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What I Don't Like About the S&W M&P Shield

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by ShaneS, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

    Oct 22, 1999
    Greater D/FW Texas, USA
    I luckily came across a new S&W Shield when they first came out and snatched it up on the spot.

    I like the feel of the thinner grip afforded by the almost single stack magazine. Mine has fed all types of 9mm ammo flawlessly including NATO and Speer GDHP+P. The slide and frame are well made and solid. The sights are very good.

    There are two things I don't like about the Shield:

    1. I don't like the fact that the lower capacity 7rd magazine is very hard to seat with a closed slide when loaded to capacity. So, I download the magazine by one round. You can shove it in there, but it has to wear on the magazine catch. The included higher capacity 8rd magazine is easy to seat with a closed slide when fully loaded.

    2. I don't like the heavier trigger pull. The trigger pull on mine is about 6.5 lbs. Not a big deal for a small defense handgun, but I wish it was 1.0-1.5 lbs lighter.

    It's a keeper! S&W hit a home run with this pistol. They are going to sell a ton of Shields. Glock waited too long and missed a great opportunity.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  2. Trey83


    Feb 28, 2010
    Two " I don't like" threads in a row. I'd be happy to take them off your hands :whistling:

  3. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    My local shop has had a significant backorder list since the gun came out. Contrast that with the XDs .45 which they always seem to have (and it just came out more recently).

    Glock could take a significant chunk of the single stack market if they wanted to, but they are letting it pass them by.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  4. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
    M&P's in general are also now priced less than Glocks.
  5. have you done any extensive testing to prove that this statement is correct? since S&W apparently didn't do their homework.

    it clearly states that on their website. were you surprised that it has 6.5lbs?

    pure nonsense.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  6. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I agree S&W hit an even bigger home run with the M&P Shield models than they did with the standard M&P's. ;)

    The resistance seating fully a loaded magazine in a pistol when the slide is forward in battery is pretty common. I actually like to feel that resistance, as it lets me know the mag springs are probably still on the stronger end of the bell curve representing their expected service life.

    The 6.5lb trigger is exactly what the factory was shooting for (no pun intended), as the original tolerance spec for the standard M&P's involved a +/- allowance of 2lbs (meaning a stock/standard configuration M&P 9 might yield anywhere from a 4.5lb to 8.5lb trigger at first, and the .45's might run anywhere from 5-9lbs).

    In my last Glock armorer recert class we were told that the current production Glocks with the standard connector ought to be producing approx a 5.5-6+lb trigger, and 6.5lbs isn't all that different.

    Personally, I tend to like a "working pistol" to have somewhere around a 5-6lb trigger, although half a pound either way doesn't bother me.

    The consistency, predictable break and a brisk/firm trigger recovery (not just sear/action "reset" points) are more important to me than the actual weight. Smoothness is also good, but not really something I tend to notice when running a handgun hard, fast & accurately in demanding qual/drill situations.

    For example, my M&P 45 produced averaged trigger pull weights of 8-9+lbs when NIB, and the trigger was a bit rough/gritty ... but the break and recovery were very good, allowing me to wring very good practical accuracy from that gun from the very first mag load. It (the trigger) only got better with time, too (as it lightened up and smoothed out, which I only really noticed during slow-fire target shooting conditions, at out to distances running 50+ yds).

    I've got enough rounds and experience with my own M&P's, and experience as an armorer for the M&P, that I might consider seeing about retrofitting the new trigger for the M&P in my guns (depending on the extent of the parts needed). Maybe, at some point. Or even trying one of the Apex sears & plungers. Maybe. (I've used enough M&P's which have been equipped with the Apex parts to have gotten a good feel for them. ;) ) I just haven't felt the "need" thus far.

    In the meantime, I recently spent some range time using a Shield 9 belonging to another instructor. I was very impressed and pleased with it. I was using issued 124gr +P loads. Reliable - accurate - very controllable - accurate - very surprising recoil management - accurate, etc. :)

    BTW, from what I've heard from S&W thus far, good quality +P is okay for the Shield 9, but +P+ is NOT approved. I hope to get more detailed info when I do an armorer recert for the M&P and can get armorer info specific to the Shield models.

