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Old 07-04-2018, 02:19 PM
S&W59 S&W59 is offline
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Question 459 First Value Line S&W Auto?

My most recent pawnshop crawl yielded and unexpected discovery; a model 459. The pistol had a rough life and was evident in the condition and some small parts missing. Its of a condition that even if I could negotiate it to $300 out the door, it wouldn't be worth it.

Upon close examination, I did notice some things that put me in the mind that this was S&W's first budget-minded automatic. Aside from the aluminum frame, there seemed to be shortcuts on the finish and parts. I don't believe the pistol had ambidextrous safety levers and it didn't have the deep blue on the slide. I've seen examples of the 459 where the right-side safety lever was a smooth plug. Most of the time when they have a materials difference, the rest of the pistol's quality is the same, aka. 559, 659. But the 459 looks like they took a couple shortcuts to save manufacturing costs. Am I incorrect? Was this their first lower-end semi-auto or is the 915 still the holder of being first?
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:21 PM
N4KVE N4KVE is offline
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So what would they have called the blue hi cap Gen 2 non value line 9mm? No value line back then. GARY
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:27 PM
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GaryS GaryS is offline
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The 459 is a 2nd Gen gun. It is not a Value Line gun.It is the predecessor to the 5904.
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Last edited by GaryS; 07-05-2018 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Corrected model number.
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:37 PM
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snw19_357 snw19_357 is offline
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The original Model 59 had an aluminum frame too.

The 59 series pistols didn't have the deep bright blue like the models 19, 27, 29, etc. although some of the early ones sure have a beautiful finish. They had the standard blue like the models 10, 15, etc.

Ambi safety levers didn't become standard until later in the 2nd gens.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:45 PM
JohnHL JohnHL is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&W59 View Post
My most recent pawnshop crawl yielded and unexpected discovery; a model 459. The pistol had a rough life and was evident in the condition and some small parts missing. Its of a condition that even if I could negotiate it to $300 out the door, it wouldn't be worth it.

Upon close examination, I did notice some things that put me in the mind that this was S&W's first budget-minded automatic. Aside from the aluminum frame, there seemed to be shortcuts on the finish and parts. I don't believe the pistol had ambidextrous safety levers and it didn't have the deep blue on the slide. I've seen examples of the 459 where the right-side safety lever was a smooth plug. Most of the time when they have a materials difference, the rest of the pistol's quality is the same, aka. 559, 659. But the 459 looks like they took a couple shortcuts to save manufacturing costs. Am I incorrect? Was this their first lower-end semi-auto or is the 915 still the holder of being first?
Actually, S&W59, I'm somewhat inclined to agree with you.

As I recall, the advent of the Stainless Steel 2nd Gens (along with their higher prices and demand), inadvertently relegated the carbon steel/alloy pistols to a lower status.

I'm not aware of S&W deliberately cutting corners on the blue pistols (anything is possible for a large agency order) but I wouldn't be surprised if that is from whence the idea for the 915 originated.

John
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:02 AM
Sevens Sevens is offline
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The 459 is basically a Model 59 but with added 2nd Gen "improvements." Not to slag anyone's favorites, I simply (myself) don't believe that the improvements were all that fantastic.

The 459 added upgraded sights. Nearly all of them wear a fully windage and elevation adjustable and highly durable protected rear sight, the original 59 had a somewhat fragile windage adjustable only rear sight. A rare few 459's had a very durable fixed rear sight.

Some 459's had a right side (ambi) thumb decock lever where no 59 ever had one before.

All 2nd Gens including the 459 have a firing pin lock which makes the pistol drop safe, no 39/39-2/59 ever had this feature. This is a fine upgrade for safety but there is no doubt that it does NOT enhance the trigger pull, weight, feel, smoothness... and basically every facet of the trigger.

And the 2nd Gens were the first arrival of stainless steel and also full carbon steel frames as regular production items, carbon steel was never more than an experiment for the 39/39-2/59 models.

While I see your angle and argument, I cannot agree that a 459 was "early Value Line" because in my opinion, even the first two Value Line models were very specifically made spartan compared to the current flagship model -AND- were advertised and marketed as lower cost guns with lower MSRP's attached.

Nothing about the introduction of the 459 was made spartan or "lesser" and for sure, the price was not lower or advertised as a budget model.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:54 AM
rogerwnuss rogerwnuss is offline
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Not terribly Spartan...😊
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