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Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Other Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols from the 1950's to Present


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  #1  
Old 06-13-2012, 10:54 AM
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Default 4506-1 (R4) "dash 3"

As a S&W 3rd generation fan, I've gathered information on them over the years. Some of the information I gathered here. Some of those early 2000 to 2005 45XX threads are no longer available. I still have some meager records of information relating to the 45XX series and will post it here as I come across it. It may be of value to those of you who appreciate/collect/accumulate the 45XX series pistols as I do.

The 4506-1 is a fine pistol, by any standard. I've found (through my experiences and those of many others) that there is a subset within the 4506-1 series that bears mentioning. The 4506-1 "dash 3".

4506-1 production "officially" ended around 1999 when the 4506-1 was removed from the catalog. S&W continued to produce batches of 4506-1's though, for LE orders. Orders ranged in size from 50 to a few hundred. S&W referred to these guns as 4506-1 revision 4. Shooters/collectors/accumulators have called these 4506-1's "dash 3's" by virtue of the "03" in the upper right hand corner of the label on their boxes.

The label on the box being the surest identifier as there is some variation within this subset of the model 4506-1. These dash 3's appear to have started around 1998/99. All that I have seen had MIM hammers and triggers, black in color. All I've handled and shot have been particularly accurate with excellent triggers right out of the box. VERY good triggers and AMAZINGLY accurate actually. While neither myself nor anyone else, to date, has been able to verify it, it would appear that these dash 3's either had more attention during contruction or were machined to tighter tolerances than previous 4506-1's.

IIRC, there was a 2005 thread where members Wolfy and 45CQB related seperate instances of firing examples of these 4506-1 dash 3's. Both members commented on how nice the triggers were and how surprised they were at the inherent accuracy of these examples. They also pointed out the 03 in the labels. At the time, Lew Horton had a batch of these for sale as well. NIB 4506-1 dash 3's. LE contract overuns is what we were told.

There are three different types of 4506-1 (R4) dash 3 observed. All have the larger barrel hood. The early variants have roll marks on the slide and frame. These have been observed with "V" serial prefixes. VAV, VJP, VLN have been some that I've seen. This variant of the dash 3 was produced with both fixed Novak sights and adjustable sights. The rollmarks on the frame were two lines - serial number and "MOD 4506-1".

The next is very similar but includes factory night sights. The scarcest variant being a 4506-1 (R4) dash 3 with factory adjustable night sights AND rollmarks vice laser etching. Many of these were made for the LAPD and IIRC a member here lettered his and showed us where it was sent to the LAPD revolver and athletic club.

Then there is the 4506-1 (R4) dash 3 with laser etched markings. These markings consist of "Smith & Wesson" and "Springfield MA" with the S&W logo laser etched on the slide. On the frame is a two line laser etching of the serial number and model number. The model number however is not "4506-1", it is simply "MOD 4506". The very final 4506-1's produced were all of this variant. The final examples having three lines laser etched on the frame. The 3rd line being a repeat of the S&W address and, IMO, making the markings look.......too busy......cheesy?

Anyways, I hope this info is of some interest to those 4506 fans. If anyone has pics or additional info, please post it/them. Thanks! Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for revisiting this subject as I've not found any source other than this forum that addresses the 3rd gen "history" in such detail. Now if I can only find your post whenever I have the need to refresh my failing memory on this matter!
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:06 PM
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Thankyou 18DA. I always knew that my 4506 was a tackdriver but really didn't know why. I always wondered why my pistol was etched a MOD 4506 with a rounded trigger guard but no dash 1.
Also the lockup on this pistol is tighter than any other pistol I own. I can barely get the barrel out of the slide when I take it apart.
I bought the gun used at the local gunshop without a box so I never saw 3 listed on it but it is definitely my favorite 45.
My serial is TDNXXXX which indicates a later model I believe.

Thanks again
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:19 PM
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Hi mirroir,

Funny you mention the thing with the barrel. My VJP prefix 4506 dash 3 is the same way. The barrel is harder to get in and out of the slide than my PC 45 CQB is with its Briley bushing.

Mine is a tack driver as well. My friend has a Les Baer 1911. I shot tiny groups - just as tiny as his - with my substantially less expensive 4506 dash 3. So did he! He looked a little green and sickly when he found out it was a standard production pistol and I had less than $600 in it.

