TFBTV: Why the S&W M&P9c May Be the Best Doublestack Subcompact 9mm

In this episode of TFBTV, James tells you why the S&W M&P Compact 9mm is his favorite subcompact 9mm, even more than his revered Glock 26. In a nutshell:

1) More capacity in the same size package as the G26;
2) $100 less expensive than the G26;
3) Better sights than the G26;
4) Fit and finish comparable to the G26;
5) Great ergonomics and features, such as agressive slide serrations and removeable backstraps, dust cover rail;
6) Excellent aftermarket support and features (e.g., Apex trigger);
7) And while the Glock has a much longer track record of reliable service, the M&P9c is already quite impressive for a new gun.

Check out this episode of TFBTV and James will elaborate.

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Transcript ….

[coming soon]



James Reeves

James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, a graduate of Front Sight, the Shooter Performance Institute, and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed-qualified Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for distributor/importer, Interstate Arms Company. He is a coverage litigation attorney by day. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys creating content for TFBTV. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • Ron

    They are nice guns but for some reason they are just less comfortable to carry than Glocks in similar holsters.

  • Rick O’Shay

    Yep to all the above. From the time I started carrying to the 9c, I went through 5 different guns and 4 different holsters. I absolutely love this gun for concealed carry. And honestly, it’s not that much wider or heavier than a Shield, which gets all kinds of hype. If you’re carrying a 9c with a mag that has the pinky extension, the mag is essentially the same length as a Shield, as well.

    • SPQR9

      Yep, I prefer the 9c over the Shield as well.

      • John Yossarian

        I like both – Shields fit in a pocket holster. 9c requires something on the belt.

  • Gambler X

    Ive had a 9C for about a year now and I agree with this.

  • Pete – TFB Writer

    Triggered again. #GlockFTW

    *Drops Mic*

    • James Reeves

      I am trying to buck my Glock fanboy image for the moment, bear with me Pete

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Ha! Great Vid regardlesss.

      • iksnilol

        OH HEAVENS DEAR, REJOICE! MAY THE ANGELS SING TEARS OF JOY! HE HATH SEENETH THE LIGHT!

        • James Reeves

          *for the moment*

          • iksnilol

            GOod enough for me, buddy.

            Good enough for me.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        Glock fanboy? Really?

    • JSIII

      Drop the gun in some water then see what’s trigger and what is not.

  • USMC03Vet

    More Springfield XD snubs!

    James. James Reeves never changes.

    *pitch fork and torches angry mob*

    • James Reeves

      You basically got a PERSONAL shout out at 6:43, where I did everything but say “AND BY THE WAY USMC03Vet just HITS IT ON THE TEETS about how awesome the XD is”. What do you want from me, USMC03Vet?

      • Bigbigpoopi

        He wants you to flash him

      • USMC03Vet

        I’m just jazzin’ ya, James. Don’t hate me, Senpai!

        • James Reeves

          I know, I was just giving it back to you! I did legit mention the XD in no small part due to your comments. SA just hasn’t sent me one in like a year and a half.

    • iksnilol

      You got a personal shoutout, yet you still complain?

      Like, not even I get a personal shoutout and I’m pretty sure that only his wife is more attracted to him than me.

    • Gary Kirk

      With you on the XDs brother..
      Like them far better than the M&P series

      • Billy Jack

        I went to Sig Sauer rehab for my XD problem. Grip safety became an issue. It wasn’t for years then it was. Someone is about to get a ton of magazines and holsters on GunBroker.

        • Gary Kirk

          Never mentioned my sigs.. This is only Glock rehab here..

          • Billy Jack

            We need to start that Gun Owners Anonymous.

          • Gary Kirk

            I’ll take your xd leftovers.. My dad still has one

        • Gary Kirk

          “Grip zone” kinda irritated me..

