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Old 09-13-2018, 03:44 AM
antilamr antilamr is online now
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Default Which is the most valuable & why?

Ok so I'm looking to add to my collection and have come across
some Smiths to choose from. I already have a 3913 and would like to expand on the line of semis from S&W.All of these are currently offered for around $400 to $600 and are all in good shape.
39-2 $600
3953 $550
5904 $400
910s $600
915 $450
3914NL $475
I'm interested in what everyone feels is the best pick to purchase and why (rarity, price, quality, desirability etc). I'd buy them all if I had the funds. Give me some S&W forum love!
Lastly, I'm in Kalifornia so my choices are limited.
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:37 AM
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You forgot the 645 or do you like the 45s?

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Old 09-13-2018, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antilamr View Post
Ok so I'm looking to add to my collection and have come across
some Smiths to choose from. I already have a 3913 and would like to expand on the line of semis from S&W.All of these are currently offered for around $400 to $600 and are all in good shape.
39-2 $600
3953 $550
5904 $400
910s $600
915 $450
3914NL $475
I'm interested in what everyone feels is the best pick to purchase and why (rarity, price, quality, desirability etc). I'd buy them all if I had the funds. Give me some S&W forum love!
Lastly, I'm in Kalifornia so my choices are limited.
All great candidates, so if you can't snag them all right away, I'd have to say go for the very best condition guns first.

If you're looking for rarity/scarcity first, go with the 5904 and 3914NL... again, assuming condition of either or both is acceptable.

California prices are gonna be California prices and I have to leave it to your judgement if these are "good" prices by CA standards and not overpaying.

Last edited by TTSH; 09-13-2018 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:52 AM
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I'd say another issue to consider is whether you want to shoot or carry your next purchase.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:33 AM
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Best condition would be at the top of my check list ........

But I'd be looking hard at the 3914NL even owning a 3913.

5904 or 915 are both great hi-cap carry guns...... I prefer Novak sights to adjustable.

Everyone should have a 39 ..... remember IIRC about 300,000 made over the years.

DAO ..... not my thing

910's would be at the bottom of my list.

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Old 09-13-2018, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antilamr View Post
Ok so I'm looking to add to my collection and have come across
some Smiths to choose from. I already have a 3913 and would like to expand on the line of semis from S&W.All of these are currently offered for around $400 to $600 and are all in good shape.
39-2 $600
3953 $550
5904 $400
910s $600
915 $450
3914NL $475
I'm interested in what everyone feels is the best pick to purchase and why (rarity, price, quality, desirability etc). I'd buy them all if I had the funds. Give me some S&W forum love!
Lastly, I'm in Kalifornia so my choices are limited.
Perhaps you can call me an old curmudgeon but to me the quality S&W handguns have ONLY two digits in their model number. I'm thinking like 10, 27, 28, 29, 36, 39, 41, 52, 69, etc. The two digit model S&W are the only ones I have with the exception of a three digit 645. Anything with a four digit model number is something which I totally ignore.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:59 AM
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I'd say another issue to consider is whether you want to shoot or carry your next purchase.
Yeah, there is much we don't know here that would otherwise help us guide the OP to his best answer. Each of the guns on his list could represent one of the "Best in Category" except that we don't know his priorities or the specifics of the used guns in question. At this point, model numbers alone are only one piece of the puzzle.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antilamr View Post
Ok so I'm looking to add to my collection and have come across
some Smiths to choose from. I already have a 3913 and would like to expand on the line of semis from S&W.All of these are currently offered for around $400 to $600 and are all in good shape.
39-2 $600
3953 $550
5904 $400
910s $600
915 $450
3914NL $475
I'm interested in what everyone feels is the best pick to purchase and why (rarity, price, quality, desirability etc). I'd buy them all if I had the funds. Give me some S&W forum love!
Lastly, I'm in Kalifornia so my choices are limited.
You mentioned a collection. All the guns on your list trace their lineage back to the 39. I would start there. There are enough variations in the 39 to spend your time & money for years:
  • pre-39
  • 39 no dash
  • steel frame
  • 39-2 blue, nickel
  • then you will need a 52, cuz its closely based on the 39

