In retrospect, Smith & Wesson had nobody to blame for the situation but themselves. The company didn’t invent the subcompact, lightweight, single-stack nine, of course. Walther and Beretta had preceded the original Shield to market by a few years with the PPS and the Nano, respectively, and Kahr had more or less created the niche back in the 1990s.
Training someone to shoot a defensive handgun is mostly a standardized process. Firearm safety is followed by firearm function, which is then followed by an introduction to the basics of marksmanship. Past that, focus falls on handgun manipulation, presentation and various methods of target engagement.
I’m a believer in the old expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Browning apparently believes in it, too, because its newest downsized Black Label 1911 makes a fantastic first impression.
In case you just emerged from hibernation or beamed down from another planet, allow me to be the first to inform you concealed-carry pistols are hot. So hot, they dominate sales across the firearm industry, as millions of long-time gun owners compete with seven or eight million new gun owners trying to get their hands on these pistols.
The EMP series of 1911-style pistols from Springfield Armory was designed specifically around the 9 mm cartridge.