February 07, 2019 8 min read

It is currently legal in all 50 states for qualified individuals to carry a concealed firearm on or near their person in public. Depending on the specific state laws, this may or may not require the owner to hold a permit.

When it comes to carrying a concealed firearm, the smaller your weapon is, the easier it is to hide its existence from the public. Smaller is, therefore, better for this purpose and when buying a concealed gun, finding a good balance between size and performance is key.

The Smith & Wesson MP Shield handgun is a manageable model-size for almost any firearm handler, from novice to expert. It is the perfect combination of stealth and stopping power for a concealed carry weapon.

Smith and Wesson is the biggest firearms producer in the United States. Established in 1852, this iconic company has provided some of the best-quality firearms for more than 166 years. As the most popular firearms manufacturer in America, its success lies in its workers’ experience and innovation and in the reliability of its product range.

Concealed Carry Laws

The right to bear arms in the United States of America is a part of the Second Amendment, which states that it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and that this right cannot lawfully be infringed upon.

Forty states in the USA protect the right to bear firearms, utilizing a provision that is similar to the Second Amendment. Some states, however, do not have this provision, including California, Minnesota, Maryland, Iowa, New Jersey, and New York.

The right to bear arms often extends to an individual’s right to carry a concealed weapon. However, civilians should educate themselves on local state laws before carrying a firearm. While most states permit permissive open carry without a license, with a few exclusions concealed carry, while legal in most jurisdictions, requires a license or permit.

Gun laws vary drastically from state to state, with each local government imposing different rules pertaining to permits, carry laws, and self-defense. In some states, for instance, it is required to hold a permit even to purchase a gun.

Register your firearm in specific states

Most states do not require you to register your gun ownership and doing so is banned in eight states. However, in the jurisdictions of California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia, you must register your firearm.

How to Choose a Concealed Carry

A concealed firearm, by its very nature, should be geared toward daily use and carrying for protection in self-defense and emergencies. This makes carry comfort extremely important. If you are uncomfortable carrying your firearm throughout the day, you are not going to carry it, rendering it useless.

Some of the most crucial considerations when selecting your concealed weapon are dexterity and weight. No matter the stopping power of a gun, it will be useless if you cannot comfortably manage it.

Dexterity is a critical concern when selecting your gun because the size and shape of each person’s hand differs from the next. Recessed release buttons, for example, are difficult to manage for men with large thumbs. It is vital that any firearm you use is stable in your hand and you can easily access the trigger and magazine release buttons. 

When testing and holding a firearm, ask yourself if you can easily hold the gun in one hand and maintain complete control of it. Can your fingers reach the magazine function? Can you easily lift and hold the gun in front of you with your arm straight? If you answer no to any of these questions, then it may not be the right model for you.

Popular Concealed Carry Models

Some of the most popular concealed carry guns on the market today include those manufactured by Smith & Wesson, particularlythose within the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield range.

MP is an abbreviation that stands for Military and Police, as the range was initially developed to meet the needs of military and service personnel. The range, introduced by Smith & Wesson in 2005, utilizes a Browning-type locking system and a polymer frame.

man with IWB concealed carry

Smith & Wesson® 9 M&P Shield M2.0™ 

Smith & Wesson's range of M&P shield guns have all been a popular choice since their premier, but the 9mm is an especially popular model.

This firearm is a good choice for women, as it has a barrel length shorter than 3.5” and, as such, it is configured for those with small- to medium-sized hands. Its polymer frame makes it light and easy for all-daycarry with a concealed carry holster, and it boasts an impressively low recoil, which is  a big advantage for beginners.

In October 2017, Smith & Wesson launched the 9mm M&P Shield M2.0™ version of this model, with the aim of keeping the Shield range fresh and innovative within the highly competitive market of concealed carry firearms.

Feature updates included in the M2.0™, including improved grip texture and improvements to the trigger, are sure to make this already popular high-quality firearm even more of a staple for gun enthusiasts and beginners.

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This M2.0™ offers buyers a 9mm caliber, with a magazine that holds seven rounds and sits flush to the case. It also includes the possibility to use an extended eight-round magazine.

The upgraded 9mmSmith & Wesson M&P Shield features M&P's unique take-down lever and sear deactivation, allowing disassembly of the weapon without pulling the trigger. Other features include an updated corrosion-resistant finish.

While the magazine sits nicely in a medium-sized hand, the extended size may prove a bit unwieldy for smaller hands.

Smith & Wesson M&P ® 380 Shield EZ ™ 

Built for effective personal and home protection and intended for everyday carry, the M&P® 380 Shield EZ ™ is specifically designed for ease of use and cleaning.

This model of the Shield range is half an inch longer than the 9mm Shield, making it just a bit smaller than the proportions of a full-sized M&P gun and the perfect candidate for a concealed carry weapon.

Its stainless-steel magazine holds eight rounds and offers most of the same features that made the Shield range so popular, includingan easy-to-load magazine experience. It is suitable for first-time firearm owners and experienced shooters.

