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Smith & Wesson was late to the Tupperware pistol party, but welcome. When Smith finally introduced the M&P line as their answer to the GLOCK juggernaut, the M&Ps sold like hotcakes. Police departments, competition shooters and the mass market bought the guns for their comfortable grip, eye-pleasing lines and American provenance. The compact version the 9mm M&P was a hit on the concealed carry market as well. With the introduction of the S&W Shield – a slimmer, more fashionable single-stack compact 9 – does the M&P 9c still rate? . . .

I can imagine how the conversation went when the engineers designed the M&P 9c: “Why don’t we just chop it down and sell it as-is?” Why not indeed! Everything about the 9c – from the size of the trigger guard to the width of the slide – is an identical copy of the original M&P 9. They even take the same magazines. The only difference between the two firearms: the 9c sports a shorter barrel and grip. It’s still an ergonomic delight and a damn handsome gun.

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The S&W M&P 9c comes with two magazines: a flush fit mag and one with an extension for your little finger. While the “extended” magazine might seem bigger, it doesn’t hold any more rounds than the little one. With the extended magazine I couldn’t feel any difference between the 9c and a full-size M&P9. The flush-fit magazine left my little guy dangling off the bottom of the gun in a rather uncomfortable manner. I have massive mitts. YMMV.

Shooters looking for a smaller package than the standard-issue plastic fantastic GLOCK 19 will be pleasantly surprised; the Smith & Wesson 9c is just a hair shorter than a 19. But the 9c is still a double stacked design. The current trend in concealed carry handguns is the single stacked 9mm design. In today’s world, it’s considered a fattie.

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An unpleasant effect of chopping down the barrel: felt recoil. There’s actually less net energy being transmitted to the firearm (more powder burning outside the barrel and so forth) than you feel in the 9c’s full-size fraternal firearm. Since there’s also less mass in the gun, you feel more of that energy in your hand. It gets a bit annoying, but the large diameter of the grip combined with the extended magazine keep it relatively easy to control. You know; for such a small gun.

Out on the range, that extra heft is definitely appreciated, in terms of keeping the muzzle down between shots. Even so, when you start trying to hit where you aim, the 9c’s trigger trigger trouble comes into play.

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Unlike the GLOCK’s safety-action trigger, the 9c’s trigger is flat. The American’s go-pedal feels more natural under your finger than the Austrian’s. And that’s the only thing good I can say about it. The Smith’s trigger feels shoddily-made. The pull is heavier than Proust. In fact, the 9c’s trigger is so bad the gun’s really only usable once you’ve installed an Apex trigger kit or one of the other after-market units. Otherwise it’s damn near impossible to keep rounds on target.

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At best, the 9c is a “minute of bad guy” pistol. As someone who regularly shoots a wide variety of handguns in competition, I was completely incapable of hitting the X-ring with this gun. My shots were in the same general vicinity. At contact distance the gun will be effective, but that trigger prevents you from accessing the firearm’s inherent accuracy.

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The only edge the 9c has over the Shield: there’s no manual safety (unless you order a 9c with a manual safety). It’s a small victory. Shooters can (and do) simply leave the Shield’s safety off and never bother with it. Not a tactically sound state of affairs, but it is what it is.

The 9c was a popular pistol when it was introduced. Since the Shield entered the market there isn’t really a good reason to choose the 9c over its smaller, lighter, more accurate little brother. While the 9c is fatter, all that bulk only delivers about four more rounds of capacity (depending on model and magazine size). The 9c might make sense if you already own a full-size M&P 9 and like your compact’s ergonomics to mirror your full-size firearm. Otherwise there’s no benefit to the Smith & Wesson M&P9c over the Shield. Unless you like throwing $100 bills down the drain.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Model: Smith & Wesson M&P9c
Caliber: 9mm
Magazine capacity: 12 rounds
Materials: Stainless steel slide and barrel, polymer frame
Weight empty: 21.7 ounces
Barrel Length: 3.5″
Overall length: 6.7″
Sights: Stainless steel three dot
Action: Striker Fired
Finish: Black Melonite®
Price: $569 MSRP

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Style * * * *
It still looks the business.

Ergonomics (carry) * * *
Having carried a full-sized double-stack 9mm handgun, I don’t recommend it outside of the depths of winter when heavy coats are the norm. There are plenty of people who carry a GLOCK 19 though so the lowest I can go is “average” on this one.

Ergonomics (firing) * * *
The heavy trigger cost this pistol one star and the wild inaccuracy cost it another. It’s entirely possible that an individual properly trained on this specific firearm could get it to group better, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

Customize This * * * *
There’s an accessory rail, after market triggers, holsters, magazines, the works. But most of the accessories are designed for the full-size M&P 9 and while they’ll fit, won’t work as well on the smaller version of the gun.

