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Old 04-09-2020, 10:25 PM
josywales josywales is offline
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Default 3913 as tough/tougher than P239?

I'm wondering if mind over matter is playing with me here. Why do I believe that my P239 is more durable than my 3913?

The P239 feels more durable, because of slightly more heft
The P239 looks more durable, because it's a black gun

I grab the P239 and expect it to be a Glock-like tool. Go bang every time.

I have zero reasons to believe the 3913 wouldn't be every bit as good and durable as the P239 or Glock.

So, is there any reason to believe that the 3913 isn't every bit as durable/reliable/strong as my P239? It's just a mental block on my part?
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:27 PM
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I think theyíre both very well built pistols. With the proper care, neither is going to fail in your lifetime.


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Old 04-09-2020, 11:19 PM
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The only real complaint I've heard about the 239 is that the grips are thicker than the 3913. Then again, people complain about how thin the grips are on the 3913.

Everytime I see a 239 listed, I'm very tempted, but I have held out so far.
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Old 04-09-2020, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josywales View Post

So, is there any reason to believe that the 3913 isn't every bit as durable/reliable/strong as my P239?
No..........................................and I own and like Sigs
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Old 04-09-2020, 11:38 PM
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I currently own a S&W 3953 and Sig P239ís in .40 S&W and .357 Sig. I believe the two are equally robust and well made. I think the deciding factor would be between the calibers, unless you specifically wanted a 9mm or preferred the S&W ambidextrous Safety to the Sig decocker. Size and weight are nearly identical.

I owned two 3913 models but prefer the 908/3953 pistols.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:01 AM
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Thanks guys. I have and enjoy both pistols as well - actually a few variants of the 3900s. Just needed to get my head on about why I felt like the Sig was more robust, when I know it isn't. I think part of it, too, is that with my particular specimens, I don't mind using the Sig as a tool, but the S&Ws I want to baby. I'll have to shoot them more and get out of that funk!
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:03 AM
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Other than one's an S&W and one's a SIG, there isn't much difference that I can see. They're both excellent firearms from excellent companies.
I think the only issue would be if you had one and really wanted the other instead. I have two 3913s, a 908, a 3914DAO, and no SIGs, so I guess you can tell where I stand.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:56 AM
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As much as I like my alu framed S&W’s - they do have a big flaw IMO. The steel barrel is raked across the alu frame every time the slide cycles. Take a look at the frame and frame rails around the front of the magazine well next time you disassemble one. At least on mine, they are chewed up even on low-mileage versions. The SIG’s have a steel locking block which eliminates that point of wear. The SIG’s were/have been designed for a lot of use from the get go.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:01 AM
SWCZSIG-Vinny SWCZSIG-Vinny is offline
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Originally Posted by GeoJelly View Post
As much as I like my alu framed S&Wís - they do have a big flaw IMO. The steel barrel is raked across the alu frame every time the slide cycles. Take a look at the frame and frame rails around the front of the magazine well next time you disassemble one. At least on mine, they are chewed up even on low-mileage versions. The SIGís have a steel locking block which eliminates that point of wear. The SIGís were/have been designed for a lot of use from the get go.
You raise a good issue.
Because of the different metal and high pressure at these points I believe it's recommended to use a grease where one metal slides against another to prevent galling.
I use Extreme Weapons Grease or Enos's Slide-Glide on my S&W's, CZ's and Sigs. I use Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil on points that rotate.
IMHO An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so I prefer to run 'em a little slick and wet.

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Old 04-10-2020, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoJelly View Post
As much as I like my alu framed S&Wís - they do have a big flaw IMO. The steel barrel is raked across the alu frame every time the slide cycles. Take a look at the frame and frame rails around the front of the magazine well next time you disassemble one. At least on mine, they are chewed up even on low-mileage versions. The SIGís have a steel locking block which eliminates that point of wear. The SIGís were/have been designed for a lot of use from the get go.
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Originally Posted by SWCZSIG-Vinny View Post
You raise a good issue.
Because of the different metal and high pressure at these points I believe it's recommended to use a grease where one metal slides against another to prevent galling.
I use Extreme Weapons Grease or Enos's Slide-Glide on my S&W's, CZ's and Sigs. I use Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil on points that rotate.
IMHO An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so I prefer to run 'em a little slick and wet.
You definitely want to use a very thin film of grease, I use white lithium, on the barrel cams and the frame rails of S&W aluminum receiver pistols. Oil is too thin and some oils tend to evaporate, leaving these high friction surfaces too dry.

You also want to frequently change the recoil spring. A weak spring will accelerate wear and battering of the receiver. With standard pressure ammo, I'd say change this spring every 3000-3500 rounds in the compact pistols, every 4000 rounds in full size pistols. Change the spring even more often if you use +P ammo.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:16 AM
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A number of members here, including Fast Bolt and BMCM, have written extensively on the care and maintenance of alloy framed 3rd Gens.

As others have noted here, keeping the frame rails and lugs lubricated is key to a long life.

I also use Lithium grease, specifically Lubriplate 105 assembly lube. Keeping the coating thin is one of the keys to success.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:27 AM
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Great posts! Sounds like the 239 is a great alternative. Always liked the Sig line.
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Old 04-10-2020, 11:45 AM
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Default 3913 as tough/tougher than P239?

OK let's look at some facts. I own both and love both. But the Sig is a heavier and hardier pistol in all respects. Is it overdesigned? Maybe, but it is heaver, thicker on the internals.
Outer dimensions are exactly or extremely close to the same as I measure them except for the grip which I measure at 1/32 thicker with the G10 grips.
Pics will follow but here are the weights.

Entire pistol w/o mag
SW 21.9 OZ SIG 25.9 Oz

Lower w/o barrel
SW 8.3 OZ SIG 11.3 OZ

Barrel with spring
SW 3.3 OZ SIG 3.7 OZ

Slide only
SW 10.3OZ SIG 11.1oz

Here are advantages I come up with.

