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Palm-Size Power: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Review

by G&A Staff   |  April 25th, 2012 94


Smith & Wesson’s new M&P9 Shield now joins the growing crop of palm-size, slim-and-trim single-stack 9mms that have been appearing on the handgun market at a rapid rate over the past two years. It is the lightest and smallest 9mm personal-defense auto S&W has yet offered: only six inches long, 4½ inches high, less than an inch thick and weighing just 19 ounces. Based on the duty-proven full-size S&W M&P design, it will undoubtedly take a prominent place in the concealed carry world.

Moreover, the new Shield is also available chambered in .40 S&W. Same size, same weight, same design, same price (MSRP $449). The only difference between the M&P9 Shield and the M&P40 Shield, in fact, is that the magazines for the M&P40 Shield hold one less round than the M&P9 Shield magazines. The M&P9 Shield comes with one semi-staggered flat-base seven-round magazine and one extended-base eight-round mag; the M&P40 Shield comes with one six-rounder and one seven-round magazine.

Is That a Pistol in Your Pocket?
When it comes to personal defense pistols in general, I’m pretty much like everybody else. As much as I appreciate bigbore cartridge power and as familiar and adept as I may be with a full-size Model 1911 .45 ACP or 4-inch S&W .357 revolver, those are probably not what I’m gonna strap on my belt or tuck in my waistband when I need to leave the house late at night for a quick trip to the local convenience store.

In that situation (and in most daily-routine situations, actually) I’ll be dropping something lightweight, compact and unobtrusive into my pocket, something that’s nonetheless chambered for a cartridge with sufficient authority. Today, that’s most likely a small, polymer-frame DAO 9mm. The new M&P9 Shield hits that sweet spot exactly—although I will be giving the M&P40 Shield a very close look as well.

The Shield format is designed specifically for concealed carry, either in a compact, slim-line holster or a pocket or purse. It can serve either as a primary citizen-carry tool or a full-power, no-compromise backup for off-duty law enforcement officers. In mechanical design and operating features, it is simply a scaled-down version of S&W’s full-size, double-stack M&P duty/service pistols.

The only real difference between the larger M&Ps and the Shield—other than scale—is the Shield’s slimmer magazines and the fact that its grip does not feature interchangeable backstraps. But the much smaller Shield still has the larger M&P’s natural-pointing 18-degree grip angle and hand-fitting contour.

This is very important from a practical point of view. Consider the key differences between a pistol like the Shield and the many somewhat smaller .380 pistols of similar configuration that are also extremely popular these days. While I’m not disputing the effectiveness of modern .380 Auto personal defense ammunition, I much prefer the shootability of a pistol such as the 9mm Shield, simply because its grip is slightly larger and easier to grasp. It has to be, because the 9mm cartridge is slightly longer than the .380 Auto and requires a deeper grip frame and action cycle. In addition, the 9mm’s slightly sharper recoil requires more grasping surface (and weight) for controllability when firing.

In fact, the only problem I have at all with the various tiny .380 pistols on the market is that I have to think very carefully about how I initially grab hold of them if I want to be secure in rapid/repeat-fire situations. Slightly larger slim-line 9mm pistols such as the Shield go more naturally into my hand than a little .380 and are much more “grab and shoot” for me.

In size, the Shield actually comes about midway between pocket .380s and midsize double-stack pistols such as the M&P9 Compact and M&P40 Compact, but it is closer to the .380 and less obtrusive to carry than the compact double-stacks (which are essentially cut-down, full-size M&Ps).

Also important to the shootability issue is the fact that each Shield comes with both a flat-base magazine and an extended-base magazine that holds one additional round. The flat-base magazine provides a two-finger grip with the little finger wrapped under the base of the magazine. The extended-base magazine provides a full three-finger grip.

Most of the quality-made .380 pistols on the market are also offered with extended base-pad magazines as well, but the majority of them only provide a secure hook for the second finger rather than a full three-finger grasp. Even on ultra-concealable pistols, I prefer as much hand-to-pistol contact as I can get, and I have always found very little given away in practical concealment by the less than half-inch extra surface on a full three-finger-grip magazine base.

