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S&W Shield -- 9 mm or 40 cal?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cal44mag, May 19, 2017.

  1. cal44mag

    cal44mag Member

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    One of the few S&W semi autos that an ordinary person can buy here in California is a Shield.

    Plus they are on sale, available everywhere and come with rebates.

    I'm mainly a revolver person, but I'm thinking this might be a good time to get a semi-auto as a carry option.

    Question is, 9mm or 40?

    I have a 9mm revolver, but have no 40 cal guns of any kind.

    But adding another caliber doesn't bother me.

    Any thoughts on the trade offs?

    (note, the 45 caliber isn't available here in CA, so that one's out.)
     
  2. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    My wise guy respond to your question is the obvious answer is BOTH.

    But...
    Most of us don't have money to do that so the questions I can think if are:

    What do you value more, more ammo or a bigger hole?

    Do you want less recoil or are you willing to put up with it for the extra power?

    I went from a 9mm to a XDs45. I got the PF9 years ago because of its size. For Christmas I got the XDs and love it. But it's bigger and heavier than the PF9 so I've found myself carrying it more again even though I like the XDs much better.

    In your case they should be very close in weight and size I believe is exact. So that won't matter.

    Btw do you reload? If so do you want to add dies and another type of bullet?

    On another thought if things get tight again, having different calibers let's you get ammo if 40 is available and 9mm isn't. Likewise you have a 9mm in case 40 gets hard to find.

    So I know this doesn't help but i hope I threw out a few things to think about.

    So if all else fails flip a coin. Or just get both?
     
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  3. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I would get the 9mm. That shield is a very nice carry piece, I have one in 9. But its small size and light weight would make it a handful in 40 for most people, I think. Plus when loaded with 9 I imagine there would be a weight difference vs a full load of 40's, and 9 is cheaper to fire- better variety of discount stuff for the range.
     
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  4. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    Are you a reasonably well-nourished individual over 12 years of age with no seriously debilitating illnesses and a muscular structure allowing you to remain upright without external support? If so, the 40 S&W is the obvious choice, rather than the feeble, teeny-tiny euro-pellet emitting cartridge preferred by the cheese eating surrender monkeys, Nazis, and androgynous, bed-wetting, hand-wringers of Europe*. Invented in the USA to serve those who couldn't handle the 10mm, the 40 is the 9mm of 'Merica!





    *all offered in jest. 9mm aficionados need not twist their knickers to the point of health risk from diminished blood flow. This is sarcasm, a form of humor.
     
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  5. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    9mm is the best choice.
     
  6. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

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    Will you practice more with a 9mm or .40SW? Will you be more likely to hit your target under stress with a 9mm or .40SW?
    Both calibers are effective and both are widely used by law enforcement/military.
     
  7. tluxtele

    tluxtele Member

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    i recently picked up a shield and had the same dilemma. Difference is my current gun is an M&P40c. I like 40 and shoot it just fine. I thought about getting the 40 shield and then getting a 9mm barrel. I decided to go 9mm for two reasons. First, there's one extra round. Second, my wife has a G26 I bought her a while back. I was torn between picking up the G26 and the shield for her. She is interested in guns but not enough to do all the shopping a number of us would do. She does quite well with the G26. Getting the shield in 9mm gives her another option. In 40, she wouldn't shoot it. She shot my M&P compact and didn't like it. After her first shot with it she turned to me and said, "I don't like that at all."

    I don't think you can go wrong with either. If it matters, the 40 is 10 dollars cheaper from Palmetto State.
     
  8. cal44mag

    cal44mag Member

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    I like your nice, politically correct, response.

    But how do you really feel?

