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Old 04-07-2018, 07:16 PM
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Default Problem with 4506 Slide Stop

Well.................it's a project.

I Put 150 rounds of various loads through the 4506 today. The good news is it reliably fed everything and was VERY accurate. Unfortunately I encountered this malfunction on slide lock.

Advanced apologies for the focus on the cell phone.



This occurred on the last round, every magazine, every time regardless of the load. The slide would move all the way to the rear of its travel, then move forward and fail to engage the slide stop and the slide would bind up in the position you see here. I shot it with different holds to make sure my thumbs weren't interfering with the slide stop. I've replaced the recoil and mag springs to no effect. The followers seem in good shape. The spring tension on the slide stop plunger seemed a little weak, so I've replaced that when I got home, but I haven't shot it again as of right now.

I bring it here in the hopes that one of our former 3rd Gen. armorers can enlighten me, as I've never dug into one of these before.

I've tried to include photos of the slide stop and various plungers that provide activation of the slide stop, as well as hold it in place. Does anything look overly worn or damaged? Could the slide stop plunger be too worn, or the side plate? Without knowing what these parts look like when new I can't tell.





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Old 04-07-2018, 08:09 PM
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The slide locking to the rear is usually a function of the magazine/follower due to empty magazine
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:13 PM
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The slide stop/catch is out of spec. Replace pronto.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:15 PM
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Comparing your pics to my 4566, here's what I see:

The left-side view of the slide shows your slide stop is too high and appears to be riding outside of the slide. The "locking" tab is above the bottom edge of the slide and should be below it unless engaged in the slide notch. My 4566 slide stop never protrudes above the bottom of the slide except when the tab is in the locked position. It physically cannot. It's almost as if the slide stop isn't fully inserted or is bent outward.

The bottom edge of your slide looks chewed up but it's hard to tell from the blurry photos.

Is the slide stop in its "down" position? Something is forcing it up. If the slide stop isn't bend, you may have the wrong one.

With the mag removed, the tab on my 4566 drops about 1/16 inch below the bottom of the slide but rides against the bottom with an empty nag inserted. It never goes above the slide.

I'd replace the slide stop.

Last edited by SMSgt; 04-07-2018 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:27 PM
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Just looked at my 4506 and my 4046 and oddly enough the bent over end of the sideplate assembly on either of mine does not cover any part of the hole for the slide stop internal end. The part I am referring to is number 66 on the exploded diagram available on the Numrich website. If I am looking at your pictures correctly, it appears that the hole for your slide stop is partly blocked by this part and may require a replacement ($12).

It also appears from your blurry photos that the nub that catches the notch in the slide is worn away on the inside. That nub on both of my slide stops actually extends inward into the notch in the side of the frame. Yours looks like it is worn even with the edge of the slide, and if so any lateral play will cause the nub on the slide stop to miss the notch in the slide. But I'm not going to take odds on this because I can't see it clearly enough in the photo.

I'm sure someone with vastly more gunsmithing experience than I will chime in and verify if this is an issue.

Last edited by Jon651; 04-07-2018 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Added info and commentary
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:33 PM
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Perhaps the spring loaded plunger in the guide rod is not exerting enough pressure on the detent notch in the slide stop pin? It the image of the end of the guide rod, the spring loaded pin doesn't seem to be protruding as far out as it should.

Check the spring under the plunger inside the guide rod for damage (or oxidation), the condition of the end of the plunger itself, and the condition of the detent slot in the slide stop pin.

And, is it possible for you to move the slide stop out of position at any other location on the slide other than when it is in the proper alignment for disassembly? Perhaps excess gauge between the slide and the frame rails (either up and down or side to side) is allowing the slide stop to move over out of position during cycling?
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:38 PM
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One of my 645’s did the exact same thing. Replaced the slide stop and all was good with the World.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Perhaps the spring loaded plunger in the guide rod is not exerting enough pressure on the detent notch in the slide stop pin? It the image of the end of the guide rod, the spring loaded pin doesn't seem to be protruding as far out as it should.

Check the spring under the plunger inside the guide rod for damage (or oxidation), the condition of the end of the plunger itself, and the condition of the detent slot in the slide stop pin.

And, is it possible for you to move the slide stop out of position at any other location on the slide other than when it is in the proper alignment for disassembly? Perhaps excess gauge between the slide and the frame rails (either up and down or side to side) is allowing the slide stop to move over out of position during cycling?
How do I diassemble the guide rod? It appears to be staked in place.

No, the slide stop remains in position except when aligned for disassembly.

The slide stop sets pretty far out from the frame. Upon closer inspection, there isn't a lot of engagement between the stop and the notch in the slide. I'm beginning to wonder if this slide stop belongs on another model, or if it was replaced at some point without being properly fitted. I can induce this same thing by locking the slide back and lightly tapping it a few times with the heel of my hand. This causes the stop to jump out of the notch and the slide jumps forward until it binds up.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:46 PM
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It doesn't disassemble, the plunger and spring can be removed by pulling them out of the cavity.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:48 PM
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Better photos of the slide stop. I hope these are sufficient, I can't do any better.





The slide stop seems to set pretty far out of the frame. Is this normal? It has me wondering if it's the wrong slide stop.


Last edited by Trooper224; 04-07-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:04 PM
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Does look like the slide stop assy is too far out when installed. The spring loaded plunger that interfaces with the sideplate should not be resting that far out on the face of the tab on the sideplate.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:07 PM
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I just looked at the two old 4506 slide stops in my spare parts kit and neither of mine have any wear on the inside of the nub that catches the slide like yours has. I'm not saying they don't have as much wear as yours has - I'm saying neither has ANY wear on that spot.

