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Old 01-07-2018, 01:31 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Default $325? Difference between 910 and 915?

Greetings from NoVA - I've got the flu or crud and it's too cold to go outside ... and I've been surfing Mr. Gore's internet a lot. I've been watching this pistol for sale locally - it just dropped to $325. It would seem like a pretty good deal at that price. But, I used to have a photo (copped from here) that showed the underside of both a 910 and 915 slide - and pointed out the differences. Can anyone weigh in on this? I think the 915 is/was a cheaper version of the 910 - more plastic in the build. But, I don't remember. I don't think it'll last long at this price but I thought I'd check beforehand ...

The mags look to be Megar (sp??) but seems like they are as good or better than Smith mags anyway ...

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Old 01-07-2018, 01:46 PM
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I think the 915 is/was a cheaper version of the 910 - more plastic in the build. But, I don't remember.
It's the other way around - the 910 has plastic parts, a blocky finish and it did away with the locking barrel lug. The 915 is just barely a step down from a 5904.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:49 PM
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i'm not an expert but i was under the impression that the 915 was a preban era gun with a 15rd mag and the 910 was a post ban gun with a 10rd mag.
i am unaware of any build/design differences.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:03 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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It's the other way around - the 910 has plastic parts, a blocky finish and it did away with the locking barrel lug. The 915 is just barely a step down from a 5904.
Ooh - ouch - I'm sure glad I asked here! And, I wish I could find the comparison photo I mentioned. It'll just be for a range trips a few times a year - I load 9mm pretty low anyways. Does the absent barrel lug cause any problems? The price puts it in Shield range - and the seller just contacted me - we've traded before and he's a known good-guy...

Edited to add: I found the photo - and Thanks for the heads up on the diffs between the 910 and the 915. I may have to re-contact the seller and renege. I didn't notice the diffs between the two barrels when I had looked at this photo (many times! ) before. And, Armorer - you are right - the frame almost looks like it was refinished with a brush. I will freely admit that I'm less and less of a notice-the-details person the older I get. I hate to renege on the guy (although, I didn't commit) since we've dealt before - but I think a 915 is what I'm looking for. Unless someone has a spare 5904 sitting around ...

Last edited by GeoJelly; 01-07-2018 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Added photo
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:07 PM
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i'm not an expert but i was under the impression that the 915 was a preban era gun with a 15rd mag and the 910 was a post ban gun with a 10rd mag.
i am unaware of any build/design differences.
There are differences in the exterior contours when compared - my 915 has Trijicon sights.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:08 PM
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I'm not sure from the image, but does the ad mention any finish issues or changes? It appears the frame has been refinished....perhaps over the original anodization. Maybe a spray on baking laquer, or Cerakote?
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:16 PM
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i'm not an expert but i was under the impression that the 915 was a preban era gun with a 15rd mag and the 910 was a post ban gun with a 10rd mag.
i am unaware of any build/design differences.
This is correct The 915 was produced 1st from 1992-1994 as a 15 round value series model just like the 5904. The 910 started production in 1995 as a 10 round mag pistol per the Brady law but were later made to accomodate 15 round mags as well as any LEO or export guns prior to 2006. I believe the 915 also has the early 3rd Gen or 2 gen smaller trigger guard.
I have a 910 which accommodates 15 round mags. I do not have access to it right now as I'm overseas so I can't tell you when it was shipped.

Edit: I deleted my comment about right hand decocker on 915. I can find zero examples of that in any images or pictures. I think it's a typo.

