The 80s-era Smith & Wesson Model 645 .45 ACP

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SW 645

With a production run that only lasted for two seasons of Miami Vice, the S&ampW Model 645 is a strong classic. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

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What’s significant, stainless, chambered in .45ACP and lived only in the 1980s? Smith &amp Wesson’s Model 645, of course.

In the early 1980s, S&ampW was creating a series of second-generation semi-auto 9mm pistols that followed up on the company’s earlier Model 39— itself the very first non-European made 9mm created for the U.S. market– and Model 59 offerings. These integrated eight+1 shot single stacks like the S&ampW 439/639 and the “Wondernine” 14+1 double stack S&ampW 459/659.

Smith Wesson 59 nickel

The S&ampW 59. Made from 1972 till 1981, these have been S&ampW’s very first so-referred to as “Wondernine” pistols, a term affixed to them as they had a 14+1 flush match magazine capacity, a feat at the time only narrowly bested by the Czech-produced CZ75 or Italian Beretta 92. The pistols in this family members had a distinctive profile with their slide-mounted security/decock levers and thin triggers. This nickel-completed specimen in up for grabs in the Guns.com Vault right now.

These double-action models, with alloy frames, have been light and, making use of a slide-mounted security/decocker, protected for new customers. As such, they proved well-known with not only buyers but also law enforcement agencies searching to upgrade from .38/.357-caliber wheel guns.

Having said that, there have been no comparable .45ACP pistols in the lineup.

Enter the Model 645

SW645

Prefaced by M1917 revolvers and later N-frames, the Model 645 was Smith &amp Wesson’s very first industrial .45ACP semi-auto. Only produced from 1985 by way of 1988, this youngster of the Miami Vice-era is up for grabs in the Guns.com Vault, Pachmayr grips integrated.

Initial created in 1985, the S&ampW Model 645 was equivalent in size to the classic M1911 Government Concern, with an eight.five-inch general length and a five-inch barrel. As opposed to the iconic .45ACP, it carried an further round (eight in the mag rather than seven), had a squared-off and serrated trigger guard, and was double-action with a security decock lever. This latter function meant that the gun was much more attractive to officers in departments that wanted to carry a .45 but was forbidden to do so in cocked-and-locked single-action pistols such as the M1911.

Speaking of departments, the 645s greatest claim to fame of its period was that it was carried and used– extensively– by the fictional Detective Sergeant James “Sonny” Crockett, as portrayed by Don Johnson in Miami Vice.

Replacing the chromed Bren Ten the vice detective with a penchant for pastels sported in the very first two seasons of the show, the new-to-the-marketplace S&ampW 645 appeared on-screen in seasons 3 and 4. The great people at IMFDB noted this was mainly because “the producers wanted to preserve up Crockett carrying a State-of-the-Art pistol.”

Season 3 of Miami Vice premiered in September 1986 while the fourth season concluded in May 1988, almost mirroring the 645's production run. Incidentally, the Jackass shoulder holsters Johnson wore in the show led to today's Galco International. (Photo: IMFDB)

Season three of Miami Vice premiered in September 1986 even though the fourth season concluded in May well 1988, pretty much mirroring the 645’s production run. Incidentally, the Jackass shoulder holsters Johnson wore in the show led to today’s Galco International. (Photo: IMFDB)

It should really be noted that Michael Mann, of Crime Story, Heat and Vega$ fame, was the executive producer of Miami Vice and the show was noted for its wide array of intriguing firearms. This integrated anything from the Franchi SPAS-12 to the .44 Auto Mag and Desert Eagle hand cannons, the uber-cool HK P7, and even a LaFrance M16K. Competitors shooter Jim Zubiena served as a firearms instructor on the production and even famously appeared on screen in an episode as a hitman pulling off a lightning-rapid Mozambique drill from cover.

Anyways, back to our gun…

The 645 was only offered in an alloy frame and stainless slide format but did have an option between the fixed (shown) or adjustable sights.

The 645 was only provided in an alloy frame and stainless slide format but did have an selection amongst the fixed (shown) or adjustable sights. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Miami 645 Smith Wesson (5)

The 645 disassembles largely like an M1911, while notably devoid of a barrel bushing. Also, note the lack of a grip security but a significant beavertail to aid with hammer bite.  (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Miami 645 Smith Wesson (2)

The author’s gun chews by way of a wide array of .45ACP FMJ ammo with ease and sports aftermarket Pachmayrs but, like most stainless guns, gets exceptionally dirty in the approach. The common grips are black plastic. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

You can almost hear the Reaganomics in the distance. Smith & Wesson in the 1980s also marketed a line of "American Series" knives produced by Vermont Knives which were sold through their dealers, often in combos with the guns. At the same time, Smith also had offers for a free Member's Only-style windbreaker ($49.95 value!) with the purchase of a 645 or similar.

You can pretty much hear the Reaganomics in the distance. Smith &amp Wesson in the 1980s also marketed a line of “American Series” knives created by Vermont Knives which have been sold by way of their dealers, typically in combos with the guns. At the exact same time, Smith also had delivers for a absolutely free Member’s Only-style windbreaker ($49.95 worth!) with the buy of a 645 or equivalent. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

An all-metal gun other than the orange insert in the front sight and the grips, the 645 weighs in at 42-ounces. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

An all-metal gun other than the orange insert in the front sight and the grip panels, the 645 weighs in at 42-ounces, unloaded. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

It fills the hands, even if you have big hands. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

It fills the hands, even if you have significant hands. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Smith followed up on the 645 with the quite equivalent but much more productive “third-generation” Model 4506 (with some of the early guns accidentally mismarked as 645s) which integrated a one particular-piece Delrin grip and adjustable sights. Notably, Sonny Crocket carried the 4506 in Miami Vice‘s fifth and final season.

The 4506, as properly as its much more abbreviated 4516 and 4566 small brothers, remained in production for a complete decade even though the line branched out to consist of DAO variants and a TSW series gun which lived on in S&ampW’s catalog till 2004. The quick-lived carbon steel Model 4505 was meanwhile only produced in 1991 even though a third-generation “Value Line” Model 457 was marketed till 2006. These spawns of the 645 have been Massive Blue’s only all-metal .45ACP semi-autos till the organization started creating their GI longslide variants, the SW1911.

But that is one more story.

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