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Old 10-03-2012, 09:14 PM
bruno2 bruno2 is offline
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Default Mod. 5943? honest opinion?

I've not seen much mention of mod.5943? does anyone have A opinion or information? + or -?
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:14 PM
RufusG RufusG is offline
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It's lighter than a 5946. It's narrower than a 5906. You could make an argument that it was the overall best 3rd gen double stack based on that, but there just aren't a bunch of them floating around.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:20 AM
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Neat pistol that was only cataloged for the year when they made a bunch of different model 3rd gens (4004, 4044, 5924, 5944, etc.).

Stainless slide so you don't have to worry about the rust or wear to the finish of the blued xxx4s.

But, although I do really like that shorter first DA trigger pull of the DAOs, I do prefer the follow up SA trigger pull of a xx0x or xx2x over the DAO pull of a xx4x.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:16 PM
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I agree with both of you. I haven't heard much about Mod.5943? & I also like S.A. trigger pull. maybe I should save my money wait for another must have?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:28 PM
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Or is this A must have?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:34 PM
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I've not seen much mention of mod.5943? does anyone have A opinion or information? + or -?
bruno2”:

Mechanically, the 5943 offers all of the same features as any of the other full size, original double column 9mm’s that were part of the 3rd Generation line except for their trigger mechanism and the components related to it.

You probably already know this but the base gun in the line (the 5906) was what was called (in the 1990’s as other options became available and a need for differentiation became necessary) a “Traditional Double Action” pistol. This was because it offered a long and relatively heavy, revolver-like “Double Action” trigger stroke for its first shot when starting from the hammer down position. This was followed by a shorter “Single Action” stroke for every additional shot fired from the self-cocked (function-cocked) hammer position and before the gun was somehow “decocked” to the hammer down position. That “decocking” was generally accomplished by the shooter’s manipulation of a combination manual safety/decocking lever that was mounted on the rear side(s) of the slide. This functioning had been “traditional” within the Smith & Wesson line since the introduction of their single column Model 39 in the early 1950’s.

The 5943 was a departure from that “tradition” in that it offered a shorter but still somewhat revolver-like stroke for not just the first shot, when its hammer was carried in a down but fireable condition (a somewhat different condition than the 5906 in that it was not all the way forward as it was in the 5906) but for every shot that followed. The 5943 also lacked that “combination manual safety/decocking lever” that “was mounted on the rear side(s) of the slide” on the 5906 and other Traditional Double Action guns in the 3rd Gen Series because it wasn’t necessary. With the 5943 in its fireable condition, you just pulled the trigger when you wished to shoot the gun and you stopped pulling the trigger when you were done. There was no need to “decock” and just like the revolvers of that era, there was no manual safety.

The lack of that “combination manual safety/decocking lever” is why “RufusG” somewhat misleadingly states that the gun is “narrower than a 5906”. For without its user-operated pads or paddles on each side of the slide (protruding substantially from each side of the slide), the 5943’s maximum width (at that point only) is less but at every other measurable point along the two pistols’ surfaces, they are identical in regard to thickness. So the grip frames are the same and the holster choices are the same (except for allowances in over-the-hammer retention strap lengths that might be required in some holster designs because of differences in hammer profiles, their hammers'“at rest” positioning, and the rearmost slide lengths between the two guns).

Note that I am not saying that “RufusG” is intentionally attempting to mislead or misdirect you in this regard. He is not; for in fact, he is correct. The maximum width of the 5906 is greater than the 5943 but only at one, very localized position. It is not a bigger or bulkier gun and that is all that I am pointing out.

It should also be noted that “RufusG” is very correct about the aluminum-framed 5943 being “lighter than a 5946” (its stainless steel-framed counterpart). As a full size carry gun, it’s a dream. And while recoil management and tolerance by the shooter will always be subjective (what one person barely notices can be completely unacceptable to another), I don’t think that there is much to complain about here. Admittedly, I shot one very regularly over a several year period so some people would say that I just got used to it. But personally, I don’t think that there was much to get used to in terms of increased recoil due to the lighter weight.