          • Billy Jack

            Trying to be cool. N1ot sure why they thought that was awesome. “Youre in the grip zone dude”
            Many updates don’t seem worthwhile to me lately. They just want a new product out there for people to buy or to compete with another company. At least they didn’t add Glock gen 3-4 style finger grooves. I’d be happy putting a thick rubber band over the grip safety but armchair lawyers have me scayoh like a child of repercussions after having to defend myself. Maybe something in a nice Hogue grip thingamabob pulled up a little too high? All I’ve ever heard was “prosecutors will hang you for that.”

        • USMC03Vet

          I went from sig to springfield!

          • Billy Jack

            Anything in particular make you jump ship?

      • USMC03Vet

        I like the gap, but not on my handguns……

  • Bill

    I’ve had one for a number of years and no longer consider it a new platform. I’m now carrying both as a duty and off-duty gun. I’d compare it as closer in size to the GLOCK 19 versus the 26.

  • RogUinta

    Throw on an X-Grip and you can run a regular M&P9 magazine in it for a 17-round reload.

    • Jack

      Works without the xgrip too.

  • Disarmed in CA

    I guess I’ll never know unless the good folks in CA vote against the idiots in charge until the Roster is overturned. But since I meet a lot of the ‘public’ I simply do not have confidence that this will happen.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    They are good guns and I think better than their big brother. The only thing I don’t like is the physical shape of the trigger.

  • iksnilol
  • A Fascist Corgi

    The M&P9c with a thumb safety has been my primary carry gun for years. I picked it because ATF tests revealed that along with the Glock it had zero gun-caused stoppages, and a high round count test revealed that they can over 50,000 rounds with only a handful of stoppages. And in my own personal shooting, I’ve never had a single malfunction. Although people should be aware that MAC’s torture tests revealed that they don’t do so great in extreme environments (which most people will never experience). It also has the best balance of round capacity, size, weight, and overall quality in my opinion. And unlike most people, I actually like the trigger.

    However, if I had to pick a carry gun today, I’d probably go with the FNS-9c – which is a clone of the M&P9c. Not only does it look nicer than the M&P9c, but it also has better grip texture and better sights.

    • JSmath

      I was close to buying one but after seeing some videos showing how malleable the FNS polymer becomes when it’s just warm outside, I had second thoughts. It might not really mean anything, but I feel like while living in the last stop before Hell (Arizona), the long term effects of becoming that hot repeatedly would cause problems of some sort.

  • Gary Kirk

    That rail can be a very handy thing with some of the new micro lasers on the market today. Especially for the polymer frame guns you can’t put crimson trace grips on

    • Harry’s Holsters

      Or if you’re going to run a light and some guys are running the ATEI hybrid guns.

      • Gary Kirk

        Was going more along the lines of complete concealed carry.. start adding lights and whatnot to the laser.. Gets a little harder to do

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Most people are not going to carry a light but more and more people are with options like the XC1 and Streamlight TLR6 more people are. My two most requested models are a Glock 43 with TLR and XD Mod 2.
          There isn’t a real down side to a rail on a double stack.

    • Rick O’Shay

      Funnily enough, there’s a crimson trace specific to the 9c. If they could make a micro rail light that had decent lumens, I might stick that on there.

  • EzGoingKev

    What is the knife on the table in the part where the gun is disassembled?

    • James Reeves

      Kev, it’s a Kershaw Spec Bump. I’d post a link if I wasn’t afraid it’d get hung up as spam. Check it out, it’s a sweet knife, and the Speed Bump is a great and less expensive option with the same grip and contour.

      • Swarf

        Wait a minute. You work for the place and Disqus is still a pain in your spam filter?

        TFB’s commenting system needs a right good rogering and a lesson in adult manners.

        • John Yossarian

          At least they let us post pictures here – I can’t do that on Brietbart’s Disqus.

  • UWOTM8

    But what if we have that itch that only the most hipster of guns can scratch?….
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/40e58120146bd6c6e867ad8b016d2d2d502853b7ec8a528c9ff4c9f180b3ea26.jpg

    • JumpIf NotZero

      You like FTEs? Because that’s been my only experiecne with the A1s. The number of times I’ve read, “oh just use that 1911 spring” or “cut a link off of it”. That handgun imo just can not be trusted. I’m sure yours works just fine, but no thanks.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        People seem to have very mixed experiences with the Steyrs. The newer they are the better they seem to work.