A final aspect of the M&P Shield pistol’s user-friendly shootability is its uniform short, crisp trigger pull, which again is the same mechanism as found on full-size M&Ps. Nominal trigger travel from rest is only .300 inch, and the reset stroke is only .140 inch. Nominal trigger pull weight is just 6½ pounds.

This is one of the best, shortest and most crisp DAO-type trigger pulls on the market, and it puts the Shield into the same “trigger feel” family as the Glock, the Taurus 709 Slim, the Springfield XD and XDM and the full-size S&W M&Ps themselves—much different than the long-stroke pull and long-reset designs found on many other compact 9mms and most ultra-small .380 DAOs.

Full-Size Features
Mechanically, the M&P Shield pistols utilize a double-action-only, striker-fired, locked-breech (recoil-operated) action with a manual left-side (right-hand) thumb safety, internal self-engaging firing-pin block and articulated trigger safety block to prevent discharge if dropped. There is no magazine-disconnect safety, and M&P Shield pistols will still fire with their magazines removed. The semiauto mechanism features a dual captive recoil spring/guide rod module. The grip frame is Lightweight Zytel Polymer, and the barrel and slide are stainless steel with a satin black Melonite 68 HRc finish. The backstrap and frontstrap of the grip (along with the surface of the magazine-release button) are aggressively stippled for a secure grasp in rapid fire, and the magazine button has just enough height for positive engagement without overprotruding.

All edges, surfaces and corners on the M&P Shield pistols are beveled and rounded for ease of holstering, carrying and drawing. Barrel length on both the 9mm and .40 S&W versions is 3.1 inches.

M&P Shield pistols also have “true duty” low-profile three-dot sights and feature a large square rear notch for quick and easy alignment. Both front and rear sights are drift adjustable for windage, and the rear sight has a locking set screw for stability. The dovetail-mounted front sight allows use of different heights for varied ammunition types. (Personal experience note: At 50 feet the maximum displacement between POI/POA from popular and common 9mm 115-grain loads to 147-grain loads including +P is only about 2½ inches—hardly enough to matter in an up-close-and-personal crisis.)

Another advantage to the M&P Shield pistols compared with most diminutive .380 pistols (again, a personal view) is the fact that the slightly larger frame dimensions allow a design inclusion of a full-size slide lock and external slide-lock latch. I like knowing when my gun has shot to empty (I’m probably not counting rounds in an emergency situation), and I like being able to drop the slide on a fresh magazine with my firing hand still in position.

There is a loaded-chamber view port at the rear top of the chamber for visual confirmation that the chamber is charged. The M&P Shield’s heavy-duty external extractor design is also the same spec as full-size M&P pistols, again stronger than the extractors on many other ultra-compact pistols.

What’s Not to Like?
I first handled and fired an M&P9 Shield during a visit to the S&W factory last February while filming segments for “Guns & Ammo Television.” I was impressed by its controllability and comfort in firing and its quick-to-point accuracy. About a month later, back at PASA Park, I received a review-sample 9mm Shield and put it through my standard 50-foot carry-concealed accuracy and ballistic protocol (I see no reason to review small pistols of this type at any greater distance).

As I have found with other short-barrel 9mms, there was very little velocity loss in going to a 3.1-inch barrel from factory-standard 4-inch test barrels (thanks largely to state-of-the-art propellant technology). At a defense-distance 50 feet, the group averages with five different varieties of premium personal defense ammunition loads from 115-grain to 147-grain (including +P) all came in well under three inches—basically tennis-ball diameter.

And with both the standard flat-base magazine and the extended-base magazine I noticed no real difficulty in maintaining a secure grasp, though I still like the feel of the longer grip. I really wasn’t even aware of the recoil. Admittedly, I shoot small pistols quite a bit more than most people, but there are a lot of small 9mms (and even .380s) out there that are simply no fun to shoot.

Smith & Wesson fans who have been waiting impatiently for the company to join the growing ranks of ultracompact 9mm manufacturers no longer have to wait. And anybody in the market for a pistol this size for serious concealed carry defense needs to give both chamberings for the new Shield pistols a very close look.


