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Old 02-08-2020, 03:24 PM
cnette01 cnette01 is offline
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Default Differences in Performance Center models - which one to acquire?

Hello all and thanks for infecting me with this 3rd Gen passion - I really like the 3rd gen series. I read a post a few months back that discussed the PC series and which ones were considered the best by the guru's here on the forum that have owned and shot them. I did do a search, but cannot find that post. And IIRC, the WISCHO series was not mentioned. Where can I find the information on the best of the PC series to the least (I won't say worst because I don't think that word should be associated with the PC series at all)? Anyway, I have several 3rd gens, including some early TSW models with no rail, but I've never owned or even shot a PC model. I'd like to acquire one, but which one is best?
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:27 PM
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Like you said you can’t go wrong with any of them.

I guess you need to decide what you’d want one for. Do you want a very high end compact for carry, do you want to have a supreme target pistol for the range, or do you want an awesome, low number produced collector pistol for your safe? Of course some of these things can and do overlap, some less than others.

I have a few, (not enough,) but my hands down favorite has to be my 845. I’m sure there are better target PC examples but so far it’s the best I’ve got. I think I will always like it. A lot.

Jim
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:50 PM
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I would like to advise against any PC semi autos.... they are like a drug... haha I'm kidden! you can't get enough of them !!!!!!

You can't go wrong with any of the PC 3rd gen guns.

Like 4T5GUY said above you just have to pick your poison.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:29 AM
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There are many ways to answer this question. Myself in particular... I was an admittedly rabid handgun lover for the 20-some years before I ever discovered the S&W (true) Performance Center semiautomatic pistols. After discovering these, I realized that indeed it was possible for me to focus my collection.

As it turns out, the S&W Performance Center Limited series of 5/6-inch target pistols are my focus, and I carry a “minor” in S&W 1-2-3rd Gens.

Your specific question was “which one is the best” and process of elimination might bring me to the PC Briley Comp but that is a pistol scarce enough that it doesn’t come up in conversation. So then trailing immediately behind would be the 3566 Limited which we do discuss and can be found... but it is chambered in a defunct (dead) caliber. And the PPC-9 is very nearly the same pistol but wearing a different finish with a different look and this one is in 9mm.

But I’ll have to agree with my buddy above and say that of the ones that I am lucky enough to own, the (second run “Model of 1998”) Performance Center 845 Limited is the finest single handgun that I own.

Well, maybe it is just my favorite. It’s the one that I can shoot better than the others. My 3566 Limited may ultimately be a slightly “better” gun, but my 845 is the epitome of what I love in firearms. And which do I shoot the most? That would be my PC 952-1.

In my opinion, one which was not come to lightly, the all-steel 5/6-inch target sighted single action “Limited” Performance Center guns are a slight echelon above and beyond the “Shorty” series and also the double action PC guns which include the elite and rare DPA-series and also the Comp-40 and Tactical 40 DA/SA pistols.

The 945’s hold the dual spot of “evolution” and sadly, also the “last gasp” of the real Performance Center semiautomatic pistols. And 945’s are fantastic.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:26 AM
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I'd like to acquire one, but which one is best?
Well, I rambled on about which one I think is best, and tried to rank them from top-down. Now, I will reply to your final summary question:

The best “bang for the buck”, performance and joy for lowest cash outlay will be a pistol that is PC in spirit AND in bloodline, but not “officially” so, and that would be a S&W Model 52 or 52-1/52-2. To enjoy one, you will need to source .38 Wadcutter ammo or handload.

Next best performance to cash ratio would be the 945, but act quickly, these have been undervalued for years and are (deservedly) trending upward, for darn good reason.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:23 AM
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Thanks guys! What about the WISCHO Target Champion series? Has anyone of you ever shot or handled one of those? I know they come from Europe and are a re-import but I don't recall much discussion on those at all.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 4T5GUY View Post
Like you said you can’t go wrong with any of them.

I guess you need to decide what you’d want one for. Do you want a very high end compact for carry, do you want to have a supreme target pistol for the range, or do you want an awesome, low number produced collector pistol for your safe? Of course some of these things can and do overlap, some less than others.

I have a few, (not enough,) but my hands down favorite has to be my 845. I’m sure there are better target PC examples but so far it’s the best I’ve got. I think I will always like it. A lot.

