Last April, Smith & Wesson unveiled the M&P Shield, in 9mm and .40 calibers. This past summer I had the chance to test out Smith & Wesson’s new M&P Shield 9mm. I also purchased another brand of 9mm, designed for conceal carry. So, I spent some time at the range with both pistols for a side-by-side comparison, using Winchester 115-grain full metal jacket target ammunition.
The Shield is designed for concealed carry and is lightweight, weighing in at 19 ounces unloaded. It comes with 3.1-inch barrel and a striker-fired trigger system with a crisp and smooth 6.5-pound trigger. I like its narrow grip, with a single-stack magazine that measures just less than one-inch wide. Talk about easy concealment.
Even with these smaller dimensions and being a lightweight pistol, it shoots comfortably. I can easily control the recoil level. In fact, you can see the low amount of recoil in this photo below.
Some of the other great features on the Shield are a simple takedown lever, the M&P thumb safety, extended trigger guard and a flat profile slide stop. It also has a fixed textured backstrap, white dot stainless steel sights and Melonite finish on the stainless steel slide and barrel. It came with the regular seven-round magazine and a 1+ extended eight-round magazine. I really like shooting using the extended magazine. It gives me just a little more to wrap my fingers around.
While double-action only pistols tend to have a long trigger pull, the Shield was not bad. However, the other pistol I was shooting had an extremely long pull. In fact, it went nearly to the back of the trigger guard.
When I factored in the durability of an M&P, with the power of a full size in a compact package and the major difference in the length of the trigger pull, I chose the Smith & Wesson Shield as the winner of this side-by-side challenge. In fact, I liked it so much better that I purchased the Shield and sold the other pistol.
And, I agree with Smith & Wesson when they state, “The M&P Shield is a professional-grade, conceal-carry pistol designed to shoot as well as it conceals.”
MSRP is $449.