3913
Lighter for carry
Completely shrouded bobbed hammer
Ambi decocker for left handed folks (3913, 3914 only)

Sig P239
Less felt recoil
Parts still readily available (recently discontinued)
Easier to disassemble and reassemble
Decocker is smaller more compressed
Short reset trigger system available
SAS dehorned package available
Full rail along entire lower frame
Thicker grip

That all said...
I prefer to carry the 3913/14NL due to weight.
Both are very dependable and I have never had any problems with Sig P239 or with the 3913/14. Both will out last me..






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Old 04-10-2020, 11:57 AM
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The main difference for me is magazines. The Sigg has commonality with no other pistol when it comes to mags. The Smith and Wesson has commonality with other single stack 9 mm pistols in the Smith and Wesson line. With the exception of the CS9 the 3913 can use mags from every single model of single stack 9 mm Smith & Wesson.
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:14 PM
SWCZSIG-Vinny SWCZSIG-Vinny is offline
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Thanks mbliss57 for an excellent comparison.
Really nice collection you have there!

Always wondered how is the DAK trigger on the SIG P239 SAS? IE pull weight, smoothness, reset point?
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Old 04-10-2020, 12:17 PM
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Default 3913 as tough/tougher than P239?

Squid six thatís very true. But one of the main reasons I like the P239 is I can have 3 calibers with 1 lower. I can use the 9mm slide on the 40/357 Sig frame.
On the 40/357 Sig I Just need to change barrels.. same .40 magazines work with both calibers. Some even just put the 9mm barrel and spring in the .40/357 frame and slide. ( not Sig sanctioned)
The frame is the same for all 3 except for the mag well opening. So you can put the 9 in the 357/40 but not visa versa.
This is something I think SW intentionally did not allow us to do so they could sell more guns. The current M&P line is still that way.
I am actually selling the 9mm I show as I carry a Sig 357sig. I just need a 9mm slide to make the 3rd caliber. So that gun will be redundant. Plus I have the 3914 in 9mm anyway.


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Old 04-10-2020, 12:18 PM
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As has been pointed out, the Sig is more robust and I would expect that it would last longer in regular use. However if I shot them regularly at 100 rounds per month, it would be over 4 years before reaching 5000 rounds and replacing the recoil springs. If the life expectancy of the pistols is 20,000 rounds with care, that's 16 years. What's the chances of that happening? So shoot and carry either one, you won't wear it out.
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Old 04-10-2020, 01:29 PM
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I hadnt considered caliber swaps because I have no use for .40 or .357 Sig, but that could be considered a benefit.
I had the 225 for a while and didnt care for it. But the 239 is poorly balanced, for me.
I agree that the Sig might wear out faster.
Value of robustness per price, however, would be an interesting discussion. My last 3914 cost me $450 used. I dont know a lot about the 239 market but a casual glance tells me that its about $75-$100 more on average around here.
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Old 04-10-2020, 01:38 PM
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I've owned and carried both. I switched from the 239 to the 3913 simply because the 3913 fit my hand better. I "suspect" the SIG might be more durable for a few reasons; the slide is a bit more massive, the SIG takes the force of unlocking on a steel insert rather than aluminum alloy shoulders as in the S&W frame, and the anodizing on the SIG frames and rails has proven more durable than the anodizing on my Colt and S&W alloy frames.

But in well maintained pistols, any potential durability advantage is likely academic. Both great little pistols IMHO.
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Old 04-10-2020, 02:26 PM
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I like Sigs..... I have both a W.Ger 220 and an all steel american model;along with a pair of 245s and a 229 with both .357sig/.40 barrels.

For me the 3913NL with Hogue Checkered wood grips and 7round flush fit magazine is the gun I want to "carry" all day in my Burb of the Burgh... just in case. Its actually weights within a oz or two of the Walther PPK it replaced.

If I thought I might have a greater than a "very very small chance" of actually having to use a gun that day ......I'd be opting for a bigger/heavier gun with a lot more bullets...... or just stay home!!!!
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:23 PM
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Having been through the armorer class for both the SIG Classic pistol line, as well as the S&W 3rd gen pistol line, I consider both to be of similar high quality, robust and durable manufacture.

However ...

In the SIG class they pointed out that SIG metal framed pistols are "wet" guns, meaning that the presence of sufficient lubrication MUST be verified on the lube points by both sight & touch. See it shiny with lube and be able to touch and feel it wet. Not so excessively that it runs and drips off under gravity (instructor's words), but it must be present. We were told that shooting a SIG aluminum-framed pistol without sufficient lubrication will significantly shorten its service life and destroy the frame.

Also, there are some more springs that may require replacement at intervals, as well as the trigger pin possibly becoming peened and requiring replacement. SIG's are grip-dependent, too, meaning the grips hold on a couple of the major springs, like the trigger bar spring. The SIG grip screws need to be kept properly snug (also to avoid loss).

SIG started selling Parts Kits (recoil and wire springs, screws, pins) to "refresh" their various Classic models, although I don't know if the discontinued 239 is still included.

Granted, it's not a good idea to let your 3913 run dry, either.

Aside from having an occasional trigger play spring snap off on a 3rd gen drawbar ... (and it's not a necessary spring, because the gun will function normally and run just fine without one) ... I've never had to replace worn out plunger springs under the rear sight, the drawbar plunger spring, the small springs under the frame levers or a main spring.

Now, if the small spring(s) under the frame levers get lost during frame disassembly (earning them the name among armorers "Jesus" springs, because them spring free and flying off into parts unknown often evokes that name ), it's good for armorers to have a spare supply of them.

