The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ pistol is getting a big expansion. The single-stack polymer pistol designed for everyday carry is now chambered for 9mm Luger in addition to .380 ACP.
“When the M&P380 Shield EZ was released in 2018, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the easy-to-use features of the innovative pistol platform,” said Smith & Wesson president Lane Tobiassen in the official release. “From that point on, we knew we would expand the M&P Shield EZ line with a pistol that incorporated the same features, chambered in the powerful and popular 9mm caliber. The new M&P9 Shield EZ is easy-to-rack, easy-to-load, easy-to-shoot and easy-to-clean, appealing to a wide range of consumers seeking out these popular features in 9mm.”
Smith & Wesson is launching with four 9mm M&P Shield EZ pistols, with and without ambidextrous manual thumb safeties. Smith & Wesson has a base model with or without a manual safety and a laser sight-equipped version, also with or without a thumb safety.
While the M&P EZ series does not employ a passive trigger safety, the pistols all have large bottom-pivoting grip safeties in addition to internal drop safety mechanisms.
All four 9mm models are mid-size single-stack pistols with an 8+1-round capacity, a full four-finger grip and an above-average length barrel measuring 3.7 inches long. Smith & Wesson makes smaller and larger single-stack Shield pistols, and the EZ series fits into a sort of Goldilocks zone where they are small enough to conceal but large enough to shoot and manipulate easily.
The pistols weigh about 23 ounces unloaded which again, isn’t too heavy to carry all day and isn’t so light that the recoil becomes harsh when shooting. They have simple 3-dot iron sights and full-length accessory rails for compact weapon lights or the optional laser sights.
All four models come with tactile loaded chamber indicators, a black nitride Armornite finish and two magazines with load assist devices. Models with laser sights use an ambidextrous sight power button just under the trigger guard.
The Shield EZ in .380 was a different and welcome addition to the Shield series of small, concealable handguns in the M&P lineup. Designed around a hammer-fired action, the EZ pistol was developed for shooters who may have problems manipulating small automatic handguns.
By using a concealed hammer, Smith & Wesson made racking the slide on the EZ pistols lighter and easier than on a similar-sized striker-fired pistol. Dropping the passive trigger safety makes it easier for people with small hands to pull the trigger even if they don’t have a standard or optimal grip on the gun.
Additionally, the EZ pistols have extended tabs or wings on the rear of the slide to make racking the slide even easier.
The EZ series lives up to its name and really does give shooters the option to carry and keep a smaller handgun that’s easier, not harder to handle. They are small guns that handle with the ease and confidence of larger pistols, and with the addition of 9mm to the EZ series, they’re getting just a little bit bigger.
Since its introduction Smith & Wesson has expanded on the .380 EZ series to include a lot of upgraded and enhanced options including Performance Center EZ pistols. Hopefully the new guns get the same treatment, but for now, the 9mm models are looking great as-is, especially around $399 online and in stores.
For more information visit Smith&Wesson.com.
GunsAmerica’s Managing Editor True Pearce got an opportunity to shoot the new 9mm EZ, recently.
As you’ll see in the video and pic below, recoil was completely manageable and accuracy was more than acceptable for a defensive, everyday carry gun. Stay tuned for the full-length review.