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Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Other Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols from the 1950's to Present


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  #1  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:40 PM
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Default A Prize ! - 2 945's

I picked these up recently . The full size I got from the same place that had my 845 . The other I was offered by someone . As you can tell by looking at the pics of the 4in , he took care of it like it was his child . The orange protectors are still in the lock , and the plastic is on the handle .

To me , 945's are simply a beautiful piece of art . My 945-1 can out shoot me . Everyone I let shoot it says it's the best shooting 45 they ever shot .

I've got 2 others , but they are for another time . I don't want to rain on the 945's parade . But they are up there , a 9Recon and a SD40 . You'll get to see them soon .

Almost forgot . The 945 is the original product code , 170104 . And the serial# is 004* , which means it's one of the first 50 . The 4in is a 170152 and is an early one . I was told you can tell because of the fasteners on the grips .
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:45 PM
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Posts like this are why I have nearly a million likes! If one does not admire these guns, you need help!
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:47 PM
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First magazine from my 945 told me that owning one was simply not enough!

I’ve always enjoyed a 1911 pistol but the 945 fills my hand better and feels better to me for shooting. They are similar but the 945 is my preference every time.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6518John View Post
Posts like this are why I have nearly a million likes! If one does not admire these guns, you need help!
Pictures are fantastic but I genuinely feel bad for fans of 1-2-3rd Gens that have never had the good fortune to handle and then shoot some of these guns.

Oh yes, the price is certainly not low, but if you haven’t experienced the Performance Center pistols, you really don’t know what you’re missing or what you get when you come to terms with the price they command.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:11 PM
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Congrats my friend! Well deserved and I am glad those fine guns went to someone who appreciates them for what they are - works of art that you can shoot!

I don't own a 945 - yet. But one will be mine, at some point.........unless Jeppo finds it first. Regards 18DAI
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:40 PM
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What is the difference between the 945 and the 1911??? The 945 almost looks like a parts gun with a double action slide on a 1911 frame. Not meaning to bash because I've heard a lot about these but curiosity. Please tell me some more about these like what kind of guts do they have, GI rod or Full length?? I'm assuming it is single action but hell I really do not know much about these
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
Congrats my friend! Well deserved and I am glad those fine guns went to someone who appreciates them for what they are - works of art that you can shoot!

I don't own a 945 - yet. But one will be mine, at some point.........unless Jeppo finds it first. Regards 18DAI
I almost didn’t sleep after my first experience just racking the slide on a 945. The hunt began and I was recently able to land both a 945 and a dash one locally. The next one’s yours 18.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:30 PM
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Nice, very nice.

I’m still “on the fence” about getting a 945 but I’m getting closer. I think it probably isn’t going to be on the same plane as my MPC 845 but maybe I’ll be wrong.

I have a dumb question though. I thought the LEW ones were first, (1998 “type A”,) RSR 2nd, (1999 “type B”.) I’m probably not remembering things right but I know, (at least I think I know,) I’m looking specifically for a LEW 1998 945 because.

Jim
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:04 PM
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I prefer my 845 over my 945, but not by a lot. The 845 has a pivoting trigger on the S&W 1-2-3rd Gen style where the 945 is more like a 1911 trigger. But the 945 doesn’t feel like a 1911 in my hands.

It’s also interesting when you compare how the 845/945 sell in the current market. 945’s are a phenomenal deal at the moment. The 845 is a more rare and hard to find pistol, but they sold for $1,500 when they were new. The 945’s sold for $2000-$2200 when they were new.

I love them both.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:38 PM
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Cajun , I can't comment on all the differences , but I do know a couple . These guns were hand fitted by PC artisans . I think another contributing factor is a Briley bushing . Also , as soon as you pick it up , you can just feel the quality . There's got to be a forum member with one by you . Although if you did shoot one , you would be on the prowl for a 945 .

4T5Guy , my full size is an original , with a product code of 170104 . According to the bible , these were the first ones made . It has an RSA serial# . I doubt it's a Lew , there's no form with it . Of course that means nothing .
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:47 PM
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I took a bit of time to search here on the Forums but I “think” I found what I “thought” I remembered.

But who really knows for sure, right?

Jim
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:32 AM
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That list compiled by skjos is phenomenal but it doesn’t have every variation in the 945 on it because some were so odd and rare they may have made only a handful and to be completely honest, the typical S&W Forum “mic drop” likely wouldn’t be the answer either. (By that I mean the Roy Jinks letter)

I doubt even Roy Jinks has the information to document all the interesting variations that trickled out of the PC.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:14 AM
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Default M945

Congrats on your awesome finds! I'd love to come across a 945 someday too.

