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.
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: http://www.smith-wesson.com/
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