Find out about the price and availability of the firearm covered in this article at, where you will gain instant access to the inventory of Davidson’s Inc., one of the nation’s largest factory authorized firearm wholesalers. customers know instantly if the firearm is available and can select from offers presented by dealers in their area. The selected dealer then immediately ships the firearm via Federal Express. Perhaps best of all, guns purchased at are covered by Davidson’s Guaranteed Lifetime Replacement Program Fast. Easy. Hassle-free.

  • ToddR

    Just wish the .40 would hurry up and make it to the shelves and not go so quick I can't get one!!

    • George

      As of 5/10/12-The .40S&W SHIELD is now available! Mine is on the way to my local Venice,FL Gun Shop! Act fast! As they are nearly impossible to get! My Gun Shop was allocated only one of them from his distributor!

  • Jarrod Whitmore

    why did they throw out the ambi features honestly. It is so unbelievably hard to find anything good for lefties when are firearms companies going to fix this it's so annoying. Us lefties will never have anything good. I mean what good is the reversible magazine release if you can't work the safety!

    • mark

      If you carry it in a real holster, you don't need the safety. None of my grown-up m&p's have a manual safety.

      • GunsOfMassEffect

        Yeah I wished they would have omitted the safety kept the ambi controls and interchangeable backstraps but I own the fullsize and compact 9mm for duty and off duty carry love them I will still purchase this gun when I want to wear less clothing on those dog days of summer

      • Brandon

        I really want them to offer this without a manual safety. Looks like I'll be going with the SA XD Subcompact 3" until they do.

    • TJ_Hooker

      This gun has more than one safety. I, as a block man myself will not use the manual safety feature unless I'm at the range or shooting with less experienced people. just my 2 cents…

    • Andrew Conte

      Having served in the military, in addition to the operating features that benefit the right-handed shooter, I also experienced issues with the ejection of the casings flying at my face.

    • Mary

      Try being left-handed and small hands. I was trying to get a CCW, but I couldn't even reach the trigger with my left hand- Apparently the kid hadn't run into a leftie having to shoot right-handed. I kept getting my hands tangled up, because it was so last minute. I still shot a gnat's balls off, but I was clumsy. State requires passing on high calibers. Thought I'd pass- and then legally carry one of my own guns.
      I worry about buying something akin to handling a bolt action rifle on the firing range. That's just not any fun.

  • dan

    The M&P was one of my favorites but sadly the only gun I have sold from my current collection. I can't get around the crappy plastic trigger with an inconsistent break. I really had my hopes up that the shield would have a fix…nope. I sadly have to pass on this. I know Apex started making a newer drop in Glock like trigger but it's to little to late.

    • George

      You evidently didn't read the article thoroughly! The trigger break & reset has been completely redone on the "Shield"!

      • dan

        It's still a polymer hinged trigger.

      • dan

        The article says "A final aspect of the M&P Shield pistol’s user-friendly shootability is its uniform short, crisp trigger pull, which again is the same mechanism as found on full-size M&Ps."

        I don't see where it says it was completely re-worked.

  • Fercho

    Just got one today at Academy sports for $399.00 plus Tax. They got some in stock. I have been looking for a gun with a safety as my boys want to get their CHL. Currently have a PPS and a Bersa BP9CC, The SHIELD's grip is similar to the Bersa, The Bersa still has the shortest trigger reset. I also added a Hogue HANDALL Jr. grip sleeve. It feels perfect. I have been a WALTHER boy but I think we are going to love this M&P

    • matt aronson

      how do u have a bersa bp9cc; according to distributors and dealers, it's new and hasn't hit the market.

      • @fyrewerx

        Google Bersa BP9CC …. they are for sale everywhere since March 1st.

      • dnamichael

        matt. Think you mean BP40cc not approved for sale yet. as of June 21, 2012.. the 9's are available everywhere..

    • michael

      I think your Bersa BP9CC is a DA/SA first shot double and all subsequent shots are Single action. The Shield is DAO
      am I correct??

