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Old 02-05-2018, 04:00 PM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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Default The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.

I posted this in another thread but believe it needs its own thread for all input to be considered.

PLEASE RATE THIS THREAD after you review it. A few more points and Lee will award me a new kitchen toaster. (NOT)

The topic would be the subtle (and sometimes illusive) minor changes made within a model number that did not show up with a "dash" model change. If you have observed something like this, please share it with us.

For example, I have noticed the first bunch of 39-2s in nickel had the trigger, slide stop and safety lever nickeled. Appx to A240xxx (amended 2/12/18 as I have seen a A233xxx with nickel slide stop and safety lever), IIRC, after which those items were blued. It actually looks sexier with the blued components, I think, but that's one production change that did not have a DASH number for the revision.

The production number Sevens quoted of 347,000 is likely accurate for the entire 39 series pistols. There is surely NO shortage of 39-2s, so much so that I am amazed with some of the sale prices over the past year or two. It isn't even that difficult to find one ANIB, NIB or NOS.

Prior to 2 year ago you would find an abundant "glut" of 39-2s for sale (as you do now but at much higher ask prices), all in the $300 range or less. A bit MORE in ANIB but rarely over $450.00. Seems I should have banked more 39-2s than I did but the current price trend makes no sense. Another recent price trend on S&W Model 28 (Highway Patrolman matte finish .357 magnums) is another one I cannot reason with. A recent as 2007 year I recall dealer tables full of used / trade in Model 28s the dealers could not get $250 for.

The semi-automatic serial numbers started in 1954 with 1001 on the, then new, 9mm pistol ... what we now call a "pre-39". In the 2600 serial number range the MODEL 39 stamping began. At "about" serial number 109xxx-110xxx the "A" prefix (about 1972) was added to comply with the new (then) Federal regulations, however S&W continued the same serial numbers except now with the "A" prefix. There are some overlaps both ways such as M-39s with a A and 39-2s with out the A). The S&W Semi-Auto serial numbers continued from appx A109xxx on up to A8xxxxx (for sure) may have even gone into the A9xxxxx range.

The S&W automatic serial number range started at Serial Number 1001 (the lowest I have seen is 1021) and continued well into the A8xxxxx for sure, however, this included ALL automatic pistols, including but not limited to: Pre-39, 39, 39-2, 44 (less than 10 produced), 41, 46, 52, 52-A (87 produced, in-house designation 39-1), 52-1, 52-2, 59, 147A (limited production) , 439, 539, 639, 459, 559, 659 into the entire 39xx and 59xx series (until alhpa-numeric started), 645s, 45xx series.

I have a theory about in-house designation(s) of "39-2" prior to the commercial release of the production issue 39-2 but that will have to be put off for another thread on another day.

The steel 39 frames were released in 3 known serial number ranges. From memory (without any books in front of me) those ranges are in (OR NEAR) 35xxx, 62xxx, 85xxx. These steel frame serial ranges are not carved in stone but are found "in" and "close" to these SN ranges.

All steel frames 39s are marked "MODEL 39". No 39-2 steel frames were commercially released. NO Steel frame MODEL 39s were nickel plated (as far as we can determine at this time). There were MODEL 39 (alloy frames) in nickel. The official reply from S&W is the "standard" reply that 10% of the production of near any model were produced in nickel.

IIRC somewhere in the mid to late 1980s went over to the alpha-numeric serial numbers in a whole new set of serial numbers. The most abundantly produced 39's were clearly the 39-2s. Contrary to other beliefs there is NO shortage of 39-2s, neither in blue or nickel. An abundance of blue 39-s and very many nickel 39-2s were produced and are still out there. If you feel you need to own one (or ANOTHER one) just watch the auctions and be patient. Of course the NIB, ANIB and NOS will cost you more, as in near anything else.

The 39 series started off slowly as S&W was hesitant and not quite over the failure of the .35 S&W auto model 1913 and equally doom fated (both for illogical reasons) .32 ACPs which were produced well into the 1920s.

The 9mm semi-automatic caught on slowly but surely. It was not an overnight success for a few reasons, the largest (I feel) was to convince the LEO culture that a semi-automatic 9mm was more beneficial than prior LEO guns. Metric calibers in the USA were tabu back then as were automobiles with Metric size bolts. It was a task to convince the S&W 9mm Semi Autos were better than the old wheel guns used in LEO for the prior 100 years.

