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The Smith &Wesson M&P9c is my go-to everyday carry gun. It wasn’t my first choice, but once I crunched some numbers and got it in my hand I realized it was the right choice. I started out carrying an M&P9 full-size (and sometimes still do), but found that in the summer it was just easier to carry a smaller, more slender gun. That persuaded me to buy a S&W Shield in 9mm, but I wanted more rounds before having to reload if necessary. That’s how I got to my final carry gun, the S&W M&P9c . . .

The 9c strikes the perfect balance between concealability, ergonomics and capacity. Sure, I could carry a GLOCK 19 and get three more rounds, but having the 17-round magazines from my full-size M&P9 at my disposal makes it easy to carry a full-size mag with an X-Grip grip extension if I feel the need.

I outfitted the M&P9c with a pair of XS Big Dot night sights and recently added a Crimson Trace green Laserguard. I’m left-handed, which is why I chose to use the Laserguard versus the grip-mounted laser. Having the laser out in front eliminates that issue, as well as allowing me to continue to use the ‘small’ grip insert which fits my hand the best.

The gun has somewhere around 1500 rounds through it so far, and has been boringly reliable and very accurate. I also installed an Apex Hard Sear which makes the trigger pull about a pound lighter and a lot crisper, but it does make the take-up much longer. This could be adjusted, but I like the longer pull as it doesn’t change the interface with the drop safety/striker block. The gun rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 outfitted with Ulticlips.

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  1. I did try an M&P compact and found it carried less intrusively than the Glock 26, which is presumably thinner. Part of the reason I didn’t like it was the .357 SIG chambering. The recoil was manageable, but it had this weird springy second recoil that threw me off. Trigger reach was excellent for my puny hands.

  2. I have carried some version of M&P daily since my cpl arrived in the mail. Even when I open carry I often open carry a M&Pc just due to the slight weight savings. I like the 9c, but I just traded my 9c off in a great deal so now I have the 40c on the hip and with a full size mag in the pocket I still have G19 capacity in a larger round.

  3. I enjoy these reviews because everyone’s perception is so different depending on hand size, carry style, etc. I tried and hated the full size M&P, loved the Shield and might have bought one if any had been available at the time, and finally split the size difference, as did the OP, but on a Ruger SR9C. Trigger reach is so important, as Rokurota said, and probably a major reason all of us have such differing opinions on what fits or shoots best.

    • Thanks for sharing this important perspective on fit.

      The Glock 23 and 26 which I carried for years were always a tad too big in terms of grip. The S&W M&P 40c I now carry fixed that–it fits my hand. I had to readjust to the more relaxed grip angle of the M&P vs. the Glock, but it is consistent with the other class of HGs I find indispensable–S&W revolvers.

  4. One of the carries in my rotation is a 9c, I put an Apex flatty in it and carry to full size mags with x-grip. You are correct that it is an amazingly accurate gun to shoot. I use Hornady critical defense 115 grain as well.

  5. No experience with this but saw some scuttlebut(on FB) about it having a crappy trigger. Any truth to that? In case one falls into my lap…

    • The trigger is a deal breaker for a lot of people. I’ve never felt the need to replace/improve the trigger on 6 different M&P’s (exception the BG380) that have passed through my possession. Try to dry fire one, you might not mind it as much as the interweb says you will.

      • I notice it is nearly identical in size to the Taurus 111 g2-for a lot more $(Taurus is a bit smaller). I think 13 rounds in a compact 9(or 40) is a pretty good deal for CC or home defense…

  6. I have the full size and the compact M&P chambered in 9 mm. They are great guns and the stock night sights work splendidly. They would probably still be my daily carry set up had the SIG P320 not happened along.


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