The New and Improved S&W Shield: The Best Pocket 9mm?

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The concealed carry scene is dominated by small guns that are capable performers, but there are often some basic sacrifices that come with small guns. For the most part, 380s are,  small.  Yet that is their only asset.  The .380 round doesn’t compare favorably with larger calibers.  Yet the relative size has made the .32 and .25 all but obsolete.  Could it be that the new spate of 9mms will crush the .380?  The new Smith & Wesson M&P Shield will help in the effort.  This gun is a rock star.


The sight picture is clear and bright, and the sights are tall enough to actually use.

Model: M&P9 Shield™
Frame Size: Compact
Caliber: 9mm
Action: Striker Fire
Capacity: 7 and 8 Round Magazines
Barrel Length: 3.1” (7.9 cm)
Front Sight: White Dot
Rear Sight: White 2-Dot
Trigger Pull: 6.5 lbs +/-
Overall Length: 6.1” (15.5 cm)
Frame Width: .95” (2.4 cm)
Overall Height: 4.6” (11.7 cm)
Grip: Polymer
Weight: 19.0 oz. (523.7 g)
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Slide Material: Stainless Steel
Frame Material: Polymer
Finish: Black/Durable Corrosion Resistant


The barrel tilts up noticeably, which adds to the muzzle flip.

Let’s start with the basic appeal of the Shield.  The Shield line is thin enough to conceal.  The short length makes it easy to tuck and draw.  The magazine holds either seven or eight rounds of 9mm, which gives it a leg up on comparably sized revolvers (and some of the semiautomatic competition).  With the clean trigger and the utilitarian sights, the Shield shoots accurately.  In all, the Shield is more than capable.  The humble Smith & Wesson is underrated.  Plain and simple.

The latest version has made a big leap forward for folks like me who don’t want a safety on a concealed carry gun.  For the rest of the world, the Shield is available with a thumb safety or without.  I’m always going to go for the simpler version, when available.  I don’t want anything standing between me an adrenaline-laced defensive handgun use.  When I’m at the range and kicking through rounds, or simply practicing, I can pull a gun and drop the safety.  Yet the effort always requires a small percentage of brain activity.  I’ve trained in situations that add external stress, and I find those stresses demand as much attention as I can give them.  The safety then becomes one more step that I can screw up.


The external extractor gave us no trouble, at all.

Maybe that’s why I’ve ignored the Shield for so long.  I’d never seriously considered it for personal use precisely because of the additional safety.  I tend to carry the guns I review.  I want to know what it is like to live with them, wear them, depend on them.  I wouldn’t carry a Shield with a thumb safety (unless it was truly my only option), which would keep me from reviewing it as completely as I’d like.

I’m finished with that rant.  Clearly I wasn’t the only one making it, as S&W listened.  The gun is now much more in line with the rest of the subcompact 9mms on the market, and even better when you consider some of the extras, like the trigger.  This trigger has a safety built in that is all but impossible to screw up.  The trigger itself breaks just over seven pounds.  It has a bit of take up, and a crisp break.  There’s no creep, at all, and the over-travel is limited.  The reset is also relatively short, which makes the whole package one of the absolute best I’ve seen in a polymer-framed 9mm.


The trigger is hinged, and it won’t pull unless the tip is engaged first.

This crisp break, even at seven pounds, allows for surprising accuracy.  Triggers are often the deciding factor in a gun like this.  A bit of creep can really throw off shots.  A heavy pull will obviously equate to sloppy shot placement.  And a long reset will require so much hand movement that follow-up shots take more time.  Yet all of these things are really subtle, and shooters often make excuses for the poor performance.  Sloppy guns are “combat accurate.”  To an extent, this is true. When I’m testing the accuracy of a pistol, I want to shoot at a paper target.  I want to see it print on the paper.  Yet when I’m working from the holster or really pushing the potential of a defensive handgun, I want to shoot steel torsos.  If I hear the ring on the steel, I don’t care where the actual shot hit.  Speed and agility are as important as accuracy, maybe more if someone might be shooting back. Still, the Shield doesn’t ask you to compromise.  Shoot fast.  Shoot accurately. You don’t have to choose.

Shooting the Shield

Just an aside….  We’ve recently moved our primary test range from Virginia (where I often used two well-equipped private ranges), to Arkansas (where we are going to equip our own).  We don’t have the full set-up in place yet, so we had to do some improvising.  We ran the Shield on paper, mostly, but also shot up a couple of 12-inch steel plates.


The Shield shoots incredibly well for such a small gun.

We had no difficulty with the Shield.  The magazines drop free.  The release is easy to use.  The grip is textured in the right places, and not so aggressively textured that it wears on the hands.  There is just enough gun to hold, and not a smidge more.

The slide release is a bit stiff.  I expect that to wear in a bit, but it is hard to drop with your thumb.  If you are in the habit of dropping the slide with your off hand, that shouldn’t be noticeable, but if you run the slide with your thumb you may need to start doing some strengthening exercises.

The muzzle flip is pronounced.  That may be the one element that stands between me and really fast follow-up shots.  With a relaxed grip, this pistol will jump.  If you hold it down, double taps are easy enough, but I find the spread between the shots to be a bit larger than I like (which means I’m not getting it all the way back home before I’m hitting the trigger for the second shot).


While the kick is manageable, the muzzle flip is sharp.

As far as obfuscation goes, the Shield ranks very well.  The short overall length means it disappears well, yet the grip (even with the eight-round magazine) isn’t so long that it prints.  The width is minimal, so it hides well in the small of the back or appendix carry.  We got this Shield in on the same day that we were headed out to the new range, so we haven’t had time to work with a holster made specifically for the gun. But we did try it out in a Sticky Holster, which worked predictably well.  We’ll have more on Shield-specific holsters in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.


The Shield comes apart easily.  The lever rocks down toward the trigger guard.  You have to drop the magazine to get the gun apart, and you also have to pull the trigger.  There are many who consider this to be a liability, understandably.  Yet the sequence helps insure that there are no potential pitfalls.  You drop the magazine.  You pull the slide way back.  Then you rock the lever down and let go of the slide.  If there had been a round in the chamber, it would get pulled when you pull back the slide.  With any amount of common sense, the next step (which is pulling the trigger) should be foolproof.  But fools exist, so watch yourself.


Take-down and basic cleaning are easy, and the parts are captured.


I’ve had this gun in hand for two weeks or so now, and my opinion of it continues to grow.  When I unboxed it, I was curious and optimistic.  When I pulled the trigger, I was much more optimistic.  After three trips to the range and more than 500 completely trouble-free rounds, I’m going to give it the full-on thumbs up.  I’ve yet to carry it for any length of time, and I’m going to put a lot more rounds through the gun before I make any final judgments, but I’ve not been this pleased with the initial performance of a pistol in this class in a long time.

The best part?  Many out there will think it is the price.  The MSRP is $449.  The guns are selling for $75 less in many places.  That places this gun well below the price point of much of its competition.  With features that make this gun run better than the competition and a price that makes it less expensive, I can’t find much to complain about.


The feed ramp on the Shield fed everything we had on hand.


The magazine holds eight by allowing a slight double stack.


The Shield thought about having a front rail, but changed its mind.


I’d rather not have the entire manual printed on the slide, but I’m forgiving when the gun shoots like the shield.


The frame has been cut down to avid any unnecessary width.


The traditional three dot sights make target acquisition fast.


The sharp back of the front sight can drag on leather, but clears well from Kydex.


The rear sight is streamlined, and adjustable.


The magazines are clearly marked, which is helpful for those of us who own a variety of pistols.


The trigger on this Shield breaks just over seven pounds, but you would never know it. It is a truly great trigger.


The short barrel doesn’t maximize the performance of the 9m round. That may be the only down side.


The serrations are prominent on the rear of the slide.


From 7 yards, the Shield shoots to point of aim (in this case, the upper right).


The Shield’s magazine, with its sleeve, holds 8 rounds of 9mm.

{ 188 comments… add one }
  • Jimmy Horton August 22, 2020, 11:56 am

    Recently purchased 9mm Shield.In process of getting it “ broken in”.So far I’m impressed. Love the size of it. Shoots great. No problems so far. I believe I’m really going to like this one! Btw great article 👍🏻

  • Mitt Radates June 25, 2017, 7:21 pm

    You can pretty much count on having the spring in at least one of the magazines collapse. As it starts to collapse it will prevent the slide from locking back on the last round. Later, it will completely collapse and the follower will drop part way into the magazine. Strongly recommend you take off the base plate of the magazines and carefully extract and examine the spring. There are several aftermarket suppliers of springs that won’t collapse. If you carry for personal protection, it’s worth your life to upgrade the springs.

  • R. White June 2, 2017, 2:27 pm

    I was looking for a CCW weapon having given my brother the only truly CCW functional problem free Keltec I\’ve owned, for his birthday. I looked at the Glock 43, SCCY, and S&W Shield and the rebate is what sold me on the Shield 9mm. I took it straight to the range and it shot like a dream! With 1 and 1/2 boxs of mixed 9mm ammo, including a couple hollow points ( hydro-shock) it never so much as hiccuped, it points excellently, and the trigger is consistent, it is accurate at least far more so than I am. I am not concerned with standing, aiming, aiming , aiming and finally firing and making 1 hole groups on a range . I am combat oriented and have carried Glocks 17, 22 , S&W autos , 45 auto, and CZs ( you run into these all around the world) and even a revolver. The shield is an EXCELLENT weapon , it excels at body to body ,7 meters , is very good at 25 , and with a wild hair and 1 mag left I went to the 100 yard rifle range where the first round was 3 feet left and about 9 inches low, so by adjusting my point of aim I placed all but 2 on silhouette,( not pretty but on paper) and in my book that\’s excellent for any compact handgun I never fired before with about fractions of a second to 3 or 4 seconds between shots. With the $75 rebate still active until June 30 and a good price anyway, I may well buy another one on payday just to have.

  • R. White June 2, 2017, 2:27 pm

    I was looking for a CCW weapon having given my brother the only truly CCW functional problem free Keltec I’ve owned, for his birthday. I looked at the Glock 43, SCCY, and S&W Shield and the rebate is what sold me on the Shield 9mm. I took it straight to the range and it shot like a dream! With 1 and 1/2 boxs of mixed 9mm ammo, including a couple hollow points ( hydro-shock) it never so much as hiccuped, it points excellently, and the trigger is consistent, it is accurate at least far more so than I am. I am not concerned with standing, aiming, aiming , aiming and finally firing and making 1 hole groups on a range . I am combat oriented and have carried Glocks 17, 22 , S&W autos , 45 auto, and CZs ( you run into these all around the world) and even a revolver. The shield is an EXCELLENT weapon , it excels at body to body ,7 meters , is very good at 25 , and with a wild hair and 1 mag left I went to the 100 yard rifle range where the first round was 3 feet left and about 9 inches low, so by adjusting my point of aim I placed all but 2 on silhouette,( not pretty but on paper) and in my book that’s excellent for any compact handgun I never fired before with about fractions of a second to 3 or 4 seconds between shots. With the $75 rebate still active until June 30 and a good price anyway, I may well buy another one on payday just to have.

