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Old 02-13-2010, 11:26 AM
Model39 Model39 is offline
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Default ASP vs DEVEL which do you like?

Here are two custom Model 39's from the late 1970's. An Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) with it's guttersnipe sight system and a Charlie Kelsey Full House DEVEL. These two guns broke ground for the future development of the small concealment autos we have today. I personally like the DEVELS.

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Old 02-13-2010, 11:53 AM
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Great topic!

Probably ought to throw Detonics in there as well, although they never made a chopped S&W that I know of.

I've never handled a Devel S&W, but I've played with a 1911 custom job they did. Their workmanship was fantastic, IMO. Wish they were still around...

The ASP S&W I've shot looked a lot rougher, but that could be because it was a primary carry-piece for an undercover policeman for several years. I also do not like the "guttersnipe" sight system. I think something like the Ashley Big Dot works better and is actually smaller. (Of course, those weren't around back then, either, so ASP was doing what they could think of at the time...)
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:01 PM
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I own an Asp and find that the guttersnipe sight is very hard to use past bedroom distances. I like the finish and the sights on the Devel much better.

Charlie
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:50 PM
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The guns seem practically identical in terms of features with the exception of the sights and finish. I would give the nod to the Devel for its actually having real sights.

Personally i would like an ASP with Novak carry sights myself.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:21 PM
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My favorite is the basic cut down 39 done by Devel, without the extra lightening cuts in the slide or the hooked guard.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Basic DEVEL Model 39

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Originally Posted by wilshire1412 View Post
My favorite is the basic cut down 39 done by Devel, without the extra lightening cuts in the slide or the hooked guard.
I have a basic DEVEL 39 as well. This one has the special hard chrome finish offered by the factory as an option. I did not include it with the ASP photo as it is not as similar in appearance as the full house DEVEL.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:04 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:15 PM
RichCapeCod RichCapeCod is offline
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During its manufacture the ASP went through many "hands." I hung out a lot at the Seventrees shop back then, so I sort of heard this as scuttlebutt as Paris Theodore would discuss such matters. I always thought the gun was a little beauty, but agree on the matter of the Guttersnipe sight.

Rich
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:10 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model39 View Post
Here are two custom Model 39's from the late 1970's. An Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) with it's guttersnipe sight system and a Charlie Kelsey Full House DEVEL. These two guns broke ground for the future development of the small concealment autos we have today. I personally like the DEVELS.
Fortunately, we do not have to choose. S&W did them all one better with the 3913!

The M&P 9c is even better. Same basic size or smaller, holds more rounds, not as expensive, just better all the way around.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:51 AM
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I wish I knew more about the ASP. When my lawyer was going through one of his divorces in the late '70s, I had temp custody of most of his guns, and one of them was an ASP. Thought it was uber-cool and shot the heck out of it for the better part of a year.

But I never could get it to run all the way. Some stovepipes, but many failures to feed. Six o'clock jams, twelve o'clock jams, all sorts of feed stoppages. At the time I thought it was a magazine problem, but I never was able to find any other mags except the three he had with the gun, so I could'nt put it to the test. I do remember he paid what I thought was a huge price for that gun, two spare mags, and a really trick holster.

Playing with that gun caused me to buy the first 3913 I saw for sale.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:21 PM
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My 3913 is what the ASP aspired to be. Best compact single stack 9mm S&W ever did.

My partner had a Devel 39. Sweet pistol.

IMO the M&P compact is not even in the same league as the 3913. The 3913 is slimmer than the M&P compact, and has a superior trigger. In fact the bottle of Formula 409 in my kitchen has a suerior trigger compared to any M&P I've fired.

In my experience the 3913 is reliable too. No FTE's or dropping mags. The 3913 is a tack driver, the most charitable thing I can say about the M&P is that it is..........combat accurate. Regards 18DAI.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:55 PM
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Slight drift in topic here, but did anyone ever find out who murdered Charlie Kelsey? I heard his body was found, but I never heard anything else.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:20 AM
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I have always wanted an ASP for some reason, and I did not know about the Devel guns until I saw this. I think the sights on the Devel would be better for a carry gun. From a price/carry standpoint I will keep my PPS.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:32 PM
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I've owned an ASP carry package (the double magnetic mag holder was pretty cool) as well as Model 39 and Model 59 Full House DEVELs. The Guttersnipe was the reason I sold my ASP - It was very difficult to become proficient with. Occasionally you will find an ASP with conventional sights. I was told by a retired gov't agent that the some agencies that utilized the ASP did not like the Guttersnipe and requested conventional sights. If I'm lucky enough to find one of the modified ASPs, I'll hold on to it.
I kept the DEVELs and qualify with them twice a year. The Model 59 is my favorite.
ASP also made a cool Ruger .44 Spl.

