Shield vs XDS


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Shooters Plus
July 6, 2014, 12:33 PM
Shield or XDS for a concealed carry gun? We get asked this question at least 2-3 times per day in the shop and I constantly see it brought up on the gun forums so I decided to do a article on our gun blog with my personal opinion and comparison of the two. Hoping it may help for those still up in the air between these two guns.
http://www.shootersplus.com/shooters_plus_blog/view/30551/shield_vs_xds

Good luck,
Zack Phillips
Shooters Plus

If you enjoyed reading about "Shield vs XDS" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Praxidike
July 6, 2014, 02:19 PM
Shield or XDS for a concealed carry gun? We get asked this question at least 2-3 times per day in the shop and I constantly see it brought up on the gun forums so I decided to do a article on our gun blog with my personal opinion and comparison of the two. Hoping it may help for those still up in the air between these two guns.
http://www.shootersplus.com/shooters_plus_blog/view/30551/shield_vs_xds

Good luck,
Zack Phillips
Shooters Plus
Very Helpful thanks

wally
July 6, 2014, 02:22 PM
If you want 9mm its a toss up, but the XDS is a bit larger than really necessary being made as a .45 originally. If you want .40S&W the Shield is your only option. If you want .45ACP then its the XDs.

Personally if the barrel is below 4" I rule out .45ACP and want .40S&W instead as I worry .45ACP will not have enough velocity in such a short barrel to insure adequate penetration.

At equivalent barrel lengths the .40 has 75-150 fps more velocity and the sectional density of 180gr .40 is the same as 230gr .45. Note that the 147gr 9mm has slightly higher sectional density.

All other things being equal penetration depends on the product of sectional density and velocity.

critter
July 6, 2014, 04:59 PM
Don't know about the shield. My XDs .45 is nice-100% reliable, accurate as all get out, EASY to conceal/carry, very shootable and I fully believe that the big ole hole in the barrel will put out all the horsepower I'll ever need.

LUCKYDAWG13
July 6, 2014, 07:33 PM
Don't know about the shield. My XDs .45 is nice-100% reliable, accurate as all get out, EASY to conceal/carry, very shootable and I fully believe that the big ole hole in the barrel will put out all the horsepower I'll ever need.

my XDs is 100% reliable i like the grip safety for re holstering. if i put my thumb
on the slide just in back of the rear sights.when i re holster the gun will not go off. i do not like
a safety on a carry gun that i have to take off. i liketo just pull and shoot i do have the 3.8"
barrel on mine if i was to re buy i would get the 4" barrel .JMO2C a 9mm is way better then a
knife but a 45 is better then a 9mm

ViniferaVizslas
July 6, 2014, 08:58 PM
I think it is a good thing that the shield mag will not eject easily by pressing the mag release when it is full. Mine is that way as well. Never had it pop out while carrying.

RustyShackelford
July 6, 2014, 09:18 PM
Id direct customers who might want a .45acp to a new 4.0 version XDs pistol.
I would also push the Shield 9x19mm or .40 with the new non manual safety design. ;)
Both the XDs & the Shield have good points but if I had to choose, Id buy a Shield in 9x19mm since it offers a lifetime service plan, many holsters/parts/custom work & it augments the larger M&P duty pistols.
A small town female LE officer I worked with recently was jazzed up to buy a Shield in 9x19mm. She wanted to replace the Glock 26 9x19mm she used off duty.

FWIW; Trijicon, www.trijicon.com offers new HD night sights to both pistols now. XDs & the Shields. ;) Crimsontrace.com & Lasermax units are available too.

Rusty S

Kleanbore
July 7, 2014, 10:08 AM
Posted by LUCKYDAWG13: my XDs is 100% reliableSo is mine.

i like the grip safety for re holstering. if i put my thumb
on the slide just in back of the rear sights.when i re holster the gun will not go off. i do not like
a safety on a carry gun that i have to take off. i liketo just pull and shootAgreed.

i do have the 3.8"
barrel on mine if i was to re buy i would get the 4" barrel .Good choice.

