The CSX – Smaller Than I Thought

A running theme of this SHOT Show has been me meeting people I’ve only ever spoken online and over the phone with. Most of the time, they say something like, “You’re taller than I thought.” I had a very similar experience with the Smith and Wesson CSX, except it went in the opposite direction. The CSX was a helluva lot smaller than I thought it would be. It’s tiny, and I’m surprised it can fit ten rounds in that short little grip.

Oh, I did confirm CSX stands for Chief’s Special X, so we cleared that up.

Like every other gun writer, I poured over the specs when the gun was released, but numbers on paper are just that. When you get the gun in your hand, it’s teeny-tiny, and maybe it’s just my big paws, but this thing is miniature. The all-metal grip is comforting, and the polymer textured inserts grip your hand. You’ll need it because the grips are super small and don’t give much purchase, at least not for me.

What’s In a CSX

Yet, the gun sits comfortably in my hand. The CSX ergonomics might be an issue for me. My hand eats up the safety and chokes up on the beavertail. I have a concern that recoil and my fat hands might activate the safety accidentally. This happened with the SCCY pistols years ago, and I’ve been conscious of it ever since.

The CSX sights are nice, larger than you’d think, and easy to see. The mag launches out when you press the button. The all-metal design gives it a nice heft that I’m sure helps fight recoil. It’s a very comfy gun, and the smooth, streamlined design makes it feel perfect for deep carry—no real sharp corners or edges to catch, poke or prod.

The trigger, well, it’s average at best. You expect more from a single action-only gun, but it’s closer to a Glock trigger than a 1911 trigger. I really think this would have been a great choice for 30 Super Carry too. Sadly, one wasn’t at Range Day, so all I have is dry fire dreams.

However, I really want to take one out to a lead and brass dinner. I appreciate that it’s something different in the micro-compact world. A metal frame, single action only weapon seems to stray from the pack significantly, and that’s a good thing. Options are always a good thing.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.