Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Notices

Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Other Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols from the 1950's to Present


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-09-2009, 06:49 AM
bwh bwh is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Somewhere near Atlanta
Posts: 95
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 2 Posts
Default First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?

I seem to remember that long ago, shrouded in the mists of time, before plastic pistols and back when real handguns guns revolved, there was a large police agency that adopted a S&W autoloader. I believe it was the Illinois State Police and, at the time, it was considered a groudbreaking move.

Does anyone have any info on this adoption? Is there good, concise history of ISP's experience with the early S&W autoloaders posted anywhere on the web? Was it a good experience? What model did they adopt? What modifications/product improvements came out of this experience? How did the individual officers like what they were issued? How well did the ammo perform?

So much of the history of the LE adoption of many other brands/models is well known (Glock, Beretta, SIG, later S&W models, etc.) but I can't find much info on the pistol that apparently started it all.

No real purpose in this - just want to expand my general knowledge of my favorite pistol manufacturer!
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #2  
Old 10-09-2009, 08:05 AM
george minze george minze is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jefferson City Mo.
Posts: 2,423
Likes: 1,388
Liked 1,468 Times in 750 Posts
Default

ispcapt a member here was a Captain on the ISP during those early years with the S&W model 39 as a duty weapon. I bought one trough the ISP when I was a Greater St. Louis Metro Squad Detective in the late 60s. I still have one later purchase that has been given a action and reliability job by (Actions by T) Sugerland Texas. Best looking pistol ever made in US. IMHO
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-09-2009, 08:48 AM
Zebulon
Junior Member
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Illinois State Police (ISP)...............Zebulon
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:09 AM
ispcapt ispcapt is offline
US Veteran
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: IL
Posts: 919
Likes: 125
Liked 1,333 Times in 419 Posts
Default

The ISP adopted the Mod 39 in 1967 with it finally getting out to the Troops in 1968. The adoption was due to the efforts of Sgt Louis Seman who was the head range officer for the dept. Salt Lake City PD soon followed when they adopted the 39.
The changes that resulted in the 39-2 were due to our range officers working with S&W to make improvements.
We carried the 39 and 39-2 until 1981 when we went to the 439. W then went to 459/469 but I can't recall the exact year. I was already carrying my personally owned 459 so when the ISP went to the 459 I stayed with my personal one since I'd had it tuned and it was a shooter. I went into plain clothes in 1988 and was issued a 469 so the swap to 459/469 came prior to 1988. In the early 90s we went to the 3rd gen S&W issuing 5904s to the uniforms and 6904 to those in plain clothes who wanted them.
In 1997-98 the director decided we were going to .40. We began testing various makes and models. When done we asked for bids from the top 3 contenders, SIG, S&W, and Glock. Glock's bid was 1/2 that of S&W and 1/4 the bid from SIG so we ended up going to Glock 22/23 in 1999 with the dept fully transitioned to Glock by 2000.
__________________
183rd FBINA
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:56 AM
bwh bwh is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Somewhere near Atlanta
Posts: 95
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Ispcapt,

Thanks for the reply! If I may ask, can you provide any info on the 9mm ammo first carried in the Model 39? Was it HP? FMJ? Were there any street issues with the carry ammo? Did it work as well as what it replaced?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-09-2009, 10:56 AM
max's Avatar
max max is offline
US Veteran
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 4,916
Likes: 939
Liked 3,785 Times in 1,237 Posts
Default

At one time, the issue round was a +P+ jsp round. It was by Winchester and showed up at gunshows here in Illinois from time to time.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #7  
Old 10-09-2009, 01:34 PM
ispcapt ispcapt is offline
US Veteran
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: IL
Posts: 919
Likes: 125
Liked 1,333 Times in 419 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwh View Post
Ispcapt,

Thanks for the reply! If I may ask, can you provide any info on the 9mm ammo first carried in the Model 39? Was it HP? FMJ? Were there any street issues with the carry ammo? Did it work as well as what it replaced?
You're going to make my brain hurt trying to remember.
Until the late 70s the rds were round nose, soft point type ammo. W-W was the main supplier. W-W had a semi jacketed 125 gr round nose that had an exposed lead nose. The round nose design enabled better feeding but expansion was pretty iffy at best. There wasn't much HP ammo to choose from. In the late 70s we went to Federal 95 gr SP. It expanded really well and clocked at 1400 fps, sometimes a bit better on a given day. While it expanded well, it didn't hold up well when going against vehicle windshields and other tough barriers. In about 1980 we went with 115 Silvertip (same as the FBI used in their Miami shootout a few years later) for a few months until 2 Troops were involved in a shootout with a biker near Joliet, IL. The performance wasn't good but fortunately neither of our Troops were injured. The Silvertip was immediately pulled off the street and we went with Federal 115 BP and later BPLE. Can't recall the year but then W-W 115 HP and later developed the W-W 115 +P+. We carried the +P+ for several years, having very good success, until we went to .40.
__________________
183rd FBINA
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-09-2009, 04:04 PM
safearm's Avatar
safearm safearm is offline
US Veteran
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,678
Likes: 152
Liked 510 Times in 196 Posts
Default

Waukegan PD in northeast Illinois also adopted the Model 39, and also carried them in a cross-draw full flap holster. They converted to the Model 19 in the mid-to-late 70's after an controversial accidental shooting that was blamed on a design defect of the Model 39. A detective, who also was a member of the department pistol team, was in a foot chase after a suspected burglar, carrying his Model 39 in his right hand, safety off, uncocked. The detective tripped and the gun fell in front of him, striking the muzzle, and discharged. The bullet ricocheted off the pavement and struck the suspect square in the back of the head, killing him instantly.
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Like Post:
  #9  
Old 10-10-2009, 06:04 AM
BUFF BUFF is offline
SWCA Member
Absent Comrade
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SLC, Utah
Posts: 5,077
Likes: 741
Liked 3,214 Times in 1,257 Posts
Default

Interestingly, the Salt Lake City (UT) P.D. switched away from the S&W Model 39 9mm semiautomatic pistol and "backwards" to the S&W Model 64 .38 Special revolver in about 1978 or so. The department had a couple of "unintended discharges" with them that were variously blamed on the pistol design and/or the instruction in it's use provided by S&W. One of the accidents resulted in the tragic paralyzation of an officer who was on a surveillance detail when he or is partner (I forget which) placed their pistol on the dashboard of the van they were in and it went off.

