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  #51  
Old 04-15-2018, 01:30 AM
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Thanks Fastbolt, all great information.
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  #52  
Old 04-15-2018, 01:04 PM
SOTVEN SOTVEN is offline
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"Keep in mind 3rd gems are the epitome of semi auto pistols world wide"

I don't think I'd drink the KoolAid to that extent, but they are certainly built to last. When the 3rd Gens were first introduced I remember thinking how solid they felt, definitely built to last.

The younger generation seems to be discovering these old guns and considers them to be pretty cool, having been raised on plastic fantastics. In law enforcement circles they're called "hipster guns" now.
Here are some of the reasons why the 3rd gems are the epitome of semi auto pistols world wide.

Materials. In house metallurgy of S&W has been a technological marvel, and it shows by their stainless and carbon steel, as well as their 7000 series aluminum, that this many years later their pistols are still in working order, and still looking sharp.

Machining/Craftsmanship. In their time, Beretta was limited in offering their 92/96 with alloy lower only. Neither carbon steel, nor stainless. Sig Sauer was still in the post war German philosophy of stamped welded steel sheets, usually without proper matching of the slide/frame rail length next to the hammers and at the dust cover looking at the gun from the sides. S&W had all sorts of metals involved, excellent machining consistency, and their fit and finish was second to none.

Innovation/ Ergonomics. All magazines from the first gen 2 digit models fit and function with the last 3rd gem piece produced. Yes, others do that now, but these guys did it waaaaaaay back then. (first wonder-nine M 59 1970-71) Also parts interchangeability among models, and calibers!!!! Interchangeable flat and straight back strap grips. All shooters know that a grip that fits improves accuracy, yet this is a trend that many manufacturers have not mastered yet, 3 decades later. Sights fixed or adjustable. Need I mention a certain manufacturer whose sights until recently were plastic that had to be broken off to be replaced if needed?

Safety Features. Need I say anything here? OK, I will. It is not called "S&W leg" in the end... Yet, most people cry about the magazine disconnect (which can be removed properly in ten minutes, or removed the quick, ugly way in 1 minute with a cigarette lighter and a wire hook).

Model/Caliber availability. To this day, I am pretty certain no other manufacturer has offered more models in size/caliber/finish/trigger system variations, than the 3rd gem S&W. 66 models are mentioned on the nomenclature configuration chart alone. Without the special runs. Who else claims that?? Maybe I am wrong, so someone correct me please.

Design. Well, here as most people know, the 3rd gems are descendants of the model 39. The 39 was based on the two best designs of the past, the M 1911 and the P 38. With a fully enclosed symmetrical draw bar, and a factory short trigger reset matched only by some 1911s, a proprietary bushing that does a great job aligning the barrel, and a feed ramp that consistently feeds empty brass from the magazine. What more to ask for?

I know someone may jump and say but the x,y,z, brand/model is equal or better, but here is why the 3rd gems were the epitome of pistols. they did all that at the price that a working man could afford!! American industry at its best example!!!
So, my friend, you may not drink a koolAid to my statement, and I accept and respect it. But for the aforementioned reasons, I have had a case of Sam Adams to that statement.

As for the hipsters finding out about these guns, I am not pro hipster, but I can not deny their +1 for their insight. And I thought they were too lost in their I phones.... lol
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  #53  
Old 04-15-2018, 02:01 PM
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Golden years? That's rust, not gold.


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Running and gunning the heavy recoiling Magnum guns in our youth can start to come back to haunt us as we age, and the accumulated wear & tear finally stars to make itself felt. It's not at all uncommon for aging 1911 shooters to develop a sudden appreciation of 9's as they reach their golden years.
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  #54  
Old 04-16-2018, 01:47 AM
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... they did all that at the price that a working man could afford!! American industry at its best example!!!
I agree, they were, & are fine pieces. Even my younger son appreciates their craftmanship & quality. Last time I showed him my latest find he said " It's hard to believe you can buy an all metal gun in that good of condition for that price these days."

That said, back in the day, these weren't cheap pistols. A 4506 back in 1989 had a MSRP of $701, which is $1434 in today's dollars. A 6" 629 would "only" be $509 then. Big money for a hard working man with a family.

Buy them while they're still resonable.

.

Price List cover - 1989


.

629 - 1989 Price List


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4506 - 1989 Price List


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