I had been pondering a new bedside gun that was better equipped for dealing with things that go bump in the night and after a lot of research, price comparisons and range time with rented or borrowed guns decided that I would go with an M&P 9 from Smith & Wesson. On the appointed day I went to acquire an M&P 9 I was looking at what else was in the case when something caught my eye. It was a Smith & Wesson 5906 TSW in pristine condition and very reasonably priced. I decided to compare it to the M&P 9 and gladly handed the M&P back to the gun pimp behind the counter and filled out the paperwork for the 5906TSW.
One of the problems with buying a gun that is out of or in limited production (last I heard S&W was still doing limited runs of the 5906TSW for LE agencies) is accessories. Holsters I can get if I don’t want to carry it with a light mounted on the rail, lights to mount in the rail are also an issue. Fortunately Streamlight’s TLR-1 comes with the right hardware to mount to the TSW so one was acquired. One accessory that came with the gun that made the price even more reasonable was the Crimson Trace Lasergrips. I’ve always looked somewhat askance at the Lasergrips in spite of recommendations from folks like Massad Ayoob and Clint Smith. After trying them on the 5906 I wouldn’t mind having them on all of my ‘social purposes’ handguns. If you haven’t tried them yet I recommend you do.
So a classic won out over joining all the cool kids in the deep end of the Kool-Aid Pool. To be honest I don’t really mind that. I still think the M&P is an excellent pistol (especially after you install some trigger parts from Apex) and many ladies I’ve introduced to them also seem to like them more than the Austrian pistol that started the polymer arms race. A defensive arm isn’t about what is cool, trendy or hip. It’s about what works for YOU and sometimes the best option is something a little unusual. If I wanted a current production gun that fit my hand like the 5906 (it fits like a well-worn glove) it would have to be the Sig P226 I literally can’t tell which one I have my hand around. Maybe someday I’ll pick up an M&P but first I think I may pick up the 5906’s smaller cousin the 6906.