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Old 03-01-2017, 01:27 AM
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Default CS45 My take on it.

As a long time user of 3rd gen 45 and 9mm pistols there were a few models I rarely came across and didn't pay much attention to. The CS series in particular. Starting last year, I found myself in need of some pistols to use while teaching at the local indoor range. I was racking up significant round counts on my 3914 and 4513TSW guns. I needed a couple of accurate and reliable pistols that I wouldn't worry about putting a lot of wear on.

So, I got a CS9. Great little 9mm. Very reliable, great size for easy carry and concealment and very accurate too. I pressed it into service at the range letting new shooters who wanted to experience a sub compact 9mm give it a try. I also carried it quite a bit on my own time. Fantastic little pistol. And I started wondering........if the CS9 is working this well for me......and the CS45 is only a little bigger.....and a 45.....I may want to get hold of one. So I did.

I have a mixed history with the CS series guns. Back when I was carrying "premium" S&W pistols, there were a few non negotiable items I needed to have. One was a lug on the barrel and corresponding cut in the slide for tight lockup. None of that barrel hood locking up on the slide, for me. I also needed a grip where my pinkey didn't dangle below the mag base. I've since changed my opinion on the barrel lockup and found a solution to the smaller grip.

I first tried a CS9 back around 2009 - 2010. Yes, I was late to the party. I shot it some, carried it some and decided it didn't do anything that my 39XX series guns didn't do better. So I sold it to a fellow who really wanted one for his daughter. But after it was gone I ran into several situations where I wished I'd kept it. I decided to find another and KEEP that one. And I did.

The CS45 was another matter. The only one I ever came across in person had been damaged in a fall from a motorcycle. That little 45 literally had road rash on the slide and grips. And my pinkey didn't sit right on the grip. But it did feel very good in the hand and was slightly smaller and slightly lighter than my beloved early production 4513TSW. Which up until recently was my only EDC.

So back then I asked a few shops I did business with to find me a clean CS45. And nobody ever did. Years went by and I occasionally recalled the CS45 and lusted for one. I read all of FastBolts excellent posts on these guns. And it took me a few months to read all that! But I never came across a CS45 locally and folks seemed pretty proud of the ones on the auction boards. Until right before Christmas.

I found a clean CS45 with metal Novak sights and an ambi decocker set up. No mag and a low opening bid. So I bid and won it on Christmas day. Merry Christmas to me!

I spent the next 6 weeks wringing it out and getting use to the little pistol. Now keep in mind when I call the CS45 a little pistol, this is coming from someone who carried a 4506-1, 4566 and 4516 on and off duty for over a decade. I think Patrick Sweeney said that the CS45 was the smallest TDA 45 compact extant. And it is still a fairly good sized pistol. Perfectly sized for me. The Hogue grips fit my hand as if it were made for me. And I put some rounded baseplates from some 4513TSW mags on a couple of the CS45 mags and solved the dangling pinkey issue.

Several trips to the range were in order to test reliability prior to carrying the CS45 for serious purpose. 200 rounds Sellier 230 grain ball, 50 rounds Winchester 230 JHP, 100 rounds Speer 230 grain Gold Dot, 50 rounds RA45T and 150 rounds of 230 grain Federal were fired problem free. Accuracy was startling for such a diminutive 45. At 25 yards Winchester Ranger 230 JHP printed a 3 inch ragged hole. At 15 yards they printed a sub 2 inch group. I shoot the CS45 better than my 457 and 4566's. Its accuracy is on par with my 4513TSW. A very accurate and reliable little 45.

And everything I've ever read about the CS45 proved to be true. It is a very soft shooter. Those new shooters wanting.....insisting..to shoot a compact 45 have no problem with the CS45. Felt recoil is brisk but not unpleasant or unmanageable. Follow up shots are a breeze and a series of 5X5X5 drills (5 shots at 5 yards on a 5 inch circle as fast as you can obtain a flash sight picture and slap the trigger.) all resulted in A hits. I love this little 45!