JMO2C a 9mm is way better then a
knife but a 45 is better then a 9mmI once thought along those lines.

jfrey
July 7, 2014, 11:28 AM
I like my Shield and it is 100%. That is all I care about.

bannockburn
July 7, 2014, 11:59 AM
I would go with the Shield in 9mm. and the new XDs 4.0 in a .45.

H&Hhunter
July 7, 2014, 01:18 PM
I've been carrying my Shield in 9MM for several years now. I am happy with the way it carries and the way it shoots and functions.

RustyShackelford
July 7, 2014, 02:51 PM
I was checking the laser websites.
I'm thinking the Lasermax is better than the CT format due to the design.
The Crimsontrace style seems faster for rapid deployment but it also looks like it could break or fail faster. :rolleyes:

You can also wait for a green format. That may be released for XDs/Shield in the next 2/3 years.

RoughshodBronco
July 7, 2014, 04:59 PM
In the columns of specs about each gun you incorrectly have the Springfield listed as having a fiber optic rear sight, when in fact the fiber optic is in the front.

LUCKYDAWG13
July 7, 2014, 05:20 PM
i had a Lasermax on my xds in low light it was spot on in sunlight outside
you can not see it at all. i sold it i just thought that is was more of a distraction
to turn it on.but it did work the bullet went right were the red dot was

Shooters Plus
July 7, 2014, 07:23 PM
Thanks Roughshodbronco. That should have read front fiber optic. Got it fixed now. Good eye!

Capt. Ct.
July 8, 2014, 09:56 AM
It is a tough decision. So hard in fact that I bought both. :)

Orion8472
July 8, 2014, 10:02 AM
I actually think it is more "apples to apples" to compare the Shield 9mm with the XDs 9mm.

But anyway, I had a Shield for awhile. Very nice recoil impulse, . . . . a bit better than the XDs [9mm]. But I just couldn't get comfortable with it. I think it had to do more with the trigger, . . . but also, I had issues with it hitting low. Now, I have an XDs 4.0 9mm and will be working with it to see if it will be a keeper. So far so good.

Shooters Plus
July 8, 2014, 11:08 AM
Orion8472 -At the time of the article we did not have a 9mm XDS in stock. Since we are comparing frame, function, size... and not any type of ballistics, I'm not sure where there would have been any difference other than maybe loaded weight and felt recoil.

Orion8472
July 8, 2014, 11:17 AM
Oh, I'm not talking about your article, per se. More about someone trying to decide between the two pistols and using 9mm for both. As for function, feel, and really even weight, there isn't any difference, and your article is appropriate for those parts.

JohnnyBravo
July 8, 2014, 12:35 PM
Unless I missed it or am mistaken...and both happen more frequently than I care to admit...

The only thing I would add to that review is parts for the Shield are available on the internet to you and your gunsmith.

Springfield does not sell spare parts, guns with problems requiring replacement parts must be sent to Springfield for service.

ritepath
July 8, 2014, 10:37 PM
At the time I was looking for a single stack the XDS' were out for recall. So I ended up with my 9mm shield (tough decision between 9&40) I really wanted a single stack 45 at the time. I ended finding a p220 to solve that problem a few months later

I still shoot my buddy's XDS at the range, it's pretty nice and I would buy one if not for the XD pricetag, they're just not worth 140 bucks over the Shield in my book.

George Dickel
July 9, 2014, 01:01 AM
I had the hots for the XDS, especially the .45 but one of the guys at the LGS said I should look at the Shield also. It happened that this guy owned both the XDS and the Shield in 9mm and he let me shoot them on the range. For me, the Shield felt like it was made for my hand, it fit so well. The XDS was good but it felt a bit top heavy where as the Shield seemed very balanced. I shot both well but I did better with the Shield however the XDS would work well for me, just not as natural a feel as the Shield. I got the change to shoot an XDS in .45 a couple weeks later and did well with it also but the trigger and the top heavy feel was the same as the 9mm model.

