AGI - Products Smith & Wesson Auto Pistols

Home »AGI - Products Smith & Wesson Auto Pistols

Smith & Wesson Auto Pistols


Smith & Wesson 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation Auto Pistols

 Bob Dunlap is a renowned expert on many firearms, including the Smith & Wesson Auto-Pistols. This video covers the First, Second, and Third Generations of these very popular guns. This course does NOT cover the later model Sigma and M&P guns. Bob uses a cut away gun so that you can actually see how the internal parts function and their relationship to one another.

If you want the quick course on how to get these guns apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the "long course," look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:


  • The Model 39 was the first of the Smith & Wesson auto pistols to hit the market, this occurred in the mid-1950s. These were, along with the Walther PP/PPK/P-38 guns, the first successful DA Semi Auto pistols to reach the market
  • Next to arrive was the Model 59, which added Hi-Cap magazines to the mix
  • Both the 39, 59 and the Second Gen guns had safety notches in the hammer, the later guns did not
  • The Second Gen guns came out in the late 1970s and proved very popular with the law enforcement market, leading the charge away from revolvers to the latest and greatest wonder Nine du jour. This, coincidentally, also led the charge away from marksmanship and to firepower
  • The Third Gen guns came along in the late 1980s and were a marked improvements
  • Third Gen guns also felt the best

Design & Function

  • Explanation and demonstration of the short recoil, tipping barrel, locked breech operating system
  • One of the first pistols to use the breech end of the barrel as a locking lug
  • Bob shows the answer to the question; what causes the barrel and slide to lock and unlock and how does it do it?
  • How the magazine safety/disconnector/ejector depressor system operates
  • Firing/loading/unloading cycle explained and demonstrated
  • Does the extractor really extract
  • How to know that the extractor is NOT fulfilling its primary function
  • First Gen and early Second Gen extractors described
  • How the trigger drawbar cocks and lets the hammer fall
  • How the sear depressor/safety/de-cocker/firing pin block works
  • Explanation and demonstration of the trigger actuated firing pin blocking safety
  • Lower end taken apart and the details of the individual fire control parts shown and their inter-relationship described
  • What surfaces to keep your pistol smoothing efforts away from
  • What four parts cause the disconnector to do its job
  • How the hammer drop/safety blocks the firing pin
  • Operation of the magazine catch shown
  • How the slide stop works, and how it works with the magazine empty
  • What to avoid if you dont want to hear silence instead of bang with the Model 39


  • Pay attention to the parts orientation while disassembling, a digital camera is very helpful to take pictures of the parts before you remove them
  • Extensive disassembly, variances between different models and generations described parts not removed have removal described, i.e., the trigger pin detent plunger and the hammer strut
  • Slide stop pin removal procedure difference between the S&Ws and the 1911
  • Three different styles of right side ambi-safety retaining systems shown
  • See a clever, cheap, and simple tool you can make to make the magazine catch removal easier

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use
  • After cleaning, dry with air gun, a hair dryer, or in the oven on Warm ~185-200 degrees (metal parts ONLY)
  • What oil Bob likes to lube the gun with during assembly


  • Making sure you have no parts left over
  • Getting the right springs in the right place
  • In many cases the order of assembly is important, Bob shows you the correct order
  • Getting the right pieces in the right places, the easiest way possible
  • Using the proper tool to help you line up the parts to accept their pins
  • Multiple models differences are discussed and, in many cases, demonstrated
  • How to make sure that the extractor is doing its job
  • What is moment of mass
  • Proper shape of extractor hook
  • How to make sure you have tight sights
  • Fixing the firing pin so that it does not pierce primers or shave brass on extraction
  • Stay away from the trigger drawbar notches if you get the irresistible urge to improve the trigger pull, it is cheaper to send the gun to someone who knows what they are doing than to buy a new drawbar
  • Improving feeding


  • Because of the wide variation of configuration in the various models, aftermarket accessory manufacturers have a fit problem
  • What is useful
  • What to avoid and why, springs and things
  • LATE MENTION What to look for on a Third Gen one piece grip, and who will replace it if its missing its mark

Final Thoughts

If you noticed how often the terms explanation and visual demonstration are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any Smith & Wesson semi-auto owner, or someone who intends to be.