  • J.K. Everhart May 11, 2017, 9:15 pm

    Just bought a new Shield today. First round through it, it cycled back & locked up. Can NOT get it to chamber!!! What am I doing wrong???

    • Larry K. May 25, 2017, 8:59 pm

      If you have to send it in for repair it will be 6 weeks. With out so much as a sorry for your inconvenience from Smith and Wesson.

  • Russ April 29, 2017, 7:55 am

    I own both with and without safeties, but I prefer a decocker like my CZ 75 has. When I carry it in condition one with a round chambered and then decocked the first shot is double action. The first trigger pull is stiff, but single action after that. I think it is much safer to carry in condition one than my Glock, and the CZ is more accurate. I own a shield and think that Smith and Wesson should make a double\single action version with a decocker. With that setup, you do not need to think about the position of a safety, the gun will go bang even when decocked. Thanks

  • Larry K. April 28, 2017, 10:03 pm

    I bought a shield9 on march 20, on march 23 it was on its way to s&w warranty service. The sear activation lever fell out of it while field stripping. The lever pin was missing, this pin is captivated and can not fall out. Their service department informed me that it would take 5 to 6 weeks to repair, and that there is nothing they can do to shorten that time, even thou I explained that I haven’t even fired it yet, and that this was a defect in their workmanship. Sent an email to them and have not received a reply, I’m 4 to 5 weeks into it now and still no news. You have to wonder about the quality of their products, with a 5 to 6 week turnaround on repair/warranty work. Buy the Glock 43, I’d be willing to bet that customer satisfaction ranks a lot higher with them, I know I’ll not consider buying another S&W product, hell I might never get this one back.

  • Tom January 15, 2017, 10:48 pm

    Nice review. I realize the review came out some time ago and maybe this is a recent change but on my shield 9mm CA model, you don’t pull the trigger during takedown. There’s a little lever inside the chamber that you flip with your fingertip or whatever you want to use. It’s not the only way. You can pull trigger instead if you prefer.

  • Harlan December 30, 2016, 10:00 pm

    I traded my walther pps 40 for a new shield 9mm. The shield fits perfectly in the holsters I had for the pps and I eliminated all the jammed cartridges …. much better groups with the S&W 9mm…best decision I ever made on handguns.

    • Anthony W. January 27, 2017, 12:47 pm

      I agree. I had my eye on a Walther Creed. I went to a gun store and asked about the gun….The attendant frowned at me and asked if I was sure, when I replied he told me to come with him to the range.
      He fetched a Creed pistol along with two magazines of FMJ 9mm. He told me to go ahead, whenever you are ready, I checked the gun over carefully, checked my hand placement and such…. It was my first time handling one so I was really checking it out. I placed a magazine in the gun….aimed at the silloette at seven yards and pulled the trigger …..
      It fired but no hole in the target….
      I checked the gun, Stovepipe Jamb…..I cleared the spent cartridge and fired a second time…..
      ..again, no hole in the target !!!!
      Another Stovepipe Jamb…..

      I was DONE! I was steered into the direction of the SHIELD in 9mm. I fell in love with it! I usually carry SIG. But I wanted something smaller and comparable to what the local police department in the area I lived was also using, they use the Full Sized M&P. I will definitely trade my Sig for the M&P.

  • W October 26, 2016, 10:25 pm

    The Shield’s size is great for cc. But it went from just an “o.k.” cc to a very comfortable edc by just adding a Pearce pinky extension to the mag. If you like the Shield but wish the fit was a bit better you’ll be genuinely impressed at what a big difference the $10 small pinky extension makes.

  • Chad R August 27, 2016, 9:23 pm

    I will stick with my Walther PPS classic for now.

  • Chad R August 27, 2016, 8:58 pm

    Looks nice but I will stick with my Walther PPS classic for now.

  • Billy July 4, 2016, 9:35 pm

    My Shield not only looks good but it carries well, shoots great while being extraordinarily accurate, feels good in my hand , doesn”t print while being carried, and also just looks, feels and shoots like it belongs.

    • B Monroe September 18, 2016, 2:10 pm

      Hate to spoil the party, but I have had my every day carry Shield for two years and am disappointed. First, it is sold as stainless steel. I will forward to any interested pictures of total corrosion and rust on the rear sights and slide. All the small screws and roll pins are showing rust as well. The white sights are corroded to useless. Weekly cleaning and oil have no effect. Resale value is nil. Magnets don’t lie.

      • ER March 25, 2017, 8:32 pm

        Rust is neglect.

  • Jeremiah May 23, 2016, 9:51 am

    ” I wouldn’t carry a Shield with a thumb safety…”

    I have two Shields, one with, and one w/o, the thumb safety. I travel by air back and forth between two disparate States, and I prefer to travel without a weapon because of all the hassles with meeting TSA standards, ergo the difference. I have trained with both (see below) and, honestly, I see absolutely zero difference in my draw with either weapon.

    On the other hand, what would be so hard about “disabling” the thumb safety? It’s pretty simple to have a gun-smith “permanently turn it off” – there are a few different ways to do this – or perhaps even “remove” it. Or as I do, carry it with the safety OFF, and when I draw, unconsciously I press the little “lever-thingy” (tongue in cheek) down as I draw to make sure it is truly “OFF.” I do this with both versions and it doesn’t impede me in the slightest…It’s a matter of training.

    Properly train yourself to do it, and it actually becomes “habitual.”

    It’s no big thing – a baby could do it, if you’d put him up to it.

    • Ken June 7, 2016, 1:34 pm

      When did we become so lazy that we were unwilling to train to use safeties or is it just being cheap before Glock came along all semi-autos have safeties I just don’t understand the problem can’t you learn how to use a safety or you just don’t want to take the time or don’t want to spend the ammunition it’s really pathetic to me people carrying guns can’t learn how to use the safety

      • W October 26, 2016, 10:57 pm

        Thank you!! all the regurgitation of safety “inconvenience” was getting boring. However, I do wish the pistol would load itself…I find it tiring:)

        • Nate March 19, 2017, 9:54 pm

          Kinda reminds me of a guy that wears a wife-beater T shirt in a snow storm just to prove how macho he is.

      • Hkguy October 27, 2016, 11:53 pm

        Agree, it’s completely ridiculous & nothing more than a Fad! These are very low self asteem people, followers per say that simply want to fit in.
        I find a pistol safety very comparable to Electricity you know like when its storming out & you lose power (No lights) yet every Damn Time instinctively you turn that little light switch on. It’s amazing isn’t it, it’s such a habitual habit theres ZERO thinking involved you just hit that switch looking for lights to light up or a safety to go off so your guns at ready fire…..
        There’s absolutely no excuse for any of nonsense especially this guy writing the story (Wouldn’t even own the gun NOW he’s OBSESSED with it) OKKKKKK there’s no excuse other than its a Fad running ramped & the followers with no self asteem can’t resist to jump aboard the no safety band wagon… & to think if you didn’t want to use it on your gun then DON’T use it is that simple (is a shield not a cooked & locked single action only 1911 DON’T USE IT John Wayne if it bothers you!

    • Jon January 1, 2017, 6:48 pm

      Living on the left coast where there are virtually no options “left” on just about everything, I had no choice other than a Shield with the safety configuration. I didn’t really want that feature but living in CA I felt fortunate to even be allowed to purchase it in any configuration. I sat in the living for room several evenings watching the boob tube while working the safety from the engaged to the disengaged position. After just a few evenings of doing this the safety “snicks” from the engaged to the disengaged position with buttery smoothness. I’ve gotten so used to doing the “safety thumb sweep” that now it’s just a matter of muscle memory kicking in. When it’s carried in an IWB holster with safety engaged and it’s pointed at either my femoral artery or the family jewels, for me it instills just a smidgen more assurance I won’t be making an unscheduled trip to the ER, Urologist, or Morgue when carried with that smoothed out safety in the ENGAGED position. At least the option is there if a person chooses to use it. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a less restrictive state the choice is yours!

  • Edward Freedman April 30, 2016, 2:59 pm

    If you have a problem ramping the slide, install a heavy duty rear sight that allows you to ramp against a table or your heavy belt.

  • Edward Freedman April 30, 2016, 2:53 pm

    If you have a problem ramping the slide, install a heavy duty rear sight that allows you to ramp against a table or your heavy belt.

  • Dan April 13, 2016, 6:49 pm

    Not sure why so many reviewers are critical of manual safeties. I have the Shield with safety, and there is no reason why a person can’t simply leave it off if they are either unable, or unwilling to train themselves to use it properly. I would rather see new shooters using safeties because accidental discharges, especially if someone is injured or killed put all of our rights to carry at risk. A safety is nothing more than an on/off switch, and there are times when a pistol should be turned off, especially when in the hands of an inexperienced shooter, who is unlikely to be successful in a shootout anyway.

    • Gary Kuyat May 27, 2016, 10:05 am

      Strongly disagree. I like a manual safety, but I always sweep it off during draw. Safeties can get on, so if you have one, you need to always disable it when you intend to shoot. Leaving it off is in the same category as knowing your gun is unloaded. If you don’t make sure, you could get a deadly surprise.

  • LC March 23, 2016, 9:38 pm

    Today, I took my new 9mm Shield (no manual safety) to the range and put 130 rounds on the paper at 7 and 20. (50 rounds of American Eagle FMJ 115; 50 of Tulammo 115 FMJ, 23 rounds of 115 Fiocchi FMJ, and 8 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense 124). As I expected, no FTF or FTE problems. I have to get used to the trigger. It’s a fine pistol, as we all know.
    Over the past 40-50 years, I have owned Glock 21, Colt Python, S&W 642, S&W Model 29. and an assortment of other pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns.
    When I returned from the range, I cleaned the bore with Hoppe’s 9, and the rest with a drop or two of Ballistol; wiped it dry and lubed it with a half-drop in each of the suggested 7 spots.
    Question: why is the barrel/bore so rough?: rifling is rather dull with alternating brownish color on the machining strips? No really mirror-like finish in the bore, especially near the crown.
    I have never seen this in any quality firearm before. Have you?
    Thanks for this outstanding post and for the comments too!

  • jim February 21, 2016, 7:06 pm

    Great gun!!!! Only problem is the steel guide rod. My broke yesterday, I did some research and alot of people are having this problem. I order a stainless steel guide rod from another company that’s made for 9mm and 40 shield.