One of my neighbors was a patrolman with SLCPD in those days and I used to ride along occasionally with him on graveyard shifts while a college student. He wasn't a 'gun' person and always disliked the M-39. He had several 'unintended discharges' and stoppages during qualifications, including at least once when he was holstering it, claiming he had his finger nowhere near the trigger! The department would issue him a new one each time he had a problem; I think he went through 3 or 4 at least during the time. He had just been issued a brand new 39-2 when they decided to replace them with the revolvers. He was happy to see it go.

I could never understand how he had them go off without the involvement of his trigger finger. I think he might have been a little mistaken there, but...

I have had several, all -2's, and while I never put a really lot of rounds through any of them, they all worked quite well and were an easy pistol to shoot. They, and the double-column magazine Model 59, were really pioneers of the American law enforcement move away from the double action revolver.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #10  
Old 12-31-2013, 03:12 PM
DCW DCW is offline
SWCA Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Posts: 382
Likes: 641
Liked 516 Times in 203 Posts
Default Another ILL. S.P. Model 39



When my Web crawler found the above the only thing known to this prospective buyer was that the offered was a S&W Model 39 and, for that matter, wasn't even sure the handgun was still available (I've learned a lot of sellers, no matter individual or dealer, often don't clean up once-offered listed items subsequently sold).

As I scanned the listing's single photograph it was framed large enough to show the gun's two magazines and had enough remaining room for a semi rig's tractor, and perhaps even the reefer, too.

In short, the picture was hardly good enough in detail to confirm it was a 39. For all I knew, it could've been a pre-39 or a 439.

Halfheartedly reading the description it told me nothing I didn't already know: Taken straight from some book were the technical descriptions; nothing else . . . except . . .

A couple of lines below the description were the following "Stamped IL state police (ILSP) and engraved with 'weapon' number" (SIC).

Nothing else. Didn't even have a period (.).

Simultaneously dropping jaw to table and attempting not to fall from chair, my hand and mouse found the "Buy" button.

For three days absolutely nothing. Nothing. The web page's "Sold" sign solely guarding the page was the only thing indicating that anyone at all was at least attempting to buy a weapon whose picture was just about worthless.

Finally, word came through. It was mine if I still wanted it, but only if I was really sure I wanted it because nobody else wanted it. It was rough looking, and it had that "Illinois State Police" stamping on it.

"Are you sure?" the email asked plaintively.

You betcha I wanted it. The FFL flew via email, the money order sent via overnight and I waited, not really knowing if some idiot had taken a stamping kit and put the info on the gun, or even if the gun was a Model 39.

It wasn't and it was, if the reader catches my drift.

I've got a S&W Double Action Automatic Pistol ("pre-39") and this ISP means more to me.

I am flat-out honored to own it.

Period.



Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-31-2013, 04:15 PM
Doug M.'s Avatar
Doug M. Doug M. is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 5,383
Likes: 7,951
Liked 5,405 Times in 2,328 Posts
Default

I don't think the ISP models were "Pre-39"s, if there even is such a critter, given that the adopted them in the late 60s. Looking at some of the descriptions of the AD/NDs above, I find it amazing that these are the first and only of which I have ever heard that were blamed on the pistol. ISP had a ton of them and shot a lot of ammo, and I do not recall ever hearing of them having trouble with ADs (as opposed to NDs). There are a lot of things I don't like about these pistols (DA/SA being the primary problem), but I don't recall any problems of the sort described.

ISP shot them so much that they became the source of a lot of the improvements S&W made from the initial 39s to what would become the 3rd generation pistols. They also were the reason for the first really good 9mm JHP ammo, the 115 +P+, and its successor, the 127 +P+. Both rounds had very good records in shootings. I bought a couple cases of the 115 +P+ on the contract in the early 90s and carried it for duty ammo for quite a while. It was so cheap in that volume I did not even buy practice/training ammo. I also carried the 127 +P+ later, and still have some of each left as I recall.
__________________
NHI, 10-8.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #12  
Old 01-01-2014, 04:23 AM
AKAOV1MAN AKAOV1MAN is offline
US Veteran
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 988
Likes: 28
Liked 341 Times in 96 Posts
Default

Soon after the ISP adopted the 39, the Chicago PD placed it on the approved carry list for off duty and BUG. However the order required to weapon to be carried with the "hammer down on an empty chamber", same as for the 1911 and BHP. Needless to say that portion of the order was honored more in the breach than the observance. Many detectives and plainclothes officers carried it as a primary, and left their "legit" service weapon in their lockers, or more prudently, packed a M36, or later an M60, or one of the LW J Frames.
There were some NDs, actually quite a few-with revolvers and shotguns too. Even today if you walk into a Chicago PD facility you may see photo of the mayor or police superintendent in a peculiar place, like high up in a corner or some such, it is probably covering a bullet hole.
Actually if I recall correctly(and I do) the CPD had one of the lowest hit rates in the US. If a CPD officer fired his weapon intentionally he hit the intended target less than 16 percent of the time, if he had an ND, he hit someone slightly over 18 percent of the time. Go wonder.............
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Like Post:
  #13  
Old 01-01-2014, 11:08 AM
scwv67's Avatar
scwv67 scwv67 is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 964
Likes: 222
Liked 347 Times in 213 Posts
Default

