Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Tale in Three Photos...

The sidewalk in front of Mama Carolla's during yesterday morning's stroll.

The new schedule at Wyliepalooza ice cream shack seen on yesterday morning's stroll.

This morning's forecast from Wunderground.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Shred Like a Marsupial

The United States of Triggered...

Bobbi points out that the Inspiration4 crew has someone to make almost anyone assmad, which has triggered some press coverage that sometimes seems more butthurt than snarky...
"Some of the coverage has been unduly snarky. The crew is about perfectly lined up to trigger everyone: a cheeky billionaire (and amateur jet pilot), a pale and slightly chubby IT guy/space geek, a crewcut female African-American CAP pilot*/analog astronaut/Ph.D. and STEM popularizer, and a bubbly 20-something physician's assistant who knew very little about space travel before she was tapped for the mission. If you were looking for something to be irked by, at least one of them has probably got it."

Automotif CCL...

Spotted at 56th & Illinois yesterday while grocery shopping and grabbing a quick frappacino from the Starbucks there, a 1977-'79 International Harvester Scout II.

The Scout II's can generally be identified by model year according to the grille...up until the '77-'79 models, where the front end trim was the same for three years running. In 1980, they went to rectangular headlamps. In 1981, they were discontinued.

Friend of the blog T. Stahl has commented with amusement on the peculiarly American obsession with specific model years. 

German cars tend to go by generations. For example from the Eighties to the early Aughties, 3-series BMW's went from the E30 to the E36 to the E46. A generation will run for six to ten years, typically, receiving a styling update somewhere in the middle of its lifespan to keep it fresh-looking.

"Model Year" in the US has regulatory implications, but it also used to have a lot more significance as a styling thing.

"The concept of yearly styling updates (a practice adopted from the fashion industry) was introduced to General Motors' range of cars by Alfred P. Sloan in the 1920s. This was an early form of planned obsolescence in the car industry, where yearly styling changes meant consumers could easily discern a car's newness, or lack of it. Other major changes to the model range usually coincided with the launch of the new model year., for example the 1928 model year of the Ford Model A began production in October 1927 and the 1955 model year of the Ford Thunderbird began production in September 1954.

Model year followed with calendar year until the mid 1930s until then president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order to release vehicle model years in the fall of preceding year in order to standardize employment in the automotive industry. The practice of beginning production of next year's model before the end of the year has become a long standing tradition in America.

At its height in postwar America, the new model year launches were a big deal. Dealerships would paper over their windows, the 'longer, lower, wider' new cars would be delivered under tarps and rolled into the showroom by dark of night.

Pretty reliably from the late '40s through to about the early 1980s, enthusiasts of a particular model of American automobile can pinpoint its exact year of manufacture by some sort of cosmetic differences.

This is, of course, a wildly inefficient way to make cars. Post-fuel-crises Detroit, getting clobbered by Japanese imports, generally hewed more closely to the global norm of mid-cycle refreshes on platforms that remained largely unchanged for many years, maybe changing a minor styling detail every couple-three years to keep things fresh.

ETA: If this is correct, the Flame Red color would make it a 1978 model.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

That doesn't help...

I've been dealing with awful bouts of insomnia for several weeks now, getting by on three or four hours of sleep, and rarely more than an hour or two at a stretch.

It was initially complicated by a lot of pain in my left elbow, which I'd apparently slept on and strained. Yesterday the pain in my left elbow was first joined, then totally drowned out by pain in my left shoulder, which I must have somehow overstressed doing something otherwise innocuous. It wasn't giving me any trouble weed-whacking and edging yesterday afternoon but by dinnertime it had me sitting immobile and occasionally blurting curses.

I haven't hurt like this since I broke my collarbone and, like that time with the broken collarbone, I'm reminded of how there's very little movement the human body makes that doesn't at least slightly jostle a shoulder. Ouch.


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saturday Morning Cartoons...

They've gone from the first hour being just Popeye to being the "Popeye and Pink Panther hour"; thirty minutes of each. With Popeye cartoons, I'm pretty set in my ways. Any Popeye cartoon in color is pretty much haram and non-canon in my book. Real Popeye cartoons ended roughly with VJ day.

