Switching Between Weapon Formats

So I’m looking at getting a larger carry gun. I carry a Shield regularly. I want to get a bigger CC gun. I’m thinking about getting an M&P compact.

I would like to switch to a system where a compact size gun becomes my EDC and I can also lock it up at night and make it my HD weapon.

My mental Hang-up is this. I will still want to carry my shield occasionally depending on what I’m doing. I’ve stuck with the shield for a while because I like the shield safety. It’s small and doesn’t get in the way.

I am considering getting a compact size gun without a safety. Do y’all see an issue with switching between platforms? I may be over thinking it, but I would hate to draw the shield one day and forget the safety.

I like the shield safety for two reasons, holstering (though I would be fine without now). I also like the shield safety for when I carry in a belly band.

I like the idea of a larger carry gun with higher capacity with no safety, but I don’t want my shields to be obsolete. Am I over thinking this?


Someone else may jump in with better info, but I personally don’t have an issue with people doing this. My advise is to make sure you train with the safety. My safety has become ingrained in my drawstroke/grip establishment so much so that I perform the motion with my thumb even when using a firearm with no safety. Doesn’t hurt anything as there’s nothing there to hurt and I still hit my safety automatically when it is there.

As always, the trick is to train for it.


Why not get the M&P Compact with the safety? Not a huge deal if you train some. When I had plastic guns with no safety, I still ‘took’ the safety off when I drew out of habit.


Definitely considering the M&P with the safety. I have the 2.0 full size 5” with the safety. I don’t like how when I rack the slide my fingers sometimes hits it. I also have read complaints about it being engaged accidentally during manipulations. I don’t think it would be a huge deal because I’d ride the safety when shooting.

Part of it is also considering trying a gun without.


How well do you shoot your Shield?
If you’re fast and accurate with the Shield, that should tell you all you need to know.
Want more ammo on board?
Extra magazines are more cost effective than buying a new gun.
There is something to be said for practicing quicker reloads.
YMMV, of course


I will put my .22 LR cents in (inflation… LOL)

I trained and qualified on the 1911, Browning Hi-Power, the S&W .38 2 inch, and also trained on or used on occasion the TT-33, Makarov, and even the Beretta 92 and others.

Around 1985, we laughed at the Glock (and full disclosure, I was an armorer and ordnance specialist and worked with a mix of military, law enforcement and others… just to let it be known there was a wide range of experience)… a ‘Plastic’ gun we thought… it would not last…
Well, the last laugh is on us. It not only lasted it excelled.

The thing is, the Glock and and most of the other polymer framed, striker fired, firearms do not have a manual safety, they have other internal and functional safeties… I have had no problem switching back and forth, from a SA pistol like a 1911, to a DA/SA pistol like a Beretta 92 or a Bersa Thunder, or a revolver which is a totally different operation and reload.

Train with each firearm you carry, practice, even if rarely, with those you do not carry much, just to keep familiar, but train with those you carry daily or weekly… often.

Each platform, each type of operation, be it DA/SA, SA, manual safety, no manual safety, revolver. If you train and practice, you should have no problem and it sounds as if you only intend to switch between different sized firearms of the same manufacturer. :male_detective:


You have just answered your question…

If you got used to carry with safety (thumb safety, grip safety doesn’t matter), I’ll stay with all other carry handguns with thumb safety.
There is no way that in stressful situation you are gonna to think if you need safety off or not…

If you are staying with M&P, so there is no reason to switch your habits.


I forget, the Shield has that tiny metal safety right? The M&P C I used had a ‘paddle’ type ambi safety. I did have problems engaging that safety while shooting. I removed it.

But the above posters make a point, if you train with a safety, you can shoot one without a safety. I don’t think I would want to add a gun with a safety if I was only shooting guns with no (thumb) safety.

You can train around a lot of things, but I am simple, and like things to be consistent. The KISS acronym suits me well.


I either carry my SIG P 365XL or my Springfield Fully Loaded .45. I have trained with both and I am efficient with both. I carry my SIG different than my .45. I use an IWB at 3 O’clock for my SIG and a shoulder holster for my .45. I like the shoulder holster because it helps keep my pants up. I like to think of them as a high power suspenders. On the shoulder holster it has two mag holders which is another reason I like it so much.
As for the type of gun you get, that is all on you. Whatever you are comfortable and confident with.


@Scoutbob, @Jerzy does have a valid point, if you can not train and become familiar with both operations.

