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M&P Shield Review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by plouffedaddy, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Well-Known Member


    The Shield is one of the, if not the, most talked about handguns within the shooting community this year. The trend for small carry guns in 380 seems to have been set aside for compact single stack 9mm guns. The Shield certainly isn't the smallest of the "pocket 9s" but it may well be the best. I've shot the Nano, Solo, PF9, PM9, P938, PPS, LC9, and own the CM9... if I had to pick one of them it'd be the Shield. Here are some reasons why:

    -Reliable. I just passed the 1K round mark with this gun using everything from steel cased Russian ammo to quality JHPs it's never missed a beat
    -Shootable. Of the guns I mentioned above, the Shield is the easiest to shoot well. Many of these small guns tend to jump around in your hand causing the shooter to re-grip halfway through the magazine; the Shield doesn't seem to have that problem
    -Lightweight. It comes in at 19oz unloaded
    -Great finish. The melonite (68 HRc) finish is top notch. With over 1K through the gun it shows less signs of wear than my SIG P229 did after 200 rounds.
    -It's the smallest range gun I've used to date. What I mean by that is it's not a chore to shoot for an extended session like many other carry guns. (The PPS does hold its' own in this regard).
    -It comes with usable sights. I replaced my sights with Trijicon NS but the factory 3 dot sights are easy to use and better than most guns in its' class.
    -Cost. I got mine for $389 OTD right when they were released and used the Nation's Finest rebate (they used to honor it for the Shield but no longer do. They now have MIL/LE pricing however) for an additional $50 off.
    -Value. For the cost above you get a well built, seeming very durable firearm that carries extremely well. Due to this, demand is currently exceeding supply and they're hard to find.
    -Lots of aftermarket support from Apex parts to night sights to holsters.
    -Comes with two mags (some of the competitors don't); a 7 round flush fit and 8 round extended mag.
    -It has by far the best out of the box trigger of any gun in the M&P lineup; the reset isn't faint like the rest of the series. My trigger breaks consistently at 6lbs.
    -You don't have to pull the trigger for disassembly. That's important to some people so I mentioned it to me but I don't mind pulling the trigger (as you'll see in the video below).
    -Fish scale serrations allow for a positive purchase on the slide when manipulating the weapon.

    -Right side only controls. If you're a lefty you likely won't appreciate that.\
    -External safety. I'm in the camp of the people who do not like external safeties on a striker fired gun. That said, it takes an intentional sweep to put it in the 'on' position and I worry little about it accidently coming on (has never happened yet). Also, for those who like external safeties it's still a con. Reason being it's small and difficult to manipulate... likely more so under stress. I think they tried to compromise here and missed both ways.
    -It's larger than some of its' competitors. I don't find it to be a pocket gun (I know some do) unless I'm wearing cargo pants/shorts.

    Here's a video with some shooting from the 12m line, a size comparison with a couple carry guns, demonstration of disassembly and assembly of the gun, a quick discussion of the guns' pros and cons, and some chronograph testing with some popular defensive rounds:

    Shield HD Review Video Link

    Chrono numbers:

    Hornady 147gr TAPs: 894 fps, 261 ft/lbs energy
    Federal 124gr HSTs: 1016 fps, 284 ft/lbs energy
    Speer 124gr Gold Dots: 1076 fps, 319 ft/lbs energy

  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    Good review!

    I've been on a waiting list for this one for a little while now.
  3. tek610

    tek610 Active Member

    Since I am more likely to find life on other planets before I find a Shield, let me ask: Which is your SECOND favorite on the list you've shot?
  4. DAdams

    DAdams Well-Known Member

    Yep. Good review. Nice pics. On my list to fit into a very narrow niche where I may need this gun.

    I looked today on the website is it rated for plus p? Night sights yet? Crimson trace grips?
    Price is right that's for sure.

    I passed on two of them when they first came out.

    Second best? I would have to say a good running PM9 with NS and CT. I am liking the new Boberg but I only have a hundred rounds through it.

