S&W Shield : What are the facts ?


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tercel89
August 16, 2013, 08:48 AM
I know that the internet is famous for rumors and bull-crap. I am wanting to get a S&W Shield. I have the money but just keep reading about problems here and there. I know that a new product will have "growing pains" and problems but I am hearing FTE , FTF, rust, Failure to return to battery, magazines falling out and on and on . I hear this on S&W forums and other gun forums like Glock forums and such.
What are you guy's experience with the Shield ?
At this point I am almost ready to just not buy one but I love how thin it is and how it is made better than the other "thin guns" .
Any help is appreciated .

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PabloJ
August 16, 2013, 08:58 AM
I have only handled couple of Shields but, found that the truth about specific guns lies someplace in the middle. They're not as perfect as some claim nor nearly as bad as some others make them to be. With many sold I'm sure the Shield is good product at fair price (about $450 locally).

M2 Carbine
August 16, 2013, 09:03 AM
I have two. I liked the 9mm so well I bought the 40S&W Shield.
Two lady friends have two more (9mm). The minute they shot mine they wanted one.

Very reliable and very accurate.
I shoot it a good bit (home range).

The only complaint I have with the gun is it doesn't have a rail for a Crimson Trace Rail Master laser. (All my defense guns are equipped with (good) lasers.)

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Gunbox_zpsc19d5dff.jpg (http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/Bell-helicopter-407/media/Gunbox_zpsc19d5dff.jpg.html)

M2 Carbine
August 16, 2013, 09:07 AM
DP.......

460Kodiak
August 16, 2013, 09:08 AM
I've heard mostly good things about them. I went with the XDs 45 myself, and love it. Sometimes, when you are really interested in a gun, and are not sure, or they have a hit or miss reputation, you just have to take a chance and buy one. I think more often than not, you'll have a hit, and be perfectly happy.

Do remember there are other options out there too like Springfield and Kahr.

littlebluevette
August 16, 2013, 09:17 AM
I have both the XDS and the Shield and am back and forth between the two of them. I only have about 2,500 rounds on each of them and both have been flawless.

If I were to nitpick the Shield I would say that the only thing I don't like about it is the yellow lever you need to push down for disassembly where as the XDS disassembly is simpler. I put Ameriglo night sights on the Shield which improved the speed of my target acquisition.

http://www.ameriglo.net/catalog/sights/pistol-sights/smith-wesson/night-sights/complete-sets

M2 Carbine
August 16, 2013, 09:18 AM
Do remember there are other options out there too like Springfield and Kahr.
True.

These are a few more I have. All decent guns.

Shield.....CZ RAMI
Bersa BR9cc.....Ruger LC9
Beretta NANO
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/5subcompacts_zps61e2d53f.jpg (http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/Bell-helicopter-407/media/5subcompacts_zps61e2d53f.jpg.html)


I shot a XDS 45 yesterday. Didn't buy it because it's about $130 more than the Shield.
I'd like to add it to the collection if I can get the price down a little.:)

tercel89
August 16, 2013, 09:24 AM
I got my mind set on the Shield so far . I don't like the Springfield XDS because of the grip-safety and I don't like the Kahr at all.
I wish that Springfield left off that stupid grip-safety :barf:

460Kodiak
August 16, 2013, 09:53 AM
Just curious. What about the grip saftey puts you off? I don't even realize mine is there, and it works well.

Hunter991
August 16, 2013, 11:52 AM
I have the xds and shield. Both are great. I haven't heard many bad remarks about the shield and mine has been perfect.

PabloJ
August 16, 2013, 11:52 AM
Just curious. What about the grip saftey puts you off? I don't even realize mine is there, and it works well.
I do not understand why but many gun folks have strong aversion toward extra safety devices. I will admit I had to put electrical tape around handle of my mower because I hate to restart it every time I walk away from it. Safety on guns don't bother me at all.