Overall * * *
The S&W M&P Shield is $100 cheaper, slimmer, and comes with a better trigger from the factory. The 9c’s “extra” rounds are a bonus, but they’re not worth the price and the size. In my opinion, at least.

98 Responses to Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9c

  1. I had an M&P 45. My biggest gripe was the awful trigger. I traded it in and got a Glock 30 and have been happy ever since. It is a tough pill to swallow knowing that on top of ~$500 for a stock gun, you’ll have to invest an additional $100 to fix the trigger.

    • The OPs target pic on this page is proof of what I have been saying for years. The M&P series work and function great, their accuracy completely sucks. The availability for replacement parts is near nonexistent as well. How long are full size striker assemblies going to be on back-order?! It going on like 2 years already if you shop around. That’s a common part and should always be in stock and available. Now with the G-42 and G-43 out I don’t know why anyone would waste their money on a Shield. Have you ever noticed how many are for sale used around? That should be a clue right there…….they aren’t as good as their diehard fanboy club makes them out to be. A GLOCK was and still IS THE BEST!!

  2. The trigger definitely is not great. That being said, after some practice it’s not impossible to shoot the pistol accurately.

    Eventually I would like to get an Apex job done on it. The pistol just fits my hands perfectly.

    • My M&P9 doesn’t have a bad trigger. I don’t even notice it while doing IDPA with it. That said, my post recall XDS-9 has a way better trigger. If it could hold over 9 rounds I’d use it for matches, thing is a tack driver.

    • The Apex trigger is great. I installed it in my M & P9 VTAC and it shoots very nice now. I used the polymer Glock style trigger. If you get one make sure you get the pistol block too. It makes the job much easier than it already is.

    • Also the fact that he hates Glocks (19s). We get it guy, you have and love your ultra 1911. He mentioned how much he hates Glocks the same amount of times he said he hated this gun, all while in the same sentence he praised his WC 1911.

  3. The M&P 9c will take full size M&P 9 magazines. I found the 9c to be more comfortable to shoot than the shield. YMMV.

    • I agree. I had the shield. I have a small hand and thought that the shield would be the perfect fit. After putting a few hundred rounds through it, I got the 9c. Much more comfortable to shoot and I have seen no difference in accuracy.

  4. If this is actually a ban-state gun, I think you need to redo this entire article. The triggers on the ones I’ve tried are standard issue M&P suck, but heavy? No. And 10 rounds? Definitely sounds like a ban-state gun.

    Also, if this really is the case, holy crap, TTAG and Nick need to do some major QC, because that’s a pretty damn big thing to miss.

      • I thought the flush mag held 10 and the pinky extension mag held 12. No?

        At any rate, the M&P C can also take the full-sized mags. So carrying a 17-rounder as a backup would make a lot of sense and really puts you in a whole ‘nother category from the Shields 7-round flush mag with the 8-round extended one as a backup.

        • the California edition is only 10 rounds. othern than that the 9c is a 12 round mag. and the full size mag fits in the 9c

      • Right out of the box the trigger is great, without clean break, and harsh at 6.5ish LB. However, like my 1911, it took about five hundred rounds to break it in properly. After that the trigger is smooth with a moderately clean break. Its no crisp 4 lb pull, but we’re talking a safety-less pistol here designed for active carry, often under outergarments. I wouldn’t want lighter without an active safety system as well.

        I like to take mine to compete about once a quarter myself.

      • I know I’m in the minority, but for me, I wouldn’t have a double action only gun. I like to be able to “cock” the weapon and take deliberate aim when there is no hurry to get the shot off.
        That’s why we have choices.

  5. Except for the trigger, my full size M&P 9 is great. I learned how to use the funky trigger and can fairly accurately shoot the gun. I shoot my XD40 slightly better but follow up shots are slightly slower and I am down 5 rounds from the 9. If the trigger is the same on the 9c then it probably can be learned. I will be installing the apex trigger in the future as I will be competing with this gun and I want a better trigger.

    I didn’t see (might be blind), but does this gun have replaceable backstraps?

  6. Interesting that the Taurus Pt111 G2 gets a much better review. Smaller, lighter, 12+1, way less $, better trigger, etc. And a free NRA membership to boot. Que the Taurus bashers in 3,2,1…or notLOL

    • I had a 9mm Millenium Pro back in the day. It was a great gun for me. The only failures I ever had were ammo-related: a couple Russian steel-cased rounds with dud primers. It fed, fired, and ejected everything I could find, regardless of case or bullet construction. The long, heavy trigger was perfect for a concealed carry gun and it was smooth enough that accuracy for me wasn’t an issue. It shot straight and pretty softly despite the small size.

