Ah, the never-ending debate: ‘Which pistol shall reign supreme in the arena of concealed carry?’ A constant topic of debate with all sides quickly devolving into grunts about the other side’s clear fondness for crayon ingestion.
When comparing the Smith& Wesson M&P9 M2.0 c (“c” stands for “compact”) and the Glock 19, it is my belief that only preference will lead you to one or the other.
Both are so similar that comparing them is a bit fruitless since all that separates them are minor details, instead of glaring strengths or weaknesses. Several factors change what makes a firearm correct for you and your situation.
Being on the larger side at 6’2, I'm capable of carrying a full size pistol, but choose not to because of the more noticeable printing and the added length of the grip and barrel makes it less comfortable. And besides, I own both pistols discussed in this article and they handle everything I require.
When choosing the right handgun for you, a balance should be attempted between the size, caliber, and capacity.
Carrying a .22 caliber derringer style pocket gun might be the most comfortable to carry but isn’t the best choice tactically and the same thing could be said for a huge “Dirty Harry” gun. Something in between is ideal and both the G19 and the M&P9 achieve that good balance.
This is where both the G19 and M&P9 shine and why many consider them to be the best balance of all factors and a popular choice for a good portion of the concealed carry community.
Glock has long been the forerunner in this area since they released the G19 in 1988. Since that time, it firmly held the place of the “as close to perfect as possible” position for a lot of concealed carriers.
In a move that left everyone wondering what took them so long, Smith and Wesson released the M&P92.0 compact which closely matches the dimensions of the G19.
Both share the same round capacity, and reliability holds up as each are built to function in all conditions. Although Glock has a far longer track record on conflict front lines and in many law enforcement holsters, M&P is arguably just as reliable and trusted in the same circles Glock is comfortable running in.
They are so similar I wouldn’t recommend one gun over the other. Though I prefer the M&P, I also own the G19 because it’s a quality pistol I know I can rely on. It mostly comes down to personal preference and which you are more comfortable with purchasing and carrying.
Since both pistols retail brand new for about the same price ($500-$600), it can be hard deciding which to pick up as your new CCW pistol. Here are a few things I’ve noticed to help you make an educated decision:
If you already own and shoot other Glocks, I’d recommend staying with the G19. The grip angle will feel right at home in your hands and you won’t have any difficulty picking it up and scoring first round hits.
If you’ve grown up on other handguns, then the grip angle can take a little time getting used to. All this requires is a little time at the range getting out of old habits. Not an impossible endeavor by any means and we could all use the extra range time.
In my opinion, the M&P has a more natural grip angle and fills my hand better compared to the boxier grip of the G19. Both the latest models of each pistol include interchangeable back straps for a more customizable pistol grip.
The stippling on the M&P is a little overaggressive for me. It feels fine in the hand, but I don’t enjoy the rough texture scraping against my skin. I prefer to carry with an undershirt between me and the gun to help prevent chafing.
Mags and Capacity:
Both pistols boast an adequate 9mm 15-round magazine capacity, but each is also able to accept 17-round mags as well. The M&P 9 c 2.0 comes with two grip extensions which slide onto the base of 17-round mags for a seamless integration. The G19 doesn’t include these extensions but they can be purchased from aftermarket suppliers.
Since the grip of both guns is long enough for my larger than average hands, these grip extensions are more cosmetic than anything else, in my opinion.
This detail makes the M&P initially more desirable in my book, but it’s important to note that these metal magazines are substantially more expensive then the polymer mags available for the G19.
It’s easy to find mags from between $10-$20 for the G19 whereas I've seen plenty of M&P mags in my local gun shops going for over $50 each.
If you wanted to, you can even find mags for the Glock that are well over the 17-round limit of the M&P, with 33-round, and 50-round drums available. Not that practical for CCW perhaps, but undoubtedly fun to have.
While there are aftermarket mag extensions available for the M&P, there are few other options for increasing the capacity similar to the G19.
The trigger is the next most notable difference between the two pistols. I dislike the stock M&P trigger due to its clunky, awkward feel and prefer the stock trigger in Glocks. The M&P Pro Series has a reportedly better trigger for a higher retail price, but I have not had the option of testing one as of yet.
If you’re planning on changing out the trigger anyway, like I do, then this may not be an important factor for you. I recommend getting both pistols in your hand and feeling the difference between them to decide which you prefer, or if this is even a factor that you care about.
Products from Apex Tactical are my go-to for aftermarket triggers, but this doesn't mean the M&P9 M2.0 c is useless without a trigger upgrade. It's a perfectly adequate trigger. I only prefer a smoother, crisper trigger.
The stock sights in the G19 are polymer and nothing to write home about even though they’re acceptable for what they are intended. However, I think they are far superior to those of the M&P.
The M&P stock metal sights tend to be rather sharp and I’ve noticed holes being worn in my shirt, not to mention an uncomfortable digging into my skin.
If you decide to purchase the M&P, you’ll probably want to get a set of sights from a reputable company like HI VIZ to help deal with this. Other than the unreasonably, and inexcusably sharp corners, the M&P sights are fine for accuracy and target acquisition and are adequate.
Both these pistols will work great for what you want them to do: save your life. They are reliable and can function as either a full-size battle or a CCW pistol.
Their popularity means it’s easy to find aftermarket upgrades and quality holsters as almost every holster smith will have a dedicated supply for these guns.
Since these pistols are not pocket guns, they’re easy to control and the recoil is manageable for most hands.
Main Take Away:
Both are great guns, worthy of your trust and the correct choice is more preference than anything else. Looking back over this article it would seem that the Glock 19 should be my CCW pistol of choice since I have a few more problems with the M&P then the G19:
- Rough stippling
If these are things I have to put up with, why not just go with Glock? Because, for me, M&P shoots naturally. It feels like I have less to adjust to make first round hits.
The bottom line is this:
Try them both out. Many ranges offer the ability to rent firearms so that you can see which is likely to the most appropriate choice for you. Which did you choose? Let us know in the comments below.