Regardless that's a pretty steep price for a 910. Because they are value series they are cheapend up to start with. You shouldn't pay more than $200 for one IMO. I think I bought mine at a pawn shop about 3 years ago for $150. It actually shoots very nice. I have never had a FTF and it's accurate. However that does not make them worth that kind of money. You can get a 5904 or 5906 for that price which are made with quality parts/ finish.
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Last edited by mbliss57; 01-07-2018 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Deleted right hand decocker note on 915
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:19 PM
jsbethel jsbethel is online now
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It's still a worthy pistol - depending on how many magazines, I would probably give $300 for it.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbliss57 View Post
This is correct The 915 was produced 1st from 1992-1994 as a 15 round value series model just like the 5904. The 910 started production in 1995 as a 10 round mag pistol per the Brady law but were later made to accomodate 15 round mags as well as any LEO or export guns prior to 2006. I believe the 915 also has the early 3rd Gen or 2 gen smaller trigger guard.
I have a 910 which accommodates 15 round mags. I do not have access to it right now as I'm overseas so I can't tell you when it was shipped.

Edit: I deleted my comment about right hand decocker on 915. I can find zero examples of that in any images or pictures. I think it's a typo.

Regardless that's a pretty steep price for a 910. Because they are value series they are cheapend up to start with. You shouldn't pay more than $200 for one IMO. I think I bought mine at a pawn shop about 3 years ago for $150. It actually shoots very nice. I have never had a FTF and it's accurate. However that does not make them worth that kind of money. You can get a 5904 or 5906 for that price which are made with quality parts/ finish.
Not to nitpick, but all 910 and 915 frames accomodate 15 (or more) round magazines. There were differences in the MAGs not the PISTOLs to make them 10-rounders. The guns from the "ban" time frame all worked the same with the appropriate pre-ban magazines.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:06 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Thanks to each and all for your quick responses and input. It cost me a bucket load of good will but I backed off of the deal. I want an aluminum hi-cap 9mm but now know to hold out for a 915 or 5904. Tons of 915’s on Crook Broker but they’re almost all beater re-imports. Any nice 915 owners feel sorry for me and have one to part with?
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:42 PM
jsbethel jsbethel is online now
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For Sale: Smith & Wesson S&W Model 915
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:08 PM
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Back around 2008, I had my choice at a LGS of a 915 or 910. Both pistols were outstanding condition. Knowing I was a 3rd Gen guy, the shop owner allowed me to field strip and examine the pistols side by side. THERE ARE big differences. Frankly, and IMHO, the 915 is a true 3rd Gen while the 910, even though a decent pistol, simply is not in the same league. The idea behind the 915, was to knock a few things off the 5904 and to make it a little more affordable. On the other hand, the 910 was a true Value Line pistol with far less machining required and many MIM and plastic parts. For me a comparison of the 915 to a 910 is actually a bit unfair because it's "apples and oranges." FWIW


Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of the 915 and own of two of them in near pristine condition. I consider it the most underrated 3rd Gen pistol out there.

In 2008 when I eyes were young and great . . .


In 2017 after acquiring my 2nd 915 when my eyes were not so young nor great . . .
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:36 PM
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Here are some old ads for the pistols. I wish the quality were better. As far as the specific pistols, I'd rather have the slightly smaller 6904-06. I gain in portability with no loss in shootability.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:06 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Here are some old ads for the pistols. I wish the quality were better. As far as the specific pistols, I'd rather have the slightly smaller 6904-06. I gain in portability with no loss in shootability.
Interesting photos Thanks!! I hear you about 6906; a couple of them, I have. Also, 3913LS and 3953TSW (its upstairs, I think that is the correct nomenclature) - DAO TSW. But, I dont have a full size S&W 9mm and find myself shooting 9-mil the most when I go to the range. A couple of kind Gents have offered their 915s and I have decided to get one of those instead of the original 910. Im not a 3rd Gen cognoscenti - I just like metal frames, hammer, and safety.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:14 PM
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They are pretty much the same, but I have always liked the Model 915. It was my first firearm (thank you OPD Sharpshooter!), misses few range trips, and will be in my estate.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:54 AM
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I've started to jump in here a couple times to defend the Model 910... and, by extension, the Models 908, 909, 908S, 910S, CS models and others... as worthy, reliable 3rd Gen pistols despite their few plastic parts, but why spoil a good pro-915 lovefest. I love my Model 915 too.