      The only thing is that they aren’t necessarily up to the “overbuilt” standards of some other guns. A friend pulled a little too hard on the trigger with the safety engaged, and it permanently bent the trigger bar enough that the gun stopped resetting properly. Taurus fixed this at no cost to me — they paid for shipping both ways — but it was a weak link.

  7. As someone who owns both I respectably disagree. The slim grip of the Shield is easier to conceal however it leaves a gap in the palm of my primary hand. That small gap between the indent in my palm and the grip is very noticeable and causes me to want to adjust my grip between shots. This is not a deal breaker but it is worth noting the downside of these slim frame/grip pistols. The “fattie” grip of the M&Pc, on the other hand, fits my palm nicely and doesn’t require regriping between shots.

    Also, check your math on the capacity advantage. In 9mm, the Shield is 7 or 8 +1 and the 9c is 12 +1 (in free states). That’s a distinct advantage of the compact over the shield.

    While these guns appear to fit the same nitch, I feel the 9c is a much more versatile pistol; especially considering the availability of different models, options, extended mags and other accessories. The Shield is, and will always be, strictly a cary gun.

    Oh, and the trigger on both of them is poo compared to a Wilson. Duh.

      • These are subjective reasons why I would go with the 9c over the shield.

        First and foremost, in the fourth picture I noticed that the 9c fits your palm the same way that it does mine. It is the smallest gun that I can get a full grip on. I like to have a gun big enough to fight with.

        Second, Storm Lake makes barrels that you can have a 9, 40, and 357 sig in the same gun. However, you would have to get a 40c or 357c from the get go.

        Third, the safety on the Shield is much too small for my taste. Additionally, its optional on the full size or compact models, and very 1911-esque.

        Fourth, bad trigger needs some Apex. Easy fix.

        Fifth, 9c has 13 rounds vs. 8 in the Shield.

        These are the reasons why I am getting the 40c with a 9mm conversion barrel. YMMV.

        • Seriously – the trigger solution you offered is like saying “A pinto isn’t a bad car, I’ll just switch the gas tank”.

          I owned one of these – switched to Glock 19 – trigger is all the difference in the world.

          I had an Apex in a M&P 9Pro… meh. Better – absolutely… great – not even close.

  8. I’m curious, was this an older gun with an older trigger, or something that has been issued in 2014? The reason I ask is that I bought a 9C in February after S&W started installing the “Shield” triggers in the line and I noticed a lot of improvement, especially with the reset.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I know they had done that as well. The old shield trigger sucked, but when i bought one, they had changed it and it was much better with a “louder” reset.

  9. I always appreciate your reviews, Nick, but it does seem like you were hating on this one just for not being a Shield. 12+1 vs. 7+1 is a significant difference. Also, some of us prefer the feel of a double stack to a single stack, and I have zero problems concealing either.

    Still, thanks for the review.

  10. When was this 9c manufactured? I thought all M&P’s got improved triggers not long after the Shield came out.

  11. Ummm…the trigger is important. Isn’t the crappy trigger pull a big reason the S&W Sigma sucks? You shouldn’t have to buy a trigger for a $500 gun. Interesting the Taurus Pt1111 G2 has a much better TTAG review. Better trigger, less $, smaller, lighter( or the same), 12+1 capacity, better ergonomics, thinner & a free NRA membership to boot. Que the Taurus bashers in 3, 2, 1…or not LOL

  12. My EDC is an M&P 40c and yes, the 500 pound MA boat anchor trigger was a massive fail. An Apex kit fixed that issue. Concealment is no problem, but the pistol is not as concealable as the Shield, which practically disappears.

    In 9mm chambering, the Shield makes more sense to me than the M&P compact. However, in .40 cal, the M&P compact is easier to shoot than the Shield 40 because of the compact’s extra mass. The .40 is also convertible to 9mm with the purchase of a barrel and magazines. And the M&P compacts take full-size mags and are very nice to shoot when using X-Grip adaptors.

    If you must have an M&P 9c, buy the 40c and a 9mm barrel. If you have no interest in shooting .40cal, you’re better off with the nifty little Shield 9.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/06/ralph/gun-review-smith-wesson-mp9-shield/

    • I have an MA M&P9 myself and ditto on the crappy pull. It’s too bad idiots in the state make stupid laws and have no clue on what they are doing.

      • Let’s keep MA ignorant, ok? The last thing we need is smart, well-educated gungrabbers.

        FYI, the 10 lb. trigger was mandated by the AG’s so-called “safety regulations,” enacted with no legislative authority whatsoever.

        The AG regs apply only to transfers of handguns by FFLs to non-Leo customers in MA. Possession of “non-compliant” handguns — guns with a normal trigger pull — is not regulated.

