"Smith & Wesson’s new M&P SHIELD™ is a slim, concealable, lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol. Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the new M&P SHIELD features a slim design combined with the proven and trusted features found in the M&P Pistol Series. From the pistol’s easily concealed one-inch profile to its optimized 18-degree grip angle, the M&P SHIELD offers professional-grade features that provide consumers with simple operation and reliable performance. Chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W for proven stopping power, the M&P SHIELD features a high-strength polymer frame with a black, Melonite® coated stainless steel slide and barrel. Both models are standard with a 3.1-inch barrel, which contributes to an overall length of 6.1 inches and an unloaded weight of 19 ounces. For fast tracking and smooth target acquisition, the M&P SHIELD is standard with a 5.3-inch sight radius and has been enhanced with a short, consistent trigger pull measuring 6.5 pounds. Featuring a quick and audible reset made possible by the striker-fired action, the M&P SHIELD allows multiple rounds to be placed on target both consistently and accurately. ALL BACKED BY OUR SMITH & WESSON LIFETIME SERVICE POLICY." - [url="http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_809560_-1_780153_757781_757781_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y"]PRODUCT LINK[/url]
Capacity - 7+1, 8+1
Action - Striker
Barrel Length - 3.1#8243; / 7.874 cm
Overall Length - 6.1#8243; / 15.5 cm
Frame Width - .95#8243; / 2.413 cm
Overall Height - 4.6#8243; / 11.684 cm
Weight - 19.0 oz / 538.7 g
Front Sight - White Dot
Rear Sight - White 2 Dot
MSRP - $449
As my search for the perfect carry gun continues I was enthusiastic about the release of S&W's latest M&P, the Shield. My M&Ps have served me very well over the years so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. No matter how successful I have become at dressing around my gun, there are a few times when pocketable is ideal and that was the role I had in mind when I purchased the Shield. A small, pocketable autoloader in a service caliber with the reliability I've come to expect from the M&P line.
The gun comes packaged in a cardboard box. No molded hardcase. [:(] It comes complete with an eight and a seven round magazine, lock, spent casing (who cares about the spent casing?), and an owners manual. I was disappointed in the packaging. I carry more guns to the range than what I happen to be carrying that day, and I don't intend on screwing around with this cardboard box. It looks like I'll have to purchase a hard-sided case.
New in the box the gun had an odd hangup. If I racked the slide forcefully the slide would stick in the rearward position. this hasnt happened since running a few hundred rounds through the gun, so for now I'm considering this a break-in issue. If it ever happens again I will update this review.
CLICK HERE for the video[/url]
Smith & Wesson did a good job enabling the aftermarket to prepare in advance for the release of the Shield. See the [url="http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson2/upload/other/M&P_Shield_Accessories.pdf"]SHIELD ACCESSORIES[/url] link.
[size=4]What I Like:[/size=4]
Ergonomics: The familiar grip angle makes the Shield a truly natural pointer, and the grip texturing ensures a positive grip which gives the shooter good control with the extended magazine.
Overall Size: The Shield certainly meets my requirements of being small enough to pocket while being large enough to firmly grip with the extended magazine.
Trigger: The trigger is very decent on the Shield, and if it's like the rest of the M&P line it will only get better and better as it wears in.
Reliability: Although I've only 250 rounds through this gun, it cycled everything properly without regard to ammunition type or shooter position.
Melonite: I really like the durability of melonite treated stainless steel.
[size=4]What I Don't Like:[/size=4]
Packaging: C'mon S&W, what's the deal with the crappy cardboard box? Give us a real carrying case!
Short Magazine: While shooting the Shield with the extended magazine was very good, trying to shoot it with the short magazine was awkward and even somewhat uncomfortable. In all fairness, this is more of a shooter issue than a gun issue; I don't like it if my pinky finger isnt planted firmly.
Manual Safety: I don't like manual safeties on carry weapons. Each time I remove the shield from my pocket I find myself fumbling with the safety to ensure it didn't engage by accident (leaving me with a gun that won't fire under the adrenaline dump of a defensive shooting). If I keep this weapon I will have to pay to get this removed. Peace of mind is a very fragile thing and the sub-conscious fear of an accidental safety engagement is enough to rob me of my peace of mind. In addition, the M&P line is built upon being ambidextrous so if you are going to have a manual safety, make it reversible. This safety cannot be reversed for a left hander making manipulation awkward.
[size=4]How Does It Compare?[/size=4]
In order to determine overall value and appeal I am comparing the S&W M&P Shield to a comparable size Springfield EMP.
Asthetics (irrelevant and relative)
The M&P Shield is a very good solution for anyone seeking an easily concealable, reliable, and reasonably accurate single stack 9mm/.40. While nothing about the Shield excites me, this gun is a very good value (I paid $419.99 for it at Shipton's Big R located in Billings, MT) and considering the value of my purchase I'm able to forgive its short-comings. While this little gun won't be replacing [url="http://concealedcarryforum.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=33758"]MY DAILY CARRY[/url] anytime soon, it is a great alternative for those few times when I just cannot dress around it. It is an ideal back-up gun, and at $420 I will likely purchase another for my daughter. I have no reservations recommending this gun to friends, family, or students for a very basic, reliable, compact, reasonably accurate defensive pistol. So long as your expectations are realistic (this isn't an all day shooter, a dedicated range gun, or a competition gun....this is a very basic compact defensive gun) the Shield will not disappoint you.
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