About the Handgun:
The 5900 model pistols are Smith & Wesson's 'Third Generation' series, replacing all previous heavy-caliber models except the Model 52. Features incorporated in these pistols include a fixed barrel bushing, greatly improved trigger pull, 3-dot sights, improved wraparound grips, beveled magazine well and a double-stack magazine.
About the Manufacturer:
This company began in 1852 when Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson entered a gunmaking partnership in Norwich Connecticut. In 1857 they produced the first metallic cartridge breech-loading revolver. Their first double-action revolver was produced in 1880. In 1964 the company passed from Wesson family control, and subsequently several conglomerates took control of it. From 1987 to 2001 Tomkins PLC, a British company, owned Smith & Wesson. In March 2000 Smith & Wesson signed an agreement with the Clinton Administration in order to avoid lawsuits. This agreement was not at all liked by the gun owning public and boycotts and floods of used S&W firearms in the market nearly ruined the company. On May 11, 2001, Saf-T-Hammer Corporation acquired Smith & Wesson Corp. from Tomkins PLC for a fraction of what Tomkins originally paid. The new company, Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation, publicly renounced the Clinton agreement which was received positively by the firearms community.
About the Cartridge:
This cartridge was introduced along with the Luger semi-automatic pistol. The pistol and cartridge was first adopted by the German Navy in 1904 and then by the German Army in 1908. This cartridge has since been adopted by the military of practically every non-Communist power. It has become the most popular and widely-used handgun cartridge in the world. Performance wise, the 9mm cartridge has somewhat more power than the .38 Special but falls well short of the .357 Magnum.