Can we talk Vintage Pistols?

Nov 6, 2011
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#1
Ive had an itch I have wanted to scratch for quite awhile.

Its called a Smith and Wesson Model 39.

Sure Sihrmechanic offered to put me in touch with some one that is a collector and he did give me the info but there is something about just being right there with the pistol when it comes along.

My local honey hole just got a Model 39 in. Looks clean, fixed sights, wood grip panels, slight bluing wear. Approx $550.

A coworker had a FIL pass and in the sales of some belongings I ended up buying a neat Browning, the gun that started WWI when wielded by Gavrillo Princip....

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Its got those ridiculous eagles stamped on it and shoots a dumb caliber but its a pretty neat historical pistol and one of JMBs designs.

It pairs nicely with this one also sporting those eagles...

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I shoot the High Power on occasion. At least its a caliber I have other pistols matched in and the M39 is also a 9mm so Im getting a gun with commonality of ammo, not to mention it would make a winning three of a kind mated with these two....

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Thinking to trade the Browning 1910, 1920 or whatever it is toward the M39.

I paid cheap for it. I know gun broker will show some prices but any of you vintage guys have any insight on these old guns?
 
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Likes: Ledzep
Nov 6, 2011
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#2
Did you peeps not answer because you knew what I was going to do?

Ive got 3 of a kind now on the M39 based S&Ws.

The 39-2 is a 70s model with windage adjustable sight.

Some of the best ergonomics of any pistol ever in my opinion.

Trading in the Luftwaffe/Polizei pistol got me the new gun for $380 added two extra mags for $50 which is a real bargain judging by Gunbroker prices.

Now to get a Silent Thunder OWB and put this in the carry rotation.
 
Nov 6, 2011
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#4
The FN is a Browning Model 1922 in .380 (9mmK).

It was a nice piece of history but it will do nothing but take up safe space and God knows we need more safe spaces.

Ill shoot the 39-2 and if it groups I intend it for light carry duty.

The 39-2 was in the running with the Colt Commander to be the issue service pistol in the 50s. Mil came to its senses and decided the 1911s they had are suitable. 39-2 is the US version of the Walther P38. Magazines look to be direct knock offs.

Really a "pretty" pistol with great hand feel.

Sadly Garrett Industries does not form Silent Thunder kydex for a 39-2. Its my favorite holster able to hang a Colt Combat Commander very comfortably. This gun would be well served by one. Ill have to pester GI to mold me a holster.
 

Defender3

Online Training Member
Mar 8, 2010
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#5
I know there is some significance to the historical value of a service pistol competitor, but the 39s had horrible triggers and, IIRC, didn't they have an exaggerated feed ramp angle? Shoved the the round into the top of the barrel and then forced it into the chamber. But, when you get an itch, it has to be scratched...
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#6
Ill judge the trigger after a range trip....

The double action does seem long but not overly messy.

Single drops like a snapping icicle.

The barrel ramp is steep but Im guessing as a service pistol it was meant for ball ammo.

If I want to carry it Ill see if there is any reliable carry ammo for it.

I dont expect it will come close in accuracy to the 52-2 or 952 but if it will hold as well as my Commander it will be all I could expect.

I would like a 9mm Commander someday as the last handgun to fill the safe.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#8
They were the newest thing at one time for police depts. More conservative depts stuck with revolvers while those wanting to be the "cutting edge" adopters picked them up.

CIA made a silenced version - the Hush Puppy and Ive been told they were personal weapons private purchased in Vietnam.

Mines just a safe gun.

Pics to follow.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#11
Very nice! And, yes, the 39 Suppressed's were some really, really nice guns.

I have a hankering for one of the 59's... the .38 WC auto. Dead nuts accurate target pistol.

I better buy one before they go out of sight. Prices keep going up on them.

Cheers,

Sirhr
The .38 wadcutter pistol is the 52.

They had two revisions he -1 and the -2.

Supposedly when the tooling work out and they could build no more they made the 952.

The 952 is reported to be more accurate than the Sig 210.

I can say with my poor skills it shoots great but.....

my 52-2 is more accurate.

I load my own .38, 148 grain wadcutters, and just under 3 grains of powder.

The pistol coughs and launches a wadcutter which is followed by a neat hole appearing on the target. Fun as hell.
 
Aug 26, 2009
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#13
My friend bought a 52-2 years ago, wanted one ever since. Well wouldn't you know it another friend told me of a guy who was selling an S&W collection for an estate. There were several 52's (52, 52-1, & 52-2) about 15 almost all NIB with all accessories. By the time I managed to hookup with him, there were only 2 left. A NIB 52-1 & a slightly used 52-2 both with all accessories & boxes. My wife was with me when we found my friend selling these at a gun show & it was our anniversary. She got the 52-1 & I got the 52-2. Tons of fun with 148 WC & 2.8gr W231.

The only issue was getting more magazines. We paid more for the extra magazines we bought (20 of them) than both pistols combined. Bought the mags from ebay & GB 52a.jpg
 
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Jun 9, 2009
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#17
I absolutely love M39's and 952's. On the "one day" list for sure. Two of a very short list of handguns that gets me jazzed up when I see them.

This summer I got to shoot my first FN Hi-power, too and I was blown away. I don't know if it's all of them, but the one I shot was so stupid accurate it was jaw dropping. Punched a 1" hole out of the target with 2-3 "fliers" with 1 magazine at 10 yards.
 

USMCSGT0331

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 23, 2013
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#20
Holy shit is that Major Dick Culver's USMC Shooting Team pistol ???
Yes it is! I bought this directly from Gloria Culver and we talked for quite a while about Major Culver's shooting team career. Apparently this is one of his favorite pistols and won many matches with it! I still need to ask if she has the wood shooting team case that goes with it.
 
Likes: Defender3

Vodoun daVinci

Sergeant of the Hide
Dec 17, 2017
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#21
Back in the '70's I passed on the 39's and 59's as they would not feed 3 in a row without jamming. Must have not been using the right ammo or holding our mouths right. Never saw a 52 but I never competed nor shot bullseye.

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Personally I'm a whore for the 6906 series. Owned a 4506 and loved it . Now own and carry a 6906 and it's awesome even used with thousands of rounds thru it. But I'm not much of a competition or paper puncher. My pistols are carry guns and the DA/SA Smiths with decockers are the bomb for me.
Never could make the 39's or 59's run worth a shit.

VooDoo
 
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