Earlier years sales were not fantastic but by the 1960s started to pick up speed, then, by the 1970s the S&W 9mm pistol had finally "arrived".

Early on S&W decided to go with the double-action trigger producing less than 10 single action models which were carried on the "ALL MODEL CIRCULARS" into the 1960s.

The 39s are remarkable semi-autos. Very user friendly, accurate, reliable ( I have yet, to this day 40 years after my 1st 39) to have a misfire, ejection problem or malfunction of any nature with ANY S&W 9mm semi auto of the 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation production. I exclude 2 ammo related issues as they were clearly NOT S&W malfunctions.

It also has the benefit of the quick-reset trigger after the 1st double action pull (which I have had to add to some of my favorite Sigs). In the beginning there was much talk about the trigger, quick-reset feature and the safety (some call a decocker which is not in the true sense of the word ... a decocker). Who liked it, who didn't, pros / cons, blah, blah but all comes down to this ... it WAS and IS a remarkable S&W original concept.

It is apparent to look at it, the 39 borrowed heavily from both the Walther P-38 (not P-08, thank you Brad), the Browning 1911 (thank you Brad) and Browning High Power. In fact, the 39 safety and decocker is justly named a "Walther's safety" while truly not a "decocker" in the European sense.

The very many engineering changes or subtle revisions within a certain model semi-automatic (without a DASH designation) is what makes collecting S&W semi-autos even more attractive.

To identify and determine these subtle changes is more a "subculture" among S&W semi-auto collectors. We can get sort of finicky about these subtle changes as well.

S&WCA member Richard McMillan was one of first serious 39 (and other S&W semi-auto) collectors authoring a few article in the S&W Journal. In the past he has been very kind to me in helping with specific production data and these sub-culture" revisions, changes and anomalies to sending me photocopies of magazine articles and dealer notes (pre-internet days).

S&W 39/59 magazine types, revisions and other oddities have also become a sub-culture of collecting from the different followers right on down to the lazy ampersand, long tongue (in different lengths), stamped "A", followers, welds types and variances, military types, etc.

Welcome to the 39-culture (or sub-culture). LOL
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:11 AM
gmborkovic gmborkovic is offline
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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Does anyone recall seeing a pic of a S&W auto presented to Jack Webb,
"Dragnet" with sn 741?
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:40 AM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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Does anyone recall seeing a pic of a S&W auto presented to Jack Webb,
"Dragnet" with sn 741?
Mike,

That Jack Webb story is an old one. I hope it's true. There were a few others, too but just now I can't remember the hearsay on those. e.g. J. Edgar Hoover (what a waste that would have been) and a some other prominent people.

I have only "heard" of a handful given out as promotion gifts by S&W and one that Roy owns. Perhaps we should ask Roy if he "really" has an early pre-39 and if he could add any info on the early issues and / or pre-release 9mm autos out there or it is just another S&W rumor.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:54 AM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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In addition to Richard McMillan, I'd like to thank Author Kevin Williams (who always answers my odd questions with sound research and facts), Collectors: Richard McMillan, Brad Whidden (aka Engine49Guy), Sam Tovar aka "MODEL 39", who was the first member who willingly shared model 39 data with me, Richard Sopko (who I first met at 2017 Symposium*), Mike Borkovic, and Ray Brazille (RIP).

(*) Rich Sopko and his wife Judy showed up at my house a week or so back in their huge new motorhome. They not only brought but cooked (BBQ) venison steaks for my son Sal and I but also left about a years supply of venison steaks in my freezer. What a guy !
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:03 PM
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Thanks, Sal. I would be interested in data at the very beginning of production and around the change-over from the Model 39 to the Model 39-2. There are examples of 39s with 39-2 features and vice-versa.

My primary interest is in pistols shipped to military customers. The Navy and the Air Force both bought significant quantities.
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:43 PM
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The 39 series is one of my favorite S&W offerings. Maybe because it feels like a 1911 or maybe because it feels just right...
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gmborkovic View Post
Does anyone recall seeing a pic of a S&W auto presented to Jack Webb,
"Dragnet" with sn 741?
I did quite a bit of research after buying a pre-39 last month. S/Ns started 1001 according to what I found.