Here's a little larger view of what 4T5GUY posted. (Click for larger image.)

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Old 11-04-2019, 07:52 AM
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Based on very recent offerings on the big site, it appears some excellent price points for a variety of 945 versions will be set two weeks from now.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:27 AM
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Thanks guys . I guess I was wrong , mine is the second round . Looking at the serial#s , I'm guessing they didn't make many . You look at the 3rd run and their numbers start low . But then when you're dealing with S&W , nothing is set in stone . I just noticed , both are listed as having an ambi safety . Does that count the grip and thumb safety ? Also , what constitutes a match grade magazine . Again , thanks for all the help !
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:19 AM
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Also , what constitutes a match grade magazine?
The location of the slot matches from one magazine to another?

Last edited by Jeppo; 11-04-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:41 AM
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You funny !
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypointmarine View Post
I just noticed , both are listed as having an ambi safety . Does that count the grip and thumb safety ? Also , what constitutes a match grade magazine . Again , thanks for all the help !
Every 5-inch 945 with the Bomar adjustable rear target sight also has the ambi thumb safety. I haven't seen many of the 4-inch and 3.75" guns, but I don't believe those have an ambi thumb safety.

Pretty sure that skjos meant a thumb safety on each side when he said "ambi", not including the grip safety which all the 945's have.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:22 PM
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I have a 5 inch black 945. It has a serial number with a cfr prefix, what does that stand for?

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Old 11-04-2019, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
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I have a 5 inch black 945. It has a serial number with a cfr prefix, what does that stand for?
Your pistol was exclusive to Camfour, that was the only distributor that got that style. Like the LEW prefix was for Lew Horton guns, your CFR prefix was for Camfour guns.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for the reply, in the chart above I see they used cmf for chamfor and under 5" black was I believe was rsr.. so I was confused which is not unusual for me.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:32 PM
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RSR down in Florida is another authorized distributor that was huge for Smith & Wesson, especially on the pistol side. RSR shipped the earliest 3rd Gen pistols and the half-breed 2.d/3rd Gens wore RSR-serial prefixes.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:42 PM
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I'm thinking I need a 945 in my life haha... when does this addiction stop
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:13 PM
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OK, here is someone's photo that started my 945 collecting. IIRC, I had a total of 10 separate ones over the years. Two were 5", four were 4", and four were 3 3/4". I had a black/stainless and all black model of each and the rest were all stainless, but it was the black and stainless 4" Combat model that started me looking and was the first one that I bought. I don't have any now.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:23 PM
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RedCardinal did the black 4 inch Combat model have an ambi safety? Its the variant I want.

How about the 3 3/4 barrel guns? One last question, were the 3 3/4 guns as accurate as the full size guns and were the 7 round mags 945 specific? Thanks! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:25 PM
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Red , I like the black . If it was one BNIB that I was going to put in the safe , I would love one . But if it was going to be a shooter , I'd really have to think about it .
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:39 PM
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The 945 mags are just like the full size 945 mags in comparison to 4506 mags in that the magazine body, follower, floor plate and spring are exactly the same as their 3rd Gen companion but the cutout for the magazine catch is necessarily higher on the magazine body.

If you are skilled, you can modify a 4516 magazine to work, just like I had five of my 4506 magazines modified for use with my 945.

The smallest of the 945 pistols had alloy frames while the 4-inch and 5-inch guns were all steel.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:54 PM
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20 years later, still the finest handgun I've ever owned or shot
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
RedCardinal did the black 4 inch Combat model have an ambi safety? Its the variant I want.

How about the 3 3/4 barrel guns? One last question, were the 3 3/4 guns as accurate as the full size guns and were the 7 round mags 945 specific? Thanks! Best regards, 18DAI

None of the 4" or the 3 3/4" models that I owned had the ambi-safety, but both 5" models had the ambi-safety. The 5" and 4" models use the 8 round magazine while the 3 3/4" model used the 7 round magazine and the 3 1/4" model used 6 round mags. I used the 3 3/4" Compact in LE and it was superb. I never owned the 3 1/4" Sub Compact. All are now sold. From a LE perspective, I liked the 4" most, but the 3 3/4" was a super and a delight to carry. I never shot a 5" model.

