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Old 09-15-2018, 01:01 PM
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Default s&w model 39

Hi guys, i recently came across a model 39 aluminum frame with a 2 digit serial number, actually the serial number is 25 any one have any insight as to history or value please this pistol is mint, thanks for your help,!,
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:37 PM
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The first thing that comes to my mind would be a BII aftermarket frame but it would be stainless - not aluminum. (picture by spistols)
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:44 PM
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Hello kid, where are you? I will book a flight and buy it when I see you. Is cash OK? You have so much more info and pics to provide.
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:31 PM
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Default model 39

Definately not after market frame, all legit s&w,, and NOOOOO i think im gonna hang on to this one,ill post pics tomorrow
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kharmakid View Post
Definately not after market frame, all legit s&w,, and NOOOOO i think im gonna hang on to this one,ill post pics tomorrow
Looking forward to this....
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:50 PM
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Looking forward to this....
Me too !!
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:20 PM
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So Mr. kid, you have a mod-39 with a factory serial number 25!
Me thinks you are full of of Huey! Prove me wrong.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:39 PM
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You will indeed see the numbers for yourselves,
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:49 PM
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I have an early one also, mine is serial number 39.

Errr, waitaminute, that is the model number.

Also looking forward to seeing where this discussion goes.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:02 PM
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The guys are having some fun with you because IIRC the lowest serial number for a "Pre" model 39 was 1001 .
Model marked 39's were much higher so assuming there is some mistake.

BTW there were a handful of early trials versions but they had an X in the serial .
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:33 PM
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The S&W Model 39 is an American icon. It ranks as one of the all-time best.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:57 AM
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Yes indeed i appreciate all the,fun as you say in this post, its hillarious, but the fact is that is the only number clearly and unmistakingly marked above the model number,ive i owned and carried several m39's over the course of my years in law enforcement. This pistol belonged to a retired NYS trooper who later became a judge, i will post the pictures today, say what you will,get it all off your chest now, but maybe your "helpfull" coments should wait untill AFTER you see the pistol.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:49 AM
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I also look forward to the pics. Engine49 is not wrong in that the the s/n starting range is 1001.Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica & Nahaus. 4th ed. So a s/n of 25 will be an interesting discussion. There must be something to it. Is it possible it's a Devel conversion? They had their s/n's changed. I have one with a Devel s/n of 62 I believe. I look forward to unraveling this mystery.
Here is a pic of 2 Devel model 59s. Although, I see that the original s/n Axxxxx precedes the Devel number of 007 and 008 so mine is likely the same. I just don't have access to it right now.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:00 AM
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It isnt a devel,ive owned one of those and carried it for a few years,i agree it is baffling, the pistol is completely bone stock,with the exception of the troopers name engraved on the left front frame rail,the bbl is also marked 9mm cartridge instead of the standard 9mm designation, the family believes it to be a piece presented to him as a retirement gift.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:18 AM
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Was his last name Williams?
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:28 AM
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Negative, his initials are RJS, it will show in the pics
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:38 AM
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I feel sure a factory letter will confirm it was made. Nice find.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:19 AM
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Pictures are posted on my profile page
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:30 AM
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Let's make it easy. I took the liberty of cleaning up the image a little:

It is truly an odd piece. It is a "later" Model 39 with long safety and long tang and forward serrations. I would recommend requesting a letter and including a picture with the request.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:31 AM
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Hello kid, OK! Im full of Huey! Im having a Crow topping on it. Mike
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:52 AM
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I realize that some posts are not,valid or believable,however maybe negative or derrogatory posts should be withheld untill all facts are on the table,as my original post stated we are looking for a possible value,, if none can be given we can live with that,The letter is located in a file that hasnt been located yet.should we be this close to pulling the trigger on negativity before facts i for one think not.
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:24 PM
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Well the font and the placement of the 25 look about right. Here is an early Model 39, 4 digits and a Pre 39. The S/N placement shows to be very similar. Without an experts explanation or factory letter it's not possible to do anything but speculate. It is a later model in that the safety lever is larger as is the tang. Which means it was not made as a pre model # it's design is more recent than the the model 39 I am showing which shipped Jan 1959. See Forward serrations.







Pre Model 39


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Old 09-16-2018, 03:12 PM
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I'm very interested to see the letter. This intrigues me. I assume it has the long extractor?
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:40 PM
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Great pics, yes very very close, thanks for those pics, this does have the long extractor.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:34 PM
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Very interesting gun,
Several features IMO place it several years into model production such as the long tang, long safety lever / relieved grip panel, fwd slide serrations, frame slot cut for ejection port cover and of course the Model 39 marking so not an early pre commercial production gun.

Definately worth a factory letter to find out why the serial is so low...(maybe some military contract or special order?)

