 76
Likes: 3
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Default

I have to concede that from a manufacturing perspective polymer is here to stay, and it will only increase as ways are found to make even slides and barrels from the stuff (or at least, made using steel sleeves inside). Having said that however, I am first and foremost a gun enthusiast, and I'm about as attached to my Glock or Kel-Tecs as I am my toothbrush. I really hope that all-metal firearms don't die completely, because guns are fast losing their charm with me. Everything in the gun stores is flat black and made of polymer these days, and that excitement that comes from seeing a pretty polished blue finish and walnut grips or stocks is gettting harder and harder to come by.

Outdated or not, I'll keep my all-metal Smiths thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:48 AM
Fishslayer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego, PRK
Posts: 5,687
Likes: 3,462
Liked 3,630 Times in 1,564 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silversmok3 View Post
Had the SR1911 been made out of polymer such a backlog wouldn't exist.
I can pretty much guarantee that, but probably not for the reason you have in mind.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:10 PM
waffenmac's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 224
Likes: 79
Liked 41 Times in 22 Posts
Send a message via AIM to waffenmac
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by K Frame Keith View Post
In 27 years working as an LEO I carried steel, alloy and polymer handguns. Today, I carry/own only metal frame weapons. Guess I have the luxuary of carrying what feels right in my hand. Today, folks buy what is modern..trendy. Polymer does work fine, but it is a matter of quality. Truly fine watches and jewelery will never be made of poylymer and neither will FINE handguns.
Amen on that brother,give me a straight gripped Smith anyday.ala 559 659 915 410 4566
__________________
The Lord cometh and right soon
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:11 PM
waffenmac's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 224
Likes: 79
Liked 41 Times in 22 Posts
Send a message via AIM to waffenmac
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacoontz View Post
What demise???



Now those are some awesome pistols.
__________________
The Lord cometh and right soon
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #44  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:17 PM
waffenmac's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 224
Likes: 79
Liked 41 Times in 22 Posts
Send a message via AIM to waffenmac
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokiesDuckHunter View Post
P239 SAS Gen 2

SIG can't make their new P239's, P938's and P238's fast enough and are adding additional shifts to get more guns to markets. The 1911 field is ever expanding. Remington and Ruger are both capturing robust sales with their 1911 offerings, and they seem to be able to make them profitably while MSRP's are under $800.

Several of our local LE agencies have switched from Glocks to Sigs. Almost every officer you talk to, that has a choice , will choose a SIG over a GLock.

These are buyers that S&W potentially lost when they abandoned the 3rd gen market. Maybe it was so they could focus only on their M&P lines, but I think it was a big mistake. They also make plenty of sales and plenty of profits on their "classic" revolver line - they should be able to do the same with a limited edition of wither classic 3rd gens or some "4th gens".

In my opinion, it's really foolish to drop the alloy pistol line up and let SIG and Beretta dominate that segment.

By the way, there are some quality polymer framed pistols. I think the M&P lines are good guns. The Walther PPS is an outstanding weapon in its own right, but maybe one of the best CCW guns out there in Polymer. And my favorite, which another post mentioned above, are the FNH guns with hammer fired actions. My son bought one after I convinced him it was one of the better new pistols out on the market. He likes my 3rd gens and wanted a new gun, and already has a Walther PPS. he wanted the new gun to be hammer fired, DA/SA and high quality. After trying many out he locked in on an FNP9. That gun is great handling and a great shooter. Probably one of the best out of the box triggers I've used in a long time and extremely accurate.

I'm probably going to buy a less expensive polymer framed gun - for my fly fishing waders/vest use. Other than that, I'll stick with alloy or steel framed guns. In fact, I'll probably buy a compact SIG P239Gen II this year. That's the 4th gen gun S&W should be making. De-horned slide and frame, etc. Only I wish it had a frame mounted de-cocker.

