A friend of mine asked me recently for some advice for a CCW firearm. My reply was simple - if you want ultra-concealability - look no further than the S&W M&P Shield. I have had mine for about 2 months - I got one of the first one's in my area. I bought it brand new - $399 plus tax.
I have put over 1,000 rounds of a combination of my reloads and Wolf ammo through it. The ONLY time it didn't go bang was when I encountered some of my training rounds in my reloads. For every 100 rounds I reload - I add in 1 round that has no powder - and the leave dead primer still in the case. This keeps my type 1 malfunction skills up to par - as I *never* know when I will encounter one of those dummy rounds. Works great for training - sucks for matches - but I shoot matches to get the heart rate up to enhance my training anyway so it works out well.
Back to the Shield - it is the perfect size for a carry gun for ME. There are a lot of reviews out there that compare it in size to other carry guns - so I won't repeat that. However - the comparisons either on paper, word or video do not do the difference justice. The difference in "carryability" is dramatic - again - to me. Your mileage may vary. I currently own a S&W M&P 9C - and have owned Glock 26's, Kahr's, KelTec's, Walther PPK's, etc - always in the quest for the "perfect carry gun". Yet as Goldilocks says - none of them were "just right". They were either too big, too heavy, too thick, no fun to shoot, sights sucked, trigger pull was horrible, unreliable, sissy caliber (.380), etc. etc.
Then I picked up the S&W Shield and thought - "WOW - this is JUST RIGHT!" It is short in length and height. It has REAL sights (steel no less). It is THIN. It carries a decent load (7 +1 for the flush fitting mag) - and is a *real* caliber (9mm). It even has a thumb safety - which for pocket carry I really like. While on the subject of the thumb safety - all I will say is this - it is placed EXACTLY where the first joint of my thumb easily wipes it off (down) during the draw stroke. Not once in the thousand rounds and at least that many dry draw strokes have I failed to swipe it off.
My suggestion is if you get one of these - you TRAIN to ALWAYS swipe it off. Otherwise - if you leave it "off" and plan to leave it off - Murphy will ensure that when you need it - the safety will be "ON" and ruin your day. Train to ALWAYS swipe it off and you will be good to go. That goes with ANY firearm that has a mechanical safety placed anywhere other than the trigger (like Glocks and others). ALWAYS train to deactivate the safety. ALWAYS.
OK - now on to accuracy. It must be stated that the S&W M&P line (particularly in 9mm) has the reputation for NOT being absolute tack drivers. Quite the contrary actually. They are certainly "minute of bad guy" accurate - but not "eye socket" accurate.
Well - my M&P Shield is "eye socket" accurate. I fired 10 rounds of Winchester Ranger T RA9TA 127 grain +P+ ammo at 21 feet (7 yards) - as that is a good distance to take the "eye socket" shot.
Ten rounds in less than an inch (0.85" center to center) at 21 feet (7 yards) is "eye socket" accuracy in my book. This is in 9mm no less. And this is with a much too hard trigger pull too!
Now I have no idea if all S&W M&P Shields are this accurate - all I know is MINE is. I HOPE all others are too.
I have heard lots of reviewers saying they like the trigger pull on the Shields they were handling. My S&W M&P Shield does NOT have a stellar trigger pull. It is too hard. It feels like about 8 pounds. I will put an Apex Sear in my Shield to help that out.
I have carried this in my left front pocket (cargo shorts that have big front pockets), I have carried this in my IWB holster at the 4:30 position (can't warm up to appendix carry) and in an ankle rig. It EXCELS in all three positions. I can't pocket carry this in jeans like I can with my KelTec P3AT - so the .380 will still fill the role of a BUG - but this S&W M&P Shield is now my PRIMARY carry handgun.
My advice is this - if don't want to get a new handgun for CCW use - DO NOT ever handle a S&W M&P Shield!! Cause if you do handle one - you may just catch yourself saying "WOW - this is just right!"
MarshallDodge wrote:...That is more than I can say of some other highly regarded polymer pistols on the market.
moyler wrote:MarshallDodge wrote:...That is more than I can say of some other highly regarded polymer pistols on the market.
Glad you are liking your Shield, OP. During a class I was able to shoot one, and I definitely want to shoot one again.
I also shot a guy's Kimber Solo that shot extremely well for me in comparison, I really liked that gun.
OP: Sounds like you have a good BUG or deep concealment CCW, well done!
MarshallDodge wrote:Bashing? I didn't say subcompact Glock or XD.
The last Kimberly Solo I shot was typical of their quality control. Sometimes you get a good one and sometimes a bad one. Couldn't get this one to make it through a may without a failure to extract.
Snurd wrote:That small of a gun I'm sure you will notice a big difference between the .40 and 9mm recoil. I would go with the 9mm.
(Sent from iSnurd)
Hawk87 wrote:There is a post here about how handgun rounds all pretty much suck the same. I highly recommend reading it. It is by Dr Gary Roberts, an expert in the field of ballistics.
For what its worth, I carry a 9, and feel perfectly fine with it.
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