Pink Panther runs hot and cold. The music is uniformly great. Some are good, but a lot is mediocre, as American animation was in decline by the Sixties. The best of The Inspector and The Ant and the Aardvark are still hilarious. The Roland and Ratfink stuff does absolutely nothing for me, to the point that I'd pretty much forgotten that it was part of the whole DePatie-Freleng oeuvre.


Friday, September 17, 2021

I'm sure they meant well...

Pills Bottled

Rageporn is seductive...
"Like much of modern media, Twitter shrinks our attention spans while bombarding us with things we might not otherwise have ever known or cared about and on which we have no influence. This is to say nothing of the political slant of Twitter. As Brian Riedl put it (in a tweet; Twitter has its uses), “Twitter users are D+15 — which would tie HI & VT for the most liberal state . . . the 10% of Twitter users who post 92% of all tweets are D+43 — which would make it America’s 2nd most liberal House district.”

This skew can breed, in those who believe it to be representative, a highly agitated and combative posture. It can make them think that America is already lost; this is called a “black pill” (the pill boxes of the redpilled are overflowing). It can make them believe that persuasion and workaday politics are inadequate to the moment, that only desperate action, often involving a departure from the constitutional order necessitated by the one already undertaken by opposing political forces, can bring any hope of salvation. It can make them believe that the political sphere is or should be a source of salvation — if only their enemies can be crushed. And so it can make them believe that only a countervailing force, similarly drawing strength from the online world and sharing many of its opponents’ attributes, can possibly contest it. In this way, the hyperpolarization and acute antagonisms of Twitter feed off each other, require each other, and may in fact reflect each other.
If you stay in your shouty bubbles, chugging from the availability cascade, this is what happens. It's because, in narrowly bounded virtual communities organized around common interests, our social capital is based on being even more enthusiastic than the other people in our tribe. 

In a firearms-oriented community social capital comes from shooting gooder or knowing a lot about firearms. In a Star Trek club, it's from being the Trekkiest trivia champ and having the best Spock ears. In Tumblrworld, it's from being the wokest and calling out nano-aggressions while everyone else is still hung up on micro ones. In Righty-ville right now, it comes from being the angriest, making the chest-beatingest calls for boogaloo.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Better Guns Than Karate

I can't believe the literally hundreds of times the soft melodies of this song have wafted past my ears over nearly twenty years without me once actually processing the lyrics...

Yoshimi, girl, if you're really gonna defend Wayne from those evil space robots, karate and vitamins aren't going to be as effective as a trusty blaster at your side.


Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #205...

"Hans, get ze Luger..."

The Instagram filter really makes it look like it's seen some $#!+. In actuality it's in pretty reasonable shape cosmetically, with wear more likely caused by time in a sock drawer than time in trenches.

.30 Luger is still out there, with a few places stocking Prvi Partisan and Fiocchi, according to Ammoseek. Prices are, of course, obscene, which makes me happy to be sitting on near half a case of the stuff. Having only the one magazine keeps consumption rates down. The main purpose of this pistol, for me, is to be able to let people fire a Luger if they never have. (That, and appreciating gradually, since I got it for a good deal. I should be able to trade it for plenty of cat food in my dotage.)


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Automotif CCXLIX...

I've spotted it while out and about before, but this time it was parked out front of The Gallery Pastry Shop when Bobbi and I wandered over the other morning, and it had the top down.

If I'm reading my 'Vette tea leaves right, the trim on the gills and the clear turn signal lenses make this Mille Miglia Red 4-speed 454 convertible an early 1971 model...

I really was pining for a lens hood for my Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4. The car was mostly in shadow with early morning light slanting in over the roof of the building behind it.

The angle of the sun made getting a quartering shot from the front almost impossible from glare. (I've since tracked down a lens hood.)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Things that made me go "Hmmm..."

What made last night's outage as interesting as it was was how widespread and unexpected it was.

I mean, you expect an outage with bad weather. The last really bad one we had here was way back in '08, when we had a twister in the neighborhood and the basement flooded.

Otherwise it's been just bad weather...wind, rain, heavy wet snow, ice, whatever...causing a tree or limb here or there to cut power to one side of the street or the other.

Having it happen out of a clear sky, over such a large area, and cut cell service, too? That raised an eyebrow for a minute, I'll admit.

All's well as ends well, but I was glad to have the stuff I needed on hand already, and it was a reminder to check on other things.


