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Old 06-30-2020, 12:29 PM
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Default New 915 Owner...now what?

I bought my first semi-auto and it is in large part to the 915 owners here and their comments about their pistols. Hopefully, it's in good working condition when it gets here tomorrow. I've been researching a lot and I don't know enough about ammo for this gun. I'm guessing y'all have tried different kinds for range and self defense. What do y'all think works best for the 915?
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:33 PM
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S&W 3rd gens like your 915 will eat anything. You’re bigger problem will be finding ammo! I would recommend that you change out the recoil spring, since there’s no way to know how much mileage is on it. Otherwise have fun and be safe!!
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:34 PM
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I always used 124s, at least to start. Enough weight to cycle reliably, but won't beat up the gun. The Fed 124 and 147 have very similar recoil impulses and hit very close to each other. So for SD, you can swap in 147 HST and be good to go.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:08 PM
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FWIW MecGar has brand new magazines for the Model 5906 that are compatible with the 915
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
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FWIW MecGar has brand new magazines for the Model 5906 that are compatible with the 915

17 rounders to boot
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:10 PM
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Novak use to use the 915 as the basis for some custom 3rd gen Smiths.

One is my go to full size gun as the straight grip feels a bit like a Browning Hi-Power to me.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:23 PM
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The very first handgun I ever owned was a Model 915. It's the ONLY gun I regret selling and it's the ONLY gun I'd consider buying again.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:45 PM
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The very first handgun that I owned is a Model 915 and it is one of the two below. There is no better S&W Third gen for the money than the Model 915. So what now? Be safe, maintain and shoot. Model 915's are not picky on ammo.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
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... but won't beat up the gun.
What would do that?
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
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What would do that?

Hot ammo, like +P+ and ammo that is intended for sub-machine guns. Not replacing a worn recoil spring will also beat up the pistol in the form of peening the slide and barrel impact surfaces on the receiver.



For standard pressure ammo, change the recoil spring around every 3500-4000 rounds. If using +P ammo, every 3000-3500 rounds. Since you are buying a used pistol, replace the recoil spring before the first firing.


There are only two manufacturers of S&W mags that I would trust. Mec-Gar and S&W. Leave the others alone. Other brands are cheaper, but you will get what you pay for.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:01 AM
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I've bought 4 over the years...... still have three. "Sold one to a friend that needed a handgun for Y2K.

For years they were too cheap, generally $300 or less, to leave behind..............
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:29 AM
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There are only two manufacturers of S&W mags that I would trust. Mec-Gar and S&W.
I would pick MecGar over S&W only because MecGar is making brand new magazines and TO MY KNOWLEDGE S&W is not.
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Old 07-01-2020, 11:28 AM
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The only downside to a 915 is the finish does not hold up especially to holster wear. I love mine to death anyway.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:10 AM
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True about the blued finish. These were economy pistols, lacking some of the machining cuts and most of the polishing given to the full price pistols. The blued steel parts tend to have thin bluing and it does wear away rather quickly.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:51 AM
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Start collecting extra magazines and ammo (whenever that will be again).
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
True about the blued finish. These were economy pistols, lacking some of the machining cuts and most of the polishing given to the full price pistols. The blued steel parts tend to have thin bluing and it does wear away rather quickly.
Not really blue. I use black oxide for touch-up.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:17 AM
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Okay, thank you. Learning so much!
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:20 AM
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How about this for a recoil spring... Which poundage is ideal? Wolff Recoil Spring S&W 39 439 539 639 3904 3906 3944 59 459 559 659

I saw that someone cerakoted their 915. It looked pretty neat. Is that a bad idea?
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:57 AM
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Cerakote is a good way to protect the steel and looks good to boot. As for recoil springs, I normally go for a heavier spring in all of my handguns because I run hotter ammo for range and defense. In my 6906, I run a 18lb spring. You can also order a whole spring kit from Wolff Springs directly. I went with a lighter hammer spring and a higher power firing pin spring. It lightened the DA trigger pull a little bit.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
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Start collecting extra magazines and ammo (whenever that will be again).
What is this "Extra Magazines and ammo" that you speak of?
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Last edited by Smoke; 07-02-2020 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:38 AM
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I just retired my 539 as my concealed carry firearm after picking up a 915. Took it to the range to make sure it functions, had zero issues with it. Lighter weight, higher capacity, fit's the same holster, what's not to like! Just need to pick up a couple extra mag's.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:44 AM
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As to the ammo.....

Each pistol is a world unto itself.

I have two virtually identical M-39-2 pistols.

One prefers Federal 124 grain ammo, the other Winchester 115's.

In short there is no real answer to your question.

Now, a question for you... What size groups are you firing now at say 25 yards.

It may just help guide you into the proper choice.

The average Smith and Wesson auto loader firing average " nothing special" ammo should hold about a 4" group at 25 yards.

If you can't do this.... the ammo is irrelevant.

Last edited by banger; 07-02-2020 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banger View Post
As to the ammo.....

Each pistol is a world unto itself.

I have two virtually identical M-39-2 pistols.

One prefers Federal 124 grain ammo, the other Winchester 115's.

In short there is no real answer to your question.

Now, a question for you... What size groups are you firing now at say 25 yards.

It may just help guide you into the proper choice.

The average Smith and Wesson auto loader firing average " nothing special" ammo should hold about a 4" group at 25 yards.

If you can't do this.... the ammo is irrelevant.
You start off sounding nearly Shakespearian. I'll have to give it a try once it gets here. It was supposed to be here yesterday. UPS tried to deliver at 10:30pm. The FFL left today so hopefully the delivery completes tomorrow. Otherwise it's back to the seller for another try to a different FFL. Oye.
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Old Yesterday, 01:51 PM
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Finally arrived yesterday. Brought it home and immediately got a call from neighbors the area had been burgled. I put two magazines through and all works great. There's hardly any sign of use. There is on the magazine. Picked up 250 rnds of 124gr Federal for $50. Looking for holsters and not really finding any.

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I can see why y'all like it. It's a little big for my hand sights seem to be fine.

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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM
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Most holsters for the 5906 will accommodate the 915. Here is a G+G B733 holster.
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Old Yesterday, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ah, the Life... View Post
How about this for a recoil spring... Which poundage is ideal?
Wolff makes a good product but I would just go with the factory spring - Smith & Wesson Recoil Spring S&W 5903TSW 5906TSW 5943TSW 39 3904 3906

Might not hurt to change the magazine spring also - Smith & Wesson Mag Spring 15-Round S&W 5903TSW 5906TSW 5943TSW 59 459

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Old Yesterday, 05:09 PM
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That's a very nice Gen3. Congrats!
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Old Today, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
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How about this for a recoil spring... Which poundage is ideal? Wolff Recoil Spring S&W 39 439 539 639 3904 3906 3944 59 459 559 659

I saw that someone cerakoted their 915. It looked pretty neat. Is that a bad idea?
14 pounds is the factory rating and that is what I would use. Wolff springs are great, but factory S&W springs are also excellent and a lot less expensive.
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