Sonny Crockett, is that you?
In the early 1980s, S&W was producing a series of “second-generation” semi-auto 9mm pistols that followed up on the company’s earlier Model 39— itself the first non-European designed 9mm produced for the U.S. market– and Model 59 offerings. These included 8+1 shot single stacks like the S&W 439/639 and the “Wondernine” 14+1 double stack S&W 459/659.
These double-action models, with alloy frames, were light and, using a slide-mounted safety/decocker, safe for new users. As such, they proved popular with not only consumers but also law enforcement agencies looking to upgrade from .38/.357-caliber wheel guns.
However, there were no comparable .45ACP pistols in the lineup.
Enter the S&W Model 645, baby.
More in my column at Guns.com