gym
August 16, 2013, 12:00 PM
Kahrs are great little guns, I have had all 3 and the shield got sold off. It wasn't as small or reliable as the pm9, nor as potent as the xds. Guns are individual items, everyone is going to say something else, it's up to you to decide for yourself.
Also you can get a good or not so good version of the same gun. Until you shoot it there is no way of knowing.
There are hundreds of threads here where some guys like something, and as many didn't, so to ask a definitive question is going to result in opinions. Being that we all differ with our opinions, you are never going to find a definite conclusion, until you buy the gun and try it for yourself.
That is one reason we all keep buying guns, otherwise there would be 1 gun that everyone agreed was the end all, best one out there for carry.

dab102999
August 16, 2013, 12:29 PM
Wife and I both have one in 9mm. Haven't had any problem with either one and close to 4000 rounds thru them. Wife always carries hers with safty on. I usually don't but find myself to be more and more. The reason I say that is only gun I have with a manual safty is a Kimber. So knowing I am carrying a poly I know I don't have to worry about a manual safty, but at the same time I always find myself insteactively sweeping the "safety area" and the safety comes off of safe on my shield very easy.

KYamateur
August 16, 2013, 01:31 PM
I purchased a shield in 9mm a couple of months ago. If you want a gun that is scary accurate for a small gun and shoots everytime you pull the trigger than you should get a shield. I have tried several small 9mm pistols and the shield is my favorite by a landslide. I have put just under 600 rounds through mine and it runs perfect. I now trust it as a carry gun.http://i1350.photobucket.com/albums/p778/jreed576/shield_zps64f03fbd.jpg (http://s1350.photobucket.com/user/jreed576/media/shield_zps64f03fbd.jpg.html)
http://i1350.photobucket.com/albums/p778/jreed576/target_zpse3cab002.jpg (http://s1350.photobucket.com/user/jreed576/media/target_zpse3cab002.jpg.html)

Carsong
August 16, 2013, 04:25 PM
I have had a full size S&W M&P 40 for a number of years, and I love it. It's one of those guns that just fit my hand, and points perfectly. I can, easily shoot it with either hand. Even though the Shield is much smaller, I find it just as comfortable to shoot. It fills my hand and feels just as comfortable. It has been absolutely reliable. I've had zero problems. Quite accurate for a small gun.

Bush Pilot
August 16, 2013, 06:51 PM
I have the xds and shield. Both are great. I haven't heard many bad remarks about the shield and mine has been perfect.
This mirrors my experience with both guns.

Madcap_Magician
August 16, 2013, 09:55 PM
I've heard overwhelmingly positive comments, and my experience has mirrored that.

I haven't heard any of the issues the OP mentioned except for Failure to Extract.

1858
August 16, 2013, 10:18 PM
I don't like the Springfield XDS because of the grip-safety ...
I wish that Springfield left off that stupid grip-safety

Funny ... that's exactly how I feel about the Shield. I wish that S&W had left off that stupid safety! If they had I would probably own and carry the 9mm version because the Shield feels better in my hand. I ended up buying an XD-S in .45 Auto and find that the small grip safety is nowhere near as intrusive as a typical 1911 grip safety so it's a non issue for me. I've shot the .40 S&W version of the Shield and would chose the XD-S I have over that model.

jfrey
August 16, 2013, 10:28 PM
I have 2 Shields and with around 1500 rounds between them I haven't had one problem. I have also shot two others with the same results Factory or reload ammo- it doesn't matter. If you found bad results on the Glock forum - well, go figure.

CountGlockulla
August 16, 2013, 10:31 PM
So far so good with both my shields. No failures, rust, or anything.

larry237
August 16, 2013, 11:51 PM
I just got a Shield 40 and it is good, so far. Recoil is mild with the 40's and it shoots to point of aim. Sights are easy to see. It is thin enough to be easy to carry and heavy enough to manage recoil. First 50 rounds fired without a problem. I ordered a Lasermax and a holster for CCW. I like the 40 S&W cartridge from using it as an LEO.

Cokeman
August 17, 2013, 03:08 AM
I know that the internet is famous for rumors and bull-crap. I am wanting to get a S&W Shield. I have the money but just keep reading about problems here and there. I know that a new product will have "growing pains" and problems but I am hearing FTE , FTF, rust, Failure to return to battery, magazines falling out and on and on . I hear this on S&W forums and other gun forums like Glock forums and such.
What are you guy's experience with the Shield ?
At this point I am almost ready to just not buy one but I love how thin it is and how it is made better than the other "thin guns" .
Any help is appreciated .

