This week, Smith & Wesson unveiled their new M&P Shield semi-automatic pistol. Made to compete in the single-stack concealed carry arena, the Shield is a slimmed down version of their popular striker-fired polymer pistol offerings. By my calculations it is .25″ thinner than an M&P9, weighs 2.7 ounces less, and is .6″ shorter on the slide topline. It is available in 9mm or .40 S&W cal.
I think with the law enforcement popularity of the full-sized M&P guns, the Shield will be a nice compliment to those who want a smaller version of their everyday duty pistol for secondary weapon or off-duty carry. It is a training advantage to carry the same format pistol as a back-up that you do as a primary.
Here are Smith & Wesson’s Specs for the 9mm Shield:
- SKU: 180021
- Model: M&P9 SHIELD™
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 7 Round & 8 Round
- Action: Striker Fire
- Barrel Length: 3.1″ / 7.874 cm
- Front Sight: White Dot
- Rear Sight: White 2-Dot
- Overall Length: 6.1″ / 15.5 cm
- Frame Width: .95″ / 2.413 cm
- Overall Height: 4.6″ / 11.684 cm
- Weight: 19.0 oz / 538.7 g
- Frame Material: Polymer
- Barrel/Slide Finish: Black Melonite® 68 HRc
- Trigger Pull: 6.5 lbs. +/-
- Sight Radius: 5.3″ / 13.3 cm
This is the full press release from S&W:
Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced the introduction of the company’s new slim, concealable, lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol with the unveiling of the M&P Shield™. Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the new M&P Shield features a slim design combined with the proven and trusted features found in the M&P Pistol Series. From the pistol’s easily concealed one-inch profile to its optimized 18-degree grip angle, the M&P Shield offers professional-grade features that provide simple operation and reliable performance.
“Throughout the industry, there has been a progressive demand for a reliable, accurate self defense firearm,” said Mario Pasantes, Smith & Wesson’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Global Professional Sales. “Whether used as a backup for police personnel, an undercover firearm for plain-clothes officers or a dependable carry gun for private citizens, the M&P Shield expertly fulfills the need. Built to professional standards and backed by Smith & Wesson’s reputation for innovation and quality control, the M&P Shield adds another high performance option to our company’s broad line of purpose built firearms.”
Chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W for proven stopping power, the M&P Shield features a high-strength polymer frame with a black, Melonite® coated stainless steel slide and barrel. Both models are standard with a 3.1-inch barrel, which contributes to an overall length of 6.1 inches and an unloaded weight of 19 ounces. For fast tracking and smooth target acquisition, the M&P Shield is standard with a 5.3-inch sight radius and has been enhanced with a short, consistent trigger pull measuring 6.5 pounds. Featuring a quick and audible reset made possible by the striker-fired action, the M&P Shield allows multiple rounds to be placed on target both consistently and accurately.
The accuracy of the pistol has been further refined with a white dot stainless steel front sight and a white two-dot stainless steel rear sight. The M&P Shield retains familiar operating features on the left side of the frame, including a simple takedown lever, flat profile slide stop, magazine release and thumb safety. The flush mounted safety allows users to carry the pistol comfortably and confidently. For improved firearm control, the M&P Shield is standard with a fixed textured backstrap and additional texturing at the forward portion of the grip. An extended trigger guard has also been added for operation of the pistol with or without gloves.
Internal features of the new M&P Shield mirror the standard M&P Series. Its stainless steel internal chassis reduces flex while providing a stable shooting platform and its low-bore axis helps maintain ease-of-use and a comfortable feel. Other familiar features include a passive trigger safety that prevents the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm. A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the slide.
The M&P Shield is shipped with both an extended and flat magazine offering users the ability to customize the length of the grip. The 9mm M&P Shield offers an 8+1 or 7+1 magazine capacity while the .40 S&W M&P Shield is standard with either a 7+1 or 6+1 magazine capacity. The M&P Shield will also be introduced in a California compliant model. Both the 9mm and .40 S&W M&P Shield have an MSRP of $449 and are available now.
As an added bonus, Smith & Wesson has worked with the industry’s top holster, laser and after-market sight manufacturers so that owners can personalize their M&P Shield with high quality accessories that are immediately available from various providers.
For years, consumers have clamored for a single-stack Glock, to no avail (yes, not just the G36). Meanwhile, Smith & Wesson has chipped away at Glock’s share of the law enforcement market. Now the Big Blue has listened and given the users something to which Gaston Glock has turned a deaf ear. With an MSRP of only $449.00, these guns should be fairly flying into holsters very soon.