Sure, if someone has fiddled with a particular gun and damaged any springs (especially the plunger springs under the rear sight, when they clip or bend one because they aren't paying attention while installing a rear sight base ), or just not knowing how to "disassemble" the slide or frame, I'd replace one. Or, just because I could, meaning putting in an updated/revised spring when breaking down an early 3rd gen 15+ years after hard service, etc.

I've seen a couple firing pin springs I felt were beginning to look shorter (relative to the firing pin tip length). Might as well replace them before they exhibited problems (like excessive pin wipe, or chipped or broken tips because they weren't retracted quickly enough during live-fire cycling, etc).

I've only replaced one sear spring (and that was because I damaged it myself while trying to shift its position), but we've been told in my armorer classes to always check (mostly older ones) for curling or cracks.

I've replaced some early production 3rd gen extractor springs in hard-used service guns when their tension fell below the normal spec, and only one new production 4006TSW extractor spring when it slipped out the factory door with a tension that was below spec (required a heavier than standard spring, apparently due to the depth of the spring hole in that slide). Sure, when I've had to replace a handful of older extractors that finally started to chip or break, it was prudent to replace the extractor spring with a new one at the same time, even if the tension hadn't been a problem with the original spring.

Proper periodic cleaning and LUBRICATION, plus a reasonable replacement of recoil springs, can go a long way to keeping either a 239 or 3913 running.

I'd opine that it's probably easier to keep a 3913 (and variants) running with just some lube and an occasional recoil spring replacement.

FWIW, it's sometimes said that a wet/dirty gun can often be observed to run better than a clean/dry gun. (NOT recommending that leaving a gun dirty is at all a good idea.) Once the clean/dry gun gets hot (after a couple or more rapidly fired mag loads), the dry surfaces between steel and aluminum rails can start to become cranky, and accelerate wear.

BTW, I'd have ordered a P239 after the armorer class, to supplement my 3913, but at that time (mid 2000's) their "discounted LE pricing" was $650, and that was before tax, shipping and FFL fees. I paid a lot less than that for my 3913. (Paid a LOT less for my 3913TSW, but that's not really fair because I bought it as a previous duty weapon ... after having hand-selected it from our remaining unissued inventory and carrying it for a few months before it was time to choose one to buy as they were being turned in for new plastic. ) I didn't love the thought of just having a 239 that much.

Both are good guns. BOTH are now considered obsolete by their makers. Dammit. Sigh ...
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:56 PM
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Both great pistols. But I chose the 39XX series because they were thinner, lighter and pointed more naturally, for me. AND I need an ambi safety.

But you would be well served by either one. Regards 18DAI
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:13 PM
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Fastbolt,
Excellent and informative write up. Thanks!!

Just thought I'd mention that Wolff offers several different spring 'Service kits' for 3rd Gen and previous Semi Autos that include the critical springs you mentioned. About $15. Cheap insurance to have on hand.
Unfortunately, the one for my 3913NL is currently back-ordered but eventually I'm sure I'll have it.

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Old 04-10-2020, 04:36 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Never shall I have mbliss's comms or photography skills - but I thought I'd drag a couple out for a photo today. I really like both SIG and S&W autos ... but the Model 60 gets carried quite a bit.

Edited to add: I hate you joseywales - even though I already have two P239ís, this thread has convinced me to find another. And, theyíre not cheap!


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Old 04-10-2020, 05:55 PM
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I have a 4013TSW that I'm pretty loathe to shoot because of this. It handles very well and I make sure to grease it up but I just always have that feeling in the back of my mind that the alloy frame just won't be able to stand up to repeated shooting especially if it's .40 S&W.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:46 PM
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Owned only a couple Sigs over the years compared to many Smiths, one 239 and a couple 220s I think, and just never thought they were as good a design, mainly based on the trigger. One of the 220s had been bubba-ed to the point of unreliability so I of necessity became familiar with the trigger design. That stamped plate and loop spring arrangement under the grip always made me imagine it had been designed by the guys from Hi-Point while they were dropping acid on their lunch break. Don't know if the 239 worked the same way, thankfully never had to take it apart.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hammy5150 View Post
I have a 4013TSW that I'm pretty loathe to shoot because of this. It handles very well and I make sure to grease it up but I just always have that feeling in the back of my mind that the alloy frame just won't be able to stand up to repeated shooting especially if it's .40 S&W.
I certainly don't/can't pretend to know how long any aluminum pistol frame might last. That said ...

I bought my 4013TSW in mid-2000.

After I'd been doing some occasional shooting with it for a couple of years (approx 2500+ rounds), I asked one of the S&W armorer instructors teaching a class at our range for his thoughts and experiences regarding service life for my aluminum-framed 4013TSW. I field stripped it and showed him the wear on mine.

He examined it and told me that he was presently using a pair of 4003TSW's as his competition guns, and that the amount of wear on each of his 4003TSW's appeared similar to the wear on my 4013TSW ... except that he'd fired more than 25,000 rounds through each of his 4003's.

I went through a period when I was doing most of my .40 shooting with some other .40's and the 4013TSW kind of got set aside for a while. It was a little later that I ended up stripping it down and did something stupid to the sear spring, and then set it aside to order a new spring and pin. I forgot about it for a while. (It probably helped that I was later issued an agency-owned 4013TSW, and I started using it for all my training and practice. Why shoot mine when I could shoot theirs, right? )

Here are some pics I took for another thread several years ago, which show the frame in the same condition as when the guy from S&W looked at it.





(Ignore the "missing" sear release lever in this pic, as I took it to illustrate the space available for 2 levers on the right side, for another thread. It just shows the light frame wear on the rear rails.)


I finally got around to taking it out and replacing the sear spring and pin in recent years, and started shooting it again. I'm no longer losing sleep worrying how long the frame might last me. I keep a supply of the nested recoil springs so I can replace them periodically.