I don't think this is going to take much deduction on this issue - change the slide stop and the sideplate assembly and you should be good to go. When you are buying the new pieces, just be sure that they are for a 4506 and not a 4506-1, -2 or -3 just in case there were other minor changes that I am not smart enough to know about.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon651 View Post
I just looked at the two old 4506 slide stops in my spare parts kit and neither of mine have any wear on the inside of the nub that catches the slide like yours has. I'm not saying they don't have as much wear as yours has - I'm saying neither has ANY wear on that spot.

I don't think this is going to take much deduction on this issue - change the slide stop and the sideplate assembly and you should be good to go. When you are buying the new pieces, just be sure that they are for a 4506 and not a 4506-1, -2 or -3 just in case there were other minor changes that I am not smart enough to know about.
I'm picking up what you're putting down.

Anyone know where I can get a slide stop? No luck at Numrich, Brownells or Midway.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:11 PM
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I just looked at the two old 4506 slide stops in my spare parts kit and neither of mine have any wear on the inside of the nub that catches the slide like yours has. I'm not saying they don't have as much wear as yours has - I'm saying neither has ANY wear on that spot.

I don't think this is going to take much deduction on this issue - change the slide stop and the sideplate assembly and you should be good to go. When you are buying the new pieces, just be sure that they are for a 4506 and not a 4506-1, -2 or -3 just in case there were other minor changes that I am not smart enough to know about.
I'm picking up what you're putting down.

Anyone know where I can get a slide stop? No luck at Numrich, Brownells or Midway. Wouldn't want to sell a brother one of those spares would you?
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:22 PM
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Hope you don't mind the use of the image, but I'm not sure I've ever seen this high spot or ridge on the back side of a slide stop before. Is there a corresponding shiny spot on the frame?

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Old 04-07-2018, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Hope you don't mind the use of the image, but I'm not sure I've ever seen this high spot or ridge on the back side of a slide stop before. Is there a corresponding shiny spot on the frame?

Use away, I'll take whatever solves the problem.

The tap never touches the frame. The slide stop won't go in far enough for that to happen. That tab is what appears to engage the slide notch, since the stop sets out so far from the frame. If that's the case it appears to have worked for a while until the tab became too worn and here we are. This part appears identical to a slide stop posted by a member of another forum for a 4516. I wonder if there are differences and this is the wrong one for a 4506 no dash?
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:39 PM
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This part appears identical to a slide stop posted by a member of another forum for a 4516. I wonder if there are differences and this is the wrong one for a 4506 no dash?
Same part S&W #230740000
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:46 PM
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"Wouldn't want to sell a brother one of those spares would you?"

Well, I kind of figured that question was coming...

Tell you what, I have two sets of 4506 (no dash) slide stops and side plate assemblies for your pistol.

That being said, what should I charge you for one? Let's see...

Your handle is "Trooper224" so it may be safe to presume that you are a LE officer of some sort. Unfortunately, I am a retired Fire Captain - and you should know the 'intensity' of the rivalry between FD and PD. Never knew an LEO in all his or her life to pay for a cup of coffee at any fire station I've been at in over 29 years. Hmmm...

That being said, if you drop $10 into the coffee fund at your local fire station then I'll take $20 for the set - which is a deal at twice the price.

Send me a private email so we can exchange info we don't want posted in public (you should be able to do that through this forum by clicking on my name) and I'll get the parts out to you on Monday.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:56 PM
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"Wouldn't want to sell a brother one of those spares would you?"

Well, I kind of figured that question was coming...

Tell you what, I have two sets of 4506 (no dash) slide stops and side plate assemblies for your pistol.

That being said, what should I charge you for one? Let's see...

Your handle is "Trooper224" so it may be safe to presume that you are a LE officer of some sort. Unfortunately, I am a retired Fire Captain - and you should know the 'intensity' of the rivalry between FD and PD. Never knew an LEO in all his or her life to pay for a cup of coffee at any fire station I've been at in over 29 years. Hmmm...

That being said, if you drop $10 into the coffee fund at your local fire station then I'll take $20 for the set - which is a deal at twice the price.

Send me a private email so we can exchange info we don't want posted in public (you should be able to do that through this forum by clicking on my name) and I'll get the parts out to you on Monday.
You are correct, soon to be retired State Trooper. I now like you fire guys a little better. Hey, my son-in-law's one of you guys, so we're kind of related in a seven degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of way. Can't say how much I appreciate it.

Forget coffee, if it works I'll buy pizza all'round for the local fire station!

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Old 04-07-2018, 11:12 PM
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You are correct, soon to be retired State Trooper. I now like you fire guys a little better. Hey, my son-in-law's one of you guys, so we're kind of related in a seven degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of way. Can't say how much I appreciate it.
I'm always asked "Are you enjoying your retirement?"
And I always reply "Every minute of every day!"

And just think - if I would have missed just six more questions on the entrance exam then I could have been a trooper, too!

Share the wealth, I say. Happy to help!
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:23 PM
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I think armorer951 nailed it in post #6.

The spring loaded plunger in the rear of your guide rod is what holds the slide stop in place and yours is binding and not protruding far enough.

Grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it out, lube it, re-insert it in the end of the guide rod and make sure it sticks out past the first ledge of the plunger and is springy.

