Before I start, I’m a believer in carrying what you will carry. If that means you carry a .380 pocket pistol because of how easy it is, good on you for carrying.
The reason I ask this is over the past few years the G19 has been the gold standard carry gun that’s the perfect size for carry and self defense.
This made me research the M&P compact. So I looked at the M&P compact (which is considered a serious competitor with the G19 for carry), and the only difference between the M&P Compact and M&P full-size is half an inch on the grip.
The way I see it, I’ll take the extra half inch for 3 rounds.
(That being said, I think S&W has these guns set up where the Subcompact, and Compact half mags that extend to the full size gun which makes them a tad more versatile).
So, why not carry a full size? I carried a full size M&P yesterday with 0 problems.
I’m pretty new to carrying, so I am hyper-cautious about printing. Once I get more comfortable carrying a subcompact all day everyday, I may very well consider exactly what you are suggesting. Full-sized guns are easier to shoot fast and accurate and have greater capacity. I just don’t don’t have confidence that I could effectively conceal it all day every day. And if it proved to be significantly less comfortable than my subcompact, I would probably be weak-willed enough to opt for the comfort.
I do a lot of training with my carry gun, and I carry extra mags, so I am confident that in the vast majority of self-defense situations it would do the job. If I find myself in a protracted gun fight, I may regret the limited capacity and need for mag changes. Since protracted gun fights are an extremely small percentage of self-defense situations and since self-defense situations themselves are pretty rare, I feel good about playing these odds.
Good point @Scoutbob. Carrying full size (if you are comfortable with) is a good choice. However it may be great for one person, completely unacceptable for another. That’s probably the reason most of manufacturers come with FULL, COMPACT and SUBCOMPACT versions in their product line.
I personally prefer Compact for IWB (3.6" barrel, 15+1 rounds) and kind of compromise between Full and Compact for OWB (4.25" barrel, 17+1 rounds).
I cannot carry my M&P 4.25" IWB…it just doesn’t fit well.
Whatever the choice is… we have to be sure we operate the tool well and gonna win every fight.
A few years ago, we drove from Florida to Minnesota. We took the long way, avoiding Illinois. I carried my Glock 17 under my arm until we got to the Minnesota border.
I was surprised as how concealable the full-size Glock was. I’m still not comfortable enough with my ability to conceal it, so I carry my 43 or 43X. However, I know that I could carry the 17, at least if I drop the pounds I have planned to drop since getting home from that trip.
Only on the most rare day do I carry my sub-compact (Kel-Tec P11). We are talking once every few years, maybe. The rest of the time will be some variant of a full size. Beretta M9A1, G17, 5" 1911, XD Service… or perhaps the G19. I also realize that my wife would be able to do it as well, however not comfortably, and she would print very likely. There is a reason she chose the P365…
When the apocalypse ends and I have some free gun money, I’m going to look into this gun. The length of the butt is not what bothers me with conceal carry, however, the thickness of the gun is a significant dimension that adds comfort for me. I thought the 43x was silly with its longer grip and short slide, but I wouldn’t mind considering a skinny G19.
I’m going to expirament and keep carrying the full-size just to see if the weight ever does bother me after awhile.
For me I carry full size STR-9 because that was purchased as home defense gun first. I now have 2 of them. 1 for HD and the other for CC. Size wise it is in between a G17 and G19.
Newer to CC and don’t go out much because of pandemic but so far 0 issues with printing that I know of. Have been in and out of dozens of stores albeit right now most of the time with a jacket due to weather.
I have frequently walked my neighborhood for exercise with just a light t shirt as well.
I carry a full size 1911 45acp and won’t carry a compact, I like to have a good grip on my weapon ( I have big hands ) compacts seem to get lost in my hands and controls Safty etc. Are hard to manipulate.