SMITH & WESSON M&P9 SHIELD
SMITH & WESSON M&P9 SHIELD.
The reality of protection is that you never know when you’ll need it. We took the power and features of our full sized M&P pistols and put them into a slim, lightweight pistol the size of your hand. The M&P Shield is an easy to conceal pistol that offers professional grade features with simple operation and reliable performance day or night. One million Shield owners can’t be wrong.
• Extremely thin and lightweight – can be comfortably carried all day
• Polymer frame with embedded stainless steel rigid chassis system
• Striker-fired for short consistent trigger pull, every time
• M&P’s patented take-down lever and sear deactivation systems allow for disassembly without pulling the trigger
• Includes 2 magazines; 1 with extended capacity and one flush
ALL BACKED BY OUR SMITH & WESSON LIFETIME SERVICE POLICY.
Availability subject to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.
The market for guns is growing faster than the national debt. Paradoxically, the guns themselves are shrinking. Powerful handguns are getting smaller, easier to carry and less expensive. The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield continues this trend.
It’s a pistol trimmed down to a small size often reserved for weaker cartridges like the .380, but it maintains many of the ruffles and flourishes of its larger siblings in the M&P series. That’s all well and good, except that there are hidden costs that can outweigh the benefits of proliferating pistol shrinkage.
A smallish semi-auto handgun can be difficult to shoot with accuracy due to its short sight radius. A small 9mm gun can twist around in the hand like a python with abdominal cramps. And reliability can suffer when power overwhelms small springs, feathery frames and parts made by pixies. I tested the Shield because I wanted to know if the baby M&P is a worthy entry into the Smith & Wesson M&P family, or just some marketing maven’s idea of a profitable brand extension.
So what we have here is either a small compact or a big subcompact. What separates this packin’ pistol from the rest of the pack of M&P pistols isn’t its overall length or weight. It’s the Shield’s girth, or rather the noticeable lack thereof.
At a dead-skinny .95” wide, this pistol is more that .2” thinner than the M&P Compact. Oh, so you think that .2” is much ado about nothing? Take a look at this slide by slide comparison.
Wrapping my mitt around the Shield was an altogether different experience from handling almost any other pistol. The eight-round magazine provided a full-fisted grip for my medium-sized hands, while the seven-rounder would work best for people who have tiny hands or whose pinkies have at some time in the past suffered a catastrophic bologna slicer accident.
What really made an impression is the way the extreme flatness of the Shield’s stock fit in my hand so perfectly, so naturally, that it felt as if it was custom-made. All of a sudden, the M&P compact that I’ve felt comfortable with for years felt chunky by comparison, if not downright clunky. Even my M642 – all fifteen ounces of it — felt like a war club in my fist after gripping the Shield.
Okay, feel is very important, but what about style? Well, if looks matter, then the Shield passes with a solid B. Appearance-wise, it’s not in the same class as, say, a Kimber Solo Carry Stainless or the peerless Salma Hayek, but in the box or the hand, the Shield looks handsome and well-balanced. It has racy lines and is kitted out with a handle that sports S&W’s customary pebbled (fixed) backstrap and a slide with Smith’s wavy striations.