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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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Old 08-21-2014, 04:48 AM
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Question 4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??

I'm looking at a standard pre '94 model and a quick search here didn't reveal much on this pistol. I still appreciate the 3rd Gen's and realized there is much I simply do not know about the 4006's.

A 4" stainless double stack 40S&W. I wonder if it held a special status within the company as a service pistol in their round. The normal ruggedness and reliability for the "general" service pistol design from S&W of that era. I prefer the TDA action but there were others.

Can anyone share interesting information or history or whichever on these?
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:29 AM
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I ordered a new 4006 in the spring of 1990 and had to wait several months before I could get it. It was the hot ticket back then, expensive and very hard to come by. I presume LEO orders were the reason for the delay. In my area most all P.D.'s eventually bought these pistols. Mine has been a joy to own. It's built like a tank, quite heavy and easy to control the recoil. I wouldn't want to conceal carry it due to its bulk, but a very nice pistol in my experience. I hand load for it and have had no issues with my reloads. I haven't seen very many on the used market recently, but a couple of years ago the market was flooded with LEO trade in's and the pistols could be had quite cheaply. Here's an opportunity to show mine again, with the original sales receipt from November 1990. It was a lot of money back then......



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Old 08-21-2014, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 824tsv View Post
I ordered a new 4006 in the spring of 1990 and had to wait several months before I could get it. It was the hot ticket back then, expensive and very hard to come by. I presume LEO orders were the reason for the delay. In my area most all P.D.'s eventually bought these pistols. Mine has been a joy to own. It's built like a tank, quite heavy and easy to control the recoil. I wouldn't want to conceal carry it due to its bulk, but a very nice pistol in my experience. I hand load for it and have had no issues with my reloads. I haven't seen very many on the used market recently, but a couple of years ago the market was flooded with LEO trade in's and the pistols could be had quite cheaply. Here's an opportunity to show mine again, with the original sales receipt from November 1990. It was a lot of money back then......



FWIW you posted this picture once before and I went and looked this up on an "inflation tracker" and in today's dollars this pistol is apparently worth the same as it was in 1990

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I paid $900 for mine new in 1990. The .40 was all the rage back then and these pistols were very hard to find. I wonder how much that would be in 2014?
What cost $900 in 1990 would cost $1557.03 in 2012.


The last year they figured for was 2012 so I'd add 50 or 60 bucks
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:56 PM
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The 4006 was in fact Smith's first .40 caliber semi-auto. It was designed with other third generation pistols of the time with input from gunsmith Wayne Novak. The adjustable sight version was purchased by California Highway Patrol as probably the first major 4006 contract (several thousand pistols.) CHP retired those units a few years back and purchased the railed 4006 - so the platform must have worked well for the agency.

I purchased a fixed sight model in 1994 as my first duty pistol. It is heavy, but extremely reliable and durable. As long as one understands it is a service pistol and not a target pistol, it is a fine investment, representative of the 3rd generation line.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:15 PM
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824tsv: As we've all come to find, & know, S&W's relationship between the SN# & Spec Order# (ship date) is a twisted one. I just looked at my 4006's box label & your's was made 36 days after mine but it has a SN# 6400 before mine.

Poohgyrr: I bought mine lightly used about a year ago & don't have anything to provide you on your topic other than they're awesome guns, like all the 3rd Gens. It is suprising that considering it was the first for that cartridge (40S&W) & one of the earliest, if not the earliest 3rd Gen release, that it wouldn't have more notoriety?
.

4006 box label

(-01b)

.

4006 & 4056TSW

(-01a)

.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:54 PM
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"824tsv: As we've all come to find, & know, S&W's relationship between the SN# & Spec Order# (ship date) is a twisted one. I just looked at my 4006's box label & your's was made 36 days after mine but it has a SN# 6400 before mine."

As we have come to learn:
The first rule of thumb with S&W is there are no rules.......

As a supplement to my previous post with this thread, I took the 4006 out to the range this afternoon and had a smile on my face the whole time shooting it. It's a wonderful pistol. If the OP ends up with the one he is looking at, I would assume he will have the same smile as mine.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:20 PM
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Is there a comprehensive in-depth writeup on the Model 4006 to be had anywhere? If there is I for one would like to read it.
Jim
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poohgyrr View Post
I'm looking at a standard pre '94 model and a quick search here didn't reveal much on this pistol. I still appreciate the 3rd Gen's and realized there is much I simply do not know about the 4006's.

A 4" stainless double stack 40S&W. I wonder if it held a special status within the company as a service pistol in their round. The normal ruggedness and reliability for the "general" service pistol design from S&W of that era. I prefer the TDA action but there were others.

Can anyone share interesting information or history or whichever on these?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 824tsv View Post
I ordered a new 4006 in the spring of 1990 and had to wait several months before I could get it. It was the hot ticket back then, expensive and very hard to come by. I presume LEO orders were the reason for the delay. In my area most all P.D.'s eventually bought these pistols. Mine has been a joy to own. It's built like a tank, quite heavy and easy to control the recoil. I wouldn't want to conceal carry it due to its bulk, but a very nice pistol in my experience. I hand load for it and have had no issues with my reloads. I haven't seen very many on the used market recently, but a couple of years ago the market was flooded with LEO trade in's and the pistols could be had quite cheaply. Here's an opportunity to show mine again, with the original sales receipt from November 1990. It was a lot of money back then......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputy50 View Post
The 4006 was in fact Smith's first .40 caliber semi-auto. It was designed with other third generation pistols of the time with input from gunsmith Wayne Novak. The adjustable sight version was purchased by California Highway Patrol as probably the first major 4006 contract (several thousand pistols.) CHP retired those units a few years back and purchased the railed 4006 - so the platform must have worked well for the agency.

I purchased a fixed sight model in 1994 as my first duty pistol. It is heavy, but extremely reliable and durable. As long as one understands it is a service pistol and not a target pistol, it is a fine investment, representative of the 3rd generation line.
Poohgyrr

I think I know you. If so, then a mutual friend just told me that I hadn’t contributed anything here in a while, so following are a few quick points about the 4006 I wrote over an early breakfast and proofed over a late lunch.

In the overall scheme of things, while Wayne was certainly a very important contributor to the 3rd Generation guns in general (and many of the separate things that led up to them), his involvement in the 4006 was much more limited and indirect. And without wanting to start a war here, so was Paul Liebenburg’s; although I routinely see other stories to the contrary about that on this Forum too.

After the initial go ahead to take a very experimental loading and a similarly experimental firearm platform and make both a “real” cartridge and “real” gun out of them, two committees were formed: one at Winchester/Olin and the other at Smith & Wesson.

Working both separately and together (for their work obviously needed to dovetail in order for it to be successful and truly accepted by the marketplace), these people created consistent production pistols and quality mass-produced ammo that took the original idea (something that in one form or another had been around for almost twenty years) to something that could be bought in quantity by departments and agencies through an LE Distributor or over-the-counter at a local dealer by lawful individuals of all kinds.

As most people here know, while the 3rd Gen “Line” was first shown to the press in the late summer and early fall of 1988, this gun [the Traditional Double Action (TDA) 4006, based to some degree on the by-then successful TDA 5906] was formally added to the line and introduced to its sellers and some of it potential users at the SHOT Show in January of 1990.

It was a couple of those potential buyers at SHOT that led to the California Highway Patrol’s first real interest in the gun and the ammo it utilized. Follow-up meetings and a very thorough and professional evaluation of it and several competitor firearms finally (it was a lengthy process) led to the 4006 being chosen by that Department as the first pistol to be used as their Duty Issue sidearm.