I found the PDF of the Dillon Press article on the 39 from a few years back, but did anyone ever make a coffee table book on the model? Or just S&W 1st through 3rd gens in general?
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:32 PM
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S&W 9mm automatics are fun to study since there were so many small evolutionary changes and variations for collectors to hunt down.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:02 PM
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per Mr. Roy Jinks, Jack Webb was presented S&W auto Sn. 714.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:07 PM
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Sal, I'm disappointed that your excellent post isn't getting much in the way of a response.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:42 AM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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Sal, I'm disappointed that your excellent post isn't getting much in the way of a response.
I think as people discover it, they will start posting some interesting photos and data. I have a few to post, myself, just been swamped with work lately.

I think I have 39-2 with a, "hand added" small -2 stamp at 109000, (no "A" prefix) if I recall correctly. ANIB. I found that about a year ago in Washington State from the original purchaser who stated he purchased it while in the service. I have yet to letter it. I will post of few of that one and a few others ASAP.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:50 PM
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per Mr. Roy Jinks, Jack Webb was presented S&W auto Sn. 714.
No doubt, so the S/Ns before 1001 were used by S&W "in-house" to VIPs and such?
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:49 PM
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Default Model 39-2, SN 109000, small -2 no A Prefix

Here is one I found odd on a few levels. HERE is the first one, Kevin. We need more " Model 39 guys" to come in strong on this thread.

First, the serial number 109000 just leaped out at me. OK, SN 109000, no big deal, right ? Next, the -2 (dash 2) is smaller, very neatly hand stamped, addition. And it DOES have the short extractor -2 slide. Also, there is NO "A" prefix. Also notice the serial number 109000 is neatly centered above "MODEL-39". With the added -2 it is off center.

A few other nice things, both magazines are matte finish with earlier stamped steel (figure "8") followers.

This came from the State of Washington from a gent (the original purchaser) who stated he purchased while in the U.S. Military Service somewhere up in the Northwestern States when he purchase it new.

He did not say, nor infer, nor could he recall, if he had purchased it on base or off base but it was NOT, per se, "issued" to him while in the U.S. Military.

It was advertised just as a plain ole' Model 39-2 AS or NEAR new in box. It was I that picked up on the even 109000 serial number without the "A" prefix. A few words with the seller and I hit the "BUY NOW" price, without hesitation.

For comparison: RECORDS of "MODEL 39" (long extractor) in higher 109xxx and 110xxx range (higher # that 39-2 SN 109000)

I had owned a consecutive set of model 39s, (not 39-2s), for over 20 years. They were non-factory engraved. They had been shipped to Texas dealer, Wolf & Klar (no wonder there that they are not factory engraved as Wolf & Klar was noted for in house engraving and other customizations) in a larger order of Model 39s, all NOT engraved. These two were serial Numbers 109475 and 109476 that truly ARE Model 39s in every sense of the definition. Stamped "MODEL 39", long extractor, no A prefix, etc. I sold that set in Lakeland back in September 2016. I had also owned a Model 39 (a true MODEL 39) in the 110xxx range, which I now regret selling many years back.

>>> other points of curiosity:

Another thing to watch for is how the "MODEL 39" or MODEL 39-2" is or is "not" centered over the serial number WITH or WITHOUT an "A" suffix (as if the A suffix or the -2 was an after thought).

There was another thread back a year ago or longer about 39/39-2s found with both an "A" prefix and "A" suffix which was either determined or thought to be a warranty frame replacement. I'll see if I can find that thread. It was very interesting, too.
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.-1-39-2-sn-109000-prebp-box-jpg   The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.-2-39-2-sn-109000-left-profile-jpg   The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.-3-39-2-sn-109000-right-profile-jpg   The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.-4-39-2-sn-109000-small-hand-stamp-2-jpg   The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.-6-39-2-sn-109000-matte-finish-mags-jpg  

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Old 02-09-2018, 04:28 PM
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I did quite a bit of research after buying a pre-39 last month. S/Ns started 1001 according to what I found.

