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  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 01:17 PM
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Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.  
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Default Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.

The model 3906 is perhaps the most often overlooked 3rd generation pistol extant. If you do a Google search on it there is precious little information on the net. Even a search here returns fairly little, in comparison to the more talked about models.

Perhaps it is because the 3906 was only produced for around two years. Or the fact that the 3906 is a single stack pistol, containing hardly enough ammunition for a run to the stop & rob to buy milk. Or maybe its because of the 3906's chambering in 9mm which the internet experts tell us is practically insufficient to kill paper targets at the range with. Or perhaps it is because the 3906's all steel construction makes it a little heavy. I understand that lots of folks consider "heavy" pistols negatively these days. Maybe they should lift weights more often.

Yet the 3906 does have a following......small though it may be.

I've often read that one reason for the short production life of the 3906 was the rise in popularity of the high capacity wonder nines. If true, add one more thing to the list of problems those wonder nines caused. I've also read that the 3906 production numbers were alleged to be as low as 2600 pistols. That may account for the scarcity of these guns.

I found out about the existance of the 3906 some years ago here on this forum. I was intrigued by the prospect of a flat single stack 9mm, like my beloved 3913, with all steel construction. What a great platform for shooting hot 9mm rounds through. Might be the "perfect" do everything well pistol, for me.

It took me quite some time to track one down. The first one I came across was at a gunshow back around 2005.....or 2006. It had adjustable sights. Those looked out of place, to me, on a flat carry/combat pistol. The price was $475 IIRC with only one mag. I thought that was a bit much and passed. I didn't see another 3906 for almost five years. I jumped on that one!

Mine has the early fixed sights. They are a little small IMO. I'd have preferred a later production examle with the Novak low mounts. I still often toy with the idea of sending my 3906 off to Wayne Novak in Parkersburg WV to work a little magic on. I may yet do that.

Anyways, the 3906 really is a fine pistol. For just about every purpose. any other fans here? Regards 18DAI
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:53 PM
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I'd say I'm a fan, even though I haven't actually held a 3906...yet. I've had the one pictured sitting at my FFL for the last month or so, just need to come up with the extra $ for the transfer and tax fees

Like you, learning from posts here is what attracted me to the 3906. I was disappointed to learn that they were made in such small numbers, as I find most double stacks uncomfortably wide when compared to their single stack counterparts (even with my large hands).

Mine is destined to be mainly a HD piece, as I didn't like the idea of touching off a .357 - or even a .38 - indoors. 9mm still wouldn't be fun, but likely less damaging than the other two. I'll also pick up a holster for it, perhaps a Kramer Scabbard, so it can be carried too.


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Old 12-05-2012, 02:38 PM
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I was wondering if someone here had picked up the one that was on GB. If it would have had adjustable sights I would have been in it and gone $100 more. Nice gun just not the one I want.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:40 PM
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Robinett 11B - Thats what I'm talking about! Beautiful 3906! Congrats!

You must lift weights too. I'm envisioning mine looking identical to yours after a trip to Novaks. Regards 18DAI
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:35 PM
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Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.  
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the 3906 is the classiest 9mm I've ever laid hand on - only seen one in person and the guy wanted way too much for it. I can't abide spending hard dollars for a 9mm when I can get a 45x6 for the same price
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:47 PM
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Robinett -- YEA! you found one! Nice looking gun, let us know how it shoots when you are able to pick it up.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:52 PM
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Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.  
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I have a 3904 and am delighted to have it. I realize it isn't a 3906, I can only wish it was a 3906, or even a 5906 but when it came to me and the former U.S. Consul told me he could "arrange" for me to have it registered and to be able to take it shooting, I knew it was one of those situations where you either said "YES!" or did without for the rest of your life and kicked yourself for it.

When it came to me, I found the lower frame had all the anodizing worn off one side of the trigger guard. It was "found" by the Consul in the effects of a U.S. Citizen who died of natural causes, and of course was not registered when found. I had one of the Brownell's bake-on spray finishes applied and have been most happy with it. I did not pay the Colonel for it, exactly, but he had me give a "donation" of 300.00 dollars to the local charity of my choice from a list he provided and I walked with it. (I chose the local volunteer fire-department.)