    • Chiming in as a Shield .40 S&W carrier – I find the 180 grains to be infinitely shootable, whereas the 165 grains is just too snappy. It’s also a lot easier to shoot with the 7-round (extended) magazine, with that extra length torquing against more of my hand.

  13. The M&P Shield doesn’t make sense if I can carry the M&P9c in a T-shirt.

    I don’t know about your trigger but mine is 6 pounds out of the box, has a nice reset, just like a shield or a Glock. It was gritty but paid $30 for Apex USB and now it’s perfect.

    Considering it was $450 total with the new trigger I’d say its a better deal than the Shield, especially with a little viridian C5L on the rail

  14. Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok are rolling over in their graves with all this trigger chatter. From what Ive witnessed over the last 20 years, lack of skill is the culprit, not the hardware. Spend money on trigger time and stop buying the latest and greatest every 4 months.

  15. This was a very odd review – I’m not sure how to take it. I bought one of the recent M&P compacts, and the trigger wasn’t wonderful, but it wasn’t bad. It was a LOT like the trigger on my shield. Maybe this is an older version of the gun? Even then, I think the bias of the reviewer led to an unfair result.

    Oh well, TTAG can’t win ’em all!

  16. Hate to stir the pot even more, but my Ruger SR9c has a superior trigger, and I shoot it much better that the M&P9c. Only problem is the tiny thumb safety.

  17. I’m not at all impressed with the trigger in my M&P .40, ether, and it’s a much snappier gun to say the least. It does, as others have pointed out, get better with practice. Even still, I’ll just go ahead and get the APEX trigger job thingy-ma-bob done on it ASAP.

    I hope you’re reading these and other reviews around the ‘net, Smith & Wesson. Put better bang-switches in these things!

  18. Considering what I carry the weapon for…..that is, close-in self defense, I find the M&P 9C more than adequate. This is the piece that I used for my Texas CHL qualification and it was on target every time. When I practice, I have no problem hitting what I aim at. Like anything, train as you fight. I am not sure that I would want a 3-lb. pull on a EDC weapon. If I was using this weapon in a 3-gun or other competition, well then, OK, maybe. Remember, your fine motor skills are the first thing to go in the real stress of combat. This coming from a guy who carried an M9 for 321 days in combat . In the old days, I started with a M1911A1. There, I just dated myself. I found Nick’s review to be a little harsh. IMO its a great EDC piece. Just sayin’………

  19. I’ve owned both the M&P9c and a Shield for awhile now. The compact I’ve had much longer. The trigger was initially a bit gritty, but it smoothed out after 150 rounds or so. Now, hundreds more later, the triggers on both feel similar. Both firearms have functioned flawlessly and I enjoy shooting them both. If you want a real flippy gun, try a 709 Slim. It is okay for the price but that thing just isn’t a fun shooter.

  20. Truth be told, when I chose a platform to compete with, I opted for a less comfortable Glock I would have to get sites on since the trigger is serviceable rather than an M&P for slightly less that I would end up putting sites and a trigger into. Plus I wanted to carry the 19, and wanted to compete with the same platform to marginally justify the expense of competition 😛

  21. I have a M&P 40c. The trigger was awful out of the box but after breaking it in it got a lot better. One easy thing you can do to get rid of the gritty take up is to remove the slide and press the firing pin block until it depresses smoothly. I used a little wooden dowel so as not to scratch the surface. Then dry fire the crap out of it. I do this for hours while watching TV. Mine still has about a 6-7 lb pull but it’s smooth until sear engagement and breaks very clean. It’s not a 1911 trigger but for a concealed carry gun without a safety it’s fine. Pulling from the bottom of the trigger, opposed to the middle, also makes the pull seem lighter. I can shoot ketchup packets from 30 feet with it fairly consistently.

  22. I just bought an M&p40c just about two weeks ago. According to the factory fired brass, the gun is from October 2013. When it first came outof the box the trigger felt gritty, and as if it had 3 stages. After 130 rounds and some dry fire practice the trigger has completely smoothed out, and no longer has 3 stages. It breaks cleanly and consistently, and has ~6lb pull, maybe a little less. My sister has a shield 9 she bought a few months ago and has beento the range twice. To me the two fwel the same.

    It has been well documented on m&p forumns that S&W have been making subtle changes and improvements to their produxtion guns since they came out. Everything from change in the barrel twist rate to the trigger (supposedly) has been Improved. Check the date on the spent brass and find out when it might of come from the factory.

    For those interested in knowing, mine also came with a blue plastic case.