Mine hasn't done any of those things.

BLB68
August 17, 2013, 03:15 AM
I've got a 9mm Shield with 420 rounds through it.

Reliability: It had one FTE in the first 100 rounds with 115 gr S&B range ammo, and another in the second hundred rounds with Magtech 115 gr range ammo. I chalk it up to fairly mild loads in a new gun. The last hundred rounds I put through it were also the Magtech, and ran flawlessly.

These could have been due to limpwristing, but a) I don't do that, and b) every range session I alternate between two-handed, and both strong and weak hand unsupported, and it's never shown any hiccups with the weak hand. I don't think it's particularly prone to limp wristing failures.

The trigger was very rough when new. The trigger bar engages a plunger, and the channel the plunger rides in must have a bur on it. Initially, it was so rough that it would catch there right before breaking and take at least twenty pounds to break. I discussed the issue with a local gunsmith with a very good reputation, and he said just to keep shooting and cleaning it and it'd work itself out. It's pretty much worked out at this point. I suspect it'll be very smooth in a few hundred rounds. It's more than adequate as it sits now.

The gun has very thin grips, but isn't especially light. It's top heavy, but that doesn't seem to affect the handling much in actual use. I've put a Hogue Hand-All Jr grip sleeve on it, and it feels much better.

Weight-wise, with the Hand-Alls installed, it's 1.51 lbs with the 7 round mag and 1.56 lbs with the 8 round mag, loaded. (Federal 124 gr Hydrashocks -- I know, not the best, but all I could find at the time.) Holstered in a Sticky holster, it comes to 1.626 lbs with the 8 round, loaded.

So, it's not the lightest gun. IMO, it's great for IWB carry, not so much for pocket carry, though I do carry it in a jacket pocket. It's definitely in the "so small you'll forget you're carrying it" category.

Accuracy is outstanding, once the trigger is broken in. (If you really hate the trigger, Apex makes a trigger kit that improves it considerably. The smith I mentioned above doesn't believe the Shield needs one, though, and I agree. The design seems very sound, mine just had an issue with the finish, which isn't surprising at this price point.)

As for the yellow lever to push when taking it down. You don't have to use it, and can pull the trigger same as a Glock, instead. This just gives you an option that doesn't involve pulling the trigger. Which is not a bad thing, IMO. Youtube has a takedown video or two that shows both methods. Both are easy enough. This is a very easy gun to maintain.

I really don't like the sights. Lots of reviewers seem to love them. I find the front sight a PITA to acquire in lower light due to the dot being very dull and smaller in comparison to the rear dots. They'd have been better off to leave the dots off altogether IMO. Fortunately, there are several aftermarket sights available. I'll probably put the XS big dots on it when I get the extra funds. Of course, my eyes are starting to hit middle age, so this may not be an issue for a lot of folks.

I haven't experienced any of the problems listed in the OP, aside from the two FTEs that haven't recurred.

tightgroup tiger
August 17, 2013, 07:39 AM
I bought a Shield about 3 months ago and I really like it. I had to move the sights with on and found out they were locktited in but after I heated them up with an electric soldering iron and moved them, it is shooting right on now. I am getting use to it and honestly I'm really getting to where it is one of my favorite pistols.
I looked at both the Shield and the XDs and compaired them side by side. The Smith is lighter and slimmer, the XDs has better sights and a better trigger with faster reset but is 150.00 more than the Shield.
I chose the Shield and it has been flawless with my loads so far and as stated several times above, It is very accurate

sappyg
August 17, 2013, 08:04 AM
I've only got ~350 rounds through mine and had 1 FTE at around the 200 mark. This was with 115 gr. WW. There is absolutely nothing for me to conclude from that other than I need to shoot it more.
While I've only ran a couple of mags with HP ammo they were flawles.
The trigger seemed heavy at 1st and stil is I guess but this is not a target gun. It's easy to get off shots accurately with no real attention to the trigger on my behalf.
Can't speak much abouth the finish. If there were an issue with it I probably wouldn't care.
I feel exactly the same as BLB68 about the sights. Mine came with the front sight a little off center which is no big deal but the shield is begging me for a set of XS sights.

tercel89
August 17, 2013, 10:02 AM
On the Springfield XD's and XDS's I cant always engage the grip safety and it will often fail to fire for me . But for some reason I have no trouble with my 1911 grip safety.

