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Old October 5, 2012, 07:56 AM   #1
plouffedaddy
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S&W Shield 9mm 1K Round Review



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:

Shield HD Review Video Link

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


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Last edited by plouffedaddy; October 5, 2012 at 08:10 AM.
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Old October 5, 2012, 10:04 AM   #2
fender1974
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And I just picked up a CM9 recently.... Might have to add this to the rotation as well. Thanks for the review after putting 1k rounds through her and carrying for awhile.
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Old October 5, 2012, 10:26 AM   #3
Kevin_d77
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This will.be my next purchase. Will actually probably pick up two since this is the only gun we have found that fits my wife's tiny hands properly! She said if we get her that, she will spend more time at the range with me! Sounds like a win/win!

Glad to hear the positive reviews!
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Old October 5, 2012, 11:13 AM   #4
Downeast
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Thanks for the detailed review. I'm really interested in one of these but still have yet to see one in person
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:33 PM   #5
Rodger_p
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The longer I have mine the more I appreciate it.

I actually prefer the 7 round mag as opposed to the extended 8 round.

Any Shield owners consider trading me my 8 round for their 7 rounder?
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Old October 5, 2012, 02:25 PM   #6
ShipWreck
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I have 2 and have about 1900 rounds between the pair. GREAT guns. I have never shot a gun this small so accurately before.
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Old October 5, 2012, 02:42 PM   #7
EAJ702
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Very nice review. Thank you.

The M&P 9C Compact has been my primary carry for the last 4 years.
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Old October 5, 2012, 03:48 PM   #8
ShootingNut
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I'm a big S&W fan, own the M&P .40 in full size and compact.
Love the compact, nice carry and shoots great.
Question, not knowing much yet about the Shield, other than
being thinner is there much difference between it and the M&P compact
series? Overall size about the same?
I know, I need to do some homework on the Shield.
Best regards,
SN
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:08 PM   #9
checkmyswag
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Good review. I like the 7 round mag too. My thumb lands on the safety just right. Works great for me.

The white hat holster is excellent as well.
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Old October 5, 2012, 08:46 PM   #10
TX_QtPi
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awesome review. I agree they are great work. (I'm a righty, LOL)
I ended up giving mine to my nephew for his birthday. We spent the day at the range and he absolutely loved it son in one of those moments I told him lets go do some paper work and transferred it to him.

anyway, my question is on your holster. I've seen a couple of those around and am quite intrigued. How comfortable is it? ease of draw and positioning?
I would like to get one but need more info on them.

Sorry to ask, not trying to hijack your thread, just curious. PM me if you like, thanks!
Cynthia
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:36 PM   #11
tomrkba
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Quote:
-Right side only controls. If you're a lefty you likely won't appreciate that.
Not a "con". It's made for me.

The actual problem is the safety on the left side only.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:37 AM   #12
plouffedaddy
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Quote:
anyway, my question is on your holster. I've seen a couple of those around and am quite intrigued. How comfortable is it? ease of draw and positioning?
It's the most comfortable way to IWB carry, at least for me. The draw when using a hybrid holster depends on the cut. Most offer a 'combat' or 'fast draw' option that allows for more purchase on the grip during the draw. The downside to that is more of the gun's frame is in contact with your skin. Handguns are an exercise in compromise though...
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:43 PM   #13
checkmyswag
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Quote:
anyway, my question is on your holster. I've seen a couple of those around and am quite intrigued. How comfortable is it? ease of draw and positioning?
I would like to get one but need more info on them.
Excellent holster. Draws nice and quick. Interchangeable kydex for other pistols. Highly recommend it.
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:21 AM   #14
plouffedaddy
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Quote:
Interchangeable kydex for other pistols
Thanks for mentioning that; I should have done so myself. This is the big advantage of the White Hat brand holsters; if you have several guns of similar size it's a big advantage.
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Old February 12, 2013, 08:01 PM   #15
+1k ammo
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I know this is older, but since I am waiting for mine to come in, I found this just on google search.

Nice pictures of the gun by the way and very good review. I think this picture is better than the ones on S&W's website.
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:03 PM   #16
Marquezj16
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Why do you do this to me? Now I have to look at one and probably buy it.

I'll have to wait for a bit though.

Another great review BTW.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:12 PM   #17
thinktwice
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Nice review I have been wanting to get one also, but you can't find them around here (Charlotte, Concord, N.C.) Gun show here this weekend, but I really don't expect to find one there either, but you can bet I will be looking. I do own Kahr's little CM-9 and have 1150 rounds through it and it also has never missed a beat. Never even had any problems during Kahr's break in period.
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Old February 12, 2013, 11:27 PM   #18
plouffedaddy
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Quote:
Nice review I have been wanting to get one also, but you can't find them around here (Charlotte, Concord, N.C.) Gun show here this weekend, but I really don't expect to find one there either, but you can bet I will be looking. I do own Kahr's little CM-9 and have 1150 rounds through it and it also has never missed a beat. Never even had any problems during Kahr's break in period.
I love my CM9 as well for a summer pocket gun but for IWB I usually go Shield.

I recommend getting on the wait list at Lawmens (the sell Shields to non-LE/MIL in the Charlotte store). You'll get it eventually

I'm a Charlotte 49er by the way
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:35 AM   #19
Dragline45
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Nice review, I would own one if I could find one. But with the way things are going I don't see that happening soon. I had the chance to pick one up in .40 but I am not really interested in the .40, especially in a compact gun like the shield.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:53 AM   #20
breakingcontact
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Appreciate the review, but you can only speculate what's a disadvantage for others.

Quote:
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.
I sweep it off without any odd thumb manipulation or even thought. Perhaps it doesn't fit some people well. I have medium-large hands and it works for for me. Not just plinking but drawing and firing quickly as well.

Agree it's not a pocket gun and I like the White Hat holster as well.
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:17 PM   #21
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I have 2k thru my first shield now. Great gun. Really surprised at the low recoil for the size - lower than some other double stack subcompacts out there that are slightly bigger.
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:11 PM   #22
thinktwice
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Thanks plouffedaddy I will give them a try. I know Haytt's has a long waiting list, and his prices are sometimes higher than the manufactures suggested retail price. I have been checking my local gun shop in Concord (Eagles) they are pretty fair on their prices, and have a nice new indoor range, but no Shield's Thanks again.
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Old February 15, 2013, 04:47 PM   #23
tristar viper
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I am not a S&W fan, and I will never own one of these guns. BUT....it is very refreshing to see a manufacturer bring out a brand new gun and it's RELIABLE!!! How many times do we see new guns that won't shoot, they have this problem and that, etc etc. Some people except that as growing pains for a new model. I say BS on that. These manufacturers have been building guns forever, yet just about every new gun has troubles of some sort.
The fact this Shield is good right off the bat I say JOB WELL DONE, S&W.
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Old February 15, 2013, 04:50 PM   #24
MercyfulFate
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I wanted a Shield, but they're so backordered in Massachusetts that people that ordered them in October 2012 are just getting them now.

I'll think about getting one down the road, hopefully when the panic buying/shortages start to end.
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Old February 15, 2013, 05:31 PM   #25
shafter
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I saw a few locally a week ago in MA. They were priced reasonably and felt good in my hand but they aren't what I'm looking for.
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