That move (to a new caliber, to a platform that was a bit different from the 5900-type from which it was derived, and to a pistol instead of their traditionally employed revolver) was, in many ways, symbolic of similar changes taking place in agencies all across the country at the time. And as such, this changeover and the thinking behind it was covered pretty extensively in various gun magazines of the day. Some of that reporting might be available “online” and if not, I am sure that back issues are available there instead.

Similar detailed coverage can be found in one or two publications from that same era concerning Charlotte North Carolina’s move to this cartridge in a Smith & Wesson handgun as well. For just like CHP in the “world” of State Agencies, Charlotte was looked upon as an example of a well run local department in an ever-expanding and well respected city of its type and size.

(Please note that my mention of them and my lack of including others is not intended as a “slight” of those other departments and agencies but is used here merely because I was peripherally involved in Charlotte's adoption of the gun and cartridge whereas I was more fully immersed in the sale to CHP. So I can speak firsthand about both of them and I can tell you with certainty, that if you do wish to learn more, much information was written about these organizations and their move to the .40cal at that time.)

Something else that I can tell you about firsthand, is my belief that the first shootable and non-show (or display only) guns that the general public really got to see, handle and well, “shoot”, were X-Serial Number guns built for me to get to Roy (Jinks) for one of the “Annual” events at Bisley in England in 1990, where S&W would be displaying.

I’m sure that there might have been “a” similar pre-production sample (or “two”) that could have been put in somebody’s hand domestically for a demonstration or an informal day’s shooting but to my knowledge, those guns were the first ones taken to a major event to allow people to see for themselves how they performed. And for a cartridge that later had as major (and hoped for) an impact on the American law enforcement market as it did, it is rather ironic that the first members of the "public" who got to shoot it and the guns designed for that purpose, weren't even Americans!

While competitive events are held throughout the year at the historic National Shooting Centre at Bisley, this program took place in the first half of that year (1990) and it was recognized that if we didn’t afford that many influential people (from Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe) the opportunity to shoot the gun then, it would be another year (at best) before we could get samples in front of them at something as big and beneficial as this, in that country, again.

We were all hard-pressed for time on this and other projects at Smith & Wesson, so building shooting samples before actual production had begun was not something that seemed to be in the cards. But in regard to the “big picture” for the Company (in terms of developing overall interest internationally and not just here to police departments in the US), it was important.

So to aid that effort, and to help out Roy who had always been (and still is) helpful to me (I’ve learned a lot from him over the years), I “cut a deal” with the man in Engineering who had then, just been recently appointed to a key position in the “ironing out” of the kind of kinks one sees whenever you tool up for the production of a new “machine” (for that is what a modern day firearm really is: a “machine”); especially one that is also trying to successfully harness the output of a cartridge that is also new (and in this case, unlike anything else) itself.

He was a member of the same multi-department / multi-disciplined group that I mentioned earlier and that I belonged to as well. And, as a result, I knew that pretty much, every second of his and his own crew’s time was accounted for (just like the rest of us). So I approached him (cautiously, as I wasn’t as stupid in those days), and begged him to help (as I was a lot more humble in those days too).

Whether so stop my crying or just get me out of his office in the Main Plant on Roosevelt Avenue, he finally offered to assemble some number of guns more than Roy asked for, with the understanding that while they (or the barrels) would be “Proof Tested” for safety as all pistols were at the time, any function testing or accuracy evaluations would be my responsibility; as would the selection and acceptance of responsibility for the still experimental pistols (hence their X-Serial Numbers) I would choose to be used as public “demonstrators” and that would be shot a lot by an inquisitive and generally knowledgeable group of experienced shooters. Sure, I thought, I’ll put my head in that noose, no problem.

But I believed in the gun and I believed in this man’s people to build these to the best of their ability as samples for me so we went ahead with the plan. (By the way, I am not being cute by not naming him here for I respect him a lot. But the last I heard, he is still in the industry, in a very key engineering position at another and competing firm, and I didn’t think it would be fair to drag him into things here without his permission.)

As he promised, one day, a large group of outwardly identical X-Guns was brought up to my office on time, along with a supply of magazines (that at that point, might have been just as “experimental” themselves). I thanked him profusely (he was a good guy and not only someone I enjoyed working with but typical of the many people who worked there when I did who always put the success of the Company at the top of their “things to do today” list), collected the guns and my gear, and then trotted off (drove actually) to the S&W Academy Building to wring things out.

Having the full use of one of their 100yard indoor ranges (and it was a real 100yd indoor “range” and not just the typical testing “tube” that many companies employ), I dragged in the guns, my stuff and a LOT of .40S&W ammo to spend the rest of the day “testing”.

I did wring out all of the guns out as completely as I could in terms of general performance and, separately, my attempts to formally induce specific malfunctions. The magazines too were studied and tested thoroughly for matching a couple of mags to a given gun (sometimes an accepted practice “early on” in such work, if their interaction with all firearms wasn’t part of what one was “working on” or “testing for”) wasn’t the case here, where in a typical “shooting fair” program (here or overseas), it was not uncommon to have magazines become switched out between guns.

In addition to accomplishing the primary task at hand (finding preproduction samples that would shoot flawlessly in the hands of a broad-based group of critical shooters), I learned a lot about what, in essence, were the tangible results (the “real guns”) of the Committee that I (like my friend who had his people build them) had been a part of.

And at least two of those points should interest you.

In the previous year-and-a-half since the 3rd Gen’s had been introduced (late summer/early fall 1988 to late winter/early spring 1990), I had shot a 5906 a LOT: almost daily and always seriously. And, as in most successful tasks, the carrying, producing and shooting of that one gun almost everyday, all but made it a part of me. Therefore, any difference between it and the 4006 would be far more noticeable than it would have been through only occasional use.

That said, the controls and the sights were identical. The additional weight was negligible. And while I was obviously aware that the recoil was “different” in several respects than that produced in the similarly sized and shaped 9mm TDA, within the firing of only several magazines of the hotter and heavier bullet weight .40cal ammo that was available at the time, it too, was something that disappeared to me as well.

I read all the time about the substantially greater recoil of the .40cal in certain 9mm platforms BUT to me (and I fully realize that everyone perceives recoil differently) and in these two stainless steel handguns (only), after 50 and certainly after a 100 rounds of factory ammo, I forgot all about any difference I had first noticed. And before people start writing in and accusing me of bragging or accusing others of being “soft” in this respect, I am doing neither. In fact, while I have shot a good deal throughout my life, I don’t see myself as anything but average in terms of tolerance to recoil so I think that in many cases (again at least in these guns; that is, in a gun like yours), you will find the 4006 very comfortable to shoot and very easy to control.

Similarly, I think that people today have been so spoiled by the extreme weight-savings made possible by polymer frame firearms construction that anything even close to weighing what was once accepted as common (again in something like your gun), is thought to be overly heavy and all but impossible to “carry”. Granted, in some cases, the plastic framed pistols can be a lot less tiresome to lug around all day but that condition is often as much of function of body type, the holster employed, and just what it is that you are used to, as it is anything else. Your gun is not excessively overweight nor is it fatiguing or clumsy as such statements (not seen here but in other places on this Forum or elsewhere on the “net) can sometimes seem to imply.

