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Fly High, A.J.
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When I started in LE in 1991, my first issued pistol was a 1076. My department had transitioned from Model 66 revolvers to the 1076 just prior to me being hired. Although I had been in the Army and knew a M16 inside and out, I didn't have much experience shooting handguns. I struggled some to qualify at the academy. I didn't much care for the straight back strap on the 1076 and had some difficulty transitioning from the double action to the single action pull. Because we fired quite a bit at the academy, I was able to eventually become proficient enough to pass the qualification. I will say that the pistol garnered a lot of attention while at the range. This was the days when most everyone was going to 9mm auto loaders, and the .40 didn't yet exist. I was the only one with a 10mm, there was one guy with a Sig P220, a few deputy sheriffs with wheel guns, and everyone else had a mixture of Glock 17s, Beretta 92s, and S&W 5906s. A number of the firearms instructors would come over to me on break and ask to shoot my pistol because they had never seen one before.

After the academy, I continued to struggle some with qualifying with it during our normal ranges. It was a comforting feeling to have that hunk of stainless steel on my gunbelt, and it got the bad guy's attention when you cleared leather. I wasn't the only one who had difficulty with the pistol, and after a couple of years, the agency switched to Glock 23s. I was extremely happy, and my qualification scores went up dramatically. When we made the transition, we were given the opportunity to purchase our old pistols. If i remember correctly, the price was $350 or $375 (which was the trade in value the department was getting for them). For that, you got the pistol, thee mags, a Safariland holster and mag pouch, 2 boxes of FMJ ammo, and 1 box of Hydro-Shoks. I purchased mine, primarily as an investment, and was able to arrange for my father in law and brother in law to purchase one each. All three came with the one piece blue and white S&W cardboard box. Within a couple of years I sold mine to fund the purchase of a Glock 21, which I subsequently sold to fund the purchase of a Mini 14 (which I still have). My father in law and brother in law kept theirs over the years, and I'm pretty sure that while my brother in law shot his some that my father in law did not. When my FIL died in December, my BIL, wife, and I were discussing his firearm collection. He had a few handguns but mostly a variety of shotguns and rifles. I expressed that I would like to get the 1076, and since my brother in law already had one, he didn't object. Unfortunately, over the years, the box has disappeared. This has me baffled, because my FIL never threw away anything. In clearing his house, we have found all manner of worthless things he has kept for 50+ years, but no 1076 box. The only thing I can figure is that it got wet (the basement leaks badly) and fell apart.

In the years since I had sold mine, I came to really appreciate the S&W pistols, especially the 3rd generation models with the frame mounted decocker (I currently own a 5904, 5926, 6926, 6906 and a 2nd gen 459). My ability with a handgun has improved greatly with years of practice, and although I've primarily carried Glocks during my LE career, the TDA pistols no longer pose a problem for me. The one thing I still do not like about the 1076 is the straight back strap. I know that S&W made a curved back strap but also knew they were very difficult to locate. The regular 3rd gen grips are not too difficult to find, but the ones for the frame mounted decocker were rare as hen's teeth. I lucked into new old stock grips for the 5926 and 6926 on Ebay, so I began haunting the site watching for a set for the 1076, even though I didn't have the pistol in hand yet. A couple of months ago, I finally found an auction for a pair with a Buy it Now price of $45 and no bids with several days left. I started to watch the auction to see how it went, and then thought better of it. As unusual as they were to see available, I decided not to take the chance of losing out and hit the Buy it Now. I received them promptly and put them on shelf until I was able to take possession of the pistol.

Last night, we moved my FIL's safe and remaining firearms to my BIL's house. While doing the move, I took the opportunity to take possession of the pistol, bring it home, and put on the new grips. They make all the difference in the world to me. The pistol no longer feels like a 2x4 in my hand, and I can't wait to get it to the range. I'm anxious to see how much my skills have improved in the 25+ years since I've shot one.

So that I don't get chastised for not posting pictures, here are a couple of crappy cell phone pics with the old and new grips installed.


Posts: 1406 | Location: Northern Ky | Registered: March 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Misanthropic Philanthrope
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I had one once. I really regret selling it. Frown

Originally posted by Psychobastard:
Well, we "gave them democracy"... not unlike giving a monkey a loaded gun.

