M&P 9 Shield Initial review

This is a discussion on M&P 9 Shield Initial review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I always said that if there was one pistol I would buy right after initial release, which I never do, it was a single stack ...

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Thread: M&P 9 Shield Initial review

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    M&P 9 Shield Initial review

    I always said that if there was one pistol I would buy right after initial release, which I never do, it was a single stack M&P 9mm.

    I found 1 in stock locally and snatched it right up for $399

    This pistol is basically a single stack M&P compact. It is slightly shorter in length and very slightly taller compared to the M&P9c.

    Initially I was concerned that this pistol was only going to be an M&P pistol on the outside, but completely different on the inside, especially given the price point S&W is selling them at. I was so releaved to find out that it is designed directly off the other M&P pistols. Same exact design, only smaller/slimmer. It feels and is service pistol quality. This is not a light duty feeling pistol like a Ruger LC9 or Keltec PF9.

    As I am sure most of you know, it comes with 2 magazines. The magazines are slightly staggered, which I am sure enables the magazines to hold one extra round compared to a true single stack magazine. It is a very efficient design where S&W was able to get a very thin pistol, but still use all the real estate available to their advantage.

    The thumb safety, which I would prefer not to have at all, has a good amount of detent pressure. The safety is pretty low profile, but does stick out just far enough to be usable like a 1911 thumb safety with a thumb forwards grip. The safety is usable, but I don't think it will accidently get swiped on given how low profile it is and with the detent pressure it has. I personally won't be using it at all and will be doing a lot of testing to make sure it won't accidently get swiped on before carrying it.

    I have two items that I would like to see improved.

    One, is the trigger, really just the reset. S&W did improve the trigger some compared to the other M&P pistols, but I was expecting a big change given how much S&W pumped this aspect of the pistol up. The trigger itself is designed a little more heavy duty so the hinged trigger doesn't feel flimsy. Other than that, I really don't feel too much of a difference. The take up and break is about the same compared to my M&P9 and M&P9c. I will say that the break is very clean, no creep. It is the best part of the trigger and the most important IMO so big points earned there. The take up has some grit in it just like my other M&Ps. Not that big of a deal, you can polish that out. The trigger weight is very acceptable for a CCW pistol, slightly heavier but given the design this can be changed to just about whatever you want.

    My only real complaint is the reset. S&W made a big deal out of how they improved the reset etc... It isn't much different than my other M&Ps. It is slightly better, but not by much at all. I was expecting something much closer to a Glock like reset and it falls way short of this.

    The trigger is slightly better, but the big issue was the reset and IMO S&W still falls short in this catergory. Don't get me wrong guys, the trigger is more than acceptable, I was just hoping for a much better reset. Far from being any type of deal breaker.

    My other complaint is the way the extended magazine extension is designed. The extension goes all the way to the rear edge of the grip. It is a direct extension of the grip and right in line with it. When I push the magazine release button my palm is still touching the magazine extension and the mag won't drop free. I am going to modify the extension some to try and solve this. I know S&W designed it this way, compared to just a pinky extension, to get the extra round. The extra round is important, but I still think the rear of the extension could of been designed different to fix this issue. The good news is that I beleive this issue can be solved without having to modify the pistol at all, just the magazine extension. If I botch it, I only have to buy a new magazine. I wouldn't be surprised if the extension is changed by S&W at a later time or someone produces something to change this.


    Another interesting tid bit. I believe with the standard magazine, this pistol could be pocket carried in a very slim holster for most people and be acceptable comfort/fit wise.

    Overall, this pistol is OUTSTANDING and will fly off the shelves for a long time to come. You get a lot of pistol for the money and it is the perfect balance when it comes to quality, cost and design.

    S&W listened and delivered.

    I have owned and shot just about every single stack 9mm out there. Kahr, PPS, Keltec, Bersa, Ruger and for me, the S&W M&P9 Shield leaves them all behind.

    I'll report back later with the range report. I am going to really but it through its paces. Lots of rounds including a bunch of JHP. I want to prove this pistol so I can carry it as soon as possible.

    M&P9 Shield with the standard 7 round magazine.



    M&P9 Shield with the extended 8 round magazine.



    Thickness difference of the M&P9 Shield compared to the M&P9c



    Length differences (M&P9 Shield is shorter)



    Height difference with the standard magazine. M&P9 Shield is in the background, M&P9c in front.



