Hi all, today we are going to be taking a look at two quality concealed carry handguns that we shall discuss and compare fully. We will be asking the question, “Which is the better budget CCW gun?” Thus allowing you to evaluate and help you to decide which may be the most suitable one for your own personal requirements.
So, first things first, let us introduce you to the particular two models we are going to look at – the Taurus PT111 G2 vs S&W Shield.
Why have we chosen to look at these two particular models you may be thinking? Well, they are both similar guns that get brought up together a lot; however, they also have some very striking differences too. So making a choice between the two may not be as straight-forward as you think.
They are both poly-frame striker handguns and suitable for easy concealment. Both brands offer you a 9 x 19mm or .40 S&W, but there is also the slightly larger Shield 45. The Taurus is a double stack loader while the Shield (which is ever so slightly smaller) only has one row of ammunition.
Taurus PT111 G2 Overview
The Taurus G2 has had a good reputation for many years now as a competent and capable budget concealed carry gun. Its magazine can take 12 9x 19mm or 10 .40 bullets. This means it is right on the line of classification between a compact and subcompact handgun.
The magazines have the option of a pinky finger extension base for shooters with larger hands to gain a better grip. There is a control for swappable magazine releasing. This allows for lefties to receive it on their preferred side. A manual safety and a slide release are also in place for those who wish to use them.
Another feature is the thumb and finger rest dimples along the side of the frame and a melted slide to aid an easy draw.
Let’s discuss some specs…
Size wise, the G2 is 6.3 inches long, 1.2 inches wide while it stands at 5.1 inches tall. The barrel is 3.2 inches, and the unloaded weight is 22 ounces.
The trigger is rather a special feature for a striker pistol in that it is a kind of single/double action. This means when you first cock it the trigger has a 1 lb pull right up until the last quarter of an inch. At this point, it takes up to 6lbs to break.
There are Glock style tab takedown levers on either side of the frame. A dud round though will put it into ‘double action’ mode which allows for 6lb pull throughout and second-strike capacity. Now that is cool.
Well, we hope you followed all those points about the Taurus. Now it is the turn of the M&P Shield, so let us take a look…
S&W Shield Overview
First, we will state the sizes for comparison. It is slightly smaller than the G2. And is 6.1 inches long and has a 3.1-inch barrel. It stands 4.6 inches tall and is 0.94 inches wide. And is also 3 oz lighter at 19 ounces which is something you may see as an advantage about this pistol.
The smaller size does mean you get a slightly less capacity and it is a single stack only that can hold either 7+1 or 8+1 9 x 19mm (or 6+1/7+1 .40). This depends on whether you use an extended or flush-fit magazine. For those of you with larger hands, you may find it more comfortable to use the larger one of the two.
The Shield has a hinged trigger as opposed to a tabbed one, and the pull force is the same as the G2.
Lots of upgrades…
This is a gun that you can choose to have with or without the manual safety function. It is offered with a number of cool factory upgrades such as crimson trace lasers, performance center tuning and night sights. There is also a nice FDE finish to the frame. The only factory upgrade offered to the Taurus is a stainless slide. Otherwise, it is aftermarket or bust!
There is a brief overview of the two pistols for you to digest.
Now we will move on to which we suggest to be the better shooter.
The Taurus PT111 G2 or The S&W Shield, What Do We Think?
Realistically, these guns are very similar. And both are fully able to perform as well as you would expect of a subcompact concealed carry weapon. It is as much to do with personal comfort and your own style as to which you may choose; it is entirely subjective.
You need to be thinking about things like – Which one fits my hand the best? – Which feels the most comfortable for me? Remember that, in order to answer these two questions, you need to decide which gun you think feels the best fit into your hand. Which leads on most importantly to the question, how well do you find each gun shoots?
Let’s discuss Recoil…
Recoil is something you must consider but put down to personal perception. The recoil from either of these guns is harsh. And is definitely nothing to overly worry about. With the firing of any firearm, you should just be aware of and be prepared for it, and if so, you will be fine.
The shooting press and owners alike have reported that both these guns are very easy to control and shoot despite their lightness and compact size. Accuracy is something that should also be quite satisfactory for the shooter.
So, As To The Questions Which Should You Get Or Which Is The Best?
Well, that really does depend on what you are seeking for in a carry gun. If one has a feature the other one lacks, then that can make your decision easier. Also, if you are someone with larger hands, we think you may well steer towards the G2 for obvious reasons. If not then it really does (as said earlier) boil down to personal preference.
In reality, both of these pistols are compact enough for easy carry and concealment on a daily basis. Each are reliable guns that you can feel sure to stake your life on with great confidence. And maintenance is simple enough for keeping your firearm active and ready to use at all times.
The grip is more textured on the Shield giving you more of a ‘feel’ to it. While the Taurus has the slightly longer/wider grip. Crucial to firing a pistol is the comfort of your hand, so this needs to be considered seriously. You really need to get your hands on both guns to get your own impressions.
Taurus PT111 G2 vs S&W Shield Conclusion
So lastly, we do hope we’ve helped you with your decision about which of the two pistols to choose? As for the question, which is better…? Well, at the end of the day, that is something only you can answer.
We recommend getting yourself out on the range if possible. That is the only real way you can be sure of your decision.
On paper, the Taurus G2 is the better gun. It can hold more rounds, it’s just slightly larger than the Shield, and it is the less expensive buy. Other than that it is about which one feels better to you. Think of it like this – the one that feels closest to a natural extension of your hand is the one you should finally go for.
Thanks for reading through this review, keep an eye out for more from us. Take care all and happy rootin’ tootin’ shootin’.