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Old 11-04-2013, 12:49   #1
Gary1911A1
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What a Spare Parts for Third Generation S&Ws'?

Just won a bid on GunBroker for a S&W 5903, an alloy frame 5906 and I started to wonder what spare parts I should assemble given S&W has discontinue almost all Third Generation Pistols? I frankly like these pistols better than the M&Ps' and I'm looking forward to carrying this 5903.
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Old 11-04-2013, 13:56   #2
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It may not be that easy.

Parts count is ROUGHLY double that of an equivalent Glock 19, two parts must be individually fitted to the gun (implying armorer skill and sales restrictions on the parts), and there hasn't been the robust aftermarket trade Glock enjoyed. I haven't found "smithandwessonmeister.com" for example. Not certain what S&W will and will not sell to the general public.

Look here: http://www.brownells.com/schematics/...06-sid668.aspx

Might want to find a Gen 3 S&W PD armorer and pick their brain.

Having quite a few of these and a fondness for them, I buy Wolff mag springs and recoil springs from Brownells, quite reasonably priced, and they've kept my 59xx, 40xx, 10xx, and 45xx's all working.
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Old 11-04-2013, 18:36   #3
Bruce M
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I agree with starting with a recoil spring and couple magazine springs from Wolff (who are very good to deal with.) While no longer in production I suspect that S&W will continue to support them for another few years.
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Old 11-04-2013, 18:53   #4
Glock40man
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Midway has some S&W 3rd gen parts in stock. http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSe...ery=S%26W+5903

Congrats on the 5903.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:48   #5
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Congrats!

I've got a few 3rd gen Smiths and really love them.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:21   #6
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Recoil & mag springs. The normal recommendation to armorers is to replace them every 5 years (of service use) or every 5,000 rounds fired. I'm a bit more conservative in that regard, myself. I use the factory recoil springs, but have found the +5% Wolff mag springs to be good for double column 9's (and I use the factory mag springs for the single stack 9's, .45's and double stack .40's).

Keep the alloy rails lubed (consider treating it like a Sig alloy pistol, where you can confirm the pretense of oil/grease on the rails via touch & sight).

You can pick up some helpful info over on the S&W forum (Big Blue), especially regarding normal maintenance.

I've been through the 3rd gen pistol armorer class a few times, and have helped support some hundreds of guns from the earliest production 3rd gen to the latest TSW's. Our original spare/repair parts supply was rather meager, and lasted several years. It wasn't until the older guns started to reach the point where they'd been in-service for at least 12-16 years where we started seeing a handful of them start to exhibit some extractor chipping or breakage, and some old-style ejectors starting to break the tips.

My first issued 6906, which had been previously issued to someone else before I got it, developed a chipped extractor when I'd fired a little over 12K rounds through it. I put something like 45K+ rounds through that frame before it started to develop some loose tolerances.

I spent a fair bit of money ordering and building up my own 3rd gen parts supply, thinking to use them to keep my own 3rd gen's running well into retirement (and those of a couple friends and family). I've needed more Glock parts over the years.

Occasionally an older recoil spring guide might develop a loose head (staked to the rod body), or someone might have tried removing the factory grip without paying attention, and ended up exerting improper force on the side plate, tweaking or breaking one of the side plate legs (which secure the sear pin).

The side plates, manual safety assemblies, slide stop assemblies and drawbars are getting harder to find for some calibers/models, and I've been told the company isn't making much in the way of frequent 3rd gen parts orders from their vendors. They keep some on hand for their LE agency customers, but have sold off a lot of their older parts stock to retail vendors.

There are still some parts which require fitting, such as the sear release lever & extractor, and those require the services of a factory tech, armorer or gunsmith familiar with S&W pistols. The sear release levers and extractors have to be filed to fit in any particular gun, and the fitting extractors requires the use of a Go/No-Go bar gauge, as well as a force dial gauge (for extractor spring tension). A range of different tension extractor springs are available for a S&W pistol armorer to use to get any particular slide's extractor tension to fall within the correct range.

Congrats on the 5903. I ran a lot of rounds through 5903's & 6906's them when I carried them as issued weapons and used them as training guns as an instructor, and some 6906's.

I still have an issued new style 4513TSW, as well as a handful of personally-owned 3rd gen's ... 3913, CS9, CS45, 4013TSW, 4040PD and an "original" style 4513TSW. Great guns, all of them.

I've long thought of picking up a 5903 and a 6906 in good condition, someday.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 11-05-2013 at 12:23..
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:23   #7
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Other than springs my PD only had problems with an extractor and a lot of problems with the older guns with the right side safety screw dropping off. Do not use wood screws and loctite for that.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:31   #8
Gary1911A1
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Thanks for all the replies guys! Very helpful especially fastbolt. Got my job cut out for me if I intend to keep my S&W Autos running well into my retirement. Should get my 5903 next week. Might do a range report on it.

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Old 11-05-2013, 12:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAcop View Post
... a lot of problems with the older guns with the right side safety screw dropping off. Do not use wood screws and loctite for that.
That screw used on the ambi side of the 2nd gen guns could be downright annoying.

Fortunately, the 3rd gen manual safety assembly could be installed in the 2nd gen guns, although the older tolerances involved might require trying more than one assembly in any particular slide, and a new sear release lever would probably have to be fitted in the frame. The lever indexes off the bottom of the manual safety body, and changing the safety assembly (going from single to ambi, or vice versa) typically requires fitting a new lever.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 11-05-2013 at 12:40..
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