Last edited by RedCardinal; 11-04-2019 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
That list compiled by skjos is phenomenal but it doesn’t have every variation in the 945 on it because some were so odd and rare they may have made only a handful and to be completely honest, the typical S&W Forum “mic drop” likely wouldn’t be the answer either. (By that I mean the Roy Jinks letter)

I doubt even Roy Jinks has the information to document all the interesting variations that trickled out of the PC.
The awesome 945 list was not produced by me, but rather user "sig.natures" (see the Notable Thread Index). Unfortunately, all of the tables were shared with photo bucket and have been deleted, but it looks like some users were able grab copies of the photos before they were removed. I can host these pictures on my web share, and add them back to the "CATALOG OF 945 PC VARIANTS" thread. Please PM me if you have the thread photos and I will try my best to reconstruct the information.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:24 AM
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Please PM me if you have the thread photos and I will try my best to reconstruct the information.
That'd be awesome!

I have a couple others I was interested in & saved. There were A LOT more I didn't save though.

I'll post them here.

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Old 11-05-2019, 09:27 PM
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That'd be awesome!

I have a couple others I was interested in & saved. There were A LOT more I didn't save though.

I'll post them here.

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Thanks for sharing what you have saved, I've hosted the pictures and started to reconstruct the thread, but there is still a lot of missing information. The progress so far can be seen in the Notable Thread Index.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:34 PM
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The 945s are beauties. I bought one about 20 years ago; all stainless 5", Bomars, ambi safety,etc. Mine had the LEW serial prefix.

I went to a shop I frequented to buy a Colt Special Combat Government. They happened to have a 945 also. As I was a good customer, they allowed me to field strip both guns. The 945's clean internal machine work, fit of barrel/slide/frame, overall build quality was FAR superior to the Colt SCG. I left with the 945.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:57 PM
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skjos , just wondering if anyone knows how many of each were made ? I mean , we could all get letters on our guns . But I thought if anybody had those numbers , or make up a database of what is known , it would dovetail nicely with what you have put out for us .
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:27 PM
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Letters simply won't always give us those numbers. Roy has what he has and shares them... usually?

I think there were a lot of things inside the Performance Center that really weren't handled like everything else the way that S&W always had done.

I'd love to know production numbers on everything modern on the semi-auto side... production, PC, short-run variants, all of them.

This is something I don't believe we'll ever see.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cherrypointmarine View Post
skjos , just wondering if anyone knows how many of each were made ? I mean , we could all get letters on our guns . But I thought if anybody had those numbers , or make up a database of what is known , it would dovetail nicely with what you have put out for us .
I try to glean as much information off the web and especially this forum in an attempt to catalog production numbers. What I have so far is listed in this thread:

The Complete 3rd Gen PERFORMANCE CENTER Model List

I have yet to bump this list off the new information in the SCSW 4th edition, so it is probably due for an update.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:13 AM
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Thanks guys . I guess I was wrong , mine is the second round . Looking at the serial#s , I'm guessing they didn't make many . You look at the 3rd run and their numbers start low . But then when you're dealing with S&W , nothing is set in stone ......
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....
I have a dumb question though. I thought the LEW ones were first, (1998 “type A”,) RSR 2nd, (1999 “type B”.) I’m probably not remembering things right but I know, (at least I think I know,) I’m looking specifically for a LEW 1998 945 because.

Jim
skjos posted an older thread that shows RSA0076... it and my early LEW 945 have the same spec. ord. #....8237 (8/25/98). cherrypointmarine, the production date of the 5" 945 could be close to that.

Lew Horton Performance Center 945 170104 (A) or (B)?

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Old 11-07-2019, 02:24 PM
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I'm guessing mine's earlier than that , my serial# is 004* . Now another question . In his PC model list skjos states that the last run , code 107173 is the same as the first , code 107104 . Does anyone know what the last serial# was ? Reason I ask , I have one of each now . The member I bought it from said it was one of the last made , it didn't even come in the PC case , just a PC soft pistol case . It would be neat if I had one of the first and one of the last .
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:26 PM
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The PC definitely did transition to the black zippered soft case with gold colored PC logo. I would guess it wasn’t to save money but probably a supplier issue with the aluminum case. I’ve mostly seen it with the (true) PC 1911 pistols, a number of the 945’s and a few of the latest built 952-2’s.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:16 PM
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I'm not sure if this has ever been asked but were any of the 5" 945's ever exported out of the country? I'd love to find one on this side of the border. Ha, what am I saying? You can barely find a 2nd or 3rd generation models here!
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:19 AM
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18DAI here is a 945-1. what a great little 45. Unfortunatley I sold this at the SWCA Symposium in 2014 so I have blacked the serial number. But it was under 100.