  23. Own lots of different pistols and 2 S&W rifles so im not anti smith biased but I think their pistols stink. The only thing I see they have going for them is they are $100 cheaper than a comparable glock. One of my buds bought a S&W 9 and we immediately took it out to the range and ran a couple boxes of ammo thru it. I told him on the spot I would have taken it back and demanded my money back. I do not understand their popularity at all. The trigger, safety and slide release all are terrible and will probably get you killed. Thats enuff to take a pass for me.

  24. Inferior to the XD/m compact 9mm. It is about the same size but with a shorter barrel. The XD/m also has a pretty good trigger for a plastic gun.

  25. How old was is this M&P? The trigger on my M&P 9C feels just like the one on the shield. It’s not too heavy and has a good reset. I can’t believe people still bitch about the trigger in this day and age

  26. Tried both the 9c and the Shield before I ended up buying the Shield. Price was a factor, but comfort of shooting and carry won me over to the Shield, especially since I shoot primarily 9mm. At the time I bought it, the stock Shield also had a better trigger than the stock M&P9c.

    As far worries that 8+1 isn’t enough rounds… well, that’s why you carry an extra magazine, right? LOL.

  27. My M&P 9c’s trigger pull was very gritty but not heavy. I carry it all the time, even under just a t-shirt. I took it out to Front Sight for two four-day classes and it was fine. After about 2500 rounds, I’ve never had a malfunction.

  28. I just read the review again. I hate to sound like a Smith fan boy, but I have so many issues with this review:

    1. The 9C will run 17-round mags and has an accessory rail while the Shield can not and does not. If you are buying a gun for both carry and home defense (as many do) these are serious points that deserve a mention.

    2. The 9C has 3 interchangeable back straps. This should have mentioned.

    3. I don’t know how old the pistol that Nick tested is, but the 9C I bought in February HAS THE SAME TRIGGER AS THE SHIELD. I own both pistols, they are the exact same. I know the old 9C triggers were crap, but S&W is putting the Shield triggers in the new compacts.

    4. Only 4 stars for customization? Seriously? What would you want to buy for a 9C that is not available?

    5. The review dings the 9C for not being as slim as the Shield, but gives the 9C no credit for the additional 5 rounds of capacity in a flush fit magazine or the fact that you can carry a 17-round mag as a spare. The review also fails to acknowledge the possible benefits of having two (or three if you also own the full size) different sized pistols with very similar triggers and ergos. A Glock 26 is smaller than a 19, but that doesn’t automatically mean the 19 is crap.

    6. I have to chalk the opinion that the Smith trigger is worse than the XD’s up to the gun Nick reviewed having one of the old triggers. Nothing against Springfield, they make good guns, but the length of travel and crispness of the pull are both more favorable in the Shield-style triggers. Glocks seem to have a longer pull but a crisper break.

    7. There was no mention of the witness hole that allows one to view if a round is chambered. This is a nice feature and should have been mentioned.

    8. There was not a word about how the pistol breaks down. The takedown on an M&P is very convenient.

    9. How did the reliability testing go? Did you do any reliability testing?

    10. I know you previously did a full review of the full-sized M&P that addressed many of these points, perhaps that article could have been mentioned more prominently?

    Last thoughts: I own both the 9C and the Shield. They are both great pistols which fill different niches for me. I carry the Shield in the summer when I wear tighter T-Shirts or after a big meal. The rest of the time, I like having the extra 5 rounds of capacity and a 17-rounder in my pocket, so I carry the 9c. I greatly enjoy this blog and love most of the reviews, I just really felt like there should have been more meat here, especially when you espouse the view that gun reviews are what keep the readers coming in and you are reviewing a very popular pistol.

    • My M&P 40c was factory new in October 10/10/2013, and it certainly has the same trigger as my sister’s shield. There is zero resistance from the trigger until you hit the break, and it it is a very clear and defined break at ~6lb, with a fair reset. My first shot at the range produced a dead center bullseye on the target. My father told me I should set it down and call it a day, because I’d never shoot any better than that. In fact I put several rounds with in 3 to 4 inches of the bullseye. The more and more I read Nicks description and that of a few others, the more it sounds foreign to me. It has to be model from before they updated the trigger.

      Nick, open offer: if you have any business in the Ft. Worth area, you’re more than welcome to take my 40c out for a spin.

    • Was going to come back and comment more after thinking about it, but SpecialK said it better than I could. I don’t think I’m an M&P9c fanboy since I’m trying to sell mine (doesn’t fit into what I need, and it’s a meh range queen). I just don’t think this review compares well to the reviews coming from Jeremy and Joe. Feels rushed and incomplete.

    • Agreed! It’s worth noting that S&W changed the trigger on the M&Ps for 2013 and maybe this was an older model. My M&P9 was born in Feb of 2013 and has a pretty good trigger. Definitely as good as a my G19’s trigger with a clear/loud reset point and crisp break. Although nothing compared to a 1911 trigger but plenty good for any striker gun. I’d say it’s nearly as good as my friends fns9 stock trigger.
      This review kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like the “truth” was NOT told about this gun.