--Joe.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:32 AM
antilamr antilamr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTSH View Post
Yeah, there is much we don't know here that would otherwise help us guide the OP to his best answer. Each of the guns on his list could represent one of the "Best in Category" except that we don't know his priorities or the specifics of the used guns in question. At this point, model numbers alone are only one piece of the puzzle.
All of the listed guns are actually available right now and except for the 39-2, they all look to be in 85 to 95% shape. Most have almost no signs of wear externally. 39-2 shows it's age due to being a duty pistol at one time I suppose. Depending on the gun, I'd want to eventually put it into carry rotation since your only allowed 3 on your permit.

jdeuser74
I'd love a 45 or 3 but I'm not seeing one for sale locally in my price range.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by antilamr View Post
All of the listed guns are actually available right now and except for the 39-2, they all look to be in 85 to 95% shape. Most have almost no signs of wear externally. 39-2 shows it's age due to being a duty pistol at one time I suppose. Depending on the gun, I'd want to eventually put it into carry rotation since your only allowed 3 on your permit.
First thing I have to say is: "Thank God Almighty that I don't live in California"!!!

Next, I have to explain that I am mostly a collector (albeit a poor man collector), so condition of any used gun is critically important to me. Remember that parts for these guns are getting harder to find. Between any two guns of equal rarity/scarcity and desirability, the higher condition gun will almost always be my choice. Your mileage in this regard may vary.

I love my flawless "as-new-in-box" Model 39-2, but I would never choose to carry it when other 3rd Gens (on your list and in my collection) are better carry choices.

Bottom line is that you've got some real nice choices there to get going, albeit at California prices (although a couple aren't so bad if not beat to Hell). It's also going to matter how many magazines comes with each gun as well as original factory box vs. no box if you are looking for these guns to hold or extend their premium value over time. Condition would be everything to me in terms of what I'd go after first, but your priorities may be entirely different and there is nothing wrong with that!
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:51 AM
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Although not on your list, why not look at the S&W 908 & 908S. They are part of the S&W Gen series and kind of unheard! I am a S&W Gen series junky and can't get enough of them, as I just added two of them to my collection of Gen pistols. While as I'm sure you know, they are part of their "value line", but are nevertheless excellent pistols that shoot very well.

Having one you will notice the difference from their more popular and expensive brethren the 3913 & the 3914. The slides on them are less contoured and more squared like a Glock and they only have a left side safety. There's a few more differences that IMHO are minor such as a couple of plastic parts that hold up or perform just as good or better than the metal ones! For me I am glad to have added these two pistols to my collection of Gen pistols.

Finally, you can probably get one for about 100 bucks cheaper and save some money! Having one, or two, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

JMHO!

Last edited by Dutchboy901; 09-13-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:07 PM
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If you're looking for rarity/scarcity first, go with the 5904 and 3914NL... again, assuming condition of either or both is acceptable.
I would say those are comparatively the best deals on the list.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:14 PM
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I would say those are comparatively the best deals on the list.
Yeah, the Model 3914NL is almost a no-brainer assuming that the condition is acceptable.

The Model 5904 (at just $400 in CA!?!) makes me a little suspicious about condition. I'd also like to know if it is fixed sights or "winged" adjustable sights and hooked or round trigger guard. Could just be a really good deal or could be a reason for that very low (for CA) pricetag.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:42 PM
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I have a 5904 among many other 3 gen's. I really like the way it fits my hands and shoots. I have never found any rounds it does not like. In all honesty, in my stable of 3rd gens (which I love them all), the 5904 is my go to weapon for carry, fun shooting and night stand. Its simply a wonderful handgun

Model 52
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBoy99 View Post
Perhaps you can call me an old curmudgeon but to me the quality S&W handguns have ONLY two digits in their model number. I'm thinking like 10, 27, 28, 29, 36, 39, 41, 52, 69, etc. The two digit model S&W are the only ones I have with the exception of a three digit 645. Anything with a four digit model number is something which I totally ignore.
You're missing out on some of the finest 10mm's ever created then my friend.
1046.
1086.
1026.
1066.
1076.
1006.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:03 PM
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Much of the decision depends on your needs/wants that we can’t determine for you, but the ones that are lowest in production numbers would probably be the 3914 and 3953.