Very interesting thread! Thanks to all contributors.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #14  
Old 01-01-2014, 11:33 AM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
SWCA Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 7,529
Likes: 3,146
Liked 5,846 Times in 2,355 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUFF View Post
One of my neighbors was a patrolman with SLCPD in those days and I used to ride along occasionally with him on graveyard shifts while a college student. He wasn't a 'gun' person and always disliked the M-39. He had several 'unintended discharges' and stoppages during qualifications, including at least once when he was holstering it, claiming he had his finger nowhere near the trigger! The department would issue him a new one each time he had a problem; I think he went through 3 or 4 at least during the time. He had just been issued a brand new 39-2 when they decided to replace them with the revolvers. He was happy to see it go.
The solution here, with all due respect to your neighbor, was not to give him a new Model 39 every time he demonstrated that he was apparently brain dead or lacking sufficient intelligence to manage a life-saving piece of his official equipment. Instead, the solution was to give his job to someone with more aptitude for the job.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 01-01-2014, 12:24 PM
GaryS's Avatar
GaryS GaryS is online now
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 9,027
Likes: 6,789
Liked 12,723 Times in 5,029 Posts
Default

We had a dispatcher that blamed her inattentiveness and missing calls from field units on her headsets. After five replacement headsets, they told her that they were going to send her for a hearing test to see if she should remain employed. Suddenly, the problem seemed to disappear.

I will say that when I first saw a Model 39 back in the mid 1970s, it baffled the heck out of me. The gun wasn't mine, it belonged to a police officer I knew. It was his personal firearm, all departments in my area still issued revolvers. It just seemed to be very complex to operate. Of course I had no training and in retrospect if he or someone had given me 20 minutes of instruction I would have been fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn mccarver View Post
The solution here, with all due respect to your neighbor, was not to give him a new Model 39 every time he demonstrated that he was apparently brain dead or lacking sufficient intelligence to manage a life-saving piece of his official equipment. Instead, the solution was to give his job to someone with more aptitude for the job.
__________________
Can open, worms everywhere.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #16  
Old 01-01-2014, 01:08 PM
HCH HCH is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hancock County Ohio
Posts: 703
Likes: 2,332
Liked 511 Times in 230 Posts
Default

Warwick RI adopted the M39 in 1961. Many departments issued the 39 early on, but people took notice when the ISP issued them in '67.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 01-01-2014, 03:21 PM
robotoid's Avatar
robotoid robotoid is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 614
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 18 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by safearm View Post
The detective tripped and the gun fell in front of him, striking the muzzle, and discharged. The bullet ricocheted off the pavement and struck the suspect square in the back of the head, killing him instantly.
Yeah, that might be what his report said, but I highly doubt that's what "really" happened.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #18  
Old 01-01-2014, 03:34 PM
Doug M.'s Avatar
Doug M. Doug M. is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 5,383
Likes: 7,951
Liked 5,405 Times in 2,328 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKAOV1MAN View Post
Soon after the ISP adopted the 39, the Chicago PD placed it on the approved carry list for off duty and BUG. However the order required to weapon to be carried with the "hammer down on an empty chamber", same as for the 1911 and BHP.
*
Oh lord help me, that is so clownshoes. Not only useless for fighting, but far more dangerous than doing it right. Bosses who give orders like that should be fired for dereliction and incompetence with all possible haste, and then given a trespass notice and a boot in the backside.
__________________
NHI, 10-8.
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Like Post:
  #19  
Old 02-12-2015, 06:12 AM
imarangemaster imarangemaster is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: N California Sierras
Posts: 184
Likes: 130
Liked 239 Times in 82 Posts
Default

Not to practice necromancy reviving an old thread, but Salinas, CA PD was carrying Model 59s in about 1974. When I was at the academy in 1975, their guys all had 59s. I bought one as an off-duty piece after firing theirs. Bellevue, WA carried Model 59s not much longer after that. When I got there in 1981, they had had them for several years. They were the first agency in Washington state to carry autoloaders.

The first S&W 9mm I ever saw (or shot) was my cousin's steel frame early model 39. That was in the 1960''s when I was a kid. He was a US Postal Inspector, and carried it as his off duty "in the vehicle glove box weapon."

Last edited by imarangemaster; 02-12-2015 at 06:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #20  
Old 02-12-2015, 12:31 PM
Richard McMillan Richard McMillan is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Glendora, California
Posts: 61
Likes: 10
Liked 63 Times in 25 Posts
Default

The Illinois State Police adopted the Model 39 in 1967 after a two year evaluation process. The agency’s first order of 500 guns were Model 39s, but the followup order of 600 guns was Model 39-2s. However, the State Police objected to the two different extractors found in the different models. Therefore, the original order of Model 39s were returned to the factory and retrofitted with a unique interim coil spring loaded extractor. Other police agencies also were given the option of having their guns fitted with the interim extractor. Many of these reworks will have the serial number stamped under the rear sight. Illinois State Police Model 39 handguns are easy to identify because they are stamped on the left side of the frame “ ILL. S. P.” followed by a property number. In 1972, the Illinois State Police placed a third order for 500 of the Smith & Wesson Model 59.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #21  
Old 02-12-2015, 05:52 PM
ispcapt ispcapt is offline
US Veteran
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: IL
Posts: 919
Likes: 125
Liked 1,333 Times in 419 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard McMillan View Post
The Illinois State Police adopted the Model 39 in 1967 after a two year evaluation process. The agency’s first order of 500 guns were Model 39s, but the followup order of 600 guns was Model 39-2s.
My inventory number on my 39-nothing is 997 and was one of the first issued in 1968. The inventory numbers were stamped consecutively. When the ISP went to the 39 there were approximately 1700 sworn. The 39 began to be issued in 1967 with everyone getting theirs by 1968. The ISP worked with S&W to make a few modifications to the original 39 design which resulted in the discontinuing of the 39-nothing and production of the 39-2. All subsequent issued guns were the 39-2 when the 39-nothing no longer was being made.

Quote:
In 1972, the Illinois State Police placed a third order for 500 of the Smith & Wesson Model 59.
This is not accurate. The ISP never issued S&W 59. I have seen this quoted on the internet several times but it is not true.
The 39 was issued until 1981 when it was replaced with the 439. The 439 was issued until about mid-80s when the 439 was replaced with the 459. I don't recall the exact year we went with the 459 but it was after Jan 1988. On 01/15/88 some of our agents were involved in a shootout and they were armed with the issued 439. That shootout was the reason for the move to the 459. The 459 was issued for a short time until it was replaced by the 5904.
During the time the 439 was issued until replaced by the 459 those of us on SWAT could carry our personally owned 459s on duty. Non-SWAT Troopers were still required to carry the issued 439.
Below is my issued 39-nothing which shows the modified extractor and the 459 I carried on duty.



__________________
183rd FBINA

Last edited by ispcapt; 02-12-2015 at 06:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-12-2015, 10:49 PM
625smith's Avatar
625smith 625smith is offline
SWCA Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,738
Likes: 2,440
Liked 2,665 Times in 598 Posts
Default

This is a great post with a lot of information! Here is another post about an ISP 39.

39 No dash ISP pistol/Range results added 8/21

Here are some photos of my ISP 39







Winchester 115 grain +P+




Last edited by 625smith; 02-12-2015 at 10:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Like Post:
  #23  
Old 02-16-2015, 10:19 PM
jimbo728's Avatar
jimbo728 jimbo728 is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,240
Likes: 5,593
Liked 2,321 Times in 1,002 Posts
Default

Thank you ISPCAPTAIN and 625smith for your contributions to this subject. I have long enjoyed the history of the 39 and its evolution.
Also to all who reflected on its use in the early years of its Law Enforcement use, thanks.
Jim
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #24  
Old 02-17-2015, 12:18 AM
imarangemaster imarangemaster is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: N California Sierras
Posts: 184
Likes: 130
Liked 239 Times in 82 Posts
Default

I agree. A big thanks to ISPCPT, 625SMITH, and the others. Great info. I guess my being a fan-boy of the all metal Smith 9mms goes back farther than shooting a Model 59 at the academy in 1975.

I grew up in Chicago in the 50s and 60s. I remember as a kid in the 60s, my dad (a WW2 combat vet who fought on Iwo Jima) worked for Illinois state as the Chief Engineer for Children and Family Services. He regularly traveled the state and had a number of friends/contacts in the State Police. He commented on the switch to 9mm S&W autos, and found it fascinating. About that same time, my cousin, a US Postal Inspector, bought a steel frame Model 39 (that he still has) after shooting an ISP Trooper's weapon at a pistol match or school he was at. They talked about it several times, and one time I got to shoot my cousin's 39 when I was about 10 or 12.

That makes it at least a 50+ years fondness.

Last edited by imarangemaster; 02-17-2015 at 12:20 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #25  
Old 12-19-2017, 09:54 PM
SG-688 SG-688 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 751
Likes: 211
Liked 1,256 Times in 370 Posts
Default ISP 9 mm Ammunition

Not a trooper but a 9 mm packing Illinois cop from the era....

The first trooper I saw with a Model 39 was a famous range master who was essentially beta testing the pistol. He was carrying Super Vel 90 grain JHP. THAT didn’t last.
(He was also toting a plain barrel S&W M-76 SMG.)

Early articles in police and gun magazines stated that Remington 124 and Winchester 115 grain JRN ammunition was used in testing. An experimental 95 grain cartridge – perhaps a .380 bullet – was tested.

The ammunition adopted for issue was the special order Winchester-Western Q4032 100 grain JRN loaded in nickel W-W cases loaded to a nominal 1400 fps velocity / 436 ft. lb. energy.

The bullet was more blunt than typical 9 mm hardball but not nearly so much as the failed S&W / Amron “Hemi” bullet. Other manufacturers subsequently loaded similar ammunition.

In about 1975, ISP adopted the soft point Winchester-Western 100 grain Power Point W9MMPP, also nominally at 1400 fps. I never saw anything but brass W-W cases in standard commercial WW boxes. Many other Illinois agencies used this ammunition.

In about 1978, ISP adopted a Federal 95 grain flat nose, truncated cone soft point, again in nickel cases. The bullet looked very much like the Super Vel 112 gr soft point.

Winchester made a 110 gr. jacketed SWC bullet that ISP loaded on their own machines for practice ammo.

As reported by ISPCapt and others, in the next few years the ISP used several different 9 mm loadings, including W-W 115 Silvertip, a special WW 95 gr soft point and Federal 9BP and 9BPIL 115 gr JHP, before landing on the Q +P+ W-W 115 gr JHP.

I have a couple of boxes of the 9PB IL. Memories vary as to whether this was +p or +p+ ammunition. The case heads are simply FC 9MM. The boxes carry a warning that the ammunition was loaded to higher pressure than other cartridges without stating how much higher.

The special Illinois Federal .38 E IL 125 gr. JHP also carries a high pressure warning; case heads are marked FC LE.
Attached Thumbnails
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?-9-mm-winch-isp-100-fmj-q4032-413-sm-jpg   First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?-9-mm-winchester-100-pp-box-7-08-sm-jpg   First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?-9-mm-isp-4-labels-jpg   First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?-9-mm-winch-110-swc-w-115-jrn-base-7-08-sm-jpg   First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?-9-mm-federal-9bpil-p-jpg  


Last edited by SG-688; 03-16-2018 at 08:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Like Post:
  #26  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:24 AM
DCW DCW is offline
SWCA Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Posts: 382
Likes: 641
Liked 516 Times in 203 Posts
Default My ILSP M39, No. 857



My apologies for the callous flash use, but the use of which also best caught the edges of the Illinois State Police inventory number on this particular Model 39.

Even though owning a bunch of M39s - running from when copies had no "model" to that eventual line's "last" 39, the M739* - this ILSP is among my most treasured.