  • MS Gunner

    Checked one of these out a local gun store. When I get my carry permit, this will definitely be a top candidate for my carry gun. Great feeling pistol to be so small and pretty reasonable price from a great manufacturer.

  • Shadow

    I hope Smith & Wesson comes out with one in .45acp.

  • Andy

    Already having an M&P 40c, the Shield 9mm came out at the perfect time for me. $399 at local gun shopp considered very good deal. Gone to range twice so far. tFun to shoot, low recoil. Extremely easy to carry!

  • Alan_T

    I've got the full size M&P in .45 ACP …. I really want the new sheild in 9 mm . All I have to do is talk myself into the justification for getting another pistol this year !

  • john

    thought it was single action only?

    • Alan_T

      It's Double Action Only ( DAO ) , John . DAO includes all handguns that are not specifically single action or double ( double / single ) action . It's not a very precise term , but that's what we're stuck with .

      • bingmda

        The descriptions for DAO and Sao revolvers is very clear and specific. Whoever decided a striker fired is DAO" is just wrong. It is clearly SAO just like a 1911. Only difference is external hammer vs. internal striker. The letter A refers to action, not whether the hammer is external or internal.

        • guest

          everybody's wrong but you huh bingmda?

          • Bingmda

            You are correct. I'll informed people calling the sky green are just as wrong.

          • bingmda

            When Columbus left Everyone thought he would sail off the edge of the flat earth. Call it a striker fire but it is NOT DAO.

          • Alan_T

            Nice to see that you have a new name dad , but you're still illiterate and don't know what you're talking about .

    • mike

      It is a striker fire. If you do your research or understood striker fire you would all know that it is neither DAO or SAO. Striker fire stores energy when the slide is racked. It does this so that it is easier than a double action but not as easy as a single action.

  • Don Bailey

    This makes it tough to get over my bias for Springfield XD. Having said that though, I've always loved S&W pistols and the fact they're made here in the U.S. makes it even better.

  • Rick

    This isn't a pocket pistol. I picked one up at the Gun Show last week. Maybe in a pair of cargo pants but you can forget jeans or anything similar.

  • Aaron

    M&P makes some nice knives if you can't get this gun concealed that's your next best bet. I can pack this gun all day in a pair of jeans. Check out the bodyguard might be better for you as well.

    • old vet

      There is a way to conceal almost anything, actually it is a matter of comfort and preference. Depending on personal build and what kind of fit/equipment you have will have a lot to do with how you arm yourself.

  • Dave

    I handled one of these right after thay arrived at my local gun store. Since they are cheaper than the compact M&P I was very interested. It was larger than I thought it would be and heavier. I currently carry a Taurus Millennium 9mm with 10+1 capacity (not a pro). My Taurus is a double stack so of course it's a smidge wider but as far as size and weight my Taurus seems smaller. In fact I just got out the tape measure, my Taurus is smaller. Less than 6 inches long and from the top of the rear sight to the bottom of the inserted magazine that too is less than 4.5 inches. If I remember correctly the Taurus is about 19oz as well. So, I'll stick with my regular carry. I also carry a Kahr CW45 at times, it's thinner but a little longer and taller, 19.7oz. I carry that with heavier clothing on. But I agree with an earlier post, the new S&W is not a pocket gun.

  • KEV

    Anyone else want one in .357 SIG?

  • bingmda

    I'm just an old revolver guy but can someone please explain how a striker fired semi is DAO? It takes a slide rack to fire just like a 1911 which is SAO.

    • dnamichael

      Hammers are spring-tensioned masses of metal that pivot on a pin when released and strike a firing pin to discharge a cartridge, like your 1911. Strikers are, essentially, spring-loaded firing pins that travel on an axis in-line with the cartridge eliminating the need for a separate hammer like a glock or kahr (DAO) and many others and usually require 6/9 lbs long trigger pull whereas 1911 can be 3/4 lbs and short travel which makes them better for competition. Long hard triggers require lots of practice or your shots will pull left. CCW people should practice more, period..