This CS45 is the carry/teaching/competing/nightstand/car console gun I've been looking for for over a decade. Did I mention I love this gun?

I'm leaving the Hogue grips on. They really work well with this pistol. I'm sticking with the rounded baseplates on the mags too. I am shooting it a lot and ordered some spare recoil springs from Midway. Spare guide rod too. Just in case.

So if you get a chance to pick up a clean CS45 for a good price, don't hesitate. Especially if, like me, 45 is one of your favorite carry calibers. You will be glad you did. It is a GREAT little 45. Regards 18DAI
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:08 AM
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dang you "18"......I didn't know I wanted a CS45 till now
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:12 AM
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Not only do you want it my friend, you NEED one! Best regards, 18DAI
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:09 AM
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Great write up. While I agree with your earlier opinion that my CS9 doesn't really do anything better than my 3914, I can see where the difference would be going to .45.

Congrats on your "new-found" pistol!
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:52 AM
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I picked one of these up a couple of months ago from a forum member. I was going to get a Shield in 45, but saw it for sale so I got it. I have shot it once and it shot well. I wish the magazines had the "pinky extension" on them. With that, it would be perfect.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:12 AM
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I hate when you guys do this....I've looked at these off and on for a while but never felt like I needed one......until now....
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:13 AM
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I bought mine brand new, and have carried it since then. It still looks brand new, and is a great shooter.

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Old 03-01-2017, 12:12 PM
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These have always been underrated pistols in my mind.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:02 PM
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Once again I say this to you, 18:

"Great review! You should write professionally!"

I picked up a new stainless CS40 with ambi safety and metal rear sight back in 2003 when J&G Sales was closing them out.
Like you, the pinky extension mags hit me in the middle of my finger and were uncomfortable.
The round mag bottoms cured that problem.
The Hogue rubber grips are fine but I had to try making a set of "Big Dog" style delrin grips.
They are slimmer and help with concealment.
The .40s&w cartridge allows a 7 shot mag over the 6 round mag of the .45 but the higher pressures of the .40 translates to harsher (but not unpleasant) recoil and more muzzle flip.
When I got the chance, I picked up a CS45 top end and mags and the conversion is a little more fun to shoot because of the lower pressure of the .45acp round.
My next project with the little pistol is to convert to DAO with second strike capability.
Just to slim it down.
Yes, the CS pistols are great and very adaptable.

John

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Old 03-02-2017, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired LTC, USAR View Post
I picked one of these up a couple of months ago from a forum member. I was going to get a Shield in 45, but saw it for sale so I got it. I have shot it once and it shot well. I wish the magazines had the "pinky extension" on them. With that, it would be perfect.
You need to look at Midway's website, product # 787228 - they go for $26.24
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:57 AM
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Well, I guess I know who I'll be competing against on the auction sites now, thanks to you 18!

Nice review. You do write well.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:41 AM
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I'm still looking for one, I had a chance to get one from one of our drug guys about 15 years ago, but had to pass. Hopefully I will luck out soon!
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:50 AM
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Nice write up...............................

Thinking back ....I had both a 4516-nuttin and a 4516TSW............

to me the 4516 was, IMO, too heavy for every day concealed carry...traded it for a 4513TSW... But the short magazines for the 6+1 4513 were too hard to find (pre-Internet)......

Don't think I've ever seen a CS45 in person.................

In about 1994 I transitioned to the Sig 245 for my compact carry .45 needs (6+1, alloy frame and 4.1 inch barrel/slide).....looking back and knowing what I know today..... I think I would have stuck with the 4513TSW.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:48 PM
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Got a CS45 a few years ago & it has been my carry gun since. Eats anything & plenty accurate. Have to qualify once a year for my retired LEO permit and always shoot in the high 80's (the 25 yard always kills me, can't miss from 15 yards down)
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:10 AM
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JohnHL now you have me wanting to find a two tone CS40 and put the CS45 top end on it! GREAT idea!

