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  #51  
Old 05-19-2018, 10:19 PM
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Can I bring this thread back after 4+ years?

Going to finally get a letter on #1173 here after buying it earlier this year.



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Old 05-19-2018, 10:35 PM
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Nice gun. I hope you'll report what the letter says when you get it.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:12 AM
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Default Earliest Pre-39 ?

We know of certain gift pre-39s with low serial numbers but what is the lowest serial number pre-39 that has actually surfaced ?

My lowest is 1021 (with the experimental extractor) shipped to S&W distributor Jesse Harpe in Tampa, FL, and one or two more in the 109x and 11xx serial numbers that have the standard production, long bar extractor.

Awhile back another member had 105x with a standard production extractor.

So somewhere between 1021 and the mid 105x they switched to the standard production extractor. Just cannot nail down a more precise serial number when the change was made.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:48 PM
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Sal,
I think the first one - 1001 - went to Harold Austin at the factory, current whereabouts unknown. I have no data on 1002-1004 but then there was a shipment to the USMC from 1005 to 1020. Your 1021 is the lowest I know of but I've also seen or heard about 1023, 1027 and 1037.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:51 PM
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i'm surprised the OP's pre-39 has a flat follower. My 39 no dash has 2 figure 8 mag followers.


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Old 05-20-2018, 06:58 PM
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i'm surprised the OP's pre-39 has a flat follower. My 39 no dash has 2 figure 8 mag followers.
Why? Didn't the flat followers precede the "figure 8" followers? What is the SN of your pistol?
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:03 PM
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My pre-39 came with one mag with the flat steel follower and stamped "9mm" on the baseplate. From what I understand this is the original mag and the figure 8 is the next in the progression.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:03 PM
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I have no idea which follower was first. My SN660XX
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:12 PM
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According to McMillan's monograph there were two types of flat follower first, with 9mm/S&W on the base plate. Then came the figure 8 followed by a plastic follower. The latter base plates just had S&W stamp on them.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:50 AM
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It is my understanding that all pre-39s were supplied with 2, flat-follower magazine as well as some of the very early M39s, About what serial number the change was made to the Figure-8 followers, I am not sure. Seems at around 5000-6000 the change was made but I'll second that to Kevin Williams and Richard McMillan.
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Old 06-27-2018, 03:31 PM
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Got my letter from Mr. Jinks. #1173 shipped on September 22nd, 1955 as part of a lot of 30 pre-39s shipped to the Armed Forces Exchange (PX) in New York. Assuming for distribution out from there.

I really like the fact mine was almost certainly bought by someone serving our country.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:30 PM
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Got my letter from Mr. Jinks. #1173 shipped on September 22nd, 1955 as part of a lot of 30 pre-39s shipped to the Armed Forces Exchange (PX) in New York. Assuming for distribution out from there.

I really like the fact mine was almost certainly bought by someone serving our country.
EXCELLENT !!! :: APPLAUSE for you :: Congrats on that wonderful find.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:18 PM
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SN: 1021 with prototype / experimental upper (slide and extractor).

See: http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-w...#post140100140
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:07 PM
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Your 1173 is a really nice, well-preserved firearm. You acquired something that will in the years ahead, especially as the plastic crowd begins more and more to yearn a bit more for things nostalgic if not, um, "real" (?), it'll surely reproduce as fine a dividend as reflected in the blues seen in No. 1173. A darn fine catch. Congratulations.

Later.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:40 PM
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Default I had chance to buy one back in 1975... to broke then.

Wow, what a find to share and photos too thanks!
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:32 PM
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Glad this great thread was resuscitated!! Some lovely numbers here!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:26 PM
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Coony:

I have heard that the first pre-model 39's had steel frames. Is yours steel or alloy? I had new Model 39-2 back in the very early 70's. I let it get away from me. I love the look and feel of these of the pistols. I have been looking for a replacement for it about 10 years now. I think they are the perfect carry pistol.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:49 AM
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Acquired today, the "Tired Gunsmith" (Bob Frielich's) pre-39 SN: 1369 originally purchased new, by Bob, in first shipment of 3, new 9mm S&Ws to Rex Firearms in NYC, 1955. Thank you, Bob.