    I'm going to be ordering a Shield 9 for myself, hopefully in the next couple of months. My initial impression is that my 3913, CS9, G26's and SW999c will end up seeing a lot more time in the safe in the future. ;)

    Congrats, BTW. :)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  7. elde

    elde Lifetime Member

    Aug 31, 2008
    I don't like that the magazines didn't stay put on my .40 Shield while firing. I don't like that after two vacations in MA that S&W couldn't fix it. I don't like that I had to sell it and take a small loss after advising the buyer of the problem.
  8. CanMan

    CanMan Silver Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    in flagrante
    ^ +1

    When a Shield 9 shows up locally I'm gonna snag it. Apparently Glock's business plans glass ball is showing a dismal future for poly single stack nines :steamed:
  9. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

    Oct 22, 1999
    Greater D/FW Texas, USA
    A fully loaded 7rd magazine is extremely hard to seat on a closed slide. That much pressure can't be good for the magazine catch - no research needed. Perhaps S&W should call it a 6rd mag instead.

    The trigger is heavier than I anticipated regardless of the published specs. Maybe it will get better with time.

    These are my subjective observations. I still like the pistol and have no intentions of selling it.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  10. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    I want to check one out in person before I make a call on it.
  11. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    The resistance being felt isn't typically related to the mag catch.

    It's the result of the increased pressure required to further compress the mag spring as the load stack is being pressed against the pickup rail. That little bit extra compression can offer some noticeable resistance to seating the mag. The mag catch is merely being displaced as the mag catch cutout window reaches it.

    Granted, if the steel insert isn't properly hardened during the heat treat, it can suffer accelerated wear it rubs in & out over the edge of the mag body's catch window.

    Also, the top of the mag body (at the lips) has to rub over the edge of the mag catch insert, which happens sooner than the stacked rounds reach the pickup rail, and it might increase wear on the insert's edge if it hasn't been hardened properly.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  12. ShaneS

    ShaneS Millennium Member

    Oct 22, 1999
    Greater D/FW Texas, USA
    fastbolt, you are absolutely correct. My concern lies in the fact that the very strong magazine spring compression in a fully loaded 7rd magazine inserted on a closed slide may cause undue strain on the magazine catch. Seems like that strong pressure might cause accelerated wear on the magazine catch parts and slight deformation in the polymer frame over time.

    Also, if you were doing a tactical reload, it would be harder to insert a 7rd magazine in a crisis situation.

    I realize I am being a little nit picky and concerned about something that may not be an issue. None of my other pistols are that difficult to seat a fully loaded magazine on a closed slide.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  13. Dan Glock

    Dan Glock

    Nov 24, 2011
    Yes! The seven round mag was very difficult with the plus 1! Either way it isn't as nice as my PPS, I'm more of a Walther fan than S&W.
  14. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin JMB & MTK

    May 13, 2008
    Keep the mags fully loaded and keep the seven round mag in the gun and it will get looser and easier to insert like all other firearms. If the trigger pull is too heavy (yet it's much lighter than many other small carry guns) drop in an Apex sear and it will drop it down to about 5.5-5.0lbs.
  15. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin JMB & MTK

    May 13, 2008
    I've owned a few guns where a fully loaded mag was hard to insert on a closed slide, but it got better when they were left loaded and actually used as in going to the range. As my 9mm Shield sits right now, the loaded magazines can easily be fully inserted on a closed slide yet the mag spring is still very strong.
  16. Can you run +P or +P+ ammo through the Shield? I don't normally do +P+ but I find that guns that can run +P+ often run normal +P ammo better. For those that own one, how is it in .40? I've heard the G27 can be pretty harsh and was wondering if this one was better. Finally, do you guys carry with the flush 7rd mag or the extended 8rd mag? Is the 8rd mag pretty concealable?
  17. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin JMB & MTK

    May 13, 2008
    I run and carry +P ammo through my 9mm Shield. I've tried HST 124gr.+P, PDX-1/Ranger 124gr. +P and Gold Dot 124gr. +P. No problems what so ever. I have the HST 124gr. +P in the 7rd mag which is carried in the gun and also in the 8rd mag that sits in a Desantis mag packer in my left front pocket.

    I use an Old Faithful forward cant stage 3 holster for all day wear and a Bianchi 100 made for a G26 that I had to stretch around the trigger guard area for quick trips.


    The 8rd mag is in the mag packer now. It's actually the model made for 1911 mags.
  18. This is from the manual.

    “Plus-P” (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the pressures associated with standard ammunition. Such pressures may affect the wear characteristics or exceed the margin of safe- ty. Use of “Plus-P” ammunition may result in the need for more frequent service.
    “Plus-P-Plus” (+P+) ammunition must not be used in Smith & Wesson firearms. This marking on the ammunition designates that it exceeds established industry standards, but the designation does not represent defined pressure limits and therefore such ammunition may vary significantly as to the pressures generated and could be DANGEROUS.
  19. Thanks for the responses. That helps a lot. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go this direction eventually. Anyone shot the Shield in .40?