View Full Version : Tell me about S&W chiefs special (CS9)

September 9, 2002, 01:44 PM
Not much information out there on these that I could find. Anyone own one? Would you buy it again if you could do it over? Good and bad issues about this gun.

September 9, 2002, 03:59 PM
I got one a few weeks ago and have about 175 rounds through it in two sessions (zero malfunctions). I was looking at Scandium revolvers for all-the-time carry but liked the flatter profile and shorter length (though they weigh more) of the CS9. Street price seems to be from a low of about $500 up to about $530. I really like my SIG P220 and looked at the SIG P239, but it felt a little top heavy without a full magazine, and like the mid-size S&W's was just a little bigger than I thought would be easy to conceal.

Not many people posted here in the past because of a decidedly anti-S&W atmosphere. I found several threads on the Smith & Wesson Forum (http://www.smith-wessonforum.com/). The reviews I saw there were favorable to effusive, including some from LEO's. One guy had the ambidextrous safety removed to make a flatter profile.

The SA trigger is very good. The DA trigger is crisp but a little high in effort. I like the sights, they're low profile white dots, nothing dramatic but effective enough. The Hogue grips fit pretty well considering I have big hands on a small pistol. The safety decocks the hammer so the first pull is always DA. Mechanical accuracy is good (see the thread on 7 vs 15 yard accuracy), "shoots better than I do."

This pistol conceals well. I have an IWB holster and it disappears even if I just pull my shirt tail out a bit. As there is also a firing pin block, some people carry them with the manual safety off, ala SIG. I didn't like the matte Stainless finish on the slide, but the black wrap-around grip is pretty much all you see in a holster, so it's less of an issue than I thought.

Overall, I am very pleased with this pistol. It's fun to shoot, reliable to date, accurate and the price is pretty reasonable. Good luck and have fun! http://www.marblehead.com/harbor/viper/images/CS9_LS.jpg

September 9, 2002, 04:22 PM
I've owned my S&W CS semi auto (but in .40 S&W) for about a year. For me, this is an amazingly accurate little pistol in spite of the fact that my pinky almost goes past the finger extenstion floorplate at the bottom of the magazine. It has become my gun-at-the-head-of-the-bed gun because I can almost shoot it with my eyes closed. From my cold dead fingers and all that. But...

It is a bit bulky for CCW and with only a 7 round mag, there may be better choices. For example the Beretta 9000S is similarly sized but has a 10 round capacity and is about the same width at the grip (partly because of the CS's excellent Hogue grips).

My CS40 page is at
http://thearmedcitizen.com/gunpages/cs40.htm but is only in the very early stages. (One pic, no useful info.)

My 9000s, on the other hand, is at
and if you go for this pistol, be sure to get the floorplate finger extensions.

Best regards.

September 9, 2002, 05:59 PM
I've owned, carried and fired a CS45 (3.25" barrel) about since they were offered in stainless. The first ones were blued ...

The CS45 is a fine, accurate little pistol ... although a little "chunky". That's fine, though, because it gives you a decent grip for something that small which fires a .45 ACP round.

The CS9 has a 3" barrel, and a slightly smaller slide, in dimension and weight. I've been borrowing and shooting one since they were first available. The only reason I bought the .45 first is because, well, I wanted the smallest .45 DA/SA pistol offered, and I already had a great 3913.

The CS9 is an excellent ... and under appreciated, market-wise ... little pistol. I recently ordered one, because when I was shooting one side by side with my 3913 last month, while working the range, I was just amazed (once again) by how easily the little CS9 handled and fired compared to my slightly larger 3913. At 1-10 yards the CS9 was actually a little easier & faster to use than my favorite 3913. It wasn't until I was doing "precision" shooting out between 12-25 yards that the slightly longer sight radius of the 3 1/2" 3913 became an advantage ... and only a small one, at that. My 3913 holds 8+1, and the CS9 holds 7+1, but in a noticeably smaller and handier package than the "dry" dimensions listed on the S&W web page would indicate.