Guys, before you have “better” suggestions for the OP, recall this is “no outside the state handguns less than 50 years old, no standard capacity magazine, one gun a month” California. Not that the state hates guns or their owners or anything like that...
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antilamr View Post
Ok so I'm looking to add to my collection and have come across
some Smiths to choose from. I already have a 3913 and would like to expand on the line of semis from S&W.All of these are currently offered for around $400 to $600 and are all in good shape.
39-2 $600
3953 $550
5904 $400
910s $600
915 $450
3914NL $475
I'm interested in what everyone feels is the best pick to purchase and why (rarity, price, quality, desirability etc). I'd buy them all if I had the funds. Give me some S&W forum love!
Lastly, I'm in Kalifornia so my choices are limited.
From the info provided, the most valuable are the 39-2 & 910s. They are $600.

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Old 09-13-2018, 04:16 PM
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Given just the info you have provided, taking in to account what you say for condition and showing the prices you listed, I think it is easy to pick a winner:

The 3914NL at $475 and in California at that is clearly the best buy if what you seek is VALUE and/or possible collector "future value."

I'm confident in that, and that all of the others listed take a back seat. The only one that comes close is a 5904 at $400.

The 39-2 is the one from the list that I'd most want to own but at $600 with only medium condition, I'd pass simply because there are tons of 39-2's to chase. Yes, "California" skews that a bit, but I'll hold dead firm in my assessment of your list.

There are two listed that are, IMO, lousy deals--
That's the 910s and 915. The 915 is a great gun but they made a zillion and that means $450 is too much unless it is NIB with full box. The 910s is a full value line and it is an inferior gun to EVERYTHING listed, and that price is lame out here in free America. It might be a solid price in California, but in the list you show, it's the "face down in the gutter" failure of the lot.

Hope that last line didn't offend anyone too much... but the 910 must be one of my least favorite S&W pistols of all time.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:26 AM
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I appreciate all of the feed back everyone has provided. I'm partial to compacts and sub compacts for the obvious reasons.
I also like shiny things. Nothing wrong with blued pistols but SS is great and nickle even better for myself(no offense meant).
I'm leaning toward the 3914 but the drive is about 4 hours to purchase then 4 hours back. 10 days later repeat to pick up.
I also have a opportunity to purchase a 3913LS new with original box, bag, manuals etc for $600. Only reason It's not mine right now is the 6 hour drive one way to purchase it. It's not easy getting what you want in Cali!
I would love a 3rd gen in 10mm if I could ever find one that I could afford.
Lastly, I'm keeping my eyes open for a 3rd gen in 45 cal. Everyone I've seen so far has been over priced or sold by the time I came across them.
Any words of wisdom on 45's to stay away from(if any) based on your experience with them would be appreciated. 3" to 4" barrel is the sweet spot for me but open to 4.5" barrel as last choice. I already have a Kimber Govt model with 4.5 barrel and am looking for something different in a 45.

Last edited by antilamr; 09-14-2018 at 12:30 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:09 AM
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I'm leaning toward the 3914 but the drive is about 4 hours to purchase then 4 hours back. 10 days later repeat to pick up.
I also have a opportunity to purchase a 3913LS new with original box, bag, manuals etc for $600. Only reason It's not mine right now is the 6 hour drive one way to purchase it. It's not easy getting what you want in Cali!
Wow, that is discouraging. Two hours (one way) is this old man's limit. Having to make those long drives twice is just plain nuts.

