The ASP is a compact, custom built 9mm handgun originally designed by New York City-based gunsmith Paris Theodore in the early 1970s. The gun was initially a Smith & Wesson Model 39 that Theodore heavily modified to make it more suitable for special agents undergoing covert missions. The ASP was manufactured from the mid 1970s until the late 1980s by a company called Armament System and Procedures, which gave the pistol its name.
To ensure that his new pistol would excel, Theodore made numerous changes to the Model 39, which included but wasn't limited to:
450 units were manufactured by Armament System and Procedures before the company ceased the ASP's production in 1987.