Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

The market for guns is growing faster than the national debt. Paradoxically, the guns themselves are shrinking. Powerful handguns are getting smaller, easier to carry and less expensive. The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield continues this trend. It’s a pistol trimmed down to a size often reserved for weaker cartridges like the .380, but it maintains many of the ruffles and flourishes of its larger siblings in the M&P series. That’s all well and good, except that there are hidden costs that can outweigh the benefits of proliferating pistol shrinkage . . .

A smallish handgun can be difficult to shoot with accuracy due to its short sight radius. A small 9mm gun can twist around in the hand like a python with abdominal cramps. And reliability can suffer when power overwhelms small springs, feathery frames and parts made by pixies. I tested the Shield because I wanted to know if the baby M&P is a worthy entry into the M&P family, or just some marketing maven’s idea of a profitable brand extension.

I Say Hello to My Little Friend

I opened the box expecting to find a Noisy Cricket tucked inside. In its glamorous publicity shots, the Shield looks like a really tiny niney, but the pictures are deceiving. In real life, the Shield is small, sure, but it’s no mouse gun. The Shield measures in at only 6/10ths of an inch shorter than Smith’s M&P Compact and weighs in at less than three ounces lighter.

So what we have here is either a small compact or a big subcompact. What separates this packin’ pistol from the rest of the pack of M&P pistols isn’t its overall length or weight. It’s the Shield’s girth, or rather the noticeable lack thereof. At a dead-skinny .95” wide, this pistol is more that .2” thinner than the M&P Compact. Oh, so you think that .2” is much ado about nothing? Take a look at this slide by slide comparison.

Wrapping my mitt around the Shield was an altogether different experience from handling almost any other pistol. The eight-round magazine provided a full-fisted grip for my medium-sized hands, while the seven-rounder would work best for people who have tiny hands or whose pinkies have at some time in the past suffered a catastrophic bologna slicer accident.

What really made an impression is the way the extreme flatness of the Shield’s stock fit in my hand so perfectly, so naturally, that it felt as if it was custom-made. All of a sudden, the M&P compact that I’ve felt comfortable with for years felt chunky by comparison, if not downright clunky. Even my M642 – all fifteen ounces of it — felt like a war club in my fist after gripping the Shield.

Okay, feel is very important, but what about style? Well, if looks matter, then the Shield passes with a solid B. Appearance-wise, it’s not in the same class as, say, a Kimber Solo Carry Stainless or the peerless Salma Hayek, but in the box or the hand, the Shield looks handsome and well-balanced. It has racy lines and is kitted out with a handle that sports S&W’s customary pebbled (fixed) backstrap and a slide with Smith’s wavy striations. The pistol also features an oversized trigger guard that can accommodate people with gloves, men with porcine fingers, or porcine men with fingers the size of kielbasa. Fit and finish also looked to be spot-on.

I checked the controls, which are located on the right side of the pistol. Shooters who prefer a pistol with a manual safety will be happy with the Shield because it has a manual safety. Those who abjure the use of a safety on a striker-fired DA pistol can leave the Shield’s safety in the off (down, not up) position and forget about it. Try as one may, the clicky and flush-fitting safety will not accidentally be switched on or off, so fuhgeddaboudit.

Those who despise a mag-drop safety will be pleased, too, because if there’s one in the pipe, this pistol will fire even if there’s no mag in the well. Those who require a mag safety will have to look elsewhere or head to what Joe Matafome calls Komiefornia.

The takedown lever and slide lock are in their traditional M&P positions; a shooter who owns any other M&P already knows how to use this one. Like its larger siblings, pulling the trigger is not required to field strip this pistol. All those right-hand controls are finger friendly, tactile and lock positively into position. Unfortunately for southpaws, only the mag release can be reversed.

Straight out of the box the M&P9 Shield was was oozing more oil than the Gulf of Mexico after the BP blowout. Most experienced pistoleros know that an over-oiled pistol is more likely to jam than one that’s properly lubed-up and wiped down (watch it you). So, I did what every self-respecting gun reviewer should do: I carried it to the range and shot it as is, to see what the pistol could do in a pinch.

I stuffed the Shield into a Remora holster, stuffed the Remora cum Shield into my waistband (at the 4 o’clock position at 2 o’clock in the afternoon), slipped on a light T-shirt and pedaled off to the range on a racing-style bicycle with drop handlebars. Normally, my two-wheeler is a sure ticket to Printsville. The Shield is so flat (or my corpus so round) that the piece disappeared – poof! — like a fugitive stock swindler.

The Shield was as comfortable as a well-used metaphor. No sharp edges or pointy bits to gouge skin or catch on a pocket or holster. No beefy swells or bulges to announce the presence of a concealed gun. Anyone – thin or fat, tall or short, smart or stupid, old or young, man or woman, rich or poor, black or white, human or space alien — yes, absolutely anyone can hide a Shield. If the Shield was any more concealable, you could stuff it into your wallet next to Wednesday’s Powerball ticket.

Shooting the Shield

I procured some 9mm range ammo like I was paying for it. I bought cheap, dirty, crummy and mostly Russian steel-cased bargain stuff. (Bears of Brown and Silver always give guns a good workout, as do Tula and low-rent Fiocchi ammo, even though the latter is brass-cased.) Knowing that some Russki ammo is particularly dirty—Brown Bear, I’m talking to you—I brought some muffins to the range to go with the expected jams. And just for giggles, I also brought along some extra hot Ranger ammo just to see if it would overwhelm the M&P Shield.

The brand-new, box-fresh single-stack mags contained springs that were stiffer than a brace of day-old carp. After a bit of a struggle, I was able to load up the seven-round mag after a bit of struggle and some colorful language. Shoving the last round into the eight-rounder was an impossible dream—until I remembered the UpLULA in the bottom of my range bag. Together, the Israeli loader and I made short work of topping-off the recalcitrant mag. Add one more potential source of a misfeed or malfunction, thought I.

Why do I get so excited about testing pistols under adverse conditions? Because I want the tests to be as real-world as I can make them, that’s why. In a life-or-death struggle, guns won’t always be clean and ammo will not always function as it should. Mr. Murphy is always lurking in the background, waiting to have the last laugh, and I’d prefer to have him laugh at me on the range rather than in a dark and deserted parking lot.

Handling the Shield is child’s play (although I recommend it for adults only). It’s nicely balanced and, despite its traditional 18° grip angle, it points well. But not great. If the Shield’s handle was canted another 3° or more, it would be the best pointer since Pearl the Wonder Dog. Alas, a small tilt of the wrist is all that’s required to point properly, without which this dog won’t hunt.

Despite the stubby 3” barrel, the Shield boasts a 5.3” sight radius and bright, three-dot steel sights. By way of comparison, the barrel length on an M&P Compact is 3.5” and the sight radius is 5.7”. Oh, and based on my experience with other M&P pistols, it would be wise to keep some sight paint on hand for the time when one or all of the sight dots pop off.

At self-defense distances, aligning the sights on targets wasn’t too challenging. The front blade is of average thickness, which is a problem at longer distances where the blade obscures too much of the target. This criticism applies to almost all current handguns, where front sights are thick to assure durability and a place to mount a dot. While the Shield’s front blade is too wide for precision distance work, the rear sights are placed widely enough to allow adequate light to pass through. Shooting with “equal light” was therefore a breeze.

Equal height was more of a problem. Aligning three small dots can be a stern test, and it was amplified by the short sight radius of the pistol. The shorter the sight radius, the more even a minor maladjustment will affect the shot. At five yards, this was no issue.

Despite the Shield’s claimed 6.5 pound trigger pull, mine was closer to seven pounds and felt even heavier. That’s about a pound and a half too much, in my opinion. While the trigger will probably soften up with use, it won’t soften by 1.5 pounds. Fortunately, a good gunsmith should be able to tune up a Shield easily, and for all we know Apex is working on a kit now. As additional plusses, the trigger breaks really clean after ¼” of light takeup and the reset is audible and highly tactile, which were the trigger’s best features.