Soldiernurse
August 17, 2013, 11:34 AM
I've never understood the safety hate. Besides, the Shield safety is recessed & tiny. Too easy to leave the safety disengaged for those that hate safety features. I like the XD grip safety, which requires a firm grip, and secondary benefit minimal chance of the dreaded limp wrist induced malfxn's.

I owned a Shield40 when they first became available. I was one of the unlucky ones to have the inadvertent mag drop ... mag drop w/o pressing the mag release. I sold it! Now, I have another Shield40 I bought NIB a couple of months back. I've had no malfxns. I also have an XDs45, which I'm more accurate with compared to my Shield. In fact, I've found for me a one-hand grip works best for the Shield.

I will say my Shield40 has a very snappy recoil... this is very subjective. However, I have other .40S&W cal handguns not associated w/snappy turtle. My XDs45 seems to have little recoil for being so small. I should've waited for a Shield9. It is my understanding S&W stopped selling the 40 to 9 conversion barrel. Otherwise, I'd already purchased same.

I bought a used M&P9C, and shortly afterward had the Apex DCAEK installed, which made a world of difference. So, when I bought the Shield40 they installed the Apex DCAEK while I waited. IMO, my XDs45 trigger axn was good from day one.

Regards to the sights, I'm a TruGlo GRN TFO fan. These sights are on both my M&P's, as well as my Glocks. I like the red front sight that comes stock on the XDs.

If, I'd bought the XDs45 before the Shield, then I would not have bought the Shield. I must say many complain, legit concerns, that the XDs fails to go in battery. I've not had such problem. The XDs needs to be racked fully back then let go of slide, making sure to not ride the slide forward.

BLB68
August 17, 2013, 06:26 PM
Soldiernurse's post reminds me I left two items off mine: Recoil and safety.

Recoil on the 9mm isn't bad. I'd say it's on par with my old Kimber Pro Carry II, commander-sized, aluminum-framed 1911. It's noticeable, but still quite pleasant for a range session. It doesn't batter your hand. Recovery for next shot isn't as quick as a full sized gun, but not really bad, either.

The safety lever is well-designed. It's easy to swipe off (in the proper direction, too), but if you chose to carry with it off, it's not going to accidentally reengage.

almherdfan
August 17, 2013, 07:14 PM
I'm very pleased with the M&P Shield (9mm). I've not had any problems with it (800 rounds). It carries comfortably & easily IWB. It's a soft shooter and pretty accurate. (I did replace the sights with the XS Big Dot). I like, but don't love, the trigger. I don't use the safety, but it doesn't bother me.

I really like mine. A lot.

Mohave-Tec
August 18, 2013, 01:01 AM
...all the pocket 9s that is. The beauty is in the simplicity. Kahr CM9. None of the rest matter to me any more.

Capt. Ct.
August 18, 2013, 03:13 AM
My Shield 9mm, XDS 9mm and Glock 26 all work perfectly. Not a failure with any of them. When I got the Shield the trigger was pretty rough. A lot of spraying and dry firing as well as actual firing has cleaned that up. I had the front sight moved over a little. I could not move it myself. The gun is accurate and feels good in my hand. I feel like I have the carry gun I have always wanted after twenty years of going from one gun to the next.

Litlman
August 18, 2013, 08:10 AM
Mine runs. accurate and nice trigger. Fits my big hand well. I can toss it in a front pocket with the small mag. What holsters are you guys using for ccw?

gym
August 18, 2013, 11:16 AM
PM9 same thing as above, I am done looking after 40 + years. It is perfect for 90% of things you "could possibly need a gun for". I don't think any gun is perfect for 100%.

Dean1818
August 18, 2013, 02:39 PM
My Shield 40 is fantastic

0 problems


The Bersa, Kahrs, Sigs, CZs, have all gone

The Shield 40 and M&P45C are the only 2 that made the cut for me....