I found the issue front sight, a .204 was causing me to group quite high at 25 yards using the Lee 125 grain RN bullet at 1,120 fps. So, I purchased a .228 front and that brought things together. These photos were taken with the original .204 front sight installed and the current sight is identical, just a bit higher. Although I have a Glock as well, I greatly prefer the 3904.


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Old 12-05-2012, 06:49 PM
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I just bought a 3904 off Gunbroker. I already have a 3913 I use for Summer carry under a shirt but I wanted 1 more round, a little longer grip and a little longer sight radius. I figure I can conceal another 1/2 inch of butt. We will see. The slimness of the 3904 reminds me very much of my old 45.

I have owned a 5906 for 20 years and it took getting my carry permit for me to appreciate the single column 9mm Smiths. I cannot believe S&W let the 3913 go out of production. I wish someone would buy the rights from them and put it back into production. Sig does well with their 239 and I think the 3913 is a better, slightly smaller pistol.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:40 PM
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Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.  
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My own completely unqualified opinion is that the S&W 3904\6904, 3906\5906 autos were simply ahead of their time. Although they were old "non-plastic" technology, they are slim, light enough to carry and heavy enough not to beat you to death with recoil on snappy rounds, and they are accurate.

They came out in the age of the wondernine, and who would want one when one could have a wondernine? Now, in the age of concealed carry (legal or illegal, depending on which country you live in) people can appreciate the fact that the gun is slimmer and won't print in a proper holster.

In civilized lands, printing might cause a rebuke (or not). In uncivilized lands, it might literally be the death of you. You will notice that mine is photographed with the Galco Original Jackass Shoulder System holster that I ordered to go with this pistol. It appeals to the "Miami Vice" fan in me.

A self-taken photo on the back patio with the then-new Jackass rig. The 3904 wasn't even two-tone at that time. I was SO excited to have a 3904! I got the holster right away and have not regretted it since.



Another self-taken photo from a couple of years ago when our Club was looking for the new range (which is going through approval as we wait). I was driving around alone in a lot of back-country Mexico at the time in my Batmobile looking for suitable spots. I wore the 3904 because anyone I ran into out there either wouldn't care or would REALLY need to care. I stopped to take a this photo, and friends have suggested it gives the impression I am having more fun than I should be down here at times.



And of course, let's not forget the wedding photo. I wore the 3904 for my "Miami Vice Wedding" in 2008. Y'all would have loved it. Would have been another chance to use that pink suit.


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Old 12-05-2012, 08:29 PM
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Calmex, you are one brave hombre traveling the back roads of Mexico with a single stack 9....
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:32 PM
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If ever a real person embodied that "Stay Thirsty, My Friend" thing...

Dude, you're it!
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
Or the fact that the 3906 is a single stack pistol, containing hardly enough ammunition for a run to the stop & rob to buy milk.
Now that is the funniest thing I have read today!

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:20 PM
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Got one too. Old style sights from the first production run. Bought it back when they first produced. Still have the box & papers. Don't shoot it much anymore. Like much better that the fat grip wondernines. In fact the only "wondernine" I like is the original, my BHP.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:21 PM
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I bought a 3904 because I liked the full size single stack and the blue 3904 is scarcest of them all and I got it at a great price... I would buy a 3906 if I could ever find one....just to have it The truth is those of us reading this know there in't a 3rd gen 9mm made that isn't awesome I am also a 10mm and 45 3rd gen nut..
but I don't own a .40 caliber in any brand...maybe I will someday but I keep telling myself I don't need one with my 10mm's and .45's and 9mm in +P..but that is a different discussion.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:10 PM
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I finally found an affordable Mod 3904 with adjustable sights. Its a very nice pistol. Now I just need to find a 3906 with adjustable sights, a 3906 with fixed sights, and a 3904 with fixed sights. The end of the 3rd gen collection never stops.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:41 PM
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Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.  
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I love mine. It is one sexy gun. This particular example was aquired here on the forums in trade for a 4013 TSW.


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Old 12-06-2012, 12:03 AM
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Great pistols without a doubt. Trijicon sights literally transform the early pistols with the (less than ideal) pre-Novak fixed sights.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usncorpsman1 View Post
I love mine. It is one sexy gun. This particular example was aquired here on the forums in trade for a 4013 TSW.


