Smith and Wesson 6906
I was off and the kids were at grandma’s for a few days and I finally had a day to myself because the Boss was at work. She had firearms qualifications that day and I knew about it because she had me detail strip her Colt Commander and clean it till it looked like new. The range officer for her department was a hard-ass who did pistol inspections like a like a Nazi SS officer. He had gotten on to her the previous year for having a miniscule amount of burnt gunpowder under the forcing cone of her Smith & Wesson model 686 revolver. She brought it home to me to clean and explained that she needed her gun to be re-cleaned because the range officer wouldn’t let her shoot her qualification course till her revolver passed his inspection. So this day she called me in a frantic tone and said that her gun wasn’t working right, and she couldn’t qualify with it. I asked her what was wrong with it and she couldn’t tell me exactly, just that she couldn’t qualify with it. I told her that I would be right there.
I went to the range that her department was using and started looking at her gun. She set me up a target and I fired a magazine through it at the seven (7) yard line and fired a small group. Then she tells me that the problem was really at farther distances. I had her move the target back to the 25 yard line and that’s when I had to actually look through the sights and found the problem. The front sight was bent quite a bit to the left. It was just enough that it changed the point of aim, but not enough to be easily noticeable by just looking at it. She explained that she had dropped it several months ago on a set of concrete steps, but she didn’t think anything about it. Now that I told you about this so I can explain how the purchase of the Smith and Wesson 6906 happened.
She said she wanted a new pistol that was lighter and fired a 9mm bullet. We went to Shooters Corner in Texas City and there happened to be a stainless steel 9mm in the display case. She picked it up and commented on how light it was. The 6906 has an alloy frame and a stainless steel slide. It has a double action/single action trigger, meaning that the first round is fired like a double action revolver and the follow up shots are fired like her Colt Commander. A deal was struck and the damaged Colt was traded for the new Smith and Wesson 6906. Now the Boss was happy, but that meant that we had to buy her a new duty holster to fit the new pistol and we decided on a Safariland SS-III high security holster. She was always worried that in a tussle a suspect might gain access to her weapon. We bought this holster and a new double magazine holder. I changed everything out and off to the gun range we went so she could shoot it. The new holster has three locks on it and she had to practice with it for several days before she could draw her pistol in a period of time that I didn’t have to measure with a sun dial. I think she made about three hundred practice draws before the new holster got broke in and she could get her pistol out fast enough that I felt comfortable enough for her to go out on the streets with it on her hip.
The Boss really liked the 6906 because it was light and the 9mm recoil was nothing compared to the .45 she had been shooting. She commented that we should have started off with this pistol instead of the Colt Commander. Anyway she was a great shot with the pistol and found it easy to transition from the first double action trigger pull to the single action follow up shots. With a fully loaded magazine she had twelve rounds plus one up the spout giving her thirteen 9mm +P rounds from the holster and two magazines loaded with twelve rounds each for a total ammo count 37 rounds. She went off to shoot her annual qualification course and she shot in the high nineties on a hundred point scoring system. The Boss carried the Smith and Wesson 6906 for the rest of her law enforcement career without any problems. When she transferred to the warrant division of another agency and wore plain clothes, the small light weight 6906 worked well for her there too.
After she decided to leave law enforcement the 6906 came to me and I had a use for it. Because it was lightweight and stainless steel, I carried it for a backup gun when I was in uniform. My bullet resistant (NOT Bullet proof) vest had a pocket in the front, and the 6906 fit perfectly in this pocket. Mind you we were not allowed to carry back up guns at that time, so I had to hide it from my supervisors. The flat profile never poked through the pocket, and my supervisors never knew about it till …… I was attacked by a suspect that ran up behind me while I was out on a disturbance call, and walloped me on the head with a four foot long barstool leg. He was at a dead run when he did this, so all I could describe was a very fast youthful black male which is not much of a description. My fellow officers had him identified and arrested by the next day, and he plea bargained for 27 years in prison.
After I was hit on the head, naturally I was bleeding like a stuck pig (No Pun Intended), I left the disturbance and drove myself to the emergency room. My Captain came to check on me just about the time I was taking my uniform shirt and vest off. This is when it I got caught. The Captain moved my vest and the 6906 fell out of its pocket and clattered onto a steel cabinet top. The Captain got angry and told me that I should have warned him that there was a gun in the vest. The pistol was on safety and nothing happened, he was just scared because he didn’t expect to find a gun unsecured. Anyway nothing else was said about it and I was happy because I could have been written up for a rules and regulation violation and gotten a suspension. It ended well I guess, except that walloping I got manifested itself into a disabling injury that caused me to retire early from the profession that I so dearly enjoyed doing.
The S&W Model 6906 is a semi-automatic pistol, chambered for the 9mm cartridge. It is a model in Smith and Wesson’s well-regarded 59-series, envisioned as pistols that could be easily concealed, but possessed sufficient firepower to serve as service weapons as well. It has a traditional double-action weapon with a 3.5-inch barrel, equipped with a slide-mounted safety/decocker. The magazine capacity is 12 rounds, however it is also able to accept the 59 series magazines holding 15 rounds. It has a stippled, squared off trigger guard and a smooth combat trigger. The fixed rear sight has a white outline and rounded edges and it is quite easy to pick up the white dot front sight. The one piece grip is removable by punching out one pin that runs through the frame. The 6906 was introduced when Smith and Wesson introduced its “third-generation” series of semiautomatics. It has an alloy frame with a stainless steel finish. The slide is stainless steel. It was the same pistol as the Model 6946, which was similar to the 6906 but operated in double action only mode. Although the 69-series of pistol is no longer produced, the polymer-framed Smith & Wesson M&P compact possesses similar dimensions, and the same barrel length and magazine capacity (in 9mm).
In its retirement from active duty this Smith and Wesson 6906 9mm that served the Boss and I so well has been delegated to be her nightstand gun to deal with things that go bump in the night. Each year she fires all of the loaded magazine rounds and they are replenished with fresh ammo. Technically I guess it’s still on duty doing what it’s supposed to do. Thanks Smith and Wesson for making a quality pistol that has protected the Boss and I for so many years. I hope you enjoyed this article and always remember to practice your shooting skills often, get a legal carry permit and above all – always be legal in thought and deed. Till next time be safe out there and remember to support the NRA to protect your gun rights.