Considering the barrel length and trigger firmness, the M&P Shield was more accurate than it had any right to be. Shooting unsupported, weak hand only is not an area where I excel, but my results were satisfactory.

As expected, groups edged a bit wider as distances increased. Nevertheless, ten-yard accuracy was still satisfactory.

Recoil management is important to making quick, accurate follow-up shots. While a bit flippy, the Shield recoiled less than expected. I tried to get a handle on the Shield’s recoil (pun intended) by firing a snubby for comparison. Although describing felt recoil is like describing color to the colorblind, to me the Shield felt like it had 1/3 less recoil than the M642 firing plain-jane .38Spls. I was absent from law school the day they taught engineering, so I might be wrong if I attribute the Shield’s decent recoil management to its nested recoil springs. Whatever the cause, recoil is quite manageable.

After pedaling to the range on a hot day, my paws were slick with perspiration. Smith’s grippy handle surfaces did their job without sandpapering my hands, but I would have appreciated a bit more aggressive texture. I was never close to losing control of the pistol, but the texture did nothing to inspire confidence. The wavy striations proved to be completely useless. I simply could not rack the slide with my sweaty hands without using the front of my t-shirt as a rag.

Say Bye-Bye to My Little Friend

After ten days of hanging out with the Shield, toting it everywhere and sending a whole lot of ammo down its tiny pipe, I have to say that I really liked it. It represents an excellent combination of portability, reliability, power, style and [low] cost making it a very good all-around pistol.

If the Shield is targeting the market previously dominated by the Ruger LC9, then Smith has succeeded in producing a very competitive pistol for a nearly identical list price. Unfortunately, the heavy trigger holds the Shield back, so I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. Upgrading the Shield’s trigger would turn it into the LC9 killer that Smith & Wesson was aiming for.


Model: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
Caliber: 9mm
Magazine capacity: 8 & 7 rounds
Materials: Stainless steel slide and barrel, polymer frame
Weight empty: 19 ounces
Barrel Length: 3.1″
Overall length: 6.1″
Sights: Stainless steel three dot
Action: Striker Fired
Finish: Black Melonite®
Price: $449 MSRP

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Style * * * *
If pistols had a Louvre, a portrait of this one wouldn’t be hanging in it except, possibly in the underground parking garage. Still, from an aesthetic standpoint, the proportions of the M&P9 Shield are perfect, fit and finish are near perfect and it’s a handsome little gun.

Ergonomics (carry) * * * * *
Good news, fashion slaves. Your days of buying oversized pants are over. IWB, OWB or pocket carried, the Shield is so flat, comfy and stealthy that you might be able to sneak up on yourself.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * *
The heavy trigger cost this pistol a whole star. The three-dot sights and the pistol’s short sight radius worked fine at 10 yards and under, but as expected were outclassed at distance. The pistol is great to hold, recoil was well managed. The Shield was a good shooter and with a few gunsmith tweaks, it would be much better. However, rated “as is,” not “as it might be,” it gets four stars.

Reliability * * * * *
I shot it wet. I shot it dry. I shot it limp-wristed, weak handed. I shot it with ammo so crappy it would gag a maggot. I shot it with the finest JHP ammo known to mankind. I shot it with very hot loads. Through it all, the Shield lit like an old Zippo the first time and every time. Long term durability is difficult to assess based on just a few range sessions with a new gun, but this pistol seems built to last.

Customize This * * * 1/2
It has no rail. Personally, I think that rails belong on stairways, not pistols. Okay, I know that rails and doodads are all the rage, but overburdening this pistol with a lot of crap hanging off it just doesn’t make sense. This is a carry gun; small, light and tuckable. Leave it that way and save the lights and lasers for your bedside insurance policy. For shooters who just can’t help but gild the lily, the Shield has lasers, holsters, sight systems and accessories a-plenty, according to the booklet that came packaged with the gun.

The Shield is slightly heavier and a smidge wider than the LC9, but it feels lighter and flatter. Even considering the unnecessarily heavy factory switch, the Shield is nevertheless sweet enough to cause diabetes. With a street price that should be somewhere south of four bills, there’s no reason not to check one out.


127 Responses to Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

  1. avatarScuba Steve says:

    It weighs about as much as a Glock 26. For those who do not have a Glock 26 already, then you should look at this as well. If you were going to buy a Glock 26 and spotted this one, then do a comparison and make your decision.

    Try to avoid the marketing hype of a company, HEY – look at us we made this great new with super secret technology gun that is priced just right – BUY NOW.

    I would stick with my Glock 26 myself. But that is just me.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      Weight aside, the G26 is pretty thick. I have one and like it, but it is not all that concealable.

    • avatarPhillip says:

      The Glock 26 might weight as much as the Shield but its wide as hell and feels like a chopped down Glock 19. Its not in the same league as the Shield.

      If you want a real compact single stack 9mm check out the the Shield or the Beretta Nano.

      • avatarrjf415 says:

        Had the Glock 27 & 26 as my BUG’s for the last 8 years (great guns)…but when I discovered the Shield I switched…I like the fact that the Shield is flat, easier to pocket carry, just as tough, accurate and reliable as the Glock, easier to take down, able to shoot lead reloads, I like the manual safety (Glock safe-action is a myth), and it’s US made. The S&W M&P Shield is a great choice…

        • avatartommygun says:

          I have a shield 9mm. bought cause of the safety.
          I’m with you on the no safety means no way to get the pistol
          into your carry mode with out a potential accidental discharge.
          I’m just to old to shoot myself.

    • avatarjim says:

      Funny… Scubasteve (aka Glock fanboy) says to avoid the hype of S&W yet recommends a pistol from a company that has overhyped their pistols from day 1. Oh yeah…. How’s that “perfection” working out on a lot of the gen4 pieces of crap?

    • avatarJack says:

      I realize your comment is pushing two years old but the 26 and the Shield are really two different things. The 26 was make to be a wide, but concealable pistol, that would accept the mags of its bigger brothers, the 17 and 19. In that roll, it performs admirably; but, for many of us it’s not that much different than concealing a 19 (which I did for years on the job.) It’s still pretty wide.

      The Shield is the handgun that Glock, so far, still refuses to make; a thin(!!), ultra reliable, single stack 9mm. Did I mention thin?

    • avatarBubreb says:

      I have the .40 M&P Shield shoots great, no complaints great for concealed carrying.

  2. avatartdiinva says:

    Since we are on the small gun kick I think it’s ok to be repetitive. “…the guns themselves are shrinking. Powerful handguns are getting smaller, easier to carry.”

    There is no automatic, except perhaps the full size XDm, that is not easy to conceal. Like the Glock, the lightweight subcompact, has become iPhone/iPad of firearms. It is what the “cool” people carry. The original purpose of sub-compact was for backup, not primary carry. Even detectives carry 4′ barreled guns. When I was growing up in Chicago the uniforms usually carried a 1911 for “backup” not the snubbie. That was the for detectives.

    • avatarready,fire,aim says:

      agreed ….but the times are a new and people want what is convenient …and stylish..

  3. avatarRightYouAreKen says:

    I have had my LC9 for close to a year now, and like it fine, but I have also fired two friends’ Shields and I think I would have chosen the Shield if starting from scratch. That said, here are some things I didn’t care for on it: First, the safety, if you want to use it, is MUCH easier to feel, disengage, and “ride” with your thumb on the LC9. The Shields is very flat, and I think it would be at risk of causing problems if you chose to ride with it engaged. Also, I had problems with both of my friends’ Shields not locking back on empty. It might have been my thumbs forward grip fouling the slide release lever, but it’s not a problem I have on my LC9.

    For those saying “get a G26″, a single stack 9mm really (IMHO) fits a different nitch. A Glock 26 is as thick as my Glock 19, which is WAY thicker and more likely to print under a t-shirt than either the LC9 or Shield, which tuck right up to my flabby midsection. I can also carry the G19 under a t-shirt, but it better be dark colored and loose.