    • I agree with everything specialK said. The only addition I would make is that there was no mention by foghorn about the fully swappable controls. That’s a big deal in my opinion and shouldn’t have been left out.

  29. My wife has one of these and loves it. Not my favorite by a long shot, but I figure as long as she carries it, that is what matters.

  30. so im a lefty and ive been looking for something smaller than my full size Sti gp6 (also known as the grand power k100). i went to a couple of gun stores and tried out the shield and the 9c. have any of you guys tried to use the shield left handed? you cant do anything with it at all. the 9c? ambidextrous. thats a big factor in my case. or what if your primary hand gets injured? with a shield youre out of luck. im going to go with the 9c when i get the money saved. and most likely getting the apex trigger. im a little spoiled with the trigger on the gp6.

  31. I considered buying a Shield over an M&Pc… For my wife!

    Buy a decent belt and holster and wear an untucked button down, you’ll be more than fine. If that still doesn’t work, schlep an SP101 around for a couple years. After that, ANYTHING will feel easy to cc.

    I also agree that this review felt rushed, incomplete and oddly biased. These reviews usually clock, what 200 more words than this one?

  32. The M&P9c is indeed a chunky monkey compared to the new wave of single-stack compact 9mms, and the triggers were godawful (gritty take-up, no perceptible reset) until Smith rolled out the Shield-style mechanics to the rest of the M&P line. However, I have to respectfully disagree with the rest of Foghorn’s critiques. My first-ever firearm was an M&P9c, and it conceals just fine in an IWB Kholster, under a button-down dress shirt (where it has sat, day in and day out, for two years and counting). I can easily get minute-of-bad-guy accuracy out of mine, and with 12+1 rounds onboard (backed up with a 17-round spare mag) I have plenty of stopping power confidence. YMMV of course, but I have to echo previous commenters and wonder if good ol’ Foghorn didn’t give this one a fair shake.

  33. I have the pro 40 and this guy both are great but need a diff trigger imo . also their is a newer viersion coming with full size mags

  34. I have both the M&P9C and Shield. The trigger on the Shield was better than my M&P9C, but I believe the current model has a better trigger than what I started out with. Any case I went APEX all the way on both triggers. I’m extremely accurate and fast with my M&P9C so I’m not sure what your problem was on the accuracy. Doing the dot torture drill during one of my training classes, I was spot on minus 2 shots.

    Any case maybe take a 2nd look at the M&P9C. I prefer to have those extra rounds if I’m CCW.

  35. I, too, find the M&P 9C I just purchased to be quite fine in regards to the trigger. Mine shows a test fire date of April 2014, and in all honesty feels better than the Glock I just got rid of.

    The trigger on mine has a good, positive reset, and breaks nicely. I’ve not measured the actual poundage of the pull but it’s certainly not excessive.

    For point of reference, my wife, who’s a newbie, was able to shoot better groups with the M&P than her previous G26 – out of the box with no practice with the gun.

    This trigger feels very much like the M&P Pro I had briefly – though it’s feeling a pound or so heavier to my oh so scientific finger.

  36. Nick, are you ever going to let us know the build date of your 9c so we can get a better idea of whether or not your 9c’s trigger sucked yours was built before they started putting the improved triggers in?

  37. Guns I have sd9ve with apex kit, m&p 9c and a shield in 9mm they both have the same trigger pull, Love them all. But none of them triggers come close to my s&w 39-2.
    I buy U.S. made guns…..

  38. don’t understand the reviewer’s hatred for the 9c, i started with a glock 19, then bought a XD9 cause it had a smoother trigger than the glock. didn’t have that ka-twangey feel when fired. then played with a 9c, and it had better trigger and better balance than the glock or the xd9. A shield came into my dealer’s for $350,, so tried one of them. didn’t really impress me so sold it and got a m and p fulll sized 9. both have smooth trigs. IMHO.

  39. I started shooting M&P’s with my first one bought in July of ’07.

    Due to the Obama celebratory gun and ammo purchases of ’08; I shot that original M&P9 a lot over the next couple of years instead of my beloved 1911’s, and that one was and still is bone stock.

    Fast forward to July ’13 and I bought a second M&P9. It’s “new and improved” trigger didn’t compare well with the well used one in the ’07 gun, so rather than shoot it for a couple of years as is; I installed the Apex CAEK. The difference is unbelievable!

    I intend to buy a 9c next week, and plan on installing the same competition kit in it; but I’ll leave the stock trigger return spring in the gun, as I intend to use it some for carry.

