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.

Recommended for You

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades. Handguns

Review: Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic Revolver

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 08, 2019

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades.

Daniel Defense has blazed a new trail with its first-ever bolt-action rifle, the Daniel Defense Delta 5. Rifles

Daniel Defense Delta 5 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 31, 2019

Daniel Defense has blazed a new trail with its first-ever bolt-action rifle, the Daniel...

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 Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

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 Stories

Cutting-edge projectiles provide unprecedented performance in the venerable old workhorse, the .30-06. Ammo

Get the Most Out of the .30-06

Joseph von Benedikt - April 01, 2019

Cutting-edge projectiles provide unprecedented performance in the venerable old workhorse, the...

How can a shorter-barreled revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barreled semiautomatic pistol? Handguns

Revolver vs. Semiautomatic Pistol: A Ballistic Oddity

Allan Jones - May 15, 2019

How can a shorter-barreled revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barreled...

Improved ballistic coefficients lead to greater performance downrange without upping blast and recoil. How-To

The Key to Shooting Far: Improving Ballistics

Rick Jamison - April 17, 2019

Improved ballistic coefficients lead to greater performance downrange without upping blast and...

See More Stories

More Ammo

Plenty of YouTube heroes are reinventing the spiel. But be careful they don't take you down the wrong path. Ammo

Don't Be Misled: .30-06 is Still the Best

Terry Wieland - November 08, 2019

Plenty of YouTube heroes are reinventing the spiel. But be careful they don't take you down...

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet. Ammo

Danger Tamed: Hornady DGX Bonded Hunting Ammo

Joseph von Benedikt - May 23, 2019

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet.

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.

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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