Smith Wesson CS45 Review

The Smith & Wesson CS45 is a compact semi-automatic pistol chambered in .45 ACP and is one of the Smith and Wesson Gen 3 models. These were the last all metal pistols produced before Smith started building the present day polymer frame pistols. The 3rd Gen Smith & Wesson pistols are often overlooked and not well known by a majority of gun owners. I think if Smith & Wesson brought the Gen 3 models back they would sell very well and command a premium price.

S&W CS45 in Hand

S&W CS45 Review

If you like the power of the 45 ACP but don’t feel comfortable carrying the traditional cocked and locked 1911 then the Chiefs Special CS45 with true double action first pull provides the 45 stopping power you want along with a safe double action trigger and a safety/de-cocker lever to boot.

The grip is wider than most guns so it may not feel right to everyone. It is extremely accurate especially considering the short barrel and sight radius. For me, the CS45 feels good in hand and gives me better accuracy than shooting the Beretta Nano, Ruger LC9, or Kimber Solo.

Smith Wesson CS45 7Yds

Smith Wesson CS45 7Yds

S&W CS45 Left Side

S&W CS45 Left Side

The pistol is small enough to easily and comfortably conceal yet makes very big holes compared to comparable small size 9mm pistols.

Shooting the CS45 is a pleasure. It has a smooth slide action, and less felt recoil than other pistols. The soft wrap around and slightly wider grip spreads the recoil over a greater area to reduce overall pressure on the hand.

Takedown is similar to other Gen 3 pistols. Position the slide, push out the takedown pin/slide release lever, the slide comes off the front. Disassembly of the slide is the same as other pistols, remove the recoil spring assembly, remove the barrel, the pistol is ready for cleaning.

I traded a Kimber Pro Crimson Carry II for my CS45 from a local area gun shop. That Kimber was in like new condition and was very accurate. I didn’t like that it ejected brass back into my face. That along with the bad experience I had with a Kimber Solo turned me off on Kimber products.

S&W CS45 Right Side

S&W CS45 Right Side

I traded the Kimber for the CS45 and got some store credit to boot. I couldn’t be happier with the trade.

The first range trip showed the new pistol to have failures to feed and failures to eject. I ordered a new recoil spring from MidwayUSA. The old recoil spring turned out to be an inch shorter than the new one. The recoil spring solved the issues and my CS45 is now ultra reliable and operates like a new gun. I hope my Smith Wesson CS45 Review is helpful.

S&W CS45 Disassembled

S&W CS45 Disassembled

S&W CS45 Bobbed Hammer

S&W CS45 Bobbed Hammer

S&W CS45 Novak Low Profile  Dot Sights

S&W CS45 Novak Low Profile Dot Sights

S&W CS45 Specifications

  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds +1
  • Barrel Length: 3.25″ Stainless Steel
  • Sights: Novak Low Profile 3 Dot
  • Grip: Hogue Soft Rubber Wrap Around Grip
  • Trigger: DA/SA
  • Hammer: Bobbed
  • External Safety: Ambidextrous slide mounted safety/de-cocker lever
  • Frame: Aluminum Alloy
  • Slide: Stainless Steel
  • Production:1999 – 2006
  • Overall length: 6-1/2″
  • Height: 5″
  • Width: 1.25″
  • Weight Empty: 23.9 ounces

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cebur19 Jun 4, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Yes,
    I tried Kimbers, and tried the 1911 style pistols too. Don’t have any desire to own another Kimber. Also don’t have any further interest in the 1911. I bought the Beretta PX4 in 45 ACP and much prefer it over the 1911.

  • JimK Jun 4, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I agree with you with regards to bad experiences with Kimber. I ordered a Kimber Sonora in .300 Win mag. It was advertised as having 6 groove rifling. It had 4. It consistently threw the third shot as a flyer no matter the load. They take a LOT of shortcuts in the manufacturing process. Based on my experience there I would never own another Kimber.