Smith & Wesson’s Shield, the single-stack, striker-fired, polymer-framed mini-pistol, is a ubiquitous choice for concealed carry. Introduced in 2012 and upgraded as the M2.0 in 2017, the Shield has become an immensely popular choice for concealed-carry practitioners, and for good reason. It’s small, thin, light and chambered in a variety of potent calibers; it’s easy to carry and not difficult to shoot, especially with the M2.0 upgrades in the grip texture and trigger.
Owing to its size, pretty much every carry method fits the Shield: inside or outside the waistband, appendix, ankle and even pocket carry are possible. On the range, the Shield really shines, especially the M2.0 version. Smith & Wesson obviously listened to Shield owners and followed trends when making the entire M2.0 upgrade, offering improved grip, shooting and handling.
Models are available with integral Crimson Trace lasers, and versions with thumb safeties are also in the product line for those that prefer such devices on their defensive handgun. The Shield’s popularity brings another important aspect to the concealed-carry table: Aftermarket support. Whether you’re looking for holsters, magazines or replacement parts, there’s a better-than-average chance it exists for the Shield. It’s not something that’s immediately apparent, but the first time you decide to upgrade your sights, the difference between a robust aftermarket and an anemic one can be significant.
Clinger Comfort Cling Holster (MSRP: $19.99)
Generally, we are not huge fans of “one size fits many” holsters, because, quite simply, a holster designed to fit multiple guns isn’t going to fit any of them perfectly. When talking about pocket holsters, though, this rule can be relaxed, as the main reasons for using this type of holster is to keep items out of the triggerguard and to keep the pistol oriented properly in the pocket. For these tasks, the Clinger Comfort Cling holster is an excellent choice. Three-layer construction includes a non-slip outer layer, a low-friction inner layer and a gel-like middle layer for Comfort. The Comfort Cling holds the pistol upright in the pocket and keeps the triggerguard covered, meeting requirements for a good pocket holster.
Crimson Trace Lightguard (MSRP: $89)
We’re seeing more and more weaponlights showing up on everyday carry rigs, and they’re almost exclusively on full-size pistols. With the Crimson Trace Lightguard for the Smith & Wesson Shield, though, you have 110 lumens available at the push of a button in a device that only adds 1.3 ounces to your firearm. The Laserguard mounts around the triggerguard in a clamshell-type design and still allows the Shield to fit in many pocket holsters.
Trayvax Original Wallet (MSRP: $29.99)
Slim metal wallets from Trayvax are excellent ways to keep your necessary identification, credit cards and cash handy without unnecessary bulk. The Original Wallet has an anodized aluminum front plate, integrated bottle opener, mil spec Paracord, an easy-access ID window and points for attachment to packs. In Standard configuration, the Original Wallet can hold three to fourteen cards and up to five paper bills. In Extended configuration, the Wallet’s capacity is increased to 25 paper bills. It’s an inexpensive and rugged way to cut down on “Costanza Wallet.”
Gerber Pocket Square Knife (MSRP: $32)
Striking design isn’t all the Gerber Pocket Square knife has to offer. The three-inch, 7Cr17MoV steel, drop-point blade opens via elongated thumbstud, yielding an overall length of six and three-quarter inches long. Closing the Pocket Square is a two-handed affair, as the stout liner lock is quite sturdy and retracts the blade into the stylish aluminum handles. There’s even a version available with a branded nylon handle at a slight price savings.