SMITH & WESSON 4053/3953??? Good guns...?


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kup9984
February 24, 2010, 06:14 PM
So I recently stumbled upon a sweet deal for a gun I've never heard of, but the more I research this model (4053) the more I'm intrigued and want to know learn about it. S&W made some pretty solid 3rd gen pistols and once I almost bought a 6906 a few years back, but at the last minute was offered a sweet deal on a Sig 225 I couldn't say no to.
Anyways I have been researching the XX53 series and found they're pretty slick little guns. I love the idea of DAO, no safeties - except my own finger!, single-stack mag, AND they're ALWAYS in a half-cock to make the trigger pull a little easier/shorter!
I'm hoping anyone who owns, has owned, or shot this series - whether it's the 3953 or 4053 - could offer some information on how they liked them...? I've searched all the forums and found very little information about them except that they're recommended as a quality CCW for anyone who's not looking to spend too much money =) I would like a little bit more information on them than that if possible. Thanks =)
Please let me know if there's anything I should be worried about with these little guns?
Here's a size comparison of a few guns in this category:

S&W 4053
Barrel Length: 3.5''
Overall Length: 6.75''
Overall Height: ???
Width: ???
Weight: 25 oz.
Capacity: 8+1
Action: Double
Trigger Pull: ???

Sig P239 DAK
Barrel Length: 3.6''
Overall Length: 6.6''
Overall Height: 5.1''
Width: 1.2''
Weight: 29.5 oz
Capacity: 8+1
Action: Double
Trigger Pull: 7.0 lbs

Kahr K9
Barrel Length: 3.5''
Overall Length: 6.0''
Overall Height: 4.5''
Width: 0.90''
Weight: 25 oz
Capacity:7+1
Action: Double
Trigger Pull: ???

I've inserted an image so people know what I'm talking about.

http://pictures.auctionarms.com/6206110137/f1e9591d1782ba48061f4526dfec471b.jpg?aa=20100224151344

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The Lone Haranguer
February 24, 2010, 07:55 PM
I've never owned or shot that particular model. I've owned several S&W "third generations" (5904, 3913 and 6946) and have never had any of them malfunction. :) The only one I've shot with the DAO trigger like yours was the 6946, essentially a DAO 6906. Despite its appearance it is hammer-fired, the hammer mostly concealed within the slide. (In your photo it is in the reset position and a small amount of it is visible.) It requires the action of the slide to reset it (no "second strike") and starts from a roughly half cocked position. The stroke is shorter (and has a shorter reach as well) than the DA of a DA/SA model but is roughly the same pull weight. I had no means of measuring it but believe it is slighly heavier than the SIG DAK. I was only able to achieve a rough "center of mass" accuracy with it, but YMMV.

kup9984
February 24, 2010, 09:24 PM
So the Smith DAO sounds similar to a Glock... except it's not striker-fired and is metal...?

21bubba
February 24, 2010, 11:56 PM
You can hardly tell the difference.

kup9984
February 25, 2010, 12:07 AM
NO WAY!!! Is it really that close? I honestly love the Glock trigger pull, am interested in this Smith because the price is pretty much too good to walk away from! I just want to make sure it's something that I will enjoy and want to carry before I pull the trigger on the purchase... ya know?
Thanks for the help guys =)

steveracer
February 25, 2010, 12:07 AM
The Smith is a great pistol. I have several. I can tell you that the DAO models are OK, but get the TDA ones instead. MUCH better trigger pull. The trigger reset on a Smith TDA is nill, and they run like a champ.

kup9984
February 25, 2010, 12:09 AM
I don't know anything about the TDA... could you please fill me in on that?

Does that mean it's just a normal DA/SA with a decocker?

I'm not interested in a DA/SA trigger pull or a safety/decocker... so if that's the case no worries on that model, thanks for the idea though =)

easyg
February 25, 2010, 08:02 AM
Wow, 29.5 oz.!

For an 8-shot pistol that Sig is quite heavy.

AJChenMPH
February 25, 2010, 10:47 AM
I think TDA is traditional double action...meaning DA/SA.

I have a 6906 and love it, though I'm still learning how to shoot it. I can keep everything inside the 9 ring at 7-10 yards when aiming and shooting slowly and deliberately, but when it comes to more rapid fire (i.e., doubletaps, etc.) I'm all over the friggin' place.