Finally, shooting those guns over and over, for hours, while purposely trying to make them not work, I saw that even in those preliminary and not “real” samples (and again, no letters telling me what else would I expect from handbuilt product for these were not “custom” guns assembled by hand and tuned for performance, but instead, were merely “pre-production” guns that had been simply pieced together for me, out of whatever parts had been found lying around that week), that this was a very rugged and a very reliable firearm; one that would become only more dependable when made consistently in quantity and not the way these guns had been hastily assembled.

In fact, at looking to these last two points, I think that at the outset, the CHP (mentioned earlier) was a bit surprised that a pistol, which was smaller in profile than some of the revolvers they had officially employed over the years, weighed as much as it did BUT they got used it and, as noted earlier in this thread by “Deputy50”, they used both those original 4006’s and ultimately, their replacement 4006’s (sooner or later everything wears out or gets too beat up to use) for a LONG time with no problems; something very reflective of the ruggedness and reliability I mentioned here.

Anyway, after taking a short break that day and rating the guns in terms of operational differences, I then shot them at various distances both one-handed and two-handed while standing unsupported and then over (off) a sandbag while seated, to determine their potential for accuracy.

Ultimately, working well into the night and the next morning, I chose the guns to be packed up and sent along for Roy to show and let people shoot in the UK and, as they say, the rest (on both that and this side of the Atlantic) is “history”; something that along with “Information” and hopefully a lot of “tidbits”, is what you said you were looking for in the title of this thread. It is also something that has not been talked about in such a manner here on the premier S&W enthusiast’s site before now.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:11 PM
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^^^^^^ MOST EXCELLENT !! Thank You!!
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:07 PM
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Thank you for posting, Mr. Nash!
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:06 PM
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Mr Nash, out of curiousity, have you fired a 4043. If so, how did that feel to you, little more snap or just the same?
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:28 PM
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Here's mine. It's a superb pistol. The DA trigger is very smooth and surprisingly light. The single action trigger is crisp and rivals any 1911 I've ever handled. What a wonderful piece of craftsmanship!

4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??-imageuploadedbytapatalk1408753679-435939-jpg


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Old 08-23-2014, 06:34 PM
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Right On with the report. I have both the 4006 and the 5906 and their, to me is not a significant difference in recoil except the 4006 seems sharper/quicker in recoil to me. I shoot pretty much left handed as a stroke during brain surgery limits my right handed use. Also my left eye now doesn't work correctly so I have to use my right eye to aim using my left arm/hand. I am very accurate and I am about 6' and 215 lbs.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:17 AM
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There has been some very good information provided here. I am aware that the California Highway Patrol quickly placed an order for the Model 4006. At the time, I was working for the City of Red Bluff, CA Police Department and we had to be one of the first City PD's to place a complete order after the CHP order. If fact, the S & W Rep let us know what they would do their best to get us our Model 4006's ASAP even though everyone else was starting to make orders also.

The funny part was that after the FBI went up to the 10mm S & W Model and 10 mm Lite Loads, Winchester dropped the new .40 S & W caliber on us and all of a sudden there was a lot of scrambling to replace the S & W 1006 type Model with the 4006 Model in .40 S & W..... What was funny is that I thought the FBI kind of got hung out to dry with their 10 mm handguns..... I always wondered why Winchester ammo didn't tell them what was getting ready to do with the .40 S & W Ammo. I looked at the S & W 10mm Handgun and would have purchased a S & W .45 caliber before a 10mm handgun.
However, a .40 S & W on a 9mm Frame S & W Framed handgun was a different matter..... I would go with that, no problem.......

If you ask me why, it is simple....... a 100 pound female police officer could be trained to handled a 9 mm frame .40 caliber.....whereas the S & W 10mm Handgun was a very big handgun and I was not so sure that the same 100 pound female police officer could handle that big of a handgun.........

I thought a 9mm framed handgun shooting a .40 round made way more sense than a 10 mm sized handgun shooting a 10 mm "Lite" from a huge 10mm handgun.......

Now you can tell me that years later, this made a lot of sense but this was very shortly after this all went down.......You have to use your head right now and it was a no-brainer to me, so I pulled the trigger.........

My SWAT Team even went to a S & W Model 4006 sent out to Novak with Novak Low Mount Night Sights, a Novak Action Job, Bar-Sto Match Fitted Barrel and some other upgraded parts...... My SWAT Team as not out gunned complete with their H & K MP-40 40 Caliber, Colt M-4 5.56mm Submachine Gun and the Benelli M-2/ M-4 14" Semi-Auto Shotgun.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:19 AM
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One advantage the 40xx series had over the 10xx series was the availability of alloy frames in addition to the steel frames.

A 1076 is not as attractive when shooting .40S&W-level loads, might as well save weight and get more capacity
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:28 AM
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Fascinating history Mr Nash! Thanks very much for sharing it with us!

I often wish to learn about the behind the scenes goings on concerning the 3rd gen pistols. Your posts are always educational and give us a rare insight into what was going on. One we would otherwise never get.

I found your comparison of the 4006 to the 5906 very timely as well. I looked at two NIB examples of both pistols recently. Why is the 4006 hammer so different in profile from the 5906? Cosmetics or functional reasons?

Could you share with us what became of those X prefix 4006's?

I look forward to reading more of your posts Mr Nash! Thanks again for your willingness to share with and educate us! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:25 PM
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Hi, 18DAI!

+1 to everything you said about Dave Nash and his insightful posts.

Re: 4006 hammers. I recall reading in a gun magazine from that era (I'll try to find it) that the hammer for the 4006 needed to be lightened to improve functioning.
IIRC it had something to do with slide velocity and/or lock time.

John
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:26 PM
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Thank you JohnHL! I appreciate the info! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:06 AM
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A couple of days ago 18DAI here noted the difference in the 4006 hammer as compared to the 5906 hammer.
I, too, had noticed a difference in the early .40 hammers, specifically a large hole through the model 411 hammer.
As many who frequent this forum will attest after attempting to decipher the logic behind the numbering system, understand what passes for "numerical progression", or fathom the reason for the multiple frame profiles on a single model (the 5906): Smith & Wesson seemingly applies the same rules to manufacturing that most people bring to a knife fight.
In my sloth, I had assigned this very reasoning (or lack, thereof) to the difference in the hammers.

That is, until 18 brought it back up.

It was then I remembered reading about it in a magazine article some years ago and I resolved to find it. Luckily I didn't need to dig too deep.

From the January 1991 edition of American Rifleman (pg 22), an article entitled: "The .40 Smith & Wesson" (table of contents listing: "Smith & Wesson's New .40") by Charles E. Petty,

I quote:
"When I saw the first production Model 4006, I noticed that the hammer was blued. This was unusual and my first thought was that S&W had run out of plated hammers and had substituted a blued hammer as an expedient. A flash chrome plating process is used on stainless steel hammers because stainless lacks the hardness necessary for continuous impacts with the firing pin. Further examination, however, revealed a cut in the rear of the hammer to reduce the weight.
A call to S&W provided the answer. The lighter hammer serves a dual purpose. It was developed in S&W's new "Performance Center" to speed lock time on competition pistols. S&W reports that lock time is reduced by 28%, which is certainly a plus for the shooter, but it also serves a more practical function.
We tend to think that the hammer is cocked as the slide moves to the rear but, in fact, the hammer is knocked back rather violently by the initial recoil impulse before the slide moves more than a fraction of an inch. The hammer strikes the tang of the frame and often rebounds.
By this time, though, the slide has moved to the rear and the hammer can strike the under surface of the slide in the area of the disconnector cut. Battering can result after extensive shooting, and the lighter hammer serves to reduce or eliminate this concern." (emphasis added)
End of quote.

