Smith & Wesson Model 646
|Smith & Wesson Model 646|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
|Feed system||Six round cylinder loaded with moon clips|
The 646 was offered in a stainless steel finish with titanium cylinder. Production was limited to 900 guns. It was offered in a Performance Center version in 2000 ( 300 pieces ) as a space-age looking stainless steel revolver with a slab-sided heavy barrel and matte gray titanium cylinder. In 2003 a limited run ( almost 600 ) was made with a more traditional underlug barrel design.
Operation and availability
The 646 is unusual in that it is a revolver chambered for a rimless cartridge generally used only for semi-automatic pistols. In order to effectively use the rimless .40 S&W cartridge, the revolver utilized moon clips, a metal flange which holds the cartridges in place for loading and ejection.
But unlike other moon clip revolvers such as the 610 and 625, the 646 generally wouldn't fire a cartridge without the clips. Dogged by persistent complaints of sticky extraction, ignition problems caused by varying rim thickness on factory .40 ammo, and a MSRP just shy of $850, The PC version vanished without much comment after its short run. The non PC version works flawlessly with correct moonclips.
- Supica, Jim; Nahas, Richard (2006). Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 265, 361. ISBN 1-4402-2700-4.
- Sweeney, Patrick (2004). The Gun Digest Book of Smith & Wesson. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-87349-792-9.
- Ayoob, Massad (2012). Massad Ayoob's Greatest Handguns of the World. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 40. ISBN 1-4402-2869-8.