I found the PDF of the Dillon Press article on the 39 from a few years back, but did anyone ever make a coffee table book on the model? Or just S&W 1st through 3rd gens in general?
Can you share that article with us ?
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:22 PM
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Sal,
You can read the article here: https://www.dillonprecision.com/docs..._sw_m39_p1.pdf
https://www.dillonprecision.com/docs..._sw_m39_p2.pdf
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:30 PM
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Here is another brief article: Smith & Wesson M 39

It is behind a paywall so I'm not sure if it will be visible or not.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:52 PM
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Here is another brief article: Smith & Wesson M 39

It is behind a paywall so I'm not sure if it will be visible or not.
All 3 links are good. Thank you, Kevin.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:13 PM
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Mike,

That Jack Webb story is an old one. I hope it's true. There were a few others, too but just now I can't remember the hearsay on those. e.g. J. Edgar Hoover (what a waste that would have been) and a some other prominent people.

I have only "heard" of a handful given out as promotion gifts by S&W and one that Roy owns. Perhaps we should ask Roy if he "really" has an early pre-39 and if he could add any info on the early issues and / or pre-release 9mm autos out there or it is just another S&W rumor.
It's true.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:17 PM
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Does anyone recall seeing a pic of a S&W auto presented to Jack Webb,
"Dragnet" with sn 741?
It was 714, the same as his Dragnet LAPD badge number.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:36 PM
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Default A suffix thread on Model 41 & 39 auto series

Here is the thread I had referred to. Jaime (Aussie Collector) is one of the most passionate collectors of 41, 41-1 and 46 models and an excellent source of knowledge on the 41/46 models.

Jaime indicates an A suffix means a duplicate serial number. This is likely true, however, I have examined 2 Model 41s with both an A prefix and an A suffix. On both the underside of the barrels were also stamped with the matched number (where they are regularly not numbered from the factory) and service date on the grip frame, visible with stocks removed, indicating a repair.

I have also examined a Model 39 with a A suffix and 2 Model 39-2s with both a A prefix and a A suffix where, again, the underside of the slide is numbered to the gun and service date on grip frame, visible with stocks removed.

Somewhere along the line I read the A suffix could also indicate a warranty repair and / or frame replacement thus trying to on a gun where the serial number does not fit into the standard ranges for that model or models e.g. a Model 39 with a A suffix serial number.

I'm hoping Kevin Williams will share data on serialization of 39 series that had undergone factory repairs and / or frame replacement.

Serial Number
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:54 PM
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I'm hoping Kevin Williams will share data on serialization of 39 series that had undergone factory repairs and / or frame replacement.
I'd share it if I had it but I don't have such data. :-(
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:56 PM
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That Jack Webb story is an old one. I hope it's true. There were a few others, too but just now I can't remember the hearsay on those.
I know nothing about the Jack Webb story re. a model 39. I have though seen and handled the engraved model 39 that was given to Buddy Hackett, by one of the Las Vegas casinos. I believe that Jan Murry had been given one as well.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:55 PM
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Sal unfortunately Photobucket is holding my pics hostage but have a few notes from my collection.

My earliest is Pre Model 39 Blue, Serial 1644, shipped July 1956 .
Short tang, flat mag follower, short safety lever, non relieved left grip panel, slide serrations further back surround safety lever, no dust cover groove cut on frame.

Model marked 39, Blue, Serial 2875 shipped April 1959 (only 1231 higher).
Has old style slide with serrations around safety, new long tang style frame, longer safety lever and relieved Left grip panel.

Model 39 , Blue, Serial 68490 shipped Oct 1966, Slide serrations moved fwd, frame has groove cut for dust cover, figure 8 mag follower.

Model 39-2 , Blue, Serial A194274 Shipped May 1973, Other than the new extractor has the older features found on the no dash such as :
Hole in hammer, enclosed barrel bushing, non slotted mag release button.

Model 59 Blue, Serial A265338 Shipped Oct 1975, No hole in hammer, fully enclosed barrel bushing, plastic mag follower. (early Model 59's have an aluminum follower and use the Model 39 safety lever with a frame relief cut to clear it , at around this time the safety lever was lengthened so it stuck out a bit to clear the 59 slide negating the need to relieve the 59 frame , Note the early 39-2 slide will not work on a later 59 frame because the safety wont clear a non relieved 59 frame.

