S&W shield problems

Not open for further replies.
Mar 20, 2011
Piedmont/Triad, NC
I just bought a S&W Shield last week after comparing it to the subcompact XDS Springfield.

I think I made a mistake. This gun shoot 3-4" low and 6"to the left and the sights on it are so tight that I can't budge them to adjust the windage.

My friend and I were shooting 2"groups to point of aim with my Keltec PF9 ( 7yds, standing, offhand) , which I paid half as much for as I paid for the Shield. The Shield also has the worst trigger I have ever used in my 40+ years of shooting. I can typically shoot 1-1.5"groups with my SR9 also at 7yds so imagine my surprise when I tried to shoot this thing and had to have a spotter tell me where I was on an 8.5 by 11"target at 7'.

I tried to adjust the sights on it and they are pressed in so tight that I can't budge them with anything I have. I read on this forum that the sights were too loose at first and now my new one is so tight that they can't be adjusted.

I will call S&W on Monday to see how good their "Lifetime Warranty on materials and workmanship" is.

Has anyone else bought a Shield that has these problems or did I just get a bad one?

How's the accuracy on yours @7'?
Hmm sounds like you might have a lemon, I can pretty easily keep my .40 shield under 2 inches at 7 yds. Also, it shoots right to point of aim with most 180 gr ammo. I don't know if Smith and Wesson will take a gun in for service because the sights are off, but I don't see why you can't try if they are that far off.
Sights being off are one thing, I expect that when they are new, but not being able to move the back sight, or front sight at all is something else.

I just wondered if the Shields were all like this or if I got a bad one.
Have you had someone else shoot the pistol or tried shooting it from a rest? I shot low and to the with my Shield at first too. Took some time for me to get used to the thin grip I guess.
Google "m&p shield shooting low" and you'll see you're not alone. I just picked up a 9mm Shield and see the same thing (only ran a few mags through it). Lefties shoot low right, it's a combination of overcompensating for recoil, trigger control and grip. The common solution from reading other's stories seems to be practice practice practice. Shoot from a rest before trying to mess with the sights.
I have a similar issues with the Shield 40.

However I know the sights on mine are dead on since I have a laser bore.

I even had another guy at the range that shoots very well try it and he had problems too.

The trigger on these Shields are just too tight. Unfortunately I live in Massachusetts which has heavier trigger pulls (10 lbs I think).

These compact/ultra light guns just move around too much in your hand. Even with a death grip. I think my problem is that the tigger pull is so heavy that just the finger motion is throwing it off.

I'm considering getting the Apex trigger kit. This will bring the pull down to 5 lbs and other improvements.

Any comments on that?
I'm planning to do the Apex trigger kit but I suspect the "death grip" is not helping anything (mrjim)
I've had the 9mm for several months. It was shooting 2-inches left when I brought it home. I replaced the factory sights with the XS Big Dot. Getting the factory sights off took patience & doing, but it can be done @home. So, you should be able to adjust the rear sight.

I'm just getting used to the XS sights, but am very satisfied with the accuracy & overall performance. Good luck on finding your Shield nirvana.
It may be a lemon, there are now many of them out there.

Send it back.... Dont fret....

Its an extremely popular pistol with many people satisfied....... Me included

My Shield 40 is my EDC
I am a S&W armorer and have seen several "growing pains" in the shield line so far. To S&W's credit, they have always been quick in addressing the problem and getting it back to the customer in a timely fashion. I can identify with the tight sight issue. I have put night sights on several Shield pistols and those sights are in there! Just as bad as the XD pistols in my opinion. Not all of them are like that but most are. The trigger issue is caused from a piece of square edged metal being bent into a loop shape, which makes the corners stick out and drag. They showed us how to polish it to reduce the drag but the XDS trigger is by far a better pull. You have to keep in mind that the Shield runs $150 less on average as compared to the XDS though.
tightgroup tiger, I own both XDs45 (s=slim / sc=subcompact) & Shield40. I shoot the XDs far better than the Shield. I've been shooting the XDs w/pachmayr grip sleeve. The felt recoil is little to nothing for such a small size 45 cal pistol. I'm very pleased w/XDs45. Frankly, if I'd bought the XDs45 first I would have never given the Shield40 a second thought. BTW, I've purchased a pachmayr grip for my Shield40, and look forward to the next range visit.

I, like others, shoot my Shield40 to the left but but 9:00 not 7:00 position. However, shot placement becomes more medial when shooting one-handed. Also, agree with others the Shield requires more practice.

... my 2 cents
Sorry for your troubles. My XDs shoots spot on and that makes me happy as heck. Hope you get your shiled problems resolved. It must be a real bummer.
If you want to move the sights on your Shield, here is what you do first. Get a soldering iron and heat the sight really well. The sights have Loctite under them and you have to break it first. The sights are tight but once you break the hold of the Loctite you can drive them out fairly easily. That is what I did on mine and it worked just fine. You have to do that to install the Apex striker block.

You definitely need to call S&W. Mine has shot really well since the first round through it. Sometimes you get a bad one but S&W will take care of it.
Thanks guys, I really do like the pistol and I am still planning on calling Smith and Wesson on Monday if for nothing else, to get advise. I've been using Smith and Wesson handguns for 40yrs and always thought highly of them, but this is my first new model, my next oldest one is a 1972 and they just get older from there.

Taurus 617, thanks for the info on the trigger. I needed to know that before I call S&W.

I spent most of last night researching this problem and found out the sights are glued in with locktight and I will have to heat the front sight up with an electric soldering iron to loosen the locktite just to move it.

I fired up Auto-Cad this morning and projected the sight radious of a 4", 6"and 8"to see what the difference was at 7'. With a 4"sight radious I can move the front sight 1/8"to bring POI sideways 10.0865"@7yds.

1/8"is to far to have to move a front sight.

All other aspects of the Shield very pleasant to me, it had only half the recoil of the pf9, and is very comfortable in my hand. I really do like it.

I'll experiment with dry firing it to see if I can catch myself pulling down and to the left, my buddy that was with me who is very proficient with semi-autos shot the exact same patterns as I did.

I'll find out Monday when I call Smith and talk to them about this.

I really appreciate the info, now I know I'm not alone with these problems.
Just a thought, but if you find that your shield shoots to point of aim in a rest, you might try switching up your grip. I went back to a thumbs crossed grip from a thumbs forward grip after taking a few classes, and my accuracy and consistency with my Glocks and the shield has markedly improved. Just a thought.
Looks like a hard pistol to hold still while pulling the trigger, not much grip to grip!
Just a thought, but if you find that your shield shoots to point of aim in a rest, you might try switching up your grip. I went back to a thumbs crossed grip from a thumbs forward grip after taking a few classes, and my accuracy and consistency with my Glocks and the shield has markedly improved. Just a thought.

I'll try that. I never really paid attention as to how I hold my PF9. It's smaller, I guess I just assumed I was holding the Shield the same way.

I dug out my old 325watt electric soldering iron and cleaned the tip really well. I clamped the slide between two 6"strips of oak in my vise and heated the front sight up.

IT MOVED! I moved it about a 16th of an inch and will try that being cognizant of my grip and trigger pull. I'll let you all know how I make out. I won't be at the range until next Tuesday and all I'm taking is the Shield so I can give it my full attention.
I will hold off calling Smith and Wesson now since I got the front sight adjusted until after the next range session with it.

Thanks again for all the help. I feel better about the gun now.
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.