    Height difference with the extended magazines on both pistols. M&P9 Shield is in the background, M&P9c in front.


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  3. #2
    New Member Array RobFL's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pics along side the 9c. I was able to hold the shield the day it came out but the shop had no 9c to compare it too. Looks good but I have no issues concealing my 9c so I am on the fence on my need for this pistol. Nice gun though..
    oneshot likes this.

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    Distinguished Member Array sid1's Avatar
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    Thanks, great initial review
    oneshot likes this.

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    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    very nice review. Thank you.

    Great to see gun stores stocking the Shield the day after the gun is announced. I was not expecting to see any before at least May or June. Way to go S&W.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonker1986 View Post
    very nice review. Thank you.

    Great to see gun stores stocking the Shield the day after the gun is announced. I was not expecting to see any before at least May or June. Way to go S&W.
    S&W did an outstanding job with the release.

    My pistol was test fired by S&W mid Jan. They have been manufacturing them and stocking up the distributors before the initial release. This is how all manufactures should do it.

    Once I learned what S&W did, it made perfect sense to me why other M&Ps, like .45acp, are very scarce to get right now. They have been building M&P Shields.

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    Member Array vista461's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Altitude View Post
    Thickness difference of the M&P9 Shield compared to the M&P9c

    That's nice and skinny.

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    Member Array TTPower's Avatar
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    thanks for the pics.

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    Member Array patrol's Avatar
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    Introducing the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield - Guns & Ammo

    the shooting times video about this new model smith...
    If you can read this thank a teacher. If it is written in English thank a Marine.

  10. #9
    New Member Array khoff2's Avatar
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    Bummer, just purchased a Taurus 740 slim. Would have loved to try out the M&P 40 Shield first. But, I do like the safety features of the 740 with the little ones in the house.
    S&W 442
    Taurus 740

  11. #10
    Member Array xeero's Avatar
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    Which size backstrap is shown on the 9c? I use the Small, because I noticed it's thinner.

    -- Sent from my Samsung Android phone using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xeero View Post
    Which size backstrap is shown on the 9c? I use the Small, because I noticed it's thinner.

    -- Sent from my Samsung Android phone using Tapatalk
    Med

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    Member Array Tutapper's Avatar
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    Did the guy in the video say MSRP $449.00? You got yours for $400.00? Is that the normal range for a newly released model?

    OP, thanks for the review. What about weight? Do you know what the trigger pull in pounds is?

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tutapper View Post
    Did the guy in the video say MSRP $449.00? You got yours for $400.00? Is that the normal range for a newly released model?

    OP, thanks for the review. What about weight? Do you know what the trigger pull in pounds is?
    I believe the MSRP is set on the low side compared to most pistols so the discount to retail won't be as much compared to other firearms. One gunshop here had theirs forsale at $439. I believe anything around $400 is a good deal at this time. Some people where speculating that the price may go lower towards $350 after the rush is over etc.... but I don't think so. I don't think the MSRP is set high enough over cost to allow much steeper discounts.

    The trigger weight is very close to what S&W specs, 6.5lbs. The trigger has a short amount of take up, a nice clean break with little to no creep, a normal amount of overtravel and the reset is about the same distance as the other M&Ps with a slightly more tactile feel to it. For a striker fired weapon it is a good trigger. It appears that the sear is the same as the other M&Ps so I am certain that it is going to be very easy to modify the trigger pull to what you want. Trigger jobs will be very straight forward.

    IMO if you polish up the firing pin safety block, which is what contributes the most to the gritty feel, as well as an overall polish job, the trigger will be good to go with nothing else needed.

    For people who want to use the thumb safety, it would be better if the thumb safety stuck out a little more like on the LC9. I have no doubt that there will be some aftermarket parts made for this pistol. If you aren't planning on using the safety, it is good to go as is.

  15. #14
    New Member Array Bryar83's Avatar
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    Great review and picks. I've wanted a compact M&P, but didn't like how wide it was. I carry a full sized every day at work and liked the idea of packing a smaller one when off duty.
    Good on S&W to produce this version. It's great to see these companies coming out with good compact pistols with the seeming rising popularity of slim guns.

  16. #15
    Member Array Tutapper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the additional information.

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