So there you have it. It seems the .40S&W cartridge increased slide velocity to a point which mandated the use of a lighter hammer. And the MIM hammer which followed apparently was not scalloped to save money or material but was a proven method of making our Smith & Wesson pistols run better and last longer.

John

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Old 08-27-2014, 11:21 PM
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I thought you might like to see the differences in the hammers:

4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??-659-2_zps80e2737d-jpg
9mm/.45 on the left. .40s&w on the right.

John
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnHL View Post
I thought you might like to see the differences in the hammers:
9mm/.45 on the left. .40s&w on the right.

John
John,

What model is that .40 hammer for?

My 4006, SN#TFF65xx (Jul-1990), has the black hammer, with the hollowed out area visible from the rear, but it does not have a hole thru it's body like yours. Is that a MIM hammer?

.

4006 - hammer closeup

(-01a)

.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:30 AM
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The .40 hammer pictured came from a Model 411. It is not MIM.
It was used on .40 pistols until it was replaced by the MIM hammer which was the service replacement for all blue spurred hammers, as best as I can tell.
Your hammer is the earliest "Performance Center" hammer referred to in the article.
The hammer I pictured came next. It would seem the company figured out how to make them lighter by drilling a hole and thinning the spur and without having to mill that slot in the rear. Then came the MIM hammers and they were light enough and plenty strong for the job.

John

P.S. I did not have an early hammer to photograph. Thanks to BLUEDOT37 for providing one.

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Old 08-28-2014, 03:15 PM
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Thank you JohnHL for taking the time and going to the trouble to enlighten us on the purpose of the different .40 hammer!

Fascinating stuff! I much appreciate your efforts! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:46 PM
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I just went through and found the May / June 1990 edition of of Shooting Times. It had a several page spread on the creation of the 40 cal and the 4006. "S&W Captures 10mm Punch In A 9mm Frame!" I can't tell you how many times I read that edition when it came out; and ironically it is one of the precious few magazines I have kept over the years. I knew at that time that I would have one when I turned 21.

The cover picture shows the older bright color solid hammer and trigger. I snapped a pic of my 94 vintage 4006 and it is the production model with the dark trigger and dark, hollowed out hammer.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:24 PM
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I just went back and re-read the Shooting Times article. It talked about Smith and Wesson intended to use the 40 caliber and the 4006 as an IPSC competition platform. Specifically, S&W felt that the 40 could eclipse the 38 super because a 40 could make major factor very easily; where uploading the 38 super could lead to over pressure problems. The article noted that the 180 grain bullet was designed for the self-defense round (FBI protocol), but that a 150-155 grain bullet would be designed as a competition round.

Also of interest, the 1990 article noted that Smith and Wesson created the performance center that year to concentrate on IPSC comp guns, particularly for its new competition team of Brian Enos, J. Michael Plaxco and Jerry Miculek. The PC built 4006 comp guns used by some of the team members.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:21 AM
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My first experience with the .40S&W cartridge was with a 4006. I had resisted the cartridge from its introduction, not wanting to add another caliber to my inventory. I "accidentally" won a couple of NIB 3rd Gens in an auction a number of years ago, and one of them was a 4006. At first I kept in the safe (acting as a collector) but as I saw the surplus PD guns filtering into the market I knew it would never reach collector status. So I took it out and shot it. Oh wow, what a revelation!! The power of a 10mm/.45ACP with the recoil of a 9mm (at least in the 4006), this little pistol sent me down a whole 'nother road. Now .40S&W has become my caliber of choice, and the stable has grown from that lonely 3rd Gen to where I now have almost a dozen pistols chambered in .40S&W. Built like a tank, yes. Too heavy and bulky for concealed carry, yes. Shoot like a dream, yes. Hit what I aim at, YES. Great pistol, ABSOLUTELY and I am glad I own it. It is one I would never part with.

Thanks for starting this thread, some great information being shared here.

P.S. Sorry no picture of mine, but I think you guys know what it looks like - every other 4006!!
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:27 AM
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Poohgyrr
:::: and, as they say, the rest (on both that and this side of the Atlantic) is “history”; something that along with “Information” and hopefully a lot of “tidbits”, is what you said you were looking for in the title of this thread. It is also something that has not been talked about in such a manner here on the premier S&W enthusiast’s site before now.
Wow, awesome. Mr Nash this is what I was looking for. Many thanks to you, and certainly our other contributing members as well. There is much in this thread and I will return again when I have more time.

The 40S&W definitely made its' place in history, as have the Third Gens. I expect mine to continue in their defensive role in our lives, and to outlast our grandchildren.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:42 PM
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My Sheriff's Office had firearms qualification today. After reading and contributing this thread, It inspired me to bring out the 4006. I qualified with it as a secondary duty weapon. I don't think I had fired it in a couple of years.... I shoot my Sig a little better, but I still cleaned the course with the '06. It's still a very relevant and reliable platform...
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:09 AM
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Can the 4003 be brought into this conversation....?.....i have one and would like to hear more about its history and in comparison to the 4006...Thanks.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:39 PM
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The only thing I can really add to the 4003 story is that the slides are the same. My slide is marked on the underside 4003 /4006.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:26 PM
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Can the 4003 be brought into this conversation....?.....i have one and would like to hear more about its history and in comparison to the 4006...Thanks.

I have a 4004. Same as your 4003 but the slide is blued along with a black aluminum frame. I use to have a 4006 and only sold it cause I like shooting the 4004 better. I suspect this is do to the lighter weight.
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RABULL View Post
There has been some very good information provided here. I am aware that the California Highway Patrol quickly placed an order for the Model 4006. At the time, I was working for the City of Red Bluff, CA Police Department and we had to be one of the first City PD's to place a complete order after the CHP order. If fact, the S & W Rep let us know what they would do their best to get us our Model 4006's ASAP even though everyone else was starting to make orders also.

The funny part was that after the FBI went up to the 10mm S & W Model and 10 mm Lite Loads, Winchester dropped the new .40 S & W caliber on us and all of a sudden there was a lot of scrambling to replace the S & W 1006 type Model with the 4006 Model in .40 S & W..... What was funny is that I thought the FBI kind of got hung out to dry with their 10 mm handguns..... I always wondered why Winchester ammo didn't tell them what was getting ready to do with the .40 S & W Ammo. I looked at the S & W 10mm Handgun and would have purchased a S & W .45 caliber before a 10mm handgun.
However, a .40 S & W on a 9mm Frame S & W Framed handgun was a different matter..... I would go with that, no problem.......

If you ask me why, it is simple....... a 100 pound female police officer could be trained to handled a 9 mm frame .40 caliber.....whereas the S & W 10mm Handgun was a very big handgun and I was not so sure that the same 100 pound female police officer could handle that big of a handgun.........

I thought a 9mm framed handgun shooting a .40 round made way more sense than a 10 mm sized handgun shooting a 10 mm "Lite" from a huge 10mm handgun.......

Now you can tell me that years later, this made a lot of sense but this was very shortly after this all went down.......You have to use your head right now and it was a no-brainer to me, so I pulled the trigger.........

