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EDC Gun Review – Smith/Wesson M&P Shield

shieldA few months ago, my brother and I were visiting a local gun show. I do not usually buy firearms at gun shows, as they tend to be a bit overpriced in my opinion. But I have found some good deals on parts and accessories, and I love to “window shop”.

Anyway, while making our way from table to table, my brother came upon a slightly used Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in .40 cal. The owner allowed him to field strip it, and we realized it was in excellent condition, LNIB. (Like New In Box.) After some slight haggling, my brother bought it. And after a trip to the range, I thought I would give it a review as an EDC firearm.

The M&P Shield is a black polymer framed, striker fired pistol. It is slim and light weight. The pistol is a bit over 4.5 inches tall, and weights about 19 oz. The barrel is 3.1 inches long. So for a 40 cal pistol, the Shield is small enough to conceal, but offers significant stopping power.

As I mentioned, this particular pistol is a .40 cal. Smith and Wesson also makes the M&P Shield in 9mm, but because our ammo stores are .40 cal, we went with the .40 cal. The .40 comes with a single stack 6 or 7 round magazine.

For those of you who are interested in the 9mm version, I can happily say that the only difference between the two is that the 9mm magazine holds one more round than the .40 cal version. Otherwise, everything is the same. Same weight, same dimensions, etc.


Fully adjustable full sized front and rear sights

As I have mentioned in other reviews, I am NOT a fan of subdued sights. But that is not a problem with the Shield. It features full sights, which are easy to visually acquire. Both the front and rear sights are adjustable as well, something else I like about this pistol.

I am also a fan of a smaller, thin framed pistol from my EDC gun. I don’t like imprinting when carrying concealed. No problems here from the Shield, as it is just a tad under an inch wide.

This pistol also has a loaded chamber view port towards the rear of the chamber. This makes it easy to visually confirm whether you are loaded or not.

At the range, my brother of course had to shoot it first. But after a few emptied magazines, I took my turn.

The pistol felt good in my hands. As a fan of single stack magazines, the Shield was comfortable to hold and grip, especially with the extended magazine.

The pistol is a striker fire, double action pistol. Maybe it was just me, but the trigger seemed a little stiff. I’m guessing around 6 to 7 pounds. That’s a bit more than I like, but it does not make this a bad pistol. It was a crisp trigger, similar to full size M&Ps. And it did not have a long trigger reset which I have grown to loath.

The edges on the Shield were smooth, and I did not have any problems drawing or holstering the Shield. The thumb safety on the right side was a bit stiff however. It would probably take a little practice to get used to it.

shieldtargetThere was a bit of recoil, but that is to be expected. Putting a .40 cal round into a smaller framed pistol will cause that. But S&W Shield use a dual recoil spring and guide rod. So the kick is not too bad.

Despite that, I had fun shooting the Shield. I found it pretty accurate at 10 and 15 yards, though as you can tell by the pic, we will have to adjust the sights just a bit. (As previously mentioned, the gun was purchased used.)

I love the ergonomics of this gun, (with the extended base magazine) and found it quite easy to maintain and keep on target when rapid firing. The pistol will lock to the rear when the magazine is empty, and the magazine release button is easy to use. That is always a plus should you ever find yourself in a bad situation.

The MSRP on this pistol is $449 per Smith and Wesson’s website. But I have seen them go for much less on other gun websites.

I know a lot of people out there want a smaller frame carry conceal pistol, but do not want to sacrifice caliber size. To those people, I would encourage them to give the M&P Shield a test run. For the money and the stopping power, this is a nice option.


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