I did, however, decide to put a small dab of grease one each of the frame, on the inside where the camming cuts engage the barrel lugs for cycling. The aluminum frames can develop some rough looking edges in those shoulders, but I've been told that as long as the tops of the cuts remain square, true and unworn, it's not uncommon for the lower parts of the cuts get worn and peened. That factory guy who shoots his in competition told me it's similar to seeing flame-cutting in a revolver's top-strap, explaining it happens and reaches a point where it slows and doesn't normally continue to get worse.

FWIW, one of the early issue 6906's I was issued and carried for a few years eventually ended up seeing upwards of an estimated 45,000-plus rounds of duty ammo fired through it by me ... and it had already been previously issued before I got it. I ended up replacing the extractor at about 12K rounds fired, and then after another 3500+ rounds I decided to replace the slide (kept the barrel, since it was "mated" to the frame's camming cuts) due to a suspected spec issue involving the extractor recess. I ran another few thousand rounds through it before I finally turned it in when we started issuing some new guns. It was starting to feel a little loose by the time I took it out of service, but that frame was still running.

I remember when I was talking with a repair tech about the suspected extractor recess spec issue on that aging 6906 slide, and I told him I was approaching 40K rounds. He just chuckled and told me that back when they were making those '89/90 6906 aluminum guns, they never expected anyone would ever fire more than maybe 5K rounds through them. He sounded a bit gratified that I was getting that much service out of the old compact aluminum frame.

Now, I might've just been very lucky with that 6906 frame, but I did replace the recoil spring fairly often (maybe every 2500-3000rds). I kept it well lubed with various oil & light synthetic greases, depending on what we had at the armorer bench at any particular time, or whatever I was trying for my instructor/armorer needs. The duty/training ammo I used was whatever we were keeping in inventory, which ran from 147gr to 127gr +P+.

When it comes to recoil spring replacement periods, I like the way another armorer instructor (for another gun company) once worded it, when he said something to the effect (paraphrasing it) that "Fresh springs help keep guns alive." At my last S&W 3rd gen recert class, they were still recommending armorers replace recoil and mag springs either every 5K rounds or every 5yrs of being in service. Personally, when it comes to the compact aluminum 3rd gen's, I prefer to err on the conservative side of caution and replace recoil springs closer to every 2500/3000 rounds fired. But that's just me.

I also prefer to stick with only using factory ammo made by one of the major American ammo makers, meaning those who have experience making duty ammo for LE/Gov use.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:06 PM
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Now, to be fair, when I went to my firearm instructor class in '90, part of the supplemental material we were given included the duty weapons testing done by the FBI at the end of the 80's. Back then the FBI had noted that some cracking could be observed in some aluminum pistol frames made by S&W 459's used by the FBI, and in some Sig Sauer 9mm's. This was observed to happen in some of the guns as they reached 10k rounds.

It was also noted by the then-president of Sig Sauer that the military spec for aluminum pistol frame service life was only 5K rounds at that time, and that Sig built their aluminum frames to have up to twice the military service life spec. It was reported that the FBI was told that it they wanted an aluminum frame that would last a lot longer, to submit a specification for it and their engineers would design one to meet it.

Well, it wasn't that much longer before both S&W and Sig Sauer started shipping aluminum framed pistols that were capable of longer service lives. In my SIG class the instructor said that the average P229 ought to have a service life of at least 25K-35K rounds, if not more, as long as the guns were serviced, maintained and kept properly lubed, etc.

Bear in mind that the TSW's were the result of not only design improvements, but also benefited from continually improved manufacturing equipment and methods. The 4013TSW has a noticeably beefier frame than the 6906's of the same period.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:07 PM
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I own both in 9mm. I would give the edge to the 3913, although I do like the 239 decocker. My 3913 is very accurate.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Fastbolt View Post
I certainly don't/can't pretend to know how long any aluminum pistol frame might last. That said ...

I bought my 4013TSW in mid-2000.

After I'd been doing some occasional shooting with it for a couple of years (approx 2500+ rounds), I asked one of the S&W armorer instructors teaching a class at our range for his thoughts and experiences regarding service life for my aluminum-framed 4013TSW. I field stripped it and showed him the wear on mine.

He examined it and told me that he was presently using a pair of 4003TSW's as his competition guns, and that the amount of wear on each of his 4003TSW's appeared similar to the wear on my 4013TSW ... except that he'd fired more than 25,000 rounds through each of his 4003's.

I went through a period when I was doing most of my .40 shooting with some other .40's and the 4013TSW kind of got set aside for a while. It was a little later that I ended up stripping it down and did something stupid to the sear spring, and then set it aside to order a new spring and pin. I forgot about it for a while. (It probably helped that I was later issued an agency-owned 4013TSW, and I started using it for all my training and practice. Why shoot mine when I could shoot theirs, right? )

Here are some pics I took for another thread several years ago, which show the frame in the same condition as when the guy from S&W looked at it.





(Ignore the "missing" sear release lever in this pic, as I took it to illustrate the space available for 2 levers on the right side, for another thread. It just shows the light frame wear on the rear rails.)


I finally got around to taking it out and replacing the sear spring and pin in recent years, and started shooting it again. I'm no longer losing sleep worrying how long the frame might last me. I keep a supply of the nested recoil springs so I can replace them periodically.

I did, however, decide to put a small dab of grease one each of the frame, on the inside where the camming cuts engage the barrel lugs for cycling. The aluminum frames can develop some rough looking edges in those shoulders, but I've been told that as long as the tops of the cuts remain square, true and unworn, it's not uncommon for the lower parts of the cuts get worn and peened. That factory guy who shoots his in competition told me it's similar to seeing flame-cutting in a revolver's top-strap, explaining it happens and reaches a point where it slows and doesn't normally continue to get worse.

