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s&w shield ez 9mm

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jstert, Nov 17, 2022.

  1. jstert

    jstert Member

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    i am finally getting some serious practice with my 9mm ez, which is my only 9mm semiauto pistol. i bought it because i like its 380acp little brother. i sandpapered the 9mm ez’s grip front strap and trigger guard’s underside to tone down the stippling and remove a mold line.

    while the 9mm ez is easy to load, easy to rack, easy to fieldstrip and easy on recoil, the 380acp ez is noticeably easier. what i don’t like is the grip safety, which on my 9mm ez requires a very conscious effort to disengage. also the 9mm ez’s trigger reset seems “off,” i.e. i thought that i had let the trigger go far enough but didn’t, there is no noticeable break. these two issues combined sometimes produce a “w.t.h” hiccup, not a good thing in a defensive situation but are noticeably unnoticeable with my 380acp ez. both pistols point well, are reliable feeders and are accurate.

    except for higher ammo prices, if i were starting out to pick just one it would be the 380acp ez, which is a better shooter, especially for its intended market.

    is there another 9mm pistol that offers a demonstrably easy rack and recoil experience?
     
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  2. Mot45acp

    Mot45acp Member

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    After similar problems with the EZ, no ability to mount a red dot and with being very sensitive to limp wrist, I just purchased my wife a Walther PDP Type F compact.

    She has not shot it yet, but she said it is stiffer to rack, but the deeper slide serrations are easier for her to grip, so racking the slide with an empty mag she can easily achieve slide lock.

    She does like the reduced trigger reach, and says it feels better in the hand.
     
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  3. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    When trying them in the LGS, my wife was gripping the gun too low and not disengaging the grip safety. The grip safety ruins the gun's looks, which I can look past, but for it to require conscious effort to grab it right? Boo. I bet there is a way to defeat it internally; just lock it down somehow.

    I think the key is to just have her practice with it; as it should become second nature to choke up on the gun anyhow.

    By comparison, the grip safety on my XD-45 is really well-implemented: the shape of the grip strongly encourages the shooter to choke up on it, and if he does that, it's a no-brainer; the grip safety only takes the lightest of pressure to disengage.

    I think you're more of a revolver guy, jstert. When I see my wife run an auto, even the nifty little S&W M&P 22 Compact, I realize that she really needs a DA revolver for her self defense gun.
     
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  4. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I put a grip wrap for a Glock on my wife's 380 EZ to defeat the goofy grip safety and add a little more cushion for her. I had to do a little trimming with an exacto knife to get it to to fit but it works well for her. I don't understand the reason for the grip safety when it also has a regular safety. Lots of other semi-autos have got along just fine with the regular side safety for many, many years so why does the EZ need two? o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2022
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  5. jstert

    jstert Member

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    yes, indeed i am a revolver guy haha. i’m also running alot of wadcutter and reduced recoil rounds through a s&w 642 airweight now. another story for another thread, but the short of it is…regular practice is no fun so i may push the 642 deep into the safe’s nether regions. the 642 functions and carries as it was designed but if i’m not practicing more with it i’m not carrying it. i will likely keep the 642 because its alloy finish is way too distressed to command any marketplace value in a trade.

    unless i hear otherwise about alternatives i will likely just keep the 9mm ez for my sole 9mm semiauto pistol range toy as it is the bought & paid-for devil that i know.

    i will probably circle back to a well-loved, heavier, steel taurus m85 in place of the 642 airweight, and to my 380acp ez, which seems to work better in all regards than the 9mm ez.

    revolver guy that i am, the one handgun that i use way above all others is a ruger sr22 semiauto pistol. go figure…
     
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  6. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I'm a revolver guy, too.

    My favorite range toy 9mm's are big full-sized steel pistols like a 1911 or CZ75. I'm less accurate with the smaller ones and they seem more finicky. If the OP continues to feel "meh" about the EZ, it could probably be traded towards something more fun. The EZ 9 and other 9mm CC pistols are very popular right now, while old steel dinosaurs are just that. :)

    I've recovered enough from a hand injury to shoot my 642 okay for now. Eventually my cheap steel Taurus 85 "practice gun" will probably take its place. I hope that will be some years from now. Good idea to have a 32 magnum snub, too. I hope to be able to shoot 32 S&W long as long as I can walk, but that's just a hope.

     
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  7. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Being somewhat of a dinosaur myself I still appreciate them. Arthritis has been kind to my hands and I can still shoot any of them until I reach 44 mag power level. Then my wrist starts hollering "QUIT" with the first shot.
     
  8. Shotgun Willy

    Shotgun Willy Member

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    is there another 9mm pistol that offers a demonstrably easy rack and recoil experience?


    I have hand problems and really like my Ruger Security 9.
     
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  9. Zendude

    Zendude Member

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    The Walther CCP is easy to rack and has nice grip ergonomics.
     
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  10. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    The EZ's grip safety lever not only operates the grip safety, but also the firing pin safety.