John
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:33 PM
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I think armorer951 nailed it in post #6.

The spring loaded plunger in the rear of your guide rod is what holds the slide stop in place and yours is binding and not protruding far enough.

Grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it out, lube it, re-insert it in the end of the guide rod and make sure it sticks out past the first ledge of the plunger and is springy.

John

I've tried pulling as hard as I can and it won't budge. I may just buy a steel rod from Paul Howell.

Last edited by Trooper224; 04-07-2018 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:40 PM
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Just as a point of discussion, since I seem to have the parts sourced: I was searching on ebay and found a slide stop listed for a 745 that's identical to mine. Assuming (uh oh) that a stop for a 645 would be the same as a 745, I wonder if this is a 645/745 slide stop, mistakenly put on my gun and it's different than that for a 4506? It seems to stick out far too much from the frame, with very little engagement between the stop and the frame and there's no way to change that. The spec. just doesn't seem right.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:08 AM
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As long as you're willing then let's overthink this some more...

According to the hand-written note I found from the gunsmith I got my parts from, the slide stop is the same for the 645, 745, 4506 (no dash), 4516 (no dash), and 4516-1. I have no way whatsoever of verifying this.

From an engineering standpoint (I started out many moons ago in marine engineering), the pivot post on the slide stop had a dimple in it where the end of the recoil spring guide rod rests. If this dimple is just slightly off, worn on one side, or the tip of the spring plunger in the guide rod is worn unevenly - and yours appears quite worn but I don't know the specs - then it could displace the slide stop laterally just a fraction, which would push the tab that catches the slide outward until the fault you originally describe occurs.

Also, if the bent end of the side plate assembly is angled outward slightly, then that would push the spring loaded plunger on the end of the slide catch outward as well (as shown in your second batch of photos) aggravating the same issue.

Of much less likelihood (MUCH less...), the whole slide stop could be deformed outward from excessive use, also aggravating this issue.

Impressed yet?

Regardless, the solution all seems to be the same - replace the slide stop and the side plate assembly. Possibly even the recoil spring guide rod plunger tip as well.

And after all that, I need a nap!
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:34 AM
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Regardless, the solution all seems to be the same - replace the slide stop and the side plate assembly. Possibly even the recoil spring guide rod plunger tip as well.
That's what I'm thinking

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And after all that, I need a nap!
Sitting at this computer for a few hours on my Saturday was just what I wanted to do.

Bed time.
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:05 AM
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It's late and I'm not going to go out to the bench to pull my spare parts and start comparing them to the ones in my own 3rd gen .45's, but here's a couple thoughts to mull over.

In my first armorer class we were told the "gap" between the outside of the frame and the inside of the slide stop's lever ought to be such that a normal business card can slip under it, or even a folded (once) business card. Ideally, the gap ought to be uniform from front to back.

If a lever were to become too "tight" against the frame at the rear, the lever could drag on the frame and possibly interfere with the lever's freedom of movement.

Some occasional drag marks on a particular frame were said to be considered normal, and only cosmetic, if a lever's angle was on the tighter end of the normal tolerance range, as long as the lever's gap (with the frame) was even and the lever wasn't prevented from lifting when lifted by the mag follower, and would be pushed downward by normal tension between the front of the sideplate and the lever's plunger/spring (to prevent it from rising under recoil and causing early slide lock).

Too wide of a gap from the frame, though, and at some point the lever's plunger might jump outward, slipping off the outside of the sideplate. (Meaning the small angled plate formed at the front of the sideplate.)

The gap in one of your pics looks a bit wide (but it's just a pic, and I couldn't pretend to know without handling it and seeing it).

How can a slide stop lever become bent? Well, recoil forces travel through metal in all directions, and we were told that it was sometimes possible that a lot of use, and hot ammo, might sometimes cause a slide stop lever to eventually acquire an inward or outward bend. (This presumes someone hasn't actually damaged it, meaning bending it.)

The angle between the slide stop's lever and its (frame) pin ought to be 90 degrees. (Looking "down" on it, as it were.)

In my first 3rd gen armorer class we were told to keep an eye on the gap between the slide stop lever and frame, especially if we were shooting a lot of +P or +P+ loads (the discussion was about the 59XX series guns). If we came across a lever that had acquired an excessive inward or outward bend, we were shown how to put the lever assembly in a vise and whack it with a lead babbitt (NOT a hammer) to restore the 90 degree angle.

In subsequent classes that was changed to telling armorers to just replace a slide stop lever assembly that had acquired a bend. Reading between the lines, perhaps over time some slide stop assemblies ended up being needlessly (or simply improperly) beaten and mangled by inexperienced armorers, so the armorer training folks decided to simplify things and just tell armorers to replace them. (Ditto replacing the lever assembly if a lever's plunger and spring if they became damaged or corroded, while previously we'd been told to just drift the roll pin and replace a plunger and spring, and the plunger could be different, especially in the .40's.)

Now, the outside edge of the front curved shoulder of your slide stop lever almost appears peened and rolled over. See the normal clean and sharp line on the outside edge of the part of the slide stop in this image, in the circle?


That raised curved spot on the front of the lever rides on the inside of the lower edge of the slide and prevents the slide stop from drifting out of the frame unless the slide is retracted to the point where the slide stop can then clear the slide's notch (for disassembly). The 2 pics in your first post makes it appear badly peened.

