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Old 02-16-2016, 08:45 AM
Trinidad Bill Trinidad Bill is offline
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I was looking for a 39-2 when I came across this 439. I know it is the 2nd generation of the 39-2 so I figured it had to be just as good and maybe a few improvements.

The alloy frame is showing some wear and shine but to me they are character marks. Old police gun with Pachmayr grips with the original wood grips, as a bonus.

Help educate me on the 439 as I was not able to find a lot.

A few quick photos.

P.S. I'm not a box guy, but it did come with the original box!

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Old 02-16-2016, 09:57 AM
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Single stack version of the 459. FBI had issued some at time of the Miami fbi shootout.
Said piece with silver tips was used by an agent across the street from the two cars crashed together.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:43 AM
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Compared to the 39-2, the 439 came with different sights and a hammer drop safety. Later versions had the squared trigger guard and eliminated the lanyard loop.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:22 PM
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The 439 also has a firing pin lock making it "upgraded" for safer carry in the event of a dropped pistol. There were certainly far fewer 439's made and sold than the 39-2. Probably need to compare pistol to pistol, but it's been my experience that the single action trigger break on the 1st Gen pistols is likely better than on their 2nd Gen counterparts, but neither are target pistols so most won't notice a big difference.

For carry, I would prefer a 439. For joy of shooting and pride of ownership, I'd rather have a 39-2. Otherwise, they are comparable pistols and you have a great gun.

NOW!
Maybe I simply haven't been paying attention over the years where I should have been! I want to hear someone explain to me what in the world is going on with the extractor in the pictured handgun!

I have not ever, at least that I can recall, seen THAT extractor on a S&W 1-2-3rd Gen pistol. I am familiar with the old-style long extractor on the original Model 39 and the Models 52 and 52-1, but that one in the picture is different.

I have two 1st Gens and four 2nd Gens and more 3rd Gens but I don't have any S&W pistol with that extractor. Help?!
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:28 PM
Trinidad Bill Trinidad Bill is offline
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Uh oh! What's up with the extractor?
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:57 PM
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It's just different than any I have ever seen on a 1-2-3rd Gen pistol. I've seen plenty of pistols with an extractor of that style, but never one of these pistols. Appears to be a very short extractor with a spring behind it and pushing forward -- rather than a spring under it and pushing outward.

Don't yell at me for saying but it reminds me of a Glock extractor and/or the one on my Star Model 30 Starfire.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:57 PM
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Bill,

I have a 439 that I bought used close to 20 years ago. The indoor range I belonged to had fun shoots every Wednesday night, and about once every 5 or 6 weeks had a plate match. The 439 became my plate gun, usually clearing 5 plates in under 5 seconds with 5 shots. I love this Smith. I especially like the winged rear sight.

I now have a non-resident CFP, and when I am traveling in carry friendly states, this is one of the first handguns I reach for.

Please keep in mind, that in the early 1990s, the S&W model 439 was the subject of a recall, which I believe was centered on the decocker ... you want to verify that your Smith was returned for the recall.

If you decide to carry it concealed, good holsters are hard to come across. I found that Front Line makes a great Kydex IWB holster for the model 69 that fits the 439 like a glove.

I did note that the nut on the magazine release had to be replaced not long after I purchased the pistol, because someone had stripped the threads.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:15 AM
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I have a 459 and had a 559 with that same short/wide extractor.
I have seen 439's with it as well. I believe it was in use for just about one year of production, yet I have never seen a 639/659 with it.... and have certainly looked for a 659 with one at the time I had both of the others, just to have a matching set.
Never could find confirmation if the stainless were ever made with one, so settled for the typical style. Having both and shoot them extensively, I experience no difference in performance.

Last edited by azdave; 02-17-2016 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
NOW!
Maybe I simply haven't been paying attention over the years where I should have been! I want to hear someone explain to me what in the world is going on with the extractor in the pictured handgun!

I have not ever, at least that I can recall, seen THAT extractor on a S&W 1-2-3rd Gen pistol. I am familiar with the old-style long extractor on the original Model 39 and the Models 52 and 52-1, but that one in the picture is different.

I have two 1st Gens and four 2nd Gens and more 3rd Gens but I don't have any S&W pistol with that extractor. Help?!
IIRC used on the first thousand or so 439 models.
The story I heard was that S&W was trying to win a military contract wherein the purchasing agency did not want pin pivot extractors. Being only retained by an interference fit at the top, I suppose they felt the pins might be undependable in the heat of battle.
When contract fell through, S&W went back to the pin.