They are both never sell guns.....

Mr.Revolverguy
August 18, 2013, 03:44 PM
http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1943

rgwalt
August 18, 2013, 08:51 PM
I have a Shield in 9mm. I got the Apex trigger kit for it, which helped the trigger pull/feel. I have had some failures to eject/extract. However, I think the problem is with one specific magazine. All of my problems have occurred with the same magazine. I'm going to exclude that mag from future range sessions and run the gun in with several hundred rounds.

My shield shot left (significantly left) when I brought it home. Since I had the trigger kit installed, the armorer had to remove the rear sight, so he trued it up for me. So far I'm pleased with this gun, and I think it will become my IWB as long as the reliability holds up.

gym
August 20, 2013, 12:05 PM
I have noticed that the sights on the shield have a tendency to be "off" to the left side, "noticeably", from the factory. I could see mine the first time I really looked at it with a magnifying glass, "eyes are older now" I saw it when shooting it, but made sure it wasn't me. It needed a drift punch to the right. Maybe the first batch was not up to par.

Cokeman
August 20, 2013, 03:47 PM
Which sight?

gym
August 22, 2013, 10:44 AM
The front, it's been reported in several other posts I have read, where folks had the sight moved when they had other work done. They had to be heated up first from the past few threads I read due to locktight being used to secure it. I can't swear to that but after hitting mine with a drift punch and hammer, I decided to leave it alone, as it didn't move.
I eventually traded it for a 9C.

Madcap_Magician
August 22, 2013, 12:07 PM
Further comments on mine:

1. Recoil is subjectively mild. Factors affecting this include that I have slender fingers and can get a full grip on the Shield, and that my carry ammo is standard pressure 147-gr. Is it as mild as a Glock 19 or a 9mm Combat Commander? No. But compared to a Kahr PM9 it is mild, and I think it's a little less than a P9 as well, although I have not shot one of those in quite some time.

2. I have had no reliability issues. Mine is a very early serial number 9mm, purchased the day after the NRA show when the gun was announced. It does not appear to be sensitive to bullet weight, power level (standard, +P, or +P+), or bullet design.

JAshley73
August 22, 2013, 12:39 PM
I have a 9mm shield, and a full size 9mm M&P.

The shield is surprisingly comfortable to shoot. The recoil impulse feels quicker than the full size gun, but it is still comfortable and manageable with the extended 8-round magazine. The 7- round magazine is still shoot able, but without a full grip on the gun, I find it to be uncomfortable. I have an extra 8-rounder, so I've decided not to use the 7 round magazines.

I can't comment on accuracy. From 21 feet, I can put all the rounds in a 10" circle, but I'm not a good pistol shooter. With some more practice, I sure I will improve...

Reliability has been good so far. Like the full size M&P, it's cycled every ammo I've put through it. I buy whatever is on sale, so I'm not one to be picky about ammo myself.

I'm left handed and keep the safety deactivated. Hasn't been a problem so far, as the safety stays in position very well.

I just need a holster for it. My personal opinion is that it's a great gun...

breakingcontact
August 22, 2013, 02:30 PM
Every person who likes a product (gun, power tool, cell phone) doesn't take to the interwebs to pump it up, but it seems that most with problems do.

It's a skewed sample of reality.

If you read long enough online, you'll find whatever it is you want to believe, good or bad.

henschman
August 22, 2013, 05:26 PM
I am glad I went with the Kahr CM9 instead.

KYamateur
August 22, 2013, 06:32 PM
I don't always carry a sub-compact 9mm, but when I do it is a M&P Shield.

Stay thirsty my friends

dogtown tom
August 22, 2013, 07:26 PM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_791654_-1_757978_757978_image

KYamateur
August 22, 2013, 08:15 PM
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_791654_-1_757978_757978_image
That sucks. I love their customer service but I hate sending guns back

breakingcontact
August 23, 2013, 01:13 AM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/08/23/a6y6ahyp.jpg

Here's my aftermarket shield sights.

Most major companies are not producing junk.

Roons
August 24, 2013, 02:37 AM
I have a Shield .40. For the first 500 rounds I had no issues, then suddenly the magazines began to drop out while firing. Not 100% of the time, but enough to become a serious issue during a CCW class. It wasn't an issue of hitting the magazine release, and was verified by several instructors as well as many similar issues online.