  4. avatarChaz says:

    The M&P Shield is nearly identical in size to the Walther PPS. The PPS is 0.2 inches longer, 0.04 inches thinner, 0.4 oz heaver and $150 more expensive (MSRPs).

    My PPS in 40 S&W has been flawless so far albeit after only a few hundred rounds. It seems more pleasant to shoot than my LC9, the trigger is better and the recoil is less harsh in my hand. The PPS in 40 S&W does flip up a bit.

  5. avatarOldLawman says:

    I too owned a G26 (past tense), as it has been sold and replaced with a Shield. IMHO, guns in this category need to be THIN ! Otherwise, I’ll carry a G19.

    Soon to be enhanced with some APEX parts, although the goal is not to lighten the trigger pull too far. An important point to mention is that the Shield has a much better trigger reset than its bigger brothers. And off to Novak’s, where they have adapted the regular size M&P sights to the Shield.

    • avatarRalph says:

      You might also want to check out XS Gunfighter Sights, Williams and Hi-Viz fi-ox sights, all of which are available for the Shield. The XS sights list for $90 in big dot or medium dot configuration; the Williams and Hi-Viz both list for under $50.

  6. avatarJason says:

    The G26 is much thicker as compared to the Shield but that additional thickness compared to the circumference of my waist is tiny. As long as you don’t wear tight pants, the G26 doesn’t seem much worse in an IWB role.

  7. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Call me cheap, but my Kel-Tec P-11 does for me everything described in this article for less money and more rounds (10 + 1 on board with a S&W fifteen round spare in my pocket). But choice is good, and I’m pleased to see more options in the small pistol market.

  8. avatarJoseph says:

    I’ve had my LC9 for exactly a year now, and as of today I’ve got 600 rounds through it with four different (Ruger) magazines. I’ve fired Blazer, brass cased ball Remington and Winchester WB, Federal generic HP and Hydra-Shok, Winchester white box defense HP, and Gold Dot. I’ve had Zero failures to feed, extract, or eject. The trigger, while a bit gritty at first, completely smoothed out at about 350 rounds.

    The negatives: One failure of the slide to lock back on the last shot in the mag – while firing off a sandbag rest. I think I had the butt of the weapon sitting on top of the squishy sand bag which may have interfered with the recoil impluse, because title=””>

    that is the one and only time it's ever happened - never while firing unsupp0rted.

    The rear adjustable sight became loose at about round count 500, but the only way I knew it was by checking it. It would not move on its own, but it could be pushed a tad bit from side to side. A quick tightening with the proper tool fixed that...if it happens again I'll put a bit of red Loctite on it. The last time I shot it (today) it was 95 degrees in the humid SE Texas sun, never had a problem racking the slide with sweaty hands. BTW - today was a bit of a torture test, firing mags as fast as I could load them. The little gun was hotter that a two dollar pistol - but just kept running.

    I related all that to say that I seriously doubt the Shield will be an LC9 killer. Btw anyone who is looking for a magazie holder for the LC9 check

    Good article as usual Ralph, you wasted too much time in law school, you should have been al comedian

  9. avatarJason says:

    There’s one feature of the Shield that is a total deal-killer: the safety. It’s tinier than the slide stop, which is so tiny it’s not even called a slide release because you’re not even supposed to use it, you’re supposed to grasp the slide.

    “Well, just don’t use the safety either!”

    That’s like saying, “Well, just don’t load it.” If all guns should be assumed to be loaded for safety purposes, then all safeties should be assumed to be on. If you have a safety, you must train to use it, because Murphy’s Law dictates that the one time you need it to be off, it will be on. I’ve seen it happen too many times at the range, with no real adrenaline or blood-slicked hands involved. Hell, I’ve done it myself – which is why I train, to get rid of those mistakes. I’ve even seen it on the most recent season of Top Shot, where a trained and experienced shooter hauled at the trigger of a 1911 to no effect. And that’s easy to hit. And at least with a 1911 you’re getting a fine single-action trigger as a reward for learning to use the safety. What do you get with the M&P? Their mushy articulated trigger.

    So no. No Shield for me, thanks. I’ll stick with the Walther PPS, from a company that believes that if I’m capable of handling a Glock, I can handle the same manual of arms when it comes to their pistol.

    • avatarRalph says:

      All of my cars for the last 45 years have come with parking brakes. I’ve never used the parking brake, not even once. Ever.

      • avatarJason says:

        So what is true of parking brakes is also true of gun safeties? Is that the type of argument you’d present to a jury? You can’t argue with metaphors and cute sayings. If the safety flicks the primer’s lit.

        • avatarDon says:

          Misapplied logical fallacies are a pet peeve of mine.

          Some people like thumb safeties. That’s why some guns are made with them. The company isn’t sitting around thinking “gee, let me put this on here so I can personally insult Jason’s gun handling competence”. Actually, I don’t know that for sure, but I think it is strongly likely that the planning which goes into most things in the world does not stop and consider Jason.

          Also, the parking brake analogy is a legit argument. It is an extra safety feature which does not need to be used for safe “as designed” operation. It can be ignored or used according to the situation or user preference. It is fallacious to claim false equivalency by just pointing out that equivalency was used. You need to argue why the analogy was inapplicable.

          Here is an example of an actual false equivalency:

          “That’s like saying, “Well, just don’t load it.” If all guns should be assumed to be loaded for safety purposes, then all safeties should be assumed to be on.” – Jason

          The loaded status of a gun is not an extra or optional feature with no affect on its “as designed” operation. So saying to not use an optional manual safety is not at all like saying leave guns unloaded. Particularly since safeties don’t “click on” randomly on a gun in good working order.

          Anticipating your next issue, what if the gun isn’t in good working order? Well, if you don’t maintain and confirm your guns are in good working order, and it isn’t in good working order, all bets are off regardless of manual safeties or whatever. You can’t really even be sure one without a manual safety will function.

          Anyway, all of this is really rhetorical and that is a good sign that it is all pointless, a status inherited from the parent premise.


        • avatarRalph says:

          I don’t understand the problem. If someone doesn’t want a safety, don’t use the safety. This one is not going to flip on by accident, and only hoplophobes and other idiots think that pistols have a mind of their own. So what’s the issue?

          And, oh yeah, I can argue with metaphors and cute sayings. If they’re true.

          Sometimes some of y’all are incredibly obtuse.

        • avatarJason says:

          I wasn’t actually arguing your point about the safety, I agree. I just don’t think using an unrelated metaphor supported your point. I think your original article stated it perfectly clear. Anyhow, just arguing semantics.

        • avatarJason says:

          Pistols do have a mind of their own. Spend a day as a range officer, and you’ll see it. Go to some matches, and you’ll see it. Safeties manage to get turned on when the user didn’t intend them to be turned on. Like I said, it’s even been an issue on Top Shot.

          If your argument is, “That could never happen,” but I’ve seen it happen who am I supposed to believe? You? Or my own lying eyes?

    • avatarMike says:

      I have no problem carrying a handgun with a safety. My first carry pistol was a S&W 3913, and I carried it on safe. Manipulating that safety was no problem. The one on the Shield looks very difficult to manipulate under stress.

      I went from that to a SIG P239 to my current carry gun, a Kahr P9. I much prefer DA or DAO to carrying a handgun with a safety. The Kahr is just like carrying a revolver with a good trigger.

    • On these split trigger, striker fired pistols the additional safety are superfulous. Saying the safety is necessary would say all Glocks are not a safe pistol. There are tons of operational evidence to show these types of trigger safeties are quite adequate in all properly maintained firearms used in real world applications.

      I am not sure why S&W included one, except to possibly keep the customer satisfied, especially the new people on the scene, women. I know because my daughter feel in love it the minute she picked it up.

