I Carry: Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ in a DeSantis Mini Scabbard Holster

posted on June 15, 2018

Welcome to another episode of "I Carry," Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today we have a Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ carried in a DeSantis Gunhide holster. We're also running a High Noon Holsters gun belt, a Crimson Trace flashlight and a Browning knife.

Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ ($399)

If you’re a gun guy, you might be looking at the Shield EZ with a bit of a quizzical look on your face. Yes, it’s very nearly a full-size pistol chambered in a cartridge normally reserved for petite pocket pistols. Well, there’s a reason for that. This gun isn’t made for you. Rather, the Shield EZ is sized and built right for those who might have difficulty handling other defensive guns on the market.

As its name implies, this gun is easy to shoot. The larger size paired with a fairly anemic cartridge means that recoil is negligible. The gun is also designed with diminished hand strength in mind, having a slide that can be drawn to the rear with little difficulty. The magazine even has a loading lever, so users aren’t fighting against the spring with every round loaded. Sure enough, the Shield EZ is easy all-around.

DeSantis Mini Scabbard ($62.99)

For a gun that’s so easily controlled and handled, we wanted a simple holster to match, and the DeSantis Mini Scabbard fit the bill. This holster has all the essentials of a solid carry rig with no potential encumbrances. The form-fitted, all-leather design fits snugly against the contours of the Shield EZ, and a forward cant presents the pistol in an ideal position for a quick draw.

The Mini Scabbard is an outside-the-waistband design and fits all belts measuring up to 1.5 inches wide. A tension-adjustment screw allows users to fine-tune how firmly the friction-fit retains their pistol. Options are available in black and tan leather.

Crimson Trace CWL-201 Flashlight ($79.99)

For an affordable, high-power, do-it-all flashlight, few options are better than the Crimson Trace CWL-201. Pumping out 900 lumens at its highest setting, this all-new option from one of the industry’s leading laser manufacturers provides multi-mode operation via an intuitive tailcap switch that offers high, low, momentary-on and strobe output options.

One of the highlights of the CWL-201 is the inclusion of a combination M-Lok/KeyMod handguard-attachment point, so users can take their daily carry flashlight and mount it directly to their home-defense AR-15, another easily operated, low-recoil, personal-defense tool just like the Shield EZ.

Browning Prism II Knife ($14.99)

The Buckmark brand of Browning is everywhere today, from hunting rigs to clothing to decals on pick-up trucks. Why not show off your Browning pride on your EDC knife? The company’s Prism II is an inexpensive folder designed for daily use. The drop-point blade is made from 440-A stainless steel, chosen for its balance between corrosion-resistance, ease of sharpening and edge-retention. Blade length measures 2.5 inches and opens easily with a single hand, thanks to a built-in thumb stud.

High Noon Holsters Rock Steady Gun Belt ($101.95)

Sometimes, having a gun belt designed to secure your carry rig just isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need a belt that looks even better than it performs. For those instances, the High Noon Holsters Rock Steady lineup of belts is a great choice.

The rig will definitely hold your gun in place, since it’s made from two stitched-together strips of leather with additional reinforcement in the center that prevents rolling and folding. To enhance the aesthetics of the design, the perimeter of each belt is stitched for a clean look like many of today’s popular dress belts.

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