Lights Out

It happened last night after I was already ready for bed.

I was in the smallest room with my iPad, reading Divided We Fall, when the house went dark. A glance over my shoulder at the frosted glass of the window behind me showed no light to the north side of the house, so whatever it was had got us and the Democrat Next Door, which probably meant our whole side of the street.

Bobbi came padding down the hall from her bedroom with a flashlight in her hand, disappeared into the kitchen, and came back with an LED work light that she reached in and hung on the wire towel shelf over the door. This was thoughtful of her, because while the iPad was providing enough illumination to finish my business, it was less than ideal.

Her footsteps headed off toward the front of the house, and she called out that the houses across the street were dark, too.

This was kind of a big deal, because the two sides of our street are coming off different feeds and, in the dozen-plus years I've lived here, I can't remember both sides of the street being without power at the same time.

I went into the kitchen and looked out the back of the house. The houses across the alley were dark and, more ominously, there was no light through the trees from the houses beyond them. There was skyglow to the west, but it was distant, and nothing to the immediate southwest where the Fresh Market and the restaurants around 54th and College would be.

My cell phone was getting (No Signal).

That's bad.

First things first, this wasn't a situation I wanted to be padding around the house in slippers and pajama bottoms in, so I pulled my jeans and shoes back on and holstered up. While I think that a WML on a private citizen's carry gun is normally about as useful as a kickstand on a tank, we were in the one circumstance that made me glad for the TLR-7 on my FN 509 Compact.

The house is, of course, hip-deep in flashlights, but with my pants back on, now I had the EDCL-2T in my pocket again. 

While of course the cordless handsets on the landline were deader than disco, the old Western Electric 300-series on Bobbi's desk still had dial tone, so we had that for comms. She checked a handheld ham radio, but other than a couple of bored guys talking about the New World Order depopulating the world with microchip injections, there was no talk of cataclysm, so this wasn't world-, state-, or even city-wide.

Bobbi wondered if her Amazon groceries order had arrived.

I stepped out on the front porch and looked around with my handheld Surefire. The neighborhood had small puddles of illumination here and there from solar decorative lights (the one mounted on the south wall of our house was quite bright) and the neighbor from three doors up wandered over and confirmed he was without cell reception.

Distant sky glow was visible in all directions, but no bright light sources were visible as far as could be seen up or down the street or through the trees in any direction. This was a large outage.

In order to save batteries in Bobbi's LED light in case this was an all-nighter, I popped a green Cyalume lightstick and hung it up in the bathroom. I also had an old two-pack of red lightsticks, and so I hung one in the living room in the front of the house and put one in the kitchen window on the backside of the house. Just making sure the place looked obviously occupied.

By this time, my phone had managed to find a lone wavering bar of signal, while Bobbi's (on a different service) was actually pulling pages, albeit slowly. It showed a massive outage, with us near ground zero.

Eventually the lights came on, sometime before midnight, after a bit over two hours out. Bobbi's groceries arrived, and all was well. Local TV station reported the cause on the morning news.

Our only real worry during the whole affair was that utility companies are running mighty lean these days, and the damage from Ida probably has replacement parts and spare manpower stretched to the limits. As it is, things got put right relatively quickly.

Fortunately, we had plenty of light, but I should probably freshen my glowstick stocks.


The Dog-End of Summer...

As the TV weatherman was eager to remind us, "meteorological autumn" started on the first of September, but according to the calendar and the weather, we're still in the dog days of summer, with Sirius visible in the early morning skies and humid daily highs in the eighties and nineties. Good weather for porch-sitting and early morning walks.

The Japanese maples in the neighborhood are starting to turn, though, and my own personal astronomical harbinger of the changing seasons happened yesterday, with sunset being at 7:59PM. From now until late next March, the sun goes down before eight...

The Last Lawn Mowing of the Season is not far off, and then comes the Season of the Wool Socks.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Hey, look!

The review of the S&W Shield Plus is up at Shooting Illustrated Online now.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #204...

If you want a slim single-stack, all-metal, lightweight (so, alloy-framed), traditional double action hammer-fired pistol chambered for .45ACP, there aren't a lot of choices.

The Taurus PT-945 is kinda big, plus it's kinda Taurus. There's the short-lived Sig Sauer P245 and the even shorter-lived P220 Compact.