I once heard a story that S&W used to keep non serial numbered frames in stock to be used as replacement frames that were then serial numbered the same as a returned gun with broken frame in order to go directly back to the owner....Supposedly at some point the ATF advised this was not allowed and that those frames needed to be serial numbered or be destroyed, could be this began life as a replacement frame.
Could also be a special order that someone was willing to pay for that serial number, or could be a special run for some grey govt contract.

Only way to know for sure is with a factory letter.

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Old 09-17-2018, 07:15 PM
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Brad, you forgot one little nuance. Any firearms or supplies that entered service into a covert operation were completely void of any markings at all.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:21 PM
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Do you have the gun in hand ?
Im beginning to wonder if the seller used photo shop to obliterate the first numbers .

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Old 09-17-2018, 07:46 PM
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Yes i have the pistol, it is as shown, another difference i noticed is a friends bbl is marked 9mm this one is marked 9mm cartridge.
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmborkovic View Post
Brad, you forgot one little nuance. Any firearms or supplies that entered service into a covert operation were completely void of any markings at all.
You may have tongue in cheek but just in case...

This is a common belief but I've searched for years to find any shred of documentary evidence for such a practice to no avail. I've interviewed Special Forces personnel and they deny having unmarked small arms. Roy Jinks has flatly denied that S&W would agree to such a practice. Documented covert missions, e.g. Gary Powers flight in the U-2, involved a High Standard silenced pistol with all the usual markings. In fact all of the HDMS pistols known have complete markings including U.S. PROPERTY. The so called "Hush Puppy" pistols based on Model 39-2 platforms have markings. Colt PHA pistols used by the OSS and CIA have markings. At best, Special Forces have been known to use Walthers, Browning HPs and AKs that were not marked "U.S." but primarily because they wanted those calibers or platforms for other reasons.

I would welcome any hard evidence that covert operators have ever used "sterile" weaponry, i.e. no markings. I'm still open to the possibility but the usual "proof" is along the lines of "my sister's second cousin's 3rd husband was a secret squirrel and swore that he used an unmarked S&W with bullets filled with disappearing ink."
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:29 PM
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My first impression (never trusting digital images) I thought "Photoshop". In the early days of Digital photographs the Court Systems would not accept them at all. Then, after the technology was undeniably the way of the future, the expert witness submitting the digital images had to sign an affidavit "under the penalty of law" that his digital images had not been altered nor enhanced. Photoshop aside, giving this some serious evaluation on the OP's word of honor that it is NOT a Photoshop-ed image, here goes:

From the placement of the number and spacing it seems there should be 3 numbers prior to the "25", as if it had been numbered xxx25. Compared to other serial number, the justification to the far right doesn't correspond with placement of 4 digit serial numbers but more to a 5 digit serial number.

Model 39s went from 4 digit SN, to 5 digit SNs to a final 6 digit SN up to approximately the 110000 range (Rule of thumb). I will agree the 25 and MODEL 39 look nice but that is a much later frame, very long duck tail. Long extractor, serrations etc.

Whatever this is or is not, it is interesting ... but ... it is NOT the missing link or lore, myth and legend that we've been looking for.

I am also trying to get a perspective of the thickness of the side of the frame to the front of the slide where it drops off. It seems this side of the frame may be "thinner", perhaps milled and re-stamped, or, perhaps it is NOT milled and restamped. Or this could be the product of "the Great Pretender".

The finish of the alloy frame is basically a baked on "paint". There is much that can be hidden underneath that "paint" that you cannot see unless the paint is stripped. When a classic car owner came for a full body restoration I would make a conditional estimate of the refinish, to be reviewed again, AFTER the entire car was stripped when I can see the metal beneath.

If this letters out as a genuine Serial Number 25, I would be shocked. And, if it does letter as Serial Number 25 the ship date has to be mid to late 1960s by the production changes noticed. Even if a special order serial number (if S&W did such) the numbers are entirely misplaced. It would be expected that the 25 would be centered over the MODEL 39 such as is in the 4 and 5 digit serial numbers. Much later into the later 6 digit MODEL 39s when transitioning to the 39-2s, sometimes are justified to the far right last number of the serial number in line with the 9 of the MODEL 39 stamp.

No matter which, at very minimum, it is interesting.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmborkovic View Post
Brad, you forgot one little nuance. Any firearms or supplies that entered service into a covert operation were completely void of any markings at all.
In NYC that's called a "throwaway" or a "plant" gun when all manufacturer's identifying marks are removed.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:00 AM
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Since you got it from a retired trooper would it be his badge number or years of service when he retired?
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kharmakid View Post
the pistol is completely bone stock,with the exception of the troopers name engraved on the left front frame rail,...... the family believes it to be a piece presented to him as a retirement gift.

Special order; Presented on Retirement

Trooper's name and "years of service"??? "badge number"???? "Unit number"??

