Courtesy Smith & Wesson
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Smith & Wesson has has a certified hit on its hands with the M&P380 Shield EZ. It’s a concealable, easy-racking gun for those who can’t or don’t want to handle something in a bigger caliber (see Jeremy’s 5-star review here). Now S&W has let it be known they’re giving the M&P380 Shield EZ the Performance Center treatment. Here’s their press release . . .

Performance Center® Introduces M&P®380 Shield™ EZ® Pistol

Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger, tuned action

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., (April 22, 2019) – Performance Center today announced the addition of its new M&P380 Shield EZ pistol in three eye-catching configurations.  Chambered in 380 Auto and equipped with a premium feature set, the Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ is designed to be easy to use while incorporating features traditionally found only on custom firearms, including a ported barrel, flat face trigger, and Performance Center tuned action.

Tony Miele, General Manager of Performance Center, said, “Performance Center has always been recognized for its ability to add custom touches to factory firearms, and the Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ represents exactly that – custom features, built right in.  When designing this product, we set out to maintain all of the easy to use features that have made the M&P380 Shield EZ wildly popular, while adding in a custom Performance Center touch.  With a flat face trigger, lightening cuts in the slide, and three striking color options, the Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ is sure to stand out at retailers nationwide.”

Built for personal and home protection, the new Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features the hallmark easy-to-use features of the M&P380 Shield EZ, including an easy to rack slide, easy to load magazine, and easy to clean design.  This new pistol features a 3.8” ported barrel to reduce muzzle flip, lightening cuts in the slide for reduced weight, and an 8+1 round capacity.  Each pistol ships with HI-VIZ® Litewave H3™ Tritium/Litepipe sights for excellent visibility in daylight and low light conditions.

In addition to the features listed above, the Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ pistol will ship with a Performance Center-branded Tipton® Compact Pistol Cleaning Kit that includes bore brushes, a cleaning rod, and related accessories to clean the pistol after use.

The Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ is available with a matte black frame and a choice of black, silver, or gold accents, and carries an MSRP of $502.

To learn more about the new Performance Center M&P380 Shield EZ, please click here.

To stay up to date on all of the latest news and events, follow Performance Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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  1. I, for one, would like to see a 380 service pistol division in the shooting sports.

    There is a backup gun division, however, it excludes the larger frame 380 pistols. These would include the Baretta, the PK380, The Browning 1911-380, the M&P380, the subject of this article, and many others.

    • “There is a backup gun division, however, it excludes the larger frame 380 pistols”

      Well, yes. Gamer guns in a BUG match kind of defeat the point.

      Personally , I just run my BUG in a normal match. Some SOs will even score me as minor (unless some wanker thinks that a 10 oz .380 is cheating)

      • Meh… there is no such thing as a “gamer gun” these days. A lot of the stuff you used to only see on race guns is now hitting people’s everyday carry.

        Optics? Check.
        Comps or ported barrels? Check
        Trigger jobs? Check

        • Just because people are wisely or unwisely using gamer guns as carry guns doesn’t make them not game guns.

          Honestly, optics are useless I feel at common defensive gun use range, ported barrels and slides just serve to have more shit get into the internal workings in a possible life or death scenario, stippled grips can catch on clothes. I’m personally fine with fiber optic/night sights and trigger jobs though.

        • BUG (back up gun) The whole point of a bug match is some people want to run their pocket pistols but can’t deal with losing to everyone with a service pistol.

          And power factor and weight makes way more of a difference than most of those ‘race’ gun doodads.

        • Sure there is.

          Running a 30 oz steel framed Bersa .380 could be considered gaming it.

          I have owned a Seecamp 380, Ruger LCP, Kahr P380 and Glock 42. The order listed is in order of increasing size. Its also in order of increasing shootability.

          The goldilocks gun for me is the Kahr. Its still small enough to be an “always” gun, and I can shoot it well.

          The Glock 42 is a dream to shoot. In fat other than the G34, I think its the easiest glock there is to shoot well once you put +2 mag extension on it.

          I carry and shoot both a Kahr P380 and a G42.

  2. How about a locked breech 3.8-4 inch .380…with a 9x18mm conversion barrel?
    Think about it.

  3. The action job and fiber optic sights are worth having. The trigger is a matter of personal taste. The rest is of no value on a .380.

    • I’d disagree… Even my PPKS is a pain in the ass to shoot. If a little porting can help mitigate that, so much the better. The cosmetics are meh… the only thing that’s keeping me from ordering one of these from my LGS is the useless external safety.

        • Mine doesn’t have a manual safety. It still has the external grip safety, which I find to be entirely unobtrusive and a handy feature on a gun I routinely use as a beginners platform.

      • I’m not sure what you mean by “even my ppks is a pain to shoot”.

        I think you are making a fundamental mistake of thinking that since the PPK is heavy, its got relatively low recoil. Unfortunately for you, you are wrong. The PPKs is a terrible shooting gun. Its straight blowback action recoils more than modern guns that weigh half as much.