I also wouldn’t worry about the gun’s projected lifespan because of that construction either. Certainly as a machined and assembled piece of “machinery”, anything can fail but again, after having shot a number of aluminum-framed 3rd Gen guns extensively for a number of years, I don’t think that there is anything to worry about regardless of some of the things I have seen posted in other threads on this site.

To me, your biggest concerns here would be if it fits your hand, if you like the way it feels, and if you like the way the trigger operates.

For a double column gun, it is not exceptionally big or clumsy but you still have to be able to wrap your hand around it and reach the trigger in manner that will allow you to operate it correctly. You need to check for that.

As to “feel”, the gun is normally found with a curved backstrap, one-piece grip (which is probably the better shape for a pivoting trigger DAO gun) but the factory's straight backstrap version will also fit and might work better for you, depending on what you prefer. Also fit-able to the gun are the now-discontinued but still somewhat available Uncle Mike’s three-piece grips with a backstrap that’s sorta half-way, in-between the two Smith types. Readily available are the Hogues, which, if you have a big hand are significantly larger than either the factory or the Uncle Mike’s versions. So it appears that there are a number of things you can do in an effort to tailor the gun to your hand.

The main thing however is the actual operation of the trigger. As a gun sold by the factory as being “Double Action Only” it is obviously “Double Action” for every shot but its travel is much shorter than the first shot on the “Traditional” model I described above and its overall movement is not at all like the follow up Single Action shots on those guns either. Does that make it bad? Of course not. And if you look at some of the threads on this Board here dealing with Pistols, you will see that a lot of people actually prefer it over the “Traditional” guns. It’s just “different” and you simply need to know that going in and make up your own mind in regard to whether or not you like it or if it is “right” for you.

That said, I hope this helps and I hope that it is “right for you” for as both “RufusG” and “snw19_357” correctly point out, it was a “Neat pistol…” for which “You could make an argument that it was the overall best 3rd gen double stack…” and that “…there just aren't a bunch of them floating around” because it “…was only cataloged for the year when they made a bunch of different model 3rd gens…”.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:14 PM
bruno2 bruno2 is offline
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Wow!Now that's the kind of explanation I can appreciate. just twisted my arm A little I'm gonna take A hand full of 9.mm. to the shop & try it out. Greatly appreciated thanks for A great response!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:19 PM
bruno2 bruno2 is offline
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Is that why the the hammer is not completely concealed = Bobbed. ?still has 2 or 3 ribs to get a hold of?

Last edited by bruno2; 10-04-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:34 PM
grif684 grif684 is offline
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I was issued a 5943 as a duty weapon in the early nineties (as were all patrol officers then) and at first I wasn't to crazy about the DAO, having owned several S/A-D/A pistols, but actually learned to appreciate it as time went on, due to the simplicity of it. I carried that pistol for more than a dozen years, and the only problem I ever had was a defective mag release (flew apart) when the gun was new and had only a hundred or so rounds through it. After that, it was only the occasional recoil spring replacement. I carried it with the above mentioned Uncle Mikes grips, and it was very comfortable for me. I enjoyed it so much that when we changed to the plastic pistols, I purchased it from the dept. for the more than fair sum of one hundred dollars, and still enjoy firing it to this day....night sights long since dead, but here it is, I keep it in the original box....
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:44 PM
bruno2 bruno2 is offline
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Thanks eor your input Grif
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:39 PM
scottr scottr is offline
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The 5943 is absolutely terrible. My wonderful wife, in one of her weaker and less thoughtful moments, bought me one from a pawn shop. It has a dead front night sight and is a bit sloppy in frame to slide fit. In the past 2 years I have struggled (struggled I say!) with it through a one day Advanced Handgun class taught by Russell Tanji and 2 three day classes with Louis Awerbuck (Shotgun/Handgun and Carbine/Handgun). I had to fight with that consistent and smooth trigger pull, and the mind-numbing reliability was just plain awful. Absolutely horrid!