    :cool::)
     
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  9. ccoyle

    ccoyle Member

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    The decision hinges on how you feel about shooting a more powerful round out of essentially the same platform (the empty Shield 40 is actually 0.2 oz lighter than the Shield 9 according to S&W's website). You will get more recoil out of the 40, which may or may not bother you. It's difficult to decide without actually trying out both options. When I was shopping for a carry gun, I almost bought a Ruger LC9, which is slightly lighter than the Shield 9. I had the chance to shoot the LC9 before buying one, and personally I found it be snappy and a bit unpleasant to shoot (others love it -- individual experiences vary). I now own the Shield 9, which is comfortable for me to shoot. Though I haven't shot the Shield 40, I suspect that for me it would probably also be too snappy, kind of like shooting the LC9. Just guessing -- others may know better. I have a friend who carries an XD 40 and can shoot .40 or .45 all day long. I just shoot the smaller round better and more confidently.
     
  10. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    I went through this a while back I went with the shield 40 , with 180 hst loads is not bad at all, with the short barrel I felt the 9 was lacking all the reviews with modern 9mm bullets are with 5 in barrels with the shorter barrel the 9 gives up speed so I felt big and slow beat small and slow , short barrel 9mm losses its fps that makes that caliber more effective just my opinion
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I bought a 9x19 Shield. It is more than adequate for me.
     
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  12. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    In Lucky Gunner tests, there are more loads in 40 that penetrate and consistently expand than 9mm:
    http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self-defense-ammo-ballistic-tests/
    9mm 124/147 HST penetrated 15-18'' expanded .61
    40 S&W 180 HST penetrated 18.5'' expanded .72

    9mm 124 +P Gold Dot 16.8'' / .52
    40 180 Gold Dot 14.5'' / .65

    Various 9mm Ranger T's performed inconsistently, whereas 40 Rangers did well.
    Using equal bullets HST / Gold Dot 40 has larger recovered diameters, starts bigger ends up bigger.

    Yes, one can "cherry pick" and find select 9mm loads that perform better than some 40 loads (good idea when carrying a 9mm)
    9mm is going to recoil less and hold one more bullet, 40 has the potential to make bigger holes with a wider ammo selection.
     
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  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    In a gun the weight of a Shield, I would prefer the 9mm, or the 45 version.
     
  14. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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    when using a 9mm short barrel and using +P ammo you still have the increased recoil and over Sami pressure guide lines your well into the over pressure snappy recoil that you are trying to avoid with a 9mm , that has never made sense to me , also is the shield even rated for +P ammo iF not the over pressure may have unwanted effects on it IMHO
     
  15. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I had the same question myself a few years ago when I was going to buy the Shield. I already had an M&P 40 with a 9mm barrel and mags so I knew what that gun felt like with both calibers. I got the 9mm version and am very glad I did. In a very stressful close quarter situation, it probably doesn't matter. If you can hit a torso sized target at 20 feet, then you are probably GTG. The difference is that a Shield is a small and light gun. Personally, shooting a 124g 9mm bullet at 1100 fps in the Shield feels more traumatic than shooting 180g 40 S&W bullets at 1020 fps in my M&P 40. I typically shoot about 200 of the 40 in a session, but typically only 50 in the Shield just to keep in practice. I can't imagine what 200 .40 cal shots would feel like in a Shield.

    I can keep most of the Shield rounds inside a 4" circle at 10 yards which is "good enough for gub'ment work" but at least with the 9, I don't feel beat up after a session. Those little holes are from a SW22A-1 so my trigger control is decent, just my medium rate of fire flinching needs work.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    I own neither a Shield 9 nor a 40, since I own so many other 9's and .40's, but I've spent some range time using both. (I also added the Shield armorer class to my list of armorer certs.)

    Lots of our guys & gals like the Shield 9, including many of the firearms instructors and armorers (even if they own other brands of guns).

    I actually found the Shield 40 to be a surprisingly easy shooting and controllable little .40, but listening to other instructors, I'm apparently the exception. :)

    The Shield 9 seems to attract more owners/users than the .40 model, similarly to how the Glock G26 (9mm) attracts more people than the G27 (.40 S&W).

    The easiest way to decide for yourself is to find a range where you can try representative examples of both, using good quality ammunition produced by some of the major American ammunition makers. Most people usually express they find the Shield 9 easier to shoot when it comes to felt recoil and controllability (muzzle snap & whip), but these things are pretty subjective.