And then there's a pair of choices from Smith & Wesson, the 4513TSW, and this one from the Performance Center: The Shorty 45.

Hand-fitted titanium barrel bushing, match barrel, beveled mag well, 20lpi checkering on the frontstrap, hand-tuned action (mine has a smooth 9.5# double action pull free of stacking or hesitation and a crisp 5.25# single action pull with minimum overtravel) and a distinctive slide that's got brushed highlights setting off the matte finish.

The slide and frame are less than an inch wide, although it's an inch across the grips and the slide stop and hammer-dropping safety stretch maximum width to an inch and a quarter at the wide spots. It's a really compact way to carry 7+1 rounds of .45AARP.

The one in the pictures is the 472nd pistol of a 662-gun run for Lew Horton back in 1996.

I have quibbles, beyond the fact that I'd rather carry the 3913LS, but they're minor ones. I'd prefer a rebounding decocker lever instead of a hammer-dropping safety; a manual safety on a TDA is redundant as far as I'm concerned. Also, I realize that they were still far from universal in 1996, but this pistol should have had tritium night sight vials in those Novaks. MSRP was over eleven hundred bucks, so what's another C-note for glowing sights at that point?

Still, I kinda want to get a holster for it...

EDITED TO ADD: A reader pointed out that Smith's Model 457 from the Value Series and the CS45 also had alloy frames. I'd honestly spaced the CS45, but I'm deliberately trying to not remember the 457. And I have one.


On newsstands now...

The current issue of RECOIL's Concealment quarterly has a couple pieces from me. One is a review of Federal's new rimfire personal defense round, the .22LR Punch...

...and the other is a feature length takeaway on the annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, and why you should register. (Although I think next year's is already filled. While they usually fill up by October, the 2022 event filled with record speed.)

There are also pieces in there by my friends Chris Cypert and Annette Evans.

It's a good enough mag that I paid out-of-pocket for a dead tree subscription on my dime, and it was through Amazon, so I didn't get a discount or anything. Although if you have a good tablet, the Kindle subscription is a cheap alternative. If I do say so myself, the photography standards in the RECOIL mags make them worth looking at on a Retina display if you're not gonna get it on paper.


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nature Photos

Bobbi has photos of the mushroom she described in an earlier post. Marko has a photo of a butterfly that is way cooler than my photo of a butterfly.

Bad lens choice. Had to get close and blew my depth of field with too wide an aperture.

Anyway, have some flowers instead...

Friday, September 10, 2021

Just throwing this out there...

If you were looking for a beverage that disguises the taste of turmeric, orange juice is not it.

On the upside, at least turmeric and orange juice do not taste awful together.


Ahistorical Pearl Clutching

Any idea where the tradition of police in the US wearing blue uniforms came from? You guessed it: Army surplus.
"Many cities like Los Angeles adopted the same practice of using Union Army surplus uniforms in the days following the Civil War. Similar photos of NYPD officers wearing the old uniforms and “Bobbie”-style helmets can be seen as early as 1893."


Thursday, September 09, 2021

Chipman Down

WaPo has the story on their front page:
"The White House is planning to withdraw David Chipman’s nomination to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this week amid bipartisan pushback over his gun control advocacy, according to two people with knowledge of the decision."
I'll take my good news where I can get it. Let's hope they don't scare up someone worse, but with fewer obvious tells and past screwups.

The Right Stuffski

Last night Bobbi and I finished watching The Spacewalker, a Russian film about the Voskhod 2 space flight, which was (as you might guess from the title) the first spacewalk. It was hairier than Soviet government propaganda admitted at the time, some real by-the-skin-of-their-teeth stuff.

I didn't realize, until Bobbi told me, that the Soviet capsule needed an extendible airlock (unlike the NASA Gemini capsule) because they couldn't vent the whole capsule to vacuum for the duration of the walk without the risk of tube-based electronics overheating.


Automotif CCXLVIII...

Eventually one of everything will drive by the corner of College Avenue and 54th Street. In this case, it's a late Forties Studebaker Business Coupe. I'm not well enough versed in Studebaker lore to identify it better than that, so far. I'm digging around for a good ID guide online.

