Bart Noir, what were the reasons S&W went to the 3rd gens. Other than sights what are the differences?
I'm not Bart, but I discussed this in another thread just the other day.
IMHO the primary advantages of the 3rd-gen 69xx series are nicer sights on the later post-1990 models, a slightly slimmer and more ergonomic grip shape, and easier night sight installation. The 3rd-gen guns enjoy an arguably minor durability and mechanical simplicity advantage due to the integral barrel bushing and coned barrel, and all standard-production 3rd-gens had a RH side ambi decocker/safety lever, whereas some 2nd-gens lack this. The later 3rd-gens also lost the somewhat obtrusive and unsightly square trigger guard, and can be had in DAO or frame-decocker form if that's how you roll, although the frame-decocker M6926 is quite uncommon.