    Also, any sensitivity to recoil, due to previous injury or other medical condition (arthritis), might have an influence. A good friend of mine , who is a long time martial arts practitioner (close to 50 years) and another retired LE firearms instructor, owns the Shield in both 9 & .40, and shooting the .40 causes him a lot of wrist pain (former injury). He really enjoys shooting his Shield 9, though, and this is a guy who shoots virtually every day on his own property, on his own range.

    Try both and decide for yourself.

    FWIW, I've carried 9's, .40's & .45's as issued duty weapons, as well as off-duty, and own several pistols in those calibers. I own more 9's than .40's, and almost as many .45's as my 9's & .40's, combined. Either the 9 or .40 Shield is fine for its intended role, using good quality, modern design defensive ammunition. (Then again, this is offered by some who will also often carry one of many 5-shot .38/.357 snubs, or one of a couple of LCP .380's. I'm not the "caliber snob" I was as a young man. ;) )

    Another nice little 9 is the Glock G43, especially as currently produced (it's been produced with a "minus" connector since about last summer, which has helped with its trigger pull weight/effort). It only uses a 6-rd magazine, versus the 7 & 8rd mags of the Shield 9, which seems to concern some people who like higher capacities (but it wouldn't bother me). Unlike the Shield, Glock doesn't offer a .40 similar to their G43, though.
     
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  17. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I bought a California approved Shield .40 when they first came out. Let me say the poly frame and ergonomics make it shoot softer than the 8 .0z heavier Sig 239 .40 ! It shoots softer than my Glock 27 did for some unknown reason. It feels like my Lightweight Colt Officer's .45 or my P12 .45 Para., so it is controllable, barely, for a trained but elderly shooter like my self. From my experience and those of LE I have heard about it is more and quicker in it's effects on humans than 9mm with equally good loads. I am NOT a big .40 fanboy FWIW, it is just a matter of performance Vs. size.
     
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  18. MRH

    MRH Member

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    Depending on your immunity/sensitivity to recoil, the 9mm with +P or +P+ (like the military NATO round) can be a handful. The 40S&W has similar recoil. With the quality of 9mm ammo these days, I personally prefer an additional round in the gun vs more power.

    Mike
     
  19. shafter

    shafter Member

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    The 40 isn't bad, but shooting one made me realize that 9mm is the way to go in this particular gun.
     
  20. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    For me, the recoil of my .40 Shield is reasonable, provided I'm using the extended mags. The flush fit mag adds so much felt recoil for me that I don't use it. With somewhere to wrap my pinkie, I'm good to go.
     
  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I had a Kahr CW40 years ago and while it was a little snappy in terms of felt recoil and muzzle flip with some hotter .40 ammo, I didn't feel it was all that difficult to use. Having said that I would probably opt for the 9mm. version as I have literally tons of 9mm. ammo and I never have been a big fan of the .40 S&W cartridge.
     
  22. Bert W.

    Bert W. Member

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  23. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    9mm every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
     
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  24. v35

    v35 Member

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    Yes, but: https://snwcdnprod.azureedge.net/si...als/M&P_Shield_All_09-30-16_441310000_web.pdf

    • “Plus-P” (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the pressures associated with standard ammunition. Such pressures may affect the wear characteristics or exceed the margin of safety. Use of “Plus-P” ammunition may result in the need for more frequent service.
    • “Plus-P-Plus” (+P+) ammunition must not be used in Smith & Wesson firearms. ...
     
  25. v35

    v35 Member

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    I have the Shield in 9mm and I like it. Very accurate and pleasant to shoot.

    Don't have a Shield in .40 but I do have an M&P 40c. Emphasis on the c. Really no comparison. Less pleasant to shoot.

    I have other handguns in .40 and they're just fine. They're much bigger than the Shield though.

    I'd get the 9. You already have the ammo for it, and why ask to stock yet another caliber*

    * unless you want to justify buying a gun because you have the ammo but nothing to shoot it with. Yes I've done that :D
     

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