This is a shortened version
of Smith and Wesson's venerable x9 series of high capacity, "wonder 9",
automatics. This model was designed for back up use, or concealed
carry, and was thus shortened in both directions. The shortened butt, gives
this gun a designed magazine capacity of 12 rounds, though it will take
any of the 59 series of magazines, including the standard 15 round mags designed
for the full sized versions, and extended magazines holding up to 30 rounds.
Naturally, the newer versions of the sedreies, produced during the clinton
ban, came equipped with the then new government mandated 10 round mag, which
had been deemed civilian safe. Happily, the ban is over, though some backward
states still have their own versions in place. The shorter magazines have
a finger extension, and the gun is equipped with a magazine safety, rendering
it incapable of being fired with the magazine removed. In addition to the
shortened butt, the slide and barrel are cut down, and the hammer is bobbed
to prevent it's snagging on clothing, during a draw from a concealed carry.
Unlike many bobbed hammer guns, the 669 is capable of single action firing,
as well as having a double action trigger system. The bobbed hammer is serrated,
and can be manually cocked by first pulling the trigger, until the hammer
has reached the half cock notch of the sear. This is the same gun as the
model 469, except for the stainless slide. The stainless steel construction
enhances it's deep cover role, and greatly adds to the durability of the
gun. The size, caliber, capacity, and stainless steel slide would seem to
make this an ideal kit gun, or knock around utility pistol. The frame is
silver anodized alloy, finished in a manner similar to that of the stainless
slide. This gun was made until 1988, when it was replaced by the model 6906,
which is essentially the same gun, with a single piece grip, a cosmetic change
in the safety, and three dot sights.
||12 (15-30 available)
The original S&W model 59 was introduced in 1973.
I bought one in 1978, when it was still
considered a cutting edge weapon. These pistols had double column magazines
which held 15 rounds, a double action trigger, and an alloy frame. This was
heady stuff back in the seventies. On the other hand, these guns had poor
sights, terrible handling qualities, dismal triggers, and a strange anodized
black finish on their new fangled aluminum frames. I needed to sell my M-59,
about seven years after I bought it, and I had not owned a S&W automatic
for years. The Smith auto has come a long way since that first model. The
aesthetics, and ergonomics of the newer guns are considerably improved. The
gun feels much better in the hand, thanks to the three piece, wraparound
grips, and seems to point better. The newer, one piece grips are said to
be even better. The sights are greatly improved over the originals, and are
set atop a flat milled slide. There are some points in common though. I have
a number of old 15 round magazines from my model 59; these function in the
newer gun perfectly, though they stick out of the bottom a bit. The slide
mounted safety is unchanged, decocking the gun when it is applied, and making
"cocked, and locked" carry impossible. This S&W decocker works in the
opposite direction of the Colt safety (down is safe on the Smith). The trigger
pull is smoother than it was on the older gun, but still very familiar, with
the creep that I have come to associate with all double action auto triggers.
This gun was purchased at a local show, as a companion
to my Marlin Camp Gun. The Marlin is now discontinued, which is a shame.
The Marlin will take the same magazines as the 669 and the rest of the 9mm
Smiths. It will even take the shorter 12 round magazines. In addition
to this, there are now readily available, extended box type magazines which
will hold as many as 30 rounds.
The photo to the left shows the 669, loaded with an
extended 30 round magazine. The magazine works, and feeds reliably, though
it is a bit cumbersome. Actually, this is a pretty silly magazine to use
in a pistol. It is a bit more suited to carbine use. These extended magazines
are cheap and popular, probably as a reaction to the ten years of the clinton
magazine ban. Needless to say, the gun is very awkward to holster, with
this magazine in place. Still, if you think that this looks silly, scroll
down to the bottom of the page, to see something even sillier.