TDM is 1999. My duty 4566 is a TDM prefix. Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:53 PM
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Hey 18DAI, you might remember me as I asked about buying a 4506 in March and you quickly responded with a YES!!! I bought a misadvertised 45-06 on GB with a buy now, mint with box, paper, and three mags.
It is as you described "Then there is the 4506-1 (R4) dash 3 with laser etched markings. These markings consist of "Smith & Wesson" and "Springfield MA" with the S&W logo laser etched on the slide. On the frame is a two line laser etching of the serial number and model number. The model number however is not "4506-1", it is simply "MOD 4506". The very final 4506-1's produced were all of this variant. The final examples having three lines laser etched on the frame"
I have only two lines etched on the frame not the ugly 3rd, and I have to agree this thing is quite impressive. Mine features the adjustable sights and a serial number prefix of EKZ77__ and special order 9134.
I like it so much I picked up a very good condition used 4566 with VUV prefix, and automatic deckocker, it also has trijicon night sights which need replaced but I dont know if that was factory. I know the automatic decocker is somewhat rare. Do you know if this is also a rare bird?
Thank you for your knowledge sir, I will try to get pics up soon.

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Old 06-15-2012, 09:14 AM
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Hi huelsterb,

Of course I remember! Best deal on a dash 3 I've ever seen. I'm still green with envy!

I believe EKZ is the serial prefix of the very last 4506-1 dash 3's made. I've not seen a later serial prefix on a 4506. I'm pretty sure they were one of the final batches made.

I have seen a 4566TSW with 3 lines on the frame and a serial prefix starting with the letter B. Allegedly it was a 2008 vintage. It had the stupid rail, decock only and a spurless hammer.

Yes, the 4566 without TSW suffix, decock only and laser etched markings, is a scarce pistol. Not as scarce as your 4506 dash 3, but not common. These are usually found with a spurless hammer too. Nice, barely used examples are rare.

My duty 4566 is one of these. It has Novak low mount night sights and laser etched markings as well. All factory original.

These 4566's, configured as described, were fairly popular in NC LE agencies. Some large college campus police agencies had them, as well as several large Sheriff's departments.

I love mine. I consider it the second best duty pistol made. The best duty pistol made being a 4 inch barrel, stainless Performance Center 4566 CQB. I'm working on getting one of those in my holster. Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:20 AM
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Thanks for the post. I picked up a 4506-1 in minty condition back in Feb. sure enough it's a tack driver. I had it out tonight. The box has the 03 on it SN VDH2014.. The box also says special order #5263.
Here us a pic..




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Old 06-16-2012, 09:27 PM
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I know this is a discussion of the back-end of the 4506, but I could not help myself by throwing in a pic of my 645 transitional...the base that started it all. You can have your $1000+ 1911's...I will gladly stand toe to toe with you with my 645. Damn thing will cycle empty rounds...got to love that.

4506-1 (R4) "dash 3"-picture-014-jpg
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:57 PM
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Very interesting reading. I've carried S&W's off and on throughout my career, especially the early part. This thread made me want to go dig my 4506-1 out of the safe. I picked it up as a police trade in at the local CopShop for $300. I was able to sort through the pile and take the nicest one.

Absolutely one of the best double action triggers ever! The single action is a little creepy and needs work. Accuracy and reliability are and have been the best you could ask for.

That being said - I'm wondering if it's one of the variants you mention?? I didn't get a box with it. The s/n is VYC**** if that helps?? It seems to have the other features as well, but I'm no expert.


Might be time for the range. I need to acquire a few more mags too...still have only the three it came with.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:29 AM
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That would appear to be a dash 3 inspcalahan. You could confirm it by calling S&W customer service, giving them your serial number and confiming it is a 4506-1 revision 4.

You and mbliss57 have early production revision 4 dash 3's as evidenced by the forged hammers. Only the first few batches or 4506-1 (R4) "dash 3" had forged hammers. There are also some that the owners changed out the MIM hammer on for a forged part. The vast majority of production of the 4506-1 R4 dash 3's having the black MIM hammers and triggers.

My early 4506-1 R4 dash 3 is a VAV prefix and has the forged hammer. My later production LAPD 4506-1 R4 dash 3, with factory adjustable night sights, is in the VJP serial prefix. It has a MIM hammer and trigger. Hope this info helps! Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the info! I'll call S&W and see what I can find out.

Does that add to the value at all? or is it just something of note more to collectors? I'm not looking to sell - I stopped selling guns a long time ago. Just curious - other than the always changing model numbers, I never really knew there were variations among each one.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:16 PM
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The value of a 4506-1 in good condition has risen a bit in the last two years. A west coast LE member here tells me that a LNIB 4506-1 with night sights and 5 mags brings $1200. Locally, a nice 4506-1 with one mag brings around $600 +. I think anything below $600 is a steal. Especially when you consider that most current production plastic/MIM guns go for over $500 +.

