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Old 06-14-2020, 07:38 PM
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Well, I got sort of stir crazy during the lockdown and dragged the old Model 39 out of the sock drawer and decided to look around to buy a replacement for the missing right side safety lever and retaining screw. As I randomly scrolled through the Gun Broker listings I found a screaming deal on what was advertised as a Model 39 slide assembly complete except for barrel bushing, recoil spring and guide. What they didnt mention was the ambi safety that was shown in the pictures and the non-adjustable, non-lollipop rear sight. Now Im guessing that since the right safety lever is held on by a socket head dome screw, this may be a Model 439 or 539 slide, or perhaps a 4039... what do you think?

Anyway, if Ive understood what Ive read properly, Im hoping Ill be able to use the safety assembly from this slide will transfer over to Model 39 with minimal effort.

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Old 06-14-2020, 11:21 PM
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but I think the Model 39 and 39-2 did not have ambi safety levers, so I don't think yours is missing, it was never there.

All bets are off if it's not a 39 or 39-2 slide.

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Old 06-15-2020, 03:11 PM
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The gun is a Model 39-2 that belonged to my late, left handed father, who left it to me. Sometime about 1980 it was retrofitted with an ambi safety, perhaps aftermarket, perhaps from a 439. Either way, the screw backed out and the right side lever dropped off, hence my quest. I had made several posts about this previously, so I didn’t want to bore regular readers by recapping the whole sorry tale.

The purpose of this thread was to try and figure out just what the slide coming to me now might actually be... I can’t find any reference to a Model 39 with no lollipop or ‘57 Chevy tail fins for a sight assembly.

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Old 06-15-2020, 11:29 PM
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Non lollipop fixed rear sight?

Ambi safety with right side lever held on with cap screw?

Removable barrel bushing?

I'll bet a doughnut it is from a 439/459 or, possibly a 539/559 but they made very few of those.

These are all 2nd gen pistols.

John
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:38 AM
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That’s kinda what I was thinking, John. But the non- adjustable rear sight was rare enough on the 2nd Gen guns I was a bit curious and doubtful. The good news is that I’ve had another project percolating in the back of my skull for a while that might use a 2nd Gen blue slide. I get the whole package for the price of the safety, then get a possible jump start on another project... win-win!

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Old 06-17-2020, 11:07 PM
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Well, the Nice man from FedEx stopped by a little after 1:00 this afternoon and my slide got here. After reviewing info in books and on the InterWeb I jumped in and disassembled the new slide and Field stripped my 39-2 down far enough to swap the safeties. My 39-2 is now complete once again. The orphan slide has to be second generation for several features, and now I can start thinking of using it to start my next build. Oh what tangled webs we weave...

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Old 06-18-2020, 07:03 AM
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Well, the Nice man from FedEx stopped by a little after 1:00 this afternoon and my slide got here. After reviewing info in books and on the InterWeb I jumped in and disassembled the new slide and Field stripped my 39-2 down far enough to swap the safeties. My 39-2 is now complete once again. The orphan slide has to be second generation for several features, and now I can start thinking of using it to start my next build. Oh what tangled webs we weave...

Froggie

That's definitely a model 39-2 and the rear sight is a S&W fully adjustable 39/39-2/59 rear sight. Although this sight was sold by S&W, I don't think it was ever a factory option on a new pistol. None of these pistols had factory ambidextrous safeties, so yours is a 2nd gen (x39/x59/x69) safety.
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:23 AM
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Stansdds, you have nailed it exactly. As stated previously, years ago we retrofitted an ambi safety to the Model 39-2 I bought for my father (who was left handed) and when I inherited the gun, I decided to upgrade it again with the fully adjustable sight. At that time I noticed that the right side safety lever and its screw had gone missing and began a search to replace them. It turned out that the ambi safety we used nearly 40 years ago was an aftermarket unit and replacement parts were unavailable, so I took the expedient mode of upgrading with the ambi safety that was part of the mystery upper that inspired this thread. Now Dad’s old 39-2 is back looking like he had it only with the upgraded sights as well, and all factory parts to boot!