    7jWn4Rk.png
     
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  11. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    I've been looking at the ez to replace my Astra A70 one day. Planning on gifting that to my granddaughter. But that grip safety is such a turn off! They ahould have exposed that internal hammer and went 1911 style if they really felt the need for that grip safety. Should offer an optional model without it.
     
  12. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    Now that I posted that, realized that since my granddaughter is here, see if she can rack the slide. She could. She's 12 on Wednesday. Forecast is good. We're going shooting!
    Guess I need to a replacement soon!
     
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  13. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Why did S&W feel the need to put that weird upside down grip safety on it to begin with? I thought when the 380EZ came out, it would be a good choice for my wife, but she consistently had trouble with the grip safety, and I ended up getting rid of the gun because of it.
     
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  14. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    The EZ safety is only "weird" in being different from a 1911 grip safety. Many of John Browning's pistol designs had grip safeties hinged at the bottom: FN 1903, 1906, and 1910 and Colt 1903 Hammerless, 1908 Hammerless, and 1908 Vest Pocket.
     
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  15. jar

    jar Contributing Member

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    S&W grip safeties were pinned at the bottom since the original Lemon Squeezer and continued with the Centennial.

    40-08small.jpg

    40-07a800.jpg
     
  16. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Yes, I know a design like that has been around a long time, but being weird doesn’t have to do with how long something has been around. All it means is that something has been weird for a long time.

    The issue I have with the safety being used on these new guns is that they don’t always deactivate for people with smaller hands unless the gun is gripped perfectly. That can be a problem for any grip safety, but this one seems especially prone to it.
     
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  17. jar

    jar Contributing Member

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    Well the original Centennial had a solution for that and the image above includes the very very unusual features. There was a hole and pin that would lock the grip safety in the fire mode. What is truly unusual is that the example above actually still has the little pin. It's far more often that the little pin fell out during cleaning or maintenance and almost every other example I've found lost that little sucker decades ago.
     
  18. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    S&W says it is because it's the only M&P to not have a passive trigger safety.
    Their lawyers probably insist upon having two safeties on every pistol, with the other one being internal, against drops and such.
     
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  19. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    jar, thanks for sharing that detail on the lemon squeezer safety.

    It made me think: "What a change in the way a company thinks, from one generation to the next!"

    Back then, they were like: "This gun will be safer with a grip safety, so we built it. But if you really don't like it, here's an easy way to bypass it and it's your responsibility."

    Nowadays, they're like: "We are building multiple safeties into each pistol, even if they sometimes impede performance. We will not provide instructions on how to defeat them and we will make it as difficult as possible to defeat them, and God help you if you end up in court over it."
     
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  20. Scrapiron45

    Scrapiron45 Member

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    The EZ grip safetys are a common problem in our novice classes. New shooters, especially ladies and elderly pick this gun because of the sales pitch and have problems with the grip. I've also seen a few seasoned shooters running speed drills have issues until they adjust their grip to the pistol. I like the ez slide pull but the grip safety needs rethinking.
     
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  21. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    We'll have to see if it's any better on the Equalizer, which seems set to replace the EZ pistols.
     
  22. Craig_VA

    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    In a recent class with Brian Hill, he gave us some specific advice about the EZ grip safety. He showed us that a traditional thumb forward grip pushes a muscle in the palm such that it interferes with a good grip depressing the safety enough. His advice was to use a thumb-high grip on the EZ, which will better present a full pressure on the grip safety.
    I have not tested this on my brother's 9mm EZ, but plan to on our next range outing.
     
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  23. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    They should just offer an optional pistol without it. With mister carpal and good ole arthur moving into my hands, my favored steel guns are becoming a bit more of a trial. Shoulder problems have been moving in also. A lighter polymer with most the features, I like! Except for that goofy grip safety! Too redundant. Already has a thumb safety.
     
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  24. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    My wife carries a 9mm EZ. Prior to handling an EZ, she had never found an autoloader that she had the hand strength to rack. She is a novice shooter, but used this gun in two multi-day defensive handgun classes (~1400 total rounds) without a single hiccup, and with zero failures to activate the grip safety.

    She did learn a consistent five-count drawstroke early in these classes. Count one, of course, is to get a good firing grip on the gun. If novices learn a proper grip first, they should have no problems with the grip safety.

    ETA: she does use a strong, thumbs-down grip.

    Thinner and with higher capacity than her previous EDC (an LCR in .38 special), it has turned out to be a perfect gun for her.

    I wondered how the EZ would perform in my much larger, stronger hands. So for kicks and grins, I used her EZ to shoot an FBI agent qualification test. My scores with the little gun were exactly the same (98% on average) as with my larger 9mm and 45 ACP service-size pieces. And I had no problems with the grip safety.

    My advice: if you can't get the EZ grip safety to work reliably for you, please don't blame this on the gun.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
  25. AzShooter1

    AzShooter1 Member

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    EZ 9.jpg
    I really like my EZ 9 and have no troubles with the safety. I always keep my hand as high up on the grip as possible so switching to the EZ is no problem.
     
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