Smith & Wesson has had incredible success with their M&P line of handguns. To answer the demands of the CCW market for a compact 9mm, Smith & Wesson delivered the M&P Shield in both 9mm and .40 S&W a few years ago. Taking the same features as the larger M&P line, the Shield pistols produced an incredibly small package less than 1.0″ wide.
Smith & Wesson has now partnered with [easyazon_link identifier=”B008MFBGKI” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Crimson Trace[/easyazon_link] to offer a 9mm and .40 S&W Shield with the Crimson Trace Green Laserguard. There are great benefits of a laser sighting system. Especially on smaller CCW firearms that are typically going to be used for close quarters engagements where having the time and space align iron sights may not be possible.
The S&W Shield is a polymer framed, striker-fired handgun, in direct competition in the concealed carry market. With a width less than or right at 1.0″, and an overall length of only 6.1″, the Shield is compact enough for concealment, but large enough to shoot easily. The Shield, like its larger M&P brothers, have some of the best ergonomic grips available, in my opinion, with an ideal 18-degree cant. For officers who carry the larger sized M&P pistols on duty, the S&W M&P Shield is an outstanding selection for back-up and off-duty carry.
S&W Shield Specifications
- Action – Striker fired, double action only
- Frame Material – Polymer with stainless steel structural parts
- Barrel Material – Stainless Steel
- Overall Length – 6.1″
- Barrel Length – 3.1″
- Width – 0.95″ (9mm); 1.0″ (.40 S&W)
- Height – 4.6″
- Weight – 19 oz. (without magazine)
- Front Sight – Stainless steel white dot
- Rear Sights – Stainless steel, white 2-dot
- Capacity – 8/7 + 1 (9mm); 7/6 + 1 (.40 S&W)
- MSRP – $589.00.
Benefits of Striker Fired Handguns
One of the great benefits of the striker fired handguns is the trigger reset that allows for rapid follow-up shots. The S&W Shield trigger travels only 0.234″ to fire, and resets in an amazing 0.125″. Officers using striker fired handguns should learn to master their triggers to their advantage. Like several striker fired pistols, the M&P Shield cantilever trigger also acts as a drop safety.
The 6.5 lb. trigger pull is more than adequate to prevent negligent discharges, but light enough to allow the shooter to perform consistent trigger pulls for accurate shooting. I have fired the larger M&P handguns and have found them to be very comfortable, and accurate. I own a S&W Shield in 9mm, and it has proven to be dependable, accurate, and comfortable to shoot as well.
Green Laser Technology
The addition of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00L0RXDHO” locale=”US” tag=”bluesheecom-20″]Crimson Trace Green Laser[/easyazon_link] is a great advancement. The M&P Shield comes standard with simple white dot sights. Though these tend to be adequate in daylight conditions, they provide no assistance to a shooter in low light conditions. The Crimson Trace laser can provide the assurance of shot placement in those darker confrontations.
Green lasers have been highly praised for their ability to illuminate target placement in both daylight and low light conditions. More traditional red lasers are fine in low light, but tend to suffer in the brightness of daylight conditions.
Smith & Wesson Moves Against Glock
When the M&P series of handguns reached the market they immediately attracted the attention of shooters and departments looking for something other than Glock. Initially the M&P was found to have a trigger that was a little loose, and caused many buyers to hesitate in buying in.
As opposed to the trigger safety bar on the Glock, the S&W M&P trigger has a folding lower half. Initially there was just too much play in the trigger for most shooter’s preference. Smith & Wesson was quick to respond to feedback, and the M&P trigger has since been shored up to tighter tolerances that provides a much more consistent trigger pull.
Smith & Wesson has a storied history in law enforcement firearms, and was once the king in America. The M&P line was the company’s first serious move against the Glock juggernaut that has captured such a large portion of the law enforcement community. It will be interesting to see how the M&P line progresses, including the Shield for the concealed carry community.