How might that happen? Dunno. However, I'd almost wonder if a previous owner might not have known how to properly field-strip the gun, meaning he didn't properly position the front of the lever assembly within the slide's notch, and out of frustration he used heavy force (beat) on the right end of the pin, trying to move the assembly to the left to remove the slide stop.

Also, if you gently grasp the front angled plate of the sideplate between your thumb and index finger, can you gently wiggle it up and down? If it moves (more than a minimal amount, or a "hair"), it might be involved. This can mean one of the "prongs" of the sideplate's fork, which snap over the left (headed) end on the sear pin, is bent or snapped off. Time for a new sideplate.

The .45 slide stop levers made toward the end of 3rd gen production were either plain stainless, or blackened stainless (machined MIM) parts, if I remember right. They ought not need any "adjustment", and are considered "drop-in" assemblies, presuming they aren't damaged or out-of-spec, and if they function in the particular gun as intended when doing normal bench checks. (Sometimes in 'parts-is-parts' guns a particular part or assembly might not work normally in one gun, but might in many others.)

Oh yeah, don't go yanking on the plunger of the older 'staked' guide rods.

The plunger and spring could be easily removed from the newer style, 1-piece rods, but the old style 'staked' rods had a collar (staked to the rod) which contained the plunger and spring in the rod. Damage an earlier staked collar and it's time for a new rod assembly.

These pics show the difference in the older and the newer revised rod assemblies.

New rod on left, 2 older rods in middle and on right.


2 new style rods (different models/finishes), and this pic also has a plastic plunger used in some models for a while.


Sorry for the rambling, but these were just some late night thoughts in response to the thread. I'll try and check back tomorrow.

FWIW, now that the 3rd gen's have reached "obsolete" status, it's getting harder to find new parts, although it's apparently possible to find them now and again.
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Last edited by Fastbolt; 04-08-2018 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:32 AM
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Fastbolt, if I could I'd have your baby. Outstanding information.

I just measured the slide stop with a straight edge and it is bent, definitely not a true ninety degree angle. The side plate also has a bit of wiggle. Between you and Jon651, I think you've solved my problem.

The recoil spring was weak when I bought the gun. I wasn't surprised with a thirty year old gun and I replaced it immediately. The previous owner must have fired some hot loads, just never replaced the spring, or both.

See guys, I told you that guide rod spring wouldn't come out.

I can't express how much I appreciate everyone taking the time to help out with this.

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Old 04-08-2018, 10:24 AM
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Just to be sure, after I got up this morning I inspected the parts I have for you. Using a drafting triangle, the angle between the pivot post and body of the slide catch I have is exactly 90 degrees so we should be good to go there. Then I test-fitted everything into my own 4506 and it all worked like a charm. Even though these are used parts and apparently your 4506 may be high mileage I'm hoping that it all works out regardless.

I'll head down to the Post Office and get them out for you on Monday.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:19 PM
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Just to be sure, after I got up this morning I inspected the parts I have for you. Using a drafting triangle, the angle between the pivot post and body of the slide catch I have is exactly 90 degrees so we should be good to go there. Then I test-fitted everything into my own 4506 and it all worked like a charm. Even though these are used parts and apparently your 4506 may be high mileage I'm hoping that it all works out regardless.

I'll head down to the Post Office and get them out for you on Monday.
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:25 PM
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Fastbolt, if I could I'd have your baby. Outstanding information.

I just measured the slide stop with a straight edge and it is bent, definitely not a true ninety degree angle. The side plate also has a bit of wiggle. Between you and Jon651, I think you've solved my problem.

The recoil spring was weak when I bought the gun. I wasn't surprised with a thirty year old gun and I replaced it immediately. The previous owner must have fired some hot loads, just never replaced the spring, or both.

See guys, I told you that guide rod spring wouldn't come out.

I can't express how much I appreciate everyone taking the time to help out with this.
That explains the slide stop tab protruding out from the slide as I observed. It will never lock back that way. It has to ride under the slide.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:04 PM
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Glad to hear someone's got the parts to send you.

Here's an older thread where I posted some pics and brief info about installing a sideplate without tweaking or damaging the plate's prongs, or legs. It's post #37 in the thread. New acquisition-5906 (I broke it already)

I think I probably mention it in the linked thread, but the usual cause of a tweaked or broken leg on a sideplate is improper installation of a grip.

It's not uncommon for the front end of a sideplate to lift a bare amount from the outside of a frame, nor is it unusual for the end of the lever's plunger to engage the angled part of the sideplate at the bottom (when it's down in the normal position, with the slide forward).

I was so tired when I posted my previous thoughts that I forgot to mention another possible cause of your tweaked (outward) slide stop lever, which is that in addition to someone maybe having tried to force the front of the lever assembly by beating on the right end of the pin, they may have also tried to pry the rear half of the lever (like with a padded/taped screwdriver, etc) away from the frame, to remove it. (I'd just gotten in from a pleasant night at my cigar club, which had ended at midnight, and the drive home over the hill, after an afternoon with my granddaughter, had come close to wiping me out. Trying to organize my thoughts in writing at 0200hrs isn't a common occurrence for me anymore, now that I've been retired several years. )

Hope the new parts restore normal function to your 4506. It's a beast of a .45 pistol.

Just for reference, if you use the factory recoil spring (and there's no reason not to, as they're good), this image offers some guidance from S&W in checking the free length. Remember that S&W offered both a standard spring (combat loads) and a light wadcutter spring (competition bunny fart loads).