Do not buy one, any of you. Until I have purchased two more. Then have at it!

BTW, Safariland makes a ALS holster that works spectacularly well with the 5943, and it is $50 or less.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grif684 View Post
I was issued a 5943 as a duty weapon in the early nineties
If that's what it looks like after being used as a duty weapon and then as a personal weapon for all these years, I wouldn't be too worried about the 5943's durability.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno2 View Post
Wow!Now that's the kind of explanation I can appreciate. just twisted my arm A little I'm gonna take A hand full of 9.mm. to the shop & try it out. Greatly appreciated thanks for A great response!
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Originally Posted by bruno2 View Post
Is that why the the hammer is not completely concealed = Bobbed. ?still has 2 or 3 ribs to get a hold of?
“bruno2”:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

The hammer you saw on the 5943 isn’t really “bobbed” as “bobbing” is more often associated with lopping off or significantly reducing the spur that is found on some hammers where it is used for manually cocking the guns to which they are attached into Single Action because it was felt that their original profile could snag when carried or be problematic for other reasons. That term is also used when that hammer spur is “bobbed” (or outright “removed”) on firearms that have been “converted” to double-action-only and it is no longer necessary. On the 5943, it is shaped differently from the start, for as discussed in my previous Post, this is a Double Action Only gun and there is no Single Action function or mode to it and, therefore, a spur isn’t needed and other criteria became the primary reasons behind the hammer design or profile.

The hammer on this gun needs a surface shaped to allow the slide to ride across it as it moves to the rear (and again to the front) as a component of the gun’s functioning when it is fired or cycled manually. That part of the shape allows for several things.

It provides enough contact with the slide so that in combination with the spring to which it connects in the backstrap/butt, the hammer affects (resists or slows down) the slide during that movement (after the gun is "fired") to the degree desired (or needed) by the “engineering” of the gun.

It also provides the right shape so that when the gun is “fired” the hammer makes the desired amount of contact with the firing pin that is contained within the slide.

And finally, it provides the correct amount of mass so that when the gun is “fired”, the hammer combines with the force generated by the spring to which it connects in the backstrap/butt to strike the firing pin in the slide in such a way that it can detonate the primer of the chambered cartridge.

The “ribs’ (your word) are there for function and engineering reasons in order to allow its final shape to permit those three things and more; including, again through overall engagement with the slide, helping the hammer (through the surface machined on its other end) to come to rest in a fireable condition (after such back and forth cycling of the slide is accomplished either by "firing" or manual handling of the slide and frame), awaiting the user to pull the trigger if he or she chooses.

They are not there for the user to “get a hold of” for there is no reason to do so as there is nothing to be had by doing so. If the mechanism needs to be reset (other than by firing), it is purposely designed to reset by manually “cycling” the slide on the frame.

When the Double-Action Only concept was developed, a number of different approaches were considered.

While I personally preferred one that utilized a conventional hammer profile (albeit flat to rear face of the slide like on a 469/669/6904/6906) and offered a longer, more K-Frame-revolver-like stroke, after much studying, testing and experimenting, it was decided to go with the one you probably "see" (experience) in your gun. It employs a shorter trigger stroke that many people preferred and even I acknowledged would “fit” a larger number of people than does the more conventional length that I happened to like and that had been seen as the first stroke on many S&W semi-automatics for decades.

In order for the gun to be in that “fireable” condition that I mentioned earlier, it needs to have that lower surface that I mentioned properly engaged. In that condition, it was decided early on, that the hammer on these shorter-stroke (length) guns would have to “rest” or “sit” in a position further to the rear than it did in the case of the more familiar and more conventional Traditional Double Action guns. As such, the slide and the frame on these guns were extended to the rear in the standard production models in order to better encapsulate the hammer when it was in this location.

