Is there a S&W auto 45 to stay away from?

Is there a S&W auto 45 to stay away from?

This is a discussion on Is there a S&W auto 45 to stay away from? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A friend has a few Smith and Wesson 45 auto's from a police turn in after they were issued new ones. I am interested in ...

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Thread: Is there a S&W auto 45 to stay away from?

  1. #1
    Member Array ropinghorns's Avatar
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    Is there a S&W auto 45 to stay away from?

    A friend has a few Smith and Wesson 45 auto's from a police turn in after they were issued new ones. I am interested in buying a few as to add to my collection of pistols. Can anyone tell me which ones to watch out for or ones that would be better to own? Thanks,Ropinghorns


  2. #2
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    I think the Second and Third Generation S&W .45's were mostly good guns; but (I don't remember where I heard this) I understand the first run of 4516's had some teething issues. The 4516-1 came out as a result of whatever problems they had.

    I really like the rest of the Third Generation .45 line....I especially like the 945.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

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    Member Array ropinghorns's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will look forward to seeing what he has.

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    Member Array estimber's Avatar
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    In my experience (over 15 years LE and carrying S&W's), the 2nd Generation Smith's in an all steel configuration are solid guns. You will see some holster wear and possibly some hi spots on the finish but is desired they can be polished out. I have had and own several Smith's and all are still solid shooters. My oldest is a 1076 manufactured in 1991 and it is still 100%. Smith lost out to the fantastic plastic, which has become the norm now in pistols. No one wanted heavy and reliable, they wanted lighter, smaller, harder to shoot and more felt recoil. The older Smith's are the more desirable from a collector's point or even those as myself that just love to CCW. There were some "teething" problems with first run TSW's around 1999-2000 when Smith was a European owned company and IMHO the quality control was not up to par. When the company became an American owned company again the quality seemed to improve again.

    I have seen alot of 4566's hit the market lately and I too am looking to add one to my collection. I currently have a 4553TSW (non rail) and absolutely LOVE it and it has been 100% so far. I previously owner a 4516-2 with no mag disconnect and it too was stout but reliable. The hidden secret with these pistols is that you can get a reliable CCW gun for not alot of money and for what you usually pay (around 350.00) it is alot of gun for the money. Their revolvers are also inexpensive and usually 100% other then finish wear.

    Some of us still pine for the days when guns were made from steel and wood. I cut my teeth (as a police officer) with a Smith and Wesson model 64 and felt as well armed as I do today with a department issued Glock. We recently transitioned from Smith auto pistols to Glock but I for one miss my pre TSW 5946. Fortunately I was able to buy my pistol (issued new in 1999) from the department for 200.00, which was a steal. Before that it was a 6906 (nice, but I wore out the aluminum frame).

    Bottom line is that for the most part you can't go wrong with used Smith pistols/revolvers. If you buy an auto, take the slide off and check the underside of the slide extremely well (especially if it is a aluminum frame gun) for stress fractures on the underside of the slide or on the frame rails. We saw some on the older 6906's that my department had that had probably well over 25,000 rounds through it and was carried daily as an LE gun. There were not many but it is always worth throughly inspecting a used gun before you purchase it. This is not as much of a concern, if any with an all steel version.

    Just my .02 worth from a career mostly protected by S&W.
    If we treat every gun as if it was loaded, then why not treat every individual as if they are armed.

  5. #5
    Member Array estimber's Avatar
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    BUT, to answer your original question, NO. The only complaint about 45's I have heard is that the 4506 is rather large as a CCW gun. I had one so I can confirm this. As far as the newer 1911's go, I am not a big 1911 fan so I don't feel qualified to comment although I do like the looks of the Gunsite Commander model. If you find a 4566 or a 4516 that you like then get it. You will get ALOT of life out of it as a CCW shooter.
    If we treat every gun as if it was loaded, then why not treat every individual as if they are armed.

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    Member Array richardoldfield's Avatar
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    I have a Chiefs Special and a Model 457; these are both great carry pieces. I prefer the M457 to the Sig P220 that I sold to a friend. Regards, Richard

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    Member Array ropinghorns's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, He had a nice 4506 and a nice 4516 and I got them both. My kids would say, "Sweeeeet"

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    All we need now is pic's and range reports!
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  9. #9
    Member Array ropinghorns's Avatar
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    The truth is I can't hit the broad side of a barn door. But they are nice looking stainless.

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    The truth is I can't hit the broad side of a barn door.
    Ahh - but they can - you just gotta make ''the connection''

    Start off with whole barns - and progress to the doors - it all gets easier after that

    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropinghorns View Post
    Thanks guys, He had a nice 4506 and a nice 4516 and I got them both. My kids would say, "Sweeeeet"
    Now you just need a 4566 to round it out. :)

    I'm a big fan of the 3rd gen S&Ws. My department issues the 4006, but we are probably switching to Glock soon. I have mixed emotions about the switch.

    I have my first issued 4006, a 4013 single stack, and a 5906TSW, which I am currently using in a class. I'll buy my current 4006 if we switch to Glock. I always keep my eyes open for a good deal on one.
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    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    I have and use for my CC S&W's CS-45. Chief's Special .45

    No problems. I think the Firearms Instructor Bill Murray also uses the CS-45 for his CC.
    For God, Family and Country!

  13. #13
    Member Array bones's Avatar
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    I've had 3 third generation S&W's-
    a. S&W 457 compact .45 with alloy frame & steel slide. Nice gun, shot well, a little chunky looking as it is a less expensive gun, because, it is less finely machined. Decocker/safety left side only. I traded it.
    b. S&W 4516-1 compact .45, all steel. Fine shooter and looked good. Has decocker/safety both sides. I traded it.
    c. S&W 4516-2 compact "Special Model" .45. Has tritium night sights. Has "decocker only" on both sides. "No safety" as once it's decocked the lever returns to ready to fire position. Shoots nice, looks nice. The "no safety" feature matches all my other pistols and revolvers which none of them have any safeties either. This ones a keeper.
    "There is no such thing as too much ammo. Unless you're swimming!"

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    Yes, stay away from mine.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

  15. #15
    Member Array BacSi's Avatar
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    Have owned a S&W 645 for quite a few years and have shot it with NO problems. BacSi
    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.-George Orwell

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