IIRC the change to the "Horseshoe" shape barrel bushing occurs around late 75

Model 59 Blue, Serial A360615 Shipped Sept 1976, Has new style horseshoe barrel bushing.

My highest 1st gen is
Model 59 Blue, Serial A710244 Shipped Nov 1981,
The features that stand out are the barrel bushing and safety lever are a purplish colour and there was a change to the safety lever grooves so the encircle the front of the lever like a race track.

Note IIRC S&W began producing second gen 459's by this time so there are supposedly 459's with slightly lower serials.

Model 539, Blue, Serial A792711 Shipped March 1983,
steel frame, new large adjustable rear site for windage and yardage, round trigger guard.

Model 639, SS , Serial A841347 Shipped April 1984,
Small rear site dovetailed in slide, round trigger guard, ambi safety lever.

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Old 02-10-2018, 08:12 PM
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Just picked up my 1st model 39, it's a Illinois State Police marked specimen with the long style extractor. Very nice condition with near perfect bluing & nicely finished walnut grips.

Look forward to learning about this pistol, I've been a shooter/reloader for nearly 40 years, but this is my 1st 9mm.


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Old 02-11-2018, 05:30 PM
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Sal unfortunately Photobucket is holding my pics hostage but have a few notes from my collection.

My earliest is Pre Model 39 Blue, Serial 1644, shipped July 1956 .
I ended up moving my pics to imgur.com.

Here's #1173. Love to see its slightly younger sibling!

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Old 02-11-2018, 06:18 PM
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41Special; They were the 1st LEA to go to 9mm semi auto. You have got yourself a WINNER.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:26 PM
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Default I Have One....

A 39-2. Here are some pics.



I had a 59 years ago, wish I had kept it. I shot like a laser.

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Old 02-11-2018, 07:01 PM
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The OP is in good company when opining that the blue controls on a nickel gun look better than the all nickel but I'm not sure I agree. They both look good but I lean to the all nickel. The blue controls I admit look good but I think they did it to save money.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:25 AM
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I ended up moving my pics to imgur.com.

Here's #1173. Love to see its slightly younger sibling!


I'm sure Engine49guy will pop up with a few pix when or if he can get the pix out of PhotoBucket prison.

Among my pre-39s I have 1021, 1093, 1130 (with box), 1843 (the only pre-39 I have in the original box with all contents, complete with the green booklet) and a few more in the 2000 range (Highest SN is 2605) including a factory engraved.

To my knowledge, Rich Sopko (Cougar015) has the only other pre-39 factory engraved, I've ever seen. Likely (I surmise) Richard McMillan has a few too, as he is the oldest and longest years of collecting 39 variations. But, aside from those ... that's "it" for the factory engraved pre-39s. There aren't many of them.

1130 came with a very old 1975 letter that reads it shipped on November 8th 1955 (but does not say to where), just 3 days after the Flux Capacitor was invented ... LOL. I have a son that is 40 years old who loves Back to the Future. I promised him #1130 as it is the closest ship date I have to November 5, 1955.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:30 PM
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39's are interesting. I was never s S&W auto guy, but the 39 always intrigued me. It has such sleek lines, and just fits into the hand. I did acquire one, a little earlier one, last year, s/n in the 607xx range.

Quite a few told me it had to be a steel frame, but it isn't. But when I got a ship date form Roy he mentioned, you should letter it, it is interesting. Naturally I did letter it, and seem it is a single gun having been shipped to Sweden as a test gun for the Swedish Air Force. It appears to have been never fired, and with the long extractor I hear so much about (breaking and no replacements available) I haven't shot it either. I keep telling myself I should buy a 39-2 as a shooter.



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Old 02-13-2018, 03:48 AM
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No doubt, so the S/Ns before 1001 were used by S&W "in-house" to VIPs and such?
Jack Webb's, as Roy replied to Mike Borkovic's question in the "ask Roy" section of the private S&WCA side of the forum, was his badge number, 714. I don't believe there were a series or run of certain numbers prior to the production run starting at 1001, but there were some specifically numbered lower than 1001, as presentations or promotional gifts ... and ... a few tool room experimental in the X-### serial range. One of the older papers / parts list (included with the earlier 39s after the green booklet ceased) supplied with a pre-39 shows a "X" serial numbered, tool room, pre-39. I have yet to see one of those few X serial numbered pre-39s but I'd be humbled and impressed to see one, in person, even if the owner did not wish to part with it.