  • Jeff February 9, 2016, 11:49 pm

    I will never understand the discussion about a thumb operated safety on a pistol. The safety is there for those who wish to use it for whatever reason and it can be ignored and left off safe for those who don’t. Endless praise for the 1911 Colt by the same people who dont like a frame safety…go figure.

  • Eddie Adamson January 30, 2016, 7:42 pm

    Where in Arkansas did you relocate? I am in Eastern Arkansas but travel around… Always looking for a place to throw some lead.
    Eddie Adamson
    Law Enforcement for over 25 years

  • Randy January 22, 2016, 1:38 pm

    The Shield is a great gun for the price and an excellent value. Currently they can be had for around $360, which is probably because Glock came out with the 43. As far as the safety, get one without, or don’t use it. It does not protrude and never have come close to accidentally engaging it. The trigger feels fine, I some watch too many videos, sure someone that review dozens of guns will notice things like 2 pounds difference in trigger pull. Otherwise some of you must have some really talented and sensitive fingers to notice the difference. Usually people that make an issue out of it are making excuse for bad shooting. A good shooter will practice and become proficient with what they practice with. I keep a Hi-Point C9 in glove box of truck because its cheap and no big loss if stolen, but I can shoot fine with it and its awful trigger. Same with old Makarov I have with 20+ pound D/A pull. If you are not surprised at the pull there should be no problem, and practice eliminates the surprise.

    • Bruce February 13, 2016, 6:37 pm

      Hey Randy, I cannot find this new Shield in stock anywhere, let alone not seeing any advertised at your around $360. I own the Shield and can’t wait to buy this new and improved version. Any info you choose to post would be greatly appreciated.

      • Sara March 20, 2016, 7:05 am

        It’s on sale in central PA for $359 right now. I pick mine up tomorrow.

        • joseph April 21, 2016, 3:20 pm

          How is the”New and improved” Shied identified? thanks –

          • jim lutz April 1, 2017, 9:49 pm

            same question.How is the new shield identified ???

        • Ralph Soto March 17, 2017, 8:19 am

          Where in central Part. I’m in Lancaster

    • Bruce February 13, 2016, 6:39 pm

      Randy, maybe you’re referring to a price on the older model Shield and not the new version.

  • Neil Quan June 20, 2015, 8:32 pm

    I was reading with interest the comments about manual safety vs no safety. My question is: For manual safety haters, why not just leave it in the off position? (Forgive me, I am still a new gun owner…and I am considering the Shield as my first CC weapon.)

    • Sean Smith January 12, 2016, 2:28 pm

      I agree, and that’s exactly what I do with my DA and DAO pistols that have manual safeties (although this should never be done with a single-action like the 1911, which should either be carried with the hammer in the detente position or “cocked and locked”). Manual safeties on DAs and DAOs are utterly superfluous, just as they would be on a DA revolver.

      • Doug September 4, 2016, 11:15 pm

        I think the only safe way to carry a loaded 1911 is cocked and locked. If the hammer is down a blow to the hammer can break it and cause it to fire.

        • Chris September 13, 2016, 12:53 pm

          Not a series 80

  • TheWraith March 13, 2015, 11:23 pm

    “The barrel tilts up noticeably, which adds to the muzzle flip.”

    What?!? I have to tell you… I immediately quit reading as soon as I read this line. That is the most ridiculous notion I have ever heard. That comes straight out of the gun noob bible.

    • Steve Anderson April 1, 2016, 2:18 pm

      You obviously don’t know much about automatic pistols.

  • Cheezo March 12, 2015, 6:42 am

    That was a great review. Excellent pictures.

  • Barbara February 24, 2015, 1:39 pm

    I have had a lot of carry pistols. Being a small person and a woman, I’ve always felt like an easy target for the bad guys if I were to break down on the road or just someone wanting to be bad. I decided that I didn’t like feeling so vulnerable when traveling by myself, or being at home by myself. So I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to handle and shoot my pistols. Anyway I have had all kinds of small semi auto carry pistols that have always at one time or another depending on ammo have jammed. That would frighten me when thinking about actually having to use it. If the one I had ever jammed, I would ask and look for one that didn’t and ended up with a 38 revolver. I stayed with the 38 until I heard about the Shield. I bought the 40 cal shield and have fired more than 500 rounds through it with about 10 different types of ammo and never had a jam. I like the shield so much that I bought a second 40. I have a CWP, and I carry one every where I go, and I have one stashed in my house that I’m the only one that knows where it is just in case the time ever come that someone I knew turned their back on me and played unfair. I love the S&W Shield, it is very accurate, and very very reliable with the easiest trigger pull than any that I have owned. Ladies, I think that S&W made the Shield 9 & 40 for us. The 40 has just a little jump that isn’t uncomfortable, and twice the stopping power; if you only have 7 or 8 shots, if one 40 hits, it will be all you need!!! 🙂

    • RL September 24, 2016, 9:14 pm

      Barbara- .40 is not twice the stopping power of a 9mm. 9mm and .45 are calibers of choice by avid carriers and a +p 9mm round is basically a .40. Look it up, it’s science.

  • Rcee February 20, 2015, 7:09 pm

    This might be the gun I get for my wife, she just started shooting her first time at the range she shoot my Springfeild XDM 45 acp 5.25 she didn’t do bad however it was a little to much kick for her, I was looking at getting her the XD 9 3.8 but my range buddy recommneded this gun.

  • L.R.O. January 17, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I have a pal that bought the M&P Shield in 2013 & had to send it back to fix the prob. they had a ( recall ) unofficially on ,& still hasn’t gotten it back after 3 mo. of waiting .
    Do the latest ones have that prob. fixed ?

  • HG January 16, 2015, 1:08 pm

    Have had my 9mm Shield for a few months now and have grown to love it. At first had some issues with FTF, but attribute that to the pistol needing a bit of a break-in. Now, with several hundred rounds through it, it is performing flawlessly. Have to admit, thought, the very tight slide release lever is a bit of a pain …but overall, very happy with the purchase.

  • rogg January 11, 2015, 2:52 am

    This gun is so easy that even a two-year old can shoot it. (See Hayden, Idaho)…

    • Jay April 30, 2016, 5:51 pm

      I’ve put about 500 rounds through my 9mm without a single jam.
      Check the ammo you use. I use American Eagle..

  • Mike January 3, 2015, 12:58 pm

    Bought a M&P 9 Shield a few weeks ago.
    Took it to the range yesterday, and fired about fifty rounds thru it.
    Of those 50 rounds, 4 jammed. Had to manually extract the shell from the barrel.
    Also, when using the 8 round magazine, the slide does not stay open when you fire the last shot.
    Anyone else experienced problems like this?
    Is brand / type of ammo important? I was using Herters brass ammo.
    I don’t believe I had a jam with Remington ammo.

    • HG January 16, 2015, 1:15 pm

      I had some FTF and jamming issues early on too. One live round even locked up in the barrel and for the life of me, I could not get the slide to pull back to eject. Luckily, the range I was at has a gunsmith on staff and he was able (with some effort) to remove the live round and get the pistol functioning again. I’ve since put several hundred rounds through and the Shield is now functioning as intended with no more issues.

  • TheBadClick December 5, 2014, 3:12 pm

    I carried a Shield 9 with a manual safety for a year or so. Great gun, but the one thing I didn’t like about it was the safety (which I always left in the ‘off’ position). Whenever I was carrying, I always had that thought in the back of my head that the safety was going to get bumped ‘on’ and I wouldn’t notice. Because of this, I religiously checked the position of the safety every time I holstered. I also reached down the side of my IWB holster regularly to make sure the safety was still ‘off’. One day, as I was checking the safety while the gun was still holstered, I heard a “click” as the safety returned to the ‘off’ position.

    I sold it a week later and now own a Shield without the thumb safety.

    • Christopher December 30, 2014, 9:26 pm

      I hate holsters. I carry a gun, not a holster, safety please.

  • Nick August 1, 2014, 6:57 pm

    I’ve had my shield for about a month now. Absolutely love it. Mine is chambered in 40 cal. I don’t find the muzzle flip to be much more than my Glock 23. I had been looking at these for a while, but just couldn’t get past the external safety. As soon as i saw that S&W had taken it off it went on my side. Have worn it every day since. Just got a Stealth Gear Onyx holster for it and it is now by far the best ccw setup I’ve ever worn.

    Oh and for those of you that say if you don’t like the thumb safety just don’t use it.
    Watch this video…

    • usmc July 2, 2016, 12:53 am

      The thought that you would sell a cc gun because you where afraid you would accidentally have your safety on in a situation that could cost you your life is a little unsettling, sounds like you (and many others) buy guns, load em, chamber em, and start carrying around with no proper training or practice with any type of pistol. Any man our woman properly trained and practiced with a firearm would never have that fear because with adequate training, it becomes instinctive upon drawing that the thumb automatically swipes the safety down. Listening to you guys tell these people who openly tell you there new to guns to leave safety off or go without a safety is the wrong course of action for there own safety and ours. I trained shooters on the corps for years and know first hand that the safety shouldn’t be a factor whatsoever if you practice before you decide to start PLAYING with serious items. I would tell a novice shooter to get practice and carry one with a safety until there completely confident that it will not slow them down in a defensive situation. Then if you feel the need go without a safety, ask anyone who’s ever had a negligent discharge. Having a safety shouldn’t scare you, Having a gun you can’t trust you’re own skills with should scare us all

      • Ed April 7, 2017, 7:27 pm

        Super glue the safety in the off position. Problem solved. A little lacquer thinner will remove it later, if you wish.

  • Brandon July 12, 2014, 7:57 pm

    The author didn’t want the manual printed on the side of the firearm. However he evidently didn’t read the owners manual, because it clearly states how to break the firearm down and this does not include pulling the trigger. You flip the disconnect lever forward.

  • Hellfire July 12, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Just got mine but in .40s&w and love it.Mine has a manual safety and if i don’t want to use than i don’t. Shoots great for compact,recoil is about the same as it’s full-size brorher.Accuracy is good and conceals great, very comfortable to carry. Gonna get some night sights and I’m done.Fired a bunch of ammo of various brands and grain from full metal jacket to hollow points and it liked them all.Best in it’s class by far,so sorry Glock fans.

  • BARFO July 12, 2014, 2:29 pm

    I own the M&P Shield 9mm, as well, which is holstered by AlienGear! Awesome gun AND holster, a great combination!!! I DO like the manual safety. For those who don’t like it, not sure why, just flick it off and leave it off, it’s that simple.

    • RL September 24, 2016, 9:20 pm

      I dont think they actually have the shield… If they did, they would know that the safety is a VERY positive lever, that thing wouldnt “accidently” flip. My HK USP is a different story, the lever is much easier to flip back and fourth.

  • ViperGeek July 10, 2014, 6:15 pm

    Other than the manual safety, how can I tell a new, improved Shield from one that my LGS may have had in the back room for a year or two? I’m a big S&W fan and am looking for a discreet 9mm (now that the Remington R51 is a bust).