I"ve turned green with envy, that's the style 3906 or 04 I'm on the hunt for. Big thumbs up there Corpsman, you know that one would look really good with my 639s
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:08 AM
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I have been a fan of the 39-series pistols for as long as I can remember. And I was in love with the 3906 from the moment I laid hands on one shortly after they were introduced. Alas, the demands of a young family prevented me from buying one at the time and they were soon discontinued.

As my discretionary income increased, I bought a variety of guns, but was always on the lookout for a 3906. After years of searching, I found a pristine, late-production 3906 that I snatched up in 2006 for the princely sum of $350.

While I had fulfilled my dream, my 3906 story did not end well. I had always preferred pistols with thinner grips, but the 3906's grips turned out to be too thin. I shot the 3906 for a few years, but its grips were so thin that I was never able to become comfortable, or feel natural, when shooting it. I eventually sold the 3906, but I do have the consolation that it went to a good home where it is much appreciated.


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Old 12-06-2012, 04:38 AM
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Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers. Model 3906. Good things are produced in small numbers.  
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I like my 3904, even though I doubt I'll ever carry it for self protection. My guess is that it's production life was so short lived because it really didn't fill a need that other S&W 3rd generation guns didn't fill better. Full size? 59xx. Something for detectives, admin officers, and others, but still has full capacity? 69xx. Something easier to conceal, good for detectives, small statured people? 3913/14/53, etc. Something for people who need to have a firearm but will be unlikely to need to use it? CS9.

Still, it's a well made and good looking firearm and it's worth having just for that reason.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:21 AM
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How do these things shoot, compared to a Browning MK III or a CZ-75B?

The sole S&W 9mm I've fired was, I think, a M-39-2. Accuracy was awful. Wasn't me; other guns fired that day shot normally, very good indeed.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:47 AM
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The 3906/4 has great balance and artistic lines.

I haven't been able to find one to purchase.

I do have it's cousin, a S&W 909, which is the "value line" slim-jim carry version. Black, light weight frame, single sided safety. For kicks, I also have a complete upper from a 908 which interchanges perfectly on the 909 for a hybrid with a 3.5 slide/barrel.

Some folks dream of winning the lottery; my dream is to find a person with a giant safe full of extra 3rd Gen S&Ws. Not going to happen is it?
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:40 AM
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Another fan. I purchased my 3906 in 2007 when a local ffl dealer was closing its doors. Purchased as a set with a 3913. Glad I did at the time. Both great shooters.
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DLC’s S&W 3906 with Hogue Handall Finger Groove Slip-on Grips


DLC’s S&W 3913


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Old 12-06-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
How do these things shoot, compared to a Browning MK III or a CZ-75B?

The sole S&W 9mm I've fired was, I think, a M-39-2. Accuracy was awful. Wasn't me; other guns fired that day shot normally, very good indeed.
Mine shoots great. However, I don't know if it's just mine, or maybe common but I find that if I size my cast bullets to .356 accuracy is so-so. Sizing them to .357, and then passing the loaded casings through the Lee Factory Crimp die to make sure there is no oversized rounds has GREATLY improved the accuracy.

My bullets are cast quite hard, using Mexican Wheelweights and some bar-solder, fluxed with Marvelux. A friend told me that my bullets are around 14.0 on his hardness tester. I mean, that's hard enough for under 1,150 fps.

Just something I noticed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:30 PM
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I have both, the 3906 and the 3904. The 3904 carries a little easier. My 3906 has the adj. sights. I put night sights on the 3904. I still carry it occasionally. Both have the square trigger guard.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:51 AM
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I had a 3906 long ago. It's one of the few guns that I've regretted selling. I'd buy another in a heartbeat. It was just an enjoyable gun. I suppose the single-stack feature is what killed sales at the time.

I really like the idea of the 909 with the 908 top-half. I've thought of that as well and it seems like just a cool set-up to have for fun if anything.