Looks like Foxy and I were typing the same thoughts.....
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:33 AM
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It could very well be his badge number,but 25 is pretty low,,he passed in 2016, and was a senior firearms instructor for the NYSP for years, my thoughts, he paid the price for it to be custom numbered or a replacement frame.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:18 AM
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Im not referring to marks being removed, I mean they never had any at all to begin with. The guns you refer to were cheap 32 cal that could be gotten from Pool Hall Johnny or Vito down on the corner.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:46 PM
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"G. Slingerland" name engraved ? I tried searching Slingerland, then with, Gary, George, Greg. All you guys, have at it. There's an answer somewhere, I think. Slingerland, brand drums and other musical instruments is one.

It is likely a modified M39 by some lesser known gunsmith but seems odd as altering a serial number of a firearm is illegal. However, what year was it that serial numbers became mandatory. Prior to some certain year (was it 1968), serial numbers were not mandatory. Someone up on those gun laws, please jump in here.

Look at 2nd enlargement ... there's a latent, misplaced " 7 " in the upper left.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:07 PM
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I have lettered some boring guns and got boring (as expected) results. This one's letter will be very interesting indeed.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:39 PM
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I have looked again at the serial number are im not sure i see the 7 you are referring to, i can mic the frame rails for an exact measurment, ill try a better picture of the numbers.
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:12 PM
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Have to be honest, I dont see the 7. But is the 5 just oh so slightly higher? I have never read how the Sns were applied? Not free hand. Were they roll stamped on a wheel or stamps held in a vise somehow? I really dont know. Im hoping the gun is correct with a replacement frame or maybe a factory Fri. afternoon part. Just chime in. The mystery may be solved by a Jinks Letter.
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:43 PM
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It sure is an odd duck, with a low number but later engineering features. I'm going to call it real because I don't believe the frame could have been refinished to that appearance.
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:58 PM
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I have looked again at the serial number are im not sure i see the 7 you are referring to, i can mic the frame rails for an exact measurment, ill try a better picture of the numbers.
The " 7 " is clearly there. See the 2nd photo I enlarged, and the 3rd photo, even larger of the exact area. Follow the dual, track like, scratches that go up from the M of Model. Where that scratch comes to a stop, the scratches go directly over the 7.

Up that high could have been part of an inventory number of a Police gun or some such. Not that it is part of the serial number.

It's surely been refinished. In a modification, which I surmise this is ... "anything" is possible.

perhaps remove the stocks and take good close up photos of the flat areas under the stocks, too.
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Last edited by model3sw; 09-18-2018 at 06:33 PM. Reason: revised
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:43 PM
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Yes i see the area you are refering to,although it does have the appearance of a 7, under magnification of a 10 x loupe it isnt,its a series of scratches from the slide stop, i will be calling S&W tomorrow for details on obtaining a letter.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:53 PM
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I wish you guys could see the actual pistol,the cell phone photos are not that great, but you have all been a wealth of information, you have devoted much time in your research and im sure the family will be gratefull!!!
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:54 PM
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Hello kid, a call to S&W is useless. Go to Mr. Jinks for the straight poop.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:27 PM
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How would i go about that kind sir?
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:21 PM
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How would i go about that kind sir?
Go to "Downloads" at the top of this page and follow the trail to the letter request form.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:54 PM
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The "bottom line " is the first S&W 9mm (pre-39) in 1954 or was it 55 was 1001 and the no-dash ended IIRC in 57 at 2600.........

So 25 is an outlier ...............with a back story!!!

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Old 09-19-2018, 12:23 AM
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The "bottom line " is the first S&W 9mm (pre-39) in 1954 or was it 55 was 1001 and the no-dash ended IIRC in 57 at 2600.........

So 25 is an outlier ...............with a back story!!!
Highest, verified, pre-39 is SN: 2625, still having short safety lever, short frame tail and unrelieved (for safety lever as is did not need it).

It is presumed, somewhere in the early 5000s the frame size was a bit elongated at the duck tail, with longer safety lever and relieved stocks (grips) for safety lever.

There is much yet to be learned between the mid 2600s and the early 5000s. It is thought, per author Kevin Williams' research, that likely a block of numbers in this range were reserved for the Model 41s.

The OPs post shows is a much newer configuration MODEL 39 to about mid to late 1960s by features and other recorded details on similar known, boxed, models discovered and verified ANIB from reliable sources.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:59 AM
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KharmaKid... can you post a pic of the other side of the pistol in your album?
BTW if you join the SWCA you get access to serial number ship dates on the Members side of this forum. To beat waiting on a letter you could do that then follow the thread for Ship Dates. The s/n will surly stick out as not on the books... but that should cause a flag to go up and more research done. You can also email or contact Roy Jinks if you are a SWCA member which has nothing to do with this forum in truth. Waiting 3-10 weeks for a letter will likely just get you a s/n not on the books or something like that. I would try to access Roy's knowledge of this through the SWCA. JMO of course.
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:33 AM
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I have added a picture of the right side of the pistol to my album,im going to a local machine shop today to see if there optical comparator can see any deviation to the serial number area.
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