  • Mike July 9, 2014, 11:12 am

    Bought mine the other day, and the review is SPOT ON! The trigger pull is exactly as he says, about seven pounds, but it is very crisp. One thing he didn’t mention was the fact that the grip is so slim that you really don’t need to use the extended magazine to hold onto the gun when firing it. The grip is small enough to allow me to wrap my fingers around it, unlike a Glock 26, 27, 33 or 39. I’m so pleased with my Shield that the only thing I’ve done to it so far is to add tritium sights. I doubt that anything else is needed, it’s that fine of a gun.

  • saa1903 July 7, 2014, 1:19 pm

    If you don’t like a safety, I’d recommend a DAO. My warm weather EDC guns are two AMT Back Ups, one in .38 Super and one in .45 ACP. Both are DAOs, they’re about the size of the micro .380s you can buy these days, and they’re great for pocket carry. All stainless, so recoil isn’t a big problem. No safeties to swipe (like the man said, my finger is my safety) – just pull the trigger and BOOM. Rinse, and repeat as needed.

    DAOs get a bad rap because they’re “hard to shoot”. Bullcrap. Practice more.

  • saa1903 July 7, 2014, 1:07 pm

    I have all steel guns and T-upperware guns. Some have safeties and some don’t. My warm weather carry guns are two AMT Backups, one in .38 Super and one in .45 ACP. Both are DAO, and I can knock the crap out of anything I’m shooting at with either one. Both are about the size of the micro .380s available these days and are great for pocket carry. They’re all stainless and heavy enough that recoil isn’t a problem.

    I don’t have to worry about finger placement or flicking off a manual safety. Finger on trigger, pull, BOOM. Rinse, repeat as needed. DAOs get a bad rap because “they’re hard to shoot accurately”. Bull crap. Practice more.

  • bayou boys July 4, 2014, 6:57 pm

    I have the MP40 Shield with the safety I don’t understand what the big deal is when I carry it the safety is in the hot position when It in the night stand its on. When I purchased it this was the only model that was available although I would rather not have the safety. So now there is a choice buy what ever make you feel better and everyone is happy. Great gun any way you look at it price and performance Happy Shooting.

  • Jeremiah July 2, 2014, 9:49 am

    It may have been said above, because I did not read many of the comments, but the way I take down the Shield does NOT involve pulling the trigger.

    I drop the mag, lock back the slide after racking the slide to eject any chambered round, flip down the lever. and take a small screw driver or knife and pull the “S” shaped wire forward. This wire is located in the polimer handle on the back of the mag well. once that wire has been positioned forward, I release the slide (without pulling the trigger) and the pull the slide off the body.

    • Jeremiah July 2, 2014, 11:01 am

      I apologize for not including these comments in my original post about “not pulling the trigger” to take down my 9mm M&P Shield:

      I also have an M&P “C” 9mm Compact with a Crimson Trace laser. Both are deadly accurate, more so than any compact or CC gun I’ve ever shot. I use the Crimson Trace equipped M&P for my “under pillow” defensive weapon, and the Shield for concealed carry. After I broke in both pistols with about 1000 rounds thru each, I now only shoot 150 rounds every other week thru the Shield. The main purpose I shoot is to reinforce safe handling for my benefit, alone. Having a little fun is secondary. My gun club has a beautiful outdoor pistol range, but there are only two lengths, 25 yards and 50 yards. Obviously, shooting 50 yards with either of these guns is possible, but at my skill level, not practical. So I shoot the 25 yard range. I do surprisingly well for a 75 year old, who free shoots with iron sights. Off a gun rest I do far better. So the accuracy of the Shield, I feel, is beyond reproach. The triggers on both guns could be improved. Many of my shots end up left of target center, which tells me I pulling the gun left when I try to squeeze off rounds. As much as I like both guns, I am sorry to report that two of the three white dots on the Shield (front and right rear) have “disintegrated” – at least they are not in the depressions of the sights any longer. I know it’s not a big deal to put some white paint back in the holes from where they disappeared, but the Shield is just 15 months old and being old school, I feel a S&W M&P pistol shouldn’t have this problem so soon.

  • Bill Marx July 1, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Been carrying a Shield .40 for a while… yes, the thumb safety is questionable but I have always favored them… go figure… the .40 is a bit sharp on the recoil but I like the extra power if needed, although probably wouldn’t be needed…. the 9mm is a very nice choice… I have an LC9 Ruger but this seems to go on my side much more often… I also have a little Bodyguard in .380 which I sometimes drop in my pocket if unable to pack the .40 under a shirt. M@P’s have been a favorite of mine for years. Frankly, I sort of like the little Nano in 9mm… but of course, this is about the Shield, so I will refrain from that comment…. Smith makes a great line of firearms… and IMHO, the Shield is one at the top of the list…

  • Nahum July 1, 2014, 5:07 pm

    Purchased an MP Compact without a manual or magazine safety. I love the thing & find no safety issues only that care should be taken while holstering. I’m not carrying the Compact as I’ve only 3 or 400 rounds through it & like to be a little more familiar with my carry arm.

  • MeMikeT June 30, 2014, 8:11 pm

    WOW! To thumb safety or not to thumb safety….that is not the question for me. I own a shield with the thumb safety. All my handguns have a thumb safety and that’s the way I like it. And I don’t have anything against those that prefer no thumb safety. I have been to the range and shot the heck out of a bunch of paper targets…about 200 rounds so far. For me the Shield is a point and shoot CCW gun. That’s how I practice with it. At 10, 15 and 20 feet I hit the target every round. If anyone is worried about the time to work the thumb safety, I think it would be better to be concerned with the time it takes to aim. I don’t even think about the thumb safety. When I draw my Shield, the safety somehow is set off. Right now I am working on double tap. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

    • Gene July 1, 2014, 11:33 pm

      Agree, all of my handguns (and rifles) have manual safeties and that’s the way I prefer it to be. It’s what I’m used to and what works for me. Not saying anyone is right or wrong just that everyone should be comfortable with their own way of doing things.
      Just like the guys who used to think we’d be easy to beat at the drag strip because we ran a stick and they ran with automatics….it is what I was comfortable with and proficient with and very successful with 🙂

    • Mike July 9, 2014, 11:11 am

      I have the 9mm Shield with the safety. All my semi-auto handguns have the safety, so it does not bother me. I tend to ‘swipe’ the safety as a habit even on a gun without one. If you don’t want the safety, get one without one. If you already have the safety and don’t like it, just don’t use it.

  • gary June 30, 2014, 7:25 pm

    I can see the arguments on both side of the safety debate. For carry, I think 1911 style pistols should have a safety. SA/DA optional. DAO no safety makes sense. I have SW Shield chambered in .40. I don’t think the trigger is anything special (a couple lbs lighter would be good) and as noted in the review, the slide release requires quite a lot of force to get it to work which is unacceptable (anyone have a Shield that does not have an extremely tight slide release?). Semi staggered clip is hard to load. Textured gripping surface on the forward side of the slide would be great. Yes, it barks and not “a joy to shoot” but as a concealable carry gun, it’s good – even with the safety.

    • LarryO February 20, 2016, 4:29 am

      Read the manual. What you are calling a slide release is a lock lever. Pull slide back to release

  • paul myers June 30, 2014, 5:39 pm

    right out of the box i liked this pistol. i actually target with it quite often. thousands of rounds without failure and the accuracy is without equal. just what anyone would expect out of a smith wesson. don’t waste your money on any other concealed carry pistol. then i bought a remington r51 and could really appreciate how good my little smith is.

  • Palehorse58 June 30, 2014, 4:58 pm

    I carry a glock 23. I also have a shield with the safety. I personally don’t like the safety on the shield so I don’t use it. My safety is my finger. Anytime a gun goes bang accidentally it is because someone had their finger on the trigger.

  • Mike June 30, 2014, 2:47 pm

    To each his own but in my humble opinion, having a manual safety on a striker-fired pistol is “a hardware fix for a software problem”.

  • John June 30, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Have the Shield in the 40 and it’s the best gun I’ve ever owned. I carry it everywhere I go. In a word AWSOME!

  • Keith June 30, 2014, 2:05 pm

    Slide LOCK. Not a slide release. The first thing to go in high stress situations is fine motor skills. Release the slide using gross motor skills

  • Gary June 30, 2014, 1:56 pm

    I am a Combat Veteran (Vietnam ) been in more than one firefight, retired.sworn Peace Officer for 10 years, retired.
    . After 50+ years of handling guns both short and long , I had a lapse of common sense and forgot the golden rule. The gun is ALWAYS loaded ..! Never an accidental/ negligent discharge during my military or police career. But one night, prior to early morning range time with buddies, I decided to run a patch thru my Springfield 9mm XDM. Mag out, slide locked, snake ran thru bore, loaded mag then reinserted. The next millisecond is a blur, but after I blinked, I discovered that my right index finger had..become..
    Detached..I will relive that moment over and over for the rest of my life. I hurt no one other than myself, but the emotional damage I caused my family has caused me more grief than my loss of my finger. Would an external safety have prevented this fiasco? Maybe. But after 50 years of 1911’s, 50 years of Revolvers, I just didn’t give the Springfield the respect it required. Anytime you step into a new arena, you must give time and attention to your new piece. It took me 50 years to become complacent, and that brief moment of forgetfulness cost me dearly.
    Know. Respect. And never assume. Any new, different gun should become as familiar to you as your old 45, failure to do so will mean that you’ll join my club.
    Less members is better.

    • Russ June 30, 2014, 5:53 pm

      Thank you for your service to our country Gary.
      I got a feeling most of us have been complacent in the past but don’t admit it because we feel so stupid for making our mistakes.
      I’m going to be honest here and tell you how retarded I’ve been in the past to hopefully drive safety home for others.
      1. I was clearing my gun in my bedroom one day after racking the new ammo through it to see how it cycled dry. I was being quick about it and dropped the mag then pointed the muzzle down pulled the trigger. BANG! What a surprise it was to find I left 1 in the chamber. I’m so lucky I only killed my bed and had to go buy new bedding before my wife got home. I never told anyone that story because that embarrassment couldn’t help anyone.
      2. I was out in the desert shooting a VEPR A-K sniper rifle. I too ran a snake through the bore and thought I put the cover on all the way. Well I didn’t, and on my 1st shot it flew off and smacked me in the cheek.
      No big deal, didn’t hurt me and isn’t even the bad part.
      I picked up the cover and snapped it on and this time gave it a good crack to make it pop in all the way.
      My trigger finger slipped off the guard and I shot a 7.62 x 54 R round into the ground.
      I’m glad I didn’t kill my Dad or Brother who were standing to the side and behind me.
      Today I’m much more methodical when operating any firearms.
      I got off lucky as hell and my personal shame only goes as far as my Dad & Brother (sworn to secrecy)
      You guys don’t count cause I don’t know you, but I wanted to tell you so maybe you will think more safely.
      Gary, I’m truly sorry that your complacency cost you so much.
      Thanks for the reminder, I’m filing that down in my head to be even more safe than my mistakes have made me.

