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Any Comments On S&W 59 or 459?

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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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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.
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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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The 1st and 2nd gen guns sold well so they obviously were not junk. They were not nearly as refined as the later 3rd gens, but then again nor were the other DA autos of the time period. I have an early Beretta 92S, and while it's a beautiful pistol I wouldn't care to take it into battle any more than the Model 59. The sights suck, the grip is as slick as a wet bar of soap and the DA trigger is just as bad as the Smith's. The later 92F that was adopted by the US Army as the M9 was far superior.

Gun manufacturers often bring promising designs to market that need a little more refinement to be perfect, and the early Smith autos were no exception. I wouldn't recommend one as a primary defense arm, but as an interesting collectible and a fun weekend shooter they're great. But I wouldn't pay more than $400 or so for one. I sometimes see them on Gunbroker for upwards of a thousand, and all I can say is that those sellers must be smoking some pretty good stuff.
 

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There was a shoot-out involving some creeps and the San Francisco P.D. who, at the time were issued S&W M59s. Fire continuity from the officers was interrupted by the magazines untimely falling from the pistols, engaging the (stupid and needless) magazine disconnect, rendering said pistols inert. Replacing with fresh magazines seemed to fix the problem, until they, also fell out.
Learning of this, and being generally unsatisfied with the 3 M59s that I had the misfortune of shooting, soured me on all center fire S&W semi-autos for four decades.
I suspect the problem was isolated to those specific Model 59s, most likely how they were adjusted (you can adjust the amount of engagement with a S&W mag catch). Smith & Wesson didn't change the mag catch design over the life of their metal-framed autos aside from making them reversible to comply with the JSSAP requirements. If there was a problem that serious that was never remedied they wouldn't have sold so many guns to LE agencies over the years. Until the Glocks took over the market S&W was the #1 seller of semi-auto handguns to law enforcement.
 
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The magazine disconnect has also saved the lives of some police officers. In one instance a traffic cop was sucker-punched and his S&W auto taken from him. Fortunately the weapon was on-safe, and the perp didn't know which control was the safety was so he hit the mag release button first, dropping the mag. Then he found the actual safety lever and tried again, only now the pistol wouldn't fire. It saved the cop from an execution-style death.

That being said, I personally hate mag safeties as well, and the pistols I have with one are range guns only. But we live in a world where a safety device might get you killed, or it might actually work as intended depending on the circumstances.
 

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The US military has a long, proud history of employing weapons into roles for which they were not designed. Same goes for continuing to use them long past their sell-by date.
 

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The Model 59 had a fairly long run for a Smith & Wesson product, from 1971 until 1982 when the 2nd generation models came out. Mine runs perfectly fine. I just absolutely hate the trigger, but other than that it's a pretty decent gun.
 

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No, a Glock is like a 2x4. A Smith 59/459 is like holding the fat end of a baseball bat. ;)
 

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The standard double-stack mags of my 3rd Gen Model 915 work perfectly in my Model 59. There was a time when S&W mags were more common than Glock mags, and they were used by many other manufacturers such as Marlin. Now they've completely dried up and are hard to find. Mec-Gar used to make them as well but I haven't seen theirs for sale in a long while.
 
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I’ll grant that statement on their pistols. Revolvers are another story. I have an M&P 40c and a 2.0 c in 9mm. The 59 just does not stand up to them.
No disagreement there. The M&P 2.0 Compact is one of my favorites of the modern handguns and easily shoots circles around an old pistol like the Model 59.
 
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I am not saying you are wrong, but my take on it was a lot of these guns were always too heavy.
The Model 59 isn't heavy. It's a bit fat, but so were most early double-stack 9mms. Like I said earlier, the only thing I can really ding it for is the horrible trigger in both DA and SA mode.
 
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That Tisas has nothing in common with a Model 59 aside from being a double-stack, double-action 9mm with a slide-mounted decocker. Lots of "wondernines" fit that pattern back in the early days.
 
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Strangely enough, the Cabelas up in Tulalip, WA currently has a couple of blued Model 59s in excellent shape for sale in their Gun Library. Price is around $459/ea, I think. Of course if you're in WA they can't sell you the magazines with them.
 
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