The trigger on the Shield had a lighter pull than the Springfield which may have been the reason I shot it better. The owner of the guns said that the Shield had more rounds through it than the Springfield which was nearly new and that may have been why the trigger was lighter on the Shield. Even if both triggers were the same the XDS still felt top heavy and I needed more time to get the sights on target. I still want to try the Shield in .40 before I buy one but I probably will go with the 9mm as it shot so well for me.

Currently I have a Taurus 709 and the grip is a bit too small for my hand and it is taking a bit of time to learn to shoot it well. I did better with the XDS and Shield the first time I shot them than I have been able to do with the Taurus after a few hundred rounds. A Shield is definitely in my future and I wish I had tried it out before I bought the Taurus. I guess the point of this long ramble is that the gun has to feel right in your hand and what feels right for another person may not feel right for you. I highly recommend that anyone considering a gun should do every thing possible to shoot them before purchase.

SeanSw
July 9, 2014, 01:44 AM
When I decided between these two guns the major criteria was finding the safety method that worked best for me. I greatly preferred backstrap safety on the XDs over the thumb safety on the Shield. Some people can ignore it but not me, so I chose to buy the XDs 9mm. This was before S&W announced the release of the non-safety Shield or I probably would have gone that direction instead. In fact, I asked S&W directly about releasing a non thumb safety variant and was told that my interest had been noted but no plans had been made at the time.

Having put a few hundreds rounds through my XDs the grip safety has never required a 2nd thought and I also like the stiff magazine release on my particular gun. It's a bit heavier the shield but the barrel is also longer (6% longer which may or may not be completely insignificant) the action felt smoother and the entire gun feels a bit more substantial and duty-like. I paid a heavy price difference for the XDs at the time (bi tone was extra too) and still wonder if it's functionally worth the price premium over the Shield but it has given me absolutely no reason to switch over. I think I'd be happy with either. The Shield fits my hand slightly better and the lack of rail is a plus too IMO.

BTW, my XDs is a post recall model and the trigger is pretty good. No change required for a carry piece. I would also feel better about lightening the trigger on the XDs with an additional safety than I would with a non safety shield.

Outlaw Man
July 9, 2014, 02:33 PM
Good write up/review. It would be hard to make a much fairer comparison considering it's such a subjective topic.

On the magazine release "issue," is it only with the slide closed, or does the same apply with the slide locked back?

Mainsail
July 9, 2014, 02:57 PM
The Shield doesn't come in .45acp and the XDs does.

I really like my .45 XDs and it's comforting knowing there are six big HSTs in the gun and seven (or 14) more on my belt.

JWH321
July 9, 2014, 03:18 PM
Well the XD sure comes in a much nicer box.

Shooters Plus
July 9, 2014, 04:14 PM
Good write up/review. It would be hard to make a much fairer comparison considering it's such a subjective topic.

On the magazine release "issue," is it only with the slide closed, or does the same apply with the slide locked back?
Thanks Outlaw Man! It is only noticeable when the slide is closed. No biggie but thought it was worth mentioning on the article.

Outlaw Man
July 9, 2014, 09:29 PM
Thanks. If it's a "design feature" rather than a coincidence, like ViniferaVizslas implied, I can see it being useful for that purpose. I was worried that you couldn't just press the release and the mag drop free when you ran dry.

kvtcomdo
July 10, 2014, 03:39 AM
Have the XDs in 45 first. Truly love it.

Liked it so much I bought the XDs in 9mm as well.

Same holster (HighNoon) will fit both as the external demensions are the same.

Have never regreted the purchase.