I do have a 3914, 3913, and pre-rail 3913TSW, but I'm still looking for a 3906.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:12 AM
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im still torn between that hot woman and that 686.....

what were you talking about again?

oh yeah, 3rd gen S&W semi-autos are the best.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:15 AM
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Love my 3904, wish it had a flat backstrap,but thats just me. Always wished they had made a P/C single stack 3904 or 3913. Bob
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:03 AM
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They made a lot fewer 686s than hot women.

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im still torn between that hot woman and that 686.....

what were you talking about again?

oh yeah, 3rd gen S&W semi-autos are the best.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:10 PM
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Does it have to be only the 3906? I've been looking for a decent 639 for a few years now and can't find one! Nothing against the 3906, it's just those wood grips against a stainless chassis....now that's a sexy pistol! Dale
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:59 PM
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Default Need mag info from 3906 fans

I need 2 new S&W factory mgs for my 3906. S&W and Midway are back ordered and no way to tell when they will be available. Can anyone advise of a source?
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:09 PM
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I need 2 new S&W factory mgs for my 3906. S&W and Midway are back ordered and no way to tell when they will be available. Can anyone advise of a source?
I bought a couple on line, maybe Ebay. I bought one here from a member. The magazines come in 8 round and 9 round versions. From what I've seen the 9 round are less common.

Check Gunbroker as well.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:36 PM
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Thanks GaryS and 18DAI
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:20 PM
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Very nice 3906's and 3904's fellas. I wonder why there are not any full size, 4" barrel single stack 9mm's produced today.

Aren't the Glock boys always clamoring for a single stack 9mm Glock? Maybe it is the caliber or the lack of a bazillion rounds in the mag.

I personally would purchase an updated 3906. Maybe a scandium frame and Melonite finish with Novak low mount night sights. Or a two tone like calmex has.

calmex - Beautiful 3904, and beautiful wife. You are a lucky man! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:24 PM
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Think the problem is that there isn't really a niche for a full sized semi auto with 9+1 or 8+1 capacity. If someone is going to carry a full sized auto, then they probably want higher capacity.

If the goal is to have something with 8+1 capacity then a 3913 or 3914 is a better size. Or the Shield for that matter.

I like the look and feel of my 3904, but it's likely to be a Safe Queen. I just have too many other 3rd generation options.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

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Very nice 3906's and 3904's fellas. I wonder why there are not any full size, 4" barrel single stack 9mm's produced today.

Aren't the Glock boys always clamoring for a single stack 9mm Glock? Maybe it is the caliber or the lack of a bazillion rounds in the mag.

I personally would purchase an updated 3906. Maybe a scandium frame and Melonite finish with Novak low mount night sights. Or a two tone like calmex has.

calmex - Beautiful 3904, and beautiful wife. You are a lucky man! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:35 PM
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I need 2 new S&W factory mgs for my 3906. S&W and Midway are back ordered and no way to tell when they will be available. Can anyone advise of a source?
Midway says on their site they expect more in early in January and they are currently running a sale on them for about $30 each, for stainless 3900 series 9 rounders. I ordered 2. Go back and look at all the small print on the sales page for those mags and you will see the early January expected date.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:19 PM
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Mine came with the factory 8-rounder and I bought 3 or 4 more Midway 9-rounders that I have been most happy with. I should buy more. This will probably become one of my New Year's Resolutions: get more mags for the 3904.

I have lots of mags for my Glock, which I do not personally care for all that much. The Glock has no "double-strike" capability, and down here, you takes what primers you gets. Often, even perfectly seated primers of crappy origin can cause the odd misfire on the first strike, especially using the Glock. I actually don't recall EVER having a misfire with the 3904. With the Glock, your goose could be cooked, never mind the 15 round magazine (or even 17, or more!).

To me, trapped in my "takes what you gets" World -- albiet with near-perfect weather and latina ladies being what you gets -- the S&W is just a much better handgun to have to stake your neck on. I wish it were the stainless model, but I'm very happy to just have it in any case.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:16 PM
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Default Just Snagged One

Just snagged a 3906 (Just like post #16) a few minutes ago on G.B. Got it for a nickel over five.

Will try to post pics when I get it. Is there a sticky that tells how to insert pics from my computer rather than having to put them on another server?

Is this disease curable????????

S/F,

RAS
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:22 PM
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Just snagged a 3906 (Just like post #16) a few minutes ago on G.B. Got it for a nickel over five.

