USMC First Year Smith & Wesson S&W Pre-Model 39 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol C&R
Sold For: $7,080.00
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: U.S.M.C. Pre-Model 39
Serial Number: 1132
Year of Manufacture: 1955 (Smith & Wesson Letter)
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Double Action, Semi-Automatic, Removable Magazine Fed Pistol with Decocker Safety & Magazine Disconnect
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “SMITH & WESSON” with the four line Marcas Registradas address, the left side of the frame is marked with the serial number “1132”. The right side of the frame is marked with S&W’s monogram logo. The left side of the trigger guard is marked “P”. The top of the barrel is marked “9 M.M. CTG.”. The magazine floorplate is marked “9 MM / S&W”. The bottom of the grip frame is marked “U.S.M.C.” on the edge of the magazine well.
Barrel Length: 4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp blade, integral to the slide. The rear sight is a flat top, square notched leaf in a base that is micrometer-click adjustable for windage.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The backstrap of the grip frame has raised checkering, the butt has a lanyard loop. The grip panels are bordered checkered wood with S&W medallions at their tops. There are no major defects, just light handling marks. The checkering is generally strong. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Black Alloy Grip Frame
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 99% of its metal finish. There are some light handling marks. The screwheads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The pistol features a magazine disconnect safety, thumb safety that doubles as a decocker and a nice slide to frame fit, with little measurable play. The double action trigger pull is smooth, single action has a smooth takeup followed by a crisp break with a short reset. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a pair of 8-round magazines, cleaning kit, manual, Railway Express receipt, Smith & Wesson letter, blue two-piece box,
Our Assessment: This pistol comes from the collection of author Kevin Williams, best known for his work on the topic of General Officers Pistols & Clandestine Organization Pistols of WWII. Dismayed by the commercial failure of their .35 and .32 semi-automatic pistols, in 1946 Smith & Wesson president C.R. Hellstorm said the product line needed to be modernized. Their top goal was to release a Double/Single action semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 9mm cartridge. In the 1950s Smith & Wesson began the development of the Model 39 semi-auto pistol and it was finally released in 1955. Impressed with the German P38 Double Action, American Ordnance personnel issued a proposal for America’s very own double action pistol. This Pre-Model 39 from Smith & Wesson was made in the first year of production and shipped to Evaluators Ltd, a gunshop owned by Ret. USMC Gen. George Van Orden and his wife. The shop was a big Smith & Wesson distributor and sold a lot of guns to federal agents and military personnel in the area. This one was sent to Evaluators Ltd. for USMC personnel and then delivered. With its long extractor, short safety, and short tang, this one is one of the earliest made and is the 132nd serial number stamped of this model according to the letter. This is a historic pistol in high condition and the S&W letters only add to its value. Please see our pictures and good luck!