Introducing the New M&P Shield in .45 ACP — NRA 2016


The newest Shield is a .45, and it will be offered with and without manual thumb safeties. (Photo: S.H. Blannelberry)

Smith & Wesson made their big, new NRA Annual Meeting product announcement and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Introducing the new S&W M&P Shield in .45 ACP. Built from the ground up for the big-bore cartridge, the newest member of the Shield family is a little bigger, a little beefier and it’s going to sell like crazy.

John Browning’s .45 ACP will always be a popular cartridge in the USA and a .45-caliber Shield will do well, and for some shooters, it may even be long overdue. Priced just $30 more than base-model Shields it’s also sure to be one of the most affordable single-stack .45s for concealed-carry. The MSRP is $479 for both models.

Like the 9mm Luger and .40 S&W Shields the .45 is being built in two configurations, with and without a manual thumb safety. Both models have trigger safeties and firing pin blocks and are completely drop-safe. The factory trigger pull is rated at 6.5 pounds which is common to many self-defense and concealed-carry pistols.

They have an updated frame with an aggressive grip texture all the way around for improved control shooting heavy, high-recoil loads. The pistols are .04 inches wider than the original Shield and measure just a little over 1 inch across at the slide stop. The .45 ACP Shields are 6.45 long by 4.9 inches tall with flush magazines.


It’s slightly larger in every dimension to accommodate .45 ACP. (S.H. Blannelberry)


It also has a more aggressive grip texture for shooting hot .45 ammo. (S.H. Blannelberry)


Although it’s bigger it’s still small enough to conceal just about anywhere. (S.H. Blannelberry)


Here’s a shot of the thumb safety and no safety models side-by-side, also one with a flush mag and the other with an extended mag. (S.H. Blannelberry)

Going along with the new texture are short slide serrations up front for press checks and other slide manipulation techniques. The slide and barrel are cut from stainless steel with a matte black “Armornite” nitride finish. Even with the new look and texture the pistols have rounded corners and smooth edges for a snag-free draw and safe holstering.

Because .45 ACP loads vary from relatively soft target and range loads to cracking-hot over-pressure self-defense loads Smith & Wesson extended the slide and barrel out to 3.3 inches, which is about the shortest you can get with .45 ACP to ensure reliability across the board.

The extra material only adds an ounce and a half to the pistol bringing the unloaded weight up to 22.7 ounces with a flush magazine. They come with two magazines, a flush mag for 6+1 capacity and an extended mag that gives you 7+1 capacity. The new .45s come with the same swept low-profile 3-dot sights as the original models do.

Smith & Wesson’s Shield line of M&P pistols has been a huge success from day one and people have been asking about this pistol ever since the series launched. We’re happy to say that S&W listened to their customers and delivered on a .45-caliber model that brings all the great Shield features at a price that’s extremely competitive.

Find out more about these and other Smith & Wesson products at:

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Mike December 25, 2016, 1:14 pm

    Can you recommend a preferred ammo for the new S&W M&P .45 Shield for range shooting and one for carrying ammo?

  • Ziggy61 August 4, 2016, 9:30 am

    Already carry Shield in 9mms love it will check with my dealer to see if it is available yet. Could be my new carry.

  • Dan Lewis June 27, 2016, 6:44 am

    I really appreciate how when Ruger announces a gun you can buy it that day. its now more than two months since this announcement and I can not find one.

  • LV June 17, 2016, 3:26 pm

    I want one, and have many S&W’s, but don’t know about that hinged trigger and don’t want to start changing things out to void warranty.

  • Terry May 27, 2016, 6:21 am

    When will these 45 s be on the market ?

  • Keith May 24, 2016, 2:28 pm

    I also left California around the year 2000. I am glad I did. Also lived in New York for a while. Glad I do not live there anymore either. Relocated to the midwest where they respect the 2nd Amendment. Have magazines that hold over 25 rounds. They accessories to my home defense weapons. I hope I never need them.

  • Lon May 23, 2016, 3:15 pm

    Interesting. Glad they resited the urge to put a big, ugly, useless (to me) rail on it. I just may be swayed to carry something other than my Glock 27.

  • Keith Pruett May 22, 2016, 4:22 am

    It’s sweet and has a nice trigger but it DON’T even come close to my bi-tone, XDs 3.3 .45. Springfield has built the ultimate concealed carry bomb for this red neck. Yet, to each his own.

  • Mark N. May 22, 2016, 1:38 am

    I was hoping that this gun would be coming to us in California, since there are no value priced compact .45s on the Roster. However, hearing that they’ve changed the frame, it is not to be, that is until a court challenge successfully overturns the microstamping mandate. Under our current Attorney General (who is running for the US Senate, so maybe not for too long), any new pistol or a “material change” to an existing pistol is enough to require that the pistol comply with the microstamping mandate.So it doesn’t matter that the 9 and the .40 are on the Roster, there will be no .45.

    • Nick May 23, 2016, 7:09 am

      Annnnd yet another reason to be added to the list of reasons never to return to the Communist state of California ever again. I sometimes envision moving back to my native state but then I think that sticking my tongue in a light socket would probably be more fun…

      Regarding the pistol, I think it’s a great idea and just goes to show that S&W listens to their customer base for something I know a lot of people have been waiting for. Great job S&W!

      • BIGKIELBASSA May 23, 2016, 9:17 pm

        I know how you feel . I’m a refugee from the communist socialist regime of Crook County, Illinois. Chicago. It’s a shit hole there . Democrats & bleeding hearts have ruined Illinois for gun owners . I’ll never go back. They can kiss my ass . I hear Cornholefornia is even worse .. Move to Nevada . Super gun friendly state .

        • Hojo June 16, 2016, 10:56 am

          Hey Bigkielbassa, where do you stand on Chicago, your response was ambiguous at best. 🙂

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