FWIW, one of the early issue 6906's I was issued and carried for a few years eventually ended up seeing upwards of an estimated 45,000-plus rounds of duty ammo fired through it by me ... and it had already been previously issued before I got it. I ended up replacing the extractor at about 12K rounds fired, and then after another 3500+ rounds I decided to replace the slide (kept the barrel, since it was "mated" to the frame's camming cuts) due to a suspected spec issue involving the extractor recess. I ran another few thousand rounds through it before I finally turned it in when we started issuing some new guns. It was starting to feel a little loose by the time I took it out of service, but that frame was still running.

I remember when I was talking with a repair tech about the suspected extractor recess spec issue on that aging 6906 slide, and I told him I was approaching 40K rounds. He just chuckled and told me that back when they were making those '89/90 6906 aluminum guns, they never expected anyone would ever fire more than maybe 5K rounds through them. He sounded a bit gratified that I was getting that much service out of the old compact aluminum frame.

Now, I might've just been very lucky with that 6906 frame, but I did replace the recoil spring fairly often (maybe every 2500-3000rds). I kept it well lubed with various oil & light synthetic greases, depending on what we had at the armorer bench at any particular time, or whatever I was trying for my instructor/armorer needs. The duty/training ammo I used was whatever we were keeping in inventory, which ran from 147gr to 127gr +P+.

When it comes to recoil spring replacement periods, I like the way another armorer instructor (for another gun company) once worded it, when he said something to the effect (paraphrasing it) that "Fresh springs help keep guns alive." At my last S&W 3rd gen recert class, they were still recommending armorers replace recoil and mag springs either every 5K rounds or every 5yrs of being in service. Personally, when it comes to the compact aluminum 3rd gen's, I prefer to err on the conservative side of caution and replace recoil springs closer to every 2500/3000 rounds fired. But that's just me.

I also prefer to stick with only using factory ammo made by one of the major American ammo makers, meaning those who have experience making duty ammo for LE/Gov use.
That does make me feel better about mine. I bought it off of someone who'd babied it and let it sit as a safe queen so I hope it's got a lot of life left in it. Though I'm still more comfortable using a steel-framed 3rd gen for heavy range use.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:19 PM
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Here's something else to consider, relating technique.

Every now and then a right-handed P239 shooter might experience a failure of the slide to lock back on an empty mag. If so, shoot the gun left-handed to see if it continues to happen.

If the "problem" doesn't occur shooting LH ... adjust your right thumb to get off the slide stop lever. Like some plastic pistols, the 239's slide stop lever is located pretty far to the rear, and some shooters might not keep their thumbs off the lever under recoil, and press down on the lever, preventing the lever from being lifted by the mag follower in the empty mag.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:39 PM
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That does make me feel better about mine. I bought it off of someone who'd babied it and let it sit as a safe queen so I hope it's got a lot of life left in it. Though I'm still more comfortable using a steel-framed 3rd gen for heavy range use.
I don't own any steel-framed 3rd gens. They're all compact & subcompact aluminum guns.

Of all the 3rd gen's I was ever issued for work ... (5903's, 6906's, 4566TSW, 4013TSW, 4513TSW & a 3913TSW) ... the only steel -framed gun was the 4566TSW. (We also issued 4006TSW's, but I never got around to carrying one for work.)

Normal cleaning and lubrication (I'm not talking "white glove academy inspection" clean, or drenching the gun in oil), using good quality factory ammunition and periodic replacement of recoil springs can go a long way to getting good service life out of a gun.

Now that I'm no longer working as an instructor (with a key to an agency's ammo inventory), I likely won't shoot another 5K rounds through my 4013TSW.

I have 4 other .40's that I occasionally enjoy shooting, so I'll continue to spread out the use among them.

I think I've exceeded 17K rounds through my G27, for example, but it got some new parts (wear) at about 14K rounds. My 4040 probably hasn't seen 4-5K rounds fired, and my M&P 40C probably less than 7K through it. Now, my SW9940 has seen several thousand rounds, but I've shot a couple or more ten's of thousands of rounds through a similar issued SW9940 (why shoot mine when I can shoot theirs, remember? ), as well as through some training SW9940's. I barely had time to become briefly acquainted with my last issued .40, which was a M&P 40, not even having shot 1K through it before I turned in my gear to take a sabbatical. It still had that "showroom new" look to it.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:20 PM
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Both great guns, but overall I think the 239 is a little more robust. My 239 is one of the earlier 40s. Perhaps it feels that way because itís a little beefier, but not enough to make a meaningful difference for carrying.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:38 PM
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This is the first Sig P239 .40 S&W I bought. On four different occasions I loaned this gun, a S&W 3913, a S&W 908, and a S&W 39-2 to friends so they could compare them. One purchased a 908s, two were leaning toward the Sig but abruptly switched and bought a Glock 19. The fourth was a female with small hands who preferred the S&W 908 but then bought a used CS9 off me. When a person handles and shoots these guns side by side, they notice the minor differences which then leads to personal preference. They are so close in every aspect. I didnít figure on my two friends jumping on the Glock 19 pistols but size and weight were less insignificant to them compared to capacity, accessories, and local free factory maintenance.
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Old 04-11-2020, 12:02 AM
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Fast bolt.. I can vouch first hand that a Sig needs more lube than a SW 3rd Gen. I bought a . 357 Sig P239 and I cleaned and lubed it like I would any 3rd gen...Sparingly. When my slide wasnít cycling all the way on my 1st range trip I was pretty upset until I realized it just wasnít wet enough. I think it the tighter tolerances that they build into the gun that make it this way. But I donít believe tighter tolerances on a combat firearm of any kind are a good thing. Except probably a sniper rifle.


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Old 04-11-2020, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
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Here's something else to consider, relating technique.

Every now and then a right-handed P239 shooter might experience a failure of the slide to lock back on an empty mag. If so, shoot the gun left-handed to see if it continues to happen.

