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Old 08-11-2017, 02:24 AM
waynesigmeister waynesigmeister is offline
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What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2  
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Default What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2

I took my new to me 39-2 out to the range to qualify for my Security Guard Firearms card. In Kalifornia, even though I am a retired LEO, I must carry a state security guard card and firearms card to work high value security details. The gun worked perfectly, no feeding or ejection problems, just a long trigger pull when first firing the gun in double action.

While I plan to continue to carry my Glock 19 for work, I would like to carry my 39-2 as a change of pace. I carry the Hornaday 147gr XTP Custom bullets in the Glock. In some old forums, it was recommended to stay away from the 147gr. I would like a recommendation as to what I should carry in the gun. I am looking at the 124gr Remington Golden Saber round.

Last edited by waynesigmeister; 08-11-2017 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:27 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2  
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I recently inherited a Model 39-2 and have been trying it out primarily with regular ball ammo. However, the one batch of new self defense ammo that I have tried (primarily for function and accuracy) is the Federal Premium HST, product number P9HST55. This is a jacketed hollow point supposedly developed for "micro guns" and seems to feed and function quite well in my dead stock 39-2. It advertises "extreme bullet expansion" and the bullet design certainly appears effective.

Froggie
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:37 PM
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lhump1961 lhump1961 is offline
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New recoil spring and should be good to go. If you're shooting hot stuff perhaps a heavier spring would be in order. If you can feel the slide hit the rear then certainly heavier spring.

If it were me I'd just load up regular ball or HP 124g and call it a day...no need to push it...the bad guy won't like any of it!
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:13 PM
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What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2  
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Wayne, just keep in mind that the 39-2 has an alloy frame and stay away from "HOT" ammo. It isn't needed anyway!

Enjoy the great handgun!!
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:53 AM
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Greetings waynesigmeister (and no Sig pistol!?).

I prefer a points system:

Using the Horny 147 grain XTP Custom +1

NO feed; NO ejection (especially NO Ejection probs) +1

Long DA trigger pull -63

Reading other forums -439

124 gr Remington Golden Saber round (as opposed to, say, squares) +1,124

Acquiring new Wolff springs w/ 20 lb, 19 lb and 18 lb recoil guide springs, priceless.

Priceless wins.

Why: First, you'll have three springs to change in the oh-so-easy to change Model 39-2.

Buy at least 50 rd. quality 115 gr FMJ; 50 rd. 124 gr Reming; 147 gr Horny.

Pencil and pad.

Go to range, send five rounds of each cartridge down range using the 18 lb. spring; write notes on tactile feel, sound, recoil, etc,; change spring to 19 lb., repeat w/ notes; same for 20 lb.

You can also - and I recommended it - get a little hotter by employing fast fire rates (heat those parts; learn what each load does on 'em.)

You'll hopefully have fun and all, but most importantly determine your 39-2's ideal diet but which in the process will ALSO determine what most likely won't work

I figure the above test saved my scrawny LEO butt a time or two - especially the stress test.

Don't short cut anything. Your life is on the line.

Now, the "other forum" people either lacked imagination; thought you were a Yahoo; or, have no idea the purpose of a recoil spring.

The idea that a heavier round will incur damage on your 39-2's alloy frame has some merit, but also playing a role in the amount of potential damage on the aforementioned recoil spring is its rating and the powder used to send any round downrange.

I'm interested in your results so I hope you save your notes, The expansion of you brain will help us expand ours.

Later.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:10 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2  
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OK, since the topic has been broached, my 39-2, while approaching 40 years of age, has had (at most) less than 500 rounds through it. This being the case, does the "replace springs before using" advice applying? (Actually it's too late, I've already been shooting in to the tune of about 100 rounds or so.) Can somebody give me a "Rule of Thumb" for either round count or passage of time for spring replacement? I'm probably not going to ever be giving this gun the kind of high volume shooting my target guns and revolvers get, but with its family history I want to maintain it to pass on to one of the "grands" in its same excellent shape.

TIA~Froggie

PS. The HST 150 grain SD rounds I mentioned in post 2 is advertised as being suitable for the "micro" nines, so I'm assuming it should be "soft" enough for my stock spring Model 39-2, or is this a wrong extrapolation of the information?

