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[RKBArms Blog] Smith & Wesson 908S Review
07-21-2011, 04:23 PM
Post: #1
[RKBArms Blog] Smith & Wesson 908S Review
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Smith & Wesson 908S Review

The Smith & Wesson 908/908S (103890) is a third generation semi-auto pistol. It's also known as the economy version of the 3913/3914. It's a single stack 9mm with a capacity of 8+1. No longer in production since around 2000, I had to do some hunting online before I got my hands on a 908 stainless. I found one through GunsAmerica.com for $275 that was practically brand new. Because the 908 has been out of production for 10 years now, it's very hard to find one factory new but Bud's Gun Shop did have the blued for $499.

The Gun
The 908 has an all metal alloy frame. It's a respectable sized compact, the 908 has a 3.5" barrel and weighs 24 oz empty. The 908 is a double action/single action pistol. The 908 has an external manual safety lever on the right side only. It protrudes enough so it can be easily engaged or disengaged. The lever also serves as a decocker.

The 908 is almost identical to the 2nd generation 3913 except it S&W swapped out a few plastic parts. There are three that I know of, the sights, recoil spring guide assembly, and the magazine catch/release button. All but the sights are interchangeable with the metal 3913 parts.

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The metal recoil spring guide from 3913 installed. You can see the plastic 908 below it.
I've fired 800 rounds of Federal Hi Shok 115 gr. JHP, Federal Champion 115 gr. FMJ, and Winchester White Box 115 gr. FMJ, with no malfunctions. At 21 feet, I can shoot nicely grouped shots drawing from my holster. The 908's recoil and muzzle flip is manageable. The 3 dot sights are easy to line up.

Mozambique drill at 21 feet

I like DA/SA pistols. The DA trigger pull is heavy like a revolver then all succeeding shots are a very short SA pull. If you rack the slide while the manual safety is engaged, the hammer will remain in the forward position. If you rack the slide while the manual safety is disengaged, the hammer will be cocked back.
A common problem that I experienced that other 908 owners have is the magazine not catching when inserted. When the slide is locked back, the magazine can be inserted smoothly. When the slide is forward/closed, you have to insert the magazine with some force. I purchased a Pro Mag for $22. Strangely, it locks in place with no force but it does have feeding problems so I'd advise against the Pro Mag.

This gun is a pain in the ass to field strip. You have partially pull the slide back, pop out the slide lock pin before the slide will move forward. Then reinstalling the slide requires you to push down 3 series of levers before the slide will go completely on. Doing this at home is no problem but still a pain in the ass.
Bottom Line
The 908 is my EDC now. I prefer compact guns over sub-compact and single stack 9mm's are my favorite for CCW because of the slimmer profile. This gun eats any type ammo and I've fired over 500 rounds of factory ammo with no malfunctions. The finish is excellent and you can see the S&W quality. I do carry an extra magazine with me since it's only a 8 round capacity but I don't mind.
Finding accessories for the 908, like a quality holster and magazine pouch, is a real pain. I ended up with a Desantis leather OWB pancake holster and a Galco single mag pouch. I'm in the process of making a hybrid holster that I will review.
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