As an armorer, I've been impressed by the S&W pistols produced in the last 15 years, especially the last decade, or so ... I like the manual of arms and ergonomics of the pistol. The ones I've seen owned by other instructors have proven to be very reliable, regardless of the ammunition used. I'm anxious to get mine and start using it ...;)

Eric Larsen
September 9, 2002, 06:25 PM
Ive shot a couple and owned 1 3rd Gen S&W autos...I love them. My favorite was my 3953...great gun. Just a tad too big for a CCW given its capacity...Much like fastbolt. The CS is basically a chopped version of the larger guns. They are functionally great and I love the Novak LowMounts.....nice. The thing that drives me nuts is the grip thickness.....from front to back its a THICK little gun. It just doesnt feel right to me....just me. Ive owned a Kahr K40 and for the same capacity/size its a much more comfy gun...and IMO conceals better. Its a real shame about the CS. I believe if S&W would revise the grip housing and grip they would have a little concealable winner on there hands...I dont understand why the grip is as big as it is for a tiny single stack gun. All in all I love them...except when I hold them :rolleyes:
Shoot well

September 10, 2002, 11:01 AM
Great responses so far. Thanks. However, I would like a few more responses (if possible) on which to base a judgement on. I am a little uncomfortable ploping down $500+ for a pistol that I have not fired and have no experience. I can not seem to find anyone in my neck of the woods that owns one or has one to rent. Otherwise, I would be able to make a better decision based on personal experience.

September 10, 2002, 11:37 AM
There are been some threads on the CS9 over at the Smith-Wesson (http://www.smith-wessonforum.com/) semiauto pistol forum including one by yours truly regarding my CS40 which was my nightstand gun until I got my G20 (15 is 8 better than 7).

September 10, 2002, 12:19 PM
Here's a couple of threads - start another!



September 10, 2002, 05:09 PM
I love my CS9 so much it is my C.C.W. and unlike some others I find the larger grip platform a big plus when shooting hot defense loads. I haven't handled a CS40 or CS45 so I can't comment on the difference in the grip sizes of the 3. We all have different dimensions and that is one of many reasons one gun won't work for everyone. Try one out and draw your own conclusions. :D And on the note of dropping down $ 500 plus for a pistol...It comes with a lifetime warranty and I haven't read a word of bad press on S&W customer service if ever needed. Happy Shooting to ya.

September 11, 2002, 07:54 AM
I did it!

Ordered a CS9 yesterday for $504.00 (+tax). Should be getting it next Wednesday. Thanks for all of the help.

Eric Larsen
September 11, 2002, 08:01 AM
Heres a clean one owner from G-America http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976256448.htm
Nights, mags and holsters oh my :D
Shoot well

September 11, 2002, 09:04 AM
I did it!

Congratulations, hope you enjoy it, I think the CS9 is just starting to get "discovered" although the True Believers have been shooting them a couple of years!

September 11, 2002, 01:53 PM
What are the dimensions of this gun?

September 11, 2002, 02:46 PM
Operation: DA/SA w/magazine disconnect, decocker and firing pin block
Length O/A: 6.25"
Height" 4.6" w/o magazine, about 5" with
Slide Width: .93" (the ambi safety adds more
Weight: 20.8 ounces
Magazine: 7+1
Street price: $500-525

S&W Pistols (http://www.smith-wesson.com/sport/select_firearm.cfm)

September 14, 2002, 07:19 AM
Well, I picked up my S&W CS9 late yesterday afternoon. Looks great. It is a little small for my hand, but I will try to get comfortable with it. I will take it to the range today to put it through the paces.

I do however have one little complaint so far that came up in doing the out-of-box cleaning. This is by far the worst handgun I have had the priviledge of cleaning, to disassemble and reassemble. It is not what I would call easy. Anyone else feel the same way about this gun, or is it just me.