      I know that putting this pistol beside my XDS in 45 they are roughly the same size and weight. I haven’t shot the Shield yet, but if it handles recoil like my XDS does it will be impressive. My XDS handles better than my 380, and I would rather carry my XDS than a 380.

      So far my biggest complaint about the pistol is the cheap packaging. I know my XDS cost more than $100 more, but they couldn’t put it in something more than a cardboard box?

  10. avatarChris Dumm says:

    “…the best pointer since Pearl the Wonder Dog. ”

    +100 to a fellow Robert B. Parker fan!

  11. Anybody think they’ll come out with a version without the safety? It does seem unneccesary to me given that there is the internal striker safety preventing it from going off unless the trigger is pulled, just like the M&P full size I have and love.

  12. avatarPatrick F. says:

    “Unfortunately for southpaws, only the mag release can be reversed.”

    Do you have any idea how this can be accomplished? I’m a southpaw and I have been looking for this answer for a while. Google searching provides two different results,

    1. It can be done, but no one has done it yet.
    2. It can’t be done since it’s not mentioned in the manual how you reverse the mag release.

    Any help for a leftie?

    • avatarRalph says:

      Patrick F, you’re not the only one asking this question. It’s also popping up on the S&W forum and other blogs and user groups. So I have no idea how, and you are correct that it’s not covered in the manual.

      When I looked at the steps required for conversion as detailed in the manual for the Full Size / Compact M&P, I came to the conclusion that it was a job for a gunsmith. YMMV, but IMO that goes double for the little Shield.

      • avatarPatrick F. says:

        I was hoping it wasn’t something I have to take to a gunsmith, but if at least is possible then that would be great. It’s not a huge hassle to use the mag release now, it’s just that of course I would prefer it to be reversed. Thanks for the reply!

      • avatarCarrymagnum says:

        I did it last night after reading your review on the shield had no idea it could be done!
        Step one unload and field strip
        2. Look down into the frame and on the front portion of the mag well you will see your slide release. Flip back the metal rid holding it in place and fiddle it out. You’ll have to push it back more than once as there are two things sticking out you need to slide it under.
        3. Reverse the mag drop and fiddle that metal bar back into place and voila.
        By the way Greg is right about the positive click you get when it’s righty. But for shame that he didn’t give you a rundown on how anyway.

        • avatarCarrymagnum says:

          I didn’t mean slide release. I meant mag drop. Posting before coffee isn’t a good idea.

    • avatarGreg Camp says:

      I’m left handed, and I actually prefer the magazine release button on the left side. I can get a more positive push into the button with my index finger than with my thumb on guns with a long grip. I do want an ambidextrous thumb safety, if there’s a thumb safety at all.

      Regarding Ralph’s point earlier, for pocket guns, I like double action without a safety. The trigger is heavy enough not to go off easily, and if I need a pocket gun, I need it NOW!

  13. avatarJay Dunn says:

    For about the same price those in the market should also consider the Kahr CM9. Smaller, lighter, perfect Kahr trigger right out of the box, and the only safety is between your ears. I have one holstered in my pocket right now.

  14. avatarJoe says:

    Gunsmith lighten the trigger?????? Are you serious?? Let me try to break this down for you…

    Trigger jobs are for competition guns, or guns who’s main focus in life is to put holes in inanimate objects (you may have to use it to defend yourself in a crazy situation, no big deal). In any case, the M+P 9 shield does not fit in this category, and if thats what you bought it for, you are in trouble.

    Trigger jobs are NOT for guns you carry every day, or more than likely will be used on a person if used at all. Why? First and foremost, production triggers are the most reliable no matter what some may say. If you want your gun to go bang every time for as long as possible, keep it stock. Second, if the people you will inevitably be defending yourself in court against find out you had a trigger job done to the gun you carry for defense, their job is basically done. Its not that hard to convince a jury that you were looking for trouble if you carry a gun thats been modified to destroy with extreme efficiency.

    DO NOT touch the triggers on your carry guns.

    (and if full sized M+Ps arent made to last, how could this one be?? M+Ps are NOT durable guns)

    • avatarStephen says:

      Joe, you have much to learn about triggers and juries.

      • avatarJoe says:

        I learned all I could about triggers. At gunsmithing school.

        And I live in California where you get F’d in the A for defending yourself, even in your own home.

        • avatarDan says:

          Please cite a case where a lightened trigger caused a conviction

        • avatarJoe says:

          call CCWUSA and ask them.
          and either way, trigger jobs DO decrease reliability which is unacceptable for a carry gun.

          You don’t have to listen to me, I don’t care if you do its no skin off my butt. I’m just saying what I believe to be true based on what I have learned from professional CCW providers, LEOs, and gunsmiths in hopes of helping someone stay out of legal trouble if they have to defend themself with a gun.

          Plus, if you cant shoot a gun unless a trigger job has been done…. you need to revisit your fundementals. buy a DA revolver and shoot it to death, then you will be able to shoot anything!!

    • avatarGreg says:

      People don’t *need* trigger jobs, but some guns sure shoot a lot better with one. Contrary to what some people believe, a trigger job does not make a gun less reliable. As a Glock armorer, I can say that a nice trigger job on a Glock will not make it less reliable. Unless you’re trying to tell me that the thousands of rounds I shoot each year through my Glock is a myth.

      Also, my 1911 is having some work done to change the trigger feel, but not the weight. This is another form of a trigger job, in which the trigger performs better.

      Living in California too, and being prominent in the 2A community, I can tell you that a trigger job or a gun modification has never been a deciding factor in a defensive shooting. If by chance your gun is unsafe, and you ND into another person, then I’m sure you’ll be charged with something. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

      Lastly, if a trigger job makes a gun easier to shoot and more accurate for someone who can’t practice all the time, then good for them. I know my wife prefers a modified Glock trigger over the factory, and I can’t imagine giving a smaller woman a heavy DA/SA trigger like that on the Sig without having it tuned.

    • avatarrodney says:

      Joe sounds like you need to go back to school. Trigger jobs only for competition guns?haha! I reject your logic and insert my own.

    • avatarJAY says:

      (and if full sized M+Ps arent made to last, how could this one be?? M+Ps are NOT durable guns)

      What evidence do you have to support this opinion???? I have a full size M+P 9 with 5000 plus rounds thru it with no issues or hic-ups whatsoever, regardless of which ammo I feed it. It has no damage, abnormal wear, or anything else to prove your opinion that its not built to last. Am I missing some massive recall or other issue???? I think not….JMHO.

  15. avatarDJ says:

    The extra thickness of a Glock 26 will not be detectable in most waistbands (certainly not in mine). Anyway, the part of a belt-holstered carry gun most likely to “print” is the butt, and guess what? The Shield is taller than a Glock 26, despite the fact it carries 20%-30% less ammunition (depending on magazine). I’m not aware of anyone who, after having used a handgun to defend his/her life, thought they had TOO MUCH ammo available, but many have wished they had more. I’ll stick with my G26, thankyouverymuch.

    • avatarzincwarrior says:

      Or you can acquire an M&Pc (with or without safety) or an XDM carry.

      Thats a different market however. Some people desire a slimmer carry piece. Thats fine for them and your double column is fine for you. Clearly if Kahr, Walther, S&W, Sig Sauer, Kimber, Ruger, Beretta, STI, Bersa, and Taurus have single column 9mms, there’s a substantial market for them.

    • avatarRich says:

      DJ, I can think of 9 people that probably wish the two officers outside the Empire State Building had less ammo available and a lot more practice. Spray and pray is rarely ideal, just sayin.

  16. avatarDogman says:

    I pocket-carried a Glock 26 for almost 2 years. It can be done with loose-fitting pants and deep, wide pockets. I agree the G26 is thick and blocky but it is possible to accommodate it if you work at it. But I eventually went with a pocket-carried Smith 642 with a Hogue Monogrip. Set up this way, it’s close to the dimensions of the Glock 19 and SIG P229 but it carries much easier than the little Glock. Incidentally, the 642 has undergone a “carry action job” that smoothed out the trigger tremendously without lightening the pull to any significant degree.