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The Smith & Wesson M&P ® 380 Shield EZ ™ is 6.7 inches long and 4.7 inches tall, making it perfectly sized and small enough to hide beneath clothing with aconcealed carry holster.

Made from stainless steel, the barrel has a corrosion-resistant Armornite® finish. It features three-dot sights and a reversible magazine catch that fans of the original 9mm S&W Shield will appreciate.

Available with or without an ambidextrous manual thumb safety and an 18-degree grip angle, this gun is lightweight and easy to carry all day.

Smith & Wesson M&P ® M2.0 ™ Compact Series

In 2017, Smith & Wesson released the M&P ® M2.0™ Compact Series, which was launched with the intention of offering serious competition in a market that has largely been dominated by the Glock 19.

Smith & Wesson pulled out all the stops for their compact range, producing a model concealed firearm with a 16-round capacity in a small frame.

Available in 9mm and .40 S&W models, this compact pistol series is perfect for both personal or professional use. The 9mm version of this firearm offers an internal magazine capacity of 15 rounds, plus one in the chamber.

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Available in three calibers, this compact firearm has been proven to offer unparalleled levels of reliability. One of the most important considerations when buying a concealed firearm is how reliable it is, as it's more likely you will use it in an emergency.

In recent trials for the compact series, the gun let out over 2,000 rounds without a single hitch, and some reviews also report excellent accuracy on par with a full-size M&P outfitted with an Apex trigger.

Furthermore, the M&P ® M2.0™ Compact is an excellent firearm choice for new shooters because of its low price tag, affordable ammunition, and low recoil.

Lifetime Service Policy

Smith & Wesson is so confident in its product quality that all its handguns come with the company’s impressive Lifetime Service Policy. This policy is effective on any handgun bought on or after February 1, 1989, and it includes repair for your gun at no charge, for the lifetime of the original owner.

To put your lifetime service guarantee into effect as its original owner, you will need to return your product registration card within 30 days of purchase.

The company’s guarantee covers functional defects only, and it will not repair surface damage to the finish, grips, magazines, or sights.

Where to Buy Your Concealed Carry

Although it may be easy and convenient to acquire a firearm online, as a first-time buyer it is best to visit a firearm shop and take advantage of the assistance and advice supplied by knowledgeable sales staff. Gun people love to talk about firearms and share their expertise and experience, and getting a first-hand review from an enthusiast is invaluable.

Talk to an expert firearms dealer

Visiting a gun shop will also give you a good idea of the variation of firearms available on the market and how they work and help you to make a fully informed choice. If you are still undecided about which firearm to purchase, attend a gun show in your area because the folks selling the guns are typically well-informed and knowledgeable.  

Finally, although it is an exciting experience to buy your first gun, remember: a cool-looking gun or one with numerous features is not necessarily the best choice for you. The very nature of a concealed weapon is that it is hidden and not seen. No one should ever see your firearm outside of a rare emergency, and what it looks like is unimportant.

Don’t Take Our Word for It

The best way to find out if a firearm is right for you, whether you are a novice or a professional, is to visit a gun shop that carries the model you are interested in, and one which has a range facility that allows you to rent handguns and test them out for yourself.

One major benefit of using a range before making your choice is the invaluable guidance you can gain from certified instructors on to how to correctly use your firearm.

Each firearm, like each handler, is different, and you can also use this time to develop a rapport with your firearm of choice and test its compatibility with your shooting style and skill level.

Outfitting Your Gun

One crucially important aspect of effectively utilizing a concealed carry weapon is the holster. The speed at which you can draw your gun from its holster with one hand while maintaining control is vital.

One of the first decisions to make when looking for a holster is your preferred style of carrying. Concealed carries are typically held at the waistline, as it is the most easily accessible area of the body and the holster-to-hand distance is minimal. Other popular carry locations include at the ankle and across the back.

While some individuals opt to carry their weapons in a purse or bag and not directly on their person, it is important to consider very carefully before decidingwhere to carry your gun.

iwb kydex holster smith & wesson m p shield

Ask yourself whether your chosen location is ideal in terms of security, safety, and accessibility. Consider whether the gun could be taken away from you without your permission, or stolen, or if a child could gain access to it. If there is any risk of these potentially life-threatening situations arising, a holster is the better option.

Holster material is another opportunity for holster customization that will allow you to utilize your weapon more effectively.Kydex holsters are excellent, minimalist holsters that are lightweight yet durable. Kydex material will also protect your gun from moisture in a way that leather cannot stand up to, and they are great for prolonged everyday use.

It is also essential that concealed carry holsters are compatible with your make of gun. Your holster should fit the gun properly, completely cover and protect the trigger, and not shift around and need readjusting after you sit, stand, walk, or run.

Final Thoughts

The Smith & Wesson MP Shield range of firearms offers a great selection of models to suit practically any buyer. Each piece performs a step above similar models from other manufacturers and offers complete performance for the discerning gun enthusiast and reliability for the entry-level handler.

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