    Think this is hard to get...try an XDs.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  5. Hornet24

    Hornet24 Member

    Good review....thank you. I can't wait to get mine.:D
  6. jfrey

    jfrey Well-Known Member

    Unlike Pdaddy, I don't find the safety to be a problem at all. Stiff enough to engage, I don't think you will by accident. Easy enough to flip off as I do on a 1911. I agree the lever isn't large but mine works quite well and I trust it. I personally prefer a safety with one in the pipe. By design, the safety actually moves up to block the rear movement of the trigger bar and seems to be well thought out. If you don't like it then just don't use it.

    The trigger on a Shield is much better than the one on a PPS. It doesn't stack from an overly heavy striker spring, like the PPS. The Shield seems to have much less recoil impulse than the other compact 9's.
  7. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Well-Known Member

    PPS---hands down. That said, the reason I own the CM9 is because it really is pocketable. The downside to the CM9 is it does move in my (relatively large) hands sometimes, less so now that I have grip tape on it.

    Yes to all. In my video I mentioned the night sights and did a close up view from a few angles.
  8. KTXdm9

    KTXdm9 Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. I can see how if someone were used to shooting 1911s they might find the safety a bit difficult to work with, but it's really not an issue. I found it easy to use with just a little practice.
  9. VoodooSan

    VoodooSan Well-Known Member

    I have looked for one around here. Not be had. I usually carry a G30sf with a Beretta Nano as my BUG/pocket carry. Yea the Shield is a little bigger than my Nano but I still like the Shield and plan to get one. Was happy adding the Nano for ease of carry and size. But I still am all about variety! Hahaha! Nice review!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Having never been able to hit worth a damn with third gen smiths, I didn't think I'd ever like any of their semis, but I'm nuts about the M&P series. They fit my hands perfectly.
    My "little" 9 is a first gen Taurus PT111. I've heard stories about them, but mine has never failed me. If it does, I'll send it back to Da Bull and see what they do for me.
    I'm leaning toward an SR9C or and XD for my next "little" 9.
    I'm a southpaw and the non-ambi controls on the Shield would require me to carry it right handed, like the PT111.
    If the Shield didn't have a safety, it would be a no-brainer for me.

    Maybe I'll just sell the PT111 and buy and ambidextrous "little" 9.
  11. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Good review. I have been very impressed with the M&P 9 and 9C. The only thing I don't like about them is the trigger, but I have gotten used to it. Will look into the Shield.
  12. RedTag

    RedTag Well-Known Member

    What I have been told is the shield has a redesigned trigger that is better than the M&P9 & 9C. I agree that the trigger isn't very good on them! I have always felt like I was pulling the trigger on a snap cap gun when shooting them!
  13. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I 100% agree with you about the trigger. I have a few M&Ps including a Pro and the Shield is the only one with a decent trigger. It's a little heavy, but it's predictable and has a good reset.
  14. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Have you tried the Apex trigger modification?
  15. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    I had hoped to fill my "thin holster gun" niche with the Bersa BP9CC, but that didn't work out. This was before the Shield came out. Now all I have to do is find one to see "in person." There were none at the Kingsport gun show.
  16. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Well-Known Member

    I have--it's much better than factory and better than the stock Pro trigger as well.

    It's also lighter than the Shield by a good bit. The big advantage (to me) for the Shield's trigger is the reset. I started shooting handguns with Glocks so I've always liked/used a very positive reset. It's all personal preference though for sure.
  17. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. A friend of mine is getting the Apex on his gun soon, hopefully I can shoot it and see if I want to drop the $ for it.
  18. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    With the exception of a 1911, I wouldn't carry a handgun with a safety and I don't carry a 1911 any longer.
  19. B&C_C

    B&C_C Member

    My wife LOVES her Shield! I saw 1 in 40 S&W @ my LGS and looked at it and was immediately impressed with how well the small pistol felt in my hands. Stupid me, I asked if they could get it in 9mm. 3 1/2 months later it came in.
    Stupid ME - Honey, feel how comfortable this little gun is to shoot -
    Wife - Here's the 9C you bought me for my birthday, can you order me more "clips"?
  20. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

    Nice review.

    You said you shot the P938. It looks smaller than the Shield - what are your thoughts on the P938? I would like to get your perspective.

    I think the Shield major bonus is the low price. The personal negative is I swore off new S&W after that piece of junk .380 Bodyguard.

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