My SWAT Team even went to a S & W Model 4006 sent out to Novak with Novak Low Mount Night Sights, a Novak Action Job, Bar-Sto Match Fitted Barrel and some other upgraded parts...... My SWAT Team as not out gunned complete with their H & K MP-40 40 Caliber, Colt M-4 5.56mm Submachine Gun and the Benelli M-2/ M-4 14" Semi-Auto Shotgun.
Please note that I wrote this response several weeks ago but because of my schedule, I was not able to post it until now. As such, there are several additional points that have either been discussed by others since then or have been used to move this Thread’s discussion into slightly different directions. Therefore, I am sorry for any confusion that my comments might now cause.

RABULL

Only have a few moments here so I apologize if anything I say is short or sounds curt or impolite; as that is certainly not my intention in attempting to comment on what you said or, separately, to add a few things to my first response posted earlier.

The .40S&W cartridge, and the 4006 pistol meant to employ it, were introduced in a somewhat unfinished state at the SHOT Show in January of 1990. Yes, there were guns on display. Yes, there were shootable guns in existence (and there had been for some time) and there was a lot of data available about both them and the cartridge, so there was no attempt to (or even a need to) hoodwink the public as to what the Smith Factory had hoped for, or the end user could expect, in regard to their performance.

But there are always bugs to work out in any new firearm design and here there was also the matter of addressing the results of a new cartridge as well. The reason that those guns I spoke about earlier (in my first Post within this Thread: 4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??) were “X-Guns” was because “real guns” were not yet being produced.

I also didn’t spell it out and perhaps I should have but I hope that “824tsv” now realizes that depending on when in the Spring of 1990, he originally ordered his 4006, it might have been as much the delay in manufacturing the finished concept as well as a significant number of initial (and by then “stacked up”) back orders that caused his gun to take so long to get to him. More on that later.

I also know that a least a couple of the first guns sent to the California Highway Patrol/CHP (because of the sincere and immediate nature of their interest in the concept) were not only pre-production models but probably “Show Guns” so that they had something “in hand” to examine and review as soon as possible after their discussions about all of this with the Company at SHOT (those discussions also being something I mentioned in my first Post in this Thread).

Another thing I mentioned earlier was the lengthy and detailed process of testing and evaluating a number of different models from Smith and others by the CHP (my first “real” and detailed exposure to a double column, frame-mounted, decocking lever only gun from the Factory was early-on in this process), so it was actually quite some time later in the year before the conventional (I suppose I should say “Traditional”) TDA S&W 4006 in .40caliber won out (and ultimately, a bid for it was let).

I will agree with you that the Smith & Wesson salesman for that territory, who had done a great job of things representing the Company to the CHP in terms of getting all those samples organized and any questions about them or the cartridge (itself) answered, would have also done as much as he could to help the other agencies within the State whose interest in this gun and caliber was piqued by the Highway Patrol’s study of them. He was a good, hardworking man, whose commitment to law enforcement was beyond reproach.

But while there is a lot of misleading, if not outright wrong information about such matters here on this site (as well as in numerous other places around the ‘net.) it should be recognized that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s move to the 10mm and Smith & Wesson's development of, and CHP’s subsequent interest in, the .40S&W had little, if anything, to do with each other.

The FBI’s interest in the 10mm was something they developed on their own (the original “test” gun for the conventional 10mm ammo they reviewed in what I think was 1988-89 was a personally owned Colt Delta Elite) and the lightened load they moved to sometime later (and which was ultimately sold to the public), was formally developed for them by Federal not Winchester (who developed the .40).

Separately, and not part of their work on the gun for the FBI (ultimately, the Model 1076; a gun that was “Spec’d Out” by the Bureau and not S&W), Smith & Wesson developed the .40S&W with Winchester/Olin with much the same thought (but not for the same purposes) that the Massachusetts gun maker had developed and introduced the .357 Magnum with Winchester, the .41 Magnum with Remington, and the .44 Magnum with Remington. (Historically, there were a lot more of these things but I need not go into them here.) In essence, this meant taking someone’s idea or initial loadings, testing things formally and then standardizing them by an ammo company that could make an “experiment” into a “cartridge”, which could be loaded responsibly and consistently at a repeatable and commercial level, while Smith designed and built a gun to safely employ (and showcase) it.

It should be noted, however, that while I was given the same “pitch” for the “Centimeter” cartridge in the late 1980’s (itself a cartridge being linked historically to the .40G&A) that one often sees quoted in part, and not always correctly, on line as well as elsewhere within this site, to help convince people of its possible value somewhere within the S&W product line (it was the cartridge that got things moving in the direction of the .40S&W), my role in things at the time did not make me privy to whatever verbal or written (as well as binding or non-binding) agreements were signed (if any were signed) with Winchester regarding the project, the sharing of information, or the release (disclosure) of information with each other or with those outside the combined (gun and ammo) project.

But having been involved in similar later adventures at Smith and gradually moving into roles there and elsewhere that routinely involved such corporate secrecy during their project development (secrecy and non-disclosure often spelled out by formal/legal agreement), I have to wonder why Winchester, working on what appears to have been a proprietary cartridge for S&W would have told anybody, including the FBI, who was developing a new and markedly different load with Federal Ammunition (a direct competitor), about their work on the .40cal. Especially as the two rounds (the proposed .40S&W and the downloaded Federal 10mm) were not only not directly interchangeable but were generally thought to be associated with two much differently sized firearms platforms.

For even if there weren’t legal reasons to keep them from doing so (and again, I don’t know if there were), there would have to be marketing concerns AND it seems very unlikely that knowing about the “.40” (a then unfinished and still unknown entity; as well as an unproven performer in the lab or on the street) was going to change anybody’s minds about the 10mm in Virginia or DC.

The FBI had already conducted a LOT of tests and had done a LOT of research. They already had a load they were pretty sure of and a gun that (on the surface anyway) met their specs and their needs. They were well on the way by January of 1990 when the .40cal cartridge and its pistols were still being developed and issues were still being resolved as a normal part of the design process.

I don’t believe that the FBI ever got “hung out to dry”

They wanted the 10mm and were moving along with it and in a gun they specified from features no one maker offered in a then-existing firearm. While not quite apples and oranges (at that point), these were still two different projects, driven by two (four) different entities (the Bureau and Federal AND Smith & Wesson and Winchester), along two different timelines, for seemingly, two different purposes (actually three for when adoption/modification of the “Centimeter” was first proposed formally within the Company in early 1989, a good deal of the reasoning offered for it focused on “competitive shooters” and “action shooting” and only passing references were made in regard to Law Enforcement).

As to the “lot of scrambling to replace the S & W 1006 type Model with the 4006 Model in .40 S & W”, that might have been the case in some circles, but that is NOT how the gun was ultimately (not initially) pitched by the Company. And separately, in some parts of the country (including those parts on the coast opposite from you), there remained a lot of interest in the bigger gun and Smith (and later Glock) made numerous sales of true 10mm firearms there and elsewhere.

Initially, Tom Campbell and others did a very striking and very effective video emphasizing in a very graphic manner (if I remember correctly), the powerful, almost hand-cannon-like, performance levels of the .40caliber. However, it was soon decided that a film more telling of the argument you make (that is, “a .40 S & W on a 9mm Frame S & W Framed handgun”) made more sense in trying to convince instructors, rangemasters, armorers, unit supervisors, chiefs, sheriffs, city officials, and union leaders of the benefits to this gun and its new cartridge.