I have, however, seen and handled, just one single action 9mm (or model 44) many years ago in Tulsa in a member to member sale.

My 1021 has a different extractor than the commercially released 9mm with the long extractor. As soon as I get some time I'll post a few pictures.

Brad, Engine49guy, has studied the finer changes in the frames, hammers, levers and the magazines when short to a bit longer to very long, to the final most common production version, etc. which more precisely extends the one, major, study/ article written by Richard McMillan an S&WCA Journal ... not sure which issue but at "least" 20 years ago, IIRC. I scanned that article (which is amazing) and will gladly share with fellow members who ask. I'm hoping other member 39 collectors could help with this and other resarch.

BTW, I need a set of pre-model number stocks where the left side panel is non-relieved for the safety lever. One of my pre-39s has a set of stocks that are very nice condition, however, not "correct"for the short safety lever but it is the the higher end of the serial number range of the pre-39s so may be those made in preparation for the production to change to the longer safety lever.

Also, after conferring with a few collectors, it seems ALL the pre-39s had magazines with the flat follower much like the Pre-70 Colt 1911s.

We need the earliest serial number sighting of a ANIB Model 39 with the stamped steel followers (Figure 8s).

I have about 30 or 40 spare mags with the stamped steel (figure 8) followers with a variety of different bottom plates in length and markings.

I'd like to get a group together to document those. Some of them have freakishly long tongues on the bottom plate. I also have 3 Military magazines with the stamped steel (figure 8) followers. 1 blue and 2 are chrome plated. Anyone else see chrome plated magazines of any 39 variation, but with stamped steel followers, regardless of classifications.

Another topic concerning the magazines I am not sure "if" or "when" S&W started supplying nickeled bottom plates on magazines supplied with nickeled M39s and 39-2s. It seems not to be a "rule" but rather an exception ... or so I surmise. For example, IIRC the 39-2 Connecticut State Police came with 2 x 2 tone magazines (plastic followers) with nickeled floor plates that were serial numbered to the Commemorative number (not the S&W serial number).

I wish S&W had made that exact model without the Connecticut State Police Comm logos and inscriptions because I think that one looks "hot" ... and ... it was supplied with a low profile, fully adjustable (height and just not windage like the standard "lollipop" rear sight" rear sight when before that only MMC made a fully adjustable rear sight that did not require machine work to mill off the factory front sight (integral on the slide) and stake-in a higher new sight, like Millett. I still have a few sets of Millets and the Millet installation tool which isn't worth a darn unless your're committed to doing the sight upgrade (to full target sights) properly.

We all know if a nickel gun had to go out the door and there were no nickeled bottom plates in stock, they leave boxed up and shipped with blue mags. I have seen what seems to be stainless or galvanized (not sure if galvanized magazine bodies and floor plates but not sure if there was, actually, a nickel plated magazine body. Can anyone help ?

I don't know that I ever surmised a "rule" pertaining to matte finish magazines ... these seem almost black parkerized but I cannot state that to a fact.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:30 AM
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Love this. I bought my first one a couple years ago. NIB type, and I wanted to shoot it so I bought a second one, still very nice, but at half the proice of the first one. Now I really want a nickel one. Just as soon as we finish this flip house....
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:32 AM
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I have always liked the M39, they do feel great in the hand. My first 9mm was a M39-2 back in about 1981. I have had a couple of M59’s and a 3913 but never really warmed up to other S&W semi autos. Last year I decided to take a step back in the past and I picked up a nickel M39-2, this one was imported back into the US from Israel where it had spent its life with Israeli police or security.

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Old 02-13-2018, 09:14 AM
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Been looking for the elusive 3904 with Novak's for years. They're just not out there.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:36 AM
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...this one was imported back into the US from Israel....
Does it have Israeli proof marks? If so could you post a close up picture? Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:39 AM
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Well, if the price of 50s and 60s 9mm was increasing, after this thread, they will surely skyrocket.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:09 PM
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Been looking for the elusive 3904 with Novak's for years. They're just not out there.
Why not the 3913 ? I think the 3913 was one of the best model revisions of the series. This is the one that basically put Davel and ASP out of business.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:24 PM
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Does it have Israeli proof marks? If so could you post a close up picture? Thanks.
Nope, no Israeli proof marks. It had Indian wood stocks on it. It came direct from CDI sales, CDI importers marking is on the barrel, and verified from them that it was in a batch of S&W semi autos that they bought from Israel. I have been thinking of getting it lettered just to see where it went from the factory.

this is how it looked the day that I picked it up.

