Firearm: Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Metal 9 mm (MSRP: $899)
We’re coming back to the Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Metal pistol in this episode for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it’s an excellent overall choice for a concealed-carry handgun, despite being slightly on the larger side for carry. It’s easy to shoot and quite reliable, two factors that weigh heavily in the choice of handgun upon which one may depend. While, yes, it takes a bit more work to conceal a full-size M&P over one of the compact versions or the Shield, it is by no means impossible, as we’ll cover later in this episode.
First, though, let’s discuss the specs of the M&P9 M2.0 Metal. Being a full-size M&P, it has a 4.25-inch barrel, overall length of 7.4 inches, height of 5.5 inches and weight of 30 ounces. Weight is, naturally, slightly more than the polymer-frame version, but just barely, at only 2.2 ounces heavier. The grip allows all fingers of the firing hand to achieve solid purchase while leaving plentiful room for the support hand, and allows a 17-round magazine to be seated flush with the grip. Four backstraps of various sizes are available to fit the M&P9 M2.0 Metal to the shooter’s hand, as well.
It’s that full, three-finger grip that makes the full-size M&P9 such an attractive option, whether in polymer- or metal-frame guise. Many of the subcompact and micro-compact 9 mm pistols are very easily concealed, but can be challenging to shoot for some folks. There’s always going to be some give and take in the concealability vs. shootability aspect of an everyday carry firearm, and the M&P9 full size obviously falls more on the side of being shootable than concealable. There are smaller options available in the M&P family, or you can opt for different concealment options.
In the end, though, the M&P9 M2.0 Metal offers a solid, reliable pistol that doesn’t take a lot of extra work to shoot competently and can be concealed easily with just a little extra thought toward the cover garment. It’s set up for a red-dot sight using Smith & Wesson’s CORE system of plates, meaning a wide variety of options are available, and as we like to say, more options are always a good thing.
Holster: ANR Design Non-Lightbearing Inside Waistband (MSRP: $52.99)
We’ve gone with the ANR Design Non-Lightbearing Inside Waistband holster to carry the Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 Metal pistol to highlight that, yes, you can conceal this full-size gun, even with a red-dot sight attached. ANR Design’s simple one-piece taco-style design, adjustable retention and simple polymer belt clip give a holster that’s robust, reliable and easy to put on and take off. We’ve featured several holsters from ANR Design previously on “I Carry,” and all models have worked exceedingly well.
Should you want something a little more personalized, ANR Design offers the Non-Lightbearing Inside Waistband holster in several dozen different color and pattern options. Left- and right- hand models are available for a wide variety of handguns, with either a straight-drop for appendix or 10-degree cant for traditional inside-the-waistband carry. Even the attachment method varies, with DCC monoblock clips, polymer loops and other custom clip options available. You can even order a matching magazine carrier. That’s a lot of value in a very reasonably priced holster.
Optic: Trijicon RMR HD (MSRP: $849)
Trijicon’s new RMR HD sits atop the M&P9 M2.0 Metal pistol, a fitting optic for the robust Smith & Wesson handgun. Released in 2023, the RMR HD offers a larger viewing window than the standard RMR as well as a top-mounted battery, all with the same RMR footprint that’s becoming somewhat of an industry standard. Two dot sizes are available, 1-MOA and 3.25-MOA, and both are available with a 55-MOA circle that can be toggled on and off if desired.
The RMR HD keeps the simple function of the RMR family, with large, rubberized buttons on either side increasing or decreasing brightness, and windage and elevation changes made with the same style dial as the RMR. The RMR HD has a forward-facing light sensor for the automatic brightness feature, and there’s a rudimentary aiming point on top of the optic should the battery fail. One item of note with the RMR HD, though. Much like the SRO, the optic overhangs the optics cut somewhat, so check holster fits carefully.