  • Nick

    With all due respect, I own a SMith & Wesson M&P 40 Compact, I have many of times fired it in the inside range and I have lost interest in using all together, because, althought it is a great gun I have medium to large hands and every time I fire the weapon after the first or second shot, I accidentally press the magazine release. I think the designed should be change to prevent us big hand guys, in pressing the magazine release accidentally. I have tried supporting the bottom of the gun to bring it higher, however, this is not comfortable and I still release the magazine. In the mean time, does anybody have any recommendations on how to avoid this from happening? Your advise is Appreciated.


    • Alan_T

      Nick , the M&P's have reversable magazine releases , you might try putting it on the other side . I'm not saying that it will help you but it might .

    • dnamichael

      Nick If you have a Dremmel tool you can shave off , very little at a time, from the mag release. Did that on my wifes little Ruger 380, worked perfectly

  • Nick

    With respect of the new S&W Shield, how can I purchase a more compact gun since I keep accidentally pressing the magazine release on my S&W M&M 40 compact every time I fire it


  • george

    The New .40 Shield is now available as of 5/10/2012! My Local Venice,FL Gun Store has one on the way from his S&W Distributor! Act fast! As they are very hard to come by! The U.S. Military & Police will get the Lion's share of them this early in their production!

  • AL Drummond

    Love the article and love my M&P Shield 9 but, unfortunately, Dick wasn't quite correct in his research. Smith and Wesson did, for a short time, make a smaller and lighter 9mm than the Shield. It was called the S&W Sigma SW9M. It was a true pocket size gun with a 7rd magazine, sights that were basically non-existent, and it HURT to shoot. My friend liked to call it the "noisy cricket."

    You can see one prominently featured in the Bruce Willis movie Mercury Rising.

  • Bruce W. Hansen

    The main problem I have with my M&P Shield .40S&W is no mounting rail. While there is not a huge amount of space, there is enough room for a rail in front of the trigger guard. There are lasers coming that use the trigger guard as a mounting point, but the additional support a rail mount would provide would be significant in keeping the laser sighted in. JMHO.

    • Capt. Bill

      I just got the Crimson Trace for this pistol. serial No.56! I find it to be a solid mount with no movement. Well designed and you can't beat the "batteries for free" program from CTC.

  • rchysell

    I am waiting for delivery of my Shield. I am a little confused. The manual available on the S&W site says the rear sight is not adjustable. It says to adjust the front sight if needed.

    G&A review says rear sight is adjustable and I beleive that is probably correct due to the presence of a set screw. Anybody get their Sheild yet to clarify this?

  • Steve

    50 Feet. Come on. Who is going to shoot the Shield at 50 feet? Why didn't they test it at 10 feet and 20 feet. 50 feet in a group as small as a tennis ball. Somebody must be a pretty good shot.

    • guest

      ;i have all three sizes of the M&P 40 and at 30 to 40 yards i can group all of them as small as a tennis ball these guns are great to shoot and very accurate

  • joel

    When I chamber a first round by racking the slide with the trigger fully depressed, the trigger pull for the first shot seems noticeably lighter than the trigger pull that I feel if I chamber that first round by racking the slide without also having the trigger fully depressed. Has anyone noticed that circumstance? Any idea why?

  • doc/ellwood

    I'm a medium sized guy and was used to carrying a full size M&P on the belt. With the Crimson Trace Lightguard mounted, and the belt slide holster made for that setup, it's great for nights and home defense. Since I got the Shield earlier this year, however, it's my go to gun during the day. When CT comes out with the same setup for the Shield I'll no doubt be carrying that most of the time. I appreciate having basically the same pistol to practice with in two sizes, though I'll probably carry the Shield with the safety off as "muscle memory" seems to go the way of all memory as I get older!

  • SMC

    I'm not a big fan of lasers, just personel preference, so can anyone tell me if night sights for full sized M&P's fit the Shield?