    But I can’t shoot the revolver nearly as well an automatic. So…I’ve been looking for the perfect pocket 9mm. The Ruger LC9 has been at the top of my list. But I’ve shot a friend’s LC9 on several occasions and I’ve had the same problem every time–after the first shot, I fumble with the trigger trying to find the reset. It happens every time. Despite my knowing I have to let the trigger return completely forward, I never do it at first–too many years of shooting guns with short trigger resets have conditioned me to initial failure with this gun. For that reason–as well as personal finances–I don’t currently own the Ruger.

    The trigger on the Shield is described as “breaks really clean after ¼” of light takeup and the reset is audible and highly tactile, which were the trigger’s best features.”

    I can live with a trigger pull of seven pounds. If the reset is reasonably short, it could definitely be an “LC9 killer” for me.

  17. avatarChad Haire says:

    The basic trigger design of the M&P series is defective as there is no safety on the trigger itself as on the Glock/Spingfields,nothing to prevent it from accidently discharging if it rubs against a tight holster, or carried without a holster. This is why S&W puts a manual safety on the rear slide. If you carry without a holster like many CCW you are crazy not to use it.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      The safeties on the trigger are not designed for and do not prevent accidental discharges caused by an unintended pull of the trigger. Their purpose is to assure that the gun will not fire unless dropped. There have been two recent cases of Glocks discharging when the trigger got caught up in something, one of which resulted in the carrier’s death in front of his children. Springfield’s croatian supplier figured this out and added a grip safety to the XD line; the trigger cannot be depressed unless the grip safety is depressed as well, eliminating the potential problems encountered with Glocks. The triggers on the Shield and the LC9 are designed heavy and long to accomplish the same purpose.

    • avatarSuper Glen says:

      If you carry without a holster, you are crazy anyway.

    • avatarRich says:

      The Glock dingus is missing but the trigger safety is there, it’s just a different design. If you don’t pay attention when reholstering you can just as easily shoot yourself with Glocks or Springfields. As for shooting yourself on the draw that’s a matter of proper training, you can grab the trigger on any of these guns without proper technique. The last point is just beyond me because carrying without a holster is suicide, they do make pocket holsters and they help avoid printing issues. If you carry Mexican in your waistband well see you in the morgue bud, I’ll be the one with your Darwin award. Buy the gun that feels right, take classes and practice practice practice.

  18. avatarBoris says:

    It would be even better if it was a Glock

  19. avatarDavid says:

    It appears to be a relatively simple task to remove the thumb safety on the Shield. There is a YouTube video showing how to do it. Cosmetically, the void in the frame from removing the safety can be filled in with a little square of black plastic and a tiny spot of glue. Personally I wouldn’t do it to my Shield but it is so easy if that is what you want.

  20. avatarRight! says:

    Salma Hayek. Salma Hayek?

  21. avatarOldLawman says:

    I read this entry before getting my first Shield. (That’s right, first. Now have two, partially because the second came at a very attractive price). Sold my G26. I carried the G26 for several years, but it was neither fish nor fowl. If I want to go bigger, I’ll carry one of my G19s. The G26 is too fat for me to carry comfortably IWB.
    Both Shields were tested extensively by my shooting group yesterday, receiving a big thumbs up. One has been set up with the Apex Shield Carry package; the other is awaiting the parts. With the exception of the rear sight (too cluttered, not a wide enough notch for my eyes), they were flawless. This is my new EDC piece. Off to Novak’s on Monday for a tritium front, plain black wide notch rear sight set up.
    The folks at Alessi Holsters have the mold already, and provided me with three great holsters and a mag pouch.

  22. avatarJoel says:

    Question regarding trigger pull. I noticed that when I chamber a first round by racking the slide with the trigger fully depressed, the trigger pull feels noticeably lighter than the trigger pull I feel if I chamber that first round by racking the slide without depressing the trigger. Anybody else have that experience and know why that is the case? Thanks.

  23. avatarWenner says:

    Many things were stated. Useful discussion. Nice too, with nobody becoming upset; we are trying to help each other.
    1. There may well be no case of conviction with a trigger job, but I think you are just asking for trouble. You might be the first case, or the test case we all dread! Don’t do it. Buy a different gun if you don’t like the trigger. Simple.
    2. Manual safeties are for your own piece of mind, so you don’t shoot yourself in your thigh, belly, femoral artery, etc., when at home, and watching a nice game on tv on a recliner, chair, unpredictable situations, being relaxed. If you hear a noise in your living room at night, you have time to inactivate the safety. If somebody is pointing a gun at you while you are sleeping (it could be your own with the safety off!), you have basically lost the game, safety or no safety. When you are out, and definitely as a police officer, going to your parking lot, your habit should be to take the manual safety off, and you must. It should be an unalterable habit, before you leave your home. The bottom line is to always stick (ALWAYS) to the same routine, no exceptions. This will prevent you from not knowing about the status of you gun.
    3. Glocks are great and can be a killing machine. But, again, juries will be told that police officers traditionally have used Glocks. It will make things worse for you if you are not an officer. Remember, you want to protect your life, but don’t want to destroy it with a jail term, however short. The second amendment is beautiful, but keep in mind it is still a privilige to carry a gun. Don’t mess it up with a felony, domestic violence (a light tap on the shoulder could be considered violence!), etc. You are priviliged!
    4. Finally, something very controversial, and I am ready for the insults. Guns and alcohol don’t mix. I never drink if I carry a gun or have one within reach, ie at home and not away on vacation.
    Sorry for being too long. Take care

    • avatarChase says:

      Carrying and owning guns for self defense is not a privilege, It is a RIGHT.

      How is not mixing drinking and carrying a controversial issue? It seems pretty fundamental, and doing so can cost you your CHL in my state (Texas).

  24. avatarMr Springfield says:

    Pretty nice looking XD replica…
    Just no real real world advantages over a BG380 to motivate the extra bulk either.

  25. avatarjunglecogs says:

    You know, it would have been a good article if the writer cut it down 75%; we do not need to hear the babble – just tell the facts; that’s all we want.

  26. avatarRed Wolf says:

    I like a good story along with actual facts, less boring. Also I find that arms makers leave out bits and pieces , and detailed photos. What I am talking about the makers talk about one gun in specifications and the same maker talks about another gun and leave out certain items.
    Anyway thanks for the review and keep us posted.


  27. avatarJohn says:

    Appears to be a great gun but I’ll be damned if I can find one for sale on the planet where they don’t want an arm or a leg.

  28. avatarDavid says:

    I want a shield to go with my M&P9 & M&P22, but a 9mm Shield is impossible to find. My LGS says the Shield is considered a unicorn… more myth than reality.

  29. avatarOldLawman says:

    Then I guess I own two “unicorns” !

  30. avatarDavid says:

    Two? You are either a wizard or you have a better supplier than me… Springfield just announced the XDs 9mm will ship Q2/13. I prefered the M&P9 over the XD9 due (among other reasons) to availability of APEX kits and no grip safety. The XDs will also have the grip safety so I’m still hunting this mythical beast.

    • avatarOldLawman says:

      Jumped in early. Traded a G26 for the first one; liked it so much found another online (don’t even recall now whether it was on a forum, or auction site), paid a reasonable price for it, and went on my merry way.

      • avatarDavid says:

        I bagged a unicorn. It took over 6 months of casually asking at local stores every week, but I finally found one (at a normal, price). They’d received 10 in that day and had already sold 4. These go fast. The family is now complete. If ammo prices and availability were improved, then I’d be even happier. This is a great little gun that shoots well and is very comfortable in hand. Concealment feels good with normal clothes, but I’d also like to have an even smaller .380 for summer pocket carry.