Herewith, too, is the "flip side" (along with its full-length extractor):



Later.

*Oh! Heh-heh. Just checking the number of folks who caught this one.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #27  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:37 PM
Doug M.'s Avatar
Doug M. Doug M. is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 5,383
Likes: 7,951
Liked 5,405 Times in 2,328 Posts
Default

739 my aunt Sally.
__________________
NHI, 10-8.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-04-2018, 11:19 PM
adwjc adwjc is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 882
Likes: 7,511
Liked 831 Times in 382 Posts
Default

Regarding the above post(s) that discussed NDs and ADs, the most common yell heard on the line at semi annual qualifications was "DECOCK!"

The braindead among us were trying to re holster cocked pistols. Eventually some opportunist used that excuse to bring the G***ks into use in our department.

I never heard of a true AD via dropping or jarring the pistols we had.
__________________
Tony
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #29  
Old 01-05-2018, 02:29 PM
kennethg kennethg is offline
SWCA Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 796
Likes: 719
Liked 886 Times in 299 Posts
Default

Great information for those of us that own and have a great fondness for the model 39.
Thanks.
__________________
Ken
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #30  
Old 01-06-2018, 10:47 PM
SG-688 SG-688 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 751
Likes: 211
Liked 1,256 Times in 370 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by adwjc View Post

I never heard of a true AD via dropping or jarring the pistols we had.
I did - a trooper story and one on my department. It was common back then for cops to place the handgun on the top shelf of a closet. When knocked off & landing muzzle down .... My guy launched his from his holster with a bang upon landing. Must have been others as an ISP instructor mentioned the problem in a class.

And then there was the guy with me on a felony stop who claimed his 39-2 fired when he bumped the hammer on the steering wheel, but I'm reasonably certain he pulled the trigger in the holster. Fortunately, I could see that THEY weren't shooting at me.

P.S. Despite the above, ISP - and my department - allowed personal choice for on or off safe carry.

Last edited by SG-688; 01-07-2018 at 09:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #31  
Old 01-28-2018, 11:06 AM
PJO1425 PJO1425 is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 149
Likes: 2,658
Liked 171 Times in 73 Posts
Default

I was an IL state police trooper (in uniform) from 1968-93. I was issued a Model 39 (no dash) in the academy. I bought it back around 1980 when it was replaced by the 439 (Model 39 inventory #is 415). In the very late '80s or very early '90s, I was issued a 5904 to replace the 439. Between 1968-early 1993, we had 8 different 9 mm rounds, as detailed above by ISPcapt.

Last edited by PJO1425; 01-28-2018 at 11:08 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #32  
Old 01-29-2018, 12:34 AM
HCH HCH is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Hancock County Ohio
Posts: 703
Likes: 2,332
Liked 511 Times in 230 Posts
Default

Warrick, Rhode Island PD is generally credited with being the first department to adopt the M39 in 1961.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #33  
Old 04-18-2018, 11:24 PM
brokendowncop's Avatar
brokendowncop brokendowncop is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 46
Likes: 3
Liked 28 Times in 14 Posts
Default

At San Leandro PD, (city bordering Oakland, ca) when we decided to transition from wheel guns to pistols. Our first try was the Model 39. Mid 70's. S&W sent us a pretty good quantity of guns for evaluation. Everyone went through range training on them so they got a lot of action. We had an unacceptable rate of ejection problems. Some frame cracks (memory tells me slide stops) so the confidence level was low. We then evaluated the 59's and adopted them as our issue weapon. I don't recall any feed, fire, or ejection problems with the 59's. I still have a 659 that has had thousands of rounds through it and have not had a single issue. They are heavy and have a wide grip but I gladly strapped it on every shift. We jumped a lot of fences together and rolled around in the street often and had quite a few a********* try to take it from me but we're still together.
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Like Post:
  #34  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:09 PM
SG-688 SG-688 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 751
Likes: 211
Liked 1,256 Times in 370 Posts
Default Illinois State Police report on 1967 adoption of 9 mm pistol

Versions of this ISP report were published in several police and gun magazines of the time.

The attachment is the same report in a PDF to save time for any who would like to save it.


====================


Report of Justification for Adopting The 9mm Semi-automatic Pistol as Service Weapon By The Illinois State Police

Prepared By Ordnance Unit Illinois State Police
[original 1967/68] Revised February 10, 1972


In 1966, several problems were identified in connection with the use of the standard revolver by the Illinois State Police. At that time, all personnel were required to furnish, from personal funds, a service revolver which had to meet the following criteria:

1. fire either .38 special or .357 magnum ammunition, and

2. be equipped with 4, 5 or 6 inch [102-, 127-, or 152-millimeter] barrel, and

3. be one of several different models of Colt or Smith and Wesson manufacture.


Since it was the policy of this agency (and continues to be) that all personnel carry star [badge], I.D. Card and weapon at all times while off-duty, it was found that many of our officers were also purchasing smaller weapons to carry while in off-duty or plain clothes situations. The only requirement of the department was that the off-duty weapon be of .32 caliber as a minimum. A survey of all personnel was conducted within the department and it was learned that because of the need for concealment and comfort, the vast majority of our men had purchased and were carrying (off-duty) a rather surprising assortment of guns.

It was determined that there was a wide range of types and styles of guns and ammunition. More importantly, it was learned that there were serious discrepancies in the condition of many of these off-duty weapons.
Since legal decisions were making it increasingly obvious that the courts were going to hold the department responsible for the training of its police personnel in the use of firearms and, more importantly, for their competency in using those weapons, the Illinois State Police found itself in a situation of concern. In an effort to overcome this problem, all personnel were required to fire their off-duty weapon[s] as well as their service gun[s] for qualification. Our Marksmanship Qualification Course (50 rounds) was fired 10 times on an annual basis, 7 times as Practice Shoots and 3 times as Qualification Shoots. The results of firing the off-duty weapon for qualification were somewhat startling.

