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Discussion Starter #1
Well, years ago my dad had a Smith model 59 when he was in the Air Force. Prior to my birth he sold it for reasons I forget. Fast forward to a few years back, my parents got a divorce, and with my anti-gun mom out of the picture in a way, my dad began my brother and I on the way of the gun. He spoke very fondly of his old model 59 throughout this process, and since then I've made it a personal mission of mine to find him another one.

Well, I couldn't find one EXACTLY like it, but I got close. I found a model 6904, their "compact" version(it's bigger than my PT111 by a fair amount, despite being the same capacity). I'll get around to pictures for it hopefully, but in the meantime I was hoping you guys could help me out a bit.

- How exactly do you decode the model number again? I remember something about each number meaning something, but I'm not sure what.

- My dad said he had to get the feed ramp reground on his 59 because it had feeding issues. Was that one in a million, or should I tell him to put down the dremel?

- Magazines. I remember something about other 3rd gen magazines fit in it. Is this true? Mec-Gar's got a 20-rounder for the 5900 series that seems fun...

- Do you guys know anything about how to decode the serial number to find out it's birthday? Like how Taurus' website has that program where you can enter your serial number and it tells you when it was made.
 

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Basically First Generation S&W guns used a Model Number, like the Model 59, and measured change through -1, -2. The Second Generation S&W added another digit, usually a 4 or 6, to identify carbon steel or stainless steel. I own a Model 669, a stainless compact 9mm. The Third Generation S&W pistols have four digit Model numbers. This includes things such as DAO variants, material of construction, decocker only variants, and any other sub-model specifics in a line.

What you're looking for is a 5904, in carbon steel, or a 5906 in stainless. This is the standard variant of the older Model 59. Early Model 59 pistols weren't throated for some of the more aggressive JHPs of their time, and needed the feed ramp worked on. Should you replace it with a Third Generation Model, it won't normally be necessary.

I can use Model 69, Model 669, and Model 6906 magazines in my gun. The Model 59 should likewise be interchangeable.

Good luck.
 

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- My dad said he had to get the feed ramp reground on his 59 because it had feeding issues. Was that one in a million, or should I tell him to put down the dremel?
Regardless of whether the feed ramp needs work or not - PUT DOWN THE DREMEL & MOVE IT OUT OF THE ROOM! :eek:

Unless you really know what you are doing, don't get near the internals of the pistol with a Dremel - too easy to remove too much material way too fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well, I'd like to say both my dad and I are pretty good with a dremel. My high school metal shop project was pocket porting a pair of smallblock chevy heads. But that doesn't matter, if they redesigned the feed ramp by Gen 3, then it should be good to go!

I'm sorry if I failed to specify, but he now owns the 6904. He kept going on about how good the grip felt in his hand, and how much he loved the SA trigger, and how it was only 2 rounds off of his old 59 in capacity, only a half-inch shorter, and has a bobbed hammer, little differences he doesn't mind one bit.

The question still stands though, how do I find out how old this pistol is, and can larger capacity magazines from the full-size models fit in it?
 

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I have a S&W 59 I bought way back in 1976. Paid $260 for it with a leather holster. Don't think I've put more than a couple hundred rounds through it. But it has never jammed or miss fed that I can remember. Shoots real nice though. Went on to shooting the 380's.

Jim
 

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I tried looking it up in the SCSW and all I can find is if you have a squared trigger guard then it was made in 1988 - 1992, and if it has a rounded trigger guard then it was made in 1993 - 1998. It doesn't seem to narrow it down any more than that. There isn't a serial number input like Taurus uses or a listing like Ruger has. S&W would make huge runs of frames and stamp them all with serial numbers. So the serial number can be turned into S&W for a letter (cost $50) and the letter will tell you everything about that gun down to shipping date. But they don't record when the frame is made or when the final build on the gun is complete. As for mags, I would look at websites like MidwayUSA or Brownells to guide me what mags fit what models. It does list in the SCSW that they shipped with 12 round mags and 20 round mags were available.
 

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I have a shooting buddy who swears by his S&W 6946. So much so that both he and his wife have one for CC. They've had them for years, and have shot them extensively. I've fired it too and it is a really nice handgun....
 

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Here's my new-to-me Third generation S&W 910S, shipped from the factory on May 16,2006. I just got it today and I'm in love with it.
122e4d28.jpg
:guns:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for the input guys. Last I saw(about two days ago), it had the rounded trigger guard. The finish has holster wear, but the mechanicals are very sharp. Must have been carried a lot and shot little. I can't help but wonder why S&W stopped producing these(have they?). Every time I look online for Smiths I get all their poly-frame stuff.
 
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