Where's Jim PHL when you need him? He has two 3953s and loves them both. I almost bought one of them off him when he offered one up to me.

kup9984
February 25, 2010, 02:24 PM
So I've heard rumors that the 4053 was originally designed to handle the 10mm round and that is a big reason the gun is so bomb-proof... can anyone back up this rumor with facts? If this is the case I'm interested to know if there is any way to convert it to handle the bigger 10mm rather than a .40 S&W... I'd love to get 8 rounds of 10mm in something this compact but with a metal frame to help a little bit with recoil.
I prefer NO safeties on my guns.
I want a constant trigger pull.

The Lone Haranguer
February 25, 2010, 07:41 PM
The trigger pull is more like a short DA revolver, much longer than a Glock. And that frame size is too small to take 10mm Auto. S&W's 10mms, when they made them, were on the large, all steel frame.

Big Mike
February 25, 2010, 08:45 PM
I have owned three 3rd gen S&W pistols, and still own one the 4046. The model above is the 8 shot, single stack version, which predated the double stack 9 shot version, which morphed into the 4053TSW which was the latest model that S&W produced. It is likely to be a good pistol for you.

The version above does not have a second strike capability, like a Glock, and would need to have the slide racked back to re-cock the hammer. Triggers in this version, for DAO firing, are generally pretty good. My 6946 was the most accurate 9mm I had ever shot, followed closely by my Beretta. My 6906 was inaccurate in my hands and routinely shot low. All have been easy to carry and have fairly flat profiles. My next purchase may be a 4053TSW. Good luck!

Jim PHL
February 25, 2010, 10:33 PM
Andy (AJChenMPH)- here I am! I'm still a relative newbie when it comes to these DAO's, but here's my take:

I am always surprised that these slick, single-stack DAO's are not more popular. The 3913 was a gun that I always just kind of liked the look of and feel of when I had a chance to handle one. Additonally, they seemed to be almost universally hailed as among the best autos S+W ever made. I finally got hold of one a little over a year ago. At first I was "put-off" by the 'traditional double-action' (TDA) trigger, especially since my only autos for quite a while were 1911's with that legendary, sweet, single-action trigger. The more I got used to it, though, the better I shot it and the more I fell in love with the platform and even the 9mm round in general. I am specifically enamored with the single stacks and even bought a 6906 and traded it away without ever firing it! So fat!! (Just kidding, actually, and don't be surprised to read here some day that I got another of those...but I DO prefer the single-stacks.) As I learned more about S+W autos I, too, put my eye on the xx53 series as an excellent choice for a carry gun. Slick IS the word. I didn't set out to get a pair but when I spotted them at my favorite local shop at a really good deal I just jumped on them both. Sadly, I might have to sell one of them but, happily, it's to pay for a CS9 that's on its way to me. (Another single-stack S+W 9mm!) I am still a better shot with the 3913 in single action but the 3953 are certainly accurate enough for me. "Taste" is certainly subjective but to me they feel great in my hand, very handsome in appearance, plenty accurate, easy to carry and so far 100% reliable. (I only have a few hundred rounds combined between the three of them but no failures of any kind.) They all like 124 grain loads a little better than 115 but shoot everything well enough. They've fired a couple different brands each of 115 and 124 gr FMJ and really seem to like the 124 gr Speer Gold Dots - my carry load.

As far as the trigger, less like the Glock and more comparable to a really well slicked-up S+W DA revolver, only shorter. I shot quite a bit with a Kahr a few years back and I recall the Kahrs trigger to be a little lighter, but similar to that if you've had a chance to try one of those. I like Glocks, don't love 'em and I like the S+W's better than the Kahr, too.

You asked: "Please let me know if there's anything I should be worried about with these little guns?" If I threw the phrase "potato chips" at you, would you know what I meant?:D

joe_security
February 26, 2010, 09:27 AM
These DAO S&W pistols were mandated by a number of big city Police Depts. through the 1990s. They are now very popular among the armored transport companys. The common thread through all of this is a fear of ADs and liability. I have fired a 5946 and CS .45 DAO. I was skeptical of these until I fired them. The DAO pull is light and smooth. I think you will like these pistols.