If the "problem" doesn't occur shooting LH ... adjust your right thumb to get off the slide stop lever. Like some plastic pistols, the 239's slide stop lever is located pretty far to the rear, and some shooters might not keep their thumbs off the lever under recoil, and press down on the lever, preventing the lever from being lifted by the mag follower in the empty mag.
This happens to me with all Sig P-series guns save the 210, and about every plastic-framed pistol made these days.
When required to qualify with them, I do it lefty, rather than induce my own malfunctions and then have to clear them to score high enough.
Getting perfect scores left handed took more time than getting ďokĒ scores right handed, for me.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:49 AM
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As much as I admire the SIG P239 especially the SAS model, it only weighs 2.5 oz less (with unloaded mag) than my P229 Legion RX.
If the reliability of 3913 vs P239 is similar, and I want a smaller, lighter, flatter DA/SA carry pistol than my P229; my 3913NL or CS9 fill that need better than a P239 for me. But....If I could only have one???
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Old 04-11-2020, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbolt View Post
I certainly don't/can't pretend to know how long any aluminum pistol frame might last. That said ...

I bought my 4013TSW in mid-2000.

After I'd been doing some occasional shooting with it for a couple of years (approx 2500+ rounds), I asked one of the S&W armorer instructors teaching a class at our range for his thoughts and experiences regarding service life for my aluminum-framed 4013TSW. I field stripped it and showed him the wear on mine.

He examined it and told me that he was presently using a pair of 4003TSW's as his competition guns, and that the amount of wear on each of his 4003TSW's appeared similar to the wear on my 4013TSW ... except that he'd fired more than 25,000 rounds through each of his 4003's.

I went through a period when I was doing most of my .40 shooting with some other .40's and the 4013TSW kind of got set aside for a while. It was a little later that I ended up stripping it down and did something stupid to the sear spring, and then set it aside to order a new spring and pin. I forgot about it for a while. (It probably helped that I was later issued an agency-owned 4013TSW, and I started using it for all my training and practice. Why shoot mine when I could shoot theirs, right? )

Here are some pics I took for another thread several years ago, which show the frame in the same condition as when the guy from S&W looked at it.





(Ignore the "missing" sear release lever in this pic, as I took it to illustrate the space available for 2 levers on the right side, for another thread. It just shows the light frame wear on the rear rails.)


I finally got around to taking it out and replacing the sear spring and pin in recent years, and started shooting it again. I'm no longer losing sleep worrying how long the frame might last me. I keep a supply of the nested recoil springs so I can replace them periodically.

I did, however, decide to put a small dab of grease one each of the frame, on the inside where the camming cuts engage the barrel lugs for cycling. The aluminum frames can develop some rough looking edges in those shoulders, but I've been told that as long as the tops of the cuts remain square, true and unworn, it's not uncommon for the lower parts of the cuts get worn and peened. That factory guy who shoots his in competition told me it's similar to seeing flame-cutting in a revolver's top-strap, explaining it happens and reaches a point where it slows and doesn't normally continue to get worse.

FWIW, one of the early issue 6906's I was issued and carried for a few years eventually ended up seeing upwards of an estimated 45,000-plus rounds of duty ammo fired through it by me ... and it had already been previously issued before I got it. I ended up replacing the extractor at about 12K rounds fired, and then after another 3500+ rounds I decided to replace the slide (kept the barrel, since it was "mated" to the frame's camming cuts) due to a suspected spec issue involving the extractor recess. I ran another few thousand rounds through it before I finally turned it in when we started issuing some new guns. It was starting to feel a little loose by the time I took it out of service, but that frame was still running.

I remember when I was talking with a repair tech about the suspected extractor recess spec issue on that aging 6906 slide, and I told him I was approaching 40K rounds. He just chuckled and told me that back when they were making those '89/90 6906 aluminum guns, they never expected anyone would ever fire more than maybe 5K rounds through them. He sounded a bit gratified that I was getting that much service out of the old compact aluminum frame.

Now, I might've just been very lucky with that 6906 frame, but I did replace the recoil spring fairly often (maybe every 2500-3000rds). I kept it well lubed with various oil & light synthetic greases, depending on what we had at the armorer bench at any particular time, or whatever I was trying for my instructor/armorer needs. The duty/training ammo I used was whatever we were keeping in inventory, which ran from 147gr to 127gr +P+.

When it comes to recoil spring replacement periods, I like the way another armorer instructor (for another gun company) once worded it, when he said something to the effect (paraphrasing it) that "Fresh springs help keep guns alive." At my last S&W 3rd gen recert class, they were still recommending armorers replace recoil and mag springs either every 5K rounds or every 5yrs of being in service. Personally, when it comes to the compact aluminum 3rd gen's, I prefer to err on the conservative side of caution and replace recoil springs closer to every 2500/3000 rounds fired. But that's just me.

I also prefer to stick with only using factory ammo made by one of the major American ammo makers, meaning those who have experience making duty ammo for LE/Gov use.
None of my aluminum receiver S&W 9mm pistols have anywhere near that degree of peening and mine were bought used, some showing signs of significant use before I started using them.

It is my belief that this level of frame damage occurs in aluminum receiver pistols chambered in 40 S&W and possibly 45 ACP. 40 S&W and 45 ACP have more power than the 9x19 and that translates into more recoil energy impacting the receiver.
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Old 04-11-2020, 02:08 PM
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None of my aluminum receiver S&W 9mm pistols have anywhere near that degree of peening and mine were bought used, some showing signs of significant use before I started using them.

It is my belief that this level of frame damage occurs in aluminum receiver pistols chambered in 40 S&W and possibly 45 ACP. 40 S&W and 45 ACP have more power than the 9x19 and that translates into more recoil energy impacting the receiver.
Depends if by "seeing signs of significant use" means significant carry use, but not necessarily shooting use.

I've seen guns that saw years of daily carry, but not much in the way of actual shooting, and yet they looked like they'd been off to war.