It took me the better part of a day to snag my own Model 3914 recently. The reason for that is that I got trapped in a truly frightening downpour and street flooding situation.

Oh the crazy things we do in order to pursue this expensive hobby.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:18 AM
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Yeah, the Model 3914NL is almost a no-brainer assuming that the condition is acceptable.
For sure! It was only made for one year, 1991.

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Old 09-14-2018, 09:15 AM
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Since when is a 910 more valuable than a 915??? They were only made for 3 years so there isn't a zillion 915s out there.

My 915 is perhaps my favorite 9mm.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:24 AM
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Unless you have a company car or some other means of free transportation, it costs about $0.50/mile (gas/maintenance/insurance/deprecation) to drive your car or $50 for every 100 miles you have to drive.

That 8 hour drive will add a lot to the price of the 3914.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:45 AM
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Unless you have a company car or some other means of free transportation, it costs about $0.50/mile (gas/maintenance/insurance/deprecation) to drive your car or $50 for every 100 miles you have to drive.

That 8 hour drive will add a lot to the price of the 3914.
That's why I'm on the fence about getting them. No hesitation on model choice. I'm basically doubling the price of the gun due to transportation costs(not including my time)! Sometimes it sucks being in CA!(for a lot of other reasons also but that's for another conversation)
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:57 AM
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Definitely need to add the 39-2 to your collection. $600 seems a little high for one showing it's age though. I'd hope you could get it for $300-$350.

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Old 09-14-2018, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
Best condition would be at the top of my check list ........

But I'd be looking hard at the 3914NL even owning a 3913.

5904 or 915 are both great hi-cap carry guns...... I prefer Novak sights to adjustable.

Everyone should have a 39 ..... remember IIRC about 300,000 made over the years.

DAO ..... not my thing

910's would be at the bottom of my list.
This post has captured the essentials. I would add, regardless of condition, pass on the 910. After that, it's somewhat like real estate only instead of "location, location, location" it's "condition, condition, condition." As pointed out above, all other things (e.g., condition) being equal, the 3913NL would be the pick of the litter.


Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:17 PM
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Since when is a 910 more valuable than a 915??? They were only made for 3 years so there isn't a zillion 915s out there.

My 915 is perhaps my favorite 9mm.
You are half right, for perhaps the wrong reasons.

They did only make the 915 for a few years but the sheer number they produced in that time is RIDONKULOUS. There does exists a gujillion S&W 915 pistols.

The 915 does not get it's "value" due to scarcity, they 915 is the antithesis of scarce. You can't swing a sleeping feline without whacking at least three 915's. But the 915 is a fantastic pistol and has earned it's place.

There are much fewer 910's on the market for sure, no question. Compared to a 915, it is certainly "scarce" but that cannot bring it's intrinsic value in line with a 915 or the 5904 from which both pistols evolved. The 910 is a 915 with many more corners cut and cheapened. It carries inferior parts, including some extremely important parts, and it has the special bonus of being an UGLY version of a handsome pistol.

The true Value Line pistols (910, 410, 908, 909, 457) all have blocky slides that are missing the telltale angles and attractive look of the rest of the 3rd Gen pistols. And they each have plastic bits in places where 3rd Gens use metal parts.

Simple process of elimination says that in any amassed group... some will be near the top and some simply must be near the bottom. And the 910 pistol is the king of the bottom end of all 3rd Gens.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:05 PM
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I'd be in my car driving to buy the 3914NL for $475. A few hours there and back twice is just another inconvenience of coastal living. I'd wait until I retired to Arizona to pick up the overpriced offerings.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:04 PM
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Perhaps you can call me an old curmudgeon but to me the quality S&W handguns have ONLY two digits in their model number. I'm thinking like 10, 27, 28, 29, 36, 39, 41, 52, 69, etc. The two digit model S&W are the only ones I have with the exception of a three digit 645. Anything with a four digit model number is something which I totally ignore.
Curmudgeon....hey, you gave me permission.