Sal Raimondi, Sr.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:19 AM
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Whoo hoo Sal!! What a cool find that is!! Thanks for letting us take a peek at it!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:56 AM
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1369 originally came with two (2) flat style follower magazines
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
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1369 originally came with two (2) flat style follower magazines
Bob, eventually I will send to Roy for a letter on it but I did a "ship date request" to which Roy replied, shipped November 1955. (but you knew that already). Being this was your personal carry piece and you are the original owner makes it even more special to me. It is the only one of 8, pre-39s that I can factually state, is a one-owner gun. Thank you again, Bob.

Respectfully, Sal Raimondi Sr.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:58 PM
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I have a Pre 39 s/n 2219 but no pics as I don't have access it.. being in England. The old pics I had were on PB and I never did get them off of there. I'll be back in USA tomorrow and hope to do inventory and maybe capture a pick of the old girl. Good threads never die.. they just go away for a rest.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:49 PM
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Check PB....I can now post the old picture that were on there before the debacle. And looking back at old threads, they have reshot not on them. I'll bet yours are still there....

Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:30 AM
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Check PB....I can now post the old picture that were on there before the debacle. And looking back at old threads, they have reshot not on them. I'll bet yours are still there....

Best Regards, Les
I did find them... I was looking in wrong account. Here is the only picture I could find. It's a pic of the big 4.... pre 39, 39 no Dash, Steel 39 and a 39-2. I know which one is the pre 39. I will leave it to the next person to point it out.

Pre 39 2219
Steel S/N 6303x
No Dash 612X
39-2 A31564x


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Old 07-28-2018, 09:50 AM
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I did find them... I was looking in wrong account. Here is the only picture I could find. It's a pic of the big 4.... pre 39, 39 no Dash, Steel 39 and a 39-2. I know which one is the pre 39. I will leave it to the next person to point it out.

Pre 39 2219
Steel S/N 6303x
No Dash 612X
39-2 A31564x


Doesn't appear as though as pre-39 2219 is this group of photos. Although the 39-2 is upper left and the steel frame might be lower right (by the finish on the frame).

The upper right is an older version, visible by the shorter duck-tail on the frame but the slide is wrong for a pre-39. SN 2219 should have a very short safety lever with an unrelieved stock beneath the lever. In short the top line of the stock should not have the radius cut out under the lever.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:48 AM
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Doesn't appear as though as pre-39 2219 is this group of photos. Although the 39-2 is upper left and the steel frame might be lower right (by the finish on the frame).

The upper right is an older version, visible by the shorter duck-tail on the frame but the slide is wrong for a pre-39. SN 2219 should have a very short safety lever with an unrelieved stock beneath the lever. In short the top line of the stock should not have the radius cut out under the lever.
I hate to disagree that is in fact the pre 39. Purchased several years ago from a western PA forum member and SWCA member. I won't name him unless he wants to chime in... I may have a letter for it but I don't have access. I only have these 4 in collector condition in 39 series so I know that is the correct example. I can't reconcile your objections without having it in hand which I don't. I won't be in Ohio until next week.
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:09 AM
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What is the full story on the short and long slide serrations/cuts by the lever? Which model has which one?
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:36 PM
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I hate to disagree that is in fact the pre 39. Purchased several years ago from a western PA forum member and SWCA member. I won't name him unless he wants to chime in... I may have a letter for it but I don't have access. I only have these 4 in collector condition in 39 series so I know that is the correct example. I can't reconcile your objections without having it in hand which I don't. I won't be in Ohio until next week.
I'm not knocking your pre-39 here. All I suggested is that perhaps the photo of it was not included in that foursome you posted.

As exemplars of fair comparison to your 2219, I have chosen 204x (factory engraved) and 254x, and 260x, (standard production) all that I have owned for over 20 years. All of the serial numbers I list have the extremely short safety lever and the straight cut stock.