I don't doubt that the heavier recoiling aluminum framed guns can see more wear. Nature of the beast. Especially with .40's.

However, my aluminum 3rd gen .45's show peening, and while my 9's show less, but it's still there. Then again, I probably used mine more a lot more than the average owner because I used them during all the years I worked at our range as an instructor (when I wasn't trying to wear out an issued gun).

Granted, steel is steel and aluminum is aluminum, and this is one area where the steel-framed 3rd gens aren't going to show the same kind of wear with steel barrel lugs riding down & up against steel frame cam shoulders, compared to steel lugs riding against aluminum shoulders.

The way the chamber bottom corners drop down against the top of the frame on and inside the rails are going to show wear & peening on aluminum frames, too. (All of mine do.)

I did see a couple of early 5904's that had been used without having seen sufficient lube on their rails. (One gun was bone dry when showed to me once.) One of them had so much wear on the rear half (set) of the aluminum frame rails that not only was the black finish of the anodized frame long gone, but the slide/frame rail fit was really sloppy. Never saw another gun that looked and felt that bad. It was used by a guy on a special enforcement team, and they liked to shoot a lot on a monthly basis. Just didn't know (or care) how to lube a gun, apparently. Sigh.

Back when I was asking about wear on the camming cuts of the aluminum frames, I was told that as long as the top edges of the frame cuts remained clean, peening on the lower part of the cuts wasn't considered unusual. If the top edges became deformed, though, it could affect the "timing" of the barrel dropping and being release upward to meet the slide and go back into battery. One way it was described was that as long as I could smoothly hand-cycle the empty gun and it didn't exhibit catching, hanging up or sounds of "grinding", that it was normal.

I have occasionally sometimes deburred a rough corner on a lower barrel lug, though.
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Old 04-11-2020, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbolt View Post

Granted, steel is steel and aluminum is aluminum, and this is
one area where the steel-framed 3rd gens aren't going to
show the same kind of wear with steel barrel lugs riding down
& up against steel frame cam shoulders, compared to steel
lugs riding against aluminum shoulders.
Seems logical!

I've got a couple of the CHP 4006TSWs here, and both have a
lot of peening on the slide stop--axis?--the portion that crosses
frame, and takes impact of barrel lugs, as slide comes forward
into battery. My three aluminum frame 3rd Gens don't show
any peening on that pin, or wallowing out of the frame holes
(in lieu of peening the harder steel).

Wondering if maybe the CHP practiced some weapons-clearing
proceedure perhaps, that involved dropping the slide on an
empty chamber?
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Old 04-12-2020, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
Seems logical!

I've got a couple of the CHP 4006TSWs here, and both have a
lot of peening on the slide stop--axis?--the portion that crosses
frame, and takes impact of barrel lugs, as slide comes forward
into battery. My three aluminum frame 3rd Gens don't show
any peening on that pin, or wallowing out of the frame holes
(in lieu of peening the harder steel).

Wondering if maybe the CHP practiced some weapons-clearing
proceedure perhaps, that involved dropping the slide on an
empty chamber?
I've never heard anyone from the factory specifically warn us against "dropping" a slide on an empty chamber in the 3rd gens. We do it in armorer classes and it's commonly done on the training & qual ranges when letting the slides close on empty chambers when empty weapons are supposed to sometimes be holstered in some circumstances. I obviously wouldn't sit around doing it excessively (but I'm a longtime 1911 shooter who was taught to avoid that habit ).

Yes, the slide stop lever assembly pin (frame pin) can often show some wear from contact with the barrel. That's the pin's job, after all. I've seen the pins machined from rough to smooth, and have seen a lot of normal wear on them over time.

I've (thankfully) never seen any lever pin holes wallowed out, myself. However, I've only seen upwards of 450 of the older aluminum framed 3rd gens when we had them in-service for 16-17 years, and a fair number of personally-owned TDA guns used by our folks.

On the other hand, I've sometimes heard of a reported older aluminum frame exhibiting a crack near that area of the frame (like with one end of the crack at the front bottom corner of the frame's slide stop lever window shelf/cut). No idea how well the guns were maintained, lubed or serviced (replacement intervals for recoil springs), etc.

Personally, that's why I don't use recoil springs in the aluminum frame guns that are heavier than the stock rating, so the slide/barrel isn't slammed forward harder than normal if it's on an empty chamber.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:21 AM
Tom 1951 Tom 1951 is offline
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I like the exposed hammer on the Sig. And as much as I like the frame mounted decock lever for my strong hand shooting, I have a hard time making it work weak hand.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:30 AM
N4KVE N4KVE is offline
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I like the exposed hammer on the Sig.
Easy to swap hammers on a S&W. Done it to 3 already. GARY
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:26 PM
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Like when S&W saddened owners by discontinuing 3913/908 & Chiefs Special models, it was a sad day when SIG corporate decided to discontinue the P239 and P245 models. Those model lines made by both manufacturers were solid guns that well deserved the reputations they earned for offering excellent service for their lucky owners.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:41 PM
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IIRC I got my first 245 in about 1993/94...... great guns 6+1 and a 4" barrel/slide .... not a lot smaller than a 220 but enough to make a concealed carry difference................and still shot like a full size gun.

It was soon to become "Sig of the Month" time and things got really confusing with so many variations ; and frankly a lot of talk that guns weren't up to W. Ger. standards..... anyway the 245 morphed into the 220 Compact...... then kind of faded away......

I like mine but frankly don't carry a .45 much anymore...... when I want more than my 7+1 3913NL......I go to a 6906 , Shorty-9 ....or my FrankinSmith 6915

All at 12+1 plus 15 round 59xx mag(s) with +2 spacer for 28 or 43 9mm vs 13 or 19 .45s.

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Old 04-15-2020, 09:21 AM
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Default Sig 229 / S&W 3913 and "like" type from same mfgs.

