by Mark C. - Guest Author
The Smith and Wesson 3913 is, in my opinion, one of the best options for concealed carry. My variation is the 3913NL. The NL is the same as the LadySmith, but without the feminine logo.
The slide is less than 1 inch in thickness, the grips are slightly larger. It weighs in at 24 ounces, about the same as a GLOCK 19. The slide is thinner than the cylinder of my Ruger SP101, and hence is more comfortable to carry IWB.
It is flat and is barely noticeable when carrying it. I carry this gun everyday and sometimes forget it is there.
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The Smith and Wesson 3913 is a 9mm with a capacity of 8+1. One thing to be aware of is that +P ammo is not suggested for extended use, due to excessive frame wear. However, limited use of +P is ok. I carry Speer Gold Dots +P in mine.
This is a double action pistol, while some prefer the constant pull of striker fired guns, I prefer the heavy first shot and lighter follow ups.
The 3913 is surprisingly accurate for a gun with a 3 1/2 inch barrel. In my hands follow up shots are quick and easy. I easily keep all my shots in 1 1/2 to 2 inch groups at 25 feet. Which is what I practice most for self defense.
The manual and magazine safeties were also a consideration for me. When storing the gun for the night I put the manual safety on, but carry with it off. I have heard a lot of opinions on magazine safeties and understand both sides of the argument.
Some prefer not to have it due to tactical reloads and being able to fire the gun with one in the chamber and magazine removed. That may be good for cops/military, but for everyday CCW I don't see the point.
I prefer the magazine disconnect. If you got into a fight and someone was trying to get your gun then all you have to do is drop the magazine and render the gun unsafe. There are reports where this capability has saved officers' lives.
I also use this function when I want to keep the gun ready but am worried about someone finding it. With the mag removed and separate from the gun then there are no worries.
Unfortunately, Smith & Wesson discontinued this model several years ago, along with other 3rd generation models in favor of the M&P. Some are still available through LE contracts.