Smith & Wesson Model 59

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Smith & Wesson Model 59
S&W 59 Target Champion Waffenwiki.jpg
Smith & Wesson Model 59 Target pistol
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin  United States
Service history
Used by United States
Production history
Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Produced 1971[1][2]–1988
Weight 30 oz / 1.84 lb (0.840 kg)
Length 7.55 in (192 mm)
Barrel length 4 in (102 mm)

Cartridge 9×19mm Parabellum
Action DA/SA
Rate of fire Semi-automatic
Feed system 14-round double column, detachable box magazine
Sights fixed Iron sights, optional adjustable

The Smith & Wesson Model 59 was a modification of the S&W Model 39 pistol that had a double-column magazine. It was one of the first generation of Smith & Wesson semi-automatics.

History and users[edit]

It was designed for the U.S. Navy as a large-capacity version of the S&W Model 39, the basis of their Mark 22 "Hush Puppy" silenced pistol. In 1965, the U.S. Navy commissioned a version of the S&W Model 39 that could take the 13-round magazine of the FN Browning HP35. In early 1970, a dozen experimental all-stainless-steel prototypes were made and were issued to Navy SEAL commandos for evaluation in the field. The firearm was not adopted.

The Model 59 went on the market in 1971.[1][2] It went out of production a decade later in 1980 when the improved second generation series was introduced (the Model 459).


The Model 59 was manufactured in 9mm Parabellum caliber with a wider anodized aluminum frame (to accommodate a double-stack magazine), a straight backstrap, a magazine disconnect (the pistol will not fire unless a magazine is in place), and a blued carbon steel slide that carries the manual safety. The grip is of three pieces made of two nylon plastic panels joined by a metal backstrap. It uses a magazine release located to the rear of the trigger guard, similar to the M1911A1.

Model 459[edit]

The S&W Model 459 was an updated version of the Model 59 with adjustable sights and checkered nylon grips. This model was discontinued in 1988. Eight hundred three units were produced in a brush finish with special grips made to FBI specifications.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Trzoniec, Stanley W. (1981). Modern American Centerfire Handguns. Tulsa, Okla.: Winchester Press. p. 49. ISBN 0876913419. OCLC 7572377. 
  2. ^ a b Hartink, A. E. (2002). The Complete Encyclopedia of Pistols and Revolvers (first ed.). Edison, N.J.: Chartwell Books. p. 279. ISBN 9780785815198. OCLC 51024327.