You've chosen wisely. Just don't throw out those S&W wheelguns!
This is a discussion on No more DA/SA for me...Glock had it right, but S&W did it better! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I started with handguns when I was in my teens, and over the years have bought/shot/or carried almost every type/size/ or caliber. When I first ...
I started with handguns when I was in my teens, and over the years have bought/shot/or carried almost every type/size/ or caliber. When I first got my Concealed Carry permit, I went with a 3" 357 revolver. I shot it well, and it was pretty easy to carry. On some occasions I "down-sized" to a .38 special in a 2" snub...but that was before the semi-auto craze took the industry by storm. I fought the transition for a while, since I shot the revolver very well, and was comfortable with the platform.
Then I went Glock. The G19 first, and what an increase in firepower! 15 rounds at the ready! Sure, it was bigger. blockier, and heavier, but did I mention it had 15 rounds at the ready? Move forward, trade for a G26, a few less rounds, but easier to conceal, and shot exactly the same as the 19. Same trigger pull with every shot, and I knew every round would go where it was supposed to go.
The "Slimmer" than a Glock fad then hit, and everyone was going for mini-guns. The .380s, single stack mini-9's, .32s, you name it. As long as it fit flat in your pocket, there was a buyer for it. I tried a few, and found the SA/DA gave me more trouble at the range keeping round #2 where it was supposed to go. That SA/DA transition for the 2nd shot, and subsequent follow-up shots were nothing like a revolver trigger, and I never cocked the hammer for any of my revolver shots, and I realized I didn't have to compromise!
Pictured below is what many consider to be the finest single stack "mini-9" ever made: based on the Smith & Wesson 3913 frame, it is the 3953: A DAO pistol. Every bit as slim as the 3913, even more-so if you count the missing safety levers, and with 8+1 capacity, giving me 30% more shots than my S&W 13 revolver. Same trigger pull on every shot. Easy to conceal. Light weight with an alloy frame. And chambered in the respectable 9mm, which is arguably one of if not the most popular handgun cartridge in the world.
I also recenly purchased the same gun in .40 S&W, only slightly longer in the slide and uses the same holsters, the S&W 4053. It's my first .40 S&W handgun, and I think it should be very easy to shoot, as easy to conceal, and may give me a little more punch. It is in the mail as I write this, and I will post my range results shortly.
These 3rd generation S&W pistols ended production in the early 90's, and are selling for under $400, which is substantially less than most of the current offerings. They are also metal, which helps reduce recoil and altho I intend to keep my G26, the 3953 is my daily carry.
It seems that if you wait long enough, everything comes full circle. I bet dollars to donuts that it won't be long before we see a revolver craze sweep the industry...and that would be fine with me. It's not about firepower or magazine capacity: it's about putting your round where it counts. And revolvers or DAO autos help me do exactly that.
Last edited by tooldawg99; December 15th, 2012 at 03:55 PM.
You've chosen wisely. Just don't throw out those S&W wheelguns!
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Whatever works for you is all that matters. I still prefer my DA/SA guns over DAO/striker fired.
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I own and have practiced with semi auto guns having all the common trigger arrangements. I have to agree that the DAO system does have advantages, such as avoiding the double action to single action transition. It is difficult to go from a 10 pound DA pull to a 5 pound SA pull while keeping all your shots on the target. It requires some practice to master this maneuver.
As the OP said, the Glock has one of the best DAO triggers - a constant 5.5 pound pull so that every shot feels the same.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
The 3953's are hard to beat, IMO. Solid reliability, accurate, decently compact (though brutally heavy for the size, by comparison with today's "plastic"). Hard not to like them. About the only truly ugly thing is that the 3gens are discontinued, but even that's not so bad given the availability of parts and gunsmiths everywhere who know the platform well.
I've been eyeing the 3953's as well. Hard not to like them.
i am always pleased when someone describes finding what works best for them. my best gunny friend has both an S&W 3913 and the 3953, which he just sort of lucked into.
personally, i have never had a problem with the DA to SA transition on any of my Sig Sauer P-series pistols. i PREFER this trigger set-up for the extra safety margin which the longer, heavier DA stroke provides. i usually practice by firing strings of two or three shots, firing the first shot DA, and the others SA. then i decock the gun and start over again. this gets me plenty of practice with the DA/SA change.
I've not handled one. How does it compare size wise to the Kimber Solo Carry? Looks bigger, but it could be an optical illusion. Thanks
" But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.
Here are the factory specs on the 3953: it is slightly longer in the slide to accomodate for the DAO action engaging, and having the slide cover the slight hammer protrusion.
No idea of the Kimber specs, don't own one!
Part Number: S&W3953
Caliber: 9x19mm (9mm Parabellum)
Capacity: 8 round magazine
Action: modified-Browning short-recoil operated semi-automatic with
DAO (double-action-only) trigger mechanism
Construction: stainless steel slide, aluminum alloy frame
Sights: Wayne Novak Lo-Mount, 3 dot
Grips: black Xenoy polymer, one-piece wraparound with
Barrel: 3.5" (*)
Length: 6 13/16" (*)
Weight: 25 oz (*)
Safeties: magazine disconnect safety, firing pin block drop safety,
no external manual safety lever needed
Misc.: pistol comes with 2 magazines, blue plastic box,
instruction manual, safety manual, warranty card and
plastic 'empty chamber' insert.
Prices: typical dealer price: $420 or less
good gun store price: $450-460
Kimber solo specs:
Caliber: 9 mm
Height (inches): 3.9
Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 17
Length (inches): 5.5
Magazine capacity: 6
Length (inches): 2.7
Very nice. How well are those in belly bands?
Belly bands? LOL I am doing really well to carry IWB! I am larger than the average Pillsbury Dough-boy, and that I can carry IWB is more of a testimony for my holster maker than anything else!
I do carry the 3953 IWB in a N82 Tactical IWB original, which uses a universal lower woven elastic to retain the gun against a padded suede flap... without question the most comfortable rig I have ever worn. I generally opt for OWB, due to excess middle girth (i don't miss many...errr... any meals ;)) but this rig with the 3953 is literally forgettable inside my waist band.
I don't take the 3953 if truly deep concealment is needed...that's where the KelTec P-32 stands guard! However, it is the same platform as the 3913, and several LEO holster makers have ankle rigs for it. It's about the size of my G26 but more slim. It is a compact, but what I refer to as a "full-grip" compact, meaning it allows for a full grip with no dangling pinkie fingers.
I really like my 3 Gen S&W DA/SAs--unless I'm carying my Glock 30. Then I really like it. For me, triggers make little difference; I guess I just learn to shoot all types.
Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
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