Smith & Wesson Third Generation Pistols

Smith & Wesson Third Generation Auto Pistols
Smith & Wesson Third Generation Auto Pistols (Photo: S&W)

The Smith & Wesson’s third-generation series of pistols has completely replaced earlier models and has been designed with the assistance of many U.S. law enforcement agencies, who were encouraged to make suggestions and criticisms.

Features incorporated in these new pistols include fixed barrel bushes for better accuracy and simpler stripping, an improved trigger pull, three-dot sights, wrap-around grips, a beveled magazine aperture for quicker reloading, and a triple safety system incorporating an automatic firing pin safety, an ambidextrous manual safety catch and a magazine safety.


Smith & Wesson 5900 Series

The 9 mm 5900 Series can be considered as the baseline series. There are three models: the 5903, 5904, and 5906; the Smith & Wesson 5903 has an alloy frame and stainless steel slide, the Smith & Wesson 5904 an aluminum frame, carbon steel slide, and stainless steel barrel and is finished in blue, and the Smith & Wesson 5906 is entire of stainless steel and is satin-finished. All are fitted with wrap-around grips, adjustable sights are optional, and all have the same 4-inch barrel.

Smith & Wesson Model 5903
Smith & Wesson Model 5903 (Photo: S&W)

Smith & Wesson 3900 Series

The 9 mm 3900 Series generally resembles the 5900 series but is slimmer, lighter, and with a smaller magazine capacity.

Smith & Wesson 6900 Series

The 9 mm 6900 Series has a reverse-curved trigger-guard. It is larger and uses the same length of the barrel but has a 12-round magazine

Smith & Wesson Model 6906 chambered in 9 mm
Smith & Wesson Model 6906 chambered in 9 mm (Photo: S&W)

Smith & Wesson Model 4006

The Model 4006 generally resembles the Model 5906 but is chambered for the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge and has a magazine capacity of 11 rounds.

Smith & Wesson Model 4006 chambered in .40 mm Smith & Wesson with 11 rounds magazine capacity
Smith & Wesson Model 4006 chambered in .40 mm Smith & Wesson with 11 rounds magazine capacity (Photo: S&W)

Smith & Wesson 4500 Series

The 4500 Series is chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge and adds the power of a well-proven cartridge to the other advantages of the Third Generation system.

Smith & Wesson 1000 Series

The Model 1000 Series resembles the 5900 Series but is chambered for the 10 mm Auto cartridge. The Model 1076 is specially made for the FBI and does not have a safety catch on the slide, but instead, a frame-mounted de-cocking lever.

Technical specifications: Smith & Wesson Model 5903

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson, Springfield, MA, 01101, United States
Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, double-action
Caliber: 9 mm Parabellum
Barrel: 4.0 in (101.6 mm)
Weight (empty): 28.5 oz (808 grams)
Magazine capacity: 14 rounds


  1. I own a 3913 NL not lady smith and mine shoots left also. I have several Glocks that are the most accurate pistol I have ever shot. Very good all medal gun for its time.


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