The slide itself, which has now been narrowed down to being a second gen unit is now trying to seduce me to embark on another project I have had in the back of my head for a while, a two-tone second gen gun based on a Model 639 and using a Model 52 rear sight. Now all I have to do is find a suitable donor gun! I guess that’s a story for another thread, though.

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Old 06-18-2020, 08:52 AM
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Be sure to thoroughly clean the screw threads and the threads in the safety and use a little nail polish or thread locker (just not the high temp red formula) to keep that screw from parting company with safety.
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:16 AM
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Be sure to thoroughly clean the screw threads and the threads in the safety and use a little nail polish or thread locker (just not the high temp red formula) to keep that screw from parting company with safety.
Good advice. I dont want to go through that particular search again any time soon! For now, you can rest assured that screw will be checked before and after each session at the range!

Just as a FYI, the gentleman who sold me the fully adjustable lollipop sight suggested that it was available as a special order option late in the production run of the 39-2s... my interest to date has been primarily revolvers, so I cant speak with any authority on that. Im at the base of the learning curve now.

Thanks and regards,
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:48 PM
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Success! I took my newly upgraded Model 39-2 out to the range with a box of Federal ball ammo. I was especially interested in function, particularly the decocker/safety function. It worked like a dream and as soon as I can deal with the loose nut on the butt (the shooter) I truly believe it will become a favorite shooter. If I just didn't have to chase all that *@#&* brass all over the ready line and pick it up, it would be wonderful... oh yeah, it's an autoloader, that comes with the territory.

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Old 06-19-2020, 07:28 AM
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My first 9x19 pistol was a Model 39-2. Mine was not all that accurate, but it was reliable. I ended up selling it. Years later, I wanted another and found an excellent condition, used Model 439. It is reasonably accurate and has been perfectly reliable. I find that the 39/39-2/x39 pistols are more comfortable in my hands than the double stack S&W metal receiver pistols. As for the ejecting brass, I've tried buckets, bags, and bins, nothing seems to be able to trap all of the brass. The policing of brass is one area in which single shot actions, revolvers and bolt actions are unmatched.
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:20 PM
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I had a 39 no-dash followed by several 39-2s, then later 539s. 639s, 3906, 952, etc. I remember those little adjustable replacement sights, and often saw them back in the day sold, along with revolver grips and sights, on the S&W blister packs in gun shops. Neat stuff.

BTW, does that right grip panel need to be relieved a little more to clear that right side ambi safety lever?
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Old 06-19-2020, 05:35 PM
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I remember ordering the fully adjustable rear sight for my 39-2... and waiting a very long time to get it when they were run again.
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
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I had a 39 no-dash followed by several 39-2s, then later 539s. 639s, 3906, 952, etc. I remember those little adjustable replacement sights, and often saw them back in the day sold, along with revolver grips and sights, on the S&W blister packs in gun shops. Neat stuff.

BTW, does that right grip panel need to be relieved a little more to clear that right side ambi safety lever?
k

It clears but not by much. Apparently the original is a little longer than the previous (aftermarket) unit that was on it. The pictures did point out that when we relieved that panel it could have been done a little more neatly, so Ill probably smooth it up a bit and give it more clearance as well.

Froggie
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:37 PM
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Like Rock185 said....

I recall the S&W blister packs of parts, including hammer, triggers, sights, grips etc..

Now even here on the Forum, a guy will think he has something rare because his model 10 is TT, TH... When in all likelyhood, it was simply added parts bought by the original owner.
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:00 PM
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I remember those blister packs... in fact they still show up occasionally at gun shows or in auctions. That was a time when the folks at Springfield had an unusually free attitude toward selling what the customer what he wanted. Wish they had a similar business model today!

Froggie
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:08 PM
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No matter what, the important thing is your Pop's model 39 is in shooting shape again.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:11 PM
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Yep, and I’m on the project to build a shooter so I can keep Dad’s 39-2 as nice as it is now. Win-Win!

Froggie
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