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SORRY FOR 1ST POST IN WRONG FORUM

I am going to purchase a new used S&W 9mm double/single action semi-auto trade-in fm police depts. I have examined CDNN and Summit Gunbroker. I know little about handguns.

The plethora of model numbers is bewildering. An internet search has revealed info on some models. However, I cannot find a listing of model numbers with a description of the corresponding gun, e.g., dimensions, weight, SS or blue, DA/SA or DA only, etc.

Appreciate anyone who cud give me some direction so I can make my choice easier.

TIA

JUMPER aka Barry Ross
 

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I actually posted a reply last night, it is now gone, so I will try to remember all the intelligent stuff I typed.

The S&W models 39, 52, 59 were the first generation centerfires (discounting the pocket autos). The 52 was a .38 special wadcutter only target pistol, it remained the same. The 39 was a single stack, 59 was double stack, both alloy frames, though the 39 had been made in metal. These models were upgraded and became the second generation 439 and 459. Stainless versions were dubbed 639 & 659. There were compact models, the 469 and 669.

The third generation guns began with models being made for everyone in every configuration. "6" prefix models still
denoted stainless, but the caliber got worked into the model number somehow along the line and that is where S&W totally lost me. The third generation models had the noticeable one piece plastic grips.

The Sigma series was a loose copy of the Glock. Certain models of Sigmas have problems, best to avoid them. I owned a 9mm and two .380 Sigmas, never had any trouble with any of them, but I wouldn't risk it. Reports of cracking frames on the .40 models are rampant, ask around on the S&W forum.

One of my neighbors owned a Walther 99 and a S&W 99. He liked neither of them, and sold them both. I didn't get to shoot either of them, but cosmetics and handling was about identical; I believe they differed internally.

Whittakers has many used handguns and you can check prices on their website.

I would choose a Sig or HK before a S&W, personally. I do not care for their current production semi autos.

The CZ and Tanfoglio clone are also very nice handguns and reasonably priced. I have always liked Browning Hi-Powers, and own two, 9mm and a .40 S&W.

Here is an example of S&W's model designations. All .22 LR's based on the old #61 pocket auto. The blue steel/alloy gun is a #422. The two stainless steel/alloy guns are #622. The long barrel all stainless gun is a #2206. The small pocket auto is a special order brushed nickel steel/alloy #2213. All made during the same time.
 

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This photo shows a Tanfoglio Witness 9mm and a Sig P239 .40 S&W. You said you know little about handguns. I remember you were once military so I know you at least handled, shot, cleaned 1911's. A first time handgun owner, IMHO, is better off with a DA/SA revolver. For the one handgun person, a medium frame, stainless steel, 3" or 4" HB, adjustable sight .357 magnum is about the most versatile piece they could buy.

The Sig P239 works just like a DA/SA revolver, no safety, just a de-cocker. It is a very user friendly firearm. It is a compact model, people with huge hands may not like them. It is available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig. The 9mm version is slightly slimmer than the other two, it feels different and recoils differently.

The Tanfoglio is a CZ clone. Great gun and reasonably priced. It is slightly larger and thicker than the Sig. Look into them as well.
 
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