Much has been said about the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Shield. A true pocket-sized 9mm, it’s smaller in almost all dimensions (except height) than a Glock 26 and can easily be concealed in a milliondy-seven different ways. Pocket, inside the waistband or outside the waistband holster, ankle, purse, fanny pack, crotch carry holster, you name it. The less-than-one-inch width goes a long way to making this handgun exceptionally portable.
|Even with the Crimson Trace LG-489 Laser installed, it weighs almost exactly the same as my morning cup of coffee. Coincidence? I think not. Both are life-saving devices and daily necessities.|
|I like that it’s a 9mm. Of course you can now get the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in .40 Smith & Wesson. Although 9mm and .380 ACP have lot’s of similarities on paper, I see a noticeable performance difference when each load is shot through tough clothing barriers. The extra velocity of the 9mm helps it expand more reliably than most of the .380 loads I’ve tested. I’ve found the Shield to be a very controllable gun, even with its small size and light weight. It’s a gun that’s enjoyable to shoot just for fun, unlike many other pocket cannons.|
|The Shield has a positive safety. Without getting into the debate of whether or not you need one on a striker-fired pistol, I will say that it’s comforting on a gun that may be carried in a pocket holster. The safety lever is inset to the frame and unlikely to move without deliberate action, so you can choose to carry with the safety engaged or not. Moving from safe to fire position is very easy with the shooting hand thumb, assuming you’re right handed. The safety is not ambidextrous, so lefties have a little more work to do.|
|I like that the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield will fire with its magazine removed. I don’t really appreciate that the lawyers at Smith & Wesson chose to print “CAUTION – CAPABLE OF FIRING WITH MAGAZINE REMOVED” right on the slide of an otherwise very attractive pistol. Can someone please put the lawyers back in their aquarium?|
|I like the capacity options. The more concealable standard magazine gives the Shield 8 (7+1) rounds of 9mm while the extended magazine adds one more for a total of 9 rounds. This is a great compromise of capacity versus size.|
|Both front and rear sights are dovetail mounted and easily adjustable for windage. I found elevation on the test gun to be right on target. Notice how the rear sight surface is grooved to reduce glare around the sighting dots.|
|The trigger on the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield simply rocks. For a striker-fired pistol, it’s exceptionally smooth and crisp. It’s got just about 1/4 inch of take-up prior to a 6.5 pound crisp break. If you like to keep your finger in place until reset, you can count on just about 1/4 inch forward travel before a positive reset click. The Shield has one of the best striker design triggers on the market.|
|The flush magazine configuration with 7+1 capacity makes this a true pocket gun. Try it with a Galco Pocket Pro holster! I like this configuration with the extended magazine stowed elsewhere as a backup.|
|I dig the grip texture. It’s sure, even with sweaty hands, but you don’t lose traction during shots. Even more importantly, when using an Inside the waistband holster like the Galco Stow-N-Go, it won’t abrade your insides nearly as much as Gilbert Godfried’s voice abrades your ears.|
|How about a grip-activated laser? The Crimson Trace LG-489 Laser for the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield mounts just in front of the trigger guard. Just grip the pistol and the laser is on. Couldn’t be simpler.|
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This makes me want to go get one. I think I will!!
I love mine! I am 63 and this is my favorite gun. check out faliaphotography.com for her video review!
I’m 65 & it’s my favorite too!
Got one added the Crimson Trace laser, purchased an IWB carbon fiber custom holster!
I love it! Very lucky to find one. I was looking for 22 ammo when it had just been delivered and put in the case. Purchased it on site.
Paid $400, could have walked to the parking lot and gotten $1000 for it because of the demand and lack of supply. If you find one, buy it!
Isn’t that the truth! Waited months for this one!
I love mine. I picked it up last December at a gun show, coincidentally the day after the Newtown Shooting. The day was subdued and the crowd at the show was light. There were two Shields in the building and I picked up the only 9mm version for sale ($500; well worth every penny in my opinion). The gun really fits the hand nicely and being super slim hides on the hip. I like shooting the gun with the 8 round magazine the best but think the 7 round magazine works better for concealed carry. The only thing that I’ve done to the gun is change out the factory sights for quality night sights and add the rubberized Talon grips. If money becomes more available I would love to possibly add a Crimson Trace laser. In the next couple of years I plan on picking up another Shield or two and setting them aside for my children.
Got mine as birthday gift from the Mrs. this last year…both are keepers!
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I’m buying my first CCW tomorrow and it happens to be this one. Excited. Might have to get some night sights on it and a laser now!
Congrats to you on getting your CCW! I think you’ll really like the Shield. To me, it’s great size, weight, feel balance so it’s portable yet still easy to control. Hope you like it!
I just bought one and tried it out today and was very happy. Groups were pretty good even at 75 feet and with the extended magazine, I was able keep my pinkie finger on the grip easily, to help control recoil. All the brass ejected nicely to the right, none at the face. Considering how narrow the gun is, I didn’t know how comfortable it would be to shoot, but it was absolutely fine while shooting 100 rounds. (using 9mm).
I also have the shield, except I have the .40. I’m 58, looking forward to getting my chl. I’m going to pick up the 9 to see which one I want to carry.
I too own the Shield. After a few jams and some quick work by the dealer all problems have been fixed. I really like this gun. It is the first I have been able to accurately hit my target at ten yards. I hit 3 inch groups and I’ve never been able to do that with a pistol before.
One objection though. I’m an older guy and I have a lot of trouble racking the slide. I use all the proper techniques (push pull standing up etc) but fully have the time I cannot rack it completely. Maybe my muscles will strengthen but until then I am not ready to fully recommend this pistol to Seniors.
Does anyone know where I might find a 1 or 2 lb lighter spring?
Unfortunately the spring pressure is one of the necessities of a small and light weight gun. The spring has to be heavier to slow down the slide during recoil and return the slide to battery. Since there is not much mass in the slide, the spring has to do more work. If you put in a lighter spring, the slide will be bashing into the frame during recoil, eventually damaging your gun.
The only answer (besides going to a revolver) is moving to a larger and heavier gun. With it’s heavier slide, the spring can feel lighter. If you try racking the slide on something like a full size 9mm (Beretta 92, M&P, or whatever) I think you’ll find the slide much easier to rack than on a compact gun in the same caliber.
It’s just the tradeoff of a smaller gun unfortunately…
I own an M & P Shield and also find the slide a little stiff. I’m a 50 year old woman and this is my first firearm. I hope to get more accustomed to it and/or develop more hand strength with practice.
Hello – I thought this article might help with racking the slide of your Shield. That’s a great little pistol!
Try this: http://blog.beretta.com/how-to-rack-your-handgun-slide-like-a-boss
Hi Katherine. I’m 69 and also had trouble with the slide and especially it was difficult to operate the take down lever. I found the answer on eBay with a reduced strength recoil spring. The spring is more than adequate to handle the recoil but it’s much easier to rack the slide. As to the take down lever, it was nearly miraculous.
Regular practice at the range helped to break in the gun. 300-500 rounds later the slide is like butter and maintenance is a breeze. Best of fortune to you. You’ve chosen a great pistol.