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Shield or j frame

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Jsg81, Aug 15, 2016.

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  1. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    I am in the market for a carry gun and have my list narrowed down to a S&W Shield or a j frame (no lock 442).

    I am having trouble deciding so I thought I would ask the more experienced people here. This will be the first handgun I have for my CCW permit.

    J Frame: Simple to use and compact. Slow reloads and only five shots without reloading.

    Shield: More rounds without reloading and faster reloads. More likely to have a malfunction (even ammo caused) but not a contact weapon.

    Am I missing something I should be thinking about?


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  2. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    Think about which you like better. Sounds like I'm raising a trivial point, but I don't think I really am when it is examined closely. Your subconscious mind is smarter than your conscious mind is willing to grant.

    A no-lock J frame works for me, because I like simple operation, because that's the kind of guy I am. Simple. (Wait, that didn't come out right...)
     
  3. Fla_dogman

    Fla_dogman Member

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    I would give the shield the nod. I have an auto and a revolver and reach for the auto the most. My revolver is an air weight and is the least noticeable when carrying but the auto has more firepower. Ot really boils down to personal preference because both are good weapons.

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  4. BluesDancer

    BluesDancer Member

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    My primary carry a S&W no-lock 442 right now using a lobo gun leather offset belt clip model holster. If I could do it again I would have done the same thing. Simple is good when going that compact. My view is that if 5 rounds of .38 out of a 442 is not enough, either you need a bigger gun (as in...glock 19 size) or you are someplace you shouldn't be. Point being, I've carried a 442 and never really felt undergunned. Mindset and situational awareness trump number of rounds on tap IMHO.

    If you do go with the 442, ideally see the gun in person first to make sure the sights are aligned correctly (ask me how I know).

    The holster I use is here (highly recommended): http://www.lobogunleathers.com/offset_belt_clip_model

    Of course, keep in mind that while the 442 is great for me, it might not necessarily be great for you. Only you can figure that out. Try to handle both beforehand if possible; it does matter.

    As to the shield I cannot comment due to lack of experience with the platform. I'm sure others will be along shortly to comment on the shield.

    Good luck!
     
  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I say get with the modern times and get the shield. Excellent quality, boringly reliable, compact and skinny (unlike a wheel gun) so easy to hide, cheaper to fire- great choice all around.
     
  6. Cleveland48

    Cleveland48 Member

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    I really like the shield a lot, but I couldn't give up my 442 for one. It's just so easy to conceal in a pocket. Very accurate also once you practice a lot with it. Just get whichever you think is best, you can't go wrong with either one.


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  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I carry a M442 daily in a front pocket and feel its a great choice. As for "getting with modern times" that is bull. The M442 is a modern revolver. Most SD shooting result in a total of 3 shots so the slower reloads should not come into play. New and shinny isn't always better. If that were true the 1911 wouldn't still be popular after over 100 years of service.

    Practice a lot with whatever you decide to carry and hit what you shoot at. That will keep you safer than choosing one gun over another, modern or not.
     
  8. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    Shoot them both and you'll find it's easier to be accurate with the shield. Much better sights and a longer sight radius. Also I would recommend trying the m&p9c. For a little more concealment effort you get 12+1 capacity.
     
  9. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    To be honest I am leaning toward the 442 but did want to get another point of view before I head to pick one up. I have shot both.

    FL-NC: The main thing I think about calling the Shield boringly reliable is if I am having to fire up against something if a fight were to go to the ground. I agree that on a range the one I have shot was very reliable. On the other hand if the fight didn't go to the ground I very well could appreciate the extra rounds which is part of my questioning.

    I have had cash in my pocket for weeks so I appreciate the feedback and helping me come to a decision.


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  10. edmo01

    edmo01 Member

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    I own a 642 (442's silver brother) and a 9mm Shield. Here are my thoughts on the two...

    If you want to carry it in your pocket, the 442 will excel.

    Otherwise, I recommend the 9mm Shield for what I assume is your first handgun.

    Light J frames are hard to shoot accurately without a lot of practice. They are "snappy" with +P ammo can be "not fun" range guns for some.

    My 9mm Shield is too big for me to pocket carry. However, it is a better choice if you want a small, light carry gun which handles and shoots like a bigger gun. It is easy to shoot and is GLOCK-like in its reliability. It will be more "fun" at the range and therefore will make you want to practice more. This is a good thing!

    Let us know what you pick.

    Edmo

    image_zpskqrzfw9s.jpg

    Targets018.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  11. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    This won't be my first handgun but I appreciate your thoughts. I currently have a ruger SP 101 and a ruger Blackhawk both in .357.

    The Blackhawk is my fun gun at the range and what I carry hunting. Normally it is a backup gun hunting but I do want to try hog hunting with it hopefully this year. It also has the 9MM cylinder so I keep all three rounds already.

    The SP 101 is something I can carry in cooler weather but I am looking for a lighter weight option for the warmer months. It is what I reach for if something goes bump in the night.

    I hope that sheds some light on my odd way of thinking.


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  12. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    How long is the barrel on that sp101?

    Personally, if your SP has a 3" or shorter barrel I would STRONGLY suggest a change of plans. Specifically, get a decent hybrid holster and gun belt for the SP, and a proper pocket gun. An airweight J-frame qualifies for the pocket gun, but the Shield is too big as far as I'm concerned. Other candidates include the LCR, LCP, P3AT or similar. Personally, I like having options but would start with a pistol simply because it is a flatter package. Flatness isn't everything but it helps.