  • Butch June 30, 2014, 1:09 pm

    I agree with Andrew. All the Guns I carry have manual safeties. I don’t put in range time I train on different senarios and against timer to put stress into the equation. My students who wish to go beyond basic firearms safety opt for a course that actually put them under stress. Finally for new shooter I never recommend a firearm without an external safety

  • Greg June 30, 2014, 12:15 pm

    I really wanted an M&P Shield when I was shopping around for a CCW weapon. However, it is not ambi. How hard would it have been to make the mag release to convert to left handed release? Wound up getting something else after trying in vain to figure out how my big ol hands could do a cross hand or a trigger finger magazine drop–couldn’t, so I went elsewhere.

    • defensor fortisimo June 30, 2014, 2:53 pm

      As one of God’s other children, I agree with you. There’s simply no reason in this day and age not to provide accommodation for ambidextrous use, especially for a gun that would otherwise have a niche as a backup gun. As for the whole safety debate, for work I carry an M9, but doctrine for my career field dictates that it act as a decocker. Otherwise, it stays secure in the holster, chambered round, safety off and hammer down. The safety doesn’t come into our manual of arms as such, so it’s a bit of a non issue for me.

    • Brandon July 12, 2014, 7:44 pm

      The mag release can be switched easily to the other side.

  • Frank June 30, 2014, 11:53 am

    So I suppose all of the folks who don’t like safeties carry their 1911 SA guns with a round in the chamber and safety off? No? Why not? Isn’t the safety between your ears?

    All of the arguments here are valid. Personally, I like the guns I conceal deeply (like the Shield and the Bodyguard 380) to have a manual safety. Digging those out from deep concealment in a stressful situation, I’m more likely to have an AD than to forget the safety. However, for OWB I prefer the Glock style action. As others have said, training is key.

    • Vanns40 June 30, 2014, 12:17 pm

      To answer your one point, decades ago when I carried a 1911 I carried it cocked with the hammer block safety OFF. I always keep my finger off the trigger till I’m ready to shoot I never had a problem. Any other questions?

      • RL September 24, 2016, 9:31 pm

        You are reckless

    • Russ June 30, 2014, 3:24 pm

      I suppose that the people who buy a 1911 “like” safeties. Like the American LEO’s
      The people that don’t like safeties buy a more modern and agronomical pistol with more sensible safeties built into the design, I.E. trigger or grip safeties.
      Safety comes with training and knowing your gun.
      Being calm and alert you wont be surprised and crazily go for your gun.
      The German police like the Walther PPQ.
      I love mine, and IMHO will go as far as to saying it’s the best pistol ever made anywhere with 1 exception, the caliber.
      That’s where the Boberg XR 45 comes in;
      It may be hard to get your unnecessary old school safety and mag release memory to go away, but will be worth it in the end training that way. You will become quicker and more efficient.

      Frank, check these out and fire them if possible. You may get hooked and buy yourself some new guns.

      • hardball June 23, 2016, 12:49 am

        WTF is an “agronomical pistol”? One used in soil research?

  • Astocks2622 June 30, 2014, 11:46 am

    none of the M&P line requires you to pull the trigger for dis-assembly. they all have a take down lever/switch at the rear of the ejection port, just below the ejector. if you rotate this forward while the slide is locked back, it disengages the sear, allowing the slide to come off without pulling the trigger. edit: just saw “tony” said the same thing. know your weapon. btw, anyone want to trade me their non-saftied shield for my saftied one?

  • Steve June 30, 2014, 11:08 am

    If you don’t like the thumb safety, then just don’t use it.

    • Joel January 4, 2015, 1:48 pm

      Right? Most manual safeties are easy to disengage and hard to make safe. I pocket carry a Glock because it fits my normal clothing and stature. In most situations I feel very comfortable with it. I am looking for a subcompact with a manual safety because there are times when that safety being on seems beneficial to the risk/time inherent to disengaging the safety. Playing with small children, light sporting events, long car rides etc. In any case I am very familiar with the conditions of all my weapons on and off duty and have had situations where both were pulled under duress. The importance of that and basic firearms safety cannot be overemphasized but some of the replies here are a bit cocky for my tastes. Shit happens and the most dangerous issue for anyone ever is complacency. You end a 16 hour day, fatigued and distracted and shit can happen to anyone no matter how trained and ingrained your fundamentals are.

      And seriously when it comes to LEOs and firearms safety/proficiency. Its generally pretty bad and it shouldn’t be. But you get what you (the taxpayer) pay for. Training on an annual or semi annual basis is woefully inadequate for pistols. Off duty training can be very expensive and difficult in different localities and its easy to expect someone entrusted with such a responsibility to take the time to do so, but its harder in practice especially for anyone with a family. I love shooting as a hobby, and am blessed to have a wife that loves it too, but a lot of people join without really having any passion for firearms. Shooting people is a rarity in our career thankfully, and on the road 99.9% of our time is spent elsewhere Any liberal would vehemently insist that all an officers free time be spent memorizing state and federal statutes than at the range. Obviously by me even being on this site, I personally agree with most of your opinons. But as a realist, there are a lot of aspects to the job and nobody does it perfectly. Just keep in mind most of us joined to help people, but we can’t kowtow to all 99999 different opinions of what police should be/do.

  • Russ June 30, 2014, 10:59 am

    I have a friend just like Andrew who belongs to the “Safety Police”
    You both crack me up. Talk about brain cells. Thanks S&W for making a no safety ccp
    Everybody is different, but it seems that most of us don’t want a safety.
    That’s why they made it.
    I always liked the S&W Shield for size reliability and price, but here in California where the safety police run rapid, you cant have one unless your a LEO (who some “say” are apparently shooting themselves with it) sorry couldn’t help giving 1 more jab. I do it to my friend all the time.
    Anyway you would have to get it SSE so price and availability just went out the door.
    I’ve been at this CC and Pocket pistol thing for a while because I’m always warm weather and shorts. I’m also a big guy who doesn’t mind caring full size (PPQ .40) but I like to have more than 1 gun on me.
    The Seacamp fits well in a wallet holster in case someone asks for my wallet.
    The Rohrbaugh slips into my cargo shorts front pocket very well.
    The Boberg impresses me the most because of the bullpup like design, length of barrel and it’s lock up design, but most of all the caliber >!!45acp!!<
    Most cc guns get a couple hundred rounds run through them just to be sure what ammo works for it and you put it to work without fun shooting it anymore
    I think the Boberg is going to take over the #1 spot on my all around best pistol.
    Since most likely, lives will depend on this gun, slow down and take all cosiderations in this important purchase.( If your rich buy them all )
    I like these, in this order;
    1. Boberg XR45
    2. Boberg SR9
    3. Rohrbaugh R9
    4. S&W M&P9 Shield
    5. Seacamp LWS 380
    I put this out to help not to burn Andrew, please don't take offence.

  • Sam Piccinini June 30, 2014, 10:49 am

    Well, after reading all of the rants about safety vs. no safety I thought I would add my two cents. I have been a Police/Swat officer and firearms instructor for over 25yrs. I would like to make note on the following issues:
    1.The first thing a human being looses under stress or in a crisis is the ability to perform fine motor functions. Yes putting your thumb to the safety is a fine motor skill.
    2. We have plenty of bullets in gunfights but never enough time. Yes one thousandth of a second can mean the difference between living in dying in real life.
    3. If your train by taking the street to the range and not the range to the street you should fall back on your training 100% in all instances. Way too many people train with a range mentality and it can be deadly. Basic safety rules if followed from day one will work forever for all shooters. No need to put a band aid on procedures to fix what isn’t broke because of wreckless stupidness. I have done numerous testing and drills on officers and have proven to them first hand winning a gunfight is about time first, and shot placement second and any one simple thing you can do to put time in your favor will make a difference between living and dying, from having your hand on the gun, having it unsnapped and or not having to do anything but pull the trigger when it clears the holster with a direct line of fire to the target, will make a big difference. Those of you who preach about safety’s may have never been face to face in a deadly gunfight and until you have been I can’t expect you to understand how important time really is and why a safety can get you killed. You the person holding the gun is the safety, along with your knowledge and training, remember if it was all about safety then all guns would have them and they don’t ! Its about being deliberate and aware of what your are doing and having applied all basic 4 firearms rules.
    Just my two cents for what its worth.

    • Vanns40 June 30, 2014, 11:44 am

      Amen brother. I believe our experience is about the same. I teach my students that police officers need retention holsters but as civilians all they need is passive retention; click in/out. Time does matter. If my partner had not made a simple mistake and had had one seconds more time he’d be alive today. Range time does NOT equal training. To all of you that carry I have one plea, please take some of your vacation time and money and go to a good practical handgun training facility and take a few courses. Make sure a low light/night shooting course is among them.

      Hopefully you’ll never have to put that training to use but if you do……

      As an example, within six months of my retirement I wound up right in the middle of a carjacking. How many of you have had the training to be confident in knowing exactly what to do?

    • Russ June 30, 2014, 3:36 pm

      Thanks Sam Piccinini, your 2 cents makes great sense.

    • Steve D January 7, 2015, 10:08 am

      Train to mitigate stress and its effects and you won’t have problems with the results of stress. I’ll take someone who can handle stress with an unloaded, manual safety 22lr over the stressed person with a locked and loaded hand cannon any day.

  • Jim Ledasil June 30, 2014, 10:46 am

    I’ve owned a 9mm S&P Shield for about 6 months now. I also bought a SCCY 9mm while I was waiting for my Shield to be delivered. Comparing the two is easy. There is no comparison. The Shield has a much better, much lighter trigger that resets way faster. And most importantly, muzzle flip is way less with the Shield. I find it quite accurate as well. I shoot off hand at about 8 yards for practice, and I hit a three inch circle about 7 out of 10 consistently, even though the standard sights are not to my liking. I have ordered a Crimson Trace laser to help my aim even more.

  • T Buck June 30, 2014, 10:23 am

    I have safeties on my guns, but they are all SAO. 1911s and Sig P938. Having a safety or not, which is better? There isn’t one “correct” answer – it is whatever you train with. The big problem with the Shield’s safety wad that it is laid out like the rest of S&W’s striker fired line up, but none of the other models have a safety (unless you special order one). That is a very dangerous recipe! You have to have continuity, remember when the SHTF you won’t rise to the occasion – instead you will fall back to your level of what you have done in the past. I applaud S&W for finally bring the striker fired family of pistols to the same functionality – but why did this take so long. I would never let a family member of mine carry a safety-equipped Shield if they had the full sized & compact M&P’s without the safety. Forcing folks to carry a manual safety on the Shield was a bad idea from the start S&W!