I'm not a collector, so I can't opine on whether the 4506-1 R4 dash 3 is worth more to those folks. Due to the general lack of interest in S&W 3rd generation auto-pistols, I'm not sure too many collectors are aware of them.

As a shooter and competitor I can tell you it is preferable to the standard 4506-1 simply for the better trigger and increased accuracy. Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:36 PM
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Yep... my 4506-1 has more of a soul than any other gun I've ever owned.


Product Code # 108143
Special Order # 4127
SN# VANxxxx



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Old 06-28-2012, 09:21 PM
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18DAI,
I always enjoy reading your posts and this one is no exception. Thanks for posting up this info. I had previously followed a couple of threads pertaining to this issue awhile back but lost track of them after awhile. Here is a pic of my 4506-(3) with the TDN prefix.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:05 PM
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My 4506-1 has the 03 on the box, and a special order number listed on th box as well (plastic box if that matters). The SN though is LJFXXXX. is it an R4 dash 3?
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:08 AM
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Another great post , my question is a little off topic though. I saw a 4006 looks new at the gun store for around 500 to 600 , should I jump at this ? I'd have to put it on layaway but i was wondering if there are any things details to look at or are the respectively all the same. I have never shot a 40 & for some reason frown upon them a bit seeing as I'd rather have a 10mm & I own the 645 & 659 . They also have another 659 for 300 . Thoughts ?
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aden67 View Post
I know this is a discussion of the back-end of the 4506, but I could not help myself by throwing in a pic of my 645 transitional...the base that started it all. You can have your $1000+ 1911's...I will gladly stand toe to toe with you with my 645. Damn thing will cycle empty rounds...got to love that.

4506-1 (R4) "dash 3"-picture-014-jpg
+1, love my 645. It's a TBD82xx serial. My first Smith auto.

I also like my 4506-1 I just recently got, only taken it to the range once. Shoots just as good as my 645. It's a TYS92xx serial, have not bothered to look up it's date yet.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:36 PM
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hAkron, yes. That is a description of a 4506-1, "dash 3", R4. Congrats!


Merry Christmas all! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
....Then there is the 4506-1 (R4) dash 3 with laser etched markings. These markings consist of "Smith & Wesson" and "Springfield MA" with the S&W logo laser etched on the slide. On the frame is a two line laser etching of the serial number and model number. The model number however is not "4506-1", it is simply "MOD 4506"....
Mine is in this group.VJD08XX serial number. Came apparently unfired with box ad all the goodies including fired case envelope dated 07-12-2001. Fixed Novak Sights. Only modifications I have done is to add Hogue rubber grips and a bobbed hammer from a 6906.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:03 PM
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Default Snag a 4516-1 (R4) "dash 3"?

Did anyone on here snag the 4506-1 (R4) "dash 3" on GunBroker recently?

It went for $705.

(Handejector, my apologies for posting the link. The prohibition against showing active auctions slipped my attention.)

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:49 PM
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I've said if numerous times and it's still true. The 4506 is still king when it comes to reliability and I feel sure the -1 is as well. they just don't get any better. I've had mine since 1990 and never intend selling/trading it for any other...even an HK45. It's the one pistol I've ever had that never caused a FTF, FTE, FTRTB issue with any ammo. I can't say that about the 4566TSW, 457 or even the 4516-1 I've had. It reigns king in my house.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:34 PM
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I have to agree with the first post these later 4566 are made better. The trigger is smother than DA PC guns I have slide frame fit is same as PC guns there is no rattle when shaken. It would be nice if the would release them again. Does any one have any newer than 2006? Got these NIB unfired for little more than bodygard.

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Old 04-21-2013, 10:53 AM
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Hey guys, I just bought a LNIB 4506-1 and I think it is a R4 dash 3 but I am not sure. Here is what I have.

1. Rolled serial number VAXxxx and rolled "Mod 4506-1"
2. Adjustable Novak sights.
3. Trigger is stainless and the hammer is black
4. The box reads: "Spec. Ord. 3271 007 03.

The gun is unfixed and came with the box and all papers. Would anyone have any insight whether this is a R4 Dash 03. I read the thread so am I right to believe that the dash 03 were made with tighter tolerances? Any thing else regarding history? Thanks

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Old 04-21-2013, 03:58 PM
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congradulations on your find. PM sent.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:00 PM
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Congrats ledj you have one too!