Thanks for the kind words all!
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:56 AM
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I lucked out and found a slightly used stainless CS9 and NIB CS40 and CS45 a few years back, at very good prices. They just didn't sell very well when they were first made. Seems like the best way for S&W to create demand for a product is to stop making it!

I have only shot the CS9 so far. Dead nuts reliable with everything I tried in it. I even bought leather for it, I wish S&W had made them with their regular style of hard plastic stocks instead of the bigger, softer rubber ones they put on them. The Hogues are probably better for shooting but don't help concealment.

Of the 3, I like the CS9 the most. I generally prefer my carry guns in .45 and when I carry a .45 it's usually a Colt Commander. I'm just a cocked-and-locked kind of guy.
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:54 PM
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BUFF member TercGen makes a Big Dog style Delrin grip for the CS9. Ipurchased one from him and am VERY pleased with it. You may want to PM him to see if he will make one for you. Regards 18DAI
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:09 PM
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Ack! Just when I thought the shopping was done for a while... Ahh well, off to GB

Cheers
Bill
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
JohnHL now you have me wanting to find a two tone CS40 and put the CS45 top end on it! GREAT idea!

Thanks for the kind words all!
Or, find a CS40 top end and mag to put on your CS45.
(Although finding CS40 components can be a little tougher because S&W didn't make as many CS40s as they did CS45s.

John
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:42 AM
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I like the look of that reverse two-tone JohnHL. I'm going to look for a black 40 frame to put the silver 45 top end on.

A word about leather. And if this type of gun appeals to you and you are carrying one, odds are you use leather.

I have found that non fitted holsters for the Glock 27 work fine with the CS45. I picked up a no name black leather open top paddle, a DeSantis Viper paddle - specifically for a CS45, as well as a DeSantis Nemesis for a G27/CS40/CS45.

Being left handed makes holster searching that much more difficult. But so far it has been easier to locate leather for the CS45 than it has been for my 4566. Regards 18DAI
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:32 AM
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I agree, the two-tone look is great.
My CS40 is stainless, but I have both stainless and black (I hesitate to call it blue) slides in both .40s&w and .45acp.
The S&W "blackening" doesn't hold up well to carry so in that capacity I run one of the stainless slides.

Thanks for the holster tip!
I'm retired so I don't need to carry for long periods of time.
For a quick outing, the Uncle Mikes pocket holster gets the job done.

John
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired LTC, USAR View Post
I picked one of these up a couple of months ago from a forum member. I was going to get a Shield in 45, but saw it for sale so I got it. I have shot it once and it shot well. I wish the magazines had the "pinky extension" on them. With that, it would be perfect.
Some of the mags do have the extension...
most often owner-applied...
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUFF View Post
Of the 3, I like the CS9 the most. I generally prefer my carry guns in .45 and when I carry a .45 it's usually a Colt Commander. I'm just a cocked-and-locked kind of guy.
You might want to check out another pistol
from that CS45 era...the Star M45.
That'll give you the cocked & locked function,
as well as a slightly longer barrel, since it has
1911-style controls, not in the slide like S&W's.

In my Smartcarry, it sits in Strong-hand position,
while my CS45 sits in Weak-Hand...
which actually works best, as the left likes the
fat Hogue grip even more than the right,
and helps to keep everything control-able
when I go two-gun

Pays to have shot Gunfighter class for years in SASS,
because after using two single-actions for decades,
using two semi-auto pistols at once makes ya
just stinkin UGLY
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:05 PM
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I've had a Star PD or two in the past, they were easy to carry with aluminum frames but Star parts availability has always been an 'iffy' thing and will just get worse.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:12 AM
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I bought one in March of 2011 new in the box, and love this little pistol. I was amazed how well it shot and how accurate it was for such a small gun. I haven't put a lot of rounds through it, but it has never given me a problem. Normally, I carry a Kahr PM45, but the CS does get some carrying time.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:47 AM
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I got lucky when I found a CS45 at my very rural pawn shop/LGS last month. It sat on the shelf for several weeks and the price actually dropped a little. Reading the OPs write up and a chat by PM the CS45 is now in the safe. Range experience was everything you could want. It created a new affection for the 45ACP caliber. I am now in the hunt for a CS9 and a CS40. Julian date on case is 1/21/1999.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:52 AM
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Congrats btr4me!! Yours looks brand new! Nice score!