  31. avatarryan says:

    buy one!!!….that is if you can get your hands on one…..i waited for 2 months for mine but it was totally worth it. i can’t imagine myself carrying any other gun. it’s the perfect size, doesn’t print at all when i wear a large t-shirt and is an all around awesome gun. if you can’t get your hands on one, buy a glock 26. they’re similar in size and quality. i also use a comfort-tuk holster….can’t even tell i have it on me anymore, its so comfortable and light even with the 8 round clip

  32. avatarHallockG says:

    As Ryan above stated, if you can get your hands on one, GET IT! I was on the waiting list at my friendly neighborhood gun dealer for 3 months for a 9 Shield. Took it to the gun range, loaded the magazine, the Shield went right into the firing position in my hands like Smith and Wesson came to my condo and measured my grip. It was perfect. Fired that baby. Next to no recoil and perfect bullseye at 7 yards.

    After 50 rounds (great grouping), cleared my little friend, stuck it in my waistband, and went home. Forgot I was carrying it.

    S&W should be proud. Great handgun. Great job. 5 stars.

  33. avatarTexas1 says:

    My M&P Shield 9 changed how/when/where I carry a gun.

    If you’re plan is to carry IWB .. and you’re not a 45acp/10mm caliber snob … you’d be foolish not to buy one.
    I have a full-sized Beretta 92FS, a Glock 23, and a S&W Mod 36 snubby. All 3 are now designated as nightstand guns … or guns I might strap to my leg while out hog hunting, etc.

    The Shield enables me to carry in any clothing choice I choose without the anxiety of printing or the necessity for an expensive gun belt. I wear mine in a Crossbreed Supertuck when wearing a belt … and in a Remora 6ART when wearing bathing suits, basketball shorts, sweatpants, etc. Either way the gun disappears and stays secure.

    For me, I want a gun that I can take anywhere with me … something that can always be there … something that gives you no reason to take it off … and the Shield fits the bill.

    For what its worth, my Shield 9 keeps up with the Glock 23 at distances under 20 ft … when you get out beyond that it simply cannot compete with the longer barreled handguns in terms of grouping size. However, at 50 ft you’re still hitting center mass … which is all you can really ask for. I personally love the trigger … its about 60% take-up and then a very predictable and crisp break.

    Honestly, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want one of these … I’m looking into getting a second one.

  34. avatarStone Dragon says:

    I had been debating between the Ruger LC9 and the Shield for quite some time. I did like the rounded edges a bit more on the LC9, but the trigger on the Shield is what convinced me to go ahead and buy the Shield. I TRULY lucked out this past weekend when I walked into a local shop just as a Shield was being put on the shelf. While waiting for my background check results, a guy came literally running through the door only to discover I had bought the 9mm Shield he called the shop about only minutes prior. I felt bad for him because I know of shops that have waiting lists approaching 80 people, but I could not let my unicorn go and I’m glad I held on. I love the Shield for its intended purpose; to carry. I have a Ruger SR9c which I trust my life with, but sometimes it’s just too much when wearing my shirt and tie attire.

  35. avatarKC says:

    I shot my M&P Shield today, no complaints. No mis feeds unlike my co-worker who was shooting his newly purchased Springfield compact 45. The trigger pull for the Shield did take some getting use to but the gun is very accurate, easy to conceal and purchsed for a fair price.

  36. avatarHallockG says:

    Absolutely the BEST handgun I have ever owned. No one knows when I am carrying it concealed. Accuracy is first rate. I have nothing to say that is wrong with it. Except it took so long on backorder to get it. Thanks, S&W.

  37. avatarJohn K says:

    I currently own a Shield .9m. I swapped my Shield .40 for it, but that’s another story. Everyone has their own opinion based on their own prejudices or quirks. Someone likes the safety, another does not. Someone prefers Glocks, another S&W. Having owned a Glock 26, I can say from first hand experience that the Shield is easier to carry. Being a single stack vs a double has much to contribute to the conceal ability.
    I do miss the 13 round magazine with the 26, but that’s the price of thinness. I purchased the S&W Shield because I wanted to invest in an American made product.
    For me the gun is accurate, has never misfired, is easy to operate and clean, and conceals very well. It’s a keeper.

    • avatarSlip Kidde says:

      I would like to hear your “other story,” about owning a Shield in .40 and trading it in. I found one in .40 this week, put a deposit down and will have to finalize on it in a couple of days (if I don’t turn my attention to another gun, altogether). And right now I’m still in lust-at-first-touch mode because of how comfortable the Shield felt in appendix-carry as well as in my hand. Did you dump your 40-caliber version in favor of the 9mm because of harder muzzle flip in the former, or because of the additional round’s-worth of capacity in each of the respective mags of the latter?

  38. avatarSpeedSix says:

    I love the M&P Shield, and it has rapidly become one of my favorite handguns. I like it so much, I wish S&W would design two variations….

    A dedicated and reliable M&P Shield in .22LR, and a long-slide version of the M&P that has a 4-4.5″ barrel. I am sure that these two would rapidly become my favorite handguns… Yes, I would love an M&P Shield 9mm, “single-stack” , with the same dimensions as a Glock 19 with night sights and optional 15-round magazines and something similar to the X-grip for the extended mags. Say goodbye to the Glock 19… and if a .22LR was designed that was dependable with a variety of .22LR, it would certainly give the Ruger SR22 a run for its money.

  39. avatarGerry Smith says:

    I just got home with my new 9mm shield. I fired it at the range 15 times just to try it out. I love it already.

  40. avatarDoug says:

    Another great thing about the M&P 9 Shield is that extra mags are readily available. (I had to look for months to find extra mags for my M&P 9 and M&P 40.) The 8 round mag is perfect for my hand, with the 7 round mag being useless. What do they do in New York? I like my full-size M&P’s better, but the Shield is the gun I will carry when we finally get CCW in Illinois, probably with a Smith & Wesson J Frame revolver as a backup! Now just months away.

  41. avatarDamocles says:

    I own the M&P9c and I love the damn thing. I’ve currently got a major jones for Shield. I wants, I wants!

  42. avatarPhil says:

    Just purchased the M&P 9. I went to the gun shop and they had just about every compact carry 9mm that is made, I tried them all for function and trigger.. The Ruger LC9 was a close runner up, but the trigger was what put the M&P over the top. Paid the “sale” price of $449.00…..not bad. the slide release is a bit useless (with one thumb) as is the safety, but I won’t be carrying on safe anyway, as long as it is properly holstered I can’t see how this is an issue. Have a limited LE background, and although it was left up for personal preference I don’t know anyone who carried with the safety… Anyway It was great to read the reviews from folks with more knowledge than I, so just want to give a thanks to ALL of the comment contributors…good stuff! be safe.

  43. avatarJoe P says:

    I must say, I am a Glock man. I’ve owned the G22, G21SF, now the G19, G23, almost bought a G26 for the subcompact, until I saw the Shield. Although I like the G26, I agree, it’s just as wide as the G19/G23. For a person that carries a CCW 24/7/365, being comfortable & concealibility is important. Unfortunately, Glock has YET to produce a single stack 9mm subcompact. So, I bought M&P Shield. It’s MUCH thinner than the G26 & feels less bulky. It’s my new CCW gun for sure! If clothing permits & want more firepower on a specific day, I’ll take the G23. But the Shield definitely wins my vote for subcompacts, next would be a Berretta Nano.

    • avatarStone Dragon says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been carrying my shield for several months now and it is very comfortable and concealable. I have about 600 rounds of various fmj and HP brands I’ve put through it without any malfunctions. My previous carry was a ruger SR9c which I still love to shoot but for $450 you can’t beat the value and reliability the shield offers.

  44. avatarJoe P says:

    Now we just have to find ammo (at non-gauged) prices. Paying $32 for 50rd of 9mm isn’t cool, man! Guns prices & availability is slowly going back to near normal, but ammo is a whole different story.

