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Old January 10, 2013, 05:58 PM   #1
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Springfield p9 vs S&W 5906

Hello, I'm new here and also to handguns in general. I have a chance to buy either of the above mentioned pistols in equivalent condition and price. I have read good things about both but I am leaning toward the Springfield for the ergos (CZ 75like). The gun will be mostly range use and hd. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! By thwe way I am limiting my search to these because I live in the Dem. Rep. of Mass.and I really dont like the choice of new "compliant" pistols.

Last edited by massrog39; January 10, 2013 at 06:08 PM.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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The Springfield P9 was a higher end Tanfoglio pistol made in Italy but finished here by Springfield.
The current importer is European American Armory (EAA) who imports upgraded versions as the "Witness" line.

I was well pleased with my P9 and had excellent results with it.
Magazines are easy to get for the P9, but note that EAA no longer imports the P9 size guns. The new models use a larger frame so the same frame size could handle anything from 9mm to .45.
As I recall, EAA still sells the older original size frame magazines, and you can buy Mec-Gar magazines, who were the original supplier of magazines for these guns.

With that said, the S&W is a higher quality gun and S&W will still service them as far as I know. You'll have a much wider range of holsters, grips, and accessories for the S&W than for the P9.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info! I read a recent (jul. 2012) post on another forum about someone who just sent a P9 to Springfield and they worked on it under warranty. I also don't think I'm going to do any ccw with this purchase (I'll probably go for a smaller S&W) so on balance which would you do? Still S&W?
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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If the S&W fits your hand 3rd gen Smiths are boringly reliable in my opinion. I have a unfired (at least when I got it) LNIB 1989 5906 my wife gave me for Christmas. Its a great shooter. I liked it so much I put it back in the safe an bought a 3913 for a carry piece. I love the 3913. The ergos of the P9s grip are probably better than the 5906 though. Personally I'm smitten with the 3rd Gen Smiths so I would be biased towards the Smith.
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Old January 11, 2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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grips and holsters are the same for the early witness.

frame mounted saftey is important to me vs slide.

earlier models of the p9 give me hammer bite, later versions got a larger "beaver tail" for lack of a better term.
if that isn't an issue, then just whatever fits you better.
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Old January 11, 2013, 05:16 PM   #6
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While I have no experience with the P9 I have owned a S&W 5903 for several years. The 5903 is the same as the 5906 expect the frame on my gun is aluminum and on the one you are considering I think it is steel.

Anyway, the gun is great and very reliable. I have other guns I shoot and carry more, but I never plan to let the 5903 go. The gun at one time was my primary home defense gun and served well. Some people think they are heavy, but not sure I agree when compared to other all metal guns.

I think that the 5906 would be an excellent choice for range use and home defense.
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Old January 14, 2013, 02:03 AM   #7
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I have 2 Tanfoglio 9mms and a 5906. All of them are as reliable as a gun can be. All three are solid steel. I prefer the Tanfoglio grip, slightly, but I can shoot the 5906 a little better. It's me, not the guns. Actually, one of the Tanfoglios is a lot more accurate than any of my other semiautos, proven by a bench test, equal to a very expensive 1911 a friend has, and it's a lot more reliable than the 1911. I don't think you can really go wrong with either choice.
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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I have a P9 Ultra IPSC.

Great gun. Great trigger. I have had it since the middle 90's and while I have worn the original barrel badly (trying to turn a 40 into a 10) it is still a fun gun to shoot. I have over 10,000 rounds down mine with no significant problems after the first month. I broke a slide stop back in 95 but it was replaced under warantee.

I would go with the P9 given the option.
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Old January 21, 2013, 02:58 PM   #9
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In terms of workmanship, material (all s/s), value (especially "police trade-ins" in good condtion), accuracy and RELIABILITY, it's hard to beat Smith's "third generation" pistol line-up and the Model 5906 is one of the best. The Model 5906 would be my pick over almost any other 9mm pistol being considered for self-defense duties but I would pose two caveats: First, it is a "traditional" da (which I prefer but many don't) and, secondly, it's a mite heavy and bulky for typical carry concealed use.
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