I can update this thread a bit. Ive been using the CS45 quite a bit over the last three months. Ive shot another 200 rounds through it. Flawless function and very accurate. Especially with my carry round, the Winchester RA45T.

Carrying it has been a mixed bag. Primarily because of the difficulty in finding good leather made for the CS45. I check Amazon and Fleabay pretty much every day. I found a DeSantis Viper for a CS45. But that is not really a concealed carry holster. More of a plainclothes LE holster. None of my 3rd gen 45 leather works with it. None of it.

And those holsters on Ebay that say they are for the "G26, G27, CS9, CS40, CS45" - FORGET IT! They may work with a Glock (I'll never know. ) but they dont work with a CS45.

So far the only thingvthat does work for IWB concealment is a DeSantis Nemesis. BUT - That Hogue grip that makes shooting the CS45 so pleasant and easy, causes itvto be uncomfortable when carried IWB in the Nemesis holster. TerCgen, we need some Delrin grips for the CS45!

Anyone have a spare Big Dog CS45 grip they would like to part with? Regards 18DAI
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:15 PM
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As always; a great post "18"! The only thing better than fondling, shooting or cleaning guns is reading about guns. Especially when the content is well written and informative. I bought a CS45 almost 10 years ago just because I saw it and some people often referred to me as "Chief" (don't ask ME why!). Over the years it has become one of my absolute favorites and most shot handguns. It is just that fun! While many have criticized the Hogue grips they make that little "brick" so easy to shoot that it must surely be the "best compact .45 extant". Thanks also for the info on holsters because that is a quandry.

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Old 04-09-2017, 10:31 AM
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Thumbs up CS 45 leather

Hi I'm Skip Ritchie. Check out my web site. I can make you almost any style of holster for your CS 45. This is a picture of mine in a Belt Speed Scabbard. Sorry but I can't make holsters for the CS 9 or 40 as I do not have the pistol..... yet! Thanks and I hope I can be of help. Ritchie Leather Co., Inc: Amherst, NY.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:44 AM
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Thanks Skip Ritchie! I will check out your site. Be advised that the CS40 has the same dimensions as the CS45. So any holster that fits a CS45 will fit a CS40. Regards 18DAI
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:52 AM
Skip Ritchie Skip Ritchie is offline
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Thank you for that info. I also believe you may need leather for a 4566? Also no problem. Regards, Skip
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:52 AM
sodacan sodacan is offline
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When CS series first came out, I really wanted to like them, but as with many S&W semi-autos, it wasn't for me. I enjoyed reading the analysis. It just goes to show that there is a great gun out there for every shooter.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:40 PM
Mal Cap Mal Cap is offline
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Every few months I get an email from one or two CS45 lovers who need parts. I'm basically down to my last. I don't have any CS45 specific mags but I do have an 8-round gold-plated, and two 7-round mags that fit the CS45 (but don't slam them into place) and act as extension. Also, two used barrels in excellent condition and one mint. If interested: mur.cap@gmail.com BTW I would definitely take advantage of Skip Ritchies custom holster. Holsters for the CS45 are hard to locate.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:48 PM
Mal Cap Mal Cap is offline
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Every month or two I get an email from a CS45 lover who needs parts. I don't have any CS45 specific mags but I do have an 8-round gold-plated and two 7-round mags which fit, stick out a bit and so they act as an extension. But they shouldn't be slammed into place. I also have two used barrels in excellent condition and one mint barrel unused. If interested email: mur.cap@gmail.com BTW I would take advantage of Skip Ritchie's custom holsters since CS45 holsters are difficult to locate.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:50 PM
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Big Shrek Big Shrek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUFF View Post
I've had a Star PD or two in the past, they were easy to carry with aluminum frames but Star parts availability has always been an 'iffy' thing and will just get worse.
One could say the exact same thing
about 3rd Gen S&W parts.