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Old 02-14-2018, 01:21 AM
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Well, if the price of 50s and 60s 9mm was increasing, after this thread, they will surely skyrocket.
Mike, I think the prices now are way out of control. I was hoping to show, by the sheer quantity produced and what remains out there, they should not be selling for say $1000.00. That's just nuts unless it is a scarce model or some significant change, oddity or special order features. Sal

PS: Just the past few weeks I've been watching the entire 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen sales on a major online auction site. Other than some that I saw sell with "suspicious" bids, they were mostly within range.

Now I see 59s going through the roof when a few months back $500 NIB model 59 (nickel or blue) was a near impossibility.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:24 AM
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Very informative thread. My fascination with the 39's go way back to the mid-70's. I've had several over the years but all found better homes (usually to fund another "find").
Just ran across an early "39". Ser# 880xx. Just the pistol w/ one magazine. I would guess maybe 1968 or so???. Pretty good shape overall but most of frame has speckles (like grains of salt) all over. Not a pristine example so shooter for certain. Still haunting me,,,,, especially @ $400.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:58 AM
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Does anyone recall seeing a pic of a S&W auto presented to Jack Webb,
"Dragnet" with sn 741?
The badge was 714 though.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:48 AM
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I corrected that mistake way back. This was the only mistake I have ever made in my entire life. Yea right!
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:10 PM
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Got this in a trade some time back, she ain't pretty...excellent firearm.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:22 PM
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I'm loving this thread!

I had a 39-2 years ago, picked it up in a pawn shop in a small MT town. A Deupty Sheriff was forced to use it in a fatal altercation. Long story short he couldn't stand the guilt and quit LE and sold the gun. Everyone thought it was bad JuJu but I bought it and loved the heck out of it.

Sadly we parted ways but I bought one here on the forum, I'm going to pick it up next week. I'm looking forward to it as the 39 is one of the best semi autos made. And for me the fit is second to none.

I'm loving this thread but I have a question: Model 44 semi auto? I need a picture!
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:56 PM
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Here's my 39, just picked it up today. Marked Illinois State Police with 4 digit number, in superb condition.


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Old 02-21-2018, 10:20 PM
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So when do you think the nodash 39s went to the longer safety tang and the resulting left grip cutout? I think I have seen 4 digit M39s that have that feature earlier than my 4 digit, is that possible?
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:21 PM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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Originally Posted by NDFRC View Post
So when do you think the nodash 39s went to the longer safety tang and the resulting left grip cutout? I think I have seen 4 digit M39s that have that feature earlier than my 4 digit, is that possible?
Supposedly it was around #2200.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:53 PM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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I know nothing about the Jack Webb story re. a model 39. I have though seen and handled the engraved model 39 that was given to Buddy Hackett, by one of the Las Vegas casinos. I believe that Jan Murry had been given one as well.
Can you imagine Buddy Hackett shooting that gun?
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Old 06-22-2018, 04:33 PM
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Mike,

That Jack Webb story is an old one. I hope it's true. There were a few others, too but just now I can't remember the hearsay on those. e.g. J. Edgar Hoover (what a waste that would have been) and a some other prominent people.

I have only "heard" of a handful given out as promotion gifts by S&W and one that Roy owns. Perhaps we should ask Roy if he "really" has an early pre-39 and if he could add any info on the early issues and / or pre-release 9mm autos out there or it is just another S&W rumor.
See attached link:
Jack Webb/Dragnet Model 39
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:54 PM
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The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture. The seductive Model 39s as collectors' subculture.  
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Hey, Sal....

I just found this thread. And I haven't read all the posts yet, but until I do, I'll post my only current Model 39, a 39-2. Here's a quick shot of it:



I'll be back later, after I have a chance to read all of the posts. I think this one has a cool serial number, and appears ANIB, or pretty darn close!!

Best Regards, Les
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