So on tape, in print, and even on the lips of some of the LE sales force, Smith & Wesson rarely, if ever, mentioned the 10mm in relation to the .40. For from their standpoint, this cartridge was NOT an attempt to parrot or replicate the performance of the lessened FBI load but it WAS an effort to approach certain facets of the then popular 185gr JHP .45acp load in a gun (platform) that could hold more rounds than most “.45’s” and would fit more hands than most “.45’s”. In essence, the same thing you said about “a .40 S & W on a 9mm Frame S & W Framed handgun”.

(But for the record, this wasn’t just because of the “100 pound female police officer” that you single out but also because there had always been an additional group of traditional white male officers who also had trouble properly gripping the bigger frame. And more importantly in terms of numbers, not only had that group itself grown over time on its own but a separate and much expanded assemblage of individuals with the same problem of mismatched hand-to-frame-sizes came into this field with the move in the 1970’s and 80’s to not only hire women but also certain previously overlooked minorities and smaller statured males of all races, when the doors to a police career were rightfully flung open to anybody who could prove they could meet job-related standards and not just the oftentimes arbitrary height and weight minimums of the past. The “average” hand size of the past was obviously reduced as a result of finally hiring people of all sizes and therefore, gun fit issues, something seen with the revolver too, became more widespread.)

Such points regarding fit were not lost on that long list of departmental decision makers I mentioned above. But it should be noted that everything else I have noted came into play as well.

Fitting the firearm to the hand for control, as well as for proper operation of the trigger and any controlling levers, was a critical issue for the instructors, rangemasters and armorers tasked with first selecting a handgun for “everybody” and them making “everybody” proficient with it.

Capacity was not only on the minds of those same three groups but also the individual officer and the upper management (the chiefs, sheriffs and city officials I included in my list) who had to balance public concerns about hi-cap guns, as well as police union concerns about their members being outgunned, with the officers' actual needs (needs that had been historically hamstrung by the limited number of rounds carried in, and along with, the revolver).

And ballistics were a big issue too. Not only did the officers often argue among themselves regarding the “higher” capacity but perhaps lesser-performing “Wondernines” of the day versus the better-performing but “lower” ( “traditional” or “historical”) capacities of the big bore (.45acp) guns but again, the unions often got involved regarding their people being outmatched when compared to the criminals they faced and department and city managers were often very nervous about the public relation issues tied to the misconceptions regarding certain high-performance cartridges. Although, perhaps indirectly, there was some validity to that last point for while exaggerations sometimes plagued the supposedly overly powerful 10mm (and even the .45acp), there were often user-related recoil issues (both real and imagined) to contend with.

1) So offering a gun with higher capacity but not a warlike ammo reserve could make more than just one of these groups “happy”.
2) And offering a cartridge that was being positioned as a better performer than the 9mm loadings (of the day) and possessing of some things thought good in the 185gr HP .45acp, while not scaring the user because of recoil, or the “powers that be” because of potential liability, or the citizenry because of what they wrongly know about ballistics from television and the movies (all of which were something that a connection to the then already fabled 10mm Norma might do), was another multi-faceted winning characteristic of the .40 as well.
3) And then finally, putting all of this in a package that was relatively easy to carry (after all the 10mm platform was, for many, a much larger gun) and, perhaps more importantly, to put in the hand if it became necessary to employ, answered even more of those issues I have laid out above.

Please note and please understand that I am not telling you, as you say, that “Now you can tell me that years later, this made a lot of sense”, for what I am telling you is that this is how we actually positioned and presented the gun and, just as importantly, the cartridge and it’s concept to the marketplace.

Other than initial internal discussions that the market for the 10mm itself would be limited (for a wide range of reasons in all areas of potential sale and not just law enforcement) and, separately, that the “Centimeter”, like the 10mm, was in fact, a .40caliber cartridge, the .40S&W (not called that in those initial talks and reports) was not so much looked upon as a an option to, or a replacement for, the FBI-developed load for the 10mm as it was a proprietary cartridge with broad appeal that could set Smith & Wesson apart from its many competitors within the rapidly expanding United States pistol market of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in the same manner as they had often done with other guns during the previous century of revolver-making.

Finally, and if you or others here just think I am making this stuff up (and I can assure you that I am not) just go to this Post elsewhere on this Site and look at both the front and back of the of the official, one-page, two-sided Product Announcement (that I assume was handed out and mailed out around the time of the SHOT Show in 1990: Uncommon 4006 Performance Center? New Information Added

First, the gun in the picture on the front side of that flyer is an X-Number gun. For while lead times in traditional film photography and non-electronic “printing” were certainly much longer then, than the way we see information relayed today, a “real gun” just wasn’t ready yet or available for the shot when it was needed to be taken.

This time frame/availability issue is further borne out by the projected availability date on the back side of the announcement: “April 1990”.

Second, that same projected availability date on the back side (“April 1990”) also points to my discussion the last time about needing to make those X-guns for Bisley early in that same year (1990) and to my possible explanation this time around for the delay in shipping the Springtime-ordered 4006 mentioned by “824tsv” (above).

Third, if you read the text of that factory “Announcement” (such things back then often served as de facto Press Releases or at least supplements to them), note that while references to “serious competition”, “major caliber”, “power” and “I.P.S.C. –style and other speed event competitors” abound within it, NOTHING is said in its discussions of Law Enforcement (or other matters) relating the “new cartridge” (or the “New Caliber” as both terms are used) to either the 10mm in general or the FBI's loading of it in particular.

In fact, one might even assume that the remark about this new round not possessing “undesirable pressure levels” could be an attempt to distance this cartridge from the standard 10mm itself for we often forget these days that back in the 80’s and 90's, the “10mm” was sometimes referred to as the “10mm Norma” and, separately, there were some real questions raised about how “hot” their original loads for it really were.

Finally, Fourth, the only real mention of Law Enforcement in that flyer emphasizes the “balance of major caliber performance in a high capacity pistols of very manageable size”, which is, in fact everything I have been telling you about here. That was the real focus and the real direction of the Cartridge and the Gun that contained it.

(Please note that at much later dates, I have seen remarks attributed to individuals at Winchester – not Smith & Wesson, where they – not Smith & Wesson – make comparisons between the two loads (the downloaded FBI 10mm and the .40) so such statements are out there but to be honest – and I cannot speak for Winchester – I think they were intended to serve as after-the-fact "ammunition marketing efforts" between two leading competitors in the ammunition field as this was not how the .40S&W was seen, discussed or presented to the consumer by S&W, whose idea it was.)

RABULL”, I hope you find this of interest and I hope that anyone else reading this, especiallyPoohgyrr”, who originated this thread, is finding my comments to be the “interesting information or history” that they, like he, were looking for.


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Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
Fascinating history Mr Nash! Thanks very much for sharing it with us!

I often wish to learn about the behind the scenes goings on concerning the 3rd gen pistols. Your posts are always educational and give us a rare insight into what was going on. One we would otherwise never get.

I found your comparison of the 4006 to the 5906 very timely as well. I looked at two NIB examples of both pistols recently. Why is the 4006 hammer so different in profile from the 5906? Cosmetics or functional reasons?

Could you share with us what became of those X prefix 4006's?

I look forward to reading more of your posts Mr Nash! Thanks again for your willingness to share with and educate us! Best regards, 18DAI
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Originally Posted by JohnHL View Post
A couple of days ago 18DAI here noted the difference in the 4006 hammer as compared to the 5906 hammer.
I, too, had noticed a difference in the early .40 hammers, specifically a large hole through the model 411 hammer.
As many who frequent this forum will attest after attempting to decipher the logic behind the numbering system, understand what passes for "numerical progression", or fathom the reason for the multiple frame profiles on a single model (the 5906): Smith & Wesson seemingly applies the same rules to manufacturing that most people bring to a knife fight.
In my sloth, I had assigned this very reasoning (or lack, thereof) to the difference in the hammers.

