I'm still on the fence,i've never had a DOA pistol and not so sure about DOA trigger for the first shot?.I have 1911s and Glock,along with revolvers,so my experience with DOA pistols is nil.
Here's a couple tips and opinions that might help you.
First, if the gun appears to be well-kept and in good shape, that's a fine price. It's not a steal, but it's a very good price. Recently, the market is being flooded with law-enforcement and duty trade-in Smith & Wesson 3rd Generation pistols, though most appear to be in the 9mm chambering. This glut of guns may soften the market a bit for 3rd Gen pistols. But the one we are talking about it scarce as carguychris
mentioned. If it tickles your fancy, snag it now. You won't find many of this variation, IMO.
Also, with a price of $400, if the condition is nice, you'd certainly be able to forward the pistol to the next guy without losing a dime if you didn't care for it, I would expect. $400 is a good price for that pistol and I don't believe it's a large risk. And here's another good nugget-- S&W doesn't build or sell that pistol anymore, but they still back it
with their name, warranty and service if something goes wrong with it. They'll make it right, or they'll make you whole if you have a problem. It doesn't matter that it's 20 years old.
As for the trigger system, it's not "DOA." DOA means "dead on arrival", not at all what we seek!
This one is DAO, which in gun terms, is "double action only." That means there is no
first shot difference than the rest of the shots. Each and every shot is the same double-action pull. Your trigger pull also serves to cock the hammer when you actuate it. Every subsequent shot is the same way.
In this way, it's similar in operation & feedback to the Glock trigger. It won't feel the "same", but the operation is similar in that each shot will be the same as the one before it and the one after it.
True DA/SA pistols like the bulk of the Smith & Wesson 3rd Gens, and other famous platforms such as the Beretta 92 and all the Ruger semi-auto P-series pistols give you a very long, rather heavy trigger pull for that first shot, and then very short & easy pulls for every shot after the first. Those
take some getting used to -- the transition is very difficult to become an "expert" with.
One place where I will butt heads with carguychris
is the felt recoil of the pistol. While it is absolutely true that 3rd Gens are large, bulky and heavy handguns, and the weight helps to soak up felt recoil -- it's my opinion that these pistols also have a higher bore axis and a chamber that is further forward and I find them to offer more recoil than might be expected from a newer design. Be warned that this sort of thing is horribly subjective, but I have formed my opinion around a lot of shooting with two particular guns that I own-- the S&W 1006 and the much smaller, lighter, polymer framed Glock 29, both in 10mm Auto. I find the smaller Glock 29 to be easier to shot with less flip, less felt recoil and easier/quicker to get back on target.
Sometimes I like to take an adversarial position when carguychris
says something, just because I bow to his superior knowledge on these great guns most of the time.
But the point I do want to pass on is that I wouldn't buy a 4026 if my pure goal was less recoil from a .40 cal handgun, because I'm not sure you'd meet that goal with this pistol. But if you want a solid, durable handgun with a build-quality and craftsmanship that you can be proud of, then go spend $400 on that pistol and be sure to post your update on this same thread.
And include pictures!