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Talk:Smith & Wesson 6900 pistol series

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Incorrect Names

Didn't want to put this on the main page for this article, but I figured it might make a fun addition to the discussion page. I think it's kind of strange that most every one of the 6900s seems to have an incorrect name.

The S&W third gen names all come from numerical codes. It's astonishingly complex (so much so that S&W had to supply dealers with a "whiz wheel" that explained what they meant), so I'll try to explain.

The first two digits were used to designate the caliber and magazine size:

  • 39 = single stack 9mm
  • 59 = double stack 9mm
  • 69 = double stack compact 9mm

The third digit was used to designate the frame size and action.

  • 0 = full-sized double action/single action
  • 1 = compact double action/single action
  • 4 = full-size double action only
  • 5 = compact double action only

And the fourth and final digit refers to the frame material and finish.

  • 3 = aluminum alloy frame, all white
  • 4 = alloy aluminum frame, all black
  • 5 = alloy steel frame, all black
  • 6 = stainless steel frame, all stainless

So if S&W followed their own rules, the 6904 would be the 6914, the 6906 would be the 6913 and the 6946 would be the 6943.

Just thought it would be fun to break it down. --Votesmall (talk) 12:42, 18 September 2021 (EDT)

I'd disagree that it is incorrect, but it does appear odd at first glance. The reasoning for it is that the "0" means "standard" barrel length, and for the 6900s the standard length is 3.5". There is not model with a 4" barrel to be the basis for the standard "0" models, so the numbering goes off of the 3.5" being the norm for the 6900s. --commando552 (talk) 18:10, 18 September 2021 (EDT)
Interesting thought! I bet you're right. The last digit would still be incorrect though, unless I'm missing something. --Votesmall (talk) 10:42, 19 September 2021 (EDT)
Yeah, it is harder to justify the last digit. You could argue that the 6 on the final digit means "standard" frame and there is not version with a steel frame so the "standard" is alloy, but that makes less sense than the barrel length argument (especially as the 6904 is corret rather than being the 6905). S&W have been known to just make up designations that don't fit the formula, for example the 4040 makes no sense at all. --commando552 (talk) 13:08, 19 September 2021 (EDT)

First off, I believe this is indeed the 'whiz wheel' to which you are referring, which is already posted in the discussion for the main S&W page.

S&W 3rd Gen Model Number Info

Which the 'fine print' at the bottom clearly states - just as Commando posited - in the case of the 6904/6906 there's no '1' since they are already compact-sized by default; that number code being reserved for indicating a 'compact' size for the other, by-default larger, guns (I don't believe the 3 and 5 codes are used on the 6900s either, which would follow). As for the last code, yes, strictly-speaking for the 69x6 it is a gaff as the '3' code indeed denotes stain alloy frame and stainless slide on all other models, but as pointed out every company has their bit of arbitrariness. Given that this 'misnumbering' applies to only a scant few guns (something like two or three) out of their entire lineup (with this one being the only 'common' one of those to ever be encountered), I don't see it as such a big deal myself. Besides, their point about consistency follows since they already used '69' for previous small double-stack 9mm autos (469/669), clearly they just carried on that logic and spread the '69' to its own 'series'. StanTheMan (talk) 13:19, 19 September 2021 (EDT)

In closing, one could argue that the '69' could/should be omitted entirely and the 6904 and 6906 could/should actually be called 5914 and 5913, respectively. BUT, as the man say - we didn't build the fucking things. ;P StanTheMan (talk) 13:35, 19 September 2021 (EDT)

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