ASP Revisited


October 16, 2007, 08:03 PM
Some years ago, I recall reading about a modified S&W Model 39 pistol produced for U.S. government personel. This gun, manufactured by the Armament Systems & Procedures company, was the brainchild of the late Paris Theodore and the forerunner of current compact semi-autos. Has anyone fired one of these guns recently? If so, how is their accuracy compared to the current crop of compacts? THR had a thread on this a year ago, but I wanted to revisit this topic. Thanks.


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October 16, 2007, 08:13 PM
I never got to shoot one of his guns, never could find one at the time to even look at. I did experiment with his "Quell" system, mostly using my HK P7 at the time, and it does work as advertised, but you need to pretty much dedicate yourself to it to be natural. Its still a handy technique though.

Here's a link to the gun and some background on Theodore

October 17, 2007, 10:23 AM
I've seen both the ASP and the Devel conversions of the S&W Model 39; very nice but always in the four figure territory, price wise. Never had a chance to ever fire one. I seem to recall that the ASP didn't use conventional sights; instead it used a slide length channel called the "Guttersnipe". It was painted a bright yellow inside the channel and was claimed to be very effective at close range; it supposedly relied on both your vision and your brain's subconsious inclination to square up the channel on target.
And when Smith finally decided to start making compact guns like them, it pretty much relegated the ASP and Devel to high end collector status, as I don't think that there were that many of them out there to begin with.

October 17, 2007, 02:02 PM
A buddy of mine is the son of the guy who had the contract to actually do the machine/gunsmith work for the ASP company. He has the pistol his dad built for himself and I've handled the gun and he shot it at a CCW class I taught.

I wasn't overly impressed. It is a neat pistol, but the accuracy was only average for a compact pistol and the Guttersnipe sights seemed to hurt practical accuracy at anything but the closest ranges. His gun kept having failures to go into battery, but that was probably due to the original springs and mag springs getting a bit weak over time and use.

October 17, 2007, 10:18 PM
Yes, the original ASPs are expensive due to the law of supply and demand. There were not a great number of them produced, therefore the price is higher than we might initially expect. No doubt, collectors also contribute to these prices by portraying ASPs as "secret agent" guns for marketing hype.

I am not surprised about the reliability of these guns today, since the last original models were produced over 25 years ago, excluding the "faux" ASP 2000 model. The springs used in the original ASP may have been lighter than those produced for the S&W 39. If this is the case, then I can envision the springs weakening with time and use.


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