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  1. #1
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    Default Smith&Wesson model 639

    I have been looking for a Smith and Wesson model 639 for a long time. I always thought the wood grips vs. the stainless steel was a nice combo. I have one with the adjustable ramped sights but I have yet to find one like this.... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...x866863031.jpg
    with the non adjustable sights. Its funny how S&W has changed through the years. I was just down there at the S&W academy for a couple weeks for some Instructor recert classes back in May and they have a pretty good setup there.

    neat gun.....
    Last edited by ateamrob; 01-08-2008 at 07:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    The Model 39, which I believe came about in about 1960 or so, was the direct parent of the Model 52 (a superb target pistol) and the Model 59 (essentially a double-stack version of the Model 39, with a couple of internal changes); the Model 59 later spawned the second, third and fourth generation S&W DA autos.

    As pretty as it was, the Model 39 was a troubled design.

  3. #3
    Registered User Ray P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKG View Post
    The Model 39, which I believe came about in about 1960 or so, was the direct parent of the Model 52 (a superb target pistol) and the Model 59 (essentially a double-stack version of the Model 39, with a couple of internal changes); the Model 59 later spawned the second, third and fourth generation S&W DA autos.

    As pretty as it was, the Model 39 was a troubled design.
    How so? What was considered a design problem? Nothing mentioned in the S&W history book. All I can see there is the 639 is a true stainless, not an alloy frame with SS upper.

    Imagine my surprise this year when I tried out a S&W 639 at the range. While I am a hard-core 1911 fan, I consistently scored better in the North Berwick Steel plate shoot when using the 639 over my stock sighted 45.

    I now also own a S&W 639.

  4. #4
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    As pretty as it was, the Model 39 was a troubled design.
    Well I can tell you I love mine and if I can find another one with the non adjustable sights I will buy it in a SECOND...

    It may not be the most tactical pistol of todays world but mine has always fired flawlessly and I enjoy the feel of it.

    I choose to carry a Glock but for collectors purposes, I love the 39 and 639 pistols....

    anyone want to sell theirs???

  5. #5
    NES Member mark056's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it would be accurate to characterize the Model 39 as troubled. It actually first came on the scene about 1954 as a result of S&W response to the government exploring the possiblity of replacing the M1911. The design goes back to the late 40's early 50's and for many years the M39 was a real sleeper in the S&W line-up but that started to change in the 60's. It is true that some gun writers in its heyday were not very complimentary to the pistol. True, there were problems with the extractor which brought about a change and the Model 39-2 designation. There was, I believe, too a change in the feed ramp with the 39-2 and this had to do with the Illinois State Police adopting the M39 as their service weapon circa 1967. They were the first agency to issue a DA auto loader in quantity. At the time, the ISP was using a 100 gr 9mm Winchester Power Point load (later abandoned for more efficient ammunition in the stopping department). The DA pull was stagey and heavy, but not anymore so than a P38 (it's only real competitor in the DA 9mm market at the time).

    Great looks and great ergnomics made the M39 very popular with me and over the years I have owned five M39's. and currently have two in my collection, one ASNIB from 1972 and one that has been well used with the fully adjustable S&W factory sights (the so-called "lollipop sights" which were available from S&W only as an after-market item; most will recall that the M39 standard sights were adjustable for windage only) I also have a 539 with adjustable sights (the fixed sight models are harder to come by) also ANIB. The M39-2 that I use as a shooter, shoots well and I have never had any real problems with it. I'd love to have an M639 with fixed sights or adjustable sights in any condition!

    Even in 2008 I wouldn't hesitate to carry one if I were going to carry a 9mm.

    I will pass on a tale which I cannot confirm and asked Roy Jinks about it, and he was unfamiliar with it and there is no factory proof because of the way, he said, government contracts were written at that time: Back in the original Mercury Space Program when the astronauts did soft landings in the ocean, Soviet ships always monitored the landings and there was a great fear that they might try to capture a space capsule and perhaps and seize one of our astronauts (this may sound far fetched to some of you but it isn't any wilder than some of the contemporary scenarios I've heard since 9/11 from official sources...and this is the way we thought in the Cold War and planned for any contingency, so from my perspective, it is not implausible based on my own experiences during that time in our history). Anyway, supposedly NASA issued M39s to the astronauts for personal protection in case the Soviets got to the capsule first. If that's so, the S&WM39 was the first western firearm and maybe the first firearm (I don't know if the USSR armed its cosmonauts) in space. An interesting tale, but to repeat, without verification.

    Mark L.
    Last edited by mark056; 01-09-2008 at 11:40 AM.
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  6. #6

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    Rob,
    I have a Safariland holster that I think will fit that gun. Your welcome to it if you want it.

  7. #7
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    Zero Hour has a 39-2 on consignment says Almost N>I>B> on the tag for 595.00
    With the box, papers etc...

  8. #8
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    I carried a Model 39 for a few years back in the 70's. Mine was a mid 70's model and functioned quite well. I paid about $80.00 brand new!!

  9. #9
    Registered User Ray P's Avatar
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    There is a new WTS posting here at NES that includes a S&W 639 You can check it here.

  10. #10
    NES Member Patriot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKG View Post
    As pretty as it was, the Model 39 was a troubled design.
    I agree completely. I owned a 639 and it was the worst handgun I ever owned. Couldn't
    run a mag through it with any ammo, without some problem occurring. I traded it in after
    three months of suffering. Took a bath on that gun but I couldn't wait to get rid of it.

    I purchased it in 1985 from Collector's for $219 and traded it in three months later to
    Collector's for about 2/3rds of the original purchase price I hated it so much.
    Last edited by Patriot; 02-27-2008 at 10:09 AM.
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