    A short barrel SP-101 is easy to carry concealed with a decent belt and holster. Even in the summer. I have carried mine tucked into drawstring gym shorts...still wearing the gun belt of course, just not looped through any pants loops.

    As a side note...the Shield is a nice looking/feeling pistol. I just can't bring myself to buy one given that I already have a 12+1 doublestack that is smaller.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  13. Haywood

    Haywood Member

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    I say 442 But, I'm a Revolver guy. I only carry Revolvers. Most days it's Two J-Frames. Lately Two 442s. One 442 is always in my pocket. Whatever other Snub I carry is AIWB. Wile Two J's are the norm, I also carry a SP101 or a 7 Shot Taurus 617.
     
  14. Predator55

    Predator55 Member

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    I alternate between a kahr CW9 which is a great gun and easy to carry and a Ruger LCR 357. I like my carry piece to be safety free, because in a heated situation I don't want to get caught with the safety on. In summer I find myself carrying the LCR more and if I'm stuck up I can act as inimitable going for my wallet and come out with a 357.just pull the trigger. remember if you need a pistol in defense adrenaline will be high and mistakes are made, a simple revolver is easy and quick, for your first gun I would say go with the smith 442.
     
  15. Bula

    Bula Member

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    I alternate between a 642, a g26 and a g19. Situation dictates which one is on me. I do like the slim Sheild. Don't own one but have handled one. You will be quite well suited with either. I will say that the Airweight is the only one that you actually can forget that you have on your person. I have the Hogue Bantam grips and use an El Paso cforce. The only reason I went the auto route was how crazy the world has become. I do like the spare mag option, although I know it is 'probably' over board on rounds needed. I have nightmares about running dry.
     
  16. Cokeman

    Cokeman Member

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    I shoot the Shield better than a small revolver and that's why I carry a Shield.
     
  17. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I can understand your difficulty in making a choice between two obviously-differing options. I have four 5-shooters in .38, three of which have barrels of 2 inches or less, and the third, a three-inch barrel. I like them all. One of them was my BU/OD gun on the job way back in the day, and another was my father's. None is a S&W, though.

    I also have a single-stack, flyweight 9mm pistol, which is also not a S&W product.

    I find myself wanting to carry one of the fivers from time to time (and sometimes do), but find the nine's round count (8) just a tick more reassuring, I don't pocket-carry my primary (I wear jeans all the time) but do frequently drop a P32 or NAA mini-.22 in a pocket as a secondary.
     
  18. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Jsg81

    I carry both, though in my case it's a Kahr CM9 and a S&W Model 638. I like the Kahr mainly because it is a DAO making the transition between the two guns a little more familiar and easier to accomplish. While both are pocket size I typically carry them in an IWB holster; very easy to conceal and very comfortable to carry.
     
  19. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    You will carry the 442 more than you will the Shield. The gun you leave at home does you no good.
     
  20. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I dunno. I shoot a subcompact pistol better than a snub nose revolver. However, I dont have a subcompact in 9mm any longer.

    I do have a 642, but it is more of a glove box gun. I simply don't shoot .38 special out of a smaller gun very well.

    I do appreciate the simplicity of the revolver. Currently I am favoring the 9mm lcr. I shoot it better than .38 for some reason (maybe due to the extra weight), and it gives me the compact reliability of a j frame size gun.

    For me, I don't have much use for a single stack 9mm. I would rather sport a larger double stack or go with a wheel gun.
     
  21. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    If you're looking for a light, summertime pocket carry, you won't a better gun than the S&W J frames. Over the years, my carry choices have changed, going from IWB with a 1911, then to IWB Sig938, and now to my 642 or 60. And contrary to popular opinion, I shoot my 642 with +P rounds, better than my 938. Something about the simple manual of arms, highly reliable, smooth, no-tangle profile of the J frames, just says carry me.
     
  22. TRX

    TRX Member

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    > Am I missing something I should be thinking about?

    For a carry gun, a comfortable holster that's compatible with your body and clothing is far more important than "which gun."

    The J-frame offers one option not available for any automatic - the inverted shoulder holster. Brown Shoe made them back in the day; (like, half a century ago) Nevada and a couple of others still do. And you can get originals on eBay for a song.

    I wear a J-frame in a Nevada rig under a polo shirt or large T-shirt. No problems with armchairs, car seat bolsters, saggy pants, seat belts, or hassles in the bathroom. Access is simple with one hand - reach under shirt to the grip, pull down.

    If I could find a similar holster for my 1911 or Star I'd carry one of those, but the inverted holster is just too convenient and comfortable to give up.

    (and no, the gun won't fall out; the holster is molded around the cylinder and the trigger guard sits on a ledge, with some elastic just for CYA.)
     
  23. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    For me, there's no reason to have a subcompact gun that's too big to pocket. If I'm going to wear a holster, it's going to carry a Commander; if I can't wear a holster, my J-frame goes in my pocket.

    Anything in between pocket-sized and Commander-sized is pointless, for me.
     
  24. Jsg81

    Jsg81 Member

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    That is a very good point that I haven't put enough thought into TRX. Although I am brand new to carrying concealed I can see how the right holster could make a big difference.


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  25. popeye
    • Contributing Member

    popeye Contributing Member

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    Summer: Shorts with S&W MOD 38 or 442 in front patch pocket. Either gun orients itself with butt up without holster.
    Winter: Det spec or Cobra in jeans back pocket. I've got a 9mm Shield but it never leaves the house and may be converted into another revolver.
     
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