    • Rich W. June 30, 2014, 1:51 pm

      What are you talking about? You can get the M&P with a manual thumb safety without having to special order it. Many online retailers stock both with or without.

    • RL September 24, 2016, 9:33 pm

      Cant teach an old dog new tricks

  • Marc June 30, 2014, 10:15 am

    Finally they listened and I’ll now be acquiring a new mini for the mp stable. Good to hear that the Shield is what I’ve been hoping for… TNJR

  • tony June 30, 2014, 10:12 am

    One thing that no one has mentioned. is that with the shield. It is not necessary to pull the triger. To release the slid their is actually a take down lever located in the rear of the mag well.

  • Tim Tarpley June 30, 2014, 10:04 am

    Thanks for the great review. Mine comes in tomorrow and now I am even more excited to get my hands on it. I love my XDs 9 but the Shield just seems to be a little more refined. If Springfield would slim down the bulky slide and soften the grip I wouldn’t even consider another pistols.

  • Sky Buster June 30, 2014, 9:58 am

    I’ve been carrying a Shield for over a year now. Over 500 rounds fired
    with no malfunctions. The trigger weighs right at 6 pounds but feels
    lighter. It has a manual safety but I never use it. I think it’s a teriffic
    carry pistol.

  • Olbert June 30, 2014, 9:57 am

    You actually don’t have to pull the trigger to break the gun down. There is a metal switch inside the magazine well that you can pull out with a pen or anything of the sort. With that pulled out you can let the slide go forward and it will come off, preventing you from ever having to pull the trigger to break it down.
    IMO this is a great design by S&W.

    • Wolfe June 30, 2014, 5:58 pm

      I was scrolling through to see if anyone else noticed the error.

      I have heard if you pull the trigger instead of flipping the lever you can damage/chip your sear.

      • Mike Stephens August 10, 2015, 4:13 pm

        What’s this garbage about having to pull the trigger to disassemble the Shield? Merely lower the yellow wire switch in the mag well and ease the slide forward and off the frame. When reassembling, inserting the magazine resets the switch.

  • glocknut June 30, 2014, 9:40 am

    Buy a glock

    • Russ June 30, 2014, 3:46 pm

      Thats funny.
      Thanks, I’m still laughing while typing.
      Glocks are good, don’t tell anyone 😉

    • Steve D January 7, 2015, 10:02 am

      Just sold my Glock 23 for the Shield 9mm. I’m sorry, but the Glock is just too big for non-LE concealed carry. When it’s left home because it’s too big it’s worthless.

  • David Remsberg June 30, 2014, 9:26 am

    I would like to shoot the S&W but I doubt that it could be any better than my Walther PPS.

  • Al Lowenstein June 30, 2014, 9:24 am

    I can see no difference between the old Shield (I have 2) and the new Shield except the elimination of the manual safety and possibly the adjustable rear sight. Last time I checked, the manual safety did not automatically engage. If you do not want to waste the milliseconds it takes to disengage, then how about just leaving it off to start with? As far as the sight goes, the pictures make it look exactly like the old one, so is it really adjustable? S&W says the original is not! My only complaint is that the rear sight is sharp at the top corners outside the dots, and it cuts holes in both the T and the outer shirt. I sent it back to S&W, they replaced the rear sight and the new one is if anything sharper!

  • Travis G June 30, 2014, 9:12 am

    Latest version only change is removing the safety nobody used anway. Not much of a change. At least not enough to make me a buyer. I sure would like to see a little (very) more bulge to the grip or changeable back straps. A 9th round in the extended grip wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.

  • Dan June 30, 2014, 9:07 am

    I have the Shield in 9mm, and it is a great little pistol, but the author sounds like a S&W salesman. First of all, although I love this pistol, I keep asking myself why I didn’t just buy the M&P 9c, since it’s not much bigger, holds more rounds, and has a shorter grip than the ridiculously long one they put on the Shield.

    In fact, I did purchase a Glock 27 instead of the Shield 40 because the Glock’s grip, despite being slightly wider, is easier to conceal, while allowing me to carry a larger capacity mag for backup – what was S&W thinking?

    The Shield is not very concealable when you compare it to the other single stack competitors like the Kahr CM9, Nano, LC9, etc.

    I have the orange dot night sights installed on my Shield and the Apex trigger kit. Although the Apex is a huge improvement, IMO it’s too light (potentially dangerous) for pocket carry.

    • Dash June 30, 2014, 10:59 am

      Dan…I own the 9c, and I regret buying it. It shoots like a million dollars, but it is perfectly the wrong size. Any time I could carry it, I could be carrying a full size with minimal change in comfort. Anyone thinking to buy one should just buy a Glock 19 instead. I intend to sell my 9c and get a Shield as soon as I can get my hands on one of the new ones that doesn’t have the external safety.

  • Vanns40 June 30, 2014, 8:56 am

    Sounds like a great gun for the price. The only thing I would change would be the trigger pull. At 6.5-7 pounds that’s a little on the heavy side. I own a number of Glocks and they’re at about 5.5 which is just about perfect for the type of pistol you’re dealing with.

  • Steve June 30, 2014, 8:55 am

    Andrew, so all of these people, including veteran police officers, picked up a loaded weapon with their finger on the trigger?

  • Michael Nelson June 30, 2014, 8:53 am

    The new shield has kept some of the problems of the “old”. The grip is “Meh” at best – if your hands are sweaty you will have an issue. Especially with muzzle flip. This is due to the bore axis being way to high. And the trigger… it is a love/hate thing. Nice engineering idea – executed just OK. The pull is too heavy by more than a couple of pounds, and the 2 examples we shot had a fair amount of creep. Our S&W armorer said the trigger is a bear to work on and for the time & money spent you will not see much improvement. I will say the trigger is better then a KelTec or SCCY. Much worse then any Glock of your choice or XDM/XDs. It IS thin and easy to conceal, and if that is your primary requirement, like the Shields before it – it may be your best choice. I would choose a XDs if I were in the market for this philosophy of carry.
    Just my $0.02 worth.

  • CypressDog June 30, 2014, 8:52 am

    The author says, “For the most part,.380s are small. Yet that is their only asset.” Later in the review, he complains that “the muzzle flip is pronounced.” in the S&W 9mm he is reviewing and that it may be the one element “between me and really fast follow-up shots.” Interesting. Could it be that the .380 has an additional asset that the author refuses to acknowledge?

    • Rich W. June 30, 2014, 10:30 am

      Small .380s can be just as snappy as a small 9mm. My wife had a Ruger LCP and that thing bucked like a mule when firing it. I almost dropped it the first time I fired it because the recoil caught me off guard as I’m used to firing a .40 S&W (or larger) caliber handgun. My point is any small sized firearm like the LCP or the Shield is going to have a good bit of recoil that needs to be managed regardless of caliber. Well maybe not a .22 or .25 so much but you get the point. 😉

    • Hipshot Percussion June 30, 2014, 3:14 pm

      And at 19 oz, this “pocket 9mm” is damn near twice the weight of my Taurus TCP (10 oz). Thanks, but I will keep my Taurus as my pocket pistol.

      • Ray January 11, 2015, 10:36 am

        Taurus eh? Apples and oranges?

  • Robert Vedell June 30, 2014, 6:52 am

    I have already installed the apex trigger kit and a set of Tru glo Tfo’s on my shield. Are there any improvements I have missed and will S&W install any additional upgrades for free.

    • Dave June 30, 2014, 6:43 pm

      I would like to know the answer to your question

  • Andrew June 30, 2014, 5:49 am

    Several friends and associates, including 2 veteran police officers, inadvertently shot themselves with a striker fired weapon that had no manual safety. One other person accidentally killed himself when he carelessly picked up a loaded striker fired gun that had no manual safety. There are other examples I can cite. For the past 50 years I have only used a weapon that has a manual safety. I don’t feel it requires any extra time or brain cells to swipe it off. Those pathways in my brain are well established. In contrast, it appears to me that those who do not use a gun with a manual safety are not taking advantage of the brain cells God gave them. A manual safety on a gun is akin to loud pipes on a motorcycle. In both cases, lives are saved.

    • Gun Safety June 30, 2014, 9:06 am

      I guess they did not know the basic rules of gun safety. NEVER point the gun at anything you do not want shot. NEVER put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire.

    • Vanns40 June 30, 2014, 9:07 am

      I would venture to say that in every single instance you mention the NG (negligent discharge – yes negligent not accidental) was caused because the people involved didn’t KEEP THEIR FINGERS OFF THE TRIGGER!

      Please don’t blame the gun because of poor gun handling. If you don’t know how to handle a gun safely take a course! What’s one of the first safety rules we all learn? Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.

      I’ve been an instructor for more than 35 years and I teach my students that if you’re going to carry a gun for self defense one with a mechanical safety is a detriment – leave it off if possible. The biggest safety you have is between your ears.

      • Billiam July 1, 2014, 8:44 am

        Let us not forget that one should treat every weapon as if it’s loaded. So, when not sure, check and clear. Operator error, not the fault of a striker fired weapon. Both of my pistols are M&P’s. No problems as my training was good, and I respect the weapon. NOT cocky. I think I’ll have to add the Shield to my collection now.

        • Barbara February 24, 2015, 1:50 pm

          I have had a lot of carry pistols. Being a small person and a woman, I’ve always felt like an easy target for the bad guys if I were to break down on the road or just someone wanting to be bad. I decided that I didn’t like feeling so vulnerable when traveling by myself, or being at home by myself. So I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to handle and shoot my pistols. Anyway I have had all kinds of small semi auto carry pistols that have always at one time or another depending on ammo have jammed. That would frighten me when thinking about actually having to use it. If the one I had ever jammed, I would ask and look for one that didn’t and ended up with a 38 revolver. I stayed with the 38 until I heard about the Shield. I bought the 40 cal shield and have fired more than 500 rounds through it with about 10 different types of ammo and never had a jam. I like the shield so much that I bought a second 40. I have a CWP, and I carry one every where I go, and I have one stashed in my house that I’m the only one that knows where it is just in case the time ever come that someone I knew turned their back on me and played unfair. I love the S&W Shield, it is very accurate, and very very reliable with the easiest trigger pull than any that I have owned. Ladies, I think that S&W made the Shield 9 & 40 for us. The 40 has just a little jump that isn’t uncomfortable, and twice the stopping power; if you only have 7 or 8 shots, if one 40 hits, it will be all you need!!! 🙂 Good choice!!!