    • avatarGreg says:

      Have you tried Walmart? I’ve been finding 9mm at my local store and it’s barely more expensive than it was before the craziness. I think my last 50 rounds cost $14. I see it so often now that I don’t even snap it up anymore.

  45. avatarrodney says:

    I’ve been carrying a Walther PP for quite some time, 6 months ago I bought a nine millimeter shield And despite the Trigger pull I love my shield. I now Rotate guns occasionally But the shield is my go to conceal carry now. Did I say I love it?

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  47. avatarStone Dragon says:

    WOW… So although I have my CWP and have a M&P Shield which I love I never imagined the day would come (although I prepared for it) when I would have to point my firearm at another human being. Unfortunately Monday morning @ 5:30am I was faced with that very situation. Someone broke into my house and I immediately grabbed my Shield which was on the night stand next to the bed. I eventually confronted the perp whose booking info is below and although it took 3 warnings and many expletives while pointing my Shield at him, he finally got the message without me having to fire a shot. I’m sure this story will not make the news as many “non-eventful” stories like this don’t, but I truly gained a new respect for my 2nd Amendment Rights and the importance of being prepared. Folks, I must emphasize that I NEVER thought it would happen to me even though I knew it could and I did prepare for it while some of my closest respected friends might have thought I was on the paranoid side. The man who broke into my house had just been released earlier that morning on bond for Felony Battery and he has prior robberies etc.

    All I can say is be prepared, know your firearm and your brain will automatically handle the rest. Practice, Practice, Practice! God Bless and Be Safe!

  48. avatarJohn says:

    Love my 9mm shield. I don’t necessarily agree with most who say the 7 round has no place; but for you guys using the 7 (in 7+1 configuration with the safety on), do you find that the magazine is a bit difficult (as I said with one in the pipe) to insert & get a positive lock. Even with the mag locked in place there is still a gap at the base of the frame where the mag extends a hair past the bottom of the grip frame. I emailed S &W & they verify 7+1/8+1 design.

    • avatarStone Dragon says:

      Yes. Getting that last round into the mag is definitely near impossible. That would be my only complaint.

  49. avatarOld Dog says:

    One of my many pet peeves are people who post about modifying your gun causing legal problems. What they do not seem to understand is that if you are justified to use deadly force, you can use a chain saw. Deadly force means any force that can make a person dead so how does a light trigger make any difference? What does the prosecutor tell the jury? Does he tell them that the light trigger allowed him to kill the plaintiff quicker than if it had a stock trigger? There are similar fallacies about the type of ammo used. Dead is dead and if you are legally allowed to make a person dead, nothing matters except whether or not you did indeed have the right to make them dead. All the other stuff may come up but it is easily refuted by any competent attorney, I do not know of any self defense laws that allow the use of deadly force that limit you to what kind of weapon you can use and what condition it must be in.

    • avatarLoren says:

      Exactly. People bringing up ridiculous points and sidestepping facts in the same argument.

    • avatarWilfred says:

      I totally agree with you EXCEPT on the ammo point. It’s the exact reason they stopped selling the exploding ammo they used to sell to civilians in the 80′s. The thing with that ammo was that even if you shot someone in the leg (trying not to kill them) the hydrostatic shock from the explosion taking place inside their body would kill them (if the primer in the bullet functioned properly and it detonated.) so if you carried that ammo a prosecutor could say that you weren’t carrying the weapon just to defend yourself you actually wanted to kill someone because you had ammo that is way too close to 100% lethal when it detonates properly. In court you want it to look like you did everything possible not to kill the person (because you should be trying to stop them from hurting you, not kill them if at all possible.) I would never carry this new R.I.P. ammunition that just came out that fragments on impact because you’d have the same problem as the exploding ammo, it’s designed to kill not just stop (It’s called R.I.P. ammo for God’s sake! I’d rather send an attacker to the hospital and then to jail rather than the morgue if I can manage it.) Granted these types of ammunition are uncommon and cost prohibitive so who would use them anyway when good old JHP works just fine and gives you the option of being less lethal if you desire and have the shooting skill but also won’t get you sent to jail if the attacker dies. But I completely agree with you on the issue of trigger jobs, no one could say that you did a trigger job because you wanted to kill someone instead of just stopping the threat, if anything it makes the gun safer because if you have the trigger worked on and made better for your personal preferences then you will be more accurate and therefore less likely to miss your attacker and hit an innocent bystander.

  50. avatarTed says:

    I have a shield in the 40 Cal . Even with a strong push pull method of handling it. It is extremely snappy. To a point where you have to adjust your grip every time you fire it . It just wants to jump out of your hands.I am now looking to trade it in for a 9mil shield . That being said. It is an extremely comfortable carrying it inside The waistband with a crossbreed holster. You really forget that you have it on.

    • avatartodd w says:

      I had the same problem with my 40. shield until i put Talon grips on it.. Get the rubberized kind that wont scratch your skin. Talon makes them for the shield and its easy to put on, doesn’t change the width of the handle and looks and feels great. I like the shield in .40 it has less kick than my glock 22. I am buying one in 9mm but will mostly likely carry the .40.

  51. avatarFrank says:

    I bought one the other day and the slide lock seems to be not working.

  52. avatarReno says:

    I purchased the Shield 9mm as my new CCW before the holidays so Ive had plenty of time to get a true feel for it. Ive got to say I am definitely not disappointed in my selection. Out of the box it was a very good choice but placing an Apex trigger kit along with some new HiViz sites on this gun make it great. I started off at the 15yd range and it was deadly accurate with a very smooth trigger pull and a tight pattern at speed. I moved to the 20-25yd target and it was still right on. Of course I took a little more time in-between rounds. After a whole lot of rounds during my time off it has had no problems. As far as comfort in carrying, I just put it in a Remora holster in the middle of my back and barely know its there. Great gun for a CCW!

  53. avatarRick says:

    I have a 9mm Shield I bought when I walked into the gunstore and compared everything I could hold and this gun was like an extension of my own anatomy. Having an LCP380 with the long trigger pull I loved this gun trigger immediately…crisp and clean, totally contrary to the horrific LCP. Snap and POP. This gun is winner. Taking it out to the farm and the accuracy amazed me…shot 500 rounds that day. Perfect. I go nowhere without it. Buying another for the lady of the house and my daughter.

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  55. avatarMark says:

    I bought the MP sheild 9mm a few weeks ago. I use it for my conceal carry with a foxx holster. I love it. Great gun. One selling point was the safety, I like having it on as I take in and out of my holster. I find it really easy to filp off with my thumb as I draw. Would suggest this gun for CC to anyone.

  56. avatarMikC says:

    I love Glocks and all that they are. Shot a shield in 9mm this weekend and can not wait to find one at a decent price. What a gun.

  57. Pingback: My Shield 9 and me. - MP-Pistol Forum

  58. avatartommy tornado says:

    I just received my Shield in .40 . I have not fired it yet so I cannot comment on that subject.
    I will comment on the other worthwhile things abt the Shield.
    It is thin and comfortable in the Hogue modified H721 OT. The trigger pull is reasonably good[crisp] for a toy gun. I call all plastic guns toy , no disrespect just my humor.
    If you have spent ANY time with 1911′s the safety is no problem, easy to flip OFF with the thumb, and simple to switch on with the pointer finger of your off hand, if you are a righty.
    Affordable ,small ,powerfull and from an American Co.
    I cant wait to run a box or two thru this lil gun. tom

  59. avatarG1837 says:

    Bought a 40 shield couple of weeks ago. Shoots great! My wife and 12 yo son had no problems whatsoever with the 40 shield. I was concerned about the “snappy” recoil, but it was fine. My wife loves this pistol, she has a BG380, I guess I am going to have to get my own shield now! At the range, put 350 rounds of Speer FMJ with NO failure to feed, fire, or eject. Magazine springs are quite stiff and last round is tough to get in there. Overall, very pleased with the Shield 40!