It's certainly noticeable when surrounded by modern traffic. I'm getting increasingly fascinated by the early postwar pontoon-fender styling, before the rolling Wurlitzer chrome excesses of the Fifties and their subsequent bat-winged tail-finned successors. It wasn't until the "fuselage" styling of the late Sixties that Detroit cars would again have such clean lines.

It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that this car was probably about 39 years old when I graduated high school, and that, relatively speaking, that's how old a 1982 Plymouth Reliant would be to a member of the Class of 2021. (In an eerie parallel, Studebaker had been defunct nineteen years at the time, and Plymouth was shuttered in 2001...)


Wednesday, September 08, 2021

The Seven Seventeen Year Itch

Ever since it was initially customized, this Model 57 has been wearing the same uncheckered pau ferro Hogue Monogrip.

In fact, my very first interaction with Farmer Frank was him pointing out how silly it was to go through all the effort of converting a square-butt frame to a round-butt and then putting a round-to-square conversion grip on it.

It wasn't necessarily the grip of choice, it was what was in stock at our wholesaler when the revolver was completed back in 2001. It was always intended to be a placeholder until a more permanent grip could be selected; ideally a set of Eagle Secret Service stocks to match the PC13. When I got it from Marko back in 2005, getting some proper round-butt stocks was high on my list of things to do.

Seventeen years down the road, I finally got around to doing something about it...

Those are VZ Grips 320 stocks, so named because they have a matte texture similar to 320 grit sandpaper. 

They're still a placeholder. I fully intend to get those Secret Service stocks on there, someday. (I could buy the VZ's on Amazon with free Prime delivery, but Eagle Secret Service stocks have something like a 4-week wait, and I'm all about the instant gratification.) Then I'll move these VZ's over to my 3" 629, probably, since the factory round-butt combat stocks on that thing are worth nearly half what I paid for the whole gun back in 2001.  


Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Days of Future Past

Dean Ing, writer of numerous SF and thriller yarns as well as a bunch of prepper-oriented nonfiction, passed away last year.

His personal car, the Mayan Magnum, was absolutely the perfect ride for a sci-fi writer, and a reader writes to inform me that it's currently up for auction on Bring a Trailer. (Warning: BaT as a time-suck is second only to TV Tropes.)

With just under nine hours to go, it's still under eight grand.

It's Corvair-powered with a Porsche transaxle and a decidedly kit car interior, but you'd definitely be the only kid on your block with one.


I hate it when that happens.

I'd had a Wikipedia tab open to the entry on Fort Mandan for so long...a couple months, at least...that I'd completely forgotten what I'd planned to do with it.


Monday, September 06, 2021


Sunday, September 05, 2021

'Vette Dump

Late '80s C4 ragtop

C8, still not a common sight

'67 C2 convertible

The C2 is still my favorite body style...

'69 C3 Stingray with a 427 big block...

...if the hood and the rumble coming from the side pipes is to be believed.

Friday, September 03, 2021

This is why we can't have nice things.

Behold the sculpture/structure called "The Vessel" in NYC.

HudsonYards 05-06-19-1 (47003439824)
Photo from Wikipedia

It's probably going to be either closed to the public or torn down because people keep jumping off of it. They thought they'd cut down or eliminate jumpers by not allowing people to go up there by themselves, but the most recent one was up there with his family.

It's not very considerate of them, but they're not being very considerate in the first place.


A blog to read...

There's good reading to be found at Swift, Silent, Deadly.

The blogger is a former USMC Special Operator and current paramedic who writes well and shares a lot of good information on a wide variety of topics. Lots of archived older entries to dig through. Recommend.


Automotif CCXLVII...

Loiter on the patio of one of the restaurants at 54th and College and sooner or later, one of everything will drive by...

...like this very early De Tomaso Pantera. The earliest '71 models are identifiable by push-button door releases shared with the earlier Mangusta. Production using the old style manufacturing methods was having a hard time keeping up with the output required by Ford (to say nothing of indifferent quality control) so Ford invested a bunch of money in new tooling for the Italian maker.

The most visible sign of the cars made on the newer tooling are the flat-latch door handles.

You can tell it's a '72 from the flat door latches and the graceful chrome bumpers, replaced for the '73 models (called the Pantera L), with large rubber federally-mandated energy absorbing 5mph bumpers.

The blue and white De Tomaso logo is visible in the grille and the wheel center caps. The colors are from the Argentinian flag, where Alejandro de Tomaso was born.