  40. I agree, there is nothing “impossible” about this gun at all. I feel he is overstating a personal issue and attributing it as fact across the board. Sure, its not a competition trigger, sure its a factory model, etc. But it gets the job done.

    Also, who reasonably expects to get repeatable hits on a bad guy’s brain pan with a handgun, under stress and on the move? (Why are you shooing at a head and not a torso is my point.) In a EDC gun fight you’re only shooting for hits and not shooting for points in a center ring.

    Bottom line: Buy the gun to run a competition and you need a comp set up, buy the gun for an EDC self defense weapon and you have all you need out right out of the box.

  41. I have a 9c and love it. With the 12 round mag it’s concealable. Mine also came with a full size 17 round mag with the XGRIP mag extender. You also have the option of having an external safety or not. I don’t think the trigger is bad, if you can’t shoot a group then it’s you, not the trigger.

  42. I have a S&W M&P 9 Shield, which I bought shortly after they were available. I have had no issues shooting it at all. I recently (less than a month ago) bought a new S&W M&P 9c (the one with the updated trigger like the Shield trigger is). I have put 500 rounds exactly through the M&P 9c without any issues shooting at all. After 500 rounds, the trigger is actually a little better than the Shield trigger. I use the small grip adapter on the 9c so as to make it as close to the feel of the Shield as possible. I still feel the Shield grip is too narrow for my hand. I feel like I have to re-adjust me grip when shooting it, even though the 9mm doesn’t recoil hardly any to me. I will keep both, and most likely carry the Shield more than the 9c. That being said, If the SHTF I will reach for my M&P 9c FIRST because it holds 12 +1 rounds. And, the feel of it is more like the feel of my S&W M&P 40 full size pistol. The triggers on the two 9mm pistols is better than the original trigger system on my M&P 40, but I still shoot the 40 (with its trigger) pretty damn well. I also have a Glock 23 Gen 4 which I like a lot. I can shoot the Glock as well as my M&P 40. I like the Glocks and the M&P lines both,. I do like the Gen 4 Glocks much better than the older generations of their pistols. I don’t use any grip strap adapters on my Glock 23, just the grip that came on it. It reels just great the way it is. The only thing I changed on the Glock was that I added TruGlo TFO sights to it and put the plug in the bottom of the grip to keep dirt out. Guess what? I shoot my Taurus PT111 G2 9mm better than any of those. Better than my Springfield XDs, betterthan my Glocks, better than my M&P pistols. Maybe even a little more accurately than I shoot my 1911 45 acp even. Surprise, surprise 🙂

    • You should try the larger back grip on your M&P9C. I used a medium and it fits my hand nicely.. then I tried a large, which is slightly uncomfortable.. and found I shot more accurately.. Now it feels normal with the large since I shot with it often.

  43. Actually, I wear a size large in men’s gloves.
    But, I like the feel of the smallest grip on the full size M&P 40 and I also have the smaller grip strap on my S&W M&P 9c. I guess It helps me get as close to the really narrow grip of the M&P 9 Shield. I shoot them all just fine with the smaller grip strap.

  44. I did buy a 9c a couple of months ago, which had by far the best stock trigger pull and reset of any M&P that I’ve owned.

    I shot it like that a couple weeks, and decided to buy just the Apex hard sear and Ultimate striker block, while retaining the stock springs, as it is used some for carry.

    After the parts change, I have a shorter, more tactile result, and an average trigger pull (four pulls with the frame set in my gunsmiths vise) of three pounds, 10 1/2 ounces.

    The change made an out of the box good pistol great, especially for a poly pistol in it’s price range!

    I’ve carried it a good bit this summer, and have shot the 9c in numerous IDPA practices and BUG matches; it kicks butt for sure.

  45. My LGS had two M&P9c in their case. One with the ambi safety and one without. The variant with the safety was made in 09/13 while the other was made 9/12. What a difference a year makes! The newer 9c trigger had both an audible and tactile difference. You could feel and hear the reset! While not crazy about manual safety on the 9c, it would also be helpful for others that I will be providing basic pistol training. I found the 9c size a compromise between a G19 and G26. I like its size and ergonomics. I am not interested in the attributes the Shield and the limits its capacity has to offer. In that purpose, I’d use a LCR when 5 rounds is enough. I’m a Glock practitioner by trade but I thought I would give the 9c a chance,

    • I’m sure you’ll like your new 9c.

      I’ve been carrying one for the past several months, and shot many times in our weekly IDPA practices.

      Since it’s a carry gun; I installed the Apex Tactical hard sear and Ultimate striker block, while retaining the stock trigger and sear springs. I wound up with a nice clean and crisp 3 pound 10 1/2 ounce trigger pull.

