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Thread: Keeping my 3rd Gen S&W Running another 40+ Years

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Suvorov's Avatar
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    Keeping my 3rd Gen S&W Running another 40+ Years

    I have a S&W 1006 that has been my "outdoors" gun for a couple decades now. I want to be able to use it for another 20-30 years for that purpose and then pass it on to my kids. While it is built like a tank, it is a machine and machines break. As I understand it, parts are beginning to dry up as the pistol is no longer supported by S&W. So the question for the 3rd Gen experts here is what parts should I grab now short of a 2nd pistol that will allow me to keep shooting the thing and not relegate it to the "be careful you might break it" corner of my safe?

    I'm ordering an extra recoil spring and firing pin tonight, they are still very reasonably priced. I have been watching a couple extractors on eBay for $50 which while expensive might be money well spent? Other than these items and maybe some extra magazine parts what else should I be looking for?

  2. #2
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    Guide rod. Side plate.

    Some stuff needs hand fitting.

    Look up a guy named Fastbolt on the S&W forums, maybe on THR, he knows his way around these and has a pretty good handle on what breaks most often.

    I still have a couple 3rd gens, but have stopped shooting them as my primaries.

  3. #3
    AR-14 Enthusiast fatdog's Avatar
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    My strategy has been to gradually build up a full armorer's kit for my gen 3's that is pretty much everything but the slide and frame. I did it mostly through ebay over the years. I also laid in a couple of full spring kits from Wolf on the chance they drop them some day.

    I have seen, or know people who have had extractors fail, trigger bars break, MIM hammers break, the polymer plug which is the trigger disconnect get mangled, and the spring loaded portion of the guide rod (which cannot be fixed) fail. While they fixed and upgraded the grips that broke in the early Gen 3's I have also laid in a few spares of those.

  4. #4
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    I would add the S&W factory grips if you use them as there will be no more of those. The arched grip is available at Midway USA at https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1004397969 and the straight grip (on sale) at https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1004453569?pid=397518

    If you buy action parts, be sure the hammer and sear are compatible as different versions (as time progressed) of those parts exist and do not work together. For example, a MIM hammer only works with the proper sear.

  5. #5
    Accused M&P Cultist Joe in PNG's Avatar
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    Keep an eye out on Everygunpart.com for parts kits
    "You win 100% of the fights you avoid. If you're not there when it happens, you don't lose." - William Aprill
    "I've owned a guitar for 31 years and that sure hasn't made me a musician, let alone an expert. It's made me a guy who owns a guitar."- BBI

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe in PNG View Post
    Keep an eye out on Everygunpart.com for parts kits
    This and https://www.gunpartscorp.com/
    (Formerly known as Sotex.)

  7. #7
    Site Supporter Suvorov's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I will start sourcing some parts just to have. I'm also thinking of sending it to S&W for sand blasting and an action job - I imagine I could request an inspection when it is in there. Also one of the tines was missing off the trigger tensioning spring, I ordered a new one but it soon became obvious that replacing that spring was beyond my comfort zone. One thing with S&W 3rd gens, they are certainly complex machines.


    Quote Originally Posted by Duelist View Post

    Look up a guy named Fastbolt on the S&W forums, maybe on THR, he knows his way around these and has a pretty good handle on what breaks most often.
    Thanks for the tip - there is a thread on the S&W forum where he talks about extractors, apparently a .40 cal extractor can be made to work.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
    I'm also thinking of sending it to S&W for sand blasting and an action job - I imagine I could request an inspection when it is in there.
    If you send it in for the refinish/action job and you want an inspection (and, presumably, for them to fix things that might need to be fixed) you'll need to be explicit about that in the work order.

    I sent an L-frame in for similar service in the early 2000s ("master revolver action job") and while the work was performed competently they did nothing about the endshake and loose front lock. Those were both things that could have been addressed, even with an associated cost, since that's the sort of repair work you might expect the factory handles routinely. But nope. No action taken, no phone call, no communication at all. They did perform the work as agreed, but letting that gun back out the door with the mechanical issues it had isn't something I'd expect a reputable gunsmith to do in most cases. My understanding is that the PC hasn't gotten better in the intervening 15-20 years.

    Just a heads up, I guess, and a sample of one. I'm sure they can deliver what you want, but make sure to get what you want in writing. It might save you from having to ship the same gun twice.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Suvorov View Post
    I have a S&W 1006 that has been my "outdoors" gun for a couple decades now. I want to be able to use it for another 20-30 years for that purpose and then pass it on to my kids. While it is built like a tank, it is a machine and machines break. As I understand it, parts are beginning to dry up as the pistol is no longer supported by S&W. So the question for the 3rd Gen experts here is what parts should I grab now short of a 2nd pistol that will allow me to keep shooting the thing and not relegate it to the "be careful you might break it" corner of my safe?

    I'm ordering an extra recoil spring and firing pin tonight, they are still very reasonably priced. I have been watching a couple extractors on eBay for $50 which while expensive might be money well spent? Other than these items and maybe some extra magazine parts what else should I be looking for?
    While my experience is with department-wide maintenance of the S&W 4006 platform, I may be able to extrapolate something useful for you. S&W designed both the Recoil Spring & Magazine Springs poorly; they wear out quicker than any other springs in the system. I always replaced them in pistols haveing issues or rebuilds.That said, if you perceive ANY instability with your manual safety remaining in the position of choice (ie, it should always click smartly into place), replace the Safety Plunger Spring and Safety Body Plunger Spring. These don't go bad often, but when they do it's a big problem but a cheap & easy fix-just don't mix them up!. Sear Springs break and will give you absolutely no warning. Just replace them in an older gun. Sideplate Assemblies tend to be proorly manufactured; just make sure yours is solid and intact. Extractor claws snap annoyingly often. Extractor springs tend to live forever IMO, although S&W wants you to replace them if you replace the extractor. Triggerbars are tempermental and subject to fracture; "Skips Double Action" is a term associated with the problem. Barrel life (ie gauging the thing), like the recoil spring and magazine springs, is more limited that you might think think. S&W went wthrough at least two magazine follower and body changes. The last of the 4006 series display a blue colored follower. I have no idea if this holds for the 1006. There are a LOT of parts available for this platform and I would presume S&W customer service can accomidate you just fine if you send your pistol and existing magazines to them. Hope this helps.

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