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Old September 18th, 2019, 02:52 PM #1
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S&W 659: A Classic!

This is a gun I found buried in my safe last night. The holster it was in had a bit of mold growing on it and I pulled it out to provide a bit of first aid. It was the only gun I had in the holster and after some minor polishing, the holster was black and shiny, but looking at the gun on the table, I couldn't help but remember when I first purchased it.

My love of the S&W 659 goes back to the nickel-plated Model 59, first shown with 15 or so bullets lying besides it to show it's extended capacity. It was beautiful, but alas, the reviews of the gun were not. Reviewers were saying that S&W made great revolvers, but their automatics did nothing but jam. In fact, it was the 59 reviews that first coined the term "jam-o-matic."

S&W eventually fixed the gun so that it did work, but its reputation was hard to overcome. The price also was a bit steep.

Does anyone happen to have a 659 (or a 59)? People have complained about the grips being thick, but it fits my hand perfectly, like it was custom made. It's perfectly designed, flawlessly reliable, all stainless steel and with the right magazines can hold twenty rounds. And despite the 659 being (in my view) a better gun than the 1911, it lacks the 1911's popularity. In fact, I almost never see it discussed.


S&W 659 (bottom) and 5906.

If you have one of these how do you rate it in your collection of firearms? Do you have a Model 59, 39 or 459? If so, what are your views?

And do you have any photos?

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Old September 18th, 2019, 03:37 PM #2
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Never had a s&w pistol, love their revolvers.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 03:40 PM #3
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I have a 5906. One of my favorite shooters.

And if 15 rounds is not enough, you can still club your opponent to death.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 03:45 PM #4
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I had a Model 59 that was purchased from Montgomery Wards in Wheaton Plaza, IIRC. It was reliable. I think I put an MMC adjustable rear sight on it. I sold it when I got my Gold Cup .45
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Old September 19th, 2019, 12:42 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdatontodo View Post
I had a Model 59 that was purchased from Montgomery Wards in Wheaton Plaza, IIRC. It was reliable. I think I put an MMC adjustable rear sight on it. I sold it when I got my Gold Cup .45
Was your 59 nickel plated? And how was your accuracy and reliability?

I've heard many good things about the Colt Gold Cup, so I'm not going to yell at you for getting rid of your 59. Years ago, a friend bought both a Gold Cup and a Python (they were the same price). But he ended up selling both. My dad bought his Gold Cup and never shot it, getting rid of it after two to three years. I recall it was a beautiful gun.

One reviewer of the S&W 645 said it was easily as accurate as his Colt Gold Cup, but the 645 was much larger and had fixed rear sights. The reviewer also said a S&W sales rep visited a gun store once not far from him and claimed that the rep put some sized .45 cases into the magazine of a 645, then subsequently fed them all into the gun's chamber with no bullets in the cases!

I subsequently bought a 645 and misplaced it somewhere. I'm not a huge fan of the .45ACP round, but I remember really liking the Colt Gold Cup and I loved the S&W 645 (and every other 2nd /3rd generation gun I've ever had).
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Old September 19th, 2019, 01:09 AM #6
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I once had a 469 , but it was actually a transitional model between the 2nd and 3rd Gen .
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Old September 19th, 2019, 01:51 AM #7
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I had a 659, that I bought back in the early 90's and then I sold it to finance a Browning Hi-Power.
I put either Hogue or Pachmayr grips on mine, but I still have the original grip panels.
Now I have a 5906.
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Old September 19th, 2019, 06:42 AM #8
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Many moons ago a relative was issued a department marked, blued model 59. It being the early to mid 1970's, I remember him wearing either that or his "Vietnam 1911" on duty. On the rare weekend that he wasn't working we would go down to the local quarry with a couple boxes of FMJ and a submarine sandwich. I spent hours trying to get the hang of that double action trigger much to my chagrin. With me being fairly young at the time and used to a single action ruger bearcat or a long gun this was a whole new ballgame.

I do remember that the 59 didn't share the reputation of the model 645 above in that hollow points were a dubious proposition at best. I have to give the 59 credit in that it was the first "wonder nine". It was the innovator that came long before the other high capacity, double action, 9mm pistols. If you want to see something neat look up the 59s brother, the single stack model 39, and look at all the custom pistols built off that platform "back in the day".

The 645 was another great pistol. Before his untimely passing, Lou45 had a 645 and a rare (single action only) 745. The 745 was two tone and had NRA logo engraved in it, I can't remember if it was a special factory model or a promotional done by the NRA without S&W. I just remember that the 745 could easily outshoot the new Colt Gold Cup Trophy model he had pulled out of his shop inventory. They both fed anything you could load them with and printed very tightly. Unlike the 59 with an alloy frame and a steel slide, both .45 models were solid steel and weighed a ton. I wouldn't want to have them to carry any distance but would have gladly purchased either for range use had I the chance.
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Old September 19th, 2019, 07:13 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveller View Post
I have a 5906. One of my favorite shooters.

And if 15 rounds is not enough, you can still club your opponent to death.
Really like mine too. Smooth trigger and solid feel. Great home gun, way too heavy to carry around for much of any reason. Bought mine in the mid 90's, surplus Oakland, CA police pistol.
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Old September 19th, 2019, 04:58 PM #10
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Many moons ago I had a 459, the blued version. It is my only "kick myself" for selling it. Definitely NOT a jam o matic either!!! I didn't think much of it as an early 20s guy, but now I REALLY wish I'd kept it!
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