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Less than a year into my concealed carry experience, I have a simple answer to the “what” part of this question. My M&P Shield in 9mm is pretty straightforward for now, with the only modification being Talon grips (so good). It’s light, thin, and my skinny fingers can get a full grip without any magazine extensions. Most importantly, I enjoy shooting this gun and it seems to enjoy being shot, so it’s a good fit . . .

“Why” I carry comes down to several different factors, but they’re all centered around greed. Greedy people are everywhere and they want what you have. Maybe someone feels like they’ve been oppressed and want what they feel entitled to, or perhaps it’s someone in D.C. who wants more power and is willing to chip away at our rights to obtain that power. Heck, maybe I’m greedy for wanting to protect my family and everything my wife and I have worked for.

The fact is, I love my life and the people in it, and if someone wants to try and interfere with that, then we have a problem. I can talk my way out of a lot of things, and I’m skinny and squirrelly enough to run away if need be, but I know there are situations where words and fleet feet are useless, so I carry my gun wherever I can. If it never gets drawn in self defence, I’ll call that a win and go home, where I’ll still be carrying, willing to do what is necessary to preserve my life while hoping that day never comes.

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27 Responses to TTAG Reader: What I Carry and Why – JWM’s M&P Shield

    • I carry one with grip extensions- With the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on them. Who says you can’t be geeky and carry?

        • This is my secondary carry gun as well with Apex mod as well as a laser in alien iwb holster.

          My primary carry gun is an M&P pro longslide, open carried.

          I am never alone, for God, Smith & Wesson are always with me.

  1. I liked the shield, but didn’t see much size savings over a compact. The shield even in 40 shoots like a larger gun, it is very controllable.

    • The size savings is in the thickness. I own a Shield. Ive compared it against the Compacts. They are fatties in comparison. I still will buy a Compact at some time, but the Shield is a better IWB carry gun because you print less. If I want to open carry, Ill just carry my 1911.

      And no, the 40 kicks significantly harder than the 9mm version does, especially with PD ammo in it with the short mag in it. Ive shot them side by side, have you? My wife and 11 year old son have shot them both, the 9mm is a better shooter for them for follow up shots. Keep in mind that not everyone has gorilla hands like I do, and maybe you do as well?

      • I believe our friend was trying to say that even in 40 (notoriously snappy round) the gun shoots like a larger version of itself.

      • I carry owb, and I have shot both, but not side by side. For me the thickness does not matter, but yes I have large hands. Also Dan understood what I was saying about the Shield.

  2. I see a lot of these “what I carry and why” posts don’t include holsters. Why is that? They’re fairly important.

  3. LOVE my shield. First subcompact that I actually enjoy shooting as much as a full sized.

    I have the version with no thumb safety, factory tritium night sights and 3 magazines.

    The performance center model looks cool but I liked the aforementioned setup more, and I got a bang up deal on it

  4. I got to shoot a buddy’s shield. I was impressed. It feels a little higher quality than my beloved LC9s Pro, and recoils softer.

  5. I like your write up, not just about the Shield (I carry one too!) but your reasoning and train of thought is very much aligned with mine. I NEVER want to have to present my gun or use it, that will be a win if it never happens. But like you, I love my life and the lives of my family and friends and I am not willing to let some greedy bastard try to relieve me of it without stopping the threat. There are a lot of twisted sociopaths and psychopaths out there so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst. Personally, I think every mentally healthy, non-prohibited person who wants to should be able to carry. The world would be a much more civil and polite place.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. There’s too much of a negative narrative out there on concealed carriers that’s brought on by the 5 o’clock news lowlights. If more people outside the CC community knew we aren’t out looking for trouble and are probably more peaceful than your average citizen, our numbers would grow and you would see less roadblocks to carrying.

  6. Another jwm? Who’d a thunk it? This one claims to be squirrly and skinny. Which means we’ll be easy to keep from being mixed and confused.

    Fat and sloth like. That’s me.

  7. Just be glad you have the Shield in 9mm rather then .40S&W. I have the .40S&W version, and it is downright unpleasant to shoot. I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting the 9mm version as a backup or deep concealment gun.

    • I have shot both the 9mm and .40 shield, but not side by side. The .40 is snappy. The 9mm was far more pleasant to shoot, and would be my preference between the two. But I am glad there are options! Options are good. For example, we opted to buy an LC9s. 🙂

  8. I too have the .40. Guess its recoils a bit more, but with a firm grip, it groups quite well at 10-15 years. Would rather have my XDm Compact for longer shots however…

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