Smith & Wesson CSX

Smith & Wesson CSX Review Leave a comment

The Smith & Wesson CSX is without doubt one of the newest micro 9mm pistols to hit a crowded market, nevertheless it has some distinctive design options that can assist it stand out. It’s an all-new, hammer-fired pistol with an aluminum body and 13-round capability. The CSX is tiny and succesful. It makes some key departures from the designs of different Smith & Wesson pistols just like the M&P collection.

There’s an arms race within the present handgun market that’s all about becoming copious quantities of ammo into tiny packages. Smith & Wesson already had a related contender out there with their year-old Protect Plus mannequin, however they’ve taken issues a step additional with the CSX.

On paper, the CSX isn’t a lot smaller than the Protect Plus, however a brand new body, magazines, and hammer-fired design makes for probably the greatest size-to-capacity ratios in the marketplace. The CSX is tiny, nearly similar in dimension to a single-stack Kimber Micro 9 1911 and Springfield Armory’s in style Hellcat. Smith & Wesson’s web site lists the peak of the CSX as 4.6 inches, however the one I received measures just below 4.5 inches from high of sights to backside of journal (with the 12-round journal).

The CSX is excess of a line extension. It’s newly designed from the ground-up as a micro carry gun. It sports activities clear ergonomics, beveled edges, and low-profile controls. It has aggressive however snag-free cocking serrations on the entrance and rear of the slide, in addition to barely wider cocking tabs on the rear. It contains an ultra-compact 10-round journal in addition to a barely longer 12-round journal.

Smith & Wesson CSX Specs and Options

Caliber: 9mm (+P OK)Capability: 10+1 rounds or 12+1 roundsBarrel: Stainless-steel, 3.1-inch, 1:10 TwistDimensions: 6.1 inches (L) x 4.12 inches (H) x 1.12 inches (W)Weight: 19.5 ouncesFrame: Aluminum alloySlide: Stainless steelFinish: Armornite blackGrip: Interchangeable polymer backstrapsSights: Metallic white dot entrance/rearTrigger: Single motion, security bar, 5 kilos, 12 ounces (measured)Security: Ambidextrous thumb-safetySmith & Wesson CSX options

The CSX is among the many smallest of the micro 9mm pistols in the marketplace, and a few key design options separate it from most different opponents. Most micro 9mm pistols in the marketplace are polymer-framed, striker-fired weapons—and for good purpose. Polymer-framed weapons are easy, sturdy, and reasonably priced, and most striker-fired pistols are very dependable. Apart from exterior ergonomic and beauty variations, many micro 9mm pistols in the marketplace are related. The CSX doesn’t match that norm.

smith wesson csx
The CSX options ambidextrous controls and contains interchangeable backstraps. The smallest backstrap provides a minimalist really feel however good grip.

Aluminum Body

The largest break from the pack of present opponents is that the Smith & Wesson CSX is constructed on an aluminum body that contains a grip texture panel on the entrance, and interchangeable polymer grip panels on the again. The feel on the panels is okay and abrasive, like 36 grit sandpaper.

The grip panels give the in any other case easy aluminum body a snug and safe grip, even with sweaty palms. The pistol comes with a palm swell-type backstrap put in, however you’ll be able to simply swap it for the included slimmer minimalist backstrap. Each backstraps supplied wonderful traction for my palms and the pistol is comfy to carry.

Aluminum is a softer steel than metal, nevertheless it works properly on this pistol. After capturing about 300 rounds, I didn’t discover any alarming or uncommon put on between the stainless steel slide and the slide rails on the aluminum body. Doubters should be reminded that almost all AR receivers are aluminum and so they’re capable of stand up to years of abuse and interfacing with transferring metal components. With the CSX, you get a steel gun that’s compact and light-weight, with a wonderful grip.

Ambidextrous and Versatile

The Smith & Wesson CSX diverts from the most-common micro 9mm pistols in one other approach: it’s hammer-fired. Each striker and hammer-fired pistols are dependable however being a hammer-fired pistol permits the CSX to have a extra compact slide and a crisp, short-pull set off. An exterior hammer additionally provides a shooter the choice to hold in a half-cock place in the event that they want.

Upon shut inspection, the CSX is extra akin to a 1911 than most different micro 9mm pistols. Calling it a 1911 variant can be a stretch, nevertheless it shares key similarities with some small 1911’s such because the barrel and takedown pin, lengthy slide rails, ejector, and usually 1911-esque controls. The controls are all low-profile, however simple to function.

The Smith & Wesson CSX discipline strips like a micro-1911, with the slide cease lever doubling because the takedown pin. It makes use of a self-contained recoil spring and information rod and the barrel and feed ramp are just like some micro 1911’s. The CSX makes use of a big exterior extractor like what you’ll see on many striker-fired weapons, which aids with reliability.

The CSX options slide cease levers on each the left and proper facet of the pistol, and though the pistol comes with a left-side journal catch button, it may be simply changed with an included right-side button. The CSX comes out of the field with thumb security levers on each the left and proper facet.

The perform and really feel of the thumb security is sort of a 1911, however smoother to function as a result of the pivot level for the security lever is farther again on the beavertail. It requires much less power to function than shorter levers. I’ve comparatively massive palms and the pad of my thumb extends properly past the security lever. Some thumb safeties are difficult to disengage with out breaking grip, however the CSX’s security is definitely disengaged with contact on the facet of my thumb, simply by urgent down.