PM sent. Enjoy that fine 4506-1 dash 3!! Regards 18DAI
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:50 AM
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Bought a 4506-1 with adjust. sights, 3 mags. and AKER holster today on GB after S&W confirmed a built date of July 1998. No papers or box but the late date along with the black MIM hammer/trigger leads me to beleive it could be a "03" gun. Without the box label I'll never know for sure.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:16 PM
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I was going to upload some pics of a 4506-1 that I had just purchased, but am having issues getting pictures to load. (What's the easiest way of making a picture smaller in KB or MB)

I happened to be browsing for 10mm's (I have a bad addiction to 10mm), but happened to see this and noticed the 03 on the box. If it wouldn't have been for this thread, I probably would have passed it on by. Only thing I can find wrong with this is it has a very minor "dummy scratch".

These are the numbers on the box:
Product Code 108271
Spec. Ord 9048

My box has the 03 behind the "Features" category which is as follows
8SH FNS TDA 03

The 03 is in a little different spot than the pictured box in this thread, but I'm pretty sure that is signifies the same thing. Am I wrong? Serial number is MJF1xxx.

Thanks 18DAI for the sharing your knowledge.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:28 AM
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Congrats on your new 4506-1 dash 3 ahoss79!!

The indicators seem to be all there. 03 on the box, 1999 build date. That MJF serial prefix is one I've not seen before.

S&W sometimes "saved" blocks of serial numbers. I've no idea what their method for doing this is. I do know that it can result in serial prefixes being used on 1999 production guns as well as 2004 production guns as seen with the TDA prefix.

A member who picked up a nice 4506-1 - which appeared to be a 4506-1 (R4) dash 3 - has PM'd me that he called S&W and they told him that his 4506-1 was a revision three. Not revision 4. He called a second time and was told the same thing. But his box shows an 03 in the proper location. His serial prefix is near that of some known 4506-1 (R4) dash 3's as well.

So, you can see that this whole thing is a bit confusing sometimes and difficult to track accurately. It does prove one thing, never say never with S&W. Regards 18DAI
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for the great information, and congrats on these pistols!
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:15 PM
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I hope I can recall the info correctly.

I purchased a brand new 4506-1 at a TX cop shop around 1998. It was very smooth and accurate shooter. I used it a short time as a duty weapon.

As many know me....I could not leave well enough alone and I sent it to SW PC for a duty action job.

This PC DA trigger was a dream. It was better than my both my CQB factory triggers.

I sold it to a family friend to buy a CQB.

I am not sure if he still has it.

He usually does not get rid of stuff.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:03 PM
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Just for reference purposes, I picked-up a 4506 box off e-bay for my used 4506 and what was on the end label?

Product Code: 103728
** Special ** 03
Spec Ord: 7292
S/N VZT2008
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:05 AM
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Talking Ban on high capacity "boxes"

Quote:
Originally Posted by acco40 View Post
Just for reference purposes, I picked-up a 4506 box off e-bay for my used 4506 and what was on the end label?

Product Code: 103728
** Special ** 03
Spec Ord: 7292
S/N VZT2008
As the old saying goes, "Boxes don't kill people...People kill boxes..."

(Or something like that...)

Now if you can just find the contents...
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:55 PM
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Here is a close-up of the markings found on my 4506 with the EKZ prefix. It is still in the same condition as when it left the factory.
Attached Thumbnails
4506-1 (R4) "dash 3"-mod-4506-dash-4-jpg  
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:37 PM
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For all you Dash-3 fans, fleabay has a Smith & Wesson Model 4506 Factory Hard Plastic Pistol Handgun S&W Case for sale. The label list Model 4506 Rev 03 for a VJL prefix.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:22 AM
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According to this thread, mine is an R3 version with factory adjustable tritium sights. The sights were dead when I got it. The box it came in, was just a generic Smith plastic case. No markings of any kind. The slide is currently at Trijicon getting relamped. I can wait to get it back and shoot it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:08 PM
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Robertson Trading Post on your favorite auction site had been listing some very nice Dash-3's, case and all, prefix TDP, that came form a local sheriff's department. I just checked a little while ago and both have been sold, but keep your eyes open for possibly more.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:23 PM
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Another TDP prefix is available at Robertson Trading Post.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acco40 View Post
Robertson Trading Post on your favorite auction site had been listing some very nice Dash-3's, case and all, prefix TDP, that came form a local sheriff's department. I just checked a little while ago and both have been sold, but keep your eyes open for possibly more.
The more expensive of the two will be mine next month. I put it on layaway.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:16 PM
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Default New to Me 4506-1 Dash 3

Just received my Dash 3 from Robertson Trading Post. The pistol looks brand new and came with everything from the factory. They must have a slew of them because new ones keep popping-up.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:27 PM
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odd, I just checked all the completed auctions on 4506 from Robertsons and the gun I put on layaway does not have the S&W logo on the slide like the other TDP serial # guns.