My vote is DEVEL hands down.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koz5614 View Post
I've owned an ASP carry package (the double magnetic mag holder was pretty cool) as well as Model 39 and Model 59 Full House DEVELs. The Guttersnipe was the reason I sold my ASP - It was very difficult to become proficient with. Occasionally you will find an ASP with conventional sights. I was told by a retired gov't agent that the some agencies that utilized the ASP did not like the Guttersnipe and requested conventional sights. If I'm lucky enough to find one of the modified ASPs, I'll hold on to it.
I kept the DEVELs and qualify with them twice a year. The Model 59 is my favorite.
ASP also made a cool Ruger .44 Spl.

My vote is DEVEL hands down.
Here is my DEVEL 59 which you say you like best, as well as an ASP 44spl conversion revolver I also own.There were less than a hundred ASP converstion revolvers, and out of that bunch only a few 4" special police swat models like this. Most were 2 3/4 " fixed sight models. This 5 shot ASP 44 spl revolver lead the way for the Smith&Wesson production model 696 5 shot 44 spl"L" frames.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:13 PM
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My Dad was a big fan of the chopped Smiths for concealed carry in the 70s and early 80s. He has the ASP, Devel 39 and 59, and the Behlert 39 and 59.

ASP



Behlert 59, Devel 39, Devel 59
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:23 PM
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I remember going to gunshows back in the 80's, & this guy always had a table full of the ASP guns. Nice guns. GARY
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:26 PM
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I have no experience with these two custom 39's but did have a stock 39 in the late 70's and it was junk wold not cycle out of the box using FMJ ammo had to ship it back to smith for repairs and it never shot to point of aim.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:34 PM
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I owned 2 ASPs and from a collectors standpoint I wish I still had them. One was a 39-2 with the black teflon finish and my other was the uber rare stainless 639 that they made only a few of. The sights were the weak point and both were replaced with my PC9 which was a much better pistol. None the less if I had known then what they'd be worth now I would have hung on to both ASPs.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:45 PM
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I just bought a ASP mag ( brand new in the plastic) off ebay for my Trapper, I am glad I did not buy the other two, while it is very well made, due to the base plate you can insert the mag in the well upside down! I still carry mine and would hate to fumble a mag change and thumb down the slide, driving it into the derlin base plate and locking up the pistol.
Mr Murphy has a way of showing up, so I try and solve as many problems before hand that I can. Any other ASP users noticed this?
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:13 PM
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I have shot both, and got to handle the largest collection of Devels in the world, belonging to Wayne Novak.
Got to shoot both the ASP and Devel side-by-side with the 3913 when it came out. Overall, the 3913 was the best of the bunch. Second was the Devel - just more useful. The ASP was certainly groundbreaking when it was first introduced, but the Guttersnipe was difficult to transition to, and was not as accurate in any shooter's hands that it was passed toduring the trial.

Also had a several Detonics over the last ten years or so. Again, an interesting concept that had its time in the sun. Too heavy for such a limited capacity, and the idea that you would carry it hammer down on a live round was a poor joke.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:15 PM
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I carried an ASP for quite a while and I really loved it. Performance was always 100% and the guttersnipe was and probably still is one of the fastest "center of mass" sights ever made. No watch the front sight or line the front up and centered in the rear. If it is in the box shoot. The only improvement I could ever imagine for it would have been tritium at the back. Always thought the clear (actually translucent) grips were kinda silly but the fit and feel were great.

--- Chip King ---
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:14 PM
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Smile Beautiful guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryff View Post
My Dad was a big fan of the chopped Smiths for concealed carry in the 70s and early 80s. He has the ASP, Devel 39 and 59, and the Behlert 39 and 59.

ASP



Behlert 59, Devel 39, Devel 59
Thanks for showing these guns. Never seen them before. Kinda a S&W newbie.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:19 PM
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I sure wish I could find an ASP and a Devel so I could compare them. They sure wouldn't leave my collection!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:05 AM
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I picked up a ASP at a gun show for 275 with holster and 3 mags . I saw it sticking out from from stuff and kept going but stop went back for another look .The guy didnt know what it was . But I did.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:16 AM
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Devel-but I do not care for single or double stack 9's The one I had access to was fine, ran well
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:26 AM
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On a historic note, both Charles Kelsey and Paris Theodore, the respective designers of the Devel and ASP pistols, were treated shabbily by S&W.