        The M&P EZ is a VERY EASY shooting little gun. Its actually fun. And its very easy to load and manipulate.

        The much smaller Kahr P380 that I carry, in contrast takes practice to shoot well and the small, light slide necessitates a stiff recoil spring. The result of the tiny slide and stiff spring is that many people can’t manipulate it easily.

  4. I bought my wife the standard model. She can rack it with her tiny and weak hands. The gun is easy to aim and keep on target, and is very accurate. Had had zero issue with all types of ammo, brass, steel, and aluminum. Can’t see why this high end version would be any different.

  5. You have got to be kidding me! First, who would carry a .380 ACP? Second who would pay for a custom .380? Third, who needs a ported .380? My mom keeps a model 36 in her nightstand I gave her in the ’80s. She’ll be 90 next weekend. She doesn’t shoot at a competitive level, but if you come into her bedroom at 0300 hrs you will leave post haste. If you can.

    • I am disabled and have a hard time with the trigger pull DA revolvers. Also this gun has 2 more rounds than a revolver + 1 in the chamber for a total of 9 all together. Very easy to rack and very easy to load the magazine. Just because you or members of your family have no problem does not mean that someone else might not find this pistol useful. It gets boring reading the caliber war comments, also the ones from the “only a revolver is any good” people. I continue to read comments here because I do get some valuable info from the community, but just because I am disabled does not mean I should not have an option to defend myself and my wife.

      I shut up now and go back to lurking.

      • Or if you just want a gun that is super easy use and shoot.

        Nice that we have tons of great options for folks of all abilities.

      • I know plenty of people who carry or own a .380 as their only pistol. However, the convergence of that group and the group that wants a ported up, match-sighted pistol with a enhanced trigger is within a rounding error of zero. Good luck with this one, S&W.

    • @Gadsden Flag; What’s wrong with .380ACP ? With modern technology, it’s as deadly as any other caliber. Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were killed with a .380 sparking World War One, and so was Mahatma Gandhi in India as was French President Paul Doumer in 1932. I don’t know anybody volunteering to be shot with a .380ACP to prove it’s weak round. It’s a perfectly acceptable self defense round when fired from a 3 3/4″ barrel like the S&W has.

      • “With modern technology, it’s as deadly as any other caliber.”
        I can’t tell if you’re for real or you are satirizing people simple enough to still make this argument (usually made with 9mms). You think modern technology has ONLY made the .380 “more deadly”? Not the 9mm, .45acp, .40, or .357? Or is it that you think the .380 is as deadly as any caliber can be, therefore there can be no further increases?

        Think about the logic of what you’re saying. And I’m not sure what your historical examples show except that if you shoot an Archduke in the throat, yes, he may die. Although note that even with a fatal .380 wound to a major blood vessel, he didn’t die for minutes afterwards and was conscious for some time. Not a great exemplar of a self-defense shooting. Hey, Lincoln was killed by a 1-shot derringer! Must be a great self-defense weapon.

        As to the last of your specious arguments, I would not volunteer to be shot by a .177 pellet rifle. Because that would be ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous to think that means anything as to its utility as a cartridge.

        • And you missed his point. All calibers are more effective to and the .380 has moved into what can be called an effective caliber AS WELL.


    • Yeah, what were they thinking in designing a firearm that is easier for individuals with wrist or hand dexterity issues due to medical reasons or surgeries or not having the appropriate amount of strength for higher caliber firearms and allowing them the opportunities to also protect themselves and have enjoyment in target shooting….The nerve of some people!.

    • When was the last time you had her at the range? How well does she keep muzzle on target with a DA trigger pull?

  6. Forgot to add . Dad is backing her up with a three inch round butt #65. Not going to give anyone I love a .380.

  7. Well, you hang in certain circles you meet certain people. Some of them are caliber compensators.

  8. This is somewhat interesting, but I see a couple of (potential) problems.

    First, in Honest Outlaw review, the 380 EZ demonstrated a substandard accuracy. Sorry, but anything worse than Glock 42 in this class is a fail. Adding race parts won’t help if your barrel is not cut right or rattles in the slide.

    Second, the capacity is a little too low for me. Because of the house rules in my local match, shooters must have 10 round magazines or larger. This is why I’m running G42 with ETS 12-rounders (well, I could also use a Promag, but ETS is more reliable and allows the to run a grip extension).

    I’d look at the 380 EZ PC if they fixed these problems.

    • Honest Outlaw May have had accuracy troubles with his. I haven’t.

      Mine is entirely accurate enough for its intended use, hitting exactly where I aim and producing the same group size as I see on full size pistols of various makes. It’s an excellent pistol to introduce new shooters to handguns, and I enjoy just plinking steel with it.

    • Funny how ranges are. The local practical pistol match “suggests” 10 round mags, but if you want to carry 7,8, or 9 they are happy to let you shoot. If you want to compete with your 5 shot 38, go for it. One of the matches I was at, they cut the number of shots on a stage so the revolver guy would not have to reload 3 times.

