Is the Smith & Wesson Equalizer a game changer for folks with dexterity challenges?
Smith & Wesson has had a very busy 2023, and who knows what we can expect next from them? One of their newest pistols that have been released is the Equalizer. A simple design that feels similar to the original old-school M&P Shield. When it comes to a trusty concealed carry pistol, I appreciate a gun that functions without all the fancy bells and whistles that can sometimes make things complicated. I think the Equalizer is a win for Smith & Wesson and for those looking for extra capacity with a pistol that fits their hand size.
If you haven't heard of Smith & Wesson, then you for sure live under a rock. But seriously, Smith & Wesson has been in firearm manufacturing since 1852. They introduced their first firearm in 1854 and produced different revolvers models after that. In 1913, they introduced their first automatic pistol, and the quality of firearms made increased. It wasn't until 2005 that the line of M&P pistol series debuted, but it was a win from the launch. Once law enforcement got ahold of the new line of guns, over 100 departments purchased these pistols. The rest of Smith & Wesson's success is history. Smith & Wesson manufactures quality firearms that law enforcement and civilians alike can trust to perform.
The Smith & Wesson Equalizer pistol comes with a 10-round, 13-round, and 15-round magazine (unless you live in a 10-round magazine capacity limit state). This is where the Equalizer caters to small and large-sized hands. The 10-round magazine sits flush with the bottom of the mag well. Even my hand is a bit too large for the grip leaving my pinky finger without purchase on the grip. The 13-round magazine is the sweet spot for most sized hands, giving enough extra length to grip the gun properly with all fingers on the gun. Finally, the 15-round magazine provides extra length to the gun for large-sized hands or for people wanting maximum ammunition capacity in their carry gun. The spare magazines that you don't use make for great backup magazines.
The Smith & Wesson Equalizer is a comfortable gun to carry with a good balance when fully loaded. It doesn't weigh as much as most full-sized handguns, even with 15+1 rounds. Whether you prefer to carry appendix or 4 o'clock, this gun is comfortable for all-day wear. The aftermarket support for the Equalizer is a bit lacking due to the newness factor of the gun. I prefer to carry appendix, especially for non-full-sized handguns. Crossbreed Holsters is one of the few companies supporting the Equalizer pistol model, with several holster options for whatever carry method you prefer. The Xecutive Holster by N8 Tactical is low profile, with adjustable retention, and is a holster I've been enjoying for appendix carry. The bonus with this holster is you can swap clips, add wings, or even add a soft wedge to it to get that perfect setup you desire.
The Smith & Wesson Equalizer pistol is already optics cut, with a removable plate that unscrews and can be replaced with a red dot optic. The only downside I've found is figuring out what red dot optics will fit this model firearm. No plates come with the gun as it's a direct mount to the slide. The limitation is the length of the optic has to fit in the pre-cut slide, and it seems to prefer a micro pistol red dot. Hopefully, I'll find one that works and update you all in the future, but if you know of one that works, be sure to leave us a comment!
Compact, concealed carry pistols, are known for having short barrels, having more felt recoil, and, let's face it, just not being fun to shoot. Most of these smaller pistols are hard to hang onto when firing because the grip is short and the felt recoil is at its maximum. The Equalizer doesn't quite fit the definition of a full-size handgun, but it definitely doesn't qualify as a sub-compact pistol. The barrel is 3.675 inches with an overall length of 6.75 inches. Of course, the magazine option you choose will determine the grip length, but even so, I'd consider this a mid-size pistol. Because you can choose the right magazine to fit your grip, this gun is easy to hang onto in recoil. It's quite an enjoyable gun to shoot!
I've always trusted Smith & Wesson to make guns worthy of use for self-protection. Since I used to carry the Smith & Wesson Shield, and the Equalizer has a similar look and feel to it, I'm considering adding this gun to my concealed carry rotation. I want to shoot some more Super Vel ammunition through it to get as familiar with the gun as possible and dry fire out of the Xecutive holster to really get used to the draw before carrying it daily. The gun is accurate, comfortable to grip, and easy to aim. I'm a big fan of adding red dots to my carry guns, so an already optic-cut gun saves time and money for me. I personally think all guns should keep being manufactured with iron sights and be optics-ready. Finally, the MSRP on this gun is $599.00, which is a price you can't beat for a carry gun with three magazines and a speedloader.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to carry concealed and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment. Kenzie is also the host of the Reticle Up Podcast, where she interviews competitive shooters, hunters, anglers, archers, entrepreneurs, and outdoorsmen.
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