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Old 02-14-2020, 05:30 PM
arnold1 arnold1 is offline
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So I have read a few posts already about the 5903SSV. But hoping anyone could provide more info or pics of theirs. I purchased mine in 2002 at a gun show in Florida. At the time I wanted a Walther P88 but it was almost $700. I came across the 5903 SSV sitting at a booth for $400 and fell in love with it. I mean 15 rounds and the 2 tone look was awesome. Had no idea what it was but remembered law enforcement in my town carried ones like the 5906 when I was growing up. I was going to use it for conceal carry but decided it was to cool to ruin the finish. It is mint and I was hoping others could share what they know about the 5903SSV. I heard they were a short run of 1500 pistols for the Pennsylvania Police. This one looks like it was never issued and was brand new when I purchased it. I have seen serial numbers starting with TES and TEU and TET from pics on this forum and the internet. Here are pics of mine. TES 3735. Smith and Wesson told me that it was manufactured March 25th 1990. Thanks in Advance
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Last edited by arnold1; 02-14-2020 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:55 PM
arnold1 arnold1 is offline
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Realized the pics were not that good so here are better ones from my wife's camera. I also forgot to mention that I thought for years there was a scratch on the trigger guard on the left side. Turns out it is an upside down "T" which I think is some sort of inspection mark. No box and only came with 15 round magazine. I just purchased 2 more magazines and a new recoil spring.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:25 AM
Classic Radio99 Classic Radio99 is offline
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I don't know anything about the 5903 in general, or that specimen specifically, but that is a damn fine looking gun.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:33 PM
skjos skjos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnold1 View Post
I have seen serial numbers starting with TES and TEU and TET from pics on this forum and the internet. Here are pics of mine. TES 3735. Smith and Wesson told me that it was manufactured March 25th 1990. Thanks in Advance
It looks like the serial numbers are pretty mixed in with other S&W models. I have a 5906 with TES and a 1006 with TET; the 1076 used TEU for some FBI guns.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:51 PM
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Very nice - a pistol that early may still have a pre-recall grip so check for the dimple on the bottom. If there isn't one, have S&W replace it.

Try to get a Walther P88 for $700 now - probably won't happen.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:03 PM
VASCAR2 VASCAR2 is offline
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Is the barrel on that pistol a 3.5 inch like on a 6904? The original 5903 were a stainless 5906 slide (4” barrel) on a sliver alloy 5904 style alloy frame. This could be a special run of blued shorter slide on full size alloy silver frame thereby getting the SSV designation, similar Performance Center designation theme.

First I ever recall seeing any reports on a special run on this style of pistol. Short slide and full grip pistols are seeing some popularity ie, Glock 19X, 43X, 45 and some Sig 320 variants or P365XL where people run shorter slide on XL frame.

Last edited by VASCAR2; 02-15-2020 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:31 PM
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Here's mine, I picked it up last year off of gunbroker. I wasn't aware of any grip recall, mine doesn't have the dimple. Will S&W just send me a new grip?
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:48 PM
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I bought 2 a few years ago on GB. Sold the nicer one to my dad and kept the other one for an “around the farm gun”. I bought it to replace my 59 in that role, thinking it would be much lighter. The problem was that I had a massive brain fart and forgot that the 59 was also an alloy frame. It turns out that I actually like the 59 much better, although I can’t really put my finger on the reason why.

We eventually sold the farm, and around the same time I ended up getting an M&P 2.0. The SSV has been sitting in the safe pretty much ever since, so I put it in the marketplace here the other day hoping to find it a home where it will get used more.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnold1 View Post
I heard they were a short run of 1500 pistols for the Pennsylvania Police.

That the same quantity that I've always heard. However, I read somewhere the other day that there were 3000 made. 1000 the first year and 2000 the second year. I'll have to dig around and see if I can find that info again.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:37 PM
arnold1 arnold1 is offline
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So here are pics of the grip. I have not looked but assume the dimple should be under the grip itself on the frame? I have a 2 dimples on the underpart to the side of the grip. Why was the grip recalled? There is also a hole in the grip in the middle underneath. I also found some letters on the front side of the grip underneath. The barrel is the short barrel. From what I have read, there was a batch of 1500 produced for the Pennsylvania State police. I have not confirmed that and have only read that from some posts in other places on the internet. It is basically a 5906 alloy frame (that is why it accepts the 5906 magazines) and the slide of a 6906 slide. If you think about it, for the time it was ground breaking. Full capacity with a short slide. Basically what the gun companies are doing now. I submitted a request to Smith and Wesson and they told me that this gun was manufactured 25 March 1990. If I wanted more info to go to the historical site for Smith and Wesson. They charge like $100 bucks to give you info.
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Last edited by arnold1; 02-15-2020 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:51 PM
arnold1 arnold1 is offline
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[quote=jsbethel;140673172 Try to get a Walther P88 for $700 now - probably won't happen.[/quote]

I agree. I had $750 when I went to the gun show and was hoping to get a Walther P88 at that price. They were $800 plus. That is why I got the 5903 SSV. I saw it and looked at it several times while we were there. We spent all day at the gun show and just before I left, I told myself if it was still there I was going to buy it. It was and I did. Plus I had a couple hundred dollars left over since I did not get the Walther. I am glad that I did not purchase the Walther P88. It looked cool but I like the 2 tone sleek design of the 5903 SSV.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdogs View Post
I wasn't aware of any grip recall, mine doesn't have the dimple. Will S&W just send me a new grip?
See below - they should if they have them in stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnold1 View Post
So here are pics of the grip. I have a 2 dimples on the underpart to the side of the grip. Why was the grip recalled? There is also a hole in the grip in the middle underneath.
Your grip is good - the earliest post recall grips had a hand punched dimple. The hole in the grip is for a lanyard ring.
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Last edited by jsbethel; 02-15-2020 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
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I am glad that I did not purchase the Walther P88.
In 1995, I sold a 1990 5906 I bought new to fund the purchase of a Walther P88C - I don't regret it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:10 PM
arnold1 arnold1 is offline
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Here is an ad for the 5903 SSV I found. The last line reads only 1500 units will be made. Not sure if that changed or not.
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Last edited by arnold1; 02-15-2020 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:20 PM
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The SSV is interesting, but I'm not buying the concept that a full size receiver with a 1/2 inch shorter slide is that much easier to conceal. It has been my experience that it is the grip portion of a handgun that is most difficult to conceal.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
It has been my experience that it is the grip portion of a handgun that is most difficult to conceal.
It took me years to get that hammered into my thick skull.
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