  • Jon

    Wow, not many reviews of a gun here. Bottom line for me it's the gun is fantastic! I have owned the LC9, Beretta Nano; It blows these kinds away! People complaining about the trigger, come on. As far as the goes, I have no issues with it, just leave it off? I also have the Sig P938, Both of these Guns shoot well. But M&P has less recoil. The trigger advantage goes to Sig, but by a hair. Haven't shot the M&P enough to know if the trigger will smooth out more.
    That M&P is a keeper!

  • jackmehoff

    All you " I won't buy it because it has safety" retards need to learn the safety doesn't have to be used. If you don't put it on safety, it works just like a gun without one… retards.

  • Ashley

    Would you suggest this gun for a woman just taking up shooting assess getting a permit to carry?

    • Ashley

      And* not assess.

  • Matt

    Bought this gun last month at my local gun show (9mm), finally got to shoot yesterday…what a beauty. This is by far the best gun i’ve owned next to my Sig 229. Well worth paying over what it is worth.

    • Verne McGrew

      you need to get the tried and true colt 1911 1A

      • Marcus

        have one. worst jamming 1911 i own. my phillipines 1911’s blow away my colt. my pos kel tec pf9 works better. and i wish i was lying. He did good with a shield. i love mine

        • Kirk Wilson

          Had several Colt Mustangs – never reliable at all. My Kel tec’s are all better pistols than the Colts. And I have a Armscor 1911 that is flat out accurate and have never had a FTF or FTE.

      • roughman

        That would be A-1…

  • Dave

    I have a S&W 9mm compact with a laser which I like. So I purchased a 9mm Shield and really like this pistol even better then my compact. The shield is thinner and lighter; Which makes it nice easy to carry. S&W has hit the spot with the shield in the conceal carry market.

  • Elia Atkinson

    It’s not DAO – it’s single action.

    • Sergio Ibarra

      Actually, it’s DAO. When the pistol cycles for the next shot, the striker will be
      automatically pre-set in a 98% cocked position. Because the striker is
      only 98% cocked prior to the trigger being pulled, Smith and Wesson
      classifies the M&P’s action as “striker fired (double action only)”.

  • Randy Adams

    This is my first new gun purchase and I’m very pleased with it. I usually wear it with a DeSantis mini scabbard holster which is very comfortable.

    • Ed

      I wear mine with a “Pocket”. Thats why I purchased one. I always seem to have a pocket, and don’t need to strap on a pocket. My other car is a Glock. :)

  • Big RV

    Hard to find a more ideal concealed carry gun! I’ve had plenty in my lineup from J-frames to baby 1911s to pocket .380s and the Shield has become my nearly exclusive carry gun! Only time I do not carry it is when myonly option is a wallet carry of a .380. S&W got the Shield SOOOOOOOooooooooooo right! I’ve got a little over 6,000 rounds through mine in instructing and training and never one fault!

  • Keith Davidson

    I bought this pistol a month ago and what a pistol it is. Right out of the box it shoots right where I put the excellent sights on. I have put 350 rounds through my Shield and have had no errors. It’s accurate from all distances up to 20 yards which is about as far as most will shoot from in defense situations. The Shield is very easy to use and very easy to field strip in order to clean.

  • ObamaTheGreatDivider

    I love the 9mm mp shield. They can’t keep them in stock I am looking for another one.

  • JMD

    Yall need to try the Shied 40…bought one yesterday and have not had the first complaint….and no the recoil is not bad atall

    • Shelley Mueting Bright

      I am SOOOOOO looking forward to this 40 cal in between perfect sized gun! And it will be my first gun purchase. Wanting something for both pp,ccw & range fun! After lots of looking this sure seems to fit the bill in all aspects!

  • Missy Miller

    Ack… any advice fellas….I have used a SW 9mm old school for 10 years and just purchased this model. I had a difficult time at the range with it. Usually a fair shot, took 70 rounds to adjust to near center, nothing like old faithful. I have experience with guns, expert trap and skeet, I don’t speak gun lingo….so be gentle. All my shots, while on the target, came off low, even sighted and I expected the opposite. Loading the clips was extremely tight, after the range, I went to local store and purchased a Lula…this gun left me feeling OLD! Any tips?

