Smith & Wesson Gun Holsters

In 1953 the US Army was looking for a pistol to replace the Colt 1911A1. In order to obtain a bid from the US Government, Smith & Wesson began working on a design similar to the German Walther P-38. A year later the Army dropped its search and Smith & Wesson introduced its pistol to the civilian shooting market as the Model 39.

The Model 39 would come to be known as a first generation pistol. Since the Model 39 debuted, Smith & Wesson has continuously developed this design into its third generation pistols now on the market. The first generation models use a 2 digit model number, the second generation use 3 digits, and third generation models use 4 digits.

Smith & Wesson introduced the Sigma series of recoil-operated, locked-breech semi-auto pistols in 1994 with the Sigma SW40F, followed by the Sigma SW9F 9 mm, which included a 17 shot magazine. Sigma pistols bore so much similarity to Glocks that users could reportedly interchange many parts between Glock and Sigma models. The trigger action on the Sigma's however was described by owners as "gritty" compared to Glocks clean breaking action. As a result, Glock initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against Smith & Wesson, which paid an undisclosed sum to Glock for infringement of their patents. S&W thereupon received the rights to continue the production of Sigma line. The gun frame is manufactured from polymer, while the slide and barrel use either stainless steel or carbon steel. In 1996, Smith & Wesson updated the Sigma by adding a compact model by shortening the barrel (from 4-1/2 to 4 inches) and again in 1999, modified the series by changing the grip by adding checkering and adding an integral accessory rail for lights and laser targeting devices.

In 2005, Smith & Wesson debuted a new polymer-frame pistol intended for the law enforcement market. Dubbed the M&P (for Military and Police), its name was meant to evoke S&W's history as the firearm of choice for law enforcement agencies through its previous lineup of M&P revolvers. The M&P is a completely new design with no parts interchangeable with any other pistol including the Sigma. The new design not only looks completely different than the Sigma but also feels completely different with 3 different back straps supplied with each M&P. Many of the ergonomic study elements that had been incorporated into the Sigma and the SW99 were brought over to the M&P. The improved trigger weight and feel, and unique takedown method (not requiring a dry pull of the trigger) were meant to set the M&P apart from both the Sigma and the popular Glock pistols.

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