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Old February 2, 2008, 06:06 PM   #1
IHC
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S&W 745 .45cal

Hi - I went to the local gun store today and saw a S&W 745 IPSC 10th anniversary edition (1976-1986). The salesman said it came in on trade this week. It's in mint condition and comes with 2 clips, no box, and has wooden grips. He's asking $799.00 for it, so I'm looking for opinions / advice / help on this gun:

1) Was there a lot of this 'anniversary edition' models produced (ie does it carry extra value or collectablity?). I assume it was made in 1986(?).

2) What is the general quality of the S&W 745, and this edition in particular? Is it a fairly accurate gun 'out-of-the-box'?

3) Is $799 market value? I know that Canadian prices are a little higher, but seem to be the general 'ball-park' of US prices. I'm looking for some idea of the value.

Now the embarassing question: I've never shot a .45 !! I just haven't been exposed this American classic, and the places I've been and the handguns I've shot are 9mm, .38, and 357. Even at the club, I just don't see .45's for some reason! I've been reading a lot of message strings on this site, and wonder what the feel / recoil is like. Hate to buy a gun in a callibre I never shot, and not be happy with it. The store doesn't let you 'test' it out, and without anyone I know that has one to try, it leaves me wondering.....

I really like this gun - nice feel, balance, and weight, and I like the two-tone metal finish and wooden grips (not too crazy with the IPSC engraving though). Believe it or not, I'm going to really be 'listening' to what you have have to say before I go ahead with this !! If I do go ahead, I would wait until next week (only time I have) to go back and purchase, assuming it's still there. If I'm not feeling good with the feedback out there, I won't do this. Simply I'm relying on your help with this one - there isn't anyone else I can ask - besides the salesman, who simply wants to sell a gun!

Many thanks in advance for any help or advice you may have !!

Dwight.
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Old February 2, 2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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Howdy. I bought a new 745 when they were first introduced. It is a very accurate pistol, is reliable and has a sweet trigger. I shot IPSC for two years with it and finally decided to try a 1911. Didn't take long to figure out why everybody was shooting 1911s. Fast forward 18 years and I'm still shooting the same 1911. I personally don't agree with S&W's grip angle on the semiautos. It doesn't seem to point as naturally as the 1911. The safety is also unnatural to me.(operates backwards from a 1911). Magazines are expensive compared to a 1911. But a lot of folks like them. I would suggest you shoot different types and then decide. I think the price you quoted is too high unless someone really put a collector value on this. Try a 1911.
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Old February 2, 2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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Oh yeah, the salesman really WANTS to sell that gun.
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Old February 9, 2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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Well after a week it's stll there, and I'll leave it. Turns out that another shop in town has a stainless 645, original grips, 3 clips, hardly used, for $599 - in on consignment.

This same shop has a used Colt Commander (blue with wood grips), aluminum frame. Apparantly from the eary 80's. Wants $700. The salesman says that 45 is all he shoots, and likes 1911's, and has a few Colts. He won't go back to Colt, as he felt there are other makes out there at better prices. He recommended the 645 - a good gun. He also has a different extractor design than 1911 which isn't prone to issues.

Just throwing this out there. Any one with likes or dislikes with a S&W 645?
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Old February 10, 2008, 11:43 PM   #5
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The 745 is essentially a 645 modified for single action operation; whatever you don't like about the 745 will also be present on the 645, plus the added bonus of the having to deal with the DA/SA trigger.
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Old February 11, 2008, 12:55 AM   #6
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I used a model 745 for bullseye competition many years. Bought it new for around that price. The trigger was nice and crisp. Clean break, and mildly heavy. But it is like an over grown model 52. Smith refused to go the 1911 frame route, so they built all their guns around the 39, 59, model 52 concept.

For me, the bore axis was higher than a colt 1911, and you could feel that top heaviness on the recoil. Tank like built gun, so you could also shoot heavier loads than most competition bullseye guns. BUT.....

NOT ACCURATE ENOUGH FOR BULLSEYE COMPETITION, where you are trying to shoot 3 inch groups at 50 yards one handed. I actually called Smith and Wesson and tried to find out what their accuracy rating was for this gun, and all they could say was there was none. It was designed more for IPSC, and not bullseye, so good luck!@
Sold it and moved on to the 1911.
Still occassionally miss that gun, though.

