S&W 39-2 & S&W .38 Special CTG Diamondback


November 2, 2006, 01:22 AM
hey guys, i'm new to the board and hopefully you guys can help me out with IDing two guns.

The guns belong to my grandfather and I don't know too much about guns but know my grandfather cares very much about his guns and is always oiling them and what not. I'd like to get him some holsters/cases; I wrote down whatever information I could get from the two guns he has when I was visiting him last so I don't have the guns near me at all.

This is the informations I've gathered:

1. S&W 39-2

2. S&W .38 Special CTG Diamondback

any help in IDing the guns or even just more information about them would be greatly appreciated.

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Richard Simmons
November 2, 2006, 08:16 AM
The 39-2 is an eight shot, 9mm semiauto made by Smith & Wesson from 1971-83. Very nice guns. In fact I bought my first one about two weeks ago. Haven't found out where to get a holster for it yet. Not sure what you mean by case? In excellent shape the gun by itself is worth at least $300. More if it has the spare mag, factory box, etc.

Your second gun is actually a Colt Diamondback in .38 S&W Special which is to say, .38 Special. As I'm not a Colt man I can't help you much there but depending on the barrel length, condition and type of finish on the metal it could be worth a good amount to a collector. Should also be a very nice shooter.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

November 2, 2006, 08:40 AM
The Colt Diamondback .38 is a collectable gun. Even the common 4" blued model is worth $500+ on today's market.

To find out more about Colt revolvers go to coltforum.com

November 2, 2006, 12:27 PM
The 39 is a nice gun, one of my favorites, but it fell from favor when the hi-cap (12+ round capacity) guns became popular. I always found the 39 to fit my hand much better than the larger guns. A nice 39 will sell for $300-$400 in most cases.

I got this one at a police auction about 15 years ago for $190.


The Diamondback is a deluxe revolver built on the D frame. Made in .22 Long Rifle and .38 Special (a very few in .22 Magnum also) in blue or nickel with 2, 4 or 6" barrel. They have become very pricey since Colt stopped making them. A decent .38 DB will sell for $400-$600.

I picked this up at a Utah gun show from a pawn shop dealer for $180 in 1998.


November 2, 2006, 03:56 PM
Many of the early Model 59/39 pistols had horrible jamming problems and though some work today, I would never rely on one just because of their reputation. I'd have to shoot it a lot. Smith said the fixed ones are okay, but it's probably best to use them with ball ammo only. The later 559/659/459 pistols were much superior and would reliably fire JHPs. A bit too expensive to manufacture, Smith produced the third generation, which turned out even better. The Seals wanted a stainless model they could use in marine enviorons, but the stainless 59/39 pistols just couldn't meet reliability standards. I recall when the 459M was introduced for the military trials years ago and it came in second place next to the Beretta.

Berettas jammed on an average of once every 2,000 rounds; the 459M would jam an average of once every 952 rounds.

That was the beginning of the end for revolvers in police work, alas. Reliability has continued to grow, though I'll never stop liking revolvers. A person can leave a revolver lying in a drawer for years. Autos have to have magazine changes so the springs won't set. That's why I like revolvers for home use.

November 2, 2006, 04:10 PM
I am unaware of any wide-spread problems with any 39/59 series S&W pistols. These were instant hits with police agencies around the country and thousands upon thousands served as duty weapons for decades.

Can you please document your claim of unreliable feeding with large numbers of 39/59 pistols? This is the first suggestion I have ever heard about such a notion.

Personally, I have owned two 39s and two 59s and all worked perfectly with all ammo tried. My daily carry gun is a 659 which has never malfunction in any way. Neither have any of the others I owned.

November 2, 2006, 04:24 PM
My agency started issuing the 39 in 1968. The 39 was first built in 1953 to compete in the US Military trials to replace the 1911.
The early 39s (39-nothing) had a hump in the feed ramp which was to aid feeding the FMJ ammo from that area. The 39-2, and many LEO 39-nothing, had the ramp removed so it would feed better with the shorter HP ammo.
I carried my 39-nothing until 1982 when I got my issued 439. I fired all kinds of ammo of all design thru it and have never experienced one bit of problem.
To find a holster look for something made for the 39, 439, 639, 59, 459/659 models. Those are the 1st and 2nd generation S&W 9mm. Any holster for one will fit the other. Some of the 3rd generation S&W 9mm holsters will also work but you'll need to check those. Some 3rd gen S&Ws had large trigger guards and others had small trigger guards. Their trigger guards will also be squared. Depending on the holster design something for the 3rd gen might work.

Ala Dan
November 2, 2006, 09:07 PM
Both, are very fine weapons and should proudly we taken care of accordingly.
If by chance, you are unable or unwilling to do them justice in this respect;
just box 'em up and send them too me~!;) I promise I will see that the are
given lots of TLC and a damn good home~!:cool: :D

Greeting's there isp2605 My Friend-

Thus far, No dice in acquiring the ISP model 39 that you and I
talked about last week. He wanted to mull that decision over
for a few days, just too make sure he was doing the right thing~!

November 2, 2006, 09:30 PM
Greeting's there isp2605 My Friend-

Thus far, No dice is acquiring the ISP model 39 that you and I talked about last week. He wanted to mull that decision over for a few days, just too make sure he was doing the right thing~!
Keep on him. Wear him down. Everyone has a breaking point. I know some people who use to work for "the Company". Maybe I can ask them if they'd "interrogate" the guy to where he couldn't wait to make you a deal.:D

November 3, 2006, 02:21 PM
Is it just me, or is it weird that this was moved to "Revolvers" instead of staying in "Handguns?" It is about both a semi-auto and a revolver.

Btw, check out Sportsman's Guide for some semi-custom fitted pistol cases if you want a gift for your grandfather.

November 3, 2006, 06:05 PM
I think the Mod didn't realize the 39 is an auto pistol. No big deal.

Richard Simmons
November 3, 2006, 08:05 PM
You mean, "a darn fine autopistol" right :D

November 4, 2006, 09:13 PM
A while back someone asked which guns you were sorry you sold. The Mod. 39 is one of them. I fit my hand perfectly and I never had a problem with mine. I, too fell for the bigger capacity is better idea.
Now, if I recall correctly, the writer asked what holsters would fit the gun. I would suggest going to the several holster manufacturers websites and see what they offer.

November 5, 2006, 02:11 AM
i want to thank everyone so much for all the information they have given me. wow, i am overwhelmed with how much people posted. i really and truly appreciate everyone's help. thank you so much for the replies! the information has helped me very much.

If you enjoyed reading about "S&W 39-2 & S&W .38 Special CTG Diamondback" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!