Will try to post pics when I get it. Is there a sticky that tells how to insert pics from my computer rather than having to put them on another server?

Is this disease curable????????

S/F,

RAS
No..........
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:49 AM
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Default Stainless 3906 -Just fine

Some were questioning the role of a stainless 3906 in the grand scheme of things. Here is one. For new shooters it has an excellent size and angle grip. The stainless weight is not too much and yet perfectly tames a 9mm to sweetness. It has adjustable sights so it can easily be dialed in for the load selected. It feels serious enough and the confidence of good hits and no need for developing a flinch.

Even with limp wristing it still functions and returns to battery unlike some drastic plastic as the frame and slide have enough weight. New shooters, if needed, can start with it in single action for confidence building hits and then cycle up to the double action. For new shooters I actually like the magazine disconnect.
Everyone thinks they are Wyatt Earp after getting hits and enjoying shooting. The 3906 - a fine new shooter firearm.

And for all the reasons new shooters like it a veteran shooter may want to take a second look as the weight makes follow up shots much easier. It is still plenty slim for carry and yet enough grip for excellent control. More rounds? if you have not solved the problem with the first magazine means it is not likely to be solved with more rounds but a return to the fundamental point new shooters learn - get the hits and let speed take care of itself.

There are not many 3906, but this one mine. i will take care of it so that it will take care of me...
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:17 PM
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Default My first 3rd Gen S&W - before I knew what one was!

I bought mine new back in '89 or so. I had been toting a Browning HP around for a while and wanted something more practical and easier to care for. Found that in the 3906. I still have both guns but the Browning spends way more time in the safe now.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:05 AM
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I bought a 3996 off of here some time ago. I don't remember the seller. It had the fixed Novak sights. The safety had been converted as a de-cocker only and the square trigger guard had been rounded. Nearly the perfect sidearm, although a bit heavy.
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:31 AM
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Dead thread revival.....

I love the 3906. I actually had TWO, one I sold about a year and a half ago, made $75 over what I paid, but still debating the wisdom of that sale.

The 3906 I still have is a bit interesting, I purchased it on Gunbroker pretty cheap. When I received it, it did have some holster wear, but nothing to bad. What jumped at me were the proof marks on the frame, barrel, and slide, and marks from a US importer. I contacted S&W to see if they could help with the pistol history, fortunately they keep pretty good records. My pistol was part of an Austrian Customs contract, and it appears it made its way back to our shores again.

As with just about all the S&W 3rd gen guns, it shoots like a dream!

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Old 05-30-2015, 09:13 AM
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Well, since somebody resurrected this thread about one of my favorite pistols, and since it's a slow morning, might as well post a pic or two...
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:53 AM
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Some of us appreciate the dead thread revivals. We haven't all been here since the beginning and searches only pull up so much.

I love the idea of a 3rd gen Smith going to Austria on a gov't contract!
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:13 PM
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I just read this thread a few days ago. I got my 3906 W/ square trigger guard and adj sights last year for $560. Probably a little much but it had been in this store for at least 3 yrs. I would say its about 90% and shoots like a dream. When I look at it I think I should just leave it in the safe but I'd rather enjoy the good things in life.
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:13 PM
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Here is my fixed sight 3906. It has the later Novak sights. It shoots very well. Enjoy the pictures!




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Old 05-30-2015, 04:28 PM
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Very nice 625smith! I'm looking for a late production 3906 with Novaks.

For those searching for mags, IIRC mags for the 952 work as well in the 3906. Regards 18DAI
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:39 PM
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Especially Austria, home of you know who!

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Some of us appreciate the dead thread revivals. We haven't all been here since the beginning and searches only pull up so much.

I love the idea of a 3rd gen Smith going to Austria on a gov't contract!
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:35 PM
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...........I got my 3906 W/ square trigger guard and adj sights last year for $560. Probably a little much but it had been in this store for at least 3 yrs...........
Gotta ask,........Maple City Sports? I've been in that place twice in the last 30yrs only because of a 3906. There was a stainless single-stack on the shelf on my first visit but I didn't know enough at the time to seriously look at it. I went back a few weeks later specifically for that gun and it was gone. Haven't seen another since.
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