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Old 10-22-2012, 01:20 PM
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Default Model 39 - 2 or 3 Tone Finish?

S&W Letter:
Quote;

We have researched your Smith & Wesson Model 39 Eight Shot 9mm Auto Loading Pistol, caliber 9mm, in company records which indicate that your handgun, with serial number 106177, was shipped from our factory on July 18, 1969, and delivered to Albion Arms Ltd., Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The records indicate that this hand gun was shipped with a 4 inch barrel, blue finnish, and checkered grips.

Unquote.

My reason for posting is that, according to my eyes, the finnish is more than just blue! The Frame is black, but the slide seems to be a 2-tone color. The sides are bright blue, but the top seems to be a dark gray matte finiish. Is this possible, or am I just seeing things!

I hope you can see what I'm referring to in the attached pictures.

The pistol is in top excellent+ condition, with 4 S&W mags.
extra set of Eagle Rosewood grips & a set of Pachmyer rubber grips. It has not been shot much, but when I got it, the long extractor was broken & had to be replaced. That was back in the 90's.

I'm looking forward to your comments.
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Last edited by BJDandy; 10-22-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:04 PM
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BJ,
The slide is blue finish, but it does have the standard sandblast texture on the top that makes it look matt gray. The alloy frame is standard black because that is what black anodizing looks like, but it is still called "blue".
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:07 PM
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I can see the difference in color on your Model 39 & I can see why you would think that it is two colors. I think this is because of the Anodized Aluminum frame. It somehow affects the color since it is actually a different process than than the Blueing that S&W uses for the stainless slide. My lightweight Colt Commander exhibits some of these same characteristics. I could be wrong though. I would wait till a few more knowledgeable members chime in first before putting this to rest.

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Old 10-22-2012, 02:17 PM
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Your slide and frame are two different metals, hence the coloring is different to the finish.

Slide is steel, frame is a lightweight alloy. The frame is actually anodized, which is a little different process than the bluing of the steel slide.

From Merriam Webster:

Anodize: to subject (a metal) to electrolytic action as the anode of a cell in order to coat with a protective or decorative film

From Wikipedia:

Bluing: Bluing is a passivation process in which steel is partially protected against rust, and is named after the blue-black appearance of the resulting protective finish. True gun bluing is an electrochemical conversion coating resulting from an oxidizing chemical reaction with iron on the surface selectively forming magnetite (Fe3O4), the black oxide of iron. Black oxide provides minimal protection against corrosion, unless also treated with a water-displacing oil to reduce wetting and galvanic action. A distinction can be made between traditional bluing and some other more modern black oxide coatings, although bluing is a subset of black oxide coatings.

Nice pistol.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:23 PM
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Your 39 appears to have the factory blue finish, the steel slide is blued, and as mentioned, has the correct "brushed sides" while the top is bead blasted to reduce glare, this is how they came.....I have seen many variations in the bluing from the factory, from almost black to a deep plum color. The alloy frame is indeed anodized, and they usually look glossy black, I have also seen color variations in the anodizing....I have an early sixties 39 and the frame actually looks purple, and it is the factory original finish.....if you compare ten different model 39s, you are likely to find that no two are exactly the same shade of blue or black.....
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:59 PM
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And then you find one like mine from 1975. Both metals look the same!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for all the input!

I thought I might have something, unusual regarding the fiinish, but it's great to get the straight facts.

I do have another question regarding the 39, and that concerns the 900+ steel frames issued in the 60's. I understand that there are 3 seperate serial number ranges for these pistols?

If that's so, can anyone give me that information. I see very few 39's here in Ontario, so it would be nice to know if I ever come across a steel frame pistol!
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Last edited by BJDandy; 10-23-2012 at 10:54 AM. Reason: set-up
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:13 AM
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"Steel frame guns fall in the range of 39000 and 60000 - 64000 and again from 81000 - 82000."

Supica, Jim; Nahas, Richard (2006-12-20). Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson 3rd (p. 272). F+W Media, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:47 PM
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OP; Very nice gun.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJDandy View Post
I do have another question regarding the 39, and that concerns the 900+ steel frames issued in the 60's. I understand that there are 3 seperate serial number ranges for these pistols?

If that's so, can anyone give me that information. I see very few 39's here in Ontario, so it would be nice to know if I ever come across a steel frame pistol!
In the serial number ranges within which the steel frame version appears, there are lots of ordinary alloy frame 39's mixed in. You can typically visually identify a steel frame right off, but testing with a magnet is the way to be sure.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerSan69 View Post
"Steel frame guns fall in the range of 39000 and 60000 - 64000 and again from 81000 - 82000."

Supica, Jim; Nahas, Richard (2006-12-20). Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson 3rd (p. 272). F+W Media, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Thanks!

I have the 2nd edition of this book, but it appears not to have this info in it, or I just can't find it.
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