Jim
I"d probably say best value in today's market for the range to start off with. It sounds like that would likely be a 945, but honestly I think I would be happy with any PC series from the line up mentioned. After all I've read about them, I think I'm going to have to have one. I have nine 3rd gens right now thanks to the effusive and well deserved praise I've read about them on this forum. Those include a 4513TSW no rail, 3913TSW no rail, 4013TSW no rail, and a CHP 4006TSW that are my favorites so far.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:22 AM
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Thanks guys! What about the WISCHO Target Champion series? Has anyone of you ever shot or handled one of those? I know they come from Europe and are a re-import but I don't recall much discussion on those at all.
They were export versions, of the USA model, to Europe. Some of them eventually made it back home.

AFAIK, they were the same, specs wise, except for lettering & grips.

.

The best PC model to acquire is the one that you can find & still afford.

.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:20 AM
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Thanks again guys! I've never seen one in any of the LGS here locally, so it'll probably have to be acquired from one of the big auction sites. Or maybe in the for sale section of this forum - I'll have to start checking that.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:07 AM
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I believe the WISCHO Target Champion guns are Euro versions of the 952, the PPC-9 and the 845. The PPC-9 one has a typical rear sight rather than the Aristocrat sight of the PPC-9. All three have script bill board print on them. Otherwise these guns are the same.

We are definitely seeing more of these being re-imported lately.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:15 AM
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Oh yes, good call, I forgot that many of the WISCHO guns also had the very high buck Karl Nill wood stocks. As gun stocks go, these are top of the market.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cnette01 View Post
Hello all and thanks for infecting me with this 3rd Gen passion - I really like the 3rd gen series. I read a post a few months back that discussed the PC series and which ones were considered the best by the guru's here on the forum that have owned and shot them..........

.......... I'd like to acquire one, but which one is best?
You're welcome The answer is YES! They're all the best. Pick the caliber you most favor and start there. Then consider the purpose you have in mind...CCW, competition, collecting, or just to have. For me it was 45ACP so that's were I focused my PC shopping.

Cheers
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:00 PM
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Like BMCM I gravitated to the Performance Center 45s. Out of those I currently have, I like the PC 4566 45CQB best. Very accurate and easy to shoot well. Good looking gun too.

I had a Shorty 9. Only PC 9mm I have owned. I got it at a reduced price as compensation for helping a local dealer price a large collection of vintage S&Ws. But it didn't really do anything, for me. So I sold it to a fellow that really wanted one.

I will be picking up a 945. As others have stated, it is a fine pistol. And having owned a slew of Performance Center guns, from back when that meant something, if I were to only own one.......it would be a 5 inch 945. Good luck with your search! Regards 18DAI
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:21 PM
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"The Best?".......the question should be "for what?"

PC guns range from concealed carry to target pistols........ to great gaming guns to Strange but great. IMO the best ones date to the 1990s maybe spilling over into the early 00s.

Concealed carry..... Shorty-9 and Shorty-40s
Target guns...... I don't have one so I can't comment
Gaming Guns ..... the DPA5906. 5906 with the bushing and de-cocker only safety.
Strange but great........ the SD series... mine's an SD9. Think 6906 stainless steel frame, mated to a 4 1/4" barrel/slide with adjustable sight.

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Old 02-09-2020, 03:54 PM
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What makes a Performance Center pistol fantastic?

Build quality. Fitment and the feel of that fitment. Attention to detail and extremely classy good looks. The quality and utility of the sights. The accurate ability on target. The precise feel of the trigger pull, smoothness, pull weight, break and reset and the user-adjustability of same.

It occurs to me that all of the PC pistols check nearly all of those boxes but it is the very last item where some are forced to fall in line behind the leaders.

Only the single action Limited target series pistols have the very best triggers of all the PC guns in the lineup. And of those, the 3566 Limited and the PPC-9 series have the most user-adjustable triggers.

That's my attempt at a non-emotional way of ranking them, but it's awfully tough to discuss the PC pistols without emotion playing a part!
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:28 AM
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Default I feel like a kid at Christmas with a PC945

Hello all, I wanted to provide you with an update. I'm so excited to let you know that I just won a bid on the big board for a Performance Center 945 5 inch pistol. I believe it is a product code 170259, one of the more common RSA serial # models, non-billboard all stainless steel with the fish scales front and aft, and Wilson combat sight. Per the seller, it includes the pistol, 2 magazines, PC aluminum case, and docs. The cost is $1295 + shipping and xfer fees. I've been watching the auctions and reading up on the 945's quite a bit and think I got a fairly good deal - what do you guys think?