  60. avatarsal matroni says:


  61. avatarDoug Tarrant says:

    I have owned the Glock-19 and the G-26 and the G-27 and now pack the M&P Shield.
    The only thing I don’t like about striker fired pistols is… they are constantly at 97% COCKED all the time. Ready to fire.
    That wil fatigue the firing pin spring over time.
    Sure… the spring is cheap to replace but when you want it to go BANG, you don’t want a thud.
    When I was in Law Enforcement I carried a custom tuned Colt Commander .45 and that was my favorite. But it was a beast to conceal with it’s weight and you had to use the inside the waist method of carry.
    I find the M&P Shield ideal for concealment.
    I have custom made holsters made for me from Texas.

  62. avatarMikC says:

    I am a Glock lover always have been and will always be. Shot a friends 9mm shield at the range and immediately ordered one from my LGS. Where I live it gets very hot in the summer and have tried the 26,36,19 and so forth. Too big for cargo shorts and tank top even with a good IWB holster during summer use. This is the best pistol for where I live in the summer by quantum leaps. I love it and shoot it very well. Just my .02.

  63. avatarLfshtr says:

    I was almost a customer, but bought a Sccy 2nd. Gen. 2 no safety DOA trigger, heavy pull. Came with a life time warrantry and it follows the gun. Old news.

  64. avatarLoren says:

    It’s incredible the percentage of opinions on different aspects of reviews that key in on single, sometimes insignificant, details of a weapon and blow it’s importance all out of proportion. I suppose it’s a ego inflating exercise in point making. Step back into reality men. Some of these subjects have such an infinitesimally small chance of occurring or truly being a factor that it’s almost insane to bring them up, let alone be the single reason to buy, or not buy a weapon.

  65. avatarKevin says:

    I live in Southern California and am happy to report that the backlog is filled so any good seller should have them in stock at MSRP which is, IMO, quite reasonable given the apparent quality I perceived, and numerous other owners have mentioned. It was literally a 10 minute transaction including all the nonsense that my state requires.

    All I can say about the weapon itself is that it fits my little hands rather well. But man, they ship with a whole lot of oil on them yet the actions still seem stiff. It’s tempting to strip, clean, and lube it before the first round is even chambered but should I?

    I also have concerns about +P and +P+ rounds, any thoughts how they work with the little guy are welcome. I never use reloads or crappy range ammo in any of my weapons but opinions seem to be rather mixed on using high pressure 9′s in such a small pistol. Thanks.

  66. avatarSkipper says:

    Well, after all is said and done Smith has created nothing short of the hottest selling most poplar firearm since their model 10,29,and their record selling j frame models.

    Congrats to Smith & Wesson they have a winner with this one great build safe design! Long time since I have seen people in line to purchase any firearm! At an incredible price point! Thanks I have to get back in line don’t want to lose my place:)

  67. and miss you pops. I’m sorry I wasn’t perfect last time we saw or spoke to each other. But

  68. I want to add that there is something nice about the safety. You can rack the gun with the safety on. For somewhat less experience shooters that is not a bad thing. They still will need to develop the habit of taki g the safety off.

  69. avatarPaul says:

    The only handguns (guns, period) I allow in my house that do not have safeties are revolvers. If you can’t learn the manual of arms for your weapon, you shouldn’t own one. Dry fire practice should include operation of the safety until it becomes a part of your natural movement. Until the Glocks became popular every semiautomatic for almost 70 years had a manual safety. I have been shooting for over 55 years. I still believe in keeping all handguns and some rifles in “condition one” loaded and locked (round chambered, action cocked, safety on).

    • I do not disagree with you. Learning the proper way to handle any gun should be a 100% thing, specially if you do not shoot much. Your muscle memory needs to honed so that finger does not go into the trigger well until the round ready to do down range.

      That said the safety on the Shield is unusual in that even when engage the action is operable.

      I would not mind having that in certain situations like work that requires us to clear the firearm before locking the gun in our car prior to work. One of these days when they seem open to discuss this, I want them to know that their rule is somewhat unsafe.

      I have told my daughter that she should always develop the habit of thumbing off that safety whether she engaged it or not.

      Good shooting pistol for a CC though, especially for the money…

      • avatarKevin says:

        As I said before, I’m a big fan of a genuine safety when the weapon is fully loaded, which mine always are.

        And as you said, know your weapon well. The MP9 SHEILD’s works exactly backwards than my full size Beratta or vintage S&W Model 59 – up is locked on the MP9 but down is locked on the other ones.

        In any case, the action will still work but it won’t fire a chambered round if you have a moment of brain fade as long the safety is up. And when the MP9 was brand new to me it happened…fortunately a snap cap was in the chamber and another on top of the mag, so I didn’t blow a hole in the floor (or my foot or worse), but since the SA trigger is so light but the slide spring is so much stiffer than I was used to, my index finger slipped and pulled the trigger but only got a click instead of something more exciting.

        Since then I took it to the range and practiced a few different scenarios with the gun pointed down range. I definitely prefer the safety – you can load a full mag, chamber a round, add one more to the mag with the safety flipped on with all 3 guns and virtually zero chance of an unintended discharge. I’m teaching my muscle memory to always have one thumb on top of the safety: draw, click, aquire, bang.

        It took a few hundred rounds (and I’ll practice some more) but since the little guy feels so much different my brain is quickly learning that down is fire and up is useless, exactly the opposite of what I’m used to. On my last range day it really started to gel.

        Guess which pistol was the most effective at 3 meters? The tiny little shield, even with +P rounds. I’m so impressed with it that I’m going to buy another one soon.

  70. avatarScott says:

    Like many others, I’m also a longtime Glock guy. I wanted a backup to my G19 for ccw. Tried MANY small revolvers/semi autos and the shield was by far the best for me. Great grip, balance, trigger and incredibly accurate. S and W scored big time with this winner!

  71. avatarJenni says:

    I realize that recoil can be hard to quantify to some extent, but I am wondering how the S&W .40 Shield compares to the .40 Compact. I prefer the size and thinness and really love how it feels in hand of the Shield for conceal carry, only I cannot decide between a 9mm or a .40. I have been practicing at the range with my husband’s .40 Compact and am comfortable with it; in fact I enjoy shooting it the most of all the others (PX4, LCP [ugh], P89, etc.). I just wonder if the lighter Shield will pack that much more of a wallop in my hand or is it negligible compared to the Compact I’m used to (no way to try…the range has a rental in a 9 only)???

    I’m also conflicted about having more firepower in the .40 vs. having one more round available with the 9 and “softer” to shoot. What sayest the experienced folk?

  72. avatarkirk says:

    Jenni I say go with the 9mm. With +p hot loads pushing a hollow point like the Hornady critical defense the 9mm no longer gives up much of anything to the 40 short & weak. I am not a fan of the .40s&w. The 9mm will do everything it will do with more rounds on tap and while remaining more controlable. JMO. If you want more firepower than the 9mm step up to a 45acp or go with a revolver in .357 mag.

  73. avatarDon Bailey says:

    My wife and I shopped around for a CC pistol that would fit her little hands. She finally settled on an LC-9. She loves that pistol and shoots very well with it. Don’t get me wrong, that little Ruger looks pretty good but I can’t hit with it to save my life. So far I’ve looked at the M&P 9mm Shield, and the Glock 26 but have yet to shoot either one. I’m concerned that I will have the same problem with those that I’ve had with the LC-9. I have a S&W in 40cal. that I shoot just fine with but it is rather large and hard to conceal. I do like the sights better on the Shield and Glock better than the LC-9.

    • avatarGlen says:

      The M&P 9c is a little thicker than the shield, that gives you 4 more rounds than w/ the Shield’s 8 round mag, but the grip is longer on the Shield with that 8 round mag than the 9c. I ended up w/ the 9c after comparing w/ the Shield. Also, the 9c gives you the option of a 17 round mag w/ an X-Grip sleeve. Having said all that, try them all, get the one you want. :)

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