    • MeMikeT June 30, 2014, 9:18 am

      All my semi-auto pistols have a thumb safety. With practice, of which gun owners should do religiously, my thumb has acquired a brain of it’s own. When I retrieve my gun from the holster, instinctively the safety is placed in the hot position. My index finger has also acquired a brain as it remains off the trigger until the muzzle acquires the target. IMHO even if someone only own guns without thumb a safety, they should practice as if they do. It may be far fetched for the thumb safety haters to find themselves in a situation where they have a friend’s thumb safety gun and a bad person is coming to do bad. The moment it is realized there is a thumb safety would be the bad person advantage. That’s my rant.

      • Richard Berry January 22, 2015, 7:01 pm

        Well for all you urban combat specialists and purists that think your no safety way is better. I am betting you have never been in a situation where your life was on the line and you had to kill people. Everyone has an opinion and can do what they like as long as they only wound themselves re-holstering. I have trained thousands of law-enforcement and many civilians. Back in the early 70’s, myself and another analyst helped set up the training program at a very well known government agency that was being re- invented. Many of you know that getting an accurate first shot off is critical, that goes without saying. The problem is, is that it can be very difficult depending on your firing system. How about the famous NY trigger pull. Has anyone tried a double action Sig trigger pull? Hit someone at 25 yards draw and fire, good luck. We overcome some of these things by non-conventional methods. one being the manually cocking the hammer during the draw, single action style with the hand that is holding the gun. Then there is cocking manually with the opposite hand as they are coming together to hold. The idea is to get to the single action trigger pull as soon as possible without having to operate a safety if a precise shot is required say over 25 yards. Henceforth arrival of the striker fired system. Better trigger pull but not nearly as good usually as say any single action trigger. No safety, but many accidents. Including many law-enforcement issues, let alone civilians. I have news for you, ANYONE can make a mistake. I know we have a fantastic device that was initiated toward the Glock and the inherent no safety issue. It is the trigger block. Now we can have a 3.5 lb trigger pull, re holster issues gone, ladies can carry in their purse IF THEY HAVE NOWHERE ELSE. It adds NO time to the draw and fire. This has been proven time and time again with timers and hundreds of personnel. Your finger is indexed along side the guard anyway. But if you are in immediate need, the block is discharged as you are presenting your weapon and finger contacts the trigger. If your gun is jerked out of your service holster in an altercation, the assailant pulls the trigger and the gun won’t fire giving you precious seconds to regroup, or get your back-up. It is a must for civilians. Short training time, repetition in your living room(no ammo in the area, no magazines). Cocked and locked is ok, unless you have more than one firing system that you carry. Many discharges occur because of someone thinking they just manipulated a decocker. Sounds crazy. There are no accidents! But have you ever driven home from somewhere and thought I don’t remember driving home? I am not talking about alcohol related incidents either. Your mind checks out on occasion. I don’t care who you are.

        • Sam February 12, 2015, 6:22 pm

          Learning to shoot accurately with a double action trigger should be required. And 25 yards is absolutely not a problem. When I started my first rangemaster job at 18, there were not all that many semi autos around, especially not in LE holsters. In fact we did not call them “semi autos”. We called them “jamamatics”. The LE agencies I was involved with actually required all shots to be double action inluding qualifying at 25 yards and also required shooting ONE handed at that distance double action. I and many of the guys I worked with could STROKE a double action trigger and hit a B-27 way beyond 25 yards. While we are at it, needing a surprise break is OK for beginners BUT SHAME on all of you who say, and god forbid, teach people to “never anticpate the shot” or you even believe that anticipation is flinching. IT IS NOT. But if you swallow that garbage, you are stuck where you are. Ah, the dumming down of EVERYTHING. AND I HAVE been in bad places since the beginning. What you practice is what you will do. YOU WILL NOT RISE TO THE OCCASION. Additionally, we are NOT multitaskers, even when we are not under threat. When faced with danger we are even worse. I have seen people with the shakes (adrenalin) who have missed safeties and then tried to shoot, and missed the safety more than once. The SIMPLER you can keep your system, and your actions, the better off your are. The gun incident and “non safety” issues you refer too were just as prevalent before the Glock was ever a thought of in Gaston’s mind. Safety will always be your actions controlled from between your ears.

        • dantanna January 3, 2016, 9:57 pm

          As a civilian, i.e., non-cop, if I shoot anyone at 25 yards the prosecutor is not going to easily accept a claim of self defense. He’s going to hammer me as to why I thought I was in imminent danger of being killed or maimed when my assailant was *75 feet* from me. Did the guy have the means, ability and intent to kill or maim me — at 75 feet? The prosecutor will want to know how on earth could I determine this from across the street…

          You shoot someone at 25 yards, and apart from an active shooter/mall massacre situation, you are gonna have some ‘splainin’ to do.

    • BrockW June 30, 2014, 9:34 am

      So because of a few careless Cops we should use safety’s? What about the millions of other people who aren’t dumb enough to shoot themselves?

      • RL September 24, 2016, 10:05 pm

        Sorry… You are claiming that there are millions of smart ppl? ha, ok…

    • John June 30, 2014, 9:46 am

      Agreed, I won’t own a firearm without a manual safety. When the only safety is trigger discipline, I don’t trust people (including myself) to never screw up. Like you, I have been shooting for 50 years, maybe we’ve seen too many accidental discharges? Maybe been swept one to many times? Good post Andrew.

      • Vanns40 June 30, 2014, 10:11 am

        You’ve just admitted that you don’t trust yourself to safely handle a firearm all the time and that you are willing to put all your faith in a mechanical device! That is truly sad. I urge you to rethink and PRACTICE safe gun handling. Remember, it takes a minimum of 500 repetitions of any action for it to become ingrained in your brain and muscle memory. Practice, practice, practice.

        • Danny June 30, 2014, 2:09 pm

          This is for you Mr. John ; 50 years of shooting still did not registered into your coconut shell that you never ever put your finger on the trigger of any type of fire arms until you locate the target and identified your target. Sir with all the respect, if you do not trust yourself handling any types of fire arms without any safety manual, do me a favor, stop handling any type of firearm so that there will no more ” accidental shooting “. 20 years in the United States Army and 5 years as a Drill Seargeant and on top of that, my last 10 years in the Army as a Special Ops Operator never had any ” accidental” discharge of any type of firearm. Every time my Operators will go out for practice, we use live rounds in a close quarter battle and we also practice in the dark using night vision goggles. We use the Glock 35 as a sidearms and the long gun is the H&K 16.

      • Vanns40 June 30, 2014, 10:15 am

        Just as an FYI, they are NOT accidental discharges. They are NEGLIGENT DISCHARGES! You were negligent in doing something for that firearm to discharge, it didn’t do it all by itself. Let’s all be honest about this.

        • John June 30, 2014, 5:06 pm

          You were right to correct me. I misspoke. I meant to write negligent discharge but it was very early in the morning. I try to keep my nomenclature accurate, but I failed. I do like how passionate the replies are. I simply stated a preference because it is what I am used to and comfortable with. Yet others think I should have my firearms taken away. By the way I am well schooled in firearm safety lest anyone think otherwise.

          • Jack May 17, 2015, 10:49 am

            Why are some people so nasty in their replies? Let John shoot what he wants and express his preferences. I have been a cop for 25 years and am very well trained. My Shield has no safety. I practice. I’m cool with it. I have shot de-cockers, DAO’s, and revolvers. I have used all of them as a self-defense carry weapon at one point or another. Be safe, practice, be familiar with your weapons. And, stop jumping on people with different opinions. It’s likely anyone posting here is one of the good guys and not a thug. Let’s support each other as responsible owners and encourage safe practices.

    • paul bass June 30, 2014, 10:19 am

      carried a revolver (no manual safeties) for 50 years, and it never went off unless I deliberately and intentionally pulled the trigger.
      carried a glock (no external safeties) for years, same results. also, XD9, and smith M&P 9. As a former St.Louis policeofficer, I have seen some policemen to be the most careless and totally uninformed about gun safety. (as well as poor shots)

      • Pat Sellars June 30, 2014, 7:28 pm

        Agree. I carry a G-22 on duty with a G-27… well, tucked away in easy reach. Having a manual safety adds that little piece of time that may make the difference to me and family. To use John’s words, I practice dry fire and TRIGGER CONTROL at least 2 hours per week. Hell, I use a laser temp sensor when I cook (and I can cook), and I take it out with my trigger finger in the stand by, and will only engage when I aim at the oil in the pan (and I must say for making a roux for gumbo, that laser sensor is the best). Besides, my laser sensor looks just like a Taser, and that requires the same trigger discipline as a handgun.

        For training the novice, fine; have that safety. However if one uses a weapon for personal protection on the street, strikers are the best AS LONG as the carrier is trained. But, that’s just me.

      • willis November 13, 2014, 4:42 pm

        Aint that the truth! People don’t understand how little firearms training that most police officers receive. Most will only HAVE to qualify once a year and they MIGHT have one day of in-service training yearly. That is enough for some officers and thats why some officers shoot themselves or can’t hit a suspect with 15 rounds or hit innocent civilians when involved in a critical incident. If an officer is highly proficient with a firearm, it is because he does significantly more training on his off-time than required. Most citizens would be surprised to see how poorly a lot of police officers shoot. Being a police officer doesn’t make you a competent shooter or handler of a firearm.

        • Daniel Casher December 10, 2014, 1:38 am

          Willis, your answer is right on. Just because a guy/gal is a police officer doesn’t mean that they can hit the broad side of a barn with a pistol. They are considered “professional” enough to carry a pistol, but they are, as a general rule, not well trained in shooting. Many hours of practicing, including many, many, hours of dry fire practicing, is needed to become an effective shooter. If I were a police officer, I would make time for this type of practice, because your job demands it.

        • Jack May 17, 2015, 2:47 pm

          Willis, you are obviously a cop-hater. Most cops are more than adequately trained, some maybe less so due to their lack of interest / practIce. Many cops are far above average shooters on multiple platforms. Deadly force incidents are very complicated, involving moving multiple targets (that sometimes shoot back) dynamic backdrop, poor lighting, etc. Before you start making assertions about cops not hitting their intended target or hitting unintended targets, you should know something about it, have facts, and some humility. Since you are not likely to face life-threatening situations regularly to protect people you don’t even know, you should save your criticism for the movies you watch and the liberal news you follow.

    • flyshooter June 30, 2014, 10:37 am

      I know of three people who have shot themselves with guns that had mechanical safeties on them. Apparently careless people will do careless things regardless of the presence of mechanical devices to prevent inadvertent discharges.

      1. All guns are always loaded. Treat them that way.
      2. Never let the muzzle of the gun cover anything you wouldn’t want to shoot.
      3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
      4. Know your target and what’s beyond it.

      Follow these rules, always. Be deliberate when loading and unloading. Use this counsel at all times and bad things are unlikely to happen.