Weapon Ammunition Score (Possible 500)

Service Revolver .38 Special Target Wadcutter 393 (Statewide Field Average)

Off-Duty Weapon .38 Special Target Wadcutter 217 (Statewide Field Average)

For purposes of comparison

S&W Model 39 Special Police Service Load 387 (Statewide Field Average)


Our weakness was very obvious—the “off-duty” weapon! We were faced with two alternatives:

1. Greatly increase the level of training and practice with the off-duty firearm and continue the program of training and practice with the “on-duty” weapon, or

2. issue a state-owned firearm which by design and weight and overall competency would serve as both “on- duty” and “off-duty” weapon and maintain a training and practice program for that one gun.


Because at that time the State did not own any of the guns used by State Police personnel, it was felt that it would be very difficult to raise the level of competency and condition of the “off-duty” weapons carried and owned by members of the Illinois State Police. Additionally, it was recognized that a training program sufficient to raise the level of “shooter” competency with the “off-duty” weapon would be very expensive from the standpoint of both ammunition and man-hours. All recruits had received 50 hours of training with their service revolvers during their assignment at recruit school. There had been no training with the “off-duty” weapon. Also, because of the very wide range of types and condition of “off-duty” guns, it was recognized that the design and implementation of a training program directed toward “off-duty” guns would be very questionable as to its effectiveness. It was decided to survey available police weapons then in use with a view toward trying to find one firearm that would satisfy both the “on-duty” and “off-duty” police needs of our department. Thus, the time and cost of training in the “off-duty” weapon would be removed and the department would control the condition and competency of firearms carried by its members in “off-duty” situations.

Many tests were conducted, but they will not be repeated here because we were also experimenting with many different loads. Our tests did show that the 9 mm is no panacea with respect to being the only police service weapon. The 9 mm is no different than any other caliber from .32 through .45. The final determination is dependent upon the component parts of the weapon being used and the capability of the person handling the weapon. A good cartridge can be made in all these calibers if the manufacturer is desirous of doing so. At the present time, one of the leading manufacturers [Winchester-Western] in this country is taking an interest in this project and has been working very closely with our department in ballistically testing various combinations of load and bullet weight.

One important reason for eliminating the small revolver was that they lacked either sufficient stopping power or practical accuracy. In eliminating these weapons, it was not necessarily because they were not capable of being fired accurately. It was because the average trooper could not master these weapons in the training time that was available. We further decided that any weapon not capable of delivering a bullet with foot-pounds of energy approximately 400 F.P.E. [Foot-Pound Energy] to the “right address” would not be a satisfactory service weapon.

This foot-pound energy, we felt was a “must,” so an attempt was made to utilize a medium size 4-inch [102- millimeter] revolver by lightening the projectile and lessening the recoil. To do this, it was necessary to increase the velocity for compensation. This proved successful to a point; however, current revolver sights would not handle the variation in hits caused by the small variation in bullet weights. Knowing that semi-automatics were less prone to these variations, we next turned to the following:
The .45 caliber [M1911 Colt] fell from our list quickly as it has always been a weapon hard to master with a limited amount of training and, in reducing the weights of the bullets, functional difficulties developed. Also, the noise level was high and speed with safety was a problem so we decided to experiment with modern semi-automatics.

The .38 Caliber Super [Colt] Commander was one of the last weapons we eliminated and only because the Smith & Wesson Model 39 has additional features which make it more like our faithful friend, the revolver—safe and fast for the first shot.

The Model 39 had many features we felt were advantageous to a policeman:

A. Weight—less than two-thirds the weight of our lightest permissible service revolver (261/2 ounces [751 grams]).

B. Width—three-fourths the width of our .38 caliber special revolver (1’/8” to 1%” [28.6-38 millimeters]) with no sudden or uneven bulges like the cylinder on the revolver.

C. Length—two inches [50.8 millimeters] shorter than the four-inch [102-millimeter] revolver (7/16 inches [192 millimeters] long), yet, the barrel lengths are the same. Also, the cartridge is completely encased by the barrel with no side splash of lead that all revolvers display to some degree.

D. Height—(5’/2” [139.7 millimeters]) which is 1/4” [6.35 millimeters] lower than the revolver. It has a grip for larger hands due to the trigger being almost one inch [25.4 millimeters] higher on the semi-automatic, permitting the wrist to be straight and not cramping the fingers.

E. The balance or grip is such that there are no two or more ways to grip this pistol as on the revolver. In fact, the hand falls into one position on the grips, making this pistol an excellent pointer with a minimum of training or effort.

F. Safety— Even with the magazine inserted and a round in the chamber, this pistol is as safe as a loaded revolver because the hammer is down and either has to be cocked or fired double action.

1. Magazine Safety— By removing the magazine, the pistol becomes inoperative even with a live round in the chamber. If this magazine is then placed in the uniform trouser pocket with the car keys, etc., one will not forget to reload the pistol on dressing for duty. When storing the gun with magazine out, the manual safety should be in the “on” position since we found that with the inertia-type firing pin, if the gun is dropped from a height of four (4) feet [1.2 meters] or more and lands directly on the end of the barrel, the firing pin will go forward with enough momentum to fire the round in the chamber. If the manual safety is “on” this locks the firing pin in place and the round cannot fire through mishandling.

2. Thumb Safety—This safety is applied first when loading a round in the chamber. This always leaves the hammer in a safe position (down), with the manual movement of the slide.

G. Also, once in action, a trooper has more ammunition at his command (50%) with the option of reloading much faster, even in the dark without removing his eyes from the target. Additionally the more accurate single action type of shooting after the first shot results in quicker hits.
Ammunition

We found the caliber of this weapon (9 mm) to offer some advantages when compared to any .38 caliber revolver of comparable size for several reasons:

1. The same diameter as the .38 caliber and .357 magnum.

2. It can be loaded to pressures of 33,000 psi. Revolvers of comparable weight can stand but half this amount.

3. Regardless of the bullet weight or propellant, the point of impact does not vary as radically as it does with a revolver.

