Smith and Wesson is a name steeped in the lore of firearms, usually conjuring up images of their street-tough snub-nose revolvers used by law enforcement across the country for decades and is easily recognized. With the advent of the semi-automatic in the 80s, Smith & Wesson found itself in an “adapt or die” situation and a heated competition soon erupted between the main players of Smith &Wesson, Glock, Sig Sauer, and others.
During the 1990s, many states passed concealed carry permit legislation and suddenly thousands of men and women had the right to legally arm themselves.
Manufacturers saw the new market moving to smaller and lighter weapons and the rush was on to accommodate them with new models emerging in what seemed like every few months.
While Smith & Wesson continues to hold its own with the lightweight snub-nose revolvers, several of their semi-autos have received high praise from the concealed carry community. One in particular, the discontinued 3913 TSW, is widely regarded as one of the best concealed carry firearms ever made.
Author Duane Daiker describes the ongoing popularity of the 3913 TSW in his article “The Smith & Wesson 3913 TSW: A Proven Performer” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“…the S&W 3913 is worth your consideration. It is not the latest, the highest tech, or the most popular concealed carry firearm on the market…And yet, the S&W 3913 TSW and its closely related kin have been out quietly doing their jobs for decades…” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The specs on the 3913 are impressive for concealed carry: 6.75 inches long, .9 inches wide and 5.0 inches high. The barrel is 3.5 inches long and the magazine is a single-stack 8+1. The safety lock is a left-right accessible de-cocking lever. The first shot is a hammer down, long trigger pull, followed by a much lighter pull on all subsequent shots.
The 3913 comes with a loaded chamber indicator rather than a factory key-lock. The gun also has a magazine disconnect safety, which prevents the gun from firing if the clip is not in place. The sights are the standard 3-dot with some availability for night sight upgrade. The TSW also has a rail mount for a tactical light add-on.
During field testing, the 3913 TSW held up well, ripping through 500 rounds of ammo without a hitch. The sights work well, affording nice groupings at 30 feet, a good range for concealed carry training.
If you’re looking for a carry piece that is built on tradition, yet performs with high-tech precision and tucks neatly away into a holster, the 3913 is probably the gun for you.
Glock handguns have been the firearm of choice for many years, if not decades. 65% of law enforcement departments purchase Glocks as standard issue and many other military or security personnel prefer Glocks as well. Not only that, but Glocks are extremely popular with civilians due to their versatility and power for self-defense or home security.
The Glock line comes in many shapes and sizes, but there are several fundamental features of design and operation both good and bad.
This holds true for all Glocks.
Before jumping on the Glock bandwagon, it’s important to understand what awaits you inside the world of owning a Glock.
One of the main attractions to the weapon is their ease of operation. They don’t have a manual safety that needs to be turned on and off and could end up in the wrong position at a crucial time.
Another advantage is the light weight due to the polymer frame, which is an important feature for concealed carry. The extremely tough Tenifer coated slide and barrel makes the Glock virtually impervious to rust and scratches.
However, some of the advantages can be a double-edged sword. Author Scott W. Wagner explains why the lack of manual safety may be hazardous to your health in his article “Glock 101: Basic Tips for New Users” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“Holstering a Glock requires making sure that nothing gets in between the trigger and the holster. It also absolutely precludes stuffing a holster-less Glock into your waistband. Engaging in this practice could result in you missing a few body parts.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
There are a few options that can make using your new Glock a little easier, especially under duress. A gun with the extended slide release option will speed up reloads and for the 9mm and .40 caliber models, the adjustable rear sight and white dot front sight is recommended due to ammo differentiations.
Avoid the extended magazine release, especially for concealed carry. It gets in the way and can pop out unexpectedly. And in order for the empty magazine to drop free, the release button must be pushed all the way through. Ease up on the trigger finger grip when reloading and the process will be smoother.
You may want to consider a grip plug for the bottom of the grip. There are advantages and disadvantages to grip plugs but for a new owner it is an easy way to keep dirt, dust and general gunk out of your firearm.
And yes, there is such a thing as overcleaning. A Glock only requires 5 drops of gun oil for the entire gun when cleaning. Too much can affect performance. Use these tips and the instruction manual and you will be well on your way to getting the most out of your new Glock.