It was felt that this would minimize concerns that some people, unfamiliar with the mechanism, might have if they thought the gun was “cocked” in the manner of a gun capable of single action firing (or even “half-cocked” as seen on those pistols that employed a half-cock notch for other reasons). This encapsulation would also help minimize people’s attempts to reset the mechanism by manipulating the hammer instead of manually cycling the slide on the frame. This physical difference was why I mentioned the differences in slide and frame lengths as related to possible issues with holster retention and safety straps designed for either Double Action Only or Traditional Double Action versions of the 5900 Series in my first response.

It should be noted that in addition to a number of various trigger-stroke-length guns that were floated out in the public’s (generally Law Enforcement’s) hands for feedback, there were also Double Action Only models sent out for testing (and possibly for sale when they were through) with the shorter slides (and frames) of the original Traditional Double Action guns fitted to them that had all kinds of filler plates installed into the manual safety/decocking lever recess cuts in their left sides. It was an interesting time to say the least and I am sure that some of those early guns are still out there; either confusing people or making them wonder what they have.

While I am sure that you learned all about the action of the gun you mentioned first hand (that is, if you had the chance to test fire that pistol as you indicated in your earlier message), I still hope that at least some of this helps you out and perhaps answers some of the questions that you and other people reading this thread have about this Model in general.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:37 AM
PPCSHOOTER PPCSHOOTER is offline
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I CARRIED A 5943SSV FOR YEARS. LOVE IT, WON MANY A MATCH WITH IT. JP
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:17 AM
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The 5943 is a great gun. The alloy frame makes it light enough to carry. I wish I still had mine.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:55 PM
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This forum member possesses a 5943 TSW and for which one unerasable memory was set the first time I picked it up: "Man, that thing is heavy." It comes in at about 3 ounces under 2 lb. w/o a loaded magazine . . . but it sure does handle beautifully, otherwise.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:12 PM
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Default I've read and posted a few threads....

I've read and posted a few threads on the 5943. I have one and I like it (after I got used to it not being a SA/DA revolver).
The frame is aluminum so it doesn't soak up recoil like a steel frame, but I shoot light loads thru it anyway. Heavier loads are not uncomfortable, just more muzzle flip. I think it would be at least as hefty as a polymer frame. It seems to be very reliable. I haven't had a hiccup with it yet. I prefer the DAO because all of my trigger pulls are the same, 1st, 2nd and last shot.

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Old 10-16-2013, 12:08 AM
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I own a 5943TSW. I could be wrong, but I think this model is slightly different functionally. I know it has sturdier/beefier rails, and I believe it does not utilize a "semi cocked" or "partially staged" hammer like my 4546 and 4053 do. I might have terminology wrong there, so hopefully someone will come along and correct/clarify my errors.

Overall, like most other 3rd gennies, rock solid pistol that will run like a tank.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:50 AM
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4506517,
I believe you are correct. On the later TSW models, S&W used the same slide and frame on both TDA and DAO models. On DAO models, they installed a "firing pin retainer" into the cavity machined for the manual safety body and substituted a DAO trigger and hammer. The good news is they can be converted to TDA by changing a few parts. A much more modular and convertible design but a heavier double action pull.
John

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Old 10-16-2013, 06:14 AM
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I have a 5944, which is the same gun as the 5943 with a blued slide and black dye added to the anodized frame finish. The 5943 is light enough to carry and strong enough to handle 124-grain +P loads.

I really like the S&W DAO 3rd Generation guns as the trigger reach with the partially cocked hammer is short enough for my small fingers, the trigger pull is extremely smooth, and the guns just work.

If I had a chance to buy a 5943, I would not hesitate.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:15 PM
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For goodness sakes! I've now encountered more 5943 (and 5944 works for me) owners in this thread than on all of those encountered on the gunrange/s. I just love this here Smith & wesson Forum!

Way too cool. Hell, I might just expire.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:10 PM
GoodMornin GoodMornin is offline
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My all time favorite with Goncalo Alves boots on
5943TSW
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