Tag Archives: wondernine

From Hush Puppy to Starsky & Hutch

In the late 1960s, Smith & Wesson started a project to provide Vietnam-deployed SEAL Teams with a modified S&W Model 39 9mm pistol that included a slide lock and threaded barrel for a suppressor as well as a 14+1 magazine capacity, a big jump from the Model 39’s standard 8+1 load.

The gun, intended for NSW use to silence sentries or their dogs, became dubbed the “Hush Puppy.”

Note the chest holster…Hush Puppy inside

Well, by 1971, Smith thought the basic model, sans suppressor-ready features, would make a good gun for LE and the consumer markets and introduced it as the more polished S&W Model 59, which soon saw some serious success in the hands of Disco-era police, including a regular appearance on cop shows of the era.

More in my column at Guns.com.

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.

With a production run that only lasted for two seasons of Miami Vice, the S&W Model 645 is a solid classic.

More in my column at Guns.com