4. Lighter bullet weight (100 gr.) permits more velocity (1380 feet per second [420.6 meters per second]) within working ranges (100 yards [91.4 meters] or less), then loses speed and range rapidly, and further reduces extreme ranges (¾ mile [1.2 kilometer]) and dangerous richochets. Thus, it is safer than the 158 or 200 grain .38 Special service loads (900 F.P.S.) with one and one-half mile [2.4-kilometer] range.

5. Due to the light jacketed bullet at high speed, penetration through auto bodies, seats, and rubber tires is comparable to the .357 Magnum. Yet, the 9 mm with 385 foot pounds of energy will only penetrate eight inches [203.2 millimeters] of flesh.

6. Accuracy—4” [102-millimeter] group at 25 yards [22.9 meters] and adequate at 100 yards [91.4 meters].

7. By substitution of a .30 caliber barrel and nothing else, this becomes a .30 caliber Luger with much more velocity. This could become an advantage in future years when smaller calibers at even greater speeds might come into use. The continuous trend seems to be toward lighter and faster bullets.

Malfunctions

We have had some malfunctions due mainly to three (3) causes:

1. Quality control in production of the gun at the factory.

2. Quality control in production of ammunition used.

3. Improper maintenance.

Cause #1: Smith and Wesson has worked very closely with our Department, and the production quality control problems that were in the gun itself have been corrected.

Cause #2: Probably more malfunctions have been caused by ammunition than any other single cause. Without some refinements on the loading ramp, this gun has trouble feeding exposed lead nose bullets, therefore, we do not recommend that this type of bullet be used for anything except practice. It is hard to control the quality of reloaded ammunition to the requirements of this gun. This again has been one of our problems. Because of this, we insist that only factory manufactured rounds be used for service work. We re-load our own practice ammunition but it is used in range practice only.

Cause #3: (Dry Slide) After the gun has been fired a considerable number of times and burned powder residues begins to accumulate in the gun action, unless the slide has been oiled, the action starts to drag. Here again reloads may fail to eject. We have not found this to be a problem with factory ammunition.

We could go on and on as to the advantages which we believe are numerous over other weapons we tested for our needs. We realize that the noise level of the Model 39 is high, so we have issued ear guards with each pistol to be used on the practice range. We further feel that if absolute dependability were the only consideration, we might favor one of the new service revolvers with a perpetual inspection to insure against malfunction. However, from a practical standpoint, we found that the 9 mm Model 39 will maintain reliability for a longer period and it can be restored more quickly and easily without technical knowledge.

We maintain our own repair section for all state- owned weapons. Any Department furnishing weapons to their personnel should consider having a well-trained gun-smith regardless of whether they have revolvers or semi- automatics. For our Department (1700 men), the added advantage of interchangeable parts and barrels is also desirable.

In conclusion, it should not be implied that the Illinois State Police feel we have found the one and only firearm solution to the needs of police service today. Each police department must examine their own needs and base their decision upon the needs of that agency. There are many very competent guns and ammunitions available and all should be very carefully considered by any Department contemplating a change of firearms. After carefully weighing the practical factors and needs of our Department, we believe the 9 mm Smith & Wesson Model 39 best meets the needs of the Illinois State Police.
Attached Thumbnails
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?-illinois-state-police-model-39-report-1967-72-pdf  
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Like Post:
  #35  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:40 PM
imarangemaster imarangemaster is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: N California Sierras
Posts: 184
Likes: 130
Liked 239 Times in 82 Posts
Default

I have had incredibly good luck with Smith 9mms. I got my first 59 in the Mid-1970s, and never had a problem I carried it off duty until 79, when I started carrying it on duty. Speer Lawman 100 grainer JHPs and 125 JSP were what we used. In 1981, I went to a new PD, and was issued a department 59, so I sold mine. In 1985, we switched to 439s because the female officers said the 59 grip was too big (don't get me started). About that time, I bought my first 469 for off duty, and carried it for years.

In about 1994, I sold the 469 and got a Glock 19 when they were the buzz. Since I retired in 2000 though, the Glock 19 has only seen occasional EDC. That role has been filled once again by various 469/669/6906, and more recently Smith M&P 9mm Shield about 70% of the time. In the years since I retired, I have had two 59s, three different 469s, and two different 669s, finally ending up with my 6906.

In the last 45 years, I have had a Smith 9mm as a carry or duty gun at least 35+ years of that time. I could count my total malfunctions in that that were not bad ammo related on one hand. I like them a lot, though usually did not have two at a time! LOL.

Last edited by imarangemaster; 09-20-2019 at 11:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #36  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:20 PM
VASCAR2 VASCAR2 is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Southeast Illinois
Posts: 47
Likes: 1
Liked 70 Times in 28 Posts
Default

Thanks for posting this report regarding the ISP’s adoption of the model 39. I remember a few members of TRT carrying 459’s and a Captain in my District had a 559 he carried. When I was hired in 1988 my cadet class was issued new model 439’s. We turned in our 439’s for 5904/6904 in 1990. While I was a local Officer in So Illinois I was always interested in the model 39 since I carried my personal 39 as a reserve Officer and for a PD which did not issue handguns.

I carried a ISP 6904 for a short period of time but when I bought a 3913 NL I was able to turn in the 6904 for a 5904 which I carried until we transitioned to Glocks in 2000.

I have one box from the W-W 100 grain FMJ round nose bullet and a couple of the 100 grain FMJ nickel cartridges. I remember when the Troopers were issued the 115 grain Silvertip and when it was recalled they used either the 95 grain Federal JSP or notched W-W 95 grain JSP. It wasn’t long before the Troopers were issued the Federal 115 grain 9BP ammo.