On the other hand, I just saw a LNIB 3914 go for $335 the other day on GunBroker. It's just amazing that you can buy 3rd gens, LNIB, like a 3913/14; 4513's, etc., for $330-$500. Every time I think I should get a new 1911 or SIG I find some great deal on a 3rd gen S&W!
Im the same way gunbroker and 2nd and 3rd gen smiths are easy to find under 400.00 but in the last 6 mo nib examples are going through the roof an example was a 6906 nib went for 750.00 and had over 50 bids.
__________________
The Lord cometh and right soon
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:36 PM
OK Hog Shooter's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Central OK
Posts: 2,297
Likes: 480
Liked 359 Times in 229 Posts
Default

I am of the very strong opinion that all 3rd gen Smiths are junk and should be sent to the scrap pile. Please send me all that you have and I will personally see that they are disposed of properly.
__________________
Isaiah 55:8-9
Phil. 4:13
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:53 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,066
Likes: 20
Liked 167 Times in 86 Posts
Default

One word: Glock.
For police officers, Glocks are perfect. Inexpensive, easy to maintain, almost completely corrosion proof, and a consistent trigger pull. If they had a safety lever like a 1911 they'd be perfect.
I had a G30 for awhile, finally selling it because it was too thick for carrying inside the waistband. It was a great shooter, though. But it was a full 1/4" thicker than my 1911. That made a big difference for me.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 475
Likes: 0
Liked 84 Times in 50 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyo5 View Post
One word: Glock.
For police officers, Glocks are perfect. Inexpensive, easy to maintain, almost completely corrosion proof, and a consistent trigger pull. If they had a safety lever like a 1911 they'd be perfect.
I had a G30 for awhile, finally selling it because it was too thick for carrying inside the waistband. It was a great shooter, though. But it was a full 1/4" thicker than my 1911. That made a big difference for me.
You say, "for the Police officers, Glocks are perfect".

I know a lot of officers that would disagree. For their administrators and bean counters, maybe yes. For LEO's that are actual gun enthusiasts, not always the case. Although the big gripe I hear most from my LEO friends that I hunt and shoot with is, that many of today's cops won't do any range time unless they're made to. For those types, who wont take the time or interest in learning DA/SA and 1911 platforms, maybe it makes sense.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 02-22-2012, 03:44 PM
Silversmok3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Western South Dakota
Posts: 533
Likes: 3
Liked 309 Times in 120 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishslayer View Post
I can pretty much guarantee that, but probably not for the reason you have in mind.
Do not be so certain that a polymer 1911 wouldn't sell.

I daresay that with the trends in the gun marketplace today in two decades or less the only new 1911s we'll see for sale with metal frames will be one-off custom orders, with everything mass produced being made out of polymer.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 02-22-2012, 04:58 PM
ColColt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: TN
Posts: 1,209
Likes: 9
Liked 133 Times in 72 Posts
Default

Quote:
Their steel framed guns were as heavy as boat anchors, and none of them were as reliable across the board as the older Sigs and Berettas.
I don't know where you got that information. Is that first hand experience or are you repeating something someone else told you? I've had my fair share of 3rd Gen models and currently one resides and has earned it's place under my pillow-the best and most reliable 45 ACP I've ever had and one which has never failed in 21 years...the 4506. I'd pit it against any plastic marvel that's out there. I love my HK USP-C 45 but it too has the plastic frame but one heck of a fine weapon. I wouldn't sell the 4506 and keep the HK, however. The 4506 will be with me till the end. Again, none finer as for reliability. SWC's GDHP's, HST, hardball or the Flying Ashtray, Corbon-it never cared what you fed it and still don't. Hell, I fed it frozen green beans once and it eat that as well!!

I had a SIG P220(German) about the same time I bought the 4506 and while a touch more accurate, it was no more reliable than the Smith. Today's P220 I wouldn't give $300 for one.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 02-22-2012, 05:04 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,078
Likes: 281
Liked 983 Times in 518 Posts
Default

Simple, it's $.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1911, 3913, 3914, 4506, 5906, 6906, 915, beretta, ccw, commercial, concealed, extractor, glock, military, p226, p238, performance center, polymer, remington, ruger, s&w, sig arms, sigma, smith and wesson, walther

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Thread, What caused the demise of 3rd Gen. Smiths? in Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols; Hello, I realize demise is a bit strong-members of this forum appreciate thes fine guns-with good reason. In today's market ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Demise ChinaSeaSailor The Lounge 26 01-05-2012 08:58 PM
WITHDRAWNSeveral Smiths for sale and a hi standard, 2 Smiths added 7/25 greystonedog GUNS - For Sale or Trade 10 08-03-2011 04:45 PM
Date the demise of the floating hand 1x2 S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 0 01-27-2011 01:02 PM
Demise of the Rule of Law ref441 The Lounge 7 07-18-2009 10:53 PM
20th aniv of the 10mm demise comming up 7tenz Smith & Wesson - The Wish List 13 07-11-2009 01:51 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:27 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)