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Old 10-05-2012, 13:55   #1
plouffedaddy
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M&P Shield 9mm 1K Round Review

General Firearms Forum

The Shield is one of the, if not the, most talked about handguns within the shooting community this year. The trend for small carry guns in 380 seems to have been set aside for compact single stack 9mm guns. The Shield certainly isn't the smallest of the "pocket 9s" but it may well be the best. I've shot the Nano, Solo, PF9, PM9, P938, PPS, LC9, and own the CM9... if I had to pick one of them it'd be the Shield. Here are some reasons why:

Pros:
-Reliable. I just passed the 1K round mark with this gun using everything from steel cased Russian ammo to quality JHPs it's never missed a beat
-Shootable. Of the guns I mentioned above, the Shield is the easiest to shoot well. Many of these small guns tend to jump around in your hand causing the shooter to re-grip halfway through the magazine; the Shield doesn't seem to have that problem
-Lightweight. It comes in at 19oz unloaded
-Great finish. The melonite (68 HRc) finish is top notch. With over 1K through the gun it shows less signs of wear than my SIG P229 did after 200 rounds.
-It's the smallest range gun I've used to date. What I mean by that is it's not a chore to shoot for an extended session like many other carry guns. (The PPS does hold its' own in this regard).
-It comes with usable sights. I replaced my sights with Trijicon NS but the factory 3 dot sights are easy to use and better than most guns in its' class.
-Cost. I got mine for $389 OTD right when they were released and used the Nation's Finest rebate (they used to honor it for the Shield but no longer do. They now have MIL/LE pricing however) for an additional $50 off.
-Value. For the cost above you get a well built, seeming very durable firearm that carries extremely well. Due to this, demand is currently exceeding supply and they're hard to find.
-Lots of aftermarket support from Apex parts to night sights to holsters.
-Comes with two mags (some of the competitors don't); a 7 round flush fit and 8 round extended mag.
-It has by far the best out of the box trigger of any gun in the M&P lineup; the reset isn't faint like the rest of the series. My trigger breaks consistently at 6lbs.
-You don't have to pull the trigger for disassembly. That's important to some people so I mentioned it to me but I don't mind pulling the trigger (as you'll see in the video below).
-Fish scale serrations allow for a positive purchase on the slide when manipulating the weapon.

Cons:
-Right side only controls. If you're a lefty you likely won't appreciate that.\
-External safety. I'm in the camp of the people who do not like external safeties on a striker fired gun. That said, it takes an intentional sweep to put it in the 'on' position and I worry little about it accidently coming on (has never happened yet). Also, for those who like external safeties it's still a con. Reason being it's small and difficult to manipulate... likely more so under stress. I think they tried to compromise here and missed both ways.
-It's larger than some of its' competitors. I don't find it to be a pocket gun (I know some do) unless I'm wearing cargo pants/shorts.

Here's a video with some shooting from the 12m line, a size comparison with a couple carry guns, demonstration of disassembly and assembly of the gun, a quick discussion of the guns' pros and cons, and some chronograph testing with some popular defensive rounds:


Chrono numbers:

Hornady 147gr TAPs: 894 fps, 261 ft/lbs energy
Federal 124gr HSTs: 1016 fps, 284 ft/lbs energy
Speer 124gr Gold Dots: 1076 fps, 319 ft/lbs energy

General Firearms Forum
General Firearms Forum
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:31   #2
barth
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Nice review.
I do wish S&W had an option of sans external safety.
I've got eleven handguns and just can't abide one.
Naturally I'm not talking a 1911 style SA gun.

Guess I could just leave the safety off.
Or see if I could have it removed and disabled...
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:40   #3
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Nice review.
I do wish S&W had an option of sans external safety.
I agree on both counts. Honestly, if they come out with one that doesn't have the safety I'd probably sell mine to buy that one. If they don't I'll get over it. I really like this gun.
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:56   #4
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At least the safety is difficult (almost impossible really) to accidently engage. Just leave it off.
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Old 10-05-2012, 15:09   #5
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I have my sights on one of those sooner or later after the fever comes down on them.
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:46   #6
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Nice range report on a great gun.
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:52   #7
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I have my sights on one of those sooner or later after the fever comes down on them.
Same here, and as usual interesting review plouffedaddy.
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Old 10-05-2012, 18:48   #8
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always appreciated. Will you be doing on in the xds?
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Old 10-05-2012, 18:55   #9
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Good review. I'll buy one when I can my hands on one.

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Old 10-05-2012, 19:00   #10
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The Club Co-Ed shot one borrowed from a friend of Dad's at last week's IDPA match (instead of her usual SA1911A1) and announced that she wants one for her 21st birthday next month.

I have been bouncing from pillar to post over a light holster gun and want to get a close look and maybe test run.
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Old 10-05-2012, 19:23   #11
Bruce M
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Nicely written review; thanks for the work you put into it. I am also fond of my Shield.
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Old 10-05-2012, 19:33   #12
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Too bad they are so difficult to find. I've yet to get my hands on one.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:25   #13
plouffedaddy
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always appreciated. Will you be doing on in the xds?
Not unless they release on in 9mm. I like the the 45 round but a gun that size in 45ACP just doesn't really interest me. That said, if someone has one I can use for a review I'd do it but I won't be buying one myself...
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:34   #14
TxGlock9
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Originally Posted by plouffedaddy View Post
Not unless they release on in 9mm. I like the the 45 round but a gun that size in 45ACP just doesn't really interest me. That said, if someone has one I can use for a review I'd do it but I won't be buying one myself...
My thoughts exactly. I am just waiting for the 9mm version to come out as well...
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:40   #15
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Nice review, as always
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:37   #16
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Great review. I STILL have never seen one in person. I have a strong feeling I'll buy the first one I see though.
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Old 10-06-2012, 20:35   #17
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Great review. I STILL have never seen one in person. I have a strong feeling I'll buy the first one I see though.
FYI, Ozark Sportsman (Tontitown) has one in the display that you can take out and fondle, marked at $399 but will not sell, only taking names on the`waiting list.
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Old 10-07-2012, 14:17   #18
denn1911
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Thanks for the review. I like my Shield and have 500 flawless rounds of various ammo through it. I do not like the manual safety. I don't carry my Shield like I thought I would. Since I carry a full-size pistol daily, the Shield is sitting in the safe.
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