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That Is What I Am Talking About

Most of the new products churned out by firearm manufacturers seem to be minor variations of something that already exists. The entire Glock line-up is just the exact same pistol, some bigger and some smaller, in different calibers built around the same hideous and utilitarian design. 
The market is saturated with double-stack mag micro-compacts. The Sig Sauer P365, the Springfield Hellcat, etc. All of them are basically the same thing: polymer, striker-fired pistols that hold 10-13 rounds. That is all fine and dandy, the existing micro-compacts do what they are supposed to, being super concealable while still providing double digit round counts. Because they are so popular, everyone makes one. Even Kimber got in on the game with their Mako which looks pretty much just like a Hellcat but is overpriced like everything else Kimber sells. 
But yesterday I saw something kinda new and I sort of am thinking about once more ignoring my own admonition and getting one.
The firearm in question comes from Smith & Wesson. I really do not like any of the smaller S&W Shield models. Not a fan and don’t own one although they are extremely popular. The full size SD9 is actually a decent pistol and is price right at $400 MSRP but it isn’t a concealed carry gun. However the new offering, called the CSX (not the railroad), is quite a bit different from the majority of micro-compacts. 

The two things that caught my attention were the aluminum alloy frame, in contrast to most being polymer, and the hammer versus the normal striker fired action. Like many micro-compacts it comes with a flush 10 round mag and an extended 12 round magazine. The grip is a little weird being just smooth metal except on the backstrap and under the trigger on the front but I usually put Talon grips on my pistols anyway. I prefer the heft of a metal alloy frame, and that will help with the recoil which can be unpleasant on these tiny pistols and it might just be my age but I still prefer having an external hammer. In a rush you can always double action the trigger but if you have a moment, thumbing back the hammer gives you a much lighter trigger pull on that first shot. It has a thumb safety which a lot of super awesome tactical operators don’t like because it interferes with their lightning fast draw or something but if you don’t want to use it, don’t. Seems simple enough. 
Anyway, I don’t get anything from S&W to mention this, no free pistol to try out or any compensation, just thought it deserved mention for at a minimum thinking a bit outside of the box and offering something different in what is otherwise a cookie-cutter saturated market. If I ever get my hands on one I will give a full report.


  1. Mike Guenther

    That CSX harkens back to the days of the Model 59's. And the 39's. External hammers and thumb safeties.

    I have a model 5906, which I absolutely love to shoot. It's not really good for concealed carry though, being a large frame pistol. I call it my "winter" gun because more layers of clothing makes it easier to conceal. My "summer" gun is a Taurus G2C. I guess you could call it a Glock clone. Double stack 12 round mags.

  2. Eaton Rapids Joe

    Kalishnikov's Constant: Clearance is good.

    John Moses Browning understood what it took to make a gun run. Boutique manufactures who tighten tolerances "because we can with CNC tech" offer customers less utility at a higher price than original-spec guns.

    Just how precise does a handgun have to be to hit the heart-lungs of a thug within spitting distance? And if you are shooting people much farther away, how do you justify it after-the-fact in a court of law?

    I am not saying that precision and close tolerances are bad. It is a case of diminishing returns versus increasing failure modes due to inability to digest the crap that life throws at us.

    As always, opinions are like belly-buttons. Everybody has one and even the cutest belly-button won't put a dime in your bank account or buy you a cup of coffee.

  3. Anonymous

    kimmber would be okay if they knock a couple of hundred off them. compared one to a rock island 45 a while back at the store and bought the rock instead. shoots very well, not one jam yet to date.
    I like putting a couple of hundred rounds thru a piece before I carry it. the rock did very well.
    striker fired guns just don't do anything for me at all. I too old school and like to see the hammer. still waiting for the sa-35 to get local as I do want one of those. had 2 hi powers in the past and liked them a lot. lost one in the divorce and sold the other to pay bills. regret doing both. plastic has it place I guess, but I rather have steel or alloy and wood.

  4. Mike Guenther

    S&W discontinued the Model 59/39's back in the late 90's. It's a pity because they are great pistols. They're still available on the used market, usually as LEO turn-ins, although my particular pistol was made for the commercial market, being SS.

  5. Don

    FN Five Seven! Hammer fired, although the hammer is hidden. 20 round magazine, almost no recoil, very comfortable in the hand. It is definitely not anything that one would call derivative. The 5.7×28 round that it fires is fast and light. And there is no longer the same difference in price and availability that there was in comparison to other handgun ammo.
    If you are looking for a hammer fired, non cookie cutter handgun, you should check this out. I've been carrying it for about 4 years- never a misfire and the 20 round mags make it less necessary to carry an extra.

  6. Tree Mike

    I hated the Glock (M17) when it 1st came out. Then studied and shot friends Glocks for awhile. 1991, I get a 2nd gen m19, like it well enough to be still EDC today. I immediately swapped out the New York trigger (12 lb) for a target trigger (4 lb). Durable, bet-yer-life reliable, accurate, ugly, whats not to like?

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