B!ngo
July 10, 2014, 03:51 AM
It's rare that one can easily choose a product that is made in the U.S. versus abroad, is price competitive with the foreign made product, just as reliable if not more so, have a great warranty and customer support system and so on. It made choosing the Shield 9 and easy one.
And Springfield is not the Springfield of old. I'm not convinced that the Xp's have the same build quality as the M&P's do, and then there's that recall thing.
To me, this one's easy.
Now all that said, I own a Shield with a safety (that I don't ever turn to 'safe') and I'm left-handed. So I really would rather sell it and buy the new one without the safety. I'm not sure how long I'll have a chance to do that here in CA.
B
P.S. In fact, the Xp would be the third on a list of three with the Walther being in second.

nugun55
July 10, 2014, 08:43 AM
What's an Xp?

george burns
July 11, 2014, 01:16 PM
Many here are comparing the aesthetics of the firearm rather than the caliber of the round. Why would anyone carry a 9mm if they could carry a 45? I did it myself for when my gun was away being fixed, because my Glock 30 is too heavy to lug around all day. But if you really have to use it, you are more likely to drop someone faster with a 45, aside from all the ballistics, it is just a bigger hole.
I would say with out digging up scientific proof, that 2 in the chest with a 45, should do the job on just about anyone. I do carry only 9mm and 45. This after carrying a half dozen calibers for many years.
9MM has come a long way, but so has 45, it just makes sense to use the largest caliber available for close combat.
If I had 15+1, I would go with the 9 or the Glock 30, "with 11 rounds of 45. But with a 7 round reload in the gun, the XDS is like carrying a 1911.

Big Shrek
July 11, 2014, 09:55 PM
S&W Shield - Made in the USA

Springfield XD series - not.

I know where my money is gonna go. :evil:

Schwing
July 11, 2014, 10:33 PM
I am in the process of trying to decide between these 2 guns myself. Luckily (or unluckily depending on how I look at it), it is going to be a few months before I can spend the $$.

I am leaning towards the XDs based on the feel of the gun more than any other feature. I am one of those in the minority, however, who actually prefers a thumb safety which is a nice feature on the shield IMO.

Why would anyone carry a 9mm if they could carry a 45?

OH MAN... WHERE TO GO WITH THIS ONE:)

Faster rounds, better penetration, better expansion, lower recoil, more rounds, personal preference, smaller frames....

Hunter991
July 12, 2014, 08:45 AM
I have both and they are both great. The xds is easier to conceal for me as the grip is just a tad shorter. And it's a 45. Honestly I would grab either but there is no knocking the xds. It's been perfect and it's a quality firearm. The shield is nice too but a little more sloppy but also 100 percent reliable for me. Really depends on what caliber u want. For a 9 I would go Shield as it's a little more ergonomic. But I would skip the shield 40 and goto the 45 xds if you want a bigger caliber. The 40 s&w has some issues with blowing up in the 40.

The grip safety on the xds is a great feature as well. You can't ask for a better safety IMO..

george burns
July 12, 2014, 12:02 PM
My 45 has better expansion than my 9mm I fired using the same brand of ammo. It also has about the same recoil as my 9's,and as far a penetration, you can't know that until the autopsy. One thing we know is the 45 is more likely to expand and even if it doesn't it is at the top of the charts for stopping men with 1 or 2 shots. The 9mm has come a long way, otherwise I wouldn't carry it, but having my choice of having to shoot a human with a handgun, the 45 would always be my first choice over the 9mm.
The only advantage the 9mm has is the amount of lead you can carry IMO, and the flatter trajectory for distance. But as far as hitting hard a 45 will almost always do more damage with one or 2 rounds, "which you will be lucky to get on target with a defensive shooting". Very rarely in a gunfight when both men are moving and firing, does one get 4 or 5 hits, which is sometimes what is needed with faster smaller diameter rounds, unless they are coming out of a rifle.
Also the frame sizes are about the same on the guns we are talking about, no real difference.

TarDevil
July 12, 2014, 12:13 PM
I am one of those in the minority, however, who actually prefers a thumb safety which is a nice feature on the shield IMO.

