Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry

This is a discussion on Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all, You may have seen some of my other posts regarding my search for a deep conceal pistol. During my research I found a ...

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Thread: Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry

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    Member Array aceofspades's Avatar
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    Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry

    Hi all,

    You may have seen some of my other posts regarding my search for a deep conceal pistol. During my research I found a lot people saying guns like the S&W Shield or the Walther PPS are difficult to pocket carry, and many steer people towards a J Frame for pocket carry, however, after seeing the following pictures on some other forums, I don't know why;

    See 10th post: Dump my J-frame for a M&P Shield? - AR15.COM

    M&P9 Shield vs M&P fs + M&Pc+ J-frame

    In the rest of this post, please don't take anything I say to be smart ass or combative, I'm not incredibly well versed in the topic and I'm asking because I doubt I'll be able to put a gun at the shop in my pocket and walk around to compare the two, but I don't want to buy the Shield or similar auto based on these pictures and be missing something that will be obvious after I've bought the gun.

    Now looking at those pictures, I cant see what about the shield makes it unbearably large to pocket carry vs the j frame which people say disappears the only part i can see that has a larger profile is the "corner" so to speak near the back of the slide as opposed to the rounded shape of the J Frame. Speaking strictly in terms of size compatibility (NOT reliability or ability to fire from a pocket or any other auto vs revolver point).

    Thanks in advance.
    Ace

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    Member Array msc8127's Avatar
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    Re: Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry

    I can't comment on anything except the j frame as I don't own any small autos. However most of what I've read points to what you've already mentioned in way of the j frame having an easier to conceal shape. I do pocket carry mine as a BUG regularly, and it does ok for that task in a mika pocket holster...however its still pretty obvious there's something going on in my pocket. The average person I run into around town probably doesn't suspect its a gun, but to anyone who carries anything similar it is probably not hard to tell what's going on.

    sent via iCarry

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    Member Array greybeard43's Avatar
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    I carry my shield in a sticky holster in my front pocket. I don't see much difference between that and a j frame. Shield is flat with no cylinder bulge.

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    Member Array Foo909's Avatar
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    I believe it has something to do with the J-Frame shape and canted angle in the pocket.

    I had a PPS but it looked like you were carrying a VHS tape in your front pocket, just the shape I guess...

    Don't let that keep you from getting a PPS though, it was probably the best pistol I have ever owned and the one I have the most regret that I sold. Just not right for pocket carry though.

    As for owning both now, the J-frame kicks the snot out of the PPS for pocket carry.

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    Member Array aceofspades's Avatar
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    Re: Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry

    Thanks for the replies. I would carry in a pocket holster because the situation where I feel pocket carry would be optimal ( at work) requires me to wear light fabric clothing so printing would be a problem if I just put the gun in my pocket without a holster so in my mind in that case, cant would be the same. I'm a big guy ( both fat and big boned) and I carry a smart phone, keys and wallet in my pocket at work so I'm not sure how different I'd look if i replaced one of those items with a gun.

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    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aceofspades View Post
    printing would be a problem if I just put the gun in my pocket without a holster
    In that situation, printing would be the least of your problems.

    If you pocket carry, ALWAYS use a good holster, for your own safety and the safety of others.

    In fact, always use a good holster with whatever method of carry you use.
    scgunlover1, kmagnuss and HotGuns like this.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I have a PT709 which is similar in size to the shield and I have numerous j frames. I find the rounded nature of the j-frame blends a little easier than the squared lines of a small auto. One exception is I bought a Bersa Thunder CC 380 and it has much more rounded edges and seems to pocket carry very easily.

    The other issue is I personally feel more comfortable carrying a Double Action gun in my pocket. The Bersa Thunder CC is a DA/SA with de-cocker and I have no concern carrying it in a pocket. I would never carry any gun without some type of holster that covers the trigger. I also don't carry anything else in that pocket.
    pgrass101 likes this.
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    IF you decide to go with a J-frame, then I highly recommend the 642 or the 442 for pocket carry. They are light weight and the hammer is internal to prevent snagging.
    BugDude and JoeGun like this.

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    Regardless of whether it is at work, at home, out running errands, what ever. A pocket holster is a must. Never leave your trigger uncovered. That is just a ND waiting to happen!
    BugDude likes this.
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    I think that maybe this conversations could actually be considered an auto vs revolver scenario. The reason I say that, is that practically all of the new generation of polymer pocket/ccw guns are excellent, regardless of manufacturer. The perennial snubby plugs on, largely unchanged, with the exception of the material that they are constructed of. I think both platforms have their advantages and drawbacks. When looking at both of these guns, I would say that different carry situations and circumstances would find me carrying either one... or both?
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    Member Array Skidboot's Avatar
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    I don't own a Shield, buy I do own a S&W M&P 45C as well as a Ruger LC9. I also own a S&W Airweight in .38 cal. I carry both the LC9 and the Airweight in a pocket holster, and of the two, I think the Airweight is more comfortable. First, it's lighter; not by a lot, but by enough to be noticeable. And second, its shape conceals well, and my hand seems to fall naturally to the grip. I like both guns, and I carry both, but from the standpoint of comfort, the Airweight gets a slight edge.

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    J-frame because...

    I'm an old fart who appreciates that the j-frame (S&W 642 or 640) is the easiest to carry and operate out of a pocket holster. There is no drill for a double feed, failure to extract, bad primer, etc. If it doesn't go "bang", pull the trigger again! Also, Crimson Trace lasergrips are a great addition. The psychological impact of someone seeing a red dot on their chest with the explanation to them that the red light will be replaced by their red blood has amazing results on their thought process. Whatever you choose, please practice often with it. Buy some snap caps and sit there in you LR practicing sight alignment and trigger pull.

    -=BDD=-

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    Quote Originally Posted by aceofspades View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I would carry in a pocket holster because the situation where I feel pocket carry would be optimal ( at work) requires me to wear light fabric clothing so printing would be a problem if I just put the gun in my pocket without a holster so in my mind in that case, cant would be the same. I'm a big guy ( both fat and big boned) and I carry a smart phone, keys and wallet in my pocket at work so I'm not sure how different I'd look if i replaced one of those items with a gun.
    I'd be glad to hold your wallet for you. Anything to help a friend, lol.
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    A reputable shop should let you put each in your pocket to see how it fits. That is exactly how I decided on my first CCW so many years ago. Just be respectful and don't have anything else in the pocket so you don't scratch up the merchandise.

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    Member Array aceofspades's Avatar
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    Re: Why is the J frame superior to the Shield for pocket carry

    Thanks for all the replies, if u get a j frame it'd be the 442 no lock, but I'm leaning towards a small auto.

    Ya it is a auto vs revolver post, I just wanted to keep it limited to a size and shape discussion as operation/ reliability/ trigger has been discussed many times before.

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