Review: S&W CSX a Perfect Pocket Pistol or BUG Only?

The Smith & Wesson CSX has a ton of potential. It’s lightweight, reliable, and boasts several features that make it ideal for concealed carry. However, in my initial review of this gun, I talked about a couple of things that were problematic for me with this little pistol.

Can all that potential be thwarted by a couple of negatives? Or was I able to adjust my training and get this gun to be a perfect pocket pistol for me? Let’s dive in and find out.


In a nutshell, the CSX is an aluminum-alloy-framed, hammer-fired, single-action-only pistol chambered in 9mm. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

The CSX is an aluminum-alloy-framed, single-action-only, pistol chambered in 9mm. It’s impressively light (ringing in at 0.7 ounces lighter than the Shield Plus) while boasting an equally impressive 12+1 capacity with the extended magazine. Speaking of magazines, you’ll get two with this gun, the 12 rounder just mentioned and a flush fitting 10-round magazine as well. I prefer the 12-round magazine as it allows me to get a nice full grip, while the 10-round mag leaves my pinky just hanging out looking for something to grip onto.

The flush-fit magazine isn’t exactly a new issue, as I have the same issue with the flush-fit magazines that comes with the Shield Plus and P365. The CSX also boasts a large beavertail, an ambi safety selector switch, ambi slide stop, and reversible magazine release. The gun sports polymer grip panels and comes with an additional backstrap if you’d like to bulk up the grip.

S&W CSX and Shield Plus
The CSX (left) compared to the Shield Plus (right) show that these guns have very similar specs. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

Since I mentioned the Shield Plus, a polymer-framed pistol that only sports an extra round of capacity, I thought comparing specs made sense. Check out how these two guns match up below. 

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield Plus

  • $594.99 
  • 9mmCALIBER
  • Striker FiredACTION
  • 13+1CAPACITY
  • 3.1 inchesBARREL LENGTH
  • 6.1 inchesLENGTH
  • 20.2 ouncesWEIGHT

Shop All


  • $545.99
  • 9mm
  • Single Action
  • 12+1
  • 3.1 inches
  • 6.1 inches
  • 19.5 ounces

Shop All


There are a few things that I really love about this gun. I already mentioned that this is a light gun, but it’s deceivingly light. I didn’t expect it to be this light when I picked it up at first. This lends itself well to a comfortable concealed carry option. Pair that light weight with a 12+1 capacity, and this has real potential to become a fan favorite among people who want that all-metal frame and single-action-only option.

The grip panels are very nice and give a lot of grippiness to the gun. For being such a small gun, I never felt like it was jumpy, some of that can be attributed to those grip panels. The ambi controls also work very well, and I don’t need to readjust my grip to access anything, which is a big win for me. The safety wasn’t stiff at all, like some I’ve encountered in the past, and the slide stop was easily actuated from either side.

S&W CSX grip
The polymer grip panels offer some nice grip texture, which welds to the hand well. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

Another feature I really love about this gun, and one that I wish S&W would apply to their M&P lineup, is the slide serrations. They are deep and tactile, allowing for an easy grip and racking of the slide. Speaking of the slide, it’s easy to rack and not too stiff out of the box. Though it’s not at the level of a Shield EZ, it shouldn’t give you any issues either.

The serrations are aggressive and easy to get a grip on. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

Finally, the anti-glare serrations on the slide worked very well for me, too. I was shooting this gun in the bright midday sun and never had any issues with the glare. Speaking of shooting, let’s get into that important aspect. 


Let’s start with reliability, which is of utmost importance when looking for a carry gun. This gun, like almost every S&W I ever been around, just ran. It ate pretty much everything I fed to it, including Federal, S&B, Winchester, and Wolf. It ate both training ammo and defensive ammo with ease. I fed around 400 rounds through this gun and had a single malfunction – on some old Wolf ammo that may have been exposed to moisture – so I’m not ready to blame the gun for that one. The cases also spit out in an incredibly consistent pattern, flinging themselves far from the gun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *