Smith & Wesson has just introduced their single-action, hammer-fired small micro-compact with a double-stack magazine. This is the first in its class as there’s a lot of 1911 style pistols out there that are micro, but they are all single stack—and this is a ten plus one or up to 12 plus one magazine capacity. This is a tiny little option, especially for those who really like the hammer-fired with the frame safety. I’m a big fan of that as well, just because I love the 1911. There are some really cool innovative features on this pistol and there are a couple of things that I’m not really fond of. So, we’re going to take a look, take it down to the range, and then we’re going to do a full review. We appreciate Smith & Wesson for sending the CSX for this review.
The Smith & Wesson CSX with CS standing for Chief Special and the X for the extended magazine capacity. This is a single-action hammer-fired pistol, very similar in design to the 1911 with no grip safety and it’s definitely shrunken down a lot. There are many options out there on the market in that single-action hammer-fired pistol category. But the big coo with this one is that it has 10 plus 1 in the magazine.
Honestly, as far as shooting this handgun, that low bore axis and the grip of the pistol, it shoots beautifully. I really enjoyed shooting this gun. The one problem that I have been having is that the reset doesn’t come out all the way and we had a number of times where that was happening, so you’ve got to release that trigger because the reset is not as close as you think. It’s still a great shooting little gun.
Taking the CSX down to the range, the first thing I noticed is that little faux reset when you first fill it; it definitely can trick you if you’re used to writing really close to the reset. For me, I shoot so many different guns that I’m able to get through that. But it did catch me a couple of times. If you’re going to shoot something like this or if you are going to carry something like this, you need to be very accustomed to the way the pistol shoots. Putting either 200 or 300 rounds through any pistol you’re going to carry is a minimum for me. But, one of the big things that I love about this handgun, particularly for the micro 9s, is that the bore axis is super low. The slide is small coming back, and it just really shoots flat and I really love the way it shot—it just nestles down in your hand.
The controls again, they’re very similar to the 1911. There’s no grip safety, but it’s just a very low pointing, very natural pointing gun and the grip is not tiny. A lot of times when you have these micro 9s, the grips can be really thin. With this, it gives you just enough to where you feel like you’ve got a good and solid grip on the pistol. Yet, it’s not too wide for concealed carry—and I will be carrying this one for concealed carry because I do like to carry hammer-fired, single-action pistols at times with that little frame safety.
One of the things I like to do is to shoot with one hand when I’m doing any review or I’m just out practicing because typically, that’s how you’re going to end up shooting is with one hand. If you’re not used to it, you definitely need to get accustomed to it. It’s a whole different recoil feel and you need to be accustomed to get that hand, bring it in close. But, in a self-defense situation, one-handed is probable. In fact, 80% of most gunshot wounds are in the legs or in the hand and the arms, so you know you could lose your functionality with one of your hands. Also, it has that cocking shelf on the back so you can do manual reloads off your belt, off the table, off your boot or more. I really liked that for a self-defense pistol and I highly recommend that you try shooting it.
If you’re not really all that excited about carrying a polymer frame pistol without any kind of frame safety, the CSX makes an excellent option. There are a lot of guys that feel that way. Personally, I’m so used to shooting them that I just make sure I keep my finger out of the trigger, but this does give you added safety features. The CSX makes an excellent single-action, hammer-fired pistol and yet again it gives you that extra round capacity which gives you a lot more confidence when you’re carrying this. Plus, it is a very small little handgun. This to me is a great little hammer-fired, single-action pistol with high round capacity that’s going to be a comfort on your hip.