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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 of America
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 (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" 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 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 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 9×19mm 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.


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.

Model 459[]

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[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Trzoniec, Stanley W. (1981). Modern American Centerfire Handguns. Tulsa, Okla.: Winchester Press. p. 49. ISBN 0876913419. OCLC 7572377. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hartink, A. E. (2002). The Complete Encyclopedia of Pistols and Revolvers (first ed.). Edison, N.J.: Chartwell Books. p. 279. ISBN 9780785815198. OCLC 51024327. 

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