S/W model 39-2

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Bill, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Bill

    Bill New Member

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    Just obtained an unfired S/W model 39-2 that is in immaculate condition. I'll take it to the range soon, but would like to hear members comments on this model, good, bad, or indifferent, plus any quirks, or observations concerning reliability,accuracy etc. It's a very handsome piece. Thanks, Bill
  2. Shamrock

    Shamrock New Member

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    They don't have the best reputation. If your gun works then enjoy it. Many USA shooters have given up on the S&W autos and look to Europe for their 9mm pistols.

    Your gun should be OK with FMJ ammo, but probably won't feed the shorter JHP bullets too reliably. The 39's are a good-looking gun; very modern-looking when first designed in the 1950's.
  3. Bucky Bronco

    Bucky Bronco New Member

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    I recently bought a 1957 un-issued and unfired Model 39—a true beauty to behold. One of the main reasons I buy pistols--aesthetics. I love the way it feels in my hand; its point ability--etc. I have experienced no malfunctions to date. It is my favorite 9mm carry piece. Yes, they did not have the best reputation, but remember it was the first 9mm made by a US manufacturer. It was designed for the US Army’s first post-WWII effort to replace the 45ACP with 9mm. The problems encountered are understandable. Should you ever find one of the 297 steel-framed versions made for those trials you will have a keeper worth much!

    I understand that there were reliability issues with this model, thus the -1 and -2 model designation "improvements"--partially also made for manufacturing reasons. The pistol was optimized to shoot hard ball ammo for the Army trials. From what I recall from reading on this, the problem with reliability was the result of folks firing hollow point 9mm type ammo (Super-Vel type) newly introduced around that time-frame. Correction of the hollow point problems was accomplished by slightly "throating" the barrel. However, with the new ogive designs on 9mm ammo this is no longer considered a problem. Also, there may have been extractor breakage problems, which were corrected with extractor redesign and retrofit. I suppose if mine ever breaks I might have a hard time replacing it (comment on that?). The Model 39 was replaced by the Model 59 turning it into a double stacked wondernine.

    Enjoy your Model 39. The -2 designation means you have a model with all the bugs worked out. Shoot it in thoroughly with lots of practice, like any pistol, before trusting it will defend your life. Remember, in a gunfight second place sucks dirt!
    :)
  4. AGB

    AGB New Member

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    BuckyBronco,

    Liked your way of thinking. I'm not allowed to use a 9mm here, and so I got no one yet. A fellow has 2, a model 1 and a model 2. He says that the model 1 is extremely accurate, and the 2 is not as good as the 1. He got both guns new.
    I have 2 models 52, again one model 1 and one model 2. The same accuracy stuff, the 1 is somewhat better than the 2. The 52 is all steel, and refering to your comment on the 297 units made with steel frame, guess it should be possible, mixing parts, using a 52 body, made a 39 with a steel frame. There may be other smaller differences, but guess it is doable.
  5. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    The Model 52, as you already know, is a 'wad gun'. Worth close to a grand, if really clean. PLEASE don't screw up a wonderful pistol, trying to counterfeit a steel framed M-39!
    To the real point: The early M-39's had a sort of 'hump' in the feed ramp, causing them not to like short,(Fast) hollow point bullet designs; with ball, reliable as the sunrise.
    Fix the ramp shape, or have a gunsmith do it, and you have a fine, reliable pistol.
    This was the first DA/ SA pistol, on the Browning/colt design, on the market, and one of the first (Walther, and Sauer preceded it) of any design, to offer a double action first shot.
    The Illinois State Police carried the weapon for years, and loved it!
  6. AGB

    AGB New Member

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    Stash,

    Thanks. It was an idea if someone had a 52 frame around. I have a couple 52, one model 1 and a model 2. Didn't knew it was so preciousthere. I paid around 1000 bocks on each one here. But they are quite rare in any shape around. The model 1 I have is in very decent shape, the model 2 is almost brand new.
  7. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    AGB:
    The S&W M-52 was never built with any great production numbers, because it is strictly a target pistol. I'm kind of surprised you came by yours as reasonably priced as you mention, given your location.
    At a 600 table gun show, last month, I saw only (1) model 52, out of what must have been close to 75,000 firearms, at the show!
    It followed me home. An early pistol, with no -1, or -2, following the Model number, about unfired, at purchase.
    The third one I've owned, in 40 years.
    Had to do it, though; with 6 or 7 cases of good .38 Sp Wadcutter ammo, out in the shop, I had a ready made excuse to buy it!
    Happy New Year!
  8. AGB

    AGB New Member

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    Stash,

    Do You still have the other 2 52?
    When I saw the -1 I have, I decided it should be mine. Always before going to shop for anything I use todo my homework, and since I do not care to shoot like we call here, olympic pistols such as Walther GSP, Hammerly or Pardini, I decided to get the 52 for centerfire and other fine, production guns for .22. When I arrived at the range with the 52-1 some fellows went wild, how did I anaged to find one. Sometime latter, when buying some guns from fellow at the bank where I work(the guy is a super collector, has a ton os guns) I asked him if he, occasionally, didn't have another 52. Much to my surprise, he took me a -2, in excelent, almost brand new state, and I just could not resist. Another gun that drives me crazy is the woodsman/challenger/huntsman/target models from Colt.
    Happy new year too Fellow!
  9. Bill

    Bill New Member

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    I've shot about 200 rounds now thru my "new" model 39-2. At first I didn't like the decocker but now I think its a great safety feature and find it easy to use. The grip is a bit small and I had a hard time figuring out what to do with my thumbs. I now have my right thumb pointing down and the left thumb locking over it and pointing forward and up. With a firm grip this little auto shoots sweet. I'm still getting used to the SA trigger which has some travel and could be lighter, but I'm really liking this gun. A very attractive piece too with the wood checkered grips. Haven't had a stovepipe or any other malfunction so far.
    Bill
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