View Full Version : Concealability - S&W M&P vs M&P compact?

September 21, 2011, 08:38 PM
Although I have been a shooter for the past sixty years, I've only recently joined the ranks of concealed carry. Easier said than done! Yes, I carry - but I'm having problems. I have a very bony pelvis that interferes. I already have explored shoulder holsters - and I may always have one available - but I really must find a decent concealment belt holster.

That said, I am wondering - All other things being equal [this is a theoretical hypothesis], does the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 compact conceal better than the M&P full size? Obviously, it must to some degree, but - really, how MUCH better? I'll trade this full size for a compact if it makes that much difference.

I'm asking people who actually have been familiar with both.

What's your take?

September 21, 2011, 09:24 PM
I only own a 5" Pro, but... the barrel is tucked away down in your pants. The thickness is the same. So it comes down to grip length.

If you get the compact, you can always put full size mags in it with the grip extender sleeve. Why wouldn't you go with the compact if your primary use is carry?

I had the same situation with my Ruger SR9/SR9c. I always carry it in the compact configuration and put it in the nightstand in the full size grip configuration.

September 21, 2011, 09:33 PM
Kind of depends on body type. For me a shorter grip is easier to conceal. Like was said, you can always use a full size mag if you so choose.

September 21, 2011, 10:23 PM
I've found through my own experiences that the compacts don't really offer that much in the way of concealability. Sub-compacts do, but a half inch on the grip (the barrel length is meaningless if you are carrying IWB) doesn't really help things much in my experience.

If the M&P9 won't conceal I think there is a good chance that the M&P9c won't either and you might be better served looking into something that you can pocket carry like a J Frame. Myself, I conceal a full size M&P9 without issue every day. Body type might have something to do with that.

September 22, 2011, 07:13 AM
I'm 6'2"/200lbs and have CCW'd both the M&P & M&Pc. I find the M&Pc better for my needs as I carry AIWB and the compact's slightly shorter length doesn't dig into the front of my hip when sitting down.
If you want the M&P's mag capacity w/the M&Pc you can always use an M&P mag w/grip adapter (see pic).

ETA: I use the "MrSofty" & "Upper Cut" holsters for AIWB: http://www.highnoonholsters.com/Product_Line/_Mr_Softy/_mr_softy.html


September 22, 2011, 08:57 AM
For belt carry, that is, IWB carry, I would give the Crossbreed holster a try. They have an ironclad guarantee and even a money back free trial period. How can you go wrong?

When I got mine, I tried to find a reason to send it back but couldn't. I've been happy with it since.

September 22, 2011, 07:01 PM
I have both and the compact is much easier to carry. The grip is the hardest part (width being the same) of the gun to conceal and the compact grip is noticeably shorter while still being easy to control while shooting. I have nothing but good things to say about either gun. I'd get the compact and if you need more rounds (for whatever reason) just get the X grip like someone already mentioned.

September 22, 2011, 08:34 PM
For CCW carry it's all in the grips. They will be what prints the most. The smaller the grips the easier to CCW.

I like a CCO sized 45 for my carry gun, a Glock -36 fits this bill at 21oz.

September 22, 2011, 09:16 PM
The short answer is Yes, it makes a big difference with concealing a Full size vs a Compact.

I've owned a M&P fullsize (9mm and 40) and found it a bit difficult to CC due to the longer grip. Esp for a person with a slimmer figure, that extra inch from the grip will stick out when your triying to conceal.

So if you're worried about better concealment, I highly suggest swapping for the compact models. You're not losing anything by doing so, and gaining more concealability and comfort.

September 22, 2011, 10:07 PM
^I agree with this. I own both pistols.

Furthermore, I prefer the flat mag baseplate rather than the one with the pinky rest (the pistols normally ship with one of each). The pinky rest sticks straight up in a holster with any significant cant, which can be problematic in an IWB holster worn at 4 o'clock. FWIW the baseplates are readily interchangeable and the flat one appears to be the same as the standard M&P full-size baseplate.