Last edited by Green Frog; 08-12-2017 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Add PS
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:51 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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My spin on the 39-2 and feeding it. Take this information for what it is worth and keep in mind that I am not a LEO, not in the military, not a mall ninja, just a civie with three decades of experience with firearms.

Back in the day, expanding pistol bullets relied on velocity and little else. This gave rise to the +P and +P+ 115 and 124 grain JHP loads. Then came the 147 loads, originally developed as subsonic loads for use in sound suppressed weapons. This was primarily a military thing and they were not really worried about expanding bullets. These loads were horrible performers in the civilian world.

Today, bullet materials and designs have evolved to the point that +P and +P+ are not necessary for most of us. Standard pressure loads for modern JHP bullets in the 124 to 147 grain range work great. Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, and Winchester Ranger T Series loads are generally at the top of the heap. Today's +P loads usually use the same bullets as standard pressure loads (unless bonded core bullets are substituted) and will expand faster and to a slighter greater degree than the standard pressure loads, but the faster expansion reduces penetration.

For my 439 and 6946, I use stock spring weight recoil springs as heavy springs batter the slide stop pin and that can lead to aluminum receiver damage. I reserve +P or NATO ammo for steel framed pistols. Standard pressure ammo in aluminum receivers is far easier to control than hotter ammo. Unless your pistol has a barrel shorter than 3.5 inches, special ammo developed for short barrel pistols offers very little advantage over standard ammo, but it might cost more.

So, in summary, for me it's standard pressure 124 or 147 grain modern JHP ammo and stock weight recoil springs, but I'm just an aging (and getting to be cranky and opinionated) civilian.

Oh, and my rule for recoil spring replacement is every 5000 rounds for standard pressure ammo, 3000 rounds for hotter ammo. Unless the spring is showing any sign of corrosion, I don't think age really matters. What wears out springs once they take their initial set is compression cycles, not time.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:36 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2 What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2  
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stansdds, what about the "average" ball ammo available at big box stores and online using 115 grain FMJ type bullets? If my gun is functioning well with this and seems to be functioning well with the limited use of the 150 grain HST ammo intended for "micro nines" It seems like, even though there is a 35 grain difference in the bullet weights, this pairing covers my needs for practice ammo and self defense loads. POA/POI out to 25 yds seems pretty consistent, and I can currently walk into the big box store and find both fairly economically. If I am going to continue to resist the urge to reload for this gun, the 115 gr/150 gr odd couple looks good. Again, is there a hole in my logic?
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:16 PM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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What ammo to use in my S&W 39-2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
stansdds, what about the "average" ball ammo available at big box stores and online using 115 grain FMJ type bullets? If my gun is functioning well with this and seems to be functioning well with the limited use of the 150 grain HST ammo intended for "micro nines" It seems like, even though there is a 35 grain difference in the bullet weights, this pairing covers my needs for practice ammo and self defense loads. POA/POI out to 25 yds seems pretty consistent, and I can currently walk into the big box store and find both fairly economically. If I am going to continue to resist the urge to reload for this gun, the 115 gr/150 gr odd couple looks good. Again, is there a hole in my logic?
Here is a great video comparing the 150 gr HST with the standard and +P 147 gr HST's.


The gist of it seems to be that the 150 gr loading is standard pressure, rapid expansion, but that means less penetration and the rounds are expensive. They will certainly not do any harm to your 39-2, but they offer no real advantage over the less expensive, standard pressure 147 gr HST.

As for practicing with 115 grain FMJ, it is standard pressure, will do no harm to your 39-2, and is cheap. The only downside is the difference in recoil impulse between the two very different bullet weights. In my experience, 115 grain loads are snappy, while 147 grain loads feel more like a good push.
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:15 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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That's about where I got to on my own, stansdds. It would appear that locally I can find either the 147 HST or the 150 HST "micro" for just about the same price, so I'll probably try a box of each for accuracy then buy whichever is more accurate if there is a difference, or stick with the 150s for the milder recoil moment to be nice to my gun. Of course this gun will not be shooting a large volume of either of these rounds, since the 115 FMJ is so much cheaper and readily available here. I know this wasn't my thread originally, so I hope the OP won't be angry with me for trolling it for more details... in fact, maybe I got more information to come out that he can use as well. Thanks from the Frog to all who responded with such valuable input.

Froggie
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