The aftermarket wing looks nice on this car, and the sound crackling from those exhausts was that of a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 that meant business.


Rocket Men

There's an interesting piece at The New Yorker on the reasons behind the FAA investigation into Virgin Galactic's big media event flight:
"The rocket motor on Virgin Galactic’s ship is programmed to burn for a minute. On July 11th, it had a few more seconds to go when a red light also appeared on the console: an entry glide-cone warning. This was a big deal. I once sat in on a meeting, in 2015, during which the pilots on the July 11th mission—Dave Mackay, a former Virgin Atlantic pilot and veteran of the U.K.’s Royal Air Force, and Mike Masucci, a retired Air Force pilot—and others discussed procedures for responding to an entry glide-cone warning. C. J. Sturckow, a former marine and nasa astronaut, said that a yellow light should “scare the shit out of you,” because “when it turns red it’s gonna be too late”; Masucci was less concerned about the yellow light but said, “Red should scare the crap out of you.” Based on pilot procedures, Mackay and Masucci had basically two options: implement immediate corrective action, or abort the rocket motor. According to multiple sources in the company, the safest way to respond to the warning would have been to abort. (A Virgin Galactic spokesperson disputed this contention.)

Aborting at that moment, however, would have dashed Branson’s hopes of beating his rival Bezos, whose flight was scheduled for later in the month, into space. Mackay and Masucci did not abort.
I love flying, but unpowered aircraft, gliders and hot air balloons, have always given me the creeping willies. Not having your own source of power aboard really limits how much input you have on where you come down, it seems.


Thursday, September 02, 2021

Automotif CCXLVI...

Here's something you don't see every day: An MGC GT.

The MGC was a more potent version of the common MGB, substituting an inline six in place of the B's little 1.8L four. You can see the bulge in the hood needed to clear the radiator, which was located further forward due to the longer motor, and the little bump that gives clearance for the dual SU carbs.

The 2.9L BMC C-series six cylinder made 145bhp in production tune, which was a fifty horsepower boost over the four. In exchange for half again the horsepower, though, the car became extremely nose-heavy. Even though the powerplant was a redesigned, lightened version of BMC's existing straight six, it still weighed two hundred pounds more than the four cylinder engine in the MGB (itself not very svelte, being a 350+ pound cast iron lump.)

The MGC was roasted in the British motoring press and only lasted two years in production.

Interestingly, the later MGB GT V8, which used the 3.5L Rover V8, did not suffer from these problems. In fact, the aluminum...well, "aluminium" now, I guess...V8, originally designed by Buick, was actually about forty pounds lighter than the cast iron B-series inline four.


Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Automotif CCXLV...

The final version of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider was sold as the "Fiat Spider 2000", for its two liter (well, actually 1,995cc) twin-cam motor.

Fiat retired the car in 1981, but Pininfarina, who had originally built the bodies, took over manufacture and continued selling them as the Pininfarina Spider for a few more years.

It only put out roughly a hundred SAE Net horsepower, and reliability was par for the course for a '70s Fiat, but they sure were fun when they were running, and when they weren't you had something pretty to look at while waiting for the tow truck.


The Journey Starts With a Single Step

This is super cool! Langdon Tactical is branching out, with a new offshoot called LTT Discover.

This is aimed at normal people who've decided to take charge of their personal protection, instead of being jargon-laden tacticoolness geared toward firearms hobbyists who do this whole self-defense thing as a lifestyle in and of itself. (Guilty as charged.)

I love this direction and I'm eager to see how it develops!


The Littlest 3rd Gen

The CS9 (or Chiefs Special 9) was the smallest of the traditional double-action Smith autoloaders. It was even smaller than the already-compact 3913. The 3913 was a 25-ounce 8-shot single stack with a 3.5" barrel; the CS9 shed half an inch of barrel, a round of magazine capacity, and a quarter pound of weight.

The double-action-only version, dubbed the CS9D, was unusual for a Smith auto during the Great DAO Duty Handgun Boom of the 1990s, in that it was a true DAO. The normal Smith DAOs of the era had a pre-loaded trigger that reduced travel and gave a great pull but needed the slide to cycle to cock the action. The CS9D just dispenses with the single-action notch on the hammer and has a regular true double-action pull for every shot.