If you’ve been reading Triangle Tactical for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my S&W Shield 9mm for some time now. It’s a good pistol, but I absolutely hate the safety. If I had it my way, the pistol wouldn’t even have it, but since it has a safety, I feel the need to use it just in case it were to get bumped into the on position while holstered.
Some time back a reader who is a S&W armorer offered to get me a couple of safeties for the Shield so I could play around with making an extended safety. I’ve been sitting on the extra safety for a while now contemplating the best way to go about it. As you can see below, there really isn’t much to work with. I’ve really been hoping that someone with the manufacturing capability to make an entirely new extended safety for the Shield would do so before I took on this project, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.
As you can see, not much to work with. The first thing I want to test is whether or not adding a little extra material to the safety really makes the difference that I think it will. I’m not looking for it to be a fullsize 1911 thumb safety, I just want to add a little extra material to the safety to my thumb can get a better purchase on it when flipping it off.
I think the best way to go about doing this is to have a very careful hand, and weld on a bit of material, then shape it the way I want it after the fact. Unfortunately I don’t have a welder in the garage, and I want to mock it up before I permanently alter the extra safety. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I could mock it up with some JB Weld, and then if I like it, I’ll worry about modifying the other safety later on. If I don’t like it, I can scrape the JB Weld off with a razor (or dremel depending how good it adheres to the safety), and it won’t be permanently altered.
So that’s what I did:
I want to make it very clear here: I will not be using the JB Weld safety lever when firing the pistol, and I don’t recommend that you do it either. This is ONLY for prototyping the added material on the safety lever.
I’m humbly optimistic about this. It’s not so much bigger that it will require holster modifications, but I’m hopeful that it will be just enough that it will make working the safety a little easier. As soon as it dries I’ll install it and see what I think.