    • Gary

      In my humble experience I have found that when I shoot low it’s normally a trigger control problem for me. I have a Beretta PX4 compact that I sometimes shoot low on the first pull in double action and then the follow up single action trigger shots are normally right on the dot. You may be experiencing this with the shield since its a slightly longer, heavier trigger pull than your old school 9mm Smith (I am assuming when you say 10 years old that its a double/single action model) For me it just takes practice and extra concentration on the trigger…

      • Dj

        Usually a low shot, exspecially double action is due to anticipation leaning into it while pulling the trigger. As you know it should suprise you, dont anticipate the awsomeness.

    • squareWave

      You might be pushing in anticipation of recoil. Have you tried firing from a rest, for comparison?

    • Ed

      Just give it time, and put more rounds through it. That’s how your old faithful became “Old and Faithful”. Give yourself some time, you’ll get it.

    • Marcman

      are you placing the target on top of the dot on the front post site. Most combat/self defense hanguns have a site that is designed to put the dot of the front post directly on top (covering) your intended target. So what you want to shoot is directly behind the dot of your front site, if that makes sense. if you are placing your target just over the front site, then your point of aim will be low. Try placing front site dot so it covers your intended target location.

    • Darren

      Low & left? Too much squeeze with your reaction hand (common with small guns). Low & right? Jerking the trigger rather than controlled squeeze. Practice while concentrating on both will cure either problem.

  • Gil

    Love the 40 recoil very manageable. Great sight pic still going to change out to night sights better for low light. Excellent carry

  • daniel

    I just got my Shield yesterday. After about 150rds with no failures, I fired 20 rds of my normal carry ammo (Lehigh Max Expansion 105gr 9mm) This is going to take the place of my Glock 42 and my Glock 19 as my EDC, I can shoot it just as good one handed or two, as my other defensive guns and it is quite comfortable to carry. I’m gonna install grip enhancers on it and XS Big Dots and I think it will be just fine. Good pistol.

  • daniel

    I just got my Shield yesterday, and I am very impressed. I fired about 200rds of range ammo and about 50rds of my carry ammo (Lehigh Defense 105gr Max Expansion 9mm) with no problems. All I did was field strip it when I got it and cleaned the barrel and polished the feed ramp. I am going to add a grip enhancer and XS Big Dot sights on it. It shoots just as well, or better, than my normal EDC pieces which are a Glock 42 or a Glock 19. It is just as easy to carry, and just as accurate. I am a Glock lover, but this S&W fits right in, and I am going to begin carrying it. I really like it. What’s not to like?

  • daniel casher

    I have already posted twice on the merits of this pistol, but I just want to add that I did not go with the XS sights on this one. The rear sight in XS is not tritium, and I wanted a glow in the dark sight front and rear. I went with Ameriglo I Dot O/G on front and rear. That orange front sight is great in daylight and in low light or darkness, both sights glow brightly forming the “dot the I” pattern that I like for fast aiming. I also installed a set of Talon rubberized grips. They make the Shield feel perfect in the hand. There is no better small, 9mm, single stack, on the market. I am a Glock man and I ordered my Shield with no external safety and I got the whole works, paperwork back check and all for $429. I consider that money well spent. I have fired several hundred rounds of different kinds of 9mm ammo through it and have yet to have even one failure of any kind. Five stars for the M&P Shield.

  • Stump

    I bought the shield a few months ago. Loved shooting it anit was accurate. My problem was that I have had surgery on my left wrist and could only 2 hand fire single shots. With the recoil, I lost the grip from my left hand and was basically shooting one handed. I tried several other 9mm and settled on the S&W M&P 9C. I wish I could have kept the Shield also but could only keep one.

