The ASP is a custom made handgun intended for covert operations. It was designed and built for the U.S. Government by Paris Theodore, owner of Seventrees, Ltd. a custom gunleather shop in New York. The gun is based on the Smith & Wesson M39 pistol. Some features that set this gun apart are clear Lexan grips allowing the owner to see how much ammo is left, rounded hammer and other parts to reduce possibility of snagging clothing when drawing, and no front sight. The gun is coated in Teflon to ease cleaning, resist corrosion, and eliminate the need for lubrication.
The gun was an advanced reworked Smith & Wesson Model 39 or 39-2, employing:
The fixed bushing was tightly fitted to the shortened barrel and dry-lubricated by Teflon-S, which was applied to all components of the pistol, with the exception of the clear Lexan grip panels. It should be noted that Teflon-S is a slightly different formulation from the garden variety of Teflon coatings. It is regarded as safe for handling, but not for use in cooking appliances and utensils. It is also somewhat more durable than more typical Teflon formulations. Teflon-S is occasionally found on the blades of gardening implements. The unique sighting system, referred to as the "Guttersnipe", was a narrowing U-channel with fluorescent yellow panels that would form three triangles, all pointed at the target when the sight was properly aligned.
Checkering was kept to a minimum, and reserved for the frontstrap and backstrap, as opposed to the grip panels, which were smooth to prevent the drawing hand from catching prematurely on draw, thereby minimizing the risk of any misalignment of the pistol during presentation, aiming, and firing.
The ASP 9 mm handgun was made in either right-handed, or left-handed models, as the extended trigger guard(which included a recurved hook for the index finger of the supporting hand — one of the earliest known instances of such a feature) was cut away on the side of the strong-sided hand (which would depend on the handedness of the individual purchasing the weapon.
The ASP is now back in production as the 'ASP 2000'. The ASP 2000 draws upon the old ASP's specifications and takes them several steps further, making it the reliable custom combat weapon that it was first supposed to be. The base gun is now the Smith and Wesson 3913, which is a fine pistol in its own right. The ASP 2000 also draws upon innovations from Charles Kelsey's Devel range of pistols. The outward appearance of the new ASP is only 40% of the story. The internals have been worked upon the most to create a design flawless in operation with virtually any 9mm ammunition.