The fired cased was from 2008.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:33 AM
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Sweet pistol! Thanks mbliss57!!

One of these days I will get one. An acquaintance allowed me to shoot a 5 inch 945-1 a few months back. Finest, most accurate handgun I have ever shot. And I have shot some nice ones.

I do want the dash 1 for the firing pin safety. And being a lefty, I need an ambi safety. Wilson Combat or maybe even our own BMCM will take care of that minor detail though.

Thanks for the pic of that fine 45! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:23 AM
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Note this 945 and 945-1 difference. None of the 945s that I previously owned came with the specific 945 owner's manual. Most had the standard 3rd gen owner's manual which did not apply to the 945. I downloaded the 945 specific manual from S&W's website and printed it out, folded and stapled it together for each 945 that I had. Please note the WARNING on page 17 which states: "Warning: Some early Model 945 Performance Center pistols do not have a firing pin block and will fire if subjected to sufficient impact by being dropped. For this reason, early Model 945 pistols with no dash number on the frame should not be carried with a round in the chamber. Models with a dash number such as the 945-1 or the 945-40 have the internal firing pin block."
The 945-1 also has a visual loaded chamber indicator.
Some say the 945 no dash without the firing pin block has a better trigger. I used the 945 no dash in the 4” Combat and the 3.75” Compact models in LE qualifications and found both had superb triggers and a push back recoil rather than the flip up. I never shot a 945-1 so I cannot compare the triggers. Those who have experience shooting both may want to comment on this.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:53 PM
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This has turned into quite an informative post ! Red Cardinal , thanks for the safety info , something I wasn't up on . mbliss57 , I would not have let that one go ! Probably too pretty to shoot , but still would be great to own one .
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:22 PM
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This has turned into quite an informative post ! Red Cardinal , thanks for the safety info , something I wasn't up on . mbliss57 , I would not have let that one go ! Probably too pretty to shoot , but still would be great to own one .


You know 20/20 vision in the rear view mirror. I sure do wish I still had it but.. In return I got a model 39 Devel full house conversion. ( plus quite a bit of cash out) I would still pick the Devel but now I wish I had both.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:40 PM
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I have never seen any 5-inch 945 in any finish tone, no-dash or dash-1 that didn’t have the ambi thumb safety. If they exist (it’s possible?), I haven’t seen it.

The no-dash does indeed have no firing pin lock. I can only imagine they changed that to make it “50-State Legal.” The good news is that the firing pin lock of the 945-1 is a swartz safety type of design where the parts are actuated not by the trigger but rather by the grip safety. When you wrap your hand around the 945 and press the grip safety, a lever protrudes from the frame which pushes a button on the underside of the slide which unlocks the firing pin. The trigger pull, weight, smoothness and feel may be affected by many things but not by the firing pin lock.

Care is required upon re-assembly as you do NOT want to shear off this protruding pin from the frame by ham-fisting the slide.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:49 PM
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My good friend Jeppo came by the gunshop today and showed me his 945s!

Sadly we were busy and I didn't have much time to spend with him or those fine guns. But I have decided that the 4 inch with Novak sights is what I am going to get. Excellent balance.

It came up on plane for me like it was made for my hand with the sight picture I have grown use to. Thank you Jeppo! I appreciate you my friend! Regards 18DAI
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:49 PM
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This has turned into quite an informative post !...
It has...and did you know that S&W sold 945 shot glasses? I never knew of them until i saw this one on ebay while looking for spare mags. It's dated 2000, and the other side has a PC logo.


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Old 11-08-2019, 07:59 PM
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Has anyone ever seen one like above , but without the billboard 945 ? I have a line on one , trying to figure out the product code .
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:08 AM
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Based on very recent offerings on the big site, it appears some excellent price points for a variety of 945 versions will be set two weeks from now.
Well, for the sake of reference, here are the results of the auctions of several 945s that ended last night and some other recent sales on the big site.

RSA0206, a 5" black two-tone 945 with PC aluminum case and papers: $2,000

CFR0330, a 4" black two-tone 945 with PC aluminum case and papers: $1,875

RSB0021, a 3.75" silver 945 with PC aluminum case and papers: $1,452

DMR0050, a 3.25" silver 945-1 with PC aluminum case and papers: $1,352

and recently,

RSA1597, a 5" silver two-tone 945-1 with PC aluminum case and papers, $1,750

LEW1000, a 5" silver two-tone 945 with PC aluminum case and papers, $1,850
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