    • Form follows function. I have no prob with .380 auto or it’s looks, the reviews says it functions for its target audience/buyers.

  9. Not my cup o tea but the EZ is really EZ to hit with from what I have seen.

    For someone wanting little recoil or blast, it seems like a great little pistol.

    Shoots almost like a 22. I wouldn’t want to be in front of one.

    But I most often carry an LCP so I have a healthy respect for something that can poke a 38 to 45 caliber hole into my innards.

  10. Sexy little pistol, I’ve been looking for a concealed carry, was thinking 9mm, but I like the look these, especially the one with gold accents. 🙂

  11. No idea why anyone would need or want anything stronger than .32 ACP. After all, it hits like a brick through a plate glass window. And I carry it Israeli style, no round in the chamber. It’s the proper caliber and the proper way to carry. Others may carry in other ways, but they are all wrong. But that’s ok, not everyone is destined to be right.

    • lol.
      I’ve never heard is called the Israeli way.
      But it is the method I plan to carry…once I get my concealed carry pistol.

        • Or perhaps he is someone who has made a calculated assessment of the likelihood of needing the pistol to go bang right away v. needing a second to rack the slide?

          I can see that the extra time time needed to rack the slide could make all the difference in a couple of extremely unlikely situations. Of course it’s also unlikely to suffer a ND, AD (or a child gets their hands on the pistol) due to having a round in the chamber.

          However, to call someone an idiot purely because they prefer to carry with an empty chamber is (to my mind) a little out of order.

    • Dude… It’s 2019… Not 1980. It’s time to get over the phobia, because the “plastic” has proven it’s durability through military and civilian application.

      • As much as I bash Glock, I have to admit, their dependable, accurate, simple to use, large capacity, light and actually just about the most practical sidearmn a person could buy. ,,,,,,,2019???? Whoe, so this is what happened after Woodstock, where’d the time go, man?

    • If you’ve handled one and still dislike the grip safety, disregard my comment.

      If you haven’t handled one, I suggest you try it. The grip safety is a non-factor. It’s hinged at the bottom and sticks out a ways so the majority of your hand has a play in disengaging it. I tried using a very loose grip, almost to the point of dropping the (unloaded) pistol, and it still disengaged and allowed the hammer to drop.

      The grip safety disengages as positively as a 1911 with an extended and raised grip safety, maybe even more so. If I were to carry a model without the manual safety, I wouldn’t have an issue with the grip safety.

      • That’s good to know. I personally am fine with it. It was more for my mother who has grip issues.

        “I tried using a very loose grip, almost to the point of dropping the (unloaded) pistol, and it still disengaged and allowed the hammer to drop.” That’s good to know, I’ll have my mom try it out and maybe I’ll get one for her.

  12. Regardless of your feelings on look/caliber, S&W keeps this market up and hopefully Glock starts losing business. I personally switched my edc from Glocks to the S&W new m2.0 line about 6 months ago and have no mods, because none are needed. I would like optics and such tbh, and you can buy them with it for a decent price, unlike Glocks, which need to be taken to specialists.

  13. *Slow Clap*

    Smith and Wesson Performance Center introduces their first Meme Gun… Congratulations!

    Meanwhile, all of us normies are waiting for the optics ready M2.0 line.

  14. I just want the sights and trigger job (not the straight trigger). According to HIVIZ, they have sights for the 380 EZ but you must call them to place an order. I don’t know what ones they offer, trits or f/o or a combo.

  15. S&W needs to seriously consider making a double stack version of this pistol. It would sell like wildfire and shouldn’t be much larger, if at all.

    • There’s enough empty room in the grip already (that they use to allow room for the dual sided finger nub for mag loading) to probably accomodate at least another 2-3 rounds.

      They should have made a version with a fatter mag that doesn’t have the mag nubs. It just means shaving off a couple thin guide rails in the grip.

  16. i sent my shield ez 380 performance center in 3 times, 1st it stove piped on last round on the 2 mags that came with it and it shot 6 inchs left at 3 yards, they sent it back with 2 new mags, but didnt address the shooting left. I had my dealer send it in after talking to his smith rep. they sent it back with supposedly a new barrel. I test fired it it still shot 6 inchs to the left, i had my dealer shoot it and a fellow shooter who shots idpa shoot it, it shot to same point of aim 6 inchs to the left at 3 yard, my dealer contacted his distributor, smith returned the gun with 2 test targets showing significant shots to the left, and a letter stating that they it was within their specs and they would no longer do anything about it. I am stuck with a firearm that is useless to my wife. i wont trade it off as is i cant in good faith stick someone else with this lemon. this is what Smith and wesson has degenerated to, after being a Smith fan for over 50 years and a NRA pistol instuctor since 1991, i will never buy another and never recommend one to my students.

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