I've usually leaned towards thumb safeties on most striker fired guns with short, light triggers of say, around 5 - 6 lbs (my EDC is a Ruger SR9c). Two weeks ago in Washington State I finally got my hands on a Shield and I'll have to side in the camp who say that safety is too small for me to feel I could reliably get it off in a hot situation. YMMV.

If I ever acquire a Shield, it will be sans thumb safety.

I've yet to handle a XDs, so I've nothing to offer comparatively of the two.

2ndamd
July 12, 2014, 11:11 PM
CCW gun?
Gotta go with the Shield.
The grip safety on the xds presents way too many problems in a gun fight.
Remember, if you are the law abiding victim? You will be attacked first and possibly injured.
This could mean not being able to grip the gun well.
Heck, now that I think about it maybe a LCR :-)

george burns
July 12, 2014, 11:30 PM
I have never had a grip safety problem in all the 6 decades of shooting 1911's, it is pretty much a battle proven function of the 1911, and any other gun I have ever used one on.
Anything can fail, but that is a reach as far as I can see. Of the hundreds of rounds I have fired with mu xds it never failed to fire, for any reason.
If anything the same if not more can be said about the safety on the shield.

Fatdaddy
July 13, 2014, 08:56 AM
I've had a 40 Shield since shortly after they came out and really like it. I'm in the camp of "liking the manual safety" but now they are being offered without it for those that aren't. The way the gun fits my hand and even the trigger seems like it was made for me. The trigger is noticeably lighter and smoother than my XDS.
I'm not a big fan of the XDS-45 to be honest and I really wanted to be. I even sold my first XDS and bought another just recently to give it another try. The sights are nicer and the grip safety is cool but the gun just doesn't really fit my hand as good as the Shield. The XDS 45 version seems like all of the recoil impulse is directed into your trigger finger. The "suitcase full of crap" which should be a plus just ends up being in the way taking up valuable space in the safe.
I have both and the Shield is my favorite by far.

LUCKYDAWG13
July 13, 2014, 10:11 AM
Gotta go with the Shield.
The grip safety on the xds presents way too many problems in a gun fight

just think of all those that trust a 1911 in a gun fight :banghead:

Mainsail
July 13, 2014, 06:51 PM
CCW gun?
Gotta go with the Shield.
The grip safety on the xds presents way too many problems in a gun fight.
Remember, if you are the law abiding victim? You will be attacked first and possibly injured.
This could mean not being able to grip the gun well.
Heck, now that I think about it maybe a LCR :-)Can you provide a cite where this has happened? Can you provide even one verifiable example of a private citizen in a self defense situation who didn't prevail due to a malfunctioning grip safety? I'm curious because before I alter my safety plan and buy a new gun I think it would be a good idea to know if this is just some fantasy you had or if it's something real. :rolleyes:

huskybiker
July 13, 2014, 09:42 PM
I have and carry both (Shield9, XDS45). In a pocket holster, I prefer the Shield. IWB, they are about a toss up.

george burns
July 14, 2014, 12:18 PM
I still can't see "all things being equal", preferring a 9mm, to a 45 for a carry gun, assuming we are dealing with a threat 0-25 feet away, "just for arguments sake", the 45 is going to do more damage almost every time.
Having had both, the recoil level is not that different, but the hole is much larger.
The 45 has always been a better man stopper than the 9mm, it just has a lower amount of rounds "for the most part" available at one time.
Neither one is a magic bullet, but the 45 has proven itself in battle to induce more 1 shot stops than the 9.
As I said I carry both, and the 9mm I look at as the lowest caliber that I believe will do the job adequately. It also allows for a smaller profile and a lighter weight on most every gun.
Calibers can be disputed all day, I just look at the diameter of the hole and it is self explanatory, the 40 to me is redundant. There is nothing that the other 2 won't do that the 40 will. The slight variation in pistol rounds needs to be exaggerated in order to sell more weapons. Given the same set of circumstances they should all get the job done so why not carry the largest round possible, or the fastest.
When we look at the difference that a rifle round makes it's obvious that we are talking about subtle differences in pistol rounds unless you step up to the magnum size guns, like a 460 or 44, or 357 mag. Unfortunately they are too heavy and impractical for most to carry, but that would be the next step up from the conventional, 9, 40,45, 357 sig, etc.
You won't see a pistol with 17 rounds of any of those calibers, as there is no call for such a gun, other than a Desert Eagle, which is more of a conversation piece than a carry gun.