Jim PHL
February 26, 2010, 09:30 AM
kup;

Jim PHL
February 26, 2010, 09:34 AM
kup; I wanted to add I have seen a site that had 4043's (steel frame) for $269 and 4053's at $335. If you're a .40 guy these are nice deals! I almost bought (at least) one of each just because of it being such a great deal. In the end it was just my not wanting to add .40 to my collection that kept me from doing it. If I saw 3913's or 3953's under/around $300 I'd buy as many as I could get up the cash for.

By the way, the 4043 is a great idea having the steel frame. I'd get a steel one for the range and house and an aluminum frame for carry! It would be great to have a 3913/3953 with a steel frame.

AJChenMPH
February 26, 2010, 09:39 AM
These DAO S&W pistols were mandated by a number of big city Police Depts. through the 1990s.
Some still carry them -- I just saw a young NYPD cop the other day with a 5946. Told him he looked too young to be old-school. :)

I wanted to add I have seen a site that had 4043's (steel frame) for $269 and 4053's at $335.
And what site would that be, Jim? :D

kup9984
February 26, 2010, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the info guys. I think the site he's talking about is summitgunbroker.com as far as the deal on .40S&W
I think this Smith could be my next purchase. I've been a Glock and Sig guy, but think it's time to try something new and based on what you're telling me this won't be a bad company to go with...

Hotspur
February 26, 2010, 07:37 PM
You might want to search for the 3913 club--there's lots of knowledge there.

I found a slight twist on the 3953--One of the earlier production models that does not have the rail and has a cut down grip. It will still take 3913 mags as reloads. I also have a 3913 that is outstanding.

They are great guns.

Big Mike
February 26, 2010, 09:24 PM
AJChenMPH try here:


http://www.summitgunbroker.com

4043 specifically:

http://www.summitgunbroker.com/S_W_4043__269.html

AJChenMPH
February 26, 2010, 09:38 PM
Thanks. Damn, that's tempting...but like Jim, not interested in adding .40 to the stable just now...

Ruggles
February 27, 2010, 10:32 AM
I think the 3rd Gen S&Ws are vastly under appreciated handguns.

Runningman
February 27, 2010, 11:35 AM
So I've heard rumors that the 4053 was originally designed to handle the 10mm round and that is a big reason the gun is so bomb-proof... can anyone back up this rumor with facts? If this is the case I'm interested to know if there is any way to convert it to handle the bigger 10mm rather than a .40 S&W... I'd love to get 8 rounds of 10mm in something this compact but with a metal frame to help a little bit with recoil.
I prefer NO safeties on my guns.
I want a constant trigger pull. Someone gave you bad information. A 4053 uses an aluminum frame the 4053 is also small grip frame. The S&W 10mm used a longer grip frame made out of stainless. The reason S&W had to go to a larger frame on the 10MM is because of the overall length of the cartridge.

Having said all that, I own a single stack 8 shot S&W 4013 DA/SA version of the DAO 4053. Bought it new many years ago. The beauty of the single stack 3rd generation S&W such as the 3913, 4013, 4053, ect is the grip is very slim so they are easier to conceal. I've never had a jam with my 4013 in the 16 + years I've own my 4013.

Dot_mdb
February 27, 2010, 01:09 PM
I own a 3913 and a 4046 and have recently added a 457S (basically a .45 version of the 3913).

The 3913/3953 is the crown jewel of the S&W concealed carry guns. With the 3913 you have a very smooth DA trigger pull that will probably be about 12lbs. The single action will be about half that and as already mentioned the reset is very short. The 3953 will have a constant double action trigger and the weight will be about 10lbs. The actions on the DAO are typically very smooth and the trigger has to be completely reset after each shot, there is no short reset.

The 4013 and 4053 guns were built on the .45 frame. That makes them just a little larger than the 39XX guns. I have shot a 4053 but have not owned one. All of these guns shoot well and are reliable.

I also own a Glock 23. There is really no comparison between the handling of the Glock and the DAO Smiths. The Glock has a much lighter trigger in the standard setup and the feel of the trigger is completely different. Both are excellent guns but they are different.

The genius behind the Smith DAO is the combination of the smooth relatively short trigger pull with enough pull weight to make it safe in high adrenalin situations. If you are a revolver shooter you will take to the Smith DAO pistols right away.

If you follow the gun auctions you will see that the 39XX guns typically sell fast and it appears that the prices are rising. Generally the 3913 sell for a little more than the 3953 guns. I find that for concealed carry the 39XX guns conceal as well as the J frame revolvers.

Bill

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