CSX Safety
You probably have massive palms, the security lever will likely be behind the pad of your thumb. Fortuitously, it’s very simple to disengage. Tyler Freel

One other notable perform of the thumb security is that it’s operable no matter whether or not the pistol is cocked or not, and having the security engaged doesn’t stop the slide from transferring. You may manipulate the slide to load, unload, or test the chamber with the security engaged within the “ON” place. You may as well have interaction the security earlier than cocking the hammer. When you want to not use the thumb security in any respect, you’ll doubtless discover its presence unobtrusive.

How the CSX Handles on the Vary

Compact and Micro-compact carry weapons have made nice leaps of their shoot-ability lately. The primary micro carry gun that I purchased—it was definitely micro on the time—was a Kahr CW9. It was a candy little single stack 9mm pistol, however boy did it appear flippy and troublesome to manage. Taking pictures the CSX is a special story.

I don’t have that CW9 anymore, however for comparability, I shot my CSX alongside one in all my favourite micro-9mm’s, my Kimber Micro 9 Triari. The pistols are practically similar in dimension, with the grip of the CSX being barely thicker as a result of double stack journal. The Kimber is simple to manage for its dimension, and I’ve discovered it to be less-snappy than another pistols such because the Springfield Hellcat.

micro 9s
Regardless of being each bit as small, the CSX has nearly double the capability of this single-stack Kimber. Tyler Freel

Recoil Management

I fired the CSX utilizing each the palm swell and minimalist backstrap and located it to be delightfully comfy to shoot for a pistol of its dimension. Recoil administration was simple, and it felt as if the sights have been by no means flipping up off the goal in the course of the recoil cycle. I’ll usually seek advice from my Kimber Micro 9 as flat capturing, that means it has minimal flip up from the goal on the shot, however the CSX was even higher.

I’d attribute the CSX’s shootability to a few issues. First, it’s a snug grip and the feel panels definitely assist with that. Even with the 10-round journal—which doesn’t depart room for my pinky—I didn’t have any weak point or motion in my grip on the gun. Second, the gun permits a really excessive, close-to-bore-axis grip. When choked up in opposition to the beavertail on the CSX, the highest of your grip is just about 0.8 inches beneath the middle of the bore. On my Kimber, you’re nearly 1.25 inches beneath the middle of the bore. The felt distinction is notable.

Observe and good recoil management will make capturing any handgun simpler, however I used to be impressed with how properly the Smith & Wesson CSX dealt with out of the field. With much less mass, the CSX’s slide doubtless helps with perceived recoil as properly. There may be recoil, after all, however with a superb grip on the gun, biking felt extra like a micro compact .380 (just like the LCP Max) than a 9mm.

Set off

The Smith & Wesson CSX has a medium weight, however very crisp set off with nearly no journey. I measured the set off on my pattern at 5 kilos 12 ounces. Many carry pistols undergo from an excruciatingly lengthy take-up, however not the CSX. It has a small trigger-bar fashion security system, and when compressed, the set off has a flat—nearly backward-angling—form. The gun is small, so finger placement is essential for accuracy, nevertheless it’s a pleasant set off.

The one draw back to the set off is the reset. The reset is good and quick, audible, and tactile, nevertheless it takes a acutely aware effort to get again to the reset after a shot. What I imply by that’s you’ll be able to’t simply calm down your finger, permitting spring pressure within the set off to push your finger ahead to the reset. You could consciously transfer it. The triggers on most pistols have sufficient spring pressure to push your finger ahead to the reset when you simply calm down the set off finger. In speedy capturing, I used to be persistently lacking the reset, and pulling again on a set off that wasn’t cocked but. I might get used to this over time, nevertheless it did trigger me to get a bit extra slappy on the set off than I’d prefer to be. The reset is so quick that some added spring pressure would assist it.


I fired roughly 300 rounds of varied varieties of ammo by the Smith & Wesson CSX with none perform points. Roughly half of that was 115-grain FMJ handloaded ammunition in a mix-and-match number of vary brass. I additionally tried a number of defensive hundreds equivalent to Federal Premium 124-grain HST, Winchester 124-grain USA Prepared Protection +P, and Federal Premium 147-grain Hydra-Shok.

The sights on my CSX have been metal dovetail-mounted white dots and straightforward to amass in my sight image. The rear sight contains a set screw and is adjustable by tapping left or proper. Mine wanted somewhat adjustment at 50 ft—a difficulty that was shortly remedied.

I did most of my capturing on USPSA cardboard goal faces and though I didn’t discover the CSX to be particularly correct at 50 ft, a speedy cadence would maintain a gaggle roughly within the A-zone. At a more-likely defensive distance of 10 ft, the manageable recoil of the CSX helped me maintain teams within the A-zone, capturing as quick as I might pull the set off.

CSX target
After a windage correction at 50 ft (taped), rapid-fire at 10 ft was very controllable. Tyler Freel

What the Smith & Wesson CSX Does Nicely

The CSX is a good instance of environment friendly use of area. It manages to pack an amazing spherical depend right into a tiny little package deal, that additionally occurs to be exceptionally simple to manage.

What the Smith & Wesson CSX May Do Higher

I’d prefer to see somewhat bit extra spring pressure to return the set off to its reset. The set off has quite a bit going for it, and that little change would assist it attain its potential. When loading the 12-round journal, I needed to take care to not pinch the palm of my hand between the journal and grip. Additionally, the grip sleeve spacer on the 12-round journal had a really unfastened match and would doubtless get misplaced finally.

Closing Ideas

The Smith & Wesson CSX is essentially the most manageable, best capturing micro-9mm pistol I’ve examined. It’s an amazing optimization of a minimalistic carry gun with a variety of rounds packed right into a tiny platform. In a extremely aggressive discipline, this pistol excels.

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