Usually only springs & the occasional FP
needed with Stars. Great thing about
metal guns is that they LAST...few problems.

Mags for the most part are shared with S&W.
CS45 mags fit in a Star 45 & vise-versa.
S&W 5900 mags fit in the Star 243 & M28/30/31
One guy even modded an M-9 33-rd mag for 'em.
I'm still figuring out the Ultrastar swaps,
& Megastar 45 swaps with the Para-Ord 14-45.

Oh, I know a guy for Star FP's
But any g'smith worth his salt can do 'em.

And I'm working on a guy to get 3rd Gen S&W barrels.
Just about got him convinced that it'd be
worthwhile to do conversion barrels,
like .357 SIG & whatnot, for CS40/45 models
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18DAI View Post
Congrats btr4me!! Yours looks brand new! Nice score!

I can update this thread a bit. Ive been using the CS45 quite a bit over the last three months. Ive shot another 200 rounds through it. Flawless function and very accurate. Especially with my carry round, the Winchester RA45T.

Carrying it has been a mixed bag. Primarily because of the difficulty in finding good leather made for the CS45. I check Amazon and Fleabay pretty much every day. I found a DeSantis Viper for a CS45. But that is not really a concealed carry holster. More of a plainclothes LE holster. None of my 3rd gen 45 leather works with it. None of it.

And those holsters on Ebay that say they are for the "G26, G27, CS9, CS40, CS45" - FORGET IT! They may work with a Glock (I'll never know. ) but they dont work with a CS45.

So far the only thingvthat does work for IWB concealment is a DeSantis Nemesis. BUT - That Hogue grip that makes shooting the CS45 so pleasant and easy, causes itvto be uncomfortable when carried IWB in the Nemesis holster. TerCgen, we need some Delrin grips for the CS45!
Regards 18DAI
The mod for the standard Delrin grips is available...
there's a thread on here that details every cut.

As far as proper holster fit...look for OLD
holsters...check old mags for ads, get those
size/model numbers there...
or just use Commander 1911 holsters

Oh, almost forgot, Alien Gear has holsters made
from 3rd Gen molds. Should be good there.

DeSantis has specific holsters for the CS45
SMITH & WESSON CS45 - available from DeSantis Holster

Heck, google 'em, there's hundreds.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:48 PM
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Shortly after I last posted to this thread I recieved an Email from a very nice gentleman who makes holsters as his hobby. He made me a very nice black, open top, IWB holster for my CS45.

I have been wearing it on and off duty and at my part time job for the last week and I could not be more pleased! Very comfortable and holds the CS45 securely while still allowing a fast presentation.

And as a bonus, it also works with my V1 4513TSW. Thank you sir! Best regards 18DAI
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:46 AM
VTHokiesDuckHunter VTHokiesDuckHunter is offline
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I've been loooking for a mint/LNIB CS45 for some time over the last year but didn't yet see exactly what I wanted (yet).

Then last week saw a LNIB 4014 and had to get it. I've had one (4014) for about 6 years now that i bought LNIB and love that gun.

This second one cost me a little more than I had planned to pay; and a couple of hundred more than I paid for my first one. But it's one of my favorite 3rd gens- and I also have a sweet custom TT Gunleather IWB for it. Plus I figure they only made 500 of this model; and what I paid is still a couple hundred less than a SIG P239.

Once the discretionary gun buying funds build up a bit I'll have to find the CS45.......

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