Mark Freburg wrote an article about Rugers (Why I Love Rugers) here on the forum. I found it interesting, because most everyone always talks about sexier guns. As a S&W man, I have similar feelings. I have been a fan of their revolvers like most shooters, but I seem to part company with most "serious" pistoleros when I admire the S&W TDA pistols.
I have carried S&W pistols for over 20 years. I have seen the best and worst they can do, and I am still betting my life on a Smith and Wesson. Most of the nay sayers have never carried a S&W pistol, and usually are just snobby GunGeeks, like those who turn their nose up at Ruger pistols.
I have five S&W TDA 3rd generation pistols I have carried for years, and trust my life to my ability with these pistols. All of the five have had custom work performed on them, one by the S&W Performance Center, and the other four by yours truly. That doesn't mean that they were substandard. I modified them much like a 1911 snob would do to their beloved Government Model (as they proclaim it's superiority to every other pistol of modern design).
I am not claiming the S&W pistols are the "best", whatever that means. I am saying that they are high quality service handguns that are not to be underestimated. They are rugged, reliable, accurate and user friendly. The TDA guns incorporate a "grab and go" operating system, with the safety of a heavy DA first pull. Like Mark stated in another article, the DA/SA "transition problem" is a product of lack of training and gun writers imagination (ever hear of Ernest Langdon?).
The manual safety and the magazine disconnect are features that are often a "take it or leave it" proposition for GunGeeks. All I can say is: I have been in a half dozen struggles for my gun, two of them life-and-death fights, and I like the features. Those who proclaim they "will never let someone get that close" are full of it. I know of three police officers alive today (all on my PD) because of the magazine disconnect feature.
The proof is in the pudding. The gun pictured is my 3913 I have customized. I can score 100% center mass hits on a TQ-15 (full size humanoid) target at 50 yards, using 124gr Gold Dot ammo. It is small and light, yet large enough to comfortably shoot two handed. It holds nine rounds of reliable service ammo, and is soft shooting and 100% reliable. If only it were on the cover of every Gunzine, it would be the the perfect carry gun!
The recent purchase of a 3913 by a forum member reminded me what an ideal pistol this forgotten gem is. So while everyone is talking about how the latest gee whiz hand cannon pictured on the cover of a gunzine might just be the best carry gun yet, I'll just keep my little S&W 3913. It is why I love S&W pistols.
Photo copyright by the author, all rights reserved, 2004