Last edited by dswancutt; 08-28-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:27 PM
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Default New 4506 Dash 3

Here is the 4506 Dash 3 that I purchased from Robertson Trading Post. It came with everything as shipped from the factory including the 6" shorter spring for lighter target loads. The pistol was spotless when I received it and I doubt it was shot much. Now to take her out for a spin this weekend.

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Old 08-29-2013, 02:37 PM
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Default 4506 Dash 3 Case

For all you Dash 3 fans, I have a 4506 Dash 3 factory case with the manual, unused warranty card, engraving pamphlet, and the hard to find 6" shorter spring with the instruction paper. The spring does have a very slight curve to it, but it is not kinked or rusted so it will work fine. If you are interested, e-mail me at crew696@yahoo.com I don't want to post on the classifieds until this small group of Dash 3 aficionados gets a look. All e-mails will be replied by FIFO. TXS






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Old 09-01-2013, 11:01 AM
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I sent a history request letter in to S&W to see if they would give some more info on the my "dash 03". I got a letter back referencing the history of a 4516 and referring to my pistol as a 4516 It did state that my pistol was originially delivered to the Los Angeles Police & Pistol Club in Feb. of 1999. So I did learn a little interesting info.

Looks like I'll have to contact Roy to get the letter redone.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:56 PM
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Here you go. This is the box label for my 4506-1 (Dash 3??) that was shipped in 1997. I've also posted a section from the letter I received from Roy Jinks at S&W regarding my "Special Order Los Angeles Police" pistol. By the way, check out the product code on my box. I believe the "box" that acco40 has may be for a "Special Order Los Angeles Police." FWIW





For more on this pistol and the product code, see here: 1997 Mod. 4506-1 with Factory Adjustable Night Sights - What do you think? - PHOTOS
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:08 AM
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Default Best estimate on numbers produced?

What is the best estimate on the total number of R4 dash-3s produced?

Any clues -- or guesses -- at all?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:09 PM
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Outrider short of getting Roy Jinks to give us a number, I don't think there is anyway to accurately tell the number of 4506-1 "dash 3's" made.

Hell, we can't really reliably tell when they began to be made. 1998 looked like it, till one member here was told his was a revision 3....????

As to when they ended, I would have guessed 2006, maybe 2007. BUT I was recently made aware of the possibility that the Nebraska State patrol purchased NEW 4506-1's (presumably "dash 3's") as late as 2009 2010. I haven't confirmed this......yet. Regards 18DAI
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:52 PM
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Default Picked up 2...

I picked up two dash-3s from Robertson Trading Post.

Slightly pricey -- but well more than worth it -- and probably cheaper than a GunBroker auction. One was likely January 1998. The other was probably October 1999.

More later with photos...

Odd point, thought. The pricier of the two had night sights -- which the previous owner had whited over rather than having had it re-lamped...

Robertson didn't realize they were night sights for that reason...

Robertson was great to deal with...I'll do business with them again...

My two aren't quite as pristine as Acco40's, but they're still plenty sweet...And both mine had Hogues -- which is a big deal for me...

Last edited by Outrider; 09-28-2013 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:33 AM
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ABoy what a great discussion. Thanks.
I don't have a clue as to what my 4506-1 is but it was made in Dec. of 1995 according S&W. The s/n starts with VYC xxxx.

The thing that impresses me more than anything about my pistol is it will shoot any 45ACP cartridge you want to feed it with accuracy. I can never remember it failing and I have shot 1000's of rounds through it.
I load my own cartridges and have tried many different receipts with excellent results from both jacketed and cast bullets.

I’ve owned many 1911’s in my day and will put this 4506 up against any of them.

Love this blog.


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Old 09-29-2013, 08:30 PM
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I have an interesting little tid bit.

Member Inspcalahan just contacted me and it seems that my 4506-1 and his 4506-1 both with s/n prefixes of VYC are only 30 digets apart.

Interesting don't you think.
djh

Last edited by djh1765; 09-29-2013 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:14 PM
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I want one of these badly! Anyone know a source, I could find a nice one under $600?
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