As I said before, I have used and trained on a variety of platforms, operation styles, types. I trained to disengage the safety when I draw, I do so even when there is no safety. No time lost, it is muscle memory and training, the thumb sweeps to disengage the safety, even if there is none, but it is part of the draw so if there is none, no problem, if there is one, it is disengaged.
The only real issue is there are a few odd firearms that have a safety that operates different, and as long as you do not seek out odd firearms, there should be no problem

Jerzy does have a valid point though, if you have any doubt, choose firearms that all have similar operation. If you use striker fired with a safety, stay with that and forget hammers, firearms with no manual safety.

I do not think there would be a problem, but… when in doubt, remain with what you are familiar with and are able to train on and become proficient with .


KISS is a wonderful policy…

as is the rule of Ps

Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance :grin:


My prior planning is to keep it simple. :grinning: Works well for me.



Just remember, going out totally unprepared or ready… is totally NFG.


I don’t like to talk about my mistakes… but @Scoutbob should know what can happen.

I’ve been attending a lot of “crazy” classes with loudspeakers, horns, police signals and Instructor shaking my body, shouting at me simulating bad situations.
Believe me… one single change in your carry can cost a lot…
One day I switched holster from AIWB to OWB (9 o’clock) - few times I was reaching wrong spot (boom… you are dead), other time I switched firearm from 1911 (with mag release button on left side) to ambidextrous M&P (with mag release button on right side) - I wasn’t able to make a simple emergency reload (boom … you are dead).
Since that time I know I MUST keep everything uniform. All my handguns have thumb safety (striker and hammer fired) and I do not carry 1911 (this one is for HD and range shooting only). Even my belts are the same (different colors only).


I agree with this. If I could get a compact with a shield safety I would. I like that it stays out of the way.

The shield is a great gun, but I’ve picked up the philosophy to carry the biggest gun you can comfortably. I don’t think a compact gun will be much harder to conceal for me. Honestly, the shield is a great gun, but the benefit is it’s thin. The length of the grip is still pretty substantial. I could easily conceal a gun that was a little wider, had a longer barrel, more rounds, more power, and easier to shoot accurately.

I like to keep my Defensive guns S&W because they are reliable, good customer service, good product support, similar grip angle for each gun, and they come with decent sites out of the box.

I also really like the idea of having one gun I manage regularly. One for HD and carry. I have a little one growing up, and it gives me a little peace of mind to be working with one gun regularly if that makes sense. (The rest locked tight and this one in a quick access safe or on my hip).


Valid point.

I carry IWB, OWB, but usually on the right hip, sometimes should holster, and if a revolver, speed loaders also which is not as easy to carry as a magazine, however, I have used all, trained and practiced with all, and before leaving the house, ensure what rig I am carrying that day, but it is usually two main holsters I use for one main gun now.

Before leaving the house, or before training, put your hands on your holster, put your hand on the grip (do not draw), and simply walk around the house a little (or before training) to ensure you and your body know what you are carrying.

But, it is easier to stay with uniform carry position, holster style ( I have IWB, OWB, Belt Slide, Thumb Break, Paddle Serpa holsters.

That is the good thing… different people are different, and we all have options, some may be able to use more options and some less, but whatever works best, we should be able to find it on the market and be able to practice.


I think these are all really good points. I just wish there was a striker fired pistol that had a safety I liked. I think I’m one of the few people who likes the shield safety :joy:.


Taurus PT 111 is a striker fired firearm with a thumb safety. I actually had to purchase it, in part due to the safety, but it actually felt good in my hand…

And I am still a 1911 , Browning Hi-Power S&W Revolver type of person.

I actually purchased a polymer striker fired handgun.


My third carry gun (and one I still have) is a Glock 43. After the first two, this was a smooth operating gun that I could shoot well immediately. I then bought a Glock 17 for home defense and recently added a Glock 43X as my current carry gun. I intend to buy a Glock 44 to use as a plinker/trainer.

I am a big fan of keeping the same manual of operations for my guns. Professionally, I create tools, templates, and processes so steps can be repeated efficiently. My occupational hazard has followed me into my main hobby and self-defense.

But, that’s me. Others I know have different guns for every outfit (it sometimes seems) and can make that work very well for them.


At least you have the option. Here in CA, we can only carry 10 rounds in mag, so a Glock 27 is just fine. If I had other options, I’d prob pick one with 14 capacity. Lots of choices… If only.