Also, in post #53, (in link below) is picture of SN 2623 presented by member "DCW", (highest known pre-39 of record is SN: 2624, as recorded by author Kevin Williams), still has the short safety lever and unrelieved left stock.

The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.

The next I have in succession is 59xx MODEL 39 marked. That one has the safety lever that is a bit longer with the relief cut in the stock.

Do your own research to determine further to your own satisfaction.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:52 PM
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Hello Mr. bliss, we thrive on mysteries. I see a path to solve this mystery, partially. Pls post a pic of the guns Sn., block out last few numbers.
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Old 07-28-2018, 05:51 PM
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Hello Mr. bliss, we thrive on mysteries. I see a path to solve this mystery, partially. Pls post a pic of the guns Sn., block out last few numbers.


I will get a recent pic when I get to Ohio next week. I suppose itís possible thatís not in the 4 but I donít see how. Anyway they are all in storage but I really need to go through them anyway as itís been over 2 years. Iíll post something when I get it


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Old 08-04-2018, 07:49 PM
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I'm not knocking your pre-39 here. All I suggested is that perhaps the photo of it was not included in that foursome you posted.

As exemplars of fair comparison to your 2219, I have chosen 204x (factory engraved) and 254x, and 260x, (standard production) all that I have owned for over 20 years. All of the serial numbers I list have the extremely short safety lever and the straight cut stock.

Also, in post #53, (in link below) is picture of SN 2623 presented by member "DCW", (highest known pre-39 of record is SN: 2624, as recorded by author Kevin Williams), still has the short safety lever and unrelieved left stock.

The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.

The next I have in succession is 59xx MODEL 39 marked. That one has the safety lever that is a bit longer with the relief cut in the stock.

Do your own research to determine further to your own satisfaction.
I was able to get to my gun collection today. Here is the pic of my pre model 39 SN 2219. I only took a couple and they are phone pics in bad light but you should be able to see what you need.. and I was wrong (I can't believe I just admitted that !) The pic in upper right hand corner I thought to be my pre 39 is not. Now I am not sure which one that is. There is a 39-2, Steel Frame, Low s/n 39..in that pic of 4 pistols.. I am not sure what the other one is.

https://imgur.com/a/jLuGKJX
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:50 PM
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I was able to get to my gun collection today. Here is the pic of my pre model 39 SN 2219. I only took a couple and they are phone pics in bad light but you should be able to see what you need.. and I was wrong (I can't believe I just admitted that !) The pic in upper right hand corner I thought to be my pre 39 is not. Now I am not sure which one that is. There is a 39-2, Steel Frame, Low s/n 39..in that pic of 4 pistols.. I am not sure what the other one is.

[/URL]https://imgur.com/a/jLuGKJX
It's not a matter of who is right or wrong it's that we all pool our resources and make our new discoveries along the way.

Thanks for posting picutures of SN: 2219

When you get tired of that old S&W Pre-39 and would like to buy a newer S&W, I know a guy that would pay a good price for it and take very good care of it.

All joking aside, 2219 is VERY, nice. Do you have the green booklet tools and protective paper in the box ?
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:33 PM
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It's not a matter of who is right or wrong it's that we all pool our resources and make our new discoveries along the way.

Thanks for posting picutures of SN: 2219

When you get tired of that old S&W Pre-39 and would like to buy a newer S&W, I know a guy that would pay a good price for it and take very good care of it.

All joking aside, 2219 is VERY, nice. Do you have the green booklet tools and protective paper in the box ?
I only have the paper. No booklet or tools. As far as selling.. not likely as it was a hard find and a very nice example. But then one never knows.. I have sold a few guns I thought I never would to aquire something I thought was nicer
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:23 PM
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Default Ol' DC's "Four Cents"

This collector actually has five "Preemies," but the 5th is in teardown, now, awaiting time for yours truly to clean it thoroughly.

Also intended before reassembly is a side-by-side comparison of the Pre-39's guts against that of the 39-2. Such should be fairly easy given that I've also got a 39-2 in teardown, likewise awaiting a thorough cleaning.