If you use an aftermarket spring, though, it might be different. Their wire gauge, heat treat, number of coil windings and normal length might not be the same as the spring the factory uses, so the free length might not be comparable to try and estimate when a spring is "too short" or has become weakened. What you DON'T want to do is get an aftermarket spring that wasn't specifically designed for the 4506,and risk getting one that's too long. Like with a 1911, if you try to use a spring that's too long, it can stack solid before the slide has reached its rearward travel and the slide's dustcover can become damaged (cracked/broken).

Let us know how the "new" parts work. Luck.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:16 PM
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Again Fastbolt, outstanding information, thank you.

If this was a 1911, Browning High Power or even an S&W revolver I would have had it ironed out pretty quickly. These old S&W autos are a bit alien to me. The last thing I wanted to do was go diving in with a hammer and dremel and wind up being "that guy".

I was happy to find this piece of nostalgia and I was impressed with it's accuracy and overall handling.

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Old 04-08-2018, 02:30 PM
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Again Fastbolt, outstanding information, thank you.

If this was a 1911, Browning High Power or even an S&W revolver I would have had it ironed out pretty quickly. These old S&W autos are a bit alien to me. The last thing I wanted to do was go diving in with a hammer and dremel and wind up being "that guy".
De nada.

There's some occasionally interesting tidbits I've picked up over the years. I attended 4 armorer classes for the 3rd gen's, and learned a lot more during many calls back to the factory to ask questions (as an armorer).

While I'm NOT a gunsmith, a factory engineering tech nor a factory repair tech, as a factory trained armorer I've probably learned enough to be able to disgnose many simple issues that can occur with the 3rd gen guns.

One of the factory guys who helped answer a lot of my questions over the years was one of the original folks involved in the AIP (Auto Improvement Program) when the 3rd gen's were being developed, and an early armorer instructor. He's retired now, but he offered some interesting insights into the occasional odd things I'd encountered over the years I was calling him. (Like the occasional factory "cut", or notch, on the 645's and some of the early 4506's, which could look like a crack in the rear of the slide's recoil spring box. I think he said they used to call it a "D cut", and it was done to give some room in the occasional slide for the barrel to be tipped during removal and installation in the slide. New guns benefited from a beveled spot, as machining capability improved. He was a fountain of interesting info. Lots of that institutional knowledge is retiring though, or has already retired. More's the pity.)

Feel free to use my listed email for simple questions, as my PM box fills up to the max limit all the time. Just let me know an email is coming and from what address (in case my spam filter diverts it).
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Old 04-08-2018, 04:16 PM
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Is that a typo or a firefighter joke?
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Old 04-08-2018, 05:45 PM
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That was a great deal you got on your parts . What are all the groove and lines marks on your slide stop ? that did not look good .
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:06 PM
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That was a great deal you got on your parts . What are all the groove and lines marks on your slide stop ? that did not look good .
If you are talking about the pivot post on the slide stop then I noticed that also. It almost looks like someone who didn't know how to field strip this pistol tried to "unscrew" the slide stop out of the frame while it was still under tension. None of mine have those marks.

Add that to the other marks pointed out by Fastbolt and it begins to make sense at to what may be the cause of this issue - or at least a contributing factor.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:37 PM
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That was a great deal you got on your parts . What are all the groove and lines marks on your slide stop ? that did not look good .
Older machining methods. I've seen worse.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:12 PM
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Is that a typo or a firefighter joke?
No pun intended, just appreciation. (although that did cross my mind )
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:14 PM
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That was a great deal you got on your parts . What are all the groove and lines marks on your slide stop ? that did not look good .
Indeed. As the Godfather said, I got an offer I couldn't refuse. I wondered about those marks too. Having seen a lot worse on the inside of a pistol before, I put it down to being a Monday part.
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:30 PM
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I originally learned machining in a shop way back in 1983 when I was in college. Frankly, if I turned out something that looked like that I'd be too embarrassed to turn that piece in for a grade. It would have hit the scrap bucket and I would have tried again.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:04 PM
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I've just completed a 200 round session with the Big Smitty and I'm happy to proclaim it good to go.

I replaced the slide stop and side plate, as well as the recoil, extractor and mag springs. Jon651 supplied the slide stop and side plate at a very considerate price. I also purchased a steel guide rod from Paul Howell. As most will know, the original guide rod is aluminum and a multi-piece affair. (way to go S&W, take a boat anchor of a gun and try to save weight with an aluminum guide rod, spectacular) There's a spring plunger on the back end of the rod that applies pressure to a notch in the slide stop, helping to keep the latter in place.

The plunger is in turn held in place by a cap that's crimped into the guide rod. If the cap comes loose you're dead in the water. Mine is in good shape, but since this is another near unobtanium part, I opted to replace it with a steel unit. Paul makes them himself and his turn around was an incredible two days. The rod is beautifully made and functions flawlessly. If you have one of these pistols, the price of $60 is well spent insurance. One of the forum members at Pistol Forum kindly offered to send me an NOS factory grip module for the cost of postage.

As I stated in my original post: I shot one of these only once, way back in the day. I remember liking it, but didn't recall any really detailed recollections. After putting a few rounds down range I will say, I really like this pistol. Third Generation Smiths seem to be a love it or hate it affair, you can put me in the latter category. I loaded up some 230 grain hardball loads over 5.0 grains of Bullseye, the classic service load for the round. Since I was mainly checking function, I wanted to eliminate as many variables as possible and decided to avoid lighter target loads this time out. At the twenty five yard line accuracy was as good as it was during my first outing. I had a few fliers, but that was me trying too hard with an unfamiliar gun. With dedicated target loads the gun will be quite the shooter.

