Posted October 22, 2019 3:21 am by Comments

By Chris Eger

With a production run that only lasted for two seasons of Miami Vice, the S&W Model 645 is a solid classic. (Photo: Chris Eger/
What’s big, stainless, chambered in .45ACP and lived only in the 1980s? Smith & Wesson’s Model 645, of course.
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.
The S&W 59. Produced from 1972 until 1981, these were S&W’s first so-called “Wondernine” pistols, a term affixed to them as they had a 14+1 flush fit magazine capacity, a feat at the time only narrowly bested by the Czech-made CZ75 or Italian Beretta 92. The pistols in this family had a distinctive profile with their slide-mounted safety/decock levers and thin triggers. This nickel-finished specimen in up for grabs in the Vault today.
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


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