Posts: 6535 | Registered: June 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a 1076 and a 1006. If I thought I had very serious trouble ahead they would be my EDC.

Grips for the 1066/4566 (series) pistols can be reworked to fit the 1076, it takes a little patience and a Dremel Tool working on the inside. Just follow the cuts on the factory grip.

I do not like the old flat-back, hard, and slippery grips. There is an arched back grip with palm swell out there, I have them on both of my pistols.
Posts: 3832 | Location: Citrus County Florida | Registered: October 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's a very awesome story and nice that a rare 1076 came into your possession once again. Also, the story rings true why all of the agencies switched from 10mm to something else and the .40 came about.
Posts: 18259 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very cool. Glad you have one again. I had a 1006, 4526,and a 4576. Really should have kept them all. Oh well.

Always carry. Never tell.
Posts: 5554 | Location: Montana  | Registered: May 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Smith semi autos of yesteryear are largely under appreciated when the build quality is truly considered. I think their real value was overlooked because as they came into being, Glock became more popular. Here is a brief review of the 645 semi auto from Smith and Wesson.

Ignem Feram
Posts: 328 | Registered: October 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Whack-Job
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Congrats! Great pistols! I carry a 3rd gen 45 everyday. Have for the last 23 years. Enjoy yours! Regards 18DAI

Blue lives matter.
Posts: 3650 | Registered: August 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Let's be careful
out there
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Big frame third gen Smiths are beasts!! I also found that the curved backstrap shoots better for me than the straight one does.
Posts: 7221 | Location: NW OHIO | Registered: May 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Constable
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As an old third Gen S&W Armorer we were like the Maytag repair man....nothing ever required work! We fielded 5903's and a handful of single stack guns for a few with small hands.

We carried them for several years with a minimum of 200-300 rds a year through them. Probably 1/3 had MANY times that. I can't recall any major issues, short of ridiculous abuse by one Trooper shooting Israeli SMG ammo through his 5903 resulting in a cracked frame.

I've still got a pristine 1076 in the box with 6 mags. And a shooter 1006 with another six mags. I'm set.
Posts: 6527 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Man, I love S&W 3rd Gens, they're the Abrams tank of pistols. Just can't hardly break them, they're tougher than a pissed of cape buffalo and they'll feed, sticks, amputated fingers, small rodents, you name it, they're damn near unstoppable. And the 10XX series was probably the toughest of them all.

I bought my first 1076 in about 1993, it was an FBI issued pistol without the idiotic 'magazine safety' (the precursor to the contemporary 'Hillary Hole' stupidity), and I got three mags with it. But finances went thin and I sold it around 1997. I got another one, yet one more FBI decocker model, about 2005 and loved it, but had to sell again a few years later.

Fast forward to 2012 and I got my third 1076. Although a LEO gun and thankfully 'mag safe' free, it wasn't an FBI model. This time is was a Virginia State Police T&E gun that apparently was tested, then sent back to S&W. A collector bought it a few years after that, then I got it from him.

Great shooter, but since Smith bailed on all the millions of 3rd Gen owners by discontinuing parts for them, I'm kind of afraid to run it too much or too hard. If did do something unexpected and a part broke, I'm not sure I'd be able to get it fixed.

That's it below, pictured with another icon of the early '90's firearms craze, the dreaded "Black Talon" deathray ammo. Actually, that line of ammo (including the 'Ranger SXT' ammo that replaced it in name only) weren't even really that good at manstopping. Built to the FBI's shortsighted, political, post-Miami grandstanding protocols, they were built to penetrate like an ice pick travelling Mach 3. Which is why my agency dumped it after about 7 years of poor street results, in both the 230 grain .45 ACP and 147 grain 9mm loadings.

But as icons of 90's firearms lore, Smith & Wesson 3rd Gen's and Black Talon are pretty much at the top of that era's gunrag heap, LOL!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: TexasRaider,

"Just A Wild Eyed Texan On a Manhunt For The World's Most Perfect Chili Dog...."
Posts: 675 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: June 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice story. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t know curved grips other than the rubber Hogue models were out there. I find the Hogues a bit too thick for my hands, but really didn’t like the thin straight original grips. A visit to eBay has the polymer curved grips on the way to me. Thanks again.
Posts: 65 | Registered: August 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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