I wouldn't buy the 645. Don't like the DA/SA trigger on it, and it's not going to be as nice as the 745.
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Old February 11, 2008, 02:28 AM   #7
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Collectible/anniversary/commemorative hand guns don't hold their value that well and are lousy investments.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...?Item=91971439
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...?Item=91638005
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...?Item=91837315

If you can find a pistol range that rents .45's by all means try one out. I tend to agree that the 1911 is the best choice for the .45ACP. I don't mean to discourage you from the S&W if you buy that model I'm sure you be happy.
In a full sized pistol the .45 has less recoil imho than the .357 in a revolver.
The .45 takes a few shots to get used to, but once you are it'll become your favorite.
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Old February 11, 2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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There were also non-commemorative 745s, without the gold braid. I have occasionally coveted a 745, and would probably get the commemorative version, just because I do shoot IPSC, and I think it adds to the gun's appeal. Both models show up frequently on gunbroker.
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Old February 14, 2008, 06:59 PM   #9
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Thanks very much for your replies - very helpful !!!!!
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Old February 16, 2008, 12:46 PM   #10
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12 years ago I had a 745. The hammer started to follow. Took it to a local gun shop for a trigger job. Since I purchased it there the trigger job IIRC was warranty so free. Well the shop's owner had just lost his highly qualified smith so he did it himself. It was the worst trigger after that that I have ever owned. I soon sold it, as I was carrying and shooting a SA 1911.

Many times since then I have regretted selling it. It was a very accurate pistol and before the trigger/ hammer problems had a nice light and crisp trigger. Given the condition of the one you are looking at the price seems almost in the fair range but without the box IMHO it has less collector value. If you happened to buy it and took the time to learn to shoot it well I think you would be pleased.
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Old February 17, 2008, 10:32 AM   #11
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I've been going back and forth about whether or not to post on this thread. Looks like I've finally gotten off the fence...


In addition to the IPSC commemorative scroll, there's a DVC prefix to the serial # that I thought was a nice touch.

Bought back in December, 2006 at the Blaine, MN Gander Mt. Just one mag, some finish wear on the blued parts, wearing one of the grip mount optics setups and a whopping $299 on the tag. Tried it for a while with a red dot and decided to just go with the irons, installed wood grips (which uncovered damage done by the grip mount to the frame's finish ["Oh, SNAP!"] and involved replacing a couple of pins where there'd been through-screws to help hold the grip mount): turns out the pins like to start walking out of the frame when it's fired much. Also had a lot of failure to feed issues early on, but that's improved over time. Mag break-in issues, most likely.

ON the plus side, it has a decent trigger and shoots pretty nicely.
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Old June 6, 2010, 05:32 PM   #12
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I own a 745 and love it. Especially the fully adjustable rear sight. It's like everything else. It comes down to what you like, and what feels and shoots the best for you. The 1911 is as good a gun. My only gripe with the 1911 is the antiquated way it disassembles and reassembles....
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Old September 7, 2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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I've got one on layaway at a local shop. One of the non-IPSC models with Wilson sights. $375.00 - no box. It's in good shape and shoots well. I like the feel and the trigger on it. It it's a keeper then great. If I find issues down the road I should still be able to sell it. Here in my part of Idaho 45's - even the older S&W autos - are popular and sell well.

Actually I'm hoping it is a keep. I am more of a revolver man, but this model has caught my fancy.
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Old September 12, 2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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I have four 745’s and I find them to be exceptionally reliable. The 1911 dominate the 45ACP market like the M4 dominates carbine/rifle market based on my observations of accessories sales of holsters and cases at the various gun shows here in southern California. The aftermarket for the 1911 and M4 appears to the most extensive as well. Kinda like a Barbie doll with an extensive line of accessories. Both of these platforms have enough elements to keep the users busy. I find neither to be reliable.

The 1911 does have a good feel to it and the aesthetics are nice but those two factors alone are not a deal maker/breaker for me.

Accuracy of the 745 is about the same as a Colt Gold Cup series 70, good for target but not a bull’s-eye pistol. I believe the S&W 945 is a bull’s-eye pistol, pricey with limited availability. The Sig 220 is more accurate than either but it’s not well suited for a high round count range pistol because of its alloy frame and I don’t use the double action feature.

In decades past the 745 was readily available on the secondary market but not so much today. Finding a NOS (new old stock) complete in box would be uncommon. All of mines have been keepers since bought, 3 new, 1 used. I think the mags for it are the same as those for the 645 and 4506, somewhat difficult to find but not impossible. Mags for the Walther P5, comparatively, are virtually impossible. I know of no parts breakages issues with the 745.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:21 PM   #15
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I'm looking forward to getting home and out to the range. In the past few years I've found myself collecting target revolvers (Colt and S&W) so I guess it's time I have a target semi-auto as well.

Thanks for the info. Good to know.
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:17 PM   #16
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You guys aware this is a 2-4 year old thread?
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:23 PM   #17
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Chris - where do members go to find out if there is an existing thread, to which they should go, on their topic, versus starting a new one? I have this question on a different topic - Laserlyte practice targets - but I don't know how to find out if it is a "lame" topic already discussed.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:44 PM   #18
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I don't see what the big deal is. So the thread is brought back. It's a topic I wanted to discuss. Just because the thread is a few years old doesn't make the topic obsolete.
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Old September 14, 2012, 02:45 AM   #19
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OK - thanks. That's pretty much what I needed to know and you seem to have been around long enough to have the lay of the land.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:14 AM   #20
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No problem. Normally if it's a lame or pointless thread (or a thread that has been hijacked and has turned acrimonious) the moderators will close it.
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