I called S&W and they had me send it back for repair. 3 weeks later it was returned and I've had no issues with it so far. They didn't mention what it was, but it must have been the mag catch.

Now I hear of the "IMPORTANT CONSUMER SAFETY ALERT and INSPECTION PROCEDURE - August 22, 2013" for the firearm. I check mine and it doesn't have an issue. However, it has completely ruined my faith in the firearm. What other issues exist? What will show up at the worst possible moment?

Sure its very small and conceals great! But whats a firearm worth if you can't trust it anymore.

plouffedaddy
August 24, 2013, 08:10 AM
I know that the internet is famous for rumors and bull-crap. I am wanting to get a S&W Shield. I have the money but just keep reading about problems here and there. I know that a new product will have "growing pains" and problems but I am hearing FTE , FTF, rust, Failure to return to battery, magazines falling out and on and on . I hear this on S&W forums and other gun forums like Glock forums and such.

Mine's been 100% and not had any of the issues mentioned above.

raD21Sg6CRA

The trigger safety on mine is good to go as well.

Al Thompson
August 24, 2013, 09:07 AM
What other issues exist? What will show up at the worst possible moment?

That's true about any firearm. From poorly heat treated 1903 Springfields to Glocks infamous "Phrase 3" malfunctions, it's always (IMHO) good to have "Plan B" for any defensive tool. :scrutiny:

KTXdm9
August 24, 2013, 10:32 AM
No issues with mine. I went with TFO night sights and a Crossbreed for IWB carry. It's fun to shoot for such a small pistol.

Rob G
August 24, 2013, 10:49 AM
Now I hear of the "IMPORTANT CONSUMER SAFETY ALERT and INSPECTION PROCEDURE - August 22, 2013" for the firearm. I check mine and it doesn't have an issue. However, it has completely ruined my faith in the firearm. What other issues exist? What will show up at the worst possible moment?

Sure its very small and conceals great! But whats a firearm worth if you can't trust it anymore.

If you standard for "reliable firearm" is that it must be 100% reliable even with out of spec or misinstalled parts then odds are there isn't a single firearm out there you could trust. Your gun has no known issues which is about as reliable as any gun can get.

I don't own a gun myself but my best friend carries one in .40 on a daily basis and loves the gun. It's been 100% reliable for him with every type of ammo it's been fed. I've had the privelege of shooting it on any number of occasions and I like it quite a bit. The recoil seems a little snappy to me but not badly so and I can easily do minute-of-vital-organ out to 15 yards with it. WIth a little practice I'm sure I could extend that range out further. I may add one to my own collection soon if I can shake off my obsessive need for a XDS .45.

BLB68
August 25, 2013, 06:47 PM
Now I hear of the "IMPORTANT CONSUMER SAFETY ALERT and INSPECTION PROCEDURE - August 22, 2013" for the firearm. I check mine and it doesn't have an issue. However, it has completely ruined my faith in the firearm. What other issues exist? What will show up at the worst possible moment?

Sure its very small and conceals great! But whats a firearm worth if you can't trust it anymore.

You don't trust it because a small run had an out of spec pin? That's silly. Either yours has a good pin or it doesn't. It's not a design flaw, just an out of spec part.

Cokeman
August 25, 2013, 07:33 PM
Yeah. You don't trust it because of an issue that it doesn't have? :rolleyes:

Roons
August 25, 2013, 10:01 PM
I understand the replies. The gun was fixed by S&W (great customer service btw). It was heartbreaking to think of what could have happened if that mag drop issue occurred during a time I really needed it. With the recent notice regarding the trigger I was thankful it wasn't one of the ones effected.

I have both a full sized M&P 9 and 40. The 9 pro I use in USPSA with over 7k rounds and never had a single issue. The 40 has also ran flawlessly.

I didn't mean to come across that the Shield cant be trusted. For me though its made it so I wont buy something that just comes out until the bugs are worked out. I'm also looking for good backup guns as my expectation of a 100% reliable firearm is unrealistic.

Live and learn thankfully.

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