    • John McKown


      • Stump

        anit= my contraction form of and it :-)

  • SgPoyzer

    I purchased a S&W 9mm Shield yesterday as a CCW and returned it to the gun shop within 2 hours as it was likely defective. A couple of negative things I noticed was its overly complex design for takedown/field stripping and extreme tightness in the slide and takedown mechanism. The reason I returned to the shop was, as is always my practice with any new weapon, after reading the disassembly instruction I attempted to take it down, which lead to my discovery of the extreme spring tension and tightness of the slide lock and takedown lever. Due to these discoveries I determined I should reassemble the handgun and repeat the takedown process in hopes of it loosening up which led to the next discovery which was that the slide lock would not engage making it impossible to rotate the takedown lever and reassemble the handgun. I took it to the point of sale (gun shop) where the gunsmith attempted to remount the slide and they too were unable to put it back together. This leads me to the conclusion that while many seem to like this particular model, I personally found it mechanically overly complex in design in too tight to make it a reliable and easy to maintain handgun. Hopefully the gunshop, where I have previously purchased my easy to use and maintain Glock 19, will either refund the purchase price or allow me to trade it for a handgun that is as well designed and built as my Glock!

    • Daniel Casher

      I have no trouble taking down my Shield and reassembling it. Maybe you are going the “hard way”. Here is how you do it: Make sure the pistol is unloaded by checking and double checking. Remove the mag and cock the pistol by racking the slide. Rotate the takedown lever down Lightly hold on to the slide and point the pistol in a safe direction and press the trigger. The slide will move forward and come easily off the front of the pistol. Then remove the spring as you would a Glock and the barrel. Your pistol is field stripped. To reassemble, just reverse the process. When you replace the slide on to the rails, be sure and push the takedown lever back as far as it will go easily, and then rack the slide and everything will lock back into place and your pistol will be ready to go. Actually breaking it down and putting it back together takes much less time than reading this post. It is just as easy and fast as a Glock, if not easier.

      • SgPoyzer

        I appreciate your reply Daniel and I actually did just as you described for the take down, however the reassembly is where I ran into difficulty as the slide would not return to the position where I could engage the slide lock and therefore I could not rotate the takedown lever back into its original position. The fact that the gunsmith could not reassemble it leads me to believe that the gun was defective. My review was also based on the reality that my arthritic hands could not handle the extreme tension of spring mechanism and slide lock. After to bloodied thumbnails and cramped up hands and fingers did not make me a fan of this particular handgun. But that’s just me! I’ll stick with my Glock for ease of use, disassembly and maintainance.

  • Nick K

    I got the .40 version last month. My very first gun. One thing that makes a night and day difference, use the extended Magazine and put a grip extension on it. This will give you a place to actually put your pinky if you have larger hands. $17, very worth it.

  • Dai

    “The Shield format is designed specifically for concealed carry, either in a compact, slim-line holster or a pocket or purse.”
    Sometimes what we write can look awfully foolish with hindsight. I sincerely hope that Veronica Rutledge – the unfortunate Idaho mother – was not influenced by this review. The 9mm version of this weapon is what she carried in her purse, and her decision not to use a holster probably cost her her life.

  • JOE B

    I bought mine last week without the annoying safety. Being a Glock only owner to this point I have to say it fits in the single stack 9mm better than any of the competition. Easy to conceal and accurate it will become my go to carry gun. The breakdown is easy which is good as I plan to feed this S&W a large amount of ammo and it may need some cleaning from time to time!

  • Brian Phelps

    Father in law loved my MandP full size40 but wanted something smaller. We went and got him the shield 40 and he loves it. Shot over 200 rounds thru it and it’s a sweet shooting gun. My EDC is a Glock 30s 45 and I love it but after shooting the shield I’m going to get me one and it will become a EDC along side my Glock. It’s a all around great gun.

  • old vet

    Have to agree with you, also have 709 Slim, bought it when it was new kid on block. Not really anything wrong with it, but now wish I had waited for Ruger or Smith. The little Taurus is so small more than my finger is abused after firing it much with full defense loads.

  • dnamichael

    Be carefull and aware with that T/Slim. I had one that went from da to sa and back to da with only one magazine full. Sent back, they returned it "issue resolved". Bull, still alternated DA to Sa and Back to DA. Traded it for Kahr CM9 , that has the sweetest trigger. Short 5lb pull and no stacking and damn accurate @ 30 ft. I even test fired LIMP Wristed with NO issues at all. FYI the CM9 is cheaper version of the PM9 ….

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