Smith & Wesson Model 59
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|Smith & Wesson Model 59|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States|
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
|Mass||30 oz / 1.84 lb (0.840 kg)|
|Length||7.55 in (192 mm)|
|Barrel length||4 in (102 mm)|
|Rate of fire||Semi-automatic|
|Feed system||14-round double column, detachable box magazine (20-round factory magazines were available)|
|Sights||fixed iron sights, optional adjustable|
The Smith & Wesson Model 59 was a double-action pistol introduced in 1971. It was developed by Smith & Wesson from the earlier Smith & Wesson Model 39 by adapting a 14-round capacity stagger-stack magazine.
History and users
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 "Mark 22 Hush Puppy" suppressed 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 Browning Hi-Power. 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 was manufactured in 9×19mm Parabellum caliber with a wider anodized aluminum frame, 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.
The magazine for the Model 59 is similar to that of the Browning Hi-Power. Initially introduced with a capacity of 14 rounds, this was later increased to 15 rounds for future variants. Smith & Wesson also made an extended, 20-round version. Many firearms have been introduced to use this pattern of magazine including the Marlin Camp Carbine as well as the Kel-Tec P11, Sub9, and Sub2000.
The Smith & Wesson Model 459 was an updated version of the Model 59 with adjustable sights and checkered nylon grips. This model was discontinued in 1988. 803 units were produced in a brush finish with special grips made to FBI specifications.