stonecutter2
July 14, 2014, 03:56 PM
I still can't see "all things being equal", preferring a 9mm, to a 45 for a carry gun, assuming we are dealing with a threat 0-25 feet away, "just for arguments sake", the 45 is going to do more damage almost every time.
Having had both, the recoil level is not that different, but the hole is much larger.
The 45 has always been a better man stopper than the 9mm, it just has a lower amount of rounds "for the most part" available at one time.
Neither one is a magic bullet, but the 45 has proven itself in battle to induce more 1 shot stops than the 9.
As I said I carry both, and the 9mm I look at as the lowest caliber that I believe will do the job adequately. It also allows for a smaller profile and a lighter weight on most every gun.
Calibers can be disputed all day, I just look at the diameter of the hole and it is self explanatory, the 40 to me is redundant. There is nothing that the other 2 won't do that the 40 will. The slight variation in pistol rounds needs to be exaggerated in order to sell more weapons. Given the same set of circumstances they should all get the job done so why not carry the largest round possible, or the fastest.
When we look at the difference that a rifle round makes it's obvious that we are talking about subtle differences in pistol rounds unless you step up to the magnum size guns, like a 460 or 44, or 357 mag. Unfortunately they are too heavy and impractical for most to carry, but that would be the next step up from the conventional, 9, 40,45, 357 sig, etc.
You won't see a pistol with 17 rounds of any of those calibers, as there is no call for such a gun, other than a Desert Eagle, which is more of a conversation piece than a carry gun.
But between 9mm and 45ACP, all things are far from equal.

I think it simply comes down to having more rounds of a smaller/faster bullet, or less rounds but a bigger/slower bullet. Entirely up to each person which of those they wish to have at their disposal.

I'm of the opinion that a .45, travelling big and slow, will still put a BIG hurt on someone.

I don't have any concerns about penetration, since if I have to defend myself I want far less chance of a bullet going through someone and into something or someone else beyond them. I'm not intending to analyze the wound channels and wish i'd penetrated another inch or two.

I also wouldn't want to fire a lot of rounds, as I'm responsible for each that I do fire. That's just my perspective. I envision it likely that I'd be facing a limited number of assailants, 1 or 2, and at very close quarters. For that scenario, a subcompact like the XDs in 45ACP is what I want.

To each their own...this is just something everyone decides for themselves.

MikeFrank
July 15, 2014, 10:52 PM
I went out back after work today to clear some brush and take down two small locust trees for fence posts. As is my habit I tucked my 9mm Shield in a cheap (Barsony) IWB holster in my usual 4 o'clock carry position. Worked with axe, sickle and saw for about two hours (this is my answer to a gym). Didn't even notice the Shield, but it was right there if I wanted or ended it. I can shoot reasonably well with it, too;). I've only fired a friend's XDS at the range, but IMHO it's a little heavy for what I did today.

viking499
July 16, 2014, 01:19 AM
I have a Shield and love it. Handled both before I bought. I did not like the higher bore axis of the XDS.

Orion8472
July 16, 2014, 10:05 AM
I've had both. Bore axis height is negligible. To me, they both shoot as nicely and with similar recoil impulse.

I now have the XDs 9mm 4.0 because I personally prefer it's looks over the Shield, . . . and it has a smoother slide action [IMO]. YMMV

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