September 14, 2002, 07:45 AM
The CZ 85 I have breaks down the same way. Having launched a few M1911A1 recoil springs and plugs across the room (or worse, into the bushes. or my eye), the CS9 and CZ aren't the worst. My SIG P220 is the best - lock the slide back, flip a lever, pull the slide off.

September 14, 2002, 07:45 AM
This is by far the worst handgun I have had the priviledge of cleaning, to disassemble and reassemble. It is not what I would call easy.

It helps if you have three hands.

I remember seeing an ad for a product that was to aid in the field stripping of S&W pistols. There was a plug that went into the chamber, and it held the pistol open exactly at the point that it needs to be open to pull the slide release lever out. Then there was a little ring with a nub on it that you could put over your finger and push the lever out with. Neat gadget. Wish I'd ordered a few.

September 14, 2002, 09:05 AM
I only found breakdown of my CS9 a little more difficult than my full size models which I attribute to the shorter slide making it a little tougher to line up the notch during breakdown. Other than that not too bad I.M.O.

September 14, 2002, 12:15 PM
I finally picked my CS9 up yesterday ...

I'll tear it down and remove the factory lubricant sometime this weekend, so I can clean it & relube it to break it in when I work the range Monday morning. I usually just run 200-300 rounds through a new one the first time to mate all the new edges. It's no big deal to leave in the factory lubricant, but S&W uses a "generous" amount for packaging, and it flies everywhere when the slide cycles ...

Great little pistol. Holding the CS9 and CS45 side by side, while I really like the small .45, the 9 just fits my hand. True, the grip frame dimensions, and the grips, are chunky for the size of the pistol, but S&W really wanted the perceived recoil to feel manageable for shooters. I may've said this somewhere here before, but while the CS45 feels like a small rubber covered block of wood just holding it in my hand ... as soon as I start shooting it at multiple targets, transitioning from one-handed to two-handed grips while moving ... the pistol just lines up and remains on target with little effort. It may feel awkward, but for me, at least, it shoots much better than it feels. If pretty is as pretty does, this pistol is downright good looking, in that sense ...

As far as breaking it down for cleaning ... these short ones benefit from using the one-handed hold to retract and position the slide for removal of the slide stop.

Holding them in the palm of your strong hand ... muzzle pointing left, in the palm of your right hand, for a right handed shooter ... position your thumb under the grip tang, and your fingers over the top of the slide, with your index finger just in front of the rear sight ... slowly and firmly squeeze your hand into a partial "fist", which will retract the slide ... and as soon as the "rear" of the frame slide stop cutout notch lines up with the rear of the slide's cutout notch, push the slide stop toward you. This may require using a soft object, like a plastic handle of a small screwdriver, or a pen, to start the right side of the pin moving, the first few times. Using your hand clenched into a partical fist, though, is not a difficult effort to maintain for the few seconds this manipulation requires.

If you retract the slide so far that the hammer "cocks", don't get any of your fingers in front of the hammer as you remove the slide forward, because as soon as the sear release lever is depressed by the decocker assembly, as the slide is moved forward, the hammer will drop. Or, you can hold the slide in the regular position for a moment, and simply use the decock lever to drop the hammer before you move the slide all the way forward and off.

When you go to replace the slide stop for reassembly, and are using the same grip to hold the frame and slide in position to replace the slide stop with the notches lined up ... raise your hand and tip the pistol "upward", and this should allow the barrel to drop slightly back, which will make it easier to insert the slide stop pin past the barrel cam surface. Or, just take your other hand and push the barrel to the rear an 1/8" or so, while holding the pistol horizontal, which will do the same thing.

By the way, depressing the 3 levers while you're first installing the frame back on the pistol ... if your fingers aren't small enough, can easily be done with the shaft of a small tool, or a plastic pen body, one at a time as the slide is pushed rearward. Just don't scar any of them. The smallest lever, to the immediate right of the hammer, is particularly important, as this is the sear release lever, and it's top surface shouldn't be altered in any way other than normal shooting ...