That is, until 18 brought it back up.

It was then I remembered reading about it in a magazine article some years ago and I resolved to find it. Luckily I didn't need to dig too deep.

From the January 1991 edition of American Rifleman (pg 22), an article entitled: "The .40 Smith & Wesson" (table of contents listing: "Smith & Wesson's New .40") by Charles E. Petty,

I quote:
"When I saw the first production Model 4006, I noticed that the hammer was blued. This was unusual and my first thought was that S&W had run out of plated hammers and had substituted a blued hammer as an expedient. A flash chrome plating process is used on stainless steel hammers because stainless lacks the hardness necessary for continuous impacts with the firing pin. Further examination, however, revealed a cut in the rear of the hammer to reduce the weight.
A call to S&W provided the answer. The lighter hammer serves a dual purpose. It was developed in S&W's new "Performance Center" to speed lock time on competition pistols. S&W reports that lock time is reduced by 28%, which is certainly a plus for the shooter, but it also serves a more practical function.
We tend to think that the hammer is cocked as the slide moves to the rear but, in fact, the hammer is knocked back rather violently by the initial recoil impulse before the slide moves more than a fraction of an inch. The hammer strikes the tang of the frame and often rebounds.
By this time, though, the slide has moved to the rear and the hammer can strike the under surface of the slide in the area of the disconnector cut. Battering can result after extensive shooting, and the lighter hammer serves to reduce or eliminate this concern." (emphasis added)
End of quote.

So there you have it. It seems the .40S&W cartridge increased slide velocity to a point which mandated the use of a lighter hammer. And the MIM hammer which followed apparently was not scalloped to save money or material but was a proven method of making our Smith & Wesson pistols run better and last longer.

John
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Originally Posted by Deputy50 View Post
I just went back and re-read the Shooting Times article. It talked about Smith and Wesson intended to use the 40 caliber and the 4006 as an IPSC competition platform. Specifically, S&W felt that the 40 could eclipse the 38 super because a 40 could make major factor very easily; where uploading the 38 super could lead to over pressure problems. The article noted that the 180 grain bullet was designed for the self-defense round (FBI protocol), but that a 150-155 grain bullet would be designed as a competition round.

Also of interest, the 1990 article noted that Smith and Wesson created the performance center that year to concentrate on IPSC comp guns, particularly for its new competition team of Brian Enos, J. Michael Plaxco and Jerry Miculek. The PC built 4006 comp guns used by some of the team members.
18DAI”: Please note the hammer on the X-gun photo in that linked flyer. “JohnHL” and “Deputy50” are on the right track and I will get back to you all when I can.

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Originally Posted by GoodMornin View Post
Mr Nash, out of curiousity, have you fired a 4043. If so, how did that feel to you, little more snap or just the same?
And “GoodMornin”, I haven’t meant to ignore you either but I’ll have to get back to you with some notes about your question on the 4043 when I have the time. My dance card is full at the moment and I’ve got to get some work done.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:37 AM
Deputy50 Deputy50 is offline
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Originally Posted by 03Fatboy View Post
I have a 4004. Same as your 4003 but the slide is blued along with a black aluminum frame. I use to have a 4006 and only sold it cause I like shooting the 4004 better. I suspect this is do to the lighter weight.
Honestly, If I had it to do over again, I would have bought the 4003; 3rd Generation reliability and easier to carry on long shifts...
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:25 PM
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Mr Nash,

My schedule has been a bit busy and I just read your latest post. Wow, thank you again. I will have to read it again. l thought there was a similarity between the 185gr 45 ACP and the (180gr) 40S&W. Thanks again.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Poohgyrr View Post
Mr Nash,

My schedule has been a bit busy and I just read your latest post. Wow, thank you again. I will have to read it again. l thought there was a similarity between the 185gr 45 ACP and the (180gr) 40S&W. Thanks again.
1 of 2

My apologies to both “18DAI”, “JohnHL” and “Deputy50”, and separately, “GoodMornin” for I just haven’t been able to find the time to get back to some things about that hammer and again separately, the 4043 (although in posting this entry today, I saw where “johnnyloco” has a thread about the 4046 on this same board that might be helpful in regard to the latter and that perhaps I will post to in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, if I can find the time.

However, after posting here twice in great detail within this thread about the gun (4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??) and its ammo (4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??), I thought that you folks might find these images that I came across in my files while doing something else the other day worthwhile.

As the site only allows five attachments per entry, I am splitting them up into two new Posts today. This is One of Two.

As I talked about the 10mm in my last post and how the FBI loading was a project of Federal’s, Attachment 01 (below) is of two conventional 50 round boxes of that load as made and packaged by them. One actually bears a stick-on paper label and the other employs what I believe was an early version of a “printed” end flap. But both of them bear the “XM” number that relates to what was the special (non-cataloged) load for the Bureau that obviously started out as an experimental one just like all things of this nature do.

Attachment 02 is the full tray from that “printed” box of Federal FBI loads showing the headstamp employed and the cavity contained in the nose of the projectiles.

Attachment 03 shows the same tray but with two of the rounds lying on their sides so the viewer can get an approximate idea of their length and bullet contour.

Hornady (not mentioned in my last post) jumped into the fray back then as well. Some early signs of that can be seen in Attachment 04 where, once again, a paper label (in this case probably hand-stamped) can be seen attached to the end flaps of three boxes of their early-on 180gr loads along with one of their then-commercial 170gr boxes for the 10mm as well.

Finally, moving on to the unrelated .40S&W project (whose ammo will be featured in detail in the immediately-following Post Two of Two), Attachment 05 shows some of the dummy rounds that became available from Winchester during the latter stages of the project. Please note that while they contain what appear to be the actual bullets used in the conventionally-loaded “real” ammo (an important feature in regard to tests related to feeding), their cases are not only coated in the conventional dark green color often associated with dummies (action-proving dummies), they don’t have holes in the bases of the primer pockets they do contain.

That is important for several reasons. For (one) if someone does the wrong thing and attempts to seat a live primer in the pocket, no spark or flash can make its way into the interior of the case itself if it is struck. Two, there can be issues with some guns, the S&W included, if during dry firing exercises, its firing pin (if not stopped by the external face of the primer) protrudes through an empty pocket and passes into and through a single, boxer-type hole at its base, as it can become bound up in that hole and possibly damaged during any manually cycling of the gun. And three, one can, if they wish, carefully fill that conventionally shaped primer pocket with leather, rubber or silicone to further protect the pin.

Hope you find these images and those in immediately-following Post Two of Two, of interest.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Poohgyrr View Post
Mr Nash,

My schedule has been a bit busy and I just read your latest post. Wow, thank you again. I will have to read it again. l thought there was a similarity between the 185gr 45 ACP and the (180gr) 40S&W. Thanks again.
2 of 2

As stated in the immediately-preceding Post One of Two, my apologies to both “18DAI”, “JohnHL” and “Deputy50”, and separately, “GoodMornin” for I just haven’t been able to find the time to get back to some things about that hammer and again separately, the 4043 (although in posting this entry today, I saw where “johnnyloco” has a thread about the 4046 on this same board that might be helpful in regard to the latter and that perhaps I will post to in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, if I can find the time.

