Hi guys ‘n girls. Today we are going to be looking at a pair of great little budget buy handguns. These are both incredibly popular single stack 9mm concealed carry weapons. So, which two guns are we talking about?
But which is the better gun of the two in this M&P Shield vs Sig P938 battle?? Not an easy question to answer, because so much of buying a gun comes down to how a particular model favors to your own preferences. One person may choose the Sig over the M&P and vise-versa. Both have many strong points that make it rather difficult figuring out which would be the best choice for you.
Let us look at both in more detail pointing out the similarities and differences, along with our own opinions. All with the aim of giving you an insight into choosing which one we would consider being the better concealed carry gun.
First of all, it needs to be mentioned that you really can’t go wrong with either of these guns. It is in the differences and your preferences that will decide which one is right for you. Ideally, it is always best to handle and fire both guns. This will help to determine which one feels best for you, so a trip to the range might be a good idea.
A number of manufacturers have modeled micro-framed variants on the 1911 platform. One considered to be up there with the best of them is the Sig P938. Not without good reason too, as it has become one of the most popular guns on the market today.
How ‘micro’ Is The Sig P938?
The P938 has a length of 5.9 inches with a 3-inch barrel. Overall height is 3.9 inches and is a very slender 1.1 inches wide at the controls. Unloaded this piece weighs just 16 ounces. So it is certainly a small sized weapon.
Even though this is a small gun, with the pinky extension magazine fitted it is still suitable for many different hand sizes. The P938 can take 6+1 rounds with the flush fit. With an extended magazine fitted it will fit 7+1 rounds.
These attributes are what lends this gun to be the firearm of choice for so many. With super small size, it sits between the subcompact and a mouse gun. Carry, and concealment is extremely easy with such a lightweight and slim body. Suspended in an IWB holster, this pistol will completely disappear out of sight. And it will hold up to 7+1 rounds of 9mm ammunition rather than .380 Auto rounds which seem to be more commonly used in micro sized weapons.
Added together, the easy carry nature and reliability of using 9mm rounds makes this a very attractive and plausible option. You would have no difficulty to carry the P938 every single day. Many owners and sellers alike do indeed state that this is as perfect a carry pistol as you will ever find.
Now, before talking about the all-important part of owning any gun – the use of and shooting of it. Let us first bring you up to speed with what attributes the Shield has that make it a great contender in this comparison test.
The M&P Shield is another nice and small powerhouse of a gun. Yes, specifications are very similar to the aforementioned P938. Overall length is 6.1 inches with the barrel running to 3.1 inches. This is narrower even than the P938 at just 0.95 of an inch making it not just slender but downright skinny!
It stands a tad taller though at 4.6 inches including the flush fitting magazine. Lastly, unloaded it weighs 21.1 ounces. So as you can see, dimensions and weight differences really are minimal.
Ammunition capacity is 7+1, and it does come with an extended shield raising it to 8+1. One more than the P938 is able to take.
The Sig P938 is single action rather than being striker fired. That is where the 1911 DNA shines through as it includes the firing mechanism design from it. It does, however, lack a grip safety. Just like non-micro 1911s, a frame mounted thumb safety is placed at the rear of the frame. 1911 fans will be already accustomed to this device so will have no trouble operating the controls.
That being said, the Shield has the option of ambidextrous manual safeties. These can actually operate in the same way – flick up to activate. So 1911 fans will easily adapt and master this control mighty quick. Now though, the Shield has an additional integrated trigger safety also in place for optimum safety.
This is not something everybody wants, but for striker fired pistols it goes hand in hand. However, the Shield does not have to engage the safety while being carried. We know plenty of you guys do prefer carrying your firearm to be in the ‘ready to fire’ mode.
You are able to carry with the hammer down, thus needing you to manually decock after loading and cock before firing. With use, this is easily done. We would point out though that some of you do worry about forgetting to do so when the moment of firing does arise.
In certain situations, split seconds are all you have to operate your pistol. In that moment of truth, it is essential for you to be aware of and able to activate the firearm successfully. Practice often, and you will diminish that concern. You need to become at one with any gun you choose to use and for it to be an extended part of your hand.
Alternatively, you can carry, ‘cocked and locked,’ the hammer back with the safety on. The same rules of practice still apply, though. You need to make either operation you choose to become second nature.
So in an M&P Shield vs Sig P938 head to head, what do we think?
Well, both are great, lightweight, easy concealed carry pistols. You can faithfully depend your life on either. Both are suitable for everyday CCW or as a backup weapon.
The Shield does have the capacity to hold one extra round in the magazine. This may not be enough to sway you one way or the other in itself but is worth considering. As to their shooting abilities, again both fair very well. Both are praised for being able to shoot far easier and more accurately than their small size would suggest. Minimum recoil and a fast shooting action give them great appeal.
Being so small does mean shooters with larger hands may have more of an issue firing the P938 than the Shield. The extra length of the barrel on the Shield and the extended magazine does give four finger grip to all but those whose hands are comparable to Grizzly Adams! Of course, the only real way to know is to try them out for yourself.
The other point to consider carefully is which manual safety system you prefer.
The Shield you can purchase with or without it in place so it can be carried on or off. As long as you have a decent concealed carry holster such as the best small of back holster to ensure the trigger is adequately covered, then all will be well – on or off.
The P938 needs you to choose between uncocked or to carry in condition one. Some of you are not particular fans of a manual safety. The 1911 platform does require for you to carry it in some way or another, in deference to the manual safety.
Taking a quick look at the craftsmanship between the two, we do feel the P938 does appeal over the Shield. There is more attention to detail to the piece that the Shield does seem to lack; it appears more ‘plastic fantastic’!