Smith and Wesson 39-2 Problems and Solutions

The Smith & Wesson Model 39-2 is a semi-automatic pistol that is made with a blued carbon steel slide that contains a manual safety, an anodized aluminum frame, and a curved backstrap.

A few common problems that shooters face during the use of this pistol include extractor problems, magazine problems, decocker malfunctions, takedown issues, trigger hammer issues, precision problems, etc. 

In this article, some of the major problems with the 39-2 pistol have been discussed, alongside the solutions to those problems. Read the whole article to find out everything you need to know about the Smith & Wesson 39-2 problems and solutions.

Features and Specification of Smith and Wesson Governor:

  • Action                : Double/Single Action
  • Caliber               : 9mm
  • Capacity             : 15+1
  • Grips                  : Plastic
  • Barrel Length     : 4 inches
  • Sights                 : Adjustable
Common Smith and Wesson 39-2 Problems and Solutions
Smith and Wesson 39-2

Common Smith and Wesson 39-2 Problems and Solutions

Extractor problemsTroubleshoot.
Magazine problemReplace the pro-mag with original magazine.
Decocker malfunctionReplace the sear release lever.
Takedown issuesPolish the burr out.
Trigger hammer issuesPosition the drawbar properly and place the magazine in the gun.
Precision ProblemsSlug the barrel and work on your powder charger.

1. Extractor Problems:

One of the most common problems that shooters are facing is the extraction issue in the Smith & Wesson 39-2 pistol.

The possible cause might be that the anodizing on the rails have been removed.

Occasionally, the recoil spring guide rod was also almost completely sliced lengthwise, and the bluing and anodizing had peeled off, which is also responsible for the extractor problems.

The Fix:

Replacing the extractor and spring first is the traditional factory armorer remedy.

Changing the extractor spring is rather simple. After stripping the barrel and sliding it from the frame, you push out the extractor pivot pin before removing the firing pin.

Replace the coil spring, then assemble after removing the extractor. It would probably be a good idea to also replace the recoil spring.

2. Magazine Problem:

The ProMag locks in properly when inserted, even with some of it protruding. But if the slide is locked forward and the magazine tries to eject, it won’t come out. When the slide is locked back in, it immediately jumps out.

When the slide is closed, the magazine is wiggled out of the pistol by pushing it up into the chamber. Therefore, it appears that the mag cannot release easily because of the downward pressure it is under from touching the locked slide.

The Fix:

Replace the ProMag. Original magazines that are specially designed for the Smith & Wesson 39-2 should be used. They work great in this gun.

3. Decocker Malfunction:

The decocker doesn’t work well in this pistol. It is considered useless when a magazine is added, with or without ammo, after disengaging the slide without ammo.

Even after emptying the magazine and leaving a round in the chamber, it is still inoperable.

There have also been instances where the decocker needs to be reset a number of times after the pistol has been cleared of ammunition and the magazine has been removed.

The Fix:

The issue can be resolved by replacing the old sear release lever with a new, suitable component.

4. Take Down Issues:

Shooters face a takedown issue when the gun is up for cleaning. Retracted the slide and positioned the takedown pin in the slide’s slot.

The pin can be released, but pulling the slide forward to release it from the frame is hard. After a small amount of movement, it locks up. When the takedown pin is reinstalled, it starts working.

The Fix:

Evidently, the burr was preventing the slide from moving all the way forward. So, polish the burr out, which should fix the problem.

5. Trigger Hammer Issues:

If the trigger does not operate properly, the trigger will not let the hammer go off even if the hammer cocks as it should.

Neither the double action nor the single action of the trigger will move the hammer.  Once the slide is mounted to the frame, something doesn’t catch as it should.

The Fix:

To fix the problem, make sure your magazine and chamber are empty of ammunition.

Position the drawbar when the gun is fully assembled. Check that the levers were assembled correctly and try completely disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling the lower frame and its components.

6. Precision Problem:

With 124 cast bullets, the 9mm is not accurate at all at 25 yards, it spreads by at least 5 inches. However, one group can be operating normally while the next is completely dispersed and acting free.

It has the S&W rear elevation/wind sight that is adjustable. No glaring holes in the slide, bushing, or barrel.

The Fix:

Your ammunition is to blame for your poor accuracy. Try to slug your barrel if you can because your bullets may be too small. I would advise working on your powder pack as the next step.

Even though the charge you are using could be sufficient to operate the slide, you might have a large velocity spread that is reducing accuracy.

User Feedback on Smith and Wesson 39-2

The Smith & Wesson 39-2 has a good set of factory sights, practical accuracy was satisfactory at around 25 yards. Even though the 9mm round isn’t particularly hard-kicking, it is nevertheless enjoyable to shoot.

This has been satisfying shooters with its long durability and accuracy. Although not terrible, the trigger is undoubtedly not the smoothest in double-action mode or the slickest in single-action mode. But it is a good gun to work with.

A YouTuber thinks it has nice medallion grips, a blue finish, and a front bushing. But the extractor remained largely the same. The extractor on the 39s was substantially longer. However, it is a very good gun to die for.

Another YouTuber thinks those who have relatively smaller hands, and single stacks fit them nicely. The recoil is very mild, but it has got a weight on it which might prove to be problematic.

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Smith and Wesson Governor

Beretta M9

For a 9mm handgun, the M9 is renowned for being huge and heavy. But, the M9’s spare weight is also one of its better features since it controls recoil and muzzle flip, enabling faster follow-up rounds, particularly in single-action mode.

Both the S&W 39-2 and M9 have a single and double action, 9 mm of caliber, and 9×19 parabellum of cartridges, and both carry almost similar weights making M9 a good alternative to 39-2.

SIG Sauer P320-M17

It has a detachable Night Sight rear plate and SIGLITE front night sight. Three sizes of the coyote-tan carry-length grip module and manual safety are standard on the P320-M17.

The barrel and cylinder materials of both the P320-M17 and S&W 39-2 are metal coated. Both constitute double action and single action. Both are two US Army classics.


In the CZ_75 model, the cartridge is 9×19 parabellum, and the action is both single and double. It has short recoil, and a tilting barrel just like the 39-2, and made it one of the top alternatives for 39-2.

The CZ 75-B 9mm Luger Pistol has a 16+1 capacity. The body is made solely of steel and has been carved, along with a synthetic grip and three fixed-dot sights. designed with slide-in construction and zonal locking lugs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When did Smith & Wesson introduce 39-2 in the market?  

Around the turn of the 1970s, Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 39-2 and put it on the civilian market. 

Is a Smith & Wesson Model 39 double-actioned?

Yes, it is a double-actioned pistol but it has a single-action as well.

What is S&W 39-2 made of?

The barrel is polished with carbon steel and the frame is made of aluminum steel.

How many rounds does a 39-2 magazine hold?

A 39-2 magazine holds 15 rounds.


Smith & Wesson’s earliest rifles are still functional today. One such weapon that continues to be valued by all users is the Model 39-2. After reading this article, it will clarify the possible causes of the Smith & Wesson 39-2 problems as well as the solutions to those problems. 

When you’re used to firing modern pistols, there will inevitably be certain hassles to using the Model 39-2. Sometimes it feels a little janky to use the single-action and double-action functionalities. However, the more you use it, the more natural it seems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts