We’re here at the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis fighting the crowds and shoppers – all 80,000 of them.
The folks at GunUp.com just arranged a private tour of some of the newest offerings from Smith & Wesson – the highlight of which was the new M&P Shield.
Initially offered in both 9mm and .40 Smith & Wesson, the shield is similar in appearance to it sibling M&P line. Polymer frame, comfortable grip contour and no-trigger-pull takedown. While offered in two calibers, the Shield frames are the same in both offerings.
Where it differs, in addition to its slim and very concealable size, is the trigger. It’s a whole new design. Weighing in at 6.5 pounds, we found it to be exceptionally crisp with no detectable take-up and minimal overtravel. It feels a whole lot lighter than the measured 6.5 pounds. The other noticeable difference is in the trigger reset. While we weren’t able to measure the distance here on the show floor, we felt a crisp and distinct reset at what seemed to be about an eighth of an inch. The trigger on this gun is simply sporty. That’s one of our code words for “superlative.”
Also unlike the larger M&P models, the Shield does not feature an adjustable backstrap. Mainly because that would be kind of silly on a pocket sized gun. In our opinion anyway.
Another difference is the additional of a positive safety. It’s unobtrusive and machined to be embedded mostly into the slide so there is not much to catch. Smith & Wesson explained that this was added not so much for those who choose to carry in a belt holster, but to allow more flexibility for purse, pocket, and other types of carry methods.
The M&P Shield ships with two magazines – one with a flat base for maximum concealability and the other with an extension to allow better third finger grip.
This gun has a really great feel to it – we can’t wait to test one at the range.