However, after posting here twice in great detail within this thread about the gun (4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??) and its ammo (4006's - information/ history/ tidbits??), I thought that you folks might find these images that I came across in my files while doing something else the other day worthwhile.

As the site only allows five attachments per entry, I am splitting them up into two new Posts today. This is Two of Two.

Attachments 06 and 07 show conventionally boxed but not conventionally labeled Winchester .40S&W ammo of a type I don’t believe that many people have seen. As with a number of the boxes of the 10mm ammunition seen in Post One of Two, these boxes were not intended for commercial sale and bear stick-on labels bearing a description and part number. Although here, the labels actually appear to have been typed and not machine printed (in any manner) and we see, for the first time in these two Posts, how Winchester numbered their experimental/developmental loads at the time.

Attachment 08 puts its conventional Winchester foam tray of the period on top of one of those boxes (with the box’s end flap swung out for reference) and lays one of it rounds (containing the 170gr lead, semi-wadcutter described on that flap) on its side for viewing. It also shows that the brass used for this Winchester load is not even headstamped in regard to either caliber or manufacturer.

Attachment 09 makes it even more clear about those plain base cases and it shows the non-cavity, solid tip LSWC on end.

Attachment 10 shows the load that was used to conduct much of the .40S&W development work at Smith as it was loaded, packaged and labeled by Winchester. The non-commercial carton contained two of their then-standard foam-lined trays. It was printed (again in a non-commercial manner) with all of the relevant information, including their experimental/developmental product code and a one-line user designator (Smith & Wesson) as well. Three of the rounds have been removed from one of those trays and laid out so one can see the size of the loaded cartridge, the contour of its 180gr bullet and the hollow cavity it employed.

Hope you find these images and those in immediately-preceding Post One of Two, of interest.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:08 PM
Deputy50 Deputy50 is offline
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We are all busy with life.... no apology needed Dave Nash.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:58 PM
GoodMornin GoodMornin is offline
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We are all busy with life.... no apology needed Dave Nash.

Exactly what he said, take your time, your info posted here is much appreciated.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:14 AM
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Poohgyrr

I think I know you. If so, then a mutual friend just told me that I hadn’t contributed anything here in a while, so following are a few quick points about the 4006 I wrote over an early breakfast and proofed over a late lunch...
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Originally Posted by GoodMornin View Post
Mr Nash, out of curiousity, have you fired a 4043. If so, how did that feel to you, little more snap or just the same?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Nash View Post
1 of 2

My apologies to both “18DAI”, “JohnHL” and “Deputy50”, and separately, “GoodMornin” for I just haven’t been able to find the time to get back to some things about that hammer and again separately, the 4043 (although in posting this entry today, I saw where “johnnyloco” has a thread about the 4046 on this same board that might be helpful in regard to the latter and that perhaps I will post to in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, if I can find the time...

...Hope you find these images and those in immediately-following Post Two of Two, of interest.
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Originally Posted by GoodMornin View Post
Exactly what he said, take your time, your info posted here is much appreciated.
GoodMornin

I have fired the alloy-frame, Double Action Only (DAO) 4043 (several of them and they were all of the early, extended slide type) and there is some difference as to how it “feels” (“feelings” and “felt recoil” obviously being very subjective sensations) than say a 4046 (the stainless steel frame version of the double column, DAO .40S&W Smith 3rd Gen) or the original stainless steel, Traditional Double Action (TDA) 4006 that we’ve talked about here.

It’s pretty clear that even without changing a gun’s “geometry” in terms of how it fits the hand of a given (single) user (and sometimes merely changing the grip can do that), lightening it up or making it more heavy, can affect how that firearm will “feel” (and not just in terms of its weight) to someone handling it or, separately, shooting it.

I found that, for me (the same might not be the same for you or anybody else reading this), the increased sense of recoil in the 4043 when compared to the ’46 was not much more than the difference I found and described in the first of my four previous Posts in this thread (above) as noticeable but something I got used to within a relatively small number of rounds fired through those early 4006’s after having shot only 9mm’s in its sister gun, the 5906 for as much as I had done.

Some people might, as you have done, call it more “snappy”. Others might call it “whippy” (although that’s a term I tend to use for a different firearm phenomenon). I’ll just say that it was noticeable but certainly controllable and easy enough to get so used to in such a short period of time, that it never really affected my work with the gun.

Two more side points that might interest you.

1) First, some people perceive any of the extended slide, short action DAO S&W 3rd Gen’s as performing differently in the hand, not just because that “action” is different than their (basic-to-the-line) TDA pistols but because if they are an experienced Smith shooter and are making a switch from one (action) type to another, they will certainly be aware of every little difference between them (and there are a number of them). Something that perhaps makes those people more aware of (more sensitive to?) things like the unrelated but obviously present differences in recoil caused by the different frame materials we’ve been discussing, than they would have been otherwise.

Additionally, I think that there is a tendency for serious students of the gun (as are most of the people posting on this Site) to also study and look closely at any new gun (new action, new materials, new ammo, etc.) and perceive even the smallest differences, which can sometimes make those differences seem larger than they are. Such students know, however, that any and all such differences must be categorized and put into the proper perspective. But sometimes, it’s just easier to not do that and sometimes, it can be personally advantageous to make them into something more than they really are.

Me, I (and those I respect) tend to be more clinical when it comes to that sort of thing.

2) Second, I think (and I’ve mentioned this elsewhere before and have actually drafted something more complete – and hopefully more coherent – about it that I will put out sometime down the road) that many of today’s shooters (and perhaps even more so, many of today’s “gun toters”) have become so used to lighter guns overall (most of them of polymer construction; something about which I no objection or concern) that they see anything like the steel frame Smith 3rd Gens of only less than a few decades ago, as heavy; sometimes even objectionably so.

I believe that is borne out in the numerous comments throughout this site that constantly emphasize their weight along with their strength and ease of shooting (recoil again) as opposed to the lighter frame guns, which today are often pictured as more ideal for everything but their actual “shooting”.

Is weight-saving a good thing? It certainly can be (as long as so much of it isn’t “saved” that controllability suffers) but I see people complaining all the time (not in this thread) about some guns, lighter and heavier, that in my opinion, just aren’t that bad in those respects.

So here too, you (as an individual whose personal perceptions might be radically different than those of the proverbial “next guy in line”) really have to objectively decide for yourself, based on your own needs, likes and personal preferences, whether or not a particular handgun is too light or too heavy or if any increase in felt recoil is objectionable to you or something that you can’t adjust to without negatively affecting your overall performance with that firearm.

Hope this both helps you and gives you something to think about. This Forum is a really great place to learn about the experiences of others (all of us benefit from that) but one must always be aware that such things might not directly apply to anyone but the people who had them. So while you should always attempt to read about what others have to say (for that is big part of how we learn) and ask them questions as well, you should always attempt to remain objective, keep an open mind and try to experiment and expose yourself to as many things and variations of them as you can.

For that’s what makes truly makes us knowledgeable and better at what we do.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:23 PM
GoodMornin GoodMornin is offline
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Thanks for your response! That actually helps.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:11 PM
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I really enjoyed all the new and nearly forgotten info on what was my first center fire semi-auto. I bought my 4006 in late 1992 or early 1993. I was a true blue 686 shooter and the idea of a pistol that closed the gap between the 9MM and the .357 intrigued me. I've owned alot of .40's since then but that 4006 was a beauty and I miss it.
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