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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an idea on how I'm going to approach this but wanted to bounce it off the group to see if I'm missing something.

My son is 22 and has been around guns for years. Not an avid shooter but knows his way around firearms but has never carried in public. He's out on his own now and is wanting a handgun for personal defense.

The two possibilities are a Smith J-Frame revolver or M&P Shield.

I like the .38 for the simplicity but the cylinder gives the handgun a little bit of bulk and if you are not used to it, it can be uncomfortable to carry.

The Shield is thinner and more comfortable to carry. I like the thumb safety for someone not accustomed to carrying in that it offers an added measure of safety. As opposed to a Glock or P320 that lacks that secondary safety measure.

Am I missing anything or way off on my line of thinking? He likes the feel of the Shield a little better than the snub-nose, so I'm leaning towards the automatic over the revolver.
 

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Go to a range and rent both if possible. Go with what you are comfortable with. It's like anything else, go with what feels good to you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Go to a range and rent both if possible. Go with what you are comfortable with. It's like anything else, go with what feels good to you.
Good point. I have a J-frame and a friend has a Shield that I can borrow. If he's more comfortable using one over the other, it makes the choice easy.

Thanks.
 

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I carry my Shield 9mm, in rotation with the SIG P238 and Walther PPK/S

My S&W 686, 4", 357 Magnum is too big and heavy to carry OWB. But, when I go deer hunting, that gun is on my belt when I'm in the woods.
 

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If I were choosing between those 2 (for me), I would pick the .38. Nearly every gun owner needs a .38 so start there. He MAY or may not want the M&P later, but will for sure want a J frame .38 (who does not want one of those). My first (and only weapon for years) was a Colt Agent .38 Special. I still have it and still carry AND shoot it. Nothing wrong with an M&P, but if they had those around 20+ years ago when I first started shooting/carrying, I doubt I would still be shooting it. The merits of an M&P can be debated for days, debates about the merits of a .38 revolver ended LONG ago.
 

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I carried a snub nose for 16 years and when I finally decided thin lite semi-autos were reliable I made the move to a skinny 17oz 9mm some 13 years ago . Never looked back to a revolver for concealed carry . Still hunt with a revolver some but not for CC .

What brand I carried matters little as all make good handgun with occasional turd so deal with it like an adult if you get a turd !!

A small 3.5" 9mm single stack shooting +P ammo offers more energy per round and more rounds before reloading and faster reloads . If your capable of dealing with the recoil many also offer 40sw version with 45 being a bit larger .


Some range with rental with a ammo purchase and rental fee will let you try what they have that's available to shoot so you can get a chance to try several makes or models .

Don't except to shoot any new to you hand guns well . More about finding one that feels right to you . The rest is simple rounds down range to shoot it well .

So between s&w -shield , walther -pps m2 , xd -xds , glock -g43, ruger-lcp2 , kahr-cw9 , Taurus-709 and sig -938 you have a few to research that are liked by many and not like by some too .
 

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I say go to the range and rent the gamut of guns that he finds interesting. Make a whole morning or afternoon of it. And afterwards say man that was fun! Just remember which one put the biggest smile on his face or if he's a more solemn type of guy the one he shot the best. Then go shop around for that particular pistol. He can always buy more later that he likes. But his first will be a keeper not just because you got it for him but also because he truly liked it so much. Double whammy!
 

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I say go to the range and rent the gamut of guns that he finds interesting. Make a whole morning or afternoon of it. And afterwards say man that was fun! Just remember which one put the biggest smile on his face or if he's a more solemn type of guy the one he shot the best. Then go shop around for that particular pistol. He can always buy more later that he likes. But his first will be a keeper not just because you got it for him but also because he truly liked it so much. Double whammy!
This?
 

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I have the performance center shield with fiber optic sights in 9mm and a regular shield in 45. I love both these guns and they shoot amazing especially the 9mm. I'm a big fan of the shields for carry. With the $75 dollar rebate on the shield I'd be jumping on it!
 

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Initially I liked the idea of taking your son to the range and having shoot both to see which he is more comfortable with, but since he's not an avid shooter it probably doesn't matter much. He will be drawn to one over the other but his decision wont be informed. You are his father and an avid shooter, your instinct will be better than his. Pick the one you feel is best and take him to the range with that gun or better yet, enroll him in a defensive training class so that he can spend some time with his own gun and an instructor.

My recommendation for someone who isn't an avid shooter is usually a revolver, but your son may prefer the Shield. Additionally, with the rebate on Shields right now you can get them for under $250. I would have a hard time not going that route. I don't have a Shield and I'm not a striker fired pistol fan (only because I tend not to like striker triggers) and I am having a hard time not buying a Shield right now.
 

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You son is old enough to make his own decisions. but it never hurts to make suggestions to help "guide" him. The recommendations to take him out to the range, and let him try a couple of examples is a good one, as is getting to enroll into a defensive shooting class.

If he doesn't want to put the time in to train, a revolver is a "No Brainer", as a viable solution. Hopefully he never has to use it, but if he does, hopefully not more than one antagonist... and the matter is settled within 5 rounds...

Good Luck!
 

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For me I like a semi Recently sold my last revolver. 70 vintage .38 S&W Model 36 2 inch. Much easier to cc a semi for me. I carried that gun as my off duty for many years while on the police dept. When the dept. went to p226 I still carried it for awhile. Upon realizing how much more I liked a semi. I semi retired the .38. I did carry it once in awhile after retiring from the Dept.. It was just sitting in my safe and felt it was time to get it to someone who would use it.
 

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Firearms collector The XDe is a new handgun so give it some time !! That way You don't become a beta tester . If you remember Springer has had some QC issues in the past with the XD line and firearm arm companies most have had so issues with a new line of firearms so give it some time . Follow treads and watch some of the gunshops to see when there added to there rental fleet .
 

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I have an idea on how I'm going to approach this but wanted to bounce it off the group to see if I'm missing something.

My son is 22 and has been around guns for years. Not an avid shooter but knows his way around firearms but has never carried in public. He's out on his own now and is wanting a handgun for personal defense.

The two possibilities are a Smith J-Frame revolver or M&P Shield.

I like the .38 for the simplicity but the cylinder gives the handgun a little bit of bulk and if you are not used to it, it can be uncomfortable to carry.

The Shield is thinner and more comfortable to carry. I like the thumb safety for someone not accustomed to carrying in that it offers an added measure of safety. As opposed to a Glock or P320 that lacks that secondary safety measure.

Am I missing anything or way off on my line of thinking? He likes the feel of the Shield a little better than the snub-nose, so I'm leaning towards the automatic over the revolver.
A S&W 642 Airweight is 13oz 5 shot revolver, its the only pistol I have ever CC'd and actually forgot I was carrying a gun. With a good LEATHER IWB holster, the fact that it is a revolver is a non-issue for comfort. Capacity may be an issue, but not comfort.

I ALWAYS recommend hammerless short barrel revolvers for every new shooter for EDC. In a purse or IWB, Its a very reliable platform that is stupid simple to operate and does not intimidate the new shooter and can be deployed easily under stress. No fumbling for controls, racking slides, accidentally releasing the magazine...etc. I realize your son is not new to Firearms, but learning a new auto can take time even for the experienced.
 
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