I was very impressed with the way the gun handled during speed drills at the seven and ten yard lines. Two hundred rounds of hardball from one of my 1911s would send my looking for the pain killers due to my arthritis. The mass of the 4506 really dampened the recoil of the service loads and it was quite comfortable to shoot. The grip is a tad narrow for me, but it is rather long front to back and that helps minimize it. The DA trigger is around twelve pounds and the SA at six, but they're both pretty smooth and neither presented an issue. Four years of shooting Beretta 92s has helped in that regard. The reset is crazy short for a DA/SA gun, almost 1911 short. I don't plan on doing anything to the trigger, it's fine as is. The decocker didn't pose any problems for me, since operating one has now become second nature. It's easily reached with either my shooting or support hand thumbs.

The 4506 has been affectionately described as (some times not so much) clunky, massive and cumbersome. Yes, it's big with a capital B, but overall it's no bigger than the 92 I've been carrying and actually quite a bit flatter than the Beretta. Personally, I don't find it clunky and I actually think it handles quite well. It is heavy though, no getting around that, but that's actually a plus when it's time to pull the trigger. I bought this gun for nostalgias sake, but I find that I quite like it as a shooter. I wish Smith and Wesson still made them. If that was the case I'd buy one or two more and run them a lot harder than I plan on running this one. I don't intend for this to supplant my Berettas as my carry gun. However, I will be obtaining a holster so that I can work with the 4506. I like expanding my knowledge base and this one will provide an enjoyable experience.

I'm very thankful to the people who were kind enough to give me the benefit of their experience in analyzing the guns issues and especially to the people I've mentioned for supplying the parts necessary to get this old beast back in action. Cool stuff all around.

Now to find that 1006.

Last edited by Trooper224; 04-13-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:23 PM
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Now, you just need to find a trailer kit for that beast.


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Originally Posted by Trooper224 View Post
I've just completed a 200 round session with the Big Smitty and I'm happy to proclaim it good to go.

I replaced the slide stop and side plate, as well as the recoil, extractor and mag springs. Jon651 supplied the slide stop and side plate at a very considerate price. I also purchased a steel guide rod from Paul Howell. As most will know, the original guide rod is aluminum and a multi-piece affair. (way to go S&W, take a boat anchor of a gun and try to save weight with an aluminum guide rod, spectacular) There's a spring plunger on the back end of the rod that applies pressure to a notch in the slide stop, helping to keep the latter in place.

The plunger is in turn held in place by a cap that's crimped into the guide rod. If the cap comes loose you're dead in the water. Mine is in good shape, but since this is another near unobtanium part, I opted to replace it with a steel unit. Paul makes them himself and his turn around was an incredible two days. The rod is beautifully made and functions flawlessly. If you have one of these pistols, the price of $60 is well spent insurance. One of the forum members at Pistol Forum kindly offered to send me an NOS factory grip module for the cost of postage.

As I stated in my original post: I shot one of these only once, way back in the day. I remember liking it, but didn't recall any really detailed recollections. After putting a few rounds down range I will say, I really like this pistol. Third Generation Smiths seem to be a love it or hate it affair, you can put me in the latter category. I loaded up some 230 grain hardball loads over 5.0 grains of Bullseye, the classic service load for the round. Since I was mainly checking function, I wanted to eliminate as many variables as possible and decided to avoid lighter target loads this time out. At the twenty five yard line accuracy was as good as it was during my first outing. I had a few fliers, but that was me trying too hard with an unfamiliar gun. With dedicated target loads the gun will be quite the shooter.

I was very impressed with the way the gun handled during speed drills at the seven and ten yard lines. Two hundred rounds of hardball from one of my 1911s would send my looking for the pain killers due to my arthritis. The mass of the 4506 really dampened the recoil of the service loads and it was quite comfortable to shoot. The grip is a tad narrow for me, but it is rather long front to back and that helps minimize it. The DA trigger is around twelve pounds and the SA at six, but they're both pretty smooth and neither presented an issue. Four years of shooting Beretta 92s has helped in that regard. The reset is crazy short for a DA/SA gun, almost 1911 short. I don't plan on doing anything to the trigger, it's fine as is. The decocker didn't pose any problems for me, since operating one has now become second nature. It's easily reached with either my shooting or support hand thumbs.

The 4506 has been affectionately described as (some times not so much) clunky, massive and cumbersome. Yes, it's big with a capital B, but overall it's no bigger than the 92 I've been carrying and actually quite a bit flatter than the Beretta. Personally, I don't find it clunky and I actually think it handles quite well. It is heavy though, no getting around that, but that's actually a plus when it's time to pull the trigger. I bought this gun for nostalgias sake, but I find that I quite like it as a shooter. I wish Smith and Wesson still made them. If that was the case I'd buy one or two more and run them a lot harder than I plan on running this one. I don't intend for this to supplant my Berettas as my carry gun. However, I will be obtaining a holster so that I can work with the 4506. I like expanding my knowledge base and this one will provide an enjoyable experience.

I'm very thankful to the people who were kind enough to give me the benefit of their experience in analyzing the guns issues and especially to the people I've mentioned for supplying the parts necessary to get this old beast back in action. Cool stuff all around.

Now to find that 1006.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:14 AM
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As most will know, the original guide rod is aluminum and a multi-piece affair. (way to go S&W, take a boat anchor of a gun and try to save weight with an aluminum guide rod, spectacular)

Two hundred rounds of hardball from one of my 1911s would send my looking for the pain killers due to my arthritis.

