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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased a Model 39 in factory box. Smith & Wesson model 39 (no-dash) in 9mm with a 7.65 Luger barrel also fitted to the gun. SN 335xx. Came with two magazines - one mag for each caliber. Factory box is in good condition. No foreign proof marks on 7.65 barrel. While it is a 7.65 barrel, it is marked "9MM" with lettering identical to the actual 9MM barrel. The only difference in the barrels are the holes drilled into them. Two springs were also included in the box. Packaging in box all looks original and with little handling. I have read three (3) different articles which referenced S&W working with different calibers on the Model 39 during the Army trials of 1954. I'm going to request a factory letter but thought I would use my first post to try to get some answers. Many thanks in advance.
 

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Interesting. You might want to follow through and letter the gun with SWCA and see where it was actually shipped.

I have the follow-on 3rd generation 3904, which was my first semi-auto center fire handgun, and served as home defense for many years.

While the base and body of the 7.65mm x 21mm (.30 Luger) cartridge case is close to the 9mm Luger, it is a bottleneck cartridge and not tapered like the 9mm Luger. The magazine used in the Luger is identical regardless of caliber. I wonder why the Model 39 required a different magazine?

It would be difficult to start with a 9mm chamber and produce a .30 Luger chamber. Was the .30 Luger barrel sleeved and recut? Look for subtle evidence of a sleeve at the muzzle and breech ends of the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Marc. Thank you for responding. I'll have it in my hands tomorrow. I was told Luger. I think the barrel will be 32 acp. That's my guess. I'll let you know. Thx again.
 

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Welcome to the forum! welcome01

Looks like a nice Smith and should be interesting, I have never heard of a dual caliber in a model 39.
 

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That is one that we would definitely spring for the cost of getting lettered to get the history and proof that it is what it seems to be. Smart move on getting it lettered.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I have put a gallery of images on my website and the link is below:
https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-jJSFKn/

There are no end labels on the box. The serial number of the gun is hand written on the bottom of the box. I have not purchased enough older guns in original packaging to determine if this is original packaging but it looks original to me. I have found out that this is the second U.S. estate which has sold this pistol. Both previous owners lived in the Baltimore, Md. area.

Thank you for all the comments.
 

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That is interesting. From your photos, I can tell It's not .32 ACP. If it was, the 9MM cartridge would not enter the chamber at all. I suspect it's .30/7.65 Luger, just as the hand written note indicates. I know factories did supply guns for the Italian market in .30 Luger. I have seen a Colt Commander so chambered and marked, and I had a factory .30 Luger Hi Power. If this is one factory produced and intended for the Italian market though, I would think the chamber would be correctly marked, and not marked 9MM. As mrerick mentioned, I too would wonder if the barrel has been sleeved to create the .30 Luger chambering. Pretty neat acquisition in any case.
 
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