Sunday, March 22, 2009

Smith & Wesson M39-2

Model 39-2

You can't talk about the model 39-2 without first talking about the model 39 on which it is based. Smith and Wesson Model 39 was the introduction of the first DA autoloading pistol manufactured in the United States. It was the result of the then CEO of S&W Carl Hellstrom initiative calling in company's top firearms engineer Joe Norman. Aware of initial post-war U.S. military interest in the possibility of replacing the .45 ACP with the 9mm as a standard sidearm cartridge Norman was charged to develop a pistol with a DA first shot capability, similar to the European Walther pistols manufactured prior to the war. The design was finished in 1948 and the aluminum-framed 9mm pistol finally went into the S&W commercial catalog in January 1956.

The Model 39 sold slowly at first due, in part, to the 9mm being a "new" caliber in the U.S. When it was adopted as official sidearm of the Illinois State Police in 1968, it was the first 9mm double-action auto ever used by any U.S. state agency.

The model 39 has a steel frame and slide. It was produced from 1956 - 1966

The next in line was the model 39-1 the differences being the "-1" has an alloy frame. It was manufactured from 1967 - 1971.

The Model 39-2 was produced at Smith and Wesson when the Bangor Punta Corp. owned it (1965-1984).

The Model 39-2 is a Model 39-1 with a modified extractor for more reliable functioning, and it was manufactured until 1982.

The Model 39 spawned a lot of off shoots that have inherited directly from it like the models 59, 52, 952. Variations on the model 39 include the 439, 539(all steel,ambidextrous safety and squared trigger guard), 639 (civilian stainless steel), the Mk22 Mod 0 "Hush Puppies" used by the navy and the Model M39-WOX-13A used by the Marines.

The following pictures are of a circa 1977 Model 39-2.

Field Stripped 39-2

"9mm CTG"

Bump feed ramp

Safety Instructions from 1969

Parts Price List from 1969


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