John
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:34 AM
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My 539 has the stubby extractor. My 559 has the pinned one. Only a couple hundred 559s had the pinned extractor, the others had the stubby one.
Jim
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:54 AM
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Trinidad Bill
They are a great little gun. As you are learning yours with the short extractor is a little more collectable due to the numbers produced, Standard Catalog lists few thousand made like yours. The box is always a bonus for the collector.

Sevens
My 539 and 559 both have this extractor. The SWSC mentions the short extractor for the 439 and others...
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:14 AM
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Excellent, gentlemen. I love to learn new bits!
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:46 PM
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I do like the sights on the 439 better than on the 39-2; they're easier for my older eyes to pick up.

O.P.'s pistol is the first I've seen other than my own 439 with this type of extractor. Stupid question? O.P.'s serial number is A723203 and mine is A777756. How does a difference in serial number of over 54,550 jive with Standard catalog listing a few thousand made? To me a few thousand is maybe 3,000 to 5,000.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:04 PM
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I can think of two quick answers for that--

First is the catch-all "S&W did so many crazy things that you simply cannot read in to serial number sequences"

Such as... they produced piles of frames in numbered order and then a stack of them got placed on a shelf while another stack was turned in to pistols and shipped -- the stack on the shelf sat three years before they were later turned in to pistols and shipped.

The other reason is that the serial number range you show with those two pistols doesn't include simply 439's but rather EVERY single model of S&W pistols being made at that time. Including the Models 41 and 52, vastly different handguns than a casual 9mm service-type pistol.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:36 PM
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To assist and make some sense with post 13 & 14, my 539s serial number is A733273.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I can think of two quick answers for that--

First is the catch-all "S&W did so many crazy things that you simply cannot read in to serial number sequences"

Such as... they produced piles of frames in numbered order and then a stack of them got placed on a shelf while another stack was turned in to pistols and shipped -- the stack on the shelf sat three years before they were later turned in to pistols and shipped.

The other reason is that the serial number range you show with those two pistols doesn't include simply 439's but rather EVERY single model of S&W pistols being made at that time. Including the Models 41 and 52, vastly different handguns than a casual 9mm service-type pistol.
That's kind of what I was thinking, but wasn't certain. Especially your last reason. Thanks for the knowledge.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:45 AM
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I love my 439. It's 2 tone, blued slide and clear anodized aluminum frame. Pachmayer grips, and the adjustable rear wing sights. It just fits "right"

I also have a 5906 and 6906.
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:13 AM
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I did call the S&W Service Center about the recall. They told me my pistol's serial number was lower than required for the recall. Only serial numbers greater that A74xxxx were on the recall list.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:22 PM
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I did call the S&W Service Center about the recall. They told me my pistol's serial number was lower than required for the recall. Only serial numbers greater that A74xxxx were on the recall list.
Bill,

Kudos on the follow up.
I have found my 439 to be as reliable as my 1911s.
It is comforting to have it at hand.

Ed
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:33 PM
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I did call the S&W Service Center about the recall. They told me my pistol's serial number was lower than required for the recall. Only serial numbers greater that A74xxxx were on the recall list.
I've apparently been living in a cave because I was unaware of the recall for 439's. I did some checking online since mine is in the numeric sequence of the recall, and mine passes the test they have you perform so either it's been fixed already or didn't need it.

Thanks for the serial number info.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:19 AM
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I should have asked the Service Center but did not. What was the recall on the 439 for?
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:33 AM
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RECALL: This warning is issued for Smith & Wesson 9mm Semiautomatic Pistols which were shipped from the factory between May 1, 1983 and February 26, 1986. Included are Models 439, 459, 469, 539, 559, 639, 659 and 669 but only with serial numbers in the following ranges:

A745000-A865000 and TAA0001-TAL9999

The pistols within the serial number ranges listed above must be inspected for function from the half-cock notch. The safety mechanism will function in a perfectly satisfactory manner in many of these pistols, as well as in all pistols with serial numbers outside these ranges and in all pistols shipped from the factory after February 26, 1986.

Every one of these models bearing a serial number within the ranges listed above should be carefully inspected by the owner for this special condition. To determine if your pistol has this condition, do the following:
1.Point the muzzle in a safe direction.
2.Completely unload the pistol. Check both the magazine and chamber to assure they are empty of live rounds.
3.With your finger off the trigger, operate the manual safety with the unloaded pistol fully cocked and fully uncocked so that you can recognize how the manual safety looks and feels when it is fully in the safe position. The hammer will fall from the fully cocked position into the "at rest" position when the manual safety is moved down toward a safe position. When you are thoroughly familiar with placing the manual safety fully in the safe position, place it up in the fire position.
4.With the manual safety in the fire position, place the hammer in the half-cock notch:


For the Model 439, 459, 539, 559, 639 and 659, put the hammer of your pistol in the half-cock notch by pulling the hammer to the rear slowly until you hear the first click and then releasing the hammer so that it catches between the full cock and the "at rest" position.

