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 10-24-2011, 09:28 PM
Cyrano's Avatar
Cyrano Cyrano is offline
US Veteran
Absent Comrade
Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,595
Likes: 13,528
Liked 6,643 Times in 2,518 Posts
Default Model 39 Minutia

In my small collection of Model 39s, I have noted several minor changes that I don't think have yet been documented. They are described below with the brackets in years of when they took place. My collection is extremely small and the brackets are large. I would appreciate any assistance in narrowing these brackets.

1. Between 1976/7 and 1977/8, the contour of the top of the slide lock notch on the left side of the slide changed. Previously it had been in the form of an inclined "S"; afer the change it was a straight line. The change was probably made to simplify cutting the notch.

2. Soemtime between 1970/1 and 1976/7, the magazine release button gained a screwdriver slot on the face, probably to facilitate unscrewing the button from the catch.

3. Sometime between 1979/80 and 1981. the locking lug on the barrel was left at its full diameter all around the circumference of the barrel such as is found in the Tokarev pistols. This is also the configuration used in the second generation pistols; 439, 539 and 639. Peviously, the locking lug had been cut flush with the barrel body at the bottom. The new design eliminated a machining operation, saving money.

4. Sometime between 1970/1 and 1977-8, the forward facing leat spring of the rear sight was narrowed. Prviously it had been .350" in width; it was reduced to .310".

Any help in determining what year these changes took place would be greatly appreciated. Also appreciated would be information on any other minutia that I have overlooked.

Last edited by Cyrano; 10-24-2011 at 09:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:12 PM
FirebirdV8's Avatar
FirebirdV8 FirebirdV8 is offline
SWCA Member
Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 1,437
Likes: 61
Liked 198 Times in 80 Posts
Default

One I have noticed is around 69XXX (around 66-67)the Model 39 no dash versions start showing up as Model - 39.

I had previously noticed most of the other changes you mentioned but hadn't pinned them down to a year yet. I did miss the change in #4 you mentioned, now I'm going to have to look at mine and see what they have.
__________________
J.D. Roy
Member #2308
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:41 PM
Cyrano's Avatar
Cyrano Cyrano is offline
US Veteran
Absent Comrade
Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,595
Likes: 13,528
Liked 6,643 Times in 2,518 Posts
Default

Thanks, Firebird; I just had a look at my two that fall in that SN range. 355XX is marked Model - 39. Is this early for the dash to be showing up? My steel frame, 601xx is marked Model 39.

I'd sure like some help in narrowing the year in which the changes occured. I don't think we can establish the SNs for the changes, due to S&W's practice of assembling guns with whatever parts were found in the parts bin that day.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:52 PM
FirebirdV8's Avatar
FirebirdV8 FirebirdV8 is offline
SWCA Member
Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia Model 39 Minutia  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 1,437
Likes: 61
Liked 198 Times in 80 Posts
Default

The steel frames for the 39's were made in some early runs after being model marked, S&W just took a long time to assemble them and assign them SNs. 355XX would be the earliest I've seen, but my sources of research don't always include a picture, so I can't be sure about when they start showing up. One idea I've heard is that S&W included the dash between Model and 39 to indicate a minor engineering change so they know which parts to use when one comes in for service. It seems plausible, but I don't have any proof.

Another point to make about SNs is that S&W didn't ship pistols in SN order. They were stacked in a vault as they were made and pulled out as needed. So depending on supply and demand, lower SNs may have shipped later than higher SNs since the guns on the bottom of the stack would be the lower SNs. This is why pinning down years, ship dates, and changes is a rough exercise with only factory records of any real proof.
__________________
J.D. Roy
Member #2308

Last edited by FirebirdV8; 10-28-2011 at 10:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
639, lock, model 39, screwdriver, tokarev

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tulsa Gunshow this Saturday: Model 63, Model 60, Model 351PD, Model 500 retiredsquid GUNS - For Sale or Trade 1 04-08-2010 04:29 PM

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 08:13 AM.


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