I'd go with the 3953. Super carry gun. It's ahead of it's time. Not much larger than the Glock 43. Great double-action trigger.

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Old 09-14-2018, 05:48 PM
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Perhaps you can call me an old curmudgeon but to me the quality S&W handguns have ONLY two digits in their model number. I'm thinking like 10, 27, 28, 29, 36, 39, 41, 52, 69, etc. The two digit model S&W are the only ones I have with the exception of a three digit 645. Anything with a four digit model number is something which I totally ignore.
How 'bout models with only one digit?

Like CS9.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:48 PM
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You are half right, for perhaps the wrong reasons.

They did only make the 915 for a few years but the sheer number they produced in that time is RIDONKULOUS. There does exists a gujillion S&W 915 pistols.

The 915 does not get it's "value" due to scarcity, they 915 is the antithesis of scarce. You can't swing a sleeping feline without whacking at least three 915's. But the 915 is a fantastic pistol and has earned it's place.

There are much fewer 910's on the market for sure, no question. Compared to a 915, it is certainly "scarce" but that cannot bring it's intrinsic value in line with a 915 or the 5904 from which both pistols evolved. The 910 is a 915 with many more corners cut and cheapened. It carries inferior parts, including some extremely important parts, and it has the special bonus of being an UGLY version of a handsome pistol.

The true Value Line pistols (910, 410, 908, 909, 457) all have blocky slides that are missing the telltale angles and attractive look of the rest of the 3rd Gen pistols. And they each have plastic bits in places where 3rd Gens use metal parts.

Simple process of elimination says that in any amassed group... some will be near the top and some simply must be near the bottom. And the 910 pistol is the king of the bottom end of all 3rd Gens.
IMHO you are spot on regarding the 910 and I guess you're correct on the number of 915 pistols that are around. However, I will say that many of the ones that I see out here (So. Cal.) up for sale are pretty well used. Because they're black alloy frames, they show every scratch and ding. It appears to me that this early economy line S&W auto was bought to use and, in many cases, was used hard. Since I started collecting S&W 3rd Gen autos in 2007, I've seen two 915 on consignment in what I would call pristine (99%) condition, and I bought both. Of course, California is a bit of a strange animal when it comes to handgun sales and consignments.


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Old 09-15-2018, 11:00 AM
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The Model 39 is likely the most valuable - all other things being equal, but I have a soft spot for the Model 915 as a solid shooter.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:44 PM
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The Model 39 is likely the most valuable - all other things being equal
He went over condition of everything on the list and the 39-2 in this particular case does not measure up with the others.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:03 AM
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+1 more for the 3914NL......personally....full size double stack 9mm's fill no role for me...except nightstand duty and an SP2022 has filled that role for some time now....my first 3rd. gen. was a 5906 and I just did not warm up to it.......blasphemy I know around these parts
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:05 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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He went over condition of everything on the list and the 39-2 in this particular case does not measure up with the others.
I notice less each year. I ask your pardon.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:34 PM
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The 915 is a fine pistol but overpriced at $450 unless it is new/mint in the box with all the original paperwork and comes with a new hat AND a bowl of soup.

The 910s would be way overpriced even if it were NEW!

Not a great pistol to begin with. Run away as fast as you can from this one.

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Old 09-21-2018, 07:50 PM
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Perhaps you can call me an old curmudgeon but to me the quality S&W handguns have ONLY two digits in their model number. I'm thinking like 10, 27, 28, 29, 36, 39, 41, 52, 69, etc. The two digit model S&W are the only ones I have with the exception of a three digit 645. Anything with a four digit model number is something which I totally ignore.
Bill is pretty much a revolver man! Guess he got lost and wandered into this forum.

Bill, if you want to dump any S&W semi-autos on me, l'll take them off your hands for free, no charge. Hell, I'll even pay the shipping.

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