For the Model 469 and 669, put the hammer of your pistol in the half-cock notch by inserting an empty magazine and slowly pulling the trigger until you hear the first click and then releasing the trigger so that the hammer catches between the full cock and the "at rest" position.
5.With the hammer in the half-cock notch, push the manual safety down toward the safe position. If you can push the manual safety fully into the safe position and the hammer falls into the "at rest" position, your pistol does not require modification. If you cannot push the manual safety fully into the safe position or the hammer does not fall into the "at rest" position, your pistol is being recalled for modification free of charge.

Recalled pistols should be sent promptly to a Smith & Wesson Warranty Service Center for modification. Call 800-633-0164 for the name and location of the one nearest you or for answers to nay questions you may have. Law enforcement departments who have pistols, which exhibit this condition, should contact the Smith & Wesson Service Department to arrange for modifying the pistols.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:24 AM
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I had a chance to change the the stocks from the Pachmayrs to the original Walnut. I prefer the look and feel of the original stocks.

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Old 02-22-2016, 09:40 AM
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Also got a chance to shoot the 439 for the first time. My first attempt was not too successful. I filled the magazine with some of my lead reloads that my 5906 ate with no problems. The 439 barrel did not like the lead reloads, the slide jammed going into battery. A quick test showed the cartridge would not pass the plunk test in the 439 barrel.

I can only assume the older 439 9mm barrels were made to a tighter spec than the 5906 barrel?

I picked up some cheap factory 9mm from Walmart and the 439 had no problems with the in spec factory ammo.

Top target is my first 8 rounds off hand through the 439 at about 12 yards. First 5 (lower) were getting a feel for pistol, last three were in the center. Did not even have to change the sight.

The S&W 439 is a shooter!

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Old 02-22-2016, 06:04 PM
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Handloads are always a bit of a mixed bag until you have a very wide array of different guns to test that ONE single particular load in. And finding a load that will run in a 5906 -- well, that is maybe one of the easiest and most forgiving pistols ever made, EVER.

Finding success with lead handloads in your 639 may just be as simple as adjusting your COAL.
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Old 01-08-2021, 02:57 PM
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Iíve jus received this as a gift from a buddy of mine who thinks itís a garbage can of a collector piece. Serial #ís A 806324. I canít seem to find much on it but after reading some of these reviews Iím most definitely gonna hold onto this piece. Itís in purdy damn good shape with zero scratches or marks on it whatsoever & the finish is in fact original & still shines like a diamond in a goats ***! Not sure if this falls into the ďrecallĒ category as the serial #ís in these threads seems 2 be all over the place but hindsight is really doesnít matter as this isnít gonna be an everyday range piece. Any thoughts or info on this is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-08-2021, 03:33 PM
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Not sure if this falls into the ďrecallĒ category.
It does if it fails the test.
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Old 01-08-2021, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
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Iíve jus received this as a gift from a buddy of mine who thinks itís a garbage can of a collector piece. Serial #ís A 806324. I canít seem to find much on it but after reading some of these reviews Iím most definitely gonna hold onto this piece. Itís in purdy damn good shape with zero scratches or marks on it whatsoever & the finish is in fact original & still shines like a diamond in a goats ***! Not sure if this falls into the ďrecallĒ category as the serial #ís in these threads seems 2 be all over the place but hindsight is really doesnít matter as this isnít gonna be an everyday range piece. Any thoughts or info on this is greatly appreciated!
When I saw the "garbage can" comment, I thought of a TV commercial running currently where the bear tells the lady with a cough she should take their cough syrup with honey and then asks "Mind if I root through your trash?" I wouldn't mind rooting through your friend's garbage can!!!

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Old 01-09-2021, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Jason View Post
Iíve jus received this as a gift from a buddy of mine who thinks itís a garbage can of a collector piece. Serial #ís A 806324. I canít seem to find much on it but after reading some of these reviews Iím most definitely gonna hold onto this piece. Itís in purdy damn good shape with zero scratches or marks on it whatsoever & the finish is in fact original & still shines like a diamond in a goats ***! Not sure if this falls into the ďrecallĒ category as the serial #ís in these threads seems 2 be all over the place but hindsight is really doesnít matter as this isnít gonna be an everyday range piece. Any thoughts or info on this is greatly appreciated!
That's quite a friend you have!!!!!! Beautiful nickel plated Model 439 with the adjustable rear sight option.
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