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Fast bolt.. I can vouch first hand that a Sig needs more lube than a SW 3rd Gen. I bought a . 357 Sig P239 and I cleaned and lubed it like I would any 3rd gen...Sparingly. When my slide wasnít cycling all the way on my 1st range trip I was pretty upset until I realized it just wasnít wet enough. I think it the tighter tolerances that they build into the gun that make it this way. But I donít believe tighter tolerances on a combat firearm of any kind are a good thing. Except probably a sniper rifle.


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Welcome home, Mike. Glad you got home safe from the cruise.

I have several Sigs & like model Sigs and same for the S&Ws.

I have, 2 x 228 Sigs (essentially the 9mm version of the 229). Both NIB, one black, one legit Sig 2 tone with correct ornamentations (not just a nickel slide).

Then a black 239 in .40 S&W that I purchased the OEM, new .357 sig barrel for. Love it. Have never had any problem with any of the mid size Sigs (Made in Germany versions).

But my pride and joy is my S&W Shorty 40 (1993, purchased new, shot very rarely ... perhaps 4 times). A few months back I FINALLY found a dealer with Briley .357 sig barrel to match the Briley .40 that came with it. That was with the help of members of this forum who brought the ad to my attention. I didn't even balk about the price, I purchased it immediately. Briley was a great company to deal with. It was a "drop-in" barrel, however, Briley offered to install the barrel to check fit and function for NO CHARGE to me even though it was an old NOS still in the sealed Briley packing. The original Shorty 40 (1st model 1993) came with a .40 S&W Briley barrel and bushings from the Performance Center, so the .357 Sig Barrel is the precise "match" to the 229.

Good friend and member, Mark Calzaretta (COLT_SAA on this forum), has a special order made new for him from the Performance Center back about 1993-1994 that is one of a kind. He wouldn't sell it to me regardless of price. What a buddy, right ? lol.

And, from the thread on this topic of the 357 Briley barrel for the shorty forty, a member recommended me to the ad for the dealer selling the NOS Briley barrel. So that i know of there are 3 until we count up and ask who else may have one with the .357 Sig.

Then I have a 3913, since new, love it. 2x shorty 9s 1993 one ANIB the other I purchased, lightly used, from buddy Mark Calzaretta, that I sometimes keep near when I travel. Long distance drives it's my 5906 full and loaded with 2 spare mags. Been doing that over 20 years since the first time a FHP Officer was gunned down in a rest area on the Turnpike and recently other, multiple death, highway shootings.

We don't have lots of gun violence here in Florida but we have some that are monumentally frightful.

My favorite round is the .357 Sig but putting a bucket of 9mms downwind (out of my 5906)towards the badguys that's shooting at you will do just as well.

Talk soon. Sal
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Old 04-15-2020, 12:48 PM
rosewood rosewood is offline
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Like when S&W saddened owners by discontinuing 3913/908 & Chiefs Special models, it was a sad day when SIG corporate decided to discontinue the P239 and P245 models. Those model lines made by both manufacturers were solid guns that well deserved the reputations they earned for offering excellent service for their lucky owners.
They are not plastic and you know plastic is the way to go these days.....
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:26 PM
Jaymo Jaymo is offline
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@BamBam Is your FrankenSmith 6915 a 5906 frame with a 6906 slide/barrel?
Or is it a 6906 frame with a 5906 slide/barrel?

I've done the swap between my 5906 and 6906 and much preferred the 6906 slide/barrel combined with the 5906 frame.
I've always hated the long barrel/short grip thing, and don't buy into the whole "it's easier to conceal" spiel.
Shorter barrel doesn't poke me in my soft spots.
Shorter barrel doesn't stick out from under my shirt or jacket.
Longer grip is easier for me to conceal and gives me much more control over the gun.
Hence my love of the 1911 Commander, S&W 4566, and the SIG P229.

I can see where others may prefer a longer barrel for more velocity and longer sight radius, but my mitts like a grip that fills them completely.

As far as p239 vs 39xx Smith, I don't own a P2339 but I have no reason to be displeased with my 3rd gen Smiths (other than them being OOP).
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Old 04-24-2020, 03:25 PM
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Both my S&W 4040PD and Sig P239 are chambered in .40 S&W. The P239 was designed from the ground up to be a .40 S&W and .357 Sig chambered handgun. So it is a bit beefier in that regards as a 9mm compared to a 3913. But the 3913 is a fantastic gun too and I enjoy mine; as well as my 4040PD.
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Old 04-24-2020, 03:37 PM
BAM-BAM BAM-BAM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymo View Post
@BamBam Is your FrankenSmith 6915 a 5906 frame with a 6906 slide/barrel?
Or is it a 6906 frame with a 5906 slide/barrel?

I've done the swap between my 5906 and 6906 and much preferred the 6906 slide/barrel combined with the 5906 frame.
I've always hated the long barrel/short grip thing, and don't buy into the whole "it's easier to conceal" spiel.
Shorter barrel doesn't poke me in my soft spots.
Shorter barrel doesn't stick out from under my shirt or jacket.
Longer grip is easier for me to conceal and gives me much more control over the gun.
Hence my love of the 1911 Commander, S&W 4566, and the SIG P229.

I can see where others may prefer a longer barrel for more velocity and longer sight radius, but my mitts like a grip that fills them completely.

).
My 6915 is a 6906 frame mated with a 915 upper.... gives me a single sided safety, 1/2" longer slide w/ slightly more muzzle heavy feel.... and is two tone. Actually have two; one I built has a Fiber-optic front sight and one I got from Squidsix has a front night sight.

I carry IWB so the still only 4" ( extra 1/2") slide is not a CC issue ..... for me (5'9" 165lbs)

Your combo was actually offered by S&W as the IIRC the "SSV" (?)

Last edited by BAM-BAM; 04-24-2020 at 03:40 PM.
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