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Looking for plusses or drawbacks in this design. The reason is, I once had an FEG GKK92C which is basically a S&W 59 and I liked it a lot. Now I want it again, but the FEG version has too much baggage (parts, magazines) so I'm thinking 'get the real thing' but I've never picked one up.
Any thoughts?
 

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Model 59 was my first legal handgun I bought back in the 80's. Loved the way it fit my hand, the high capacity, & it never had a malfunction. The difference between the first double action pull & subsequent single action shots was huge & try as I might I could never get the 1st & second shots close to each other. Accuracy was mediocre, did OK shooting to COM but certainly not a bullseye pistol.
 

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A friend once had a 59 which amazed us by feeding the same .38 semiwadcutters he used in his revolver.

I shot a 5906 at IDPA for a while. It was reliable and mechanically accurate but I could not work up the speed I had with 1911 and Plastic M&P and maintain accuracy.
 

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High bore axis, heavy, don't like slide mounted safeties, stock trigger was sometimes noisy/gritty with a lot of takeup. Those were the drawbacks in those guns for me if I get real picky and remember correctly. Overall I like that era of Smith autos for the positives others have mentioned but not enough to keep any of them.
 

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I had a 539, essentially the same mechanism, and sold it after two range sessions.
The reach to the DA trigger is really long, and the reach to the SA trigger is really short. Regardless of how you feel about transitioning from DA to SA, it's even harder than necessary.
There are lots of little springs in the 2nd gen guns, seemingly behind every part as the gun is stripped, is a tiny spring, often accompanied a a tiny plunger.
It was a beautiful gun, but shooting and maintaining it was a pain, with nothing in return.
 

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I'm gonna catch fire, but I avoid Smiths. Show me one that works, and I'll show you something else I'd rather have.

I understand if you're a collector...but if you're not, I'll never understand.
 

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They're generally excellent guns. They certainly get a lot of love on the Smith & Wesson Forum.

I personally carry a 469 (12+1) in a fanny pack in the summer months. I prefer the DA/SA trigger over the squishy trigger in the typical Tupperware guns. Yeah, they're heavier than Tupperware, but all of us on this board carry one or more 1911s very likely, so we're used to heavy guns.

If you go that route, I would recommend the Gen 3 guns. The trigger system was generally a bit more refined. The magazines all interchange within a caliber and type (meaning double stack versus single stack). So look at the 5906 as opposed to the 59 or the 659.
 

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Looking for plusses or drawbacks in this design. The reason is, I once had an FEG GKK92C which is basically a S&W 59 and I liked it a lot. Now I want it again, but the FEG version has too much baggage (parts, magazines) so I'm thinking 'get the real thing' but I've never picked one up.
Any thoughts?
I used a M59 that was my grandfathers to compete in Action Pistol when I got out of the Military in the mid 90’s. Later competed with a Browning Highpower and a Springfield 1911, but went back to the 59. For whatever reason it pointed more instinctive, and seemed to be more accurate in rapid fire than the Browning or 1911–maybe this was just me. After my grandfather passed, the 59 went to my father, and I never competed with it again, but it seemed very reliable, and I don’t think the alloy frame suffered any appreciable wear. I’ve got respect for the old 59, and Military and Police was S&W’s intended market from the beginning for it.
 

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Had a 39 for awhile. Nothing wrong with it but I sold it for a nice profit. An old shooting buddy bought it and carried it for years loaded with W-W Silvertips. I don't recall it jamming with FMJ or ST.

Saw a factory nickel 59 LNIB at a LGS for $200 about 10yrs ago. Thought about it for awhile , but of course it was gone when I went back. Never liked the grip. With Pachmayr's, it was like grabbing a motorcycle tire.
 

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Had a 39 for awhile. Nothing wrong with it but I sold it for a nice profit. An old shooting buddy bought it and carried it for years loaded with W-W Silvertips. I don't recall it jamming with FMJ or ST.

Saw a factory nickel 59 LNIB at a LGS for $200 about 10yrs ago. Thought about it for awhile , but of course it was gone when I went back. Never liked the grip. With Pachmayr's, it was like grabbing a motorcycle tire.
I saw one also about 15 years ago with box for $425, but I was intrigued by the Tisas 1911 Regent at another table for $365, and the larger caliber .45 won out. I had a Highpower at home at the time, but no .45 ACP, and that old Tisas, one of the early ones in the country, is still going strong. Still think about that model 59 though—maybe someday!
 

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I bought a like-new Model 59 back in December. It's a pretty gun, but not the best shooter in my stash by any means. The DA trigger is really heavy and stacks up before the break, and both it and the SA trigger break right at the back of the frame. I've only shot it twice so far, and the accuracy was so-so, at least out of my hands. I'm glad I have it, but it won't become my CCW anytime soon.
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Wood Gun accessory


The Model 459 had improved sights, a different extractor, a firing pin safety, and a slightly beefier frame. Other than that it's the same pistol. I have a third-gen Model 915 and it's a WAY better shooter, although not as attractive with its matte blued finish. The ergos are better and the DA trigger is among the best of any of my crunchentickers.
 

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That's exactly why I bought it. Old-school polished blue handguns are like hens teeth in gun shops these days. I'll bet the guys buying them back in the 1970s never figured they'd be considered classics someday.
 

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Actually I think it was the very first "wonder-nine", as the Browning Hi-Power before it was SA only. The Beretta 92 followed in 1974... I can't think of anyone else who built one earlier.

S&W designed the Model 59 in response to a US Navy request to build a version of the Model 39 that took Hi-Power mags. The Navy never bought it in the end, but S&W released it to the LE and civilian market and it was an instant hit. Unfortunately like with most S&W pistols the lack of military sales caused them to become lesser-knowns in the face of all those Berettas, SIGs and Walthers out there.

And BTW the M59 doesn't actually take Hi-Power mags. By the time it made it to production S&W had come up with their own magazine for it. But like mentioned earlier the mags remained basically the same all the way through the 3rd gen guns.
 

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If you’re looking to buy one, get a 3rd gen gun something along the lines of a 5904 or 5906
the 1st an 2nd gen guns were junk and the bad rep of those guns turned people off to the 3rd gen
however when sig came out with the 226, it forced S&W to up its game to compete and they hired a bunch of engineers to improve the ergonomic, both DA and SA trigger pull and reliability. I had both a sig 226 and carried a 5906 as my duty gun for 25 years and hands down I preferred the 5906
also if you’re a diehard 1911 shooter, the 5906 is as close to 1911 as you’ll find in a DA gun
the grip angle is the same, except for the safety, all the controls are in the same place, SA trigger pull while a tad heavy and reset are pretty much the same as a1911
Which makes sense because the original model 39 was designed to replace it
 
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