      • Jack

        I had an older one that I tried both fixes on and never could get it 100%. I liked the gun enough that I got one of the latest models(I’m a glutton… and they’re competitively priced with M&ps). The new one has been much better. Very little muzzle flip and the trigger is solidly above average for stock. Still not sure about the trapezoidal sights.

    • RSG

      The ONLY thing going for the Steyr (IMO) is the bore axis. Everything else is bleh. Except the aesthetics, which are awful.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    [This specific instance of an item who’s owners have strong preferences] May Be The Best [thus making your chosen item not as good, although this is entirely preference between 10 different options or so]

    Hello clickbait my old friend…

    • James Reeves

      LOL. As if you need clickbait to watch every frame to find something to complain about…

      • James Reeves

        Ooh, or a way to flex.

  • Frank Grimes

    $475 Sigma.

    No thanks.

    I don’t care how many Magnapul videos it was in or how reliable it was for some Coast Guard reservist when he was checking fishing licenses, the Sigma 2 (aka M&P) is a turd.

    • RSG

      The gun is actually ok. The Coast Guard turd is the Sigma.

      • Frank Grimes

        Actually the Coast Guard turd is that beard guy who plays airsoft in Japan and tries to sell gold plated GLOCK barrels.

  • Carl Mumpower
    • SPQR9

      Uh … why does your compact have that big ol’ mass atop it?

      • Billy Jack

        So it looks like wood in appendix mode.

        • Gary Kirk

          Wood with some uhh.. Extra bumps.. No one asks questions about that stuff…

    • James Reeves

      Because of all of the FNS9c love, Phil requested one for me to review on TFBTV. You (FNS) guys won.

    • Carl Mumpower

      The ‘going blind’ need all the help they can get-

  • scaatylobo

    Sorry, but after singing the praise of the G-26 for so many reasons.
    You lost me as a reason to buy the S&W.
    I hated Glocks when they came out [ yea,I am that old ].
    But a friend lent me his G-27 and I was hooked.
    Now own over 45 handguns,8 are Glocks and that is what I EDC 95% of the time.
    I also have become a bit infatuated with the Walther P99C as it is the best trigger of them all [ in SA mode ].
    And you forgot [ or did you ] to mention the plus 2 that most add to the G-26/27magazine to make it hold 2 more rounds in 9MM and 1 in .40 S&W.
    AND my most often carried is a G-23 that I carry G-22 magazines for reloads in the event that I use it and of course do a reload.

    • James Reeves

      Thank you for the comment! I mention that the S&W, unlike the Glock, is 12 rounds flush fit. Add any more grip to the 26 or the M&P9c and I’ll just pick up a 19 instead.

      But yes, the 26 is fantastic. Hard to go wrong with either the 26, 19, OR M&P9c.

      • scaatylobo

        Guess we tend to agree,more or less.
        But I own a 19 and a 17 and the 23 also.
        The G-27 with a plus 2 is not as long or as hard to conceal as a G-19/23.
        Wish I could buy an after market G-30S upper.
        I have a G-30SF and the smaller and LIGHTER upper is not for sale.
        That is a very nice CCW with a good reputation also.
        Retired LEO,and firearms as well as D/T instructor here.

        • James Reeves

          Thanks for bringing your experience to the discussion, I hope to see more of your comments in the future.

          • scaatylobo

            Thank you for the compliment,and I would like to see your opinion of the Walther P99C,as I am very impressed with that tool.
            Have you already covered that one?.

  • Swarf

    Not to pick nits, James, but anything *may* be the world’s best doublestack subcompact nine. My cat *may* be the world’s best doublestack subcompact nine.

    Take a stand, Muscle Hair, it’ll really make iksnilol swoon.