      • Sam February 12, 2015, 6:32 pm

        ALWAYS? ALWAYS?!?! If your gun is ALWAYS loaded, how do you clean it? Guns are NOT always loaded. There is NOT ALWAYS gas in your tank or food in your stomach. I don’t care how often crimnals cooperate with me, I would never depend on them to ALWAYS do that. How many times do you think someone in danger who’s gun is “ALWAYS loaded” found out at a really bad time that it was NOT loaded.

    • Thomas Meier June 30, 2014, 10:59 am

      Andrew, you are spot on. I wholeheartedly agree with you. An Oregon Detective re-holstered his GLOCK after getting in or out (can’t remember which) of his car and had some clothing catch on the trigger – BOOM. Don’t thing he was hurt.
      Properly trained, sweeping off the safety doesn’t require any thought whatever; if it does, more practice is indicated.

      • Guest290832 July 3, 2014, 12:06 am

        The gun went off during re-holstering? Textbook example of negligence.

      • BoJim January 7, 2015, 5:28 am

        lol. “Glock leg”. On a striker fired weapon, I prefer a safety. Please don’t take my guns.

    • JACK SMITH June 30, 2014, 12:57 pm

      Roger that……Had one to get caught on clothing,without my finger in t/guard…….enough said.

    • JACK SMITH June 30, 2014, 12:57 pm

      Roger that……Had one to get caught on clothing,without my finger in t/guard…….enough said.

    • Dave June 30, 2014, 12:59 pm

      The one and only time I’ve pulled a gun in anger was my Beretta 92FS with an external safety I kept on. After the incident which was over quickly thanks to the Police, I noticed I never clicked off my safety. If I had had to pull the trigger, it would have done nothing. That’s real-world experience right there. I no longer own any pistols with external safeties other than my 1911.

      • Brian April 29, 2015, 9:17 pm

        Pulled a gun in anger???
        Are you only supposed to pull your gun when you’re in danger?

    • Rick C June 30, 2014, 2:41 pm

      It’s all a matter of opinion. Your’s is valid for you. I prefer for a CC weapon
      without a safety also. I feel more secure not having to think of the safety in a split second situation. Safeties are great for what they are intended for. Nothing is safe when someone has a gun drawn on you with the intent to kill.

      • S.Dow July 1, 2014, 4:06 am

        I guess you’re quicker on the draw than I am. If someone already has a gun drawn on me with the intent to kill, as you say, I think I’ll probably opt for raising my hands. If I should ever have a gun drawn on anyone, they will have to be a fast sob to draw, and then shoot me. If they are quick-drawing their car keys, I’ll probably end up in jail. I will have fired before the hand comes out of the pocket.

    • AB June 30, 2014, 6:52 pm

      Really, you know “several” people that have shot themselves? That seems like incredible odds that one person can know “several” people that have shot themselves? I know range masters that may know of several instances, but they don’t actually know or associate with the victims.

    • Chris July 1, 2014, 12:30 pm

      Respectfully, and not trying to be obtuse, but in the same way it doesn’t “require any extra time or brain cells to wipe off” a safety, it doesn’t require any extra time or brain cells to keep one’s finger off the trigger and the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, either. Human negligence cannot be blamed on the gun’s mechanical design.

    • Tom RKBA July 3, 2014, 3:39 pm

      “including 2 veteran police officers, inadvertently shot themselves with a striker fired weapon that had no manual safety.”

      So? Several “veteran officers” on slocal ranges have been the worst gun safety violators I have ever seen. I did not appreciate incoming fire while my friend and I were down range changing targets.

      If they cannot follow the rules, they should find another line of work.

    • KennyK July 5, 2014, 3:09 pm

      That is a really bad comparison. Loud pipes on a motorcycle are primarily heard after the motorcycle passes you. They do absolutely nothing to improve safety.

      • BillG July 9, 2014, 11:20 am

        I disagree. I alternate between two bikes. My Harley has LOUD pipes while my Yamaha has stock. As a defensive rider (they’re ALL trying to kill me) I notice how many drivers look in their mirrors at me. Many more notice me in their rearview mirrors when I’m on the Harley.

    • Chan October 10, 2014, 1:47 am

      No offense to those injured, but unintentional self-inflicted gunshots are not the result of a lack of manual safety mechanism, they’re the result of a lack of competence and training. I’ve been in law enforcement for a large, (in)famous police department for 30 years. Our official policy for new handguns is NO manual safeties allowed! The negligent discharge rate for striker-fired handguns without manual safety is no higher that it was with the old-generated thumb-safety pistols. It’s all about training, not the equipment. Thumb safeties are a total waste of time and mechanical complexity on firearms used by trained, competent people–and you don’t have to be a police officer to be competent.

    • Brandon December 27, 2014, 11:50 pm

      If you have a gun with no manual safety then keep your damn finger off the trigger unless the gun is pointed at what youre about to shoot. Pretty simple.

    • Noob January 14, 2015, 11:37 am

      I hear ya man. I also was initially turned on to this carry gun for the sole purpose of having one with a manual safe. I don’t generally carry with a round in the chamber with any other gun, but this one I may change that. Primarily in order to NOT shoot myself in a stressful situation or under any other circumstance. They are making one now with out the slide safe I believe to address the concerns of people who do not like it. You may be able to buy either according to your preference.

      Me, I’ll stick to the manual safe, it’s just 1 more back-up to any accidental discharge, and beefed up security all the way around.

      After reviewing several smaller 9’s I have decided to go with the M&P, vs both the LCP and LC9 Ruger, and the Glock S type. I can’t wait see how well it works!

    • Ol Sarge January 16, 2015, 12:32 pm

      I’ve been a law enforcement officer for 44 years (yes, started in 1971). I’ve had one “accidental discharge.” It was with a S&W 645 with a manual safety. Thank God it was in a confined area and no one was injured. I’ve shot revolvers all my life and don’t recall ever seeing one with a safety. Bottom line is if you’re handling a firearm you should devote every bit of attention to what you’re doing. The moment you get distracted you apt to make a mistake. I’ve been involved in 4 shooting as an officer. Two with revolvers and two with semi-autos. The safety was not an issue. I don’t remember drawing the weapon. I don’t remember flipping the safety off and I don’t remember hearing the report or seeing the muzzle flash. When you’re in the heat of battle you revert to your training and everything else goes out the window. I currently carry a Glock 23, .40 cal. (department issued) on-duty and a Ruger LC9 off-duty. I treat the LC9 like a revolver and carry it with the safety off. I’d prefer to carry a Smith and will be purchasing a 9 Shield soon. In 1969 in the Air Force I carried a 1911 .45 “cocked and locked.” Which do you think is safer – a double-action pistol with no safety or a single action-pistol cocked with the safety on. I’ll go with the double-action. Just my opinion.

      • Mike Stephens August 10, 2015, 4:05 pm

        I shoot my Ruger 1911 so much I am conditioned to use the thumb safety. I like having the safety and it takes no brain cells to flick it on or off the Shield, depending on whether you’re drawing or holstering your weapon. Not sure what all the fuss is about. I guess some people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

    • Alan Allen January 19, 2015, 9:19 pm

      You are absolitly right. The chances of a person having to use a gun in self defence is very very small. But the chance of an accidental discharge is much higher. So figure the odds. I will take the safety.

    • Richard Gray February 25, 2015, 1:22 pm

      And nobody has been accidentally killed with a weapon that has a manual safety on it? I would guess that more people are killed/wounded accidentally with firearms that have manual safety than are killed/wounded with those that do not.

    • Brian March 18, 2015, 4:25 pm

      As an officer, I would say you are hangin with the wrong gun club who apparently feel the need to “shoot it up” while well over the .10 BAC level. And what are you considering “veteran”? 2 yrs? 5yrs? 20 yrs? Nonetheless. The reason a safety is put on a gun is so numbskull doesn’t fire the weapon when they pull the trigger in a hazardous setting (aka not pointed in safe direction, treated as loaded, etc.).

    • Donald Hensley August 2, 2015, 12:26 am

      I carried only blocks until I purchased my S&W 9mm shield with the safety. I feel safer bolstering my weapon with the safety on. Any thing that makes my gun safer to handle is a plus.

    • Mike Stephens August 10, 2015, 3:52 pm

      I agree. I will not have a gun without a safety. The Smith’s thumb safety is out of the way and you can always leave it disengaged if you don’t like it. This is one sweet shooting gun. Bought mine at Academy for $389

  • WILEY June 30, 2014, 4:10 am


  • Richard Barfell June 29, 2014, 5:30 pm

    I’ve been waiting for S&W to finally do this. I’m an M&P guy and this gun will be perfect for warm weather carry!!

    • Michael Board January 18, 2015, 8:35 am

      I bought one before a month ago. Been to the range 3 times and it is an accurate, easy to use gun. Highly recommend it.

    • K. L. February 1, 2015, 9:15 am

      I bought mine 2 weeks ago, so far I think it might become my favorite carry pistol. Accurate right out of the box. No malfunctions with several hundred rounds of various flavors practice ammo, easy to conceal, and with the extended mag 9 rounds of 9mm. What’s not to like? I tried to learn to love my lc9, but even after a trigger mod, I still can’t make it consistently place rounds where I want them. The Shield trigger is crisp and clean, a tad heavy but not a distraction. I like it a lot.

    • Joe February 1, 2015, 8:27 pm

      I bought mine last week without the annoying safety. Being a Glock only owner to this point I have to say the Shield fits in the single stack 9mm better than any of the competition. Easy to conceal and accurate it will become my go to carry gun. The breakdown is easy which is good as I plan to feed this S&W a large amount of ammo and it may need some cleaning from time to time!

    • Don Bagley February 11, 2015, 9:35 pm

      i purchased a 9 shield last summer. i received the pistol by mail/FFL. unlike the one i handled at the store, i could not release the slide except by supporting it & using both thumbs to press the release downward. rendering it useless for defense. i sold it. it was my perfect fit. why couldn’t it be fixed?\\


      • sam February 12, 2015, 5:53 pm

        Was this with the magazine out or a loaded magazine in place. Or was it locked open with an empty magazine? We have a lot of people showing up in class with them and so far no one has complained. A generous class just ordered one for me but it has not arrived. I have shot quite a number of rounds through various shields and did experience the stiffness of the slide stop ONLY IF an empty magazine was in place.

      • FRank February 17, 2015, 11:09 am

        Got his thing just yesterday. Never have seen a slide so difficult to pull back and engaging and releasing are near impossible…..Not a weapon I would want to count on. Waiting to hear from Smith.

        • Chris March 8, 2015, 9:30 pm

          Got mine for my birthday this past week. Perfect fit. Slide operates as expected, zero difficulties. Love mine.

      • Chip November 2, 2015, 11:00 am

        I have had my Shield 9 for several months. The slide release is very stiff and difficult to operate initially, but loosens up very quickly after only a few magazines of shooting. I love my Shield!

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