S&w 39

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by JJohnson, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. JJohnson

    JJohnson Call me Jeff

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    I have an opportunity to pick up a 1972 NIB S&W 39 at a good price. I am familiar with their revolvers, but not so much regarding the auto guns. Is this model particularly collectible or a good shooter? It is not a steel frame and has a single stack mag.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. oldnoob

    oldnoob

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    S&W first Gen semi. I have been looking for one for a while. Still can't decide if I should keep searching an old 39 or broke out my piggy bank and go with a 952.

    What's the price range for that 39? Smith's semi first Gen was made with target competition in mind. Therefore, it's both collectible item AND great shooter.
     

  3. diamondmike

    diamondmike

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    The 39 is one of my favorite pistols.

    It looks really sharp with the wood Smith&Wesson grips.

    I put thousands of rounds through it and the only problem I ever had was the extractor got a chip broke out of it and caused jams but it was a easy fix.

    Dont know about collectable value but I paid $300 dollars back in the 70s for mine.

    I also like the S&W 59
     
  4. G33

    G33 Frisky! CLM Millennium Member

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    A 39 no dash is very desirable. (39) as oppossed to (39-1) (39-2) etc.

    Great line of pistols.
    :supergrin:
     
  5. failsafe

    failsafe

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    Yeah, the 39 is a great semi auto...The earlier models are collectible and fetch a good price..I am speaking of the non alloy models..
    BUT, yep, if new in box, it should bring a good price...500 maybe...
     
  6. das9mm26

    das9mm26

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    The 39 was my first - VERY first - semiauto....and it was D*** near my LAST!
    Yes...I was one of those poor unfortunates who got hit with the bad mags; the feed "lips" on the first-generation units - along with a follower problem - caused LOTS of problems.....FTF, stovepiping, FTE.....
    The one I bought was used, in VG shape...but it seemed no amount of tinkering with mags, followers, feed ramps, etc. did anything to help the situation.....Finally ended up selling it for about 1/2 what I paid for it....
    Then came the 59.....and that took care of most of the 39's woes!!
    To those who have a 39 that's a "keeper".....:thumbsup:
     
  7. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

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    Two words: BUY IT! First Gen 1 S&W autos are great pistols! Make sure to post pics when and if you do get it. :supergrin:
     
  8. isp2605

    isp2605

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    The 39-nothing below was my issued duty gun for several years before we went to 439s. I bought mine when we traded them in. It's been a really good gun, 100% reliable, shoots like a laser, and definitely not for sale.
    The triggers are usually very good out of the box and with just a bit of tuning or if shot enough they can be turned into target grade triggers. Super slick with a very clean let off. As another wrote, with the right ammo, they'll cut the X ring out at 25 yds all day long. Mine is almost as slick and accurate as a 52 I use to have.
    Here are a couple of things to watch for on a 39-nothing.
    You'll note the extractor in the picture. S&W changed the extractor design on the 39-2 to a 1 piece which is smaller. There has always been a debate which style is better. Our range officers are the reason for the change. Some liked the 2 piece as it is wider and got more of a grip on the cartridge. However, the head range officer, being an old 1911 guy, liked the 1 piece smaller extractor. When the recommendations went to S&W for modifications, rank had its privileges, and the head range officer's recommendation went forward. Now, if you have a problem and need an extractor replaced on a 39-nothing you might have trouble finding a replacement. For a while S&W was replacing the slides with 39-2 because they were out of the old 2 piece extractors. It may not ever be an issue. Just don't load it by putting a rd in the chamber and letting the slide close on the rd. Always load the chamber from the mag.
    Another thing on 39-nothing was they had a small hump in the feed ramp. If the one you are looking at has the hump if you don't know what to look for or compare against another you might not notice if it still has the hump. Many LEO issued 39s had the hump ground down. The 39-2 didn't have the hump. Another recommendation made by our range guys. The hump was suppose to aid feeding certain bullet shapes. Whether the hump was actually ever needed or not is subject to debate as after removing the hump we ran thousands of rds without problem ranging from 95 gr to 147 gr stuff with various bullet shapes.
    Some were picky feeders about bullet shape. If you pick one up and it has feeding problems with a certain ammo then try another make with a different bullet shape or overall length. It's just trial and error. Most likely it won't be an issue but if it is just try something else.
    The early ones had mags that had a steel "X" follower. Some could cause problems. If yours has the steel "X" and you replace the mags then look for the plastic follower models.
    The 1st gen S&W autos did not have a firing pin block so just be careful not to drop it. If dropped from just the right height and it would land just right on the muzzle the firing pin can move forward and if the primer is just the right sensitivity then it's possible for them to fire. It's one of those things where all the stars have to be aligned just right for it to fire but if your luck is like mine then if you drop it 10 times it's going to go off all 10 times. Normally tho it won't happen because it won't land the wrong way from just the wrong height.
    If you get the 39-nothing just remember she's 40 yrs old. She has an alloy frame and was made back when there was no ammo loaded +P+. You could most likely run many thousands of rds of +P+ thru it without any problem. However, it will cause accelerated wear as with any gun. But with the 39-nothing S&W is running out of parts to fix them.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Great guns for sure.

    I have the double stack 59.
     
  10. JJohnson

    JJohnson Call me Jeff

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    I appreciate all of the info. I'll be picking it up this weekend (hopefully.)

    I'll post pics once I get it!
     
  11. lawandorder

    lawandorder

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    Here is a nice one that I let someone talk me out ......

    [​IMG]
     
  12. RyanSBHF

    RyanSBHF Senior Member

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    It's a great gun. Buy it ASAP.
     
  13. SBroadwell

    SBroadwell

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    Yep, a great old classic. My 39-2 I bought used in 1975 or so. Got it from the chief of police at a good sized department near Atlanta. He was trading up to a 59, which had just been introduced.
    I carried it for many years, shot no telling how many rounds, and it is still going good.
     
  14. JJohnson

    JJohnson Call me Jeff

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    Well, it ended up that it was a 1977-78 model but otherwise, I am very happy. You don't get to find too many 33 year old guns still in their factory wrap. Thanks again for the advice.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. lawandorder

    lawandorder

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  16. JJohnson

    JJohnson Call me Jeff

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    Thanks, I'm very happy with it!
     
  17. COWBOYSHOOTER

    COWBOYSHOOTER Oh dear....

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    You rang?
    [​IMG]

    :supergrin::wavey: Hiya G! Why yes, yes that Serial Number is well under 5000 :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  18. den888

    den888

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    My Dad had a S&W 59 and I own a S&W 459, and my 459 is a very reliable pistol. S&W autos don't really command a high value in the used market, but they are underrated, reliable pistols.
     
  19. Ky Bob

    Ky Bob

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    You did good!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  20. hogship

    hogship Patriot Extraordinaire

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    I have a question for anyone who knows..........

    This model 639 (no dash) has the smaller one piece extractor, and plastic follower magazines.

    From the information I see in this thread......shouldn't it be designated a 639-2, instead of a no-dash?

    I've had this 639 for five or seven years......and to tell the truth, it was an impulse buy when I purchased it. Don't really know that much about this model's history, but I can tell you that it's always been a reliable and accurate shooter.

    I do have one of the metal follower blued magazines that I purchased separately......that must be the "x" follower described above. I haven't experienced any problems with it. The other magazines are all equipped with the plastic follower.

    If I remember correctly, I paid $400 for it, and it's in the very high 90s condition with three original magazines. The lined Bianchi holster was included on the deal.

    hog

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010