Living With The Smith And Wesson Shield

Living with the Smith and Wesson Shield

A few updates on carrying the S+W Shield on a daily basis…

  1. It’s VERY easy to carry. I forget I’m wearing it most of the time.
  2. Because it’s so thin, my “carry pants” don’t fit well.
  3. The Crossbreed MiniTuck is fantastic. It’s comfortable, keeps the gun where it should be and allows for a good grip on the gun during the draw.

LC9 Magazine v. Shield Magazine

The biggest issue I’ve had so far is dealing with spare magazines. The Shield doesn’t use a single stack or a double stack magazine: It’s more a stack-and-a-half, which means that it’s too wide for 1911 magazine pouches but is too small for double stack magazine pouches.

Here it is compared to the single-stack Ruger LC9 magazine. See what I mean?

Because of this, choices for a weak side magazine carrier are limited at best. Would could go nylon, but I prefer Kydex, and things look pretty barren. Comp-Tac makes a bunch (I kinda like this one for everyday carry) and CrossBreed has some as well, but other that, it’s pretty slim pickings out there.

Other than that, I continue to fantastically impressed with this gun. I put another 50 rounds through last weekend, and punched a bunch of holes into a milk jug 30 feet at speed with no troubles at all. most important, for it’s size, the Shield is incredibly FUN to shoot, which is something I can’t say about any of the other smaller pistols I own. The Shield may take a bit more training and practice to master than a compact pistol like my CZ P07, but it’s far and away the easiest-shooting “mini” pistol I’ve ever owned, and a good choice for someone who’s looking to either upsize their pocket .380 or downsize their compact 9mm.

Gun Culture 1.5

Gun Culture 1.5

In an attempt to get into hunting, I’ve been attending the meetings of the Arizona Predator Callers, and I’m enjoying it so far. They’re knowledgeable, friendly and most importantly, are willing to accept total noobs like myself into their ranks. They also realize there’s a benefit to be gained from reaching out to Gun Culture 2.0. 

One area of commonality is fighting the push by environmentalist to ban traditional ammo. The leadership of Arizona Predator Callers realizes a ban on lead bullets would suck, and they’re eager to engage with other shooters to help block any attempt to have junk science influence our ammo choices. A ban on lead ammo affects ALL shooters, not just hunters, and I support their efforts to throw this bad idea onto the junk heap of history, and you should, too.

There’s a lot of common ground between Gun Culture 1.0 (hunting) and Gun Culture 2.0 (concealed carry), and both sides will benefit if we work together to further our sports. It just needs to happen more often than it does now.

Book The Face

Book the face

Yeah, I’m on Facebook now. I figure it’s high time I put all that l33t internet marketing stuff that I do for a living to use on this blog and get some more revenue page views.

I won’t just foist off the RSS from the blog onto the page so you can read posts there that you could be reading here. Instead, I’ll be mixing new content for just the Facebook page on a regular basis. 

Oh, and I’m on Pinterest as well, and unlike most other Pinterest accounts, I promise to never post pictures of shoes I want to buy. 

I’ll join Friendster, MySpace and Google Wave at a later date.

MUCH later date…

Teaching Your Kids To Shoot

Teaching your kids to shoot

My sons are six and nine now, and they’ve shown themselves to be old enough and mature enough to get behind the trigger. So this weekend, during a camping trip to the Mogollon Rim, I brought a Crossman BB gun and my AR with a .22 adapter and they got to fire a gun “for real”.

Two boys and dad's guns in the woods

Why these guns? They’ve shot the BB gun in our backyard before and enjoyed it, so I wanted to bring along something they’re already familiar with, and the AR is my lightweight upper AR with a Brownell’s .22 adapter, which I brought because it had a bipod and a red dot on it. I wanted something that would fit them (the AR’s collapsable stock suited that well), was easy to shoot (.22LR in an AR has almost no recoil) and something that would give them the immediate gratification of hitting the target. I’ll leave the sight picture and breath control discussions for a later day: Today was all about having fun with guns.

There’s a bunch of opinions about what makes a good first gun for a young kid and I’ll read up them over the next few months as Christmas approaches (shockingly, I’m leaning towards a CZ. Go figure). But for now, I’ll be content with creating memories like this.

I like it!

Shot Showoff

Shot Showoff

Another post in the Smith and Wesson Shield series.

So, how does the durn thing shoot, you ask? 

Very well. 

I started off with two mags of alternating Hornady XTP’s and Federal 115gr FMJ’s, because the FMJ’s are my usual practice ammo and the Hornady’s are my carry ammo of choice. I’m not a big fan of shooting mild FMJ’s for practice and then switching to SuperDeluxe ++P++ Expand-O-Blasters for a defensive round, and I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no difference in gun behavior or felt recoil between the FMJ’s and the hollow points. 

After that, it was a 3 yard Dot Torture Drill.

45 out of 50. Not too shabby. 

Considering this was done within the first 100 rounds I put through the gun, I’m very pleased with a 45 out of 50, and I’m sure that will improve as I get more used to the Shield’s trigger. 

Next up was a side-by-side comparison of the Shield as a defensive gun, and that’ll be tomorrow’s post. 

Who Needs An MP7A1 Or Recoil Magazine?

Who needs an MP7A1 or Recoil Magazine?

This is what set this whole brouhaha off, the Heckler and Koch MP7A1 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon).

Recoil Magazine's CopKiller of the Year

It weighs a bit over four pounds empty, is about 16 inches long with the stock extended and fires an .18 caliber round at about 2400 feet per second or so. Right now, we civilians can’t buy one because of the Hughes Amendment (which bans sales of new full auto weapons to the public), so even if we could get one (which Recoil Mag says we shouldn’t) it would be in a semi-automatic version only and either have its barrel length more than doubled (increasing the weight and decreasing portability) OR be for sale as an SBR, or short barreled rifle, which would require an additional $200 tax stamp and whole lot of paperwork. And that’s not counting the fact that Heckler and Koch product are spendy (sorry HK fanboys, they are. Deal with it.).

So what else is out there?


This is an FN PS90s. It’s semi-automatic with a 16″ barrel, which mean’s it’s fully legal to buy in most free states, fires a .22 caliber round at about 2100 feet per second, weighs about 7 pounds, is about 23 inches long and you can get one without have to beg the government for extra dispensation. Nice, but still a bit expensive at about $1500 out the door.

And now let’s go the wildcard.

Rmr 30 Carbine

The Kel-Tec RMR 30 has been announced for some time now, but I got a chance to play with one at SHOT this year, and I’m seriously impressed. It weighs about 4 pounds, is about 22 inches long with the stock collapsed (30 inches with it open), and shoots a .22 caliber cartridge at about 2000 feet per second.

It’s (still) not readily available, but I suspect it’ll sell for about $450-500 dollars when it hits the shelves… whenever. I’m a big fan of this gun because it ticks all the PDW checkboxes: It’s inexpensive, light, small, easy to handle and fires commonly-available .22 Magnum ammunition versus the more exotic 5.7x28mm ammo of the PS90 and ridiculously expensive 4.6x30mm round that the MP7 uses.

And we still haven’t talked about short-barreled AR-15’s or pistol-caliber submachine guns.

So why get an MP7? Damifino. Recoil magazine sure picked a silly hill to die on, that’s for sure. It’s not that the MP7 is a bad gun (it’s not), it’s just that there’s already alternatives out there for we civilians. Sure, I’d like to own one if I could afford it, but laying my hands on one isn’t a priority for me: Getting better with what I already own is my priority.