In a simple sentence, I don’t.
I can’t, in all honesty and truth, prescribe anything guaranteed to fix your problems. What, “you,” need for self-defense, in terms of guns, holsters, sights, etc., isn’t like I am giving you a treatment plan to treat a specific medical condition you have. I can’t diagnose you…
Nobody else can tell you what is best for you, either. It requires experimentation. What some people recommend for others to use, or warn them against using, is frankly quite silly. It makes no sense. Me, dictating to you what to use is as idiotic as recommending you wear a certain type of eyeglasses, with MY prescription in it. Sure, it might work for you, but it probably won’t!
So what I’m saying is, BUYER BEWARE. Much of the information you find on the internet is worth exactly what you paid for it. I run this blog for fun, and for your amusement and for the amusement of my friends. I purchase all of this equipment myself. That way I can provide an objective analysis, free of any worries about offending a manufacturer, supplier, or instructor/school. What that means is that I can tell you when a piece of shit comes across my desk, instead of having to smile and tell you about how great it is.
Next time someone tells you that carrying a pistol with a manual safety (like a SHIELD) or a DA/SA semiautomatic pistol will, “get you killed,” it might be wise to take everything they continue to say with an even BIGGER grain of salt. NO PIECE OF EQUIPMENT will replace skill…regardless of what the equipment may be. You can defend yourself with anything, under any condition, with preparation. PERIOD.
So, when folks ask, “what I recommend,” the answer I will give is what works for me…a 6’4″, 250 pound guy with size 12 hands and 20/10 vision, who is missing part of my left index finger and has thinning hair. What works for you might be completely different. So, regardless of who it is coming from, a recommendation or suggestion is still, just an opinion! With all that said, I’m still glad to give you suggestions of what works for me!
The Smith 6904 and the Full Size M&P are both 9mm pistols. The former is an older generation, DA/SA pistol with a manual safety/decocker. The latter is a striker-fired polymer frame pistol. However, BOTH with training, can become capable tools in the hands of a prepared user. The features of either are no more likely than your bathroom shower mat to, “get you killed.”
Whether I have a striker fired pistol (like a Glock or a M&P) or a DA/SA pistol (like a Smith 3913 or 6904 or Beretta 92FS) OR EVEN a DAO pistol like a SIG P226 DAK, or even an old Smith Model 64 .38 Special revolver, I possess the skills to use any of these tools to defend myself.