The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is a popular concealed carry pistol for many reasons, and I’m here to show you why I think it’s a capable carry pistol as well as some of its drawbacks you may want to consider.
I own a 1.0 version M&P Shield in 9MM, and I use it as my concealed carry pistol for everyday use. I’ve had my Shield for about 7 years, and I love it for its concealability, comfortable feel, and overall performance.
The M&P Shield is a single stack semi-automatic striker fired pistol. The Shield is constructed from a polymer frame and steel components.
The M&P Shield is available in 9MM, .40 S&W, and 45 Auto. (45 only available in 2.0 models). Each pistol comes with two magazines.
There are currently two versions of the M&P Shield that Smith and Wesson has produced. The 1.0 and 2.0 versions are not all that different from each other, but the major difference between the 1.0 and 2.0 are changes to the trigger and grip design.
Another variant of the Shield known as the Shield Plus adds an enhanced flat faced trigger, fiber optic sights, and added magazine capacity (10 and 13). Since I own the standard shield variant, we’ll mostly be focusing on the 1.0 and 2.0 versions.
The concealability of the Shield is perhaps its strongest attribute. It was designed for the intended purpose of concealed carry, so it makes perfect sense why it’s a great carry pistol.
The single stack frame allows for more complete and comfortable concealability, and with a variety of holsters available on the market, you can be sure to find a holster that’s right for you.
Along with the obvious advantage of the Shield’s concealability, it has a few other notable things going for it.
The grip size and design is one of my favorite aspects of this pistol. At least for my hand, it feels very natural and comfortable. The grip texturing that comes standard also gets the job done, and the 2.0 versions offer a slight improvement.
In addition, the M&P Shield for its small size feels like a serious pistol. While it’s still compact and lightweight, it doesn’t have that tiny, almost comical feel of some other small carry guns.
No pistol is perfect, and the Shield is no exception. There are a few drawbacks you’ll want to consider before using it as your primary concealed carry pistol.
The first issue with the Shield simply lies with the fact that it’s a compact pistol. The small size causes a snappy recoil and diminished range and accuracy. This is true for nearly all compact pistols, so it’s not specific to the Shield.
The other gripe I have with the M&P Shield is the trigger. Although it’s intended as a carry pistol, the trigger pull is very heavy on the 1.0 models. The trigger has been greatly improved for the 2.0 models, but I would suggest going for an aftermarket trigger, which is what I plan to do very soon.
The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is a perfectly capable concealed carry pistol for self-defense. Although its not perfect, I trust mine with my life.
If you’re looking for a great compact pistol with many available aftermarket parts and holsters at an affordable price, I’d highly suggest the M&P Shield.