Introducing the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Smith & Wesson has just announced its new Shield handgun. It's an addition to the M&P line and fills a significant niche.

In short, it's a single-stack, polymer-frame handgun built to the ultra-durable standards of the Military & Police line and designed to be carried day in and day out by people who will abuse it and then expect it to perform on demand. Initially available in 9mm and .40 S&W, it retails at $449. It is less than one inch wide and weighs in at 19 ounces.

With it come two magazines—one short and one extended with a grip extension sleeve. The short magazine holds seven rounds in 9mm caliber; six rounds in .40, while the extended version holds eight rounds in 9mm and seven in .40 caliber. Plus it has the added benefit of providing a full grip. The slide is finished in Black Melonite at 68 HRc. Barrel length is three inches.


Sights are white-dot front and rear; the firing mechanism is striker-fired, and the trigger sports mild enhancements to S&W's standard M&P line of pistols, offering a quite usable 6.5-pound pull. The grip angle is a natural-feeling 18 degrees—a number settled on after engineers spent an inordinate amount of time studying human anatomy. Breaking from M&P pistol tradition, there are no interchangeable backstraps. Such a luxury would have made the grip bulkier, and proved a worthwhile jettison in order to achieve the fantastic slender feel of the Shield.


[imo-slideshow-gallery=11]

To date I've put over 600 rounds through my sample M&P9 Shield, with exactly one failure—and that was due to a clearly-visible ammo defect and no fault of the gun itself. It's accurate and surprisingly controllable under rapid fire. Check out the accompanying video to see it in action.

In a fit of pro-active activity, the good folks at S&W coordinated with a number of holster and aftermarket accessory providers. When new Shield pistols hit your dealers' shelves sometime in mid-April, you'll be able to purchase a holster for it from half a dozen manufacturers including Galco, DeSantis, Fobus, Blackhawk, Uncle Mike's and Pistol Wear. XS Sights and Hi-Viz are producing tritium and fiber-optic drop-in sights. And last but not least, laser accessories will be available from Crimson Trace, Laserlyte, and LaserMax.

Some, but not all, of the holsters and aftermarket sights can be viewed in the accompanying photographs.


What makes this gun important on today's scene? The fact that it carries the hallowed M&P designation. It is tested with much more extreme tests than standard pistol lines from S&W and competing manufacturers, and is built to provide lawmen with count-on-it performance.

This is an enthusiastic report. Do I really like it that much? I like it enough that it's going to become a permanent resident in my IWB holster. And that's about all I need to say about that.


Watch for a full, in-depth review coming up in Shooting Times magazine.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

James Tarr runs through the 3-Second Headshot drill.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Pinging Steel At Over A Mile Away

Big bore semiauto or a lever gun? We look at the futuristic .450 Bushmaster and how it compares to the tried and true .45-70. ISS Prop House gives us the rundown on the guns used in Enemy at the Gate. We ping steel with a .300 WinMag at over a mile.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Is the SIG P320 9mm modular pistol the best polymer-frame high-capacity sidearm ever designed? Let's find out. Handguns

SIG P320 9mm Review

Joseph Von Benedikt - September 13, 2018

Is the SIG P320 9mm modular pistol the best polymer-frame high-capacity sidearm ever designed?...

True Velocity is exploring options to make its distinctive ammo available to civilians. Ammo

True Velocity Rifle Ammo

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 31, 2019

True Velocity is exploring options to make its distinctive ammo available to civilians.

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice. Reloading

Share the Handloading Experience

Lane Pearce - May 19, 2019

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice.

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market. Rifles

Yugoslavian M24/47 Mauser-Pattern Rifle

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market.

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

HSM Ammunition has just released another new 6.5 Creedmoor loading. It's called “Low Recoil,” and the company says it produces from 47 percent to 53 percent less felt recoil. Ammo

HSM Low Recoil 6.5 Creedmoor Ammunition

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 27, 2020

HSM Ammunition has just released another new 6.5 Creedmoor loading. It's called “Low Recoil,”...

The new SIG Sauer Elite Hunter Tipped ammo utilizes premium nickel-plated cases, custom-formulated propellant and premium-quality primers. Ammo

SIG Sauer Elite Hunter Tipped Ammunition

Jake Edmondson - May 06, 2020

The new SIG Sauer Elite Hunter Tipped ammo utilizes premium nickel-plated cases,...

The CCI Clean-22 .22 LR ammunition features an exclusive polymer bullet coating that is similar to the coating used on sister company Federal's Syntech centerfire ammunition. Ammo

CCI Clean-22 .22 LR Ammo

Joel J. Hutchcroft - February 03, 2020

The CCI Clean-22 .22 LR ammunition features an exclusive polymer bullet coating that is...

The new Hornady Handgun Hunter ammo is crafted for hunting many different types of game. Ammo

Hornady Handgun Hunter Ammo - New for 2020

Shooting Times Digital Staff - January 27, 2020

The new Hornady Handgun Hunter ammo is crafted for hunting many different types of game.

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Shooting Times subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now