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Old July 6, 2014, 11:33 AM   #1
Shooters Plus
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Shield vs XDS

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.../shield_vs_xds

Good luck,
Zack Phillips
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Old July 6, 2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooters Plus View Post
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.../shield_vs_xds

Good luck,
Zack Phillips
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Very Helpful thanks
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Old July 6, 2014, 01:22 PM   #3
wally
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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.
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Old July 6, 2014, 03:59 PM   #4
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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.
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Old July 6, 2014, 06:33 PM   #5
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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
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Old July 6, 2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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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.
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Old July 6, 2014, 08:18 PM   #7
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Points....

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
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Old July 7, 2014, 09:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Posted by LUCKYDAWG13: my XDs is 100% reliable
So is mine.

Quote:
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
Agreed.

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

Quote:
JMO2C a 9mm is way better then a
knife but a 45 is better then a 9mm
I once thought along those lines.
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Old July 7, 2014, 10:28 AM   #9
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I like my Shield and it is 100%. That is all I care about.
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Old July 7, 2014, 10:59 AM   #10
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I would go with the Shield in 9mm. and the new XDs 4.0 in a .45.
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Old July 7, 2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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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.
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Old July 7, 2014, 01:51 PM   #12
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Bright ideas.....

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.

You can also wait for a green format. That may be released for XDs/Shield in the next 2/3 years.
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Old July 7, 2014, 03:59 PM   #13
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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.
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Old July 7, 2014, 04:20 PM   #14
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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
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Old July 7, 2014, 06:23 PM   #15
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Thanks Roughshodbronco. That should have read front fiber optic. Got it fixed now. Good eye!
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Old July 8, 2014, 08:56 AM   #16
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It is a tough decision. So hard in fact that I bought both.
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Old July 8, 2014, 09:02 AM   #17
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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.
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Old July 8, 2014, 10:08 AM   #18
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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.
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Old July 8, 2014, 10:17 AM   #19
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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.
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Old July 8, 2014, 11:35 AM   #20
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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.
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Old July 8, 2014, 09:37 PM   #21
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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.
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Old July 9, 2014, 12:01 AM   #22
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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.
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Old July 9, 2014, 12:44 AM   #23
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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.

Last edited by SeanSw; July 9, 2014 at 08:37 PM.
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Old July 9, 2014, 01:33 PM   #24
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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?
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Old July 9, 2014, 01:57 PM   #25
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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.
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