A Tale of Two Smith & Wesson Pistols: 6906 vs M&P
By Judson Miers
Two eras of Smith & Wesson: the 6906, left, and M&P. (Photo: Judson Miers)
As a collector, gunsmith, and firearms instructor I’ve had almost every pistol available. From modern production to vintage firearms. So, when I had the opportunity to buy and review a couple of police trade-in’s – the Smith & Wesson 6906 and M&P40 — I jumped on the chance.
Without delving too much into 20th Century history, the origins of the M1911 and John Moses Browning are the stuff of legends. What is less well known, however, is that in 1953, the US military was looking to replace their aging inventory of 1911s. Smith & Wesson stepped up, answering the call by borrowing elements from the Walther P38 and creating the Model 39. Although the US military chose the Model 39, Smith & Wesson flooded the market with a mind-numbing array of models, variants and calibers.
Fast forward to the mid-80s when“hair bands” ruled the airwaves and Miami Vice was must-see TV, Smith & Wesson was faced with a new challenge in the form of large capacity, polymer framed, striker fired Austrian invaders. The introduction of Gaston Glock’s pistol to the NYPD back in 1985 challenged Smith & Wesson’s supreme