I wish Smith and Wesson still made them. If that was the case I'd buy one or two more and run them a lot harder than I plan on running this one. I don't intend for this to supplant my Berettas as my carry gun. However, I will be obtaining a holster so that I can work with the 4506. I like expanding my knowledge base and this one will provide an enjoyable experience.

I'm very thankful to the people who were kind enough to give me the benefit of their experience in analyzing the guns issues and especially to the people I've mentioned for supplying the parts necessary to get this old beast back in action. Cool stuff all around.

Now to find that 1006.
the aluminum guide rod is not there to lighten up the pistol. there is friction between the slide and the full size guide rod when the pistol functions, hence aluminum was used so that the guide rod becomes the sacrificial piece in heavy use. Keep in mind 3rd gems are the epitome of semi auto pistols world wide, so they were designed to outlast 3-4 generations of shooters. (75-98 years roughly.)

I am sorry to hear about your arthritis friend, as I know how my father suffers from it. Another useful feature of the 4506 (at least for a dear friend of mine who also had arthritis) was that he could pull the slide back by only using his index and middle finger on the two sides of the safety lever, much like a p08 Luger. Do that with an m&p or block...

Now it is the time to buy more, and here is why. when they were being produced, they were an expensive line of guns, (and very rightfully so, in terms of materials, machining, innovation, combat accuracy, safety features, size/ caliber selection and in general all those things that make a product top of the line) now, you can get them at plastic toy gun prices and even lower. Find the models you like, clean them up, replace their springs (cheap insurance) and blaze away!! Plus the added bonus of their prices only going up from here. Try that with a shield....
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:38 PM
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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.

More than thirty years of shooting things that started with "4" and often ended with "Magnum", in both short and long gun form, has resulted in arthritis in the distal joint on both hands and my right shoulder. I'm not a cripple by any means, but with an average consumption of 20k handgun rounds a year, a change to 9mm as my primary carry and training round became a necessity. I still likes me some half-ninety action though, so I'm very pleased with the 4506 in that regard. I see younger people firing these ridiculously large handguns without any thought to what it will cost them later on in life. I never did and it's costing me now.

The 3rd Gen. Smiths are absolutely undervalued, I've always noted that when comparing them to many other brands, as well as S&Ws own revolvers. I don't think that's likely to continue though. 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.

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:57 PM
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I've just completed a 200 round session with the Big Smitty and I'm happy to proclaim it good to go.

I replaced the slide stop and side plate, as well as the recoil, extractor and mag springs. Jon651 supplied the slide stop and side plate at a very considerate price. I also purchased a steel guide rod from Paul Howell. As most will know, the original guide rod is aluminum and a multi-piece affair. (way to go S&W, take a boat anchor of a gun and try to save weight with an aluminum guide rod, spectacular) There's a spring plunger on the back end of the rod that applies pressure to a notch in the slide stop, helping to keep the latter in place.

The plunger is in turn held in place by a cap that's crimped into the guide rod. If the cap comes loose you're dead in the water. Mine is in good shape, but since this is another near unobtanium part, I opted to replace it with a steel unit. Paul makes them himself and his turn around was an incredible two days. The rod is beautifully made and functions flawlessly. If you have one of these pistols, the price of $60 is well spent insurance. One of the forum members at Pistol Forum kindly offered to send me an NOS factory grip module for the cost of postage.

As I stated in my original post: I shot one of these only once, way back in the day. I remember liking it, but didn't recall any really detailed recollections. After putting a few rounds down range I will say, I really like this pistol. Third Generation Smiths seem to be a love it or hate it affair, you can put me in the latter category. I loaded up some 230 grain hardball loads over 5.0 grains of Bullseye, the classic service load for the round. Since I was mainly checking function, I wanted to eliminate as many variables as possible and decided to avoid lighter target loads this time out. At the twenty five yard line accuracy was as good as it was during my first outing. I had a few fliers, but that was me trying too hard with an unfamiliar gun. With dedicated target loads the gun will be quite the shooter.

I was very impressed with the way the gun handled during speed drills at the seven and ten yard lines. Two hundred rounds of hardball from one of my 1911s would send my looking for the pain killers due to my arthritis. The mass of the 4506 really dampened the recoil of the service loads and it was quite comfortable to shoot. The grip is a tad narrow for me, but it is rather long front to back and that helps minimize it. The DA trigger is around twelve pounds and the SA at six, but they're both pretty smooth and neither presented an issue. Four years of shooting Beretta 92s has helped in that regard. The reset is crazy short for a DA/SA gun, almost 1911 short. I don't plan on doing anything to the trigger, it's fine as is. The decocker didn't pose any problems for me, since operating one has now become second nature. It's easily reached with either my shooting or support hand thumbs.

The 4506 has been affectionately described as (some times not so much) clunky, massive and cumbersome. Yes, it's big with a capital B, but overall it's no bigger than the 92 I've been carrying and actually quite a bit flatter than the Beretta. Personally, I don't find it clunky and I actually think it handles quite well. It is heavy though, no getting around that, but that's actually a plus when it's time to pull the trigger. I bought this gun for nostalgias sake, but I find that I quite like it as a shooter. I wish Smith and Wesson still made them. If that was the case I'd buy one or two more and run them a lot harder than I plan on running this one. I don't intend for this to supplant my Berettas as my carry gun. However, I will be obtaining a holster so that I can work with the 4506. I like expanding my knowledge base and this one will provide an enjoyable experience.

