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During the Vietnam conflict, the US navy sponsored development of the silenced pistol for use by its SEAL teams. Nicknamed the hush-puppy because of its intended function of killing enemy watch dogs, this modified version of the steel framed Smith & Wesson model 39 pistol was put to other clandestine used as well. Called the mark 22, mod. O pistol by the navy, the hush puppy had a slide lock to keep the mechanism closed and silent while firing.
It fired a special green tipped 9mm parabellum projectile weighting 10.2 grams (158 grains that yielded a muzzle velocity of 274m.p.s. (900 f.p.s), below the speed of sound. Use of standard supersonic ammunition quickly degrades the effectiveness of the silencer insert. With subsonic ammunition, an insert is good for about 30 rounds; with standard velocity cartridges the insert may have to be replaced after six shots. Official navy designation for the silencer is mark 3, mod.0 . Ammunition and replacement silencer parts are supplied as accessory kit MK26, Mod.0. Each accessory kit includes 24 9mm pistol cartridges MK144, mod.0 and one silencer tube insert.
All the work on the model 39 hush-puppy was carried out by Smith & Wesson before the end of 1968. Subsequently, Smith & Wesson provided two prototype 13-shot pistols made from stainless steel. These weapons were improved to overcome problems such as extractor breakages, which had been experienced with the model 39. This modified pistol in a slightly different form as later commercially marketed as the model 59 Smith & Wesson 9mm parabellum pistol.