S&W suits actually purchased a Devel pistol. The story related to me, by someone who was there, was that the higher ups were amazed and startled by the Devel modified 59. A short time later, the 459 appeared in production. I'm told that Charles Kelsey, who was almost bankrupt, purchased a 459 and modified it too. He then sent the modified 459 back to the head of S&W at that time. Along with an "in your face" nasty gram.

Mr Kelsey never recieved any royalties or copywrites and little recognition for any of his very significant contributions to the design of modern handguns. He was a truly innovative designer and talented craftsman.

It is said that Theodore Paris went to S&W with his ASP pistol. He was in some financial straits at the time. He met with a cold reception by S&W executives. They reportedly regarded the ASP with a "not invented here" attitude. Then they copied his design, like they did with the Devel, and incorporated the features in their 469 pistol.

Its a shame that neither of these talented designers were ever given any support or credit by S&W. I sometimes wonder what pistols may have been had either Theodore or Kelsey been hired to work on the S&W semi auto pistols as Wayne Novak was in later years. Regards 18DAI
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4KVE View Post
I remember going to gunshows back in the 80's, & this guy always had a table full of the ASP guns. Nice guns. GARY
I remember seeing the same table, possibly at the Birmingham, AL show.

I always preferred the ASP for aesthetics reasons but also b/c I never knew what a Devel pistol was until a few years ago. This is also the reason I have always preferred the 44 Magnum to the 45 Colt since I grew up with the 44 but was never exposed to 45 Colt's until the single action market took off.

What are the values of these pistols now? How easy are they to come by? Does anyone still carry them?

How is Devel pronounced, "Devil" or "Duhvel?"

thanks for the pics.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:07 PM
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For collectors or anyone else interested, a New Jersey consignment firm just listed a couple large lots of Paris Theodore/Seventrees materials on eBay. The stuff is rather expensive, but the photos are interesting, showing different holster prototypes, patent drawings, handguns, advertisements, etc.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:09 AM
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I was involved in the wholsale/retail gun business way back in the early 80-mid 90s---got to handle and shoot a few of each including just one example of the Devel chopped 59---all the pistols I shot worked well---I had no fuction issues with any of them. Personally, I strongly preferred the Devel guns---I liked the finish better, and especially the sights much better. I could never really come to grips with the ASP sights---didn't work for me!
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:06 PM
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i owned an asp in the late 80 s and carried it as an off duty weapon, so i had to quall with it i idd so shooting expert even out to 25 yds, with a rain handicap and a disc l5 s1 that was due to be fused i month later. but a collector kept pestering me for i. i got off it for a 2 3913s, one walther ppk s and a sq butt mdl 36. i sold a 3913 to a haeart surgeon breother in laaw of a good friend. i used that money to but a mountain bike for me and a bike for my wife. i later traded the walther to another friend for a 3953 and some ammo. i did keep the belt holster whic fit the 3913 and the 53 great. so i got in shape and better armed all for the asp and the ocllector got a gfreat gun.
i must admit qualifying at 25 yds was a little difficult b ut i did so
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:09 PM
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oh yeah i still ahve and ride the mountain bike asnd used it go complete bike cop school the week after i turned 50
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:54 AM
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I have seen both the Devel and the ASP for sale at OGCA. I believe the seller wanted like $ 7000 for the ASP. OGCA sow is 11/17 and I will look again for this seller.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:26 PM
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Great thread, just ran across it. I know the Devels, ASPs, and Behlerts pictured here were ground breaking but there were all 9mms. Austin Behlert also chopped .45s for those that were looking for a bit more "punch". This Behlert Bob-Cat started life as a full size Gov't Model but was reduced to just a bit smaller than a CCO. Incredible workmanship, 100% reliable.


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Old 12-01-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
I just bought a ASP mag ( brand new in the plastic) off ebay for my Trapper, I am glad I did not buy the other two, while it is very well made, due to the base plate you can insert the mag in the well upside down! I still carry mine and would hate to fumble a mag change and thumb down the slide, driving it into the derlin base plate and locking up the pistol.
Mr Murphy has a way of showing up, so I try and solve as many problems before hand that I can. Any other ASP users noticed this?
I have an ASP complete with Seventrees leather by Ken Null. The magnetic mag pouch is cool enought that I have considered having Null make one for 1911 magazines. I don't carry the gun though. For one thing, it's just too expensive now. But mostly there are better choices today than there were 30 years ago.

One issue I have had with the ASP is that you really don't want to seat the magazine very hard when reloading from slide lock. This can (and does) shove the magazine so high into the mag well that the slide can't come forward. (Remember, there is no toe on the magazine floor plate to prevent this). Bad ju ju.

One thing that does chap my butt is reading statements to the effect that the M3913 is is so superior to the ASP. The 3913 is just another idea stolen by S&W after somebody else has done the lion's share of the R&D. _________________
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:14 AM
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I have been one of the lucky ones, in my time i have had 5 asp's
2 were made from 539s, steel frame. like a dummy i sold them.
i found a 98% one last yr at a local show has the standard 39 sights on it. i like them better than the guttersnipe. its the new safe queen now. i had 2 standard devels, and 1 full house.all were 98%. i have to say that both guns have there air of ultra cool about them
i would be hard pressed to pick just one. but if i had to i would go with a standard devel. has the factory sights, wood grips round trigger guard
ect, just suits my taste. just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:59 PM
Hopper13 Hopper13 is offline
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Default Full House Model 59 Devil

I just dug out my old Devil. It's been sitting in a climate controlled safety deposit box for about 25 years now. The gun is is fabulous condition with no more than a few hundred rounds through it, but is missing one Devil badge and one screw from the right grip.

I'm not sure whether to keep it or sell it. Can anyone give me an idea of the current value?

Thanks in advance,

Richard
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Hopper13 View Post
I just dug out my old Devil. It's been sitting in a climate controlled safety deposit box for about 25 years now. The gun is is fabulous condition with no more than a few hundred rounds through it, but is missing one Devil badge and one screw from the right grip.

I'm not sure whether to keep it or sell it. Can anyone give me an idea of the current value?
Hard to say. There is a full size one on Gunbroker right with a starting price of $1500.

I'm told that Richard Heinie is an avid collector of Devels and ASPs. You might trying contacting him.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hopper13 View Post
I just dug out my old Devil. It's been sitting in a climate controlled safety deposit box for about 25 years now. The gun is is fabulous condition with no more than a few hundred rounds through it, but is missing one Devil badge and one screw from the right grip.

I'm not sure whether to keep it or sell it. Can anyone give me an idea of the current value?

Thanks in advance,

Richard
$2500 or more.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:15 PM
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Thanks guys. At those kinds of prices, I might be tempted to sell.

Mine is in overall better condition judging by the pitting on th barrel of the on on GB. It has some slight holster wear as I did carry it off and on for a year or so, but it's overall a remarkably clean weapon.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:55 PM
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[QUOTE=Hopper13;138317541]I just dug out my old Devil. It's been sitting in a climate controlled safety deposit box for about 25 years now. The gun is is fabulous condition with no more than a few hundred rounds through it, but is missing one Devil badge and one screw from the right grip.

If you have a Full-House gun, I'm going to guess you have a "Devil" (sic) Model 59. The 39 DEVEL FH guns have a single screw on each grip; the 59s have three.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:39 AM
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Thread back from the dead. Must be the Devel made him do it!
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  #43  
Old 01-10-2015, 03:53 AM
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...
How is Devel pronounced, "Devil" or "Duhvel?"

thanks for the pics.
Deevell.

Kinda like Coupe DeVille, but with more E...if that helps
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:13 AM
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Yes, it is a "Devel" (thank you for pointing out the spelling error, and thank you Apple auto-correct for causing it...). My gun is the same as the top gun in your picture.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:21 PM
Tkmartindill Tkmartindill is offline
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is there anyone on the forum that could help me out,
im in the process of doing a tribute kind of chop down on a 59
if anyone owns one and a set of calipers i could get three critical measurements that would make the trial and error time of cutting down the frame way easier.

if you own a 59 full house and can help please PM me or email me

TK@Adamsarms.net

Thanks big
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:43 PM
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Yes back from the dead is right! I am partial to the Devel since that is all I have and just a full house 39.

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Old 08-31-2015, 12:25 AM
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Gorgeous!
Jealous!

Literally. If I had one of those it would be my carry gun. No question. Not counting any high end gun I have right now.

Damn!
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