The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield continues and improves on its larger predecessors in the M&P range. As a concealed carry weapon that still packs a punch, it has developed a loyal following. Named M&P for Military and Police, this affordable, yet powerful, pistol offers a light and crisp trigger pull and convenient take down method.
Because it is a semi-automatic firearm, it is ideal for home defense, concealed carry, competition shooting, and recreational shooting.
When deciding if it is the right firearm for you, there are several key factors to consider.
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Build Quality
The first thing you’ll notice about this model is that it looks sleek, yet it’s extremely sturdy. The durable polymer frame ensures you’re not going to have any problems with rust or corrosion. If you accidentally drop your firearm, a polymer frame is less likely to sustain damage than a steel or aluminum frame.
The matte black stainless steel slide has an Armornite finish, which offers superior wear resistance, helping keep your gun in pristine condition. It is also weather-resistant and reduces the chances of moisture and other contaminants entering the upper part. Aside from offering protection, the coating reduces glare, which can be vital when aiming your shot.
A concealed carry weapon should be lightweight, and the polymer frame makes the M&P series ideal. While a gun belt is the best option to support your firearm, the size and weight of the M&P9 and M&P40 make it an optimal choice for a sturdy belt or robust waistband.
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Ergonomics
The M&P Shield comes in 9mm and .40 caliber. For shooters who are used to the dependable shot and minimal recoil of a 9mm handgun, the M&P9 doesn’t disappoint. For shooters who want the undeniable stopping power a .40 caliber gun delivers in close range situations, the M&P40 packs a powerful punch.
The compact barrel length is 3.1” and the overall firearm length is 6.1” on both caliber models. While the length is incredibly compact, what is even more remarkable is the slimline girth. Both models offer a low profile width for optimal concealed carry, and easy maneuvering from your holster to your hand in self-defense scenarios.
The grip has a textured finish that makes it easier to hold, and this can be especially important when shooting in wet weather. The granular feel provides a comfortable feeling that helps to find your favored shooting handgrip. While it may not be a custom fit, the intelligent design makes it feel like this firearm fuses with your hands.
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Shooting
The M&P Shield uses a striker-fired 2-piece trigger pull, which is ideal for home-defense purposes when you need an extra second to decide if you want to take the shot. You can also choose between a version with a thumb safety for an added layer of protection. If you prefer to pull and shoot quickly, then there is a version without the thumb safety feature.
The 6.5 lb. trigger pull weight also gives the firearm a substantial feel when you are easing the trigger back. The clean feeling when firing and soft recoil allows you to reset and take aim for your next shot quickly.
This model has a white-dot front sight and a white 2-dot rear sight. Even though the barrel is compact, there is still a generous 5.7” sight radius, so you can make minor adjustments without compromising your shot.
Taking down the M&P Shield is easy, with a simple lever inside the slide that you pull down. There’s no need to dry-fire first, unlike with other brands.
When it comes to moving and shooting, the M&P Shield series is an excellent performer due to the combination of the weight, compact barrel length, accurate sighting, and well-controlled recoil.
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Magazine Changes
The M&P9 comes with a 7- or 8-round magazine, while the M&P40 uses a 6- or 7-round mag. Because the 8-round magazine juts out below the gun frame, Smith & Wesson have added some intelligent features.
The magazine uses a standard base plate, so there is a polymer sleeve that extends to cover the area between the gun and the end of the base plate. Adding a more substantial area around the part of the magazine that extends beyond the gun frame gives you an extra area section to hold when shooting.
When you are loading a magazine, it keeps it from hitting the ejector by holding a small space between them. This feature helps to avoid damaging the ejector when loading.
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Carrying
The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is a concealed carry firearm. The compact design helps it to stay hidden from view. However, for the best results, you need the correct holster.
At We the People Holsters, we stock a range of both outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters and inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters. Our hand-crafted Kydex holsters are made in the United States and protect your M&P Shield from the elements and even some corrosive chemicals. If you accidentally drop your firearm, Kydex is shock-resistant and can help protect your weapon from damage.
Because our holsters weigh just a few ounces, they are comfortable to wear all day, every day. You can use the height-adjustment settings to find the ideal carrying position for you, and change the cant, so you know you can quickly find your M&P Shield grip. Used by law enforcement and the military, Kydex is more durable and offers superior retention to leather alternatives.
Although functionality and protective features are the most crucial features of a holster, you can also choose from a range of colors and patterns to find your preferred style.
Last Word About The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield
The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is an exceptional firearm that is perfect for concealed carrying. Even if you only wear a light T-shirt, the compact design, combined with the right holster, ensures that even the keenest eye won’t know it is by your side.
The lightweight design and textured grip make it easy to locate, draw, aim, and fire the M&P Shield when it is in a holster that you have adjusted to your perfect height and cant.
If you own a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield or are thinking of making a holster purchase, talk to our team at We The People Holsters to find the perfect holster for your firearm.