The first lots of W-W 115 grain JHP +P+ produced significant muzzle flash. We shot quite a few of those rounds in the Academy but by the time I was hired the issued 115 grain +P+ was using a low flash powder. I dispatched many injured animals with that load. I felt well armed with my S&W semi autos and the 115 grain JHP ammo.

A Friend bought my issued 439 because I couldn’t afford it. I always told him if he ever decided to sell it I wanted first dibs. When the ISP transitioned to Glocks the Troopers could buy their 5904/6904 but the price was almost the price of a new pistol. I didn’t buy my 5904 but have since purchased used 439 and 5904. I still enjoy shooting them and bringing back memories.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #37  
Old 09-21-2019, 12:20 AM
MackTech MackTech is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Paducah Ky
Posts: 221
Likes: 34
Liked 112 Times in 41 Posts
Default

My cousin just retired from the ISP after 30 years on the job. He wasn’t a gun guy at all and remember him showing me his service pistol not long after the got hired in . I’m pretty sure it was a 5904 as others have noted here. Also he was issued a Remington 870 as well. The thing I remember the most was his back up gun. Him and all in is class went out and bought double stack Kel-tec 9mm compacts. Their reasoning was they could use the 5904 mags in the Kel-Tec’s if a reload was needed. About halfway through his career he got off the road and into investigations . I don’t know at what point they switched to Glocks but towards the end of his career, he also had a issued AR-15 in 9mm which I really thought was weird .
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 09-21-2019, 01:48 AM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Peoples Republic of California.
Posts: 2,826
Likes: 397
Liked 2,436 Times in 1,036 Posts
Default

Alameda County CA S.O. adopted Model 59 fairly early, but not as early as I S P. They were very unhappy with them and dumped them in less than a year. If I recall correctly they kept blowing off extractors.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 09-21-2019, 06:28 PM
Doug M.'s Avatar
Doug M. Doug M. is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 5,383
Likes: 7,951
Liked 5,405 Times in 2,328 Posts
Default

IIRC, Urbana (IL) tried the 59s and had a terrible tie with them. Much of the improvement of the S&W autopistols from the 39 to the 3 digit models to the 4 digit models was a result of very aggressive R&D and testing by ISP at their range.
__________________
NHI, 10-8.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 09-21-2019, 07:20 PM
imarangemaster imarangemaster is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: N California Sierras
Posts: 184
Likes: 130
Liked 239 Times in 82 Posts
Default

I really think the 4 digit were the cream of the crop, especially the late third gen. I like the Glock platform, but I have never had the intense affinity for it that I have for my Smith 9mms through the years.

The same rep that brought us the tool room 469, later brought us a pre-import Glock 17 dealer sample. As a rangemaster I really liked it as an easy gun to transition wheel gunners to, and a good reliable LEO weapon. But it still wasn't a Smith....
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:45 PM
VASCAR2 VASCAR2 is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Southeast Illinois
Posts: 47
Likes: 1
Liked 70 Times in 28 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MackTech View Post
My cousin just retired from the ISP after 30 years on the job. He wasn’t a gun guy at all and remember him showing me his service pistol not long after the got hired in . I’m pretty sure it was a 5904 as others have noted here. Also he was issued a Remington 870 as well. The thing I remember the most was his back up gun. Him and all in is class went out and bought double stack Kel-tec 9mm compacts. Their reasoning was they could use the 5904 mags in the Kel-Tec’s if a reload was needed. About halfway through his career he got off the road and into investigations . I don’t know at what point they switched to Glocks but towards the end of his career, he also had a issued AR-15 in 9mm which I really thought was weird .
Your Cousin’s backup Kel-Tec was a P-11 and I also carried one in an ankle holster for many years. When I transferred from D-15 I had to leave my Brand new parkerized 870 Police Magnum with rifle sights with D-15. When I arrived in my new District I was issued an old S&W 3000 with no front sight. It must of been ten years before I was issued a new blued 870 Police Magnum.

When your cousin was in investigations the Department issued investigators old Colt 9 MM sub machine guns. These 9 MM AR’s had high round counts because they had been used by the Tactical teams. The 9 MM were converted to semi auto only and issued to investigators. TRT (Tactical Response Teams) got new Bushmaster M-4’s. After 911 ISP approved rifles for patrol. There were a couple of batches of Bushmaster 16” AR-15’s and several hundred DOD surplus M-16 A-1’s with semi auto FCG. I was issued an Colt M-16 A-1 but later turned it in and carried my personal 16” AR-15 till I retired. Over the course of a couple of years all patrol Troopers were issued AR-15’s plus a 12 gauge shotgun. I don’t know if there are any Colt M-16’s still in use by ISP as the department was buying Armalite 16” AR-15’s when I retired.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #42  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:38 PM
CALREB's Avatar
CALREB CALREB is offline
Member
First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols? First LE Agency To Adopt S&W Pistols?  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: RE-tired in Texas
Posts: 783
Likes: 86
Liked 681 Times in 224 Posts
Default

Riverside PD CA. adopted the model 59 sometime in the late 70s early or the early 80s, I remember seeing them in photos of my Officer Survival books by caliber press. Back whenever those came out.
I know we had to double spring a lot of extractors on some early 59s and 469s. Pretty cool little tiny spring that fit inside the regular extractor spring. then they would run fine.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
Reply

Tags
beretta, detective, glock, model 19, model 39, patrolman, s&w, sig arms, winchester

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adopt a 7 Month old Shepherd Husky Mix? GRT3031 The Lounge 11 12-14-2013 12:08 PM
When did FBI adopt the M-15 as a service gun? Doug.38PR S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 9 03-18-2013 07:39 AM
Adopt A Pet Kanewpadle The Lounge 54 03-25-2012 10:07 PM
Belgian Police adopt the S&W M&P 9mm mlk18 Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols 2 03-27-2011 12:29 PM
Adopt A Soldier amanda66 The Lounge 6 03-19-2010 12:26 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:45 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2020
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)