How much does your Professional Course cost? The answer can be found in our intro pack. We recommend to anyone considering our Professional Course that they get the Introduction to Gunsmithing Packet as this packet includes a video with a sample gunsmithing lesson. It also includes an Enrollment Form that lists the costs of each Course level available as well as the material covered in each level.

Do I have to pay $7 s/h on each retail video? No, we discount shipping on multiple video orders. The new website calculates shipping based on weight and destination. In most cases, the actual shipping is less than listed in the catalog.

Is there a time limit to complete your course? No, our course is self-paced. As you complete sections of the course and submit your tests, we provide certification of completion for that portion of the course.

Can I become certified by taking your retail courses? Answers vary. If you are intending to purchase all the videos in our Law Enforcement Armorer's Course, for example, as long as you buy the test separately you can obtain a Certification as a Law Enforcement Armorer once you complete the testing successfully. Otherwise you would need to purchase one of our certified professional courses in order to obtain a profession Gunsmithing certificate.

What does your Professional Gunsmithing Course Introductory Lesson cover?The Introductory Lesson is one hour and includes complete information on how to get started Gunsmithing. You will also learn how to insure reliable auto-pistol feeding and how to prevent jams, checking and adjusting "range" on Smith and Wesson revolvers, how a gas system works on a Colt AR-15, AR-7 trigger repairs, timing and understanding cartridge stops of a Remington 870 and much more! 

Are your Courses guaranteed? Yes! The American Gunsmithing Institute is proud to offer a 100%, "Bulletproof Guarantee." We are so sure of the quality of our Courses and products that you may return any item purchased directly from AGI for a full refund (less shipping) for up to 90 days after purchase date. Defective DVDs and videos will be replaced for up to 1 year. The only question we will ask is: "How did we fail you?"

Does AGI offer other Certified Courses aside from the Professional Gunsmithing Course? Yes. We also offer a Certified Machine Shop Course, complete with Lathe, Mill and general Machine Shop instruction. Additionally AGI offers a Certified Welding Course and a Certified Locksmithing Course.

What do the Disassembly/Reassembly Courses cover? AGI offers D/R Courses that clearly demonstrate the complete process of disassembly and reassembly step-by-step. The Courses use close-up views to provide comprehensive instruction. Each DVD Video Manual covers one specific model or family of firearms and is indexed to help the user quickly find the information that they are looking for. At the price of only $19.97 each (plus s/h), these video manuals are must have support information for anyone who owns one of these firearms.  

What do the Armorer's Courses cover?AGI's Armorer's Courses teach you how to disassemble, maintain, repair and reassemble your choice of the 51 guns featured. These videos are packed with exclusive information and are equal to a complete Factory Armorer's Course! While our Disassembly/Reassembly Courses contain invaluable information, our Armorer's Courses contain so much more. Master Gunsmith and AGI Instructor Robert "Bob" Dunlap explains design and function using exclusive factory cutaway firearm models, giving you close-up details of the internal functions you would not otherwise be able to see. All AGI Armorer's Course DVDs include a FREE printable schematic!    

Are your Instructors experienced in their fields? Absolutely. Master Gunsmith and AGI Senior Instructor Robert "Bob" Dunlap is a widely respected authority in the firearm industry and spent over 35 years as the senior instructor at Lassen College's internationally known Gunsmithing School. Master Gunsmith Gene Shuey is a world class custom gun builder, former world class competitive shooter and current trainer specializing in 1911 and Glock pistols, IPSC limited and open class guns, and high-end custom rifles. Darrell Holland is a well known custom rifle builder, writer and lecturer who is always inventing new performance shooting products. Ken Brooks is a graduate of the renowned Gunsmithing program at Lassen College and continues his journey by working full time for Bob Dunlap. Gene Kelly is the President of AGI and the Gun Club of America. He graduated from Lassen College's Gunsmithing program and worked as a Professional Gunsmith prior to founding AGI. T.R. Graham is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and is a known authority, author and Gunsmith specializing in Glocks and other handguns. Master Armorer John Bush is an AGI Instructor and a consultant to manufacturers and importers of military firearms, and is certified as an Expert Witness in firearm cases.

Suggested products:

Did not find any items