View Full Version : S&W 39

07-25-2011, 8:17 PM
I recently got to handle and shoot an old S&W 39 at the range. It was an excellent shooter and seemed like a very nice pistol. I have been looking on gun broker (because i have never seen one in CA before) and noticed that they go for around $500 to $600. (I am roster exempt). That seems like a fair price for one IMO, But tell me what you think please.

I am looking for any information positive or negative on this pistola.

07-25-2011, 8:58 PM
Is it a 39 or 39-2? The dash 2 are around -

I had one and didn't care for the trigger - 5-6 seems a bit high - The bigger brother is the 59 in double stack mag -

07-25-2011, 9:07 PM
The S&W 39 was one of the first US made double action semi auto pistols. The early ones had some reliability issues but S&W worked the bugs out reasonably well and in the 1970s they were adopted by the Illinois State Police. They have alloy frames so if you want to shoot it a lot, they don't do well as a high round count shooter. The rear sights are windage adjustable only. If you want to collect them, that's fine, but I think there are better 9mm pistols out there. I have a S&W 59 and I much prefer my Glock 19s or Browning High Powers to shoot. The 59's double stack grip is extremely fat for my hands and the ergonomics of the 39 and 59 aren't all that good, especially the slide mounted safety that you have to swipe upwards to disengage.

07-25-2011, 9:12 PM
I picked up a 39-2 in decent shape for $450 about a year ago. I love shooting it. Good carry pistol, despite the magazine capacity (8). It's easy to take down and clean, it's a decent pistol to start a n00b with, shoots (relatively) cheap ammo and isn't picky about being dirty. Only downside is finding original S&W magazines for it. I have a hard time with that and the aftermarkets are hit-and-miss. :/

For my part, I've never seen a straight 39 in CA, just -2's. If I found another -2, I'd snap it up. 5-6 might be fair for one that's mint with extras or in nickel.

07-25-2011, 9:30 PM
Edward - Last time I was at Tripple A's in Vallejo they had a -2 - Give them a call -

07-25-2011, 9:45 PM
I had a plain 39 with a bii from northridge stainless frame. Sn 0170....was stolen.. but. Mine was tritone and just beautiful. The smith made 17 or 19 mostly for sjpd...

07-25-2011, 9:59 PM
$500-$600 for a 39 no dash in good shape is not out of line, especially if it has box, papers, etc. For a later 39-2, it's likely too much unless it's minty as noted above.

The 39 is a great shooter, but if you intend to CCW note that the OEM wood grips were always given a very sharp cut of checkering. The example I had, a dash 2, wore my uniform shirts badly. I sold mine to a deputy, regretted it and promptly bought a 59 that I still have.

07-25-2011, 10:10 PM
It's a cult gun, not really good for any one thing, but does nothing bad. Steel framed ones are not bad shooters, but heavy, and really rare. The gun was modified a lot, few guns except for the 1911 have been modified as much over their lifespan. Best ones were those fitted with cans and used in Nam, or maybe those that got cut up and shorten down to a 2.75 barrel and 5 shots in the mag (ASP). Lotta history with the gun, paved the way for american double action auto guns. If you find one and it's all there, buy it. Then you can be part of the cult of the 39. I know I'll always keep mine.


07-26-2011, 3:07 AM
Thank you all for the comments. I just moved quite a few guns down on the list of "must get" handguns on my list lol. Ugh, it never ends!!! You think you get all the firearms you could want and then a nice guy at the range lets you shoot his gun and you are wanting yet another handgun. lol

I have researched a bit more and decided on the 39-2 with the short more modern extractor. Thanks for the information on the two.

07-26-2011, 5:44 AM
I had a 39-2 in the mid 80's. I bought it used then sent it off to have a matte crome finish on the slide. If I remember correctly they blasted the frame to match. I sold it a couple of years later when I found a new hobby.

What was I thinking??? I'd like to have that one back...

07-26-2011, 5:52 AM
Just an FYI for anyone who might like to get one but is not exempt.

The 39 and 39-1 are both listed as C&R and are roster exempt.

07-26-2011, 7:16 PM
Check out a S&W 915 or a 910 they all use the 59 d0uble stack mags.Steel slide and alloy frame mine eats any kind of ammo.