I'm very thankful to the people who were kind enough to give me the benefit of their experience in analyzing the guns issues and especially to the people I've mentioned for supplying the parts necessary to get this old beast back in action. Cool stuff all around.

Now to find that 1006.
The only time in my entire life a cop ever offered to buy pizza at a fire station and I'm in a completely different time zone! There ain't no justice...

Happy to help with the parts. I also have Paul making guide rods for my 4046TSW and the 4516 upper that I'm using on my 4506 lower, but since the 4516 has dual recoil springs he needed my original rod as a prototype so my 4506 is back in stock form again with the original 5" barrel until he can get me the new rods in the mail.

For me, I think a 5906 might be next...
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:57 PM
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... 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.
ARGH!! Hipster?!? Might as well call it a Gat and act cool with pretend bravado ... sigh ...

Not around me.

Reminds me of what a friend of mine told me. He graduated in the last LAPD academy that used revolvers. He said the class motto was "The Last of the Gunfighters".

I recently did a complete armorer inspection of his older 3913 (from his UC/Crash days at LAPD), as he really likes that compact.

I replaced his extractor because it was developing some light chipping, and his extractor spring was a pound below the minimum tension (checked with a force dial gauge, and the normal spec is 4-7lbs). He said it had been perking right along without any feeding, extraction or ejection issues ... and he was still using the original springs.

Anyway, I puffed it out, also replacing the trigger play spring with the new style spring, and gave him all new recoil & mag springs. I told him he ought to be good for another 20+ years.

He tried it out at the range at his former agency (he retired from another agency than LAPD) and said it ran perfect. Now, it seems like he's going to look for an excuse to go shooting it at the range every so often.

Yep, about the big boomers ...

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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Old 04-14-2018, 11:32 PM
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ARGH!! Hipster?!? Might as well call it a Gat and act cool with pretend bravado ... sigh ...
It's due to all the Youtube vids posted by twenty somethings sporting neck beards and lumberjack plaid, extolling the virtues of the old 3rd Gen. pistol they just acquired. I've seen them at the range as well, acting as if they've just discovered something mysterious that no one else has ever seen. It's actually pretty amusing. These days, show up in cop circles with a pistol that isn't made of plastic and they act like you've just walked out of an old black and white movie.

Speaking of extractors: if anyone knows where I can pick up a spare please let me know. I'd like to have an extra on hand, as I became used to the practice when I carried a 1911. It's the only part I can see that might become a wear item down the road.

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Old 04-14-2018, 11:39 PM
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The only time in my entire life a cop ever offered to buy pizza at a fire station and I'm in a completely different time zone! There ain't no justice...

Happy to help with the parts. I also have Paul making guide rods for my 4046TSW and the 4516 upper that I'm using on my 4506 lower, but since the 4516 has dual recoil springs he needed my original rod as a prototype so my 4506 is back in stock form again with the original 5" barrel until he can get me the new rods in the mail.

For me, I think a 5906 might be next...
I'll have them eat a slice to your good health.

I've always wanted a 1006, but acquiring this 4506 has really stoked the fire under that desire.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:45 AM
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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.
Well, I'm surprised I can still hear anything after all the Magnum handloads I shot, growing up, before I finally wised up & started using hearing protection. Maybe all those ear infections I had as a child toughened them up.

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Old 04-15-2018, 01:12 AM
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It's due to all the Youtube vids posted by twenty somethings sporting neck beards and lumberjack plaid, extolling the virtues of the old 3rd Gen. pistol they just acquired. I've seen them at the range as well, acting as if they've just discovered something mysterious that no one else has ever seen. It's actually pretty amusing. These days, show up in cop circles with a pistol that isn't made of plastic and they act like you've just walked out of an old black and white movie.

Speaking of extractors: if anyone knows where I can pick up a spare please let me know. I'd like to have an extra on hand, as I became used to the practice when I carried a 1911. It's the only part I can see that might become a wear item down the road.
Those are still one of the parts that S&W ought to have, if only in their KY parts facility. Like the other small parts, they were available in both plain stainless and black (just a cosmetic preference).

If you ever decide you need to replace one, email me. I can offer some info. If you're any kind of a machinist, or can have a good one do the work for you, I can give you the Go/No-Go dimensions for the bar gauge used in filing/fitting the .45 3rd gen extractor. It's used as a simple block gauge to check the distance from the L/side of the breech face to the inside edge of the extractor hook, as the adjustment pad is filed down on the inside of the extractor (allowing the hook to reach increasingly inward). Most extractors are over-sized (on the adjustment pad) and will require judicious filing to make the hook have the proper reach.

The extractor spring tension is a bit more costly to check properly, as it requires buying a Wagner Force Dial Gauge ($150?) that reads in the low/single digit LBS range using the correct hooked extension, which is used to pull on the extractor hook, pulling the extractor out to the extractor's deflection point (against spring tension). There's a recommended range (min/max) for the tension/lbs. There are some optional extractor springs available that armorers/techs could use to get any particular extractor to fall within the correct range in any particular slide.

The 3rd gen extractors were pretty robust, though, and especially the .45/10 extractors. Unless someone abuses one by making it a practice of dropping the slide on a round dropped directly into the chamber, it takes some years and some thousands of rounds to start to wear one. I've seen 3rd gen extractors continue to function normally even after showing chipping (but it's obviously best to replace a chipped one, to restore the extractor to normal spec ).
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