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I like M&P pistols. I started with a Smith & Wesson M&P40c for the wife for home defense when I first started buying handguns, and it just made sense to continue from there. I purchased a full size .40 for range use and have gone to and from a few times since.  I have been shooting handguns for years, but have only been carrying for about a year and like most, I started going through guns and holsters trying to find what works for me . . .

I tried a Shield, but there weren’t a lot of size savings compared to the compact. I bought a M&P BODYGUARD 380 sans laser and that works well for my deep concealment in a Galco pocket holster. In summer months I usually open carry an M&P9c in a BCACKHAWK! retention holster, but seeing how it’s jacket weather in Michigan I carry a 9c or 40c in a De Santis leather holster.  I carry what fits well in my hand and what I feel I can shoot well, and pray I never actually need to use what I carry.

(See the rest of the posts in this series here. Send your What I Carry and Why submissions with a photo to [email protected] with WICAW in the subject line.)

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  1. The shield is a lot thinner than the compact, and it’s noticeable carrying it.

    It’s definitely big for pocket carry, though.

    Either way, nice choice

    • I’m not a small guy, and carry OWB, so the shield doesn’t give me the size savings vs capacity to make sense for me. I like the weight savings of the compact vs full size even when I open carry.

  2. I own a M&P 40c and carry it often. The problem that I have with the compact — most compacts, really — is the short handle. I like a full-finger grip, but the 40c doesn’t afford one, at least to me. The extension does provide a resting place for my pinkie, but it also pinches my little finger with regularity, leaving a blood blister behind as a lovely souvenir.

    I picked up a couple of full-size magazines that fit the compact with X-Grip magazine adapters. The large mags and adapters provide a full-hand grip. The rig works great at the range, but I will get a FTF now and again (which never happens with the compact mags).

    • As I said yesterday after having the extended mag in my shield wiggle out of it’s catch during recoil I like the flush fitting mags in the shield. I do not have any of the x-grips but I have shot the compact with full size magazines and it works for range use.

    • The Kahr K/P 9/40/45, not the smaller MK/PM, gives a full grip in a Shield/G43 sized package. The P (in 9) is lighter than those two, while the K shoots better (The P has a reputation for susceptibility to limpwrist issues). Both are thinner in the slide, the P meaningfully thinner/smaller in the butt as well.

      I’ve never thought much about them, given their Sig/HK like pricing for a “garage built” “pocket gun,” ad copy that seem to target Las Vegas pimps and hos, and reputation for somewhat finicky feeding. But a friend who is a bit of a Kahr “collector” really did a sales job on me over thanksgiving.

      The K/P really are “full size” guns, that just happen to be half the size of a G19. In anything from an IWB holster, to a shoulder rig, to a paddle, or in a belly band or smart carry, they just disappear; the uniform thinness being the main reason. Yet they have a decent length (for 9/40) barrel (3.6″ polygonal), and the aforementioned full grip; and a nice, smooth trigger.

  3. It looks fine to me-and I like 40. First rule-have a gun-those poor souls yesterday could have heeded that advice…


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