The M-669 is accurate enough, and I can shoot
into about 3" with it at the pistol range. This is not great, but it may
be me, rather than the gun, as I am not all that familiar with it yet. This
is one of the few stainless guns I have. Though I presently favor my Glocks,
and my Para-Ordnance pistols, this gun practically insists on being my household
Smith &Wesson had, for a time, fallen into a certain
amount of disfavor with many shooters, because of their collusion with the
clinton administration's anti gun agenda. This had caused prices to drop
on some models, and even set off a boycott. The company has since been sold
by it's anti gun British holding company, to a more gun friendly, and enthusiastic
American company. My only question is as to why the British company bought
S&W in the first place. S&W was sold at a great loss, and the sale
probably qualifies as one of the great corporate bargains of the recent
The new parent company manufactures gun locks, and is
much smaller than it's latest acquisition. This is somewhat reminiscent
of a mouse eating a cabbage. Still, the new arrangement seems to be working
out well, for both sides. Numerous new models have been introduced, and S&W
has recently introduced it's new "X" frame revolver, the first new S&W
frame since the introduction of the "L" frame in the seventies. This is
also the first frame to eclipse the venerable "N" frame, since it's introduction
in the early part of the last century when the big frame was designed. In
concert with the introduction of the new frame, S&W has introduced it's
first new revolver cartridges since the creation of the .41 Magnum back in
1964. It has also recaptured the title of the most powerful handgun cartridge
with the .500 Magnum, and has done so by such a large margin, that it is a
title that is unlikely to ever be challenged.
I am pleasantly surprised with the 669. I had initially
obtained it because I wanted to mate it to my Camp Gun, and because the
price was right, but S&W may have produced a better pistol than I gave
them credit for. Like many gun owners, I was very disappointed with S&W,
during the clinton years. Like many gun owners, I welcome them back under
their new, enthusiastic ownership.
|The S&W series of semi auto pistols is closely
related in operation and disassembly to the Browning P-35, upon which the
design of it's action is based. The P-35 was, in turn, based pretty closely
upon the design of the M1911 Government model, which was also designed by
Browning. The major design difference is in the use of a cam at the bottom
in the barrel, rather than the pivoting link of the earlier M1911. The newer
design also has the feed ramp integrated with the barrel, as opposed the
two part design of the 1911.
|As with any semi auto firearm, the magazine should
be released, and the chamber of the weapon should be confirmed as being
empty, before cleaning and disassembly. The S&W series has a magazine
safety, as does the Browning.
|The slide of the empty gun, is pushed back part
way, to bring a notch in the slide even with the pivot point of the slide
stop, which doubles as a takedown lever. Removing this lever is the first
step in disassembly.
|On some guns, the takedown lever may be a bit stiff,
and a pen or some other instrument, may be needed to start it on it's way.
|The lever is removed, while the slide is held back
to keep the notch properly lined up.
|With the takedown lever removed, the slide may be
removed by pulling it forward off of the frame. Though the frame may be
brushed, and wiped, and a few drops of lubricant may be placed on the frame
rails, the slide assembly requires the most attention.
|With the slide off of the frame, the recoil spring
is easily removed.
|The barrel can then be removed for cleaning, and
The Suomi Drum magazine
| I have
modified a couple of Suomi magazines to work with this pistol, and with
it's companion Marlin Camp Gun. These drums hold 72 rounds of 9mm ammunition,
and were designed for W.W.II era sub machine-guns. A 72 round handgun, with
the bulky magazine sitting underneath, is pretty silly, even when compared
to the overly long extended magazine which holds a mere 30 rounds; but it
does hold a certain appeal. I deal with the Suomi magazines, and with the
many possibilities they offer, on another page. This magazine was modified
by opening up the feed lips, and welding a standard S&W magazine to the
top as a feeder column. I also needed to convert the top portion for single
feed, and latter on added a feed arm to push all of the cartridges out of
the magazine. The whole thing only took a couple of hours of my time, and
cost well under $100, including the cost of the Suomi drum. I have had no
problems with this magazine, and it has always fed reliably. Still, this
is more of a curio and a toy, than a practical addition. The weight, and
cumbersome aspect of the magazine prevent it from being used very often.
It is certainly nothing I would use for self defense. How could it be holstered?