However, given that my mind stands (well, you know) on the very cusp of that slim line which is the border between sanity and the "other choice," I'll probably choose to also include a Model 39 chosen somewhere in the 60k through 80k serial number ranges.

Aw, heck. Let's get on with the show.


Pre-39 S/N 2623 is Ol' DC's first. Acquired from Mr. Roger Bain it came with a flat-magazine follower that this collector thought so incorrect he nearly tossed it. Somehow, this collector soon learned it was the first follower and, boy, was I ever glad I didn't toss it. Another item coming along for the boxed ride from Mr. Bain's place to Ol' DC's was a really nice piece of reading material, the glossy green-and-white cover calling the accompanying sidearm simply a "9mm Automatic."


To Rescue or Not To Rescue
Kinda like a stray dog, cat or oppossum, Ol' DC couldn't help but bring home Pre-39 2289. It obviously has been through heck and back. Also obvious are the weak-ish attempts to fix up No. 2289, what with the wrong grips and, peeking from the rear, the shiny and definitely newer-looking backstrap.

Should SN 2289 be treated like the antiquity it is and leave it as-is? Or should it be returned to its place of manufacture to be pretty anew. You know the answer? I darn sure don't. So pass it along, please!


Along next, above, is Pre-39 S/N 2104. It's pretty, I love it and it is what it is. I ain't changing it no matter how ugly others may claim it to be. It's darn-sure pretty insofar as I see it.


Last, at least for this show, for now, is Pre-39 S/N 1535, which appears to have suffered only minimally from the school of knocks that has been the life of many sidearms for the last 50+ years. Like the high school girl that once was my flame, she's pretty enough despite a pimple here or there.

Missing, for now, is one Premmie currently in teardown. She'll be introduced to the world that be when time properly comes.

Then there are the Premmies I've yet to purchase. And purchase I will. After all, the Pre-39 was and remains a most-cool firearm.

Later.
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:37 PM
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DCW, your pictures are a little more honest than mine. Mine looks quite a bit like your #1535 with the frame nicks and such.

While I'm in no mood to do so, it would seem my pre-39 would be by far the easiest to sell (and hardest to price) of anything in my safe.

Too, though I consider myself primarily a S&W revolver guy, this has become my favorite thread on these forums.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:54 AM
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Note my 2289 is a "real dog," too, Cyrano, but unless your Premmie and you were a pair as it slowly transited from new to dog, you've likely little idea exactly what it's seen in a history spanning more than six decades. It could've spent life in the bottom of a Southern Louisiana jon boat acting as the coup-de-grace gun for ensnared gators or crocs, as did one of my "rescue" 39s. On the other hand, it could've just as likely been someone's gun of last resort in the jungles and rice paddies of South Vietnam that, likely, would've parted with its owner only upon his quietly passing years later with family aside, stateside.

Later.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwill1911 View Post
Sal,
I think the first one - 1001 - went to Harold Austin at the factory, current whereabouts unknown. I have no data on 1002-1004 but then there was a shipment to the USMC from 1005 to 1020. Your 1021 is the lowest I know of but I've also seen or heard about 1023, 1027 and 1037.
Regards,
It turns out that 1021 was shipped to Jesse Harpe, Tampa, Fl in early 1955. The receipt from the S&WHF has 6 guns on it, including 1021.

There is no dollar value next to 1021, while the other 5 guns listed add up to the total at the bottom so sent to Jesse Harpe and no charge.

A few days ago I wrote Roy to ask if he could look further if the gun was listed as a gift of charged to a cost of sales account, etc., he said that he was not in his office at that time but he would look to see if there is anything else on 1021.

It also seems that 1021 is alone in its characteristic of having the experimental upper, with the exception of the X prefix, pre-production R&D guns.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:52 PM
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Default New owner for this beauty

Quote:
Originally Posted by lah1940 View Post
I purchased this pistol a couple of years ago from the son of the gentleman who originally purchased it. The son said his dad purchased a large number of pistols that he never fired and the pistol looks brand new and unfired.
Took me a year but I finally broke down and bought this gun and I couldn't be happier. The pictures don't do it justice and it's 99% probable that it was never fired.++++++
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