An M&P9c v. M&P Shield review (By someone who now owns both)

An M&P9c v. M&P Shield review (By someone who now owns both)

This is a discussion on An M&P9c v. M&P Shield review (By someone who now owns both) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have not had a chance to shoot it yet, but a few impressions stand out. The M&P Shield is substantially lighter and despite being ...

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Thread: An M&P9c v. M&P Shield review (By someone who now owns both)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    An M&P9c v. M&P Shield review (By someone who now owns both)

    I have not had a chance to shoot it yet, but a few impressions stand out.

    The M&P Shield is substantially lighter and despite being close in overall dimensions, subjectively feels much smaller than the M&P9c. The gun I would compare it to the most, I think, is the Kahr P9, with the advantage (IMHO) of not having hand-destroying molded checkering.

    I know some Shield owners are putting full-size M&P sights on their Shields, but I think I will wait for dedicated sights- the XS sights on my M&P9c are almost wide enough to fill the whole slide width on the M&P9c, so they would stick out noticeably on the Shield.

    Thoughts:

    1. The Safety: The M&P Shield safety clicks on and off very positively. Which is fortunate, since I plan on never using it. I notice that it is difficult to flip off without adjusting my grip, and that the slight inset in the frame where the safety rest actually bites my thumb a bit when I flip the safety off.

    2. The Trigger: Very little pretravel. I think the audible/tactile reset is a bit overblown on S&W's part, but it is a noticeable improvement over the M&P9c. Granted, my M&P9c's trigger was greatly improved by running about 1k rounds through the gun, and I didn't think it was all that bad to begin with. Also, the redesigned trigger on the Shield subjectively looks like a stronger and more durable design. The hinged trigger looks reinforced, as it were.

    3. The Grip: Here is my one ding. There is a little magazine wiggle when a loaded mag is inserted in my M&P9c, but there is a small gap between the bottom of the frame and the flush fit magazine in the Shield and a bigger wiggle than I think should be there. A better floorplate design for the flush magazines would be appreciated. On the other hand, I have slender piano fingers and average-sized hands, and I was pleased to note that I can get a full three-finger grip on the gun (just barely) with the flush magazine. This thrills me.

    I won't have a chance to get to the range until at least tomorrow or this weekend, but I will shoot both guns side by side with the same ammo and give my impressions in a day or two.

    EDIT:

    How I got this gun is actually a funny story... a guy had called me out of the blue yesterday wanting to buy a Colt I had for sale because he saw an Armslist post that I had put up and forgot about two months ago. He came down and met me in the parking lot of my local Gander Mountain, and after buying my gun, we went in just to see what was there. Turns out they get their new guns on Thursday afternoons, and they had gotten two Shields, only one of which was left by the time I got there. After handling it, I plunked down the money. Unfortunately, I paid MSRP, but since S&W set MSRP at a reasonable price, I figured it was OK. I would have paid less online, but I wouldn't have gotten to handle the actual gun in advance, and after transfer fee it would have only been a $40 difference.
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  2. #2
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comparison with the M&P compact. I have the Shield and a full size M&P so the comparison is a little more dramatic. So far I'm really liking the Shield.

    I may have to buy one for the wife. She really likes the size and ergonomics but hasn't had a chance to shoot it yet.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    4. Trigger Part 2: The trigger grittiness has cleaned up a lot with a little more dry firing and field stripping and lubing it. It is still noticeably heavier than my M&P9c trigger.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Finally got out to the range to shoot it.

    Recoil and muzzle flip are as easy to handle as in the M&P9c. It comes back on target nicely. The front sight on mine needs adjustment- you need to cover the bullseye at 7 yards to hit center- it shoots very low.

    Fired about 100 rounds of Federal Champion 115-gr. ammo through it without a hitch. Also about half a magazine of Winchester Ranger 127-gr. +P+, which actually had similar recoil with just a tad bit more muzzle flip.

    VERY sweet shooter.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Range update 2:

    I'm calling S&W about the front sight thing. I just ran 30 rounds each of Federal 147-gr. +P HST and Winchester 147-gr. Ranger Bonded through it, and it hits loooooooww. As in about three to six inches low at only seven yards. On the other hand, the Federal HST 147-gr. +P load is my new carry ammo, and it shoots very softly.
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  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array clarkston_cz's Avatar
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    I'm not knocking your ammo choice.


    Nice if you can find the HST locally. I've never seen it here.

    Any idea why to carry the 147s with that short of barrel?

    I think my forthcoming Shield will be loaded with something with more velocity to insure positive expansion,
    but the gun is so new that few people have tested for that.

    Know that my choice in 147 is the rather stout 147 gr. Gold Dots from Double Tap.

    Black Talons and Hydra-Shoks seem milder in comparison.

    But again... have never tried any new breed 147s like HST or Rangers.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Well, Paul Nowak from Winchester has been quoted all over the internet- he's a ballistics tech there and said that the Ranger line had been redesigned to expand at lower velocities from short barrel guns, and that the 147-gr. rounds lose a lower percentage of their velocity than the faster bullets.

    You may not see as rapid expansion, but the 147-gr. HST has a good reputation for expanding (.81 inch, anyone?). With the slightly reduced velocity from the 3.1" Shield barrel, I would expect to see a tad less expansion and a tad more penetration (due to the lowered expansion, the bullet would have a higher sectional density during hydraulic expansion and would penetrate further than it would if it immediately expanded fully).

    I like the numbers on 147-gr. 9mm- it usually gets an extra 3/4" to 1.5" of penetration compared to 115-gr. and 124-gr. bullets.

    Personally I think any of the high-end 9mm rounds are fine. The difference between any of the best loads is marginal.
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    Member Array dnilson's Avatar
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    I have found that my Shield shoots low as well, although, not nearly as low as yours!
    Pistols: Glock 21SF, Glock 30SF, Colt 1911 GCT (all .45ACP),
    Revolvers: Ruger SP 101 (.357MAG/.38SP), Judge (.410G/.45LC)

    Long guns: Daniel Defense AR-15's (M4V4 and M4V5), Mossberg Shotguns (400 and 500, both 12G), Ruger (.22;LR)

  9. #9
    Member Array BillK's Avatar
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    You guys are making it difficult on me. I spent my quota already for the year on guns. Although.......Maybe I can talk my daughter out of the Ruger and into a shield?????
    "Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars." - Unknown

  10. #10
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    My Shield shoots to the left about 1 inch at 7 yards. I need to move the rear sight, but I am probably going to just put on night sights anyway, so I will wait til then to move it.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    My Shield shoots to the left about 1 inch at 7 yards. I need to move the rear sight, but I am probably going to just put on night sights anyway, so I will wait til then to move it.
    Mine shoots a hair left, too, but that I think is on me, as when I shoot carefully, I get centered shots.
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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    I think I am going to wait and see if S&W decides to bring us a .45 ACP Shield. I have been considering a M&P45 Compact, but a .45 ACP Shield would really fit my needs.
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    Member Array John123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landric View Post
    I think I am going to wait and see if S&W decides to bring us a .45 ACP Shield. I have been considering a M&P45 Compact, but a .45 ACP Shield would really fit my needs.
    Saaaaame here. I've already got an M&P9c (love it) so I'm not convinced I NEED a shield... But a shield in 45??? My arm would then be twisted enough to buy. If I'm going to be running a gun with single digits worth of ammo capacity they had better be LARGE caliber rounds. Don't get me wrong, I love 9 mil, but I love it because I can carry lots of rounds in a relatively small gun.

    I know it sounds like I'm knocking the shield and I don't mean to be, I'd be somewhat torn if I didn't already own a compact in 9mm.

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