As a quirk of timing & history, there are a lot of "Value Line" (and CS-Series) 3rd Gens on the MA approved roster so it is often easier up here to obtain a really pristine "ANIB" condition "Value Line" gun here than its premium line equivalent or a TSW version. They often go for more money too because of later production (in many cases) and resulting lower wear & tear, that despite their plastic parts and somewhat less "refined" look (which I happen to like). I have found them to be worthy 3rd Gens, often with fewer problems than their more "used & abused" premium equivalents. The Novak-like sights, even though made of plastic, happen to work better for my aging eyes as well.

Like I said, I love my Model 915 and paid a lot of money to obtain it, but I wouldn't give up my "Value Line" guns either, especially the stainless ones, nor would I ever discourage anyone from buying one. I don't think $325 for a nice one in box is out of line at all (not up here anyway)... but then again, condition has always been one of the biggest factors in my buying decisions. Given a choice between a Model 915 and a Model 910, I'd most likely go for the one I found to be in better condition.
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:40 AM
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All good points, TTSH.

Price and condition being equal, the 915 "Trumps" the 910.

John
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:53 AM
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All good points, TTSH.

Price and condition being equal, the 915 "Trumps" the 910.
Correct. The problem is that I never seem to run across those "all other things being equal" kinds of decisions.

It cost me a fortune to bring in that really nice 915 of mine... more than for both of my ANIB Model 910S pistols.

I know it's just me and maybe my strong preference for stainless steel and Novak-style sights, but those late-production 910S pistols I own are pretty damn nice. I would not try to discourage anyone from buying one.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:40 AM
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Nor would I.
Matter of fact, if I had a hankerin' for a 910, the "s" model would be the one I'd search for.

I bought a 915 to fill a couple of holes in my accumulation.

I didn't have an alloy framed, double stack 9mm and I didn't have a blue, double stack 9mm.

The 915 is both and I didn't need to find a 5904.

It's the double whammy of the lack of a barrel lug combined with the lack of front slide/frame rails that makes me lean towards the 915 over the 910 (aesthetics aside).

John
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:24 AM
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I very nearly bought a 909 yesterday, like new for $400. I passed because I just can't bring myself to give up the search for a 3904. However, if it performed like my 915, it would be a great pistol regardless.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:54 PM
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Correct. The problem is that I never seem to run across those "all other things being equal" kinds of decisions.

It cost me a fortune to bring in that really nice 915 of mine... more than for both of my ANIB Model 910S pistols.

I know it's just me and maybe my strong preference for stainless steel and Novak-style sights, but those late-production 910S pistols I own are pretty damn nice. I would not try to discourage anyone from buying one.
I've never seen a 910S and was actually unaware of that model. I do know that the 908S that I've shot is a winner. If I could just get that guy to part with it. . .
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:50 PM
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I've never seen a 910S and was actually unaware of that model. I do know that the 908S that I've shot is a winner. If I could just get that guy to part with it. . .
The stainless "Value Line" pistols were some of the last 3rd Gens made (early-to-mid-2000's, excluding later agency special orders) and if you wanted a stainless 3rd Gen but you couldn't stand the black mustache rail or the billboard advertising kitsch of the TSW's, this was the way to go. Now, 10-15 years later, they are often some of the best condition 3rd Gens you can find without breaking the bank.

I happen to like the look and despite the fact that I own plenty of premium line 3rd Gens, I'll still pick-up a super-clean stainless Value Line gun with just about any opportunity I stumble across. You can never have too many!
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:33 AM
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I very nearly bought a 909 yesterday, like new for $400. I passed because I just can't bring myself to give up the search for a 3904. However, if it performed like my 915, it would be a great pistol regardless.
I just picked up a Model 909 myself. It makes up for one I lost at a show in late-2015 when I hesitated over the steep price and the dealer's unwillingness to drop the price even a dime (it was a flawless, as-new gun). At the time, I didn't yet own an S&W full-size 9mm single stack (it was before I found my 39-2) so I was awfully disappointed.

Problem now solved!
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