      Though both were fine; I droppedWilson Combat barrels in both the 9c, and an M&P9 I bought last July (both are July 2013 build guns).

      I shot the M&P9 in a two day Threat Focused Pistol course this past weekend with over 1000 trouble free rounds down range through nine different mags.

      As far as I’m concerned; the M&P line is hands down the best poly pistol of any that I’ve ever owned, and that includes five different Glocks, and an XD.

      In addition to these two; I also own a bone stock M&P9 made in July of ’07 that I bought back then.

  46. I spent two months auditioning 9mm pistols at my local range, c2 tactical in Tempe, AZ. I tested Glocks, m&p’s, h&k’s, ruger etc. I shot the m&p the best so I bought it and the ruger lc9 from the same shop. After 400 rounds I can’t hit squat with the m&p even though at the range I shot it the best of all the pistols I tested. I didn’t notice at first, but the m&p I own has a heavier trigger. It has a crisp break and a clear reset, and I do think the heaviness contributes a little, but the problem is the TRIGGER BREAKS TOO FAR BACK! I think this is a real handicap especially for guys with big hands or long fingers like myself. I just can’t grip the pistol right. The ruger is very accurate for its size but it’s too light to shoot for too long due to recoil. I am kind of pissed at c2 tactical as I am pretty sure they did a trigger job on some of their rental m&p’s which is fine if you disclose it.

    • Check out the kits from Apex Tactical for improved trigger performance.

      For even less cost; buy a hard sear and Ultimate striker block while retaining your stock springs in the trigger return, sear and striker.

      I have a couple of posts above about my 9c where I did just that.

        • Any time, Jim!

          That mod on my 9c provided me with a trigger pull of just under 3 3/4 pounds (with a very nice reset).

          Three of my carry 1911’s came with a trigger pull of that, or just a bit less.

          Since lighter trigger pulls are usually associated with more accurate shot placement; unless the lighter pull results in an AD that hits someone, I’d think a defense attorney would be able to make a solid case for a responsible gun owner wanting to make their carry gun as accurate as they could being a responsible action.

    • Btw, I’m planning on putting in an Apex trigger and carrying it cocked and locked like a 1911. It does have an ambi 1911 style safety but it gets bumped off so I will remove the ambi and keep the strong side safety. I’m using the c-tac holster by comptac which I like a lot.

      Does anyone have any opinions on the mods listed having a likely, negative impact in a court for self-defence/carry?

  47. My 9c, purchased in mid-2015 is equipped with the new factory trigger and exhibits none of the issues discussed in this article – apparently the reviewer looked at an older version of the firearm. The 9c has excellent ergonomics and does very well on the range.

    • I own both the Shield 9m and the 9c, and while I like them both for their roles, the 9c seems to have a slightly better trigger than the shield, and I feel like I’m cheating with it compared to my shield. Both are great guns, I’ve never had a malfunction on either, feeding close to 1000 rounds of cheap range ammo.

      This review had to be on an original 9c, where the trigger had issues. I’m quite happy with it myself.

  48. With as many gun options as there are out there reviewers have to pick nits to make the reviews interesting. I don’t know that I would be willing to admit that I am so reliant on a triggers break and reset so on and so forth to hit a target. Practice is what will get you on target. If you are a competition shooter then the trigger can be that fine of an issue if accuracy and speed are involved but the pros would beat you in same competition using a Hi-Point. I would like to think in WRL combat situation I could pickup any firearm and use it regardless of trigger and fire minute of bad guy. When I am considering a new gun how it feels in my hand is most important to me, if it feels comfortable to me then I will shoot as well as I am capable regardless of the trigger.

  49. The M&P9c now uses the M&P shield trigger, this change was made back in early 2014 to my knowledge. It sounds to me like an older model was used in this review.

  50. I bought a used mp9c and it is my favorite gun right now. I am a glock fan boy and always put nose up at mp guns. However i have medium size hands and the mp9c fits like a glove, and 2 more rounds than g26. I have the over under single dot rear night sights and love them. The trigger seems like average striker 6 pound trigger to me. You want 1911 like trigger in a tupperware gun buy a sig p320, i cant even tell when its going to break just goes boom and scares me! I really hope le never carry p320, would be bad. I have owned and shot lots of guns and maybe i got lucky, but i really love my mp9c, people do seem to roll thier eyes when i tell them this though, oh well. Die hard 1911 guys especially guys with realky nice 1911 are going to be biased, 1911 does have the best boom switch in the biz, thats why its still popular 115 years later!
    Happy shooting!

  51. I purchased a M&P 40c sometime after 2013 and the trigger was very good. It has a lighter trigger pull than my son’s shield, a short effortless take up, a very clean break and a very tactile and short reset.

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