Here's a pic from the auction site. I'll post more pics after I get my hands on it.
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:57 AM
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Nice pistol! Great way to jump in! The 945s are handsome guns. I love the idea that they are an improved upon 1911. Additionally the consensus is that the 945s are under valued right now. I think you got that gun for below market value. I am guessing COVID and the resulting economy scared away some bidders. They will be jealous of you in a couple months.
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:56 PM
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Thanks toddcfii. Ironically enough Uncle Sam sent me some money yesterday to help with this COVID19 economy situation. I had been watching this 945 that no one else had bid on and felt it was my patriotic duty to spend that stimulus money and give the 945 a new home. And I'm helping out the economy at the same time!
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:38 PM
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It’s a beauty and you might be awed at how easily that pistol shoots some of the smallest groups you’ve ever laid down. Definitely report back after you’ve had it out to the range.

A quick note if this happens to be your first pistol with a Swartz safety. There is a nub or a finger that protrudes upward from the frame when the grip safety is pressed and you need to be aware that it is there. When you re-assemble the pistol after a field strip, you don’t want to take a normal hold on the grip/frame because that will actuate the finger — and prevent you from putting the slide in place. Once you have the slide properly in place you may then hold the grip safety in as necessary to re-install the slide stop.

Though I have never heard of it happening on a S&W PC 945-1, I have seen a number of instances on a Kimber 1911 where a new owner has sheared off this part by mistake. The result is a firing pin that can no longer be unlocked and a pistol that will not fire.

The no-dash 945 doesn’t have this firing pin lock but the 945-1 does have it.
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:21 PM
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Thanks for the tip, Sevens! I had read about the nub before, but the information wasn't as descriptive as what you provided here.
You did a great job describing what needs to be done to avoid any inadvertent damage.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:10 PM
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“cnette01”,

I’m so happy for you that you got that 945. You are REALLY gonna like it. I think you got it for an outstanding price, but what do I know?

I paid more for the one I have but I’d been looking/waiting for a specific 5” one, (I also had a fixed high price that I was willing to pay,) it did eventually happen even though I had so many requirements.

Jim
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Old 04-16-2020, 10:11 PM
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I am glad you got that because I had been watching it and did not need it although need has never been a factor in my gun buying.
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:34 AM
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Default My 945-1 has arrived - here's some pics

I picked up my 945-1 yesterday from my LGS. The fired case is dated 4-19-05. It does have a couple of light handling marks, but I'm ok with that. It's raining here today, but I'm hoping it will ease up so I can get to the range!
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:07 PM
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I picked up my 945-1 yesterday from my LGS. The fired case is dated 4-19-05. It does have a couple of light handling marks, but I'm ok with that. It's raining here today, but I'm hoping it will ease up so I can get to the range!
She's a beauty, cnette01! You done good!

I haven't ventured down the 945 road, though I've been sorely tempted. Honestly, though, I think if I decide to invest serious money in a Performance Center 45, I might just go whole hog and shoot for the moon for an 845. It'll probably never happen, though, so the 945s already run a close second and might just nose ahead at the finish line.

Have fun with that fine 45!
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:50 PM
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Hell yeah, that’s a twin brother to my first 945, looks stunning and shoots even better than it looks!

Vigil, I’m fortunate to have an 845 and a 945, and I’ve gotta say that the 845 is the absolute king and that you should totally set your sights on one but I’m certain that it’s a mistake if you make this an either/or proposition. Hear my argument please:

They made a lot more 945’s and they are much easier to find and buy. They cost less money but that price is rising. And the two pistols are quite different from each other. And finally, if you did bring home a 945 and (somehow?) it didn’t trip your trigger, you would have no trouble whatsoever getting all your money back out of it.

I say absolutely chase an 845 but it’s a mistake to skip the 945 for that (or any) reason.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:52 PM
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Default Range Report

My son came home from college last weekend, so Sunday afternoon we went over to one of his friend's house out in the country. The three of us proceeded to shoot a little over a 100 rounds out of the new to me 945-1. It was shooting a little left to POA for all three of us, so I adjusted the sight a little and we took a few more shots to confirm the point of impact is now on. We shot 230 grain FMJ Fiocchi. No issues, the gun ran great and shot great. I'm quite pleased with it!
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