    • James Reeves

      Hahaha…Well played all around, but allow me to elaborate: I agree with you that, indeed, any subcompact autoloading pistol chambered in 9mm which accepts a doublestack magazine (i.e., not a cat) *may* be the best doublestack subcompact 9mm. But my exact position is that it *may* be the best doublestack 9mm, not that it *is*. So while I am reluctant to adopt a position that I don’t actually believe, I *will* hypothesize and give my supporting evidence to you all, and see what everyone comes back with in response. I wasn’t disappointed.

      • Gary Kirk

        You represented your “(sorry don’t know how to bring up star thing on my phone) “points” very well.
        And I actually appreciate that dedication to the art of firearm reporting.. And while I myself may not always agree with you, or share iksnlol’s weird appreciation of you.. Ya generally give good hard points to look at for first time owners..

        • Billy Jack

          I wanted to hate his videos and the bast&*%d tricked me into liking them.

          • James Reeves

            Thanks, Billy

          • Billy Jack

            You’re welcome. Thanks for the content and having a good sense of humor with the pretty boy ribbing.

        • iksnilol

          To be fair, how could I not appreciate him? I mean, it’s like a slightly more tanned, more muscular mirror image. Like, in the end it gives me hope.

          • Dougscamo

            Groan…..not again….

          • James Reeves

            LOLOL Let’s not dismiss the man out of hand, Doug, he’s entitled to his opinion whether it’s accurate *or* whether it’s probably accurate.

          • iksnilol

            You’re right, I should be more creative. It’s just been a rough patch lately, happens to every comedian sooner or later I guess.

            I mean, in the end you run out of.. material, I guess.

          • Dougscamo

            That’s why I’ll only do one show a night…..

          • iksnilol

            But I gotta pay them bills, man.

            Gasoline ain’t free.

          • RSG

            Wooooosh 💨 MAN CARD PULLED!!!!

          • iksnilol

            Pffft… being confident in your heterosexuality to the extent that you can oogle other guys is the very epitome of manliness.

          • Billy Jack

            Correction. Confident in your metrosexuality. I know you’re that guy at the range looking like Fonzy with a mag rolled up in his tshirt sleeve like a pack of cigarettes.

          • iksnilol

            I do have amazing hair, didn’t know that was a metrosexual trait. 😛

            Gotta try that sleeve thing, sounds handy.

          • Billy Jack

            You can’t have a mag pouch full of gel tubes and hurricane proof hair and not be metro.

          • iksnilol

            But I don’t use product… my amazing hair is all natural, that’s why it is amazing.

          • Dougscamo

            Groan….again….

          • iksnilol

            Dude, trust me, if you saw my hair you’d understand.

          • Dougscamo

            You win…..”There is no instance of….benefiting from prolonged warfare”….

          • Billy Jack

            I hereby retract my metrosexuality remark and stand in awe of your luxury ridden mane. With a thing like that on your head I’m sure you must live in an open carry state.

          • iksnilol

            Don’t need a gun, hun.

            Just shine a light on my hair, and the sparkling shine dazes anybody foolish enough to look.

          • Billy Jack

            I meant your hair qualifies as the weapon. I was getting a little seasick watching the M&P9c video. The waves just went on and on. I’m not tactical enough to look at your hair directly. Maybe if I had some level VIIII armor.

    • FarmerB

      > My cat *may* be the world’s best doublestack subcompact nine.
      My Sascha might take issue with that!!

  • Billy Jack

    #8 Comes with coupon for Ballistol Styling Gel

    • Gary Kirk

      Fireclean

  • Treiz

    Love my 9c. Wasn’t seduced by the Shields. Much capacity and full size mags as backup. Sold my G26, first gun I ever bought.

  • Hoplopfheil

    Math don’t lie. Reigning efficiency champ!

  • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

    1) More capacity in the same size package as the G26; Kind of a moot point. Pearce Extensions bump up the Glock’s capacity to 12 and give the magazines almost the same profile/height/capacity as the M&PC9. Not to mention the Glock 26 has a few 30 round options available that are reliable. The M&P only has promags, and thats just a shame.
    2) $100 less expensive than the G26; A Gen 4 will come with an extra magazine, and an already “stippled” grip. Also in the long run Glock magazines are cheaper. ETS Magazines are dirt cheap and are pretty reliable. For the most part they cost about $15 each, while OEM S&W can be $30-40. Unlike the M&P9c the G26 has a decent trigger out of the box. While the Apex Duty kit comes close its just extra money in the long run, and the reset leaves me wanting more.
    3) Better sights than the G26; Better is subjective, they will honestly be replaced on either gun for serious use. IDOT PROs or Trijicon HDs would go on either.

    Both guns are equal in my opinion and which ever you choose will serve you well. But the M&P9c being better is subjective. Now the FN9C would be another story.

    If I’m going to choose a gun from a manufacturer that won’t sell me spare parts (or offer armorer classes to non LEOs). I’d rather go with the FN9C.

    Id rather not send a gun in for minor repairs when I could do it myself though.

    • James Reeves

      Smitty, thanks for the comment. To respond:

      1) You could get extensions for the G26, but they are just that – extensions. They make the gun’s footprint larger. The M&P9c is the same height (well, a tenth of an inch taller) as the G26, but 12 rounds flush fit.
      2a) As Geoff said, OEM M&P mags are $26 right now, while Glock factory mags are $22 (street for both). So you would need to buy 25 extra mags for those savings to factor in.The M&P comes with a flush and extended mag in the box, and mine came with an S&W coupon for a free third mag.
      2b) The M&P9c and the Glock both have horrendous triggers. I will concede that the Glock can be improved very cheaply with a 3.5lb connector, but that’s a bit of a risk for a carry gun.
      3) You can’t give the Glock credit for something subjective and replaceable out of the box (“Unlike the M&P9c the G26 has a decent trigger out of the box”) but then ignore something (less)subjective and replaceable when it favors the M&P, i.e., although the M&P has better sights than the Glock out of the box “they are going to be replaced anyway”.

      I agree with you that both guns are excellent. The difference is that you are sitting on an extra Benjamin to replace those sights or trigger with if you go M&P, and that’s compelling.

  • Greg

    What about FNS 9C?

  • Noah Tahl

    Well, my comparison “on paper,” to use your phrase had one deal breaker. I could not find any load, that would keep a group under six inches at 25′, with either the compact or full size, shooting from a rest. I preferred the feel of the M&P, but not so much so that I was
    willing to sink more into it, even after S&W examined it and claimed
    to have done something to make sure it was in specification. Apparently I was not alone with this, hence the much delayed Apex barrel. Too late. Rather than spend more money, I moved on to Glock 19.

  • billyoblivion

    My wife decided she would like a defensive handgun to carry concealed, and for several reasons her CZ75B is not appropriate[1] to the task.

    My wife is a bit on the short side (under 5’4″), and has smaller hands. We were unable to find a double stack handgun (Glock Gen 4 with the smallest backstrap), XD, Sig P320, S&W, even the 1911 (which was off the table for other reasons) were too big for her.

    So we went to the single stack 9s. The Springfield XDS, S&W M&P shield, and the Glock 43 (we did not look at the Ruger LC9). She (well, we, but with her doing most of the shooting) shot all three head to head (Centennial Gun Range in Centennial CO was *really* nice about that).

    The M&P shot *REALLY* well. My wife shot a little better with it than with the Glock or the Springfield. Ultimately she couldn’t make up her mind between the G43 and the M&P, so we bought both and will ring them out a bit more over the next couple months, then sell the loser.

    [1] This is not a dig against the CZ, it’s a *great* gun, and if I were going some place ugly it would not be my first choice, but it would be second or third. It’s just not a great gun for concealed carry–you either carry it hammer down and have the DA/SA trigger thing, or you carry it cocked and locked with the slightly increased chance of having the hammer snag.

  • john huscio

    I’d still grab the g26. Not a fan of S&W anything (if its not a wheelgun).