M&P Shield 9 review

The specifications of the S&W M&P Shield 9

Origin: USA
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 7 & 8 rounds
Overall length: 6.1" / 15.5 cm
Action: Double Action Only/Striker fire
Weight: 19 oz / 538.7 g
Trigger: Pull: about 6.5 lbs.
Frame: Polymer
Barrel length: 3.1" . 7.874 cm
Frame Width: .95" / 2.413 cm

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9 has hit the market and is a very popular handgun, plus it is very hard to find.  Most retailers will tell you that they can't keep them on the shelves.

After a long search, I finally got my hands on one and probably paid a little more than I should.  Adding up my time searching for this gun and wanting it as a possible replacement for the wife to carry, I just took the plunge and picked it up when I seen it at the gun show.  In this market you have to get it when you can, as I’m sure many of you know. 

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Durability and Reliability

On this category there is a little dispute, I hear of people having FTE's or failure to ejects when getting this gun brand new.  Taking into account that some will admit they used inferior ammo or may have had other issues when shooting, like shooting weak handed (not have a firm wrist) or maybe not cleaning and lubing the gun before taking it out  to shoot.

My experience with the Smith and Wesson Shield 9 was very positive one.  I used regular Blazer ammo, 124 grain, and had no issues at all.  Even when my wife shot, the brass was being thrown pretty far.  Having brass drop at your feet is one sign that the gun either needs to be broken in or you may be doing what they call limp wristing (letting your wrist snap back too much when shooting). 

I will say that the gun was pretty stiff when I got it and even though S&W will say it doesn’t need a break in, I may beg to differ a little bit.  

Having said all that, I had no issues firing it. The fit and finish seemed really good.  I did however have the front sight dot fall out within the first 50 rounds so it kind of makes me suspect.  (See picture above)  

Most people don't have any issues with this gun and so far I have no reason to think it isn't trust worthy, even with the front sight issue.  The track record on this gun is pretty good so far.

Durability & Reliability = 8


graphic 39008729

Ok, well you can either load up with a 7 or 8 round magazine and that isn't to shabby for how thin it is.  Of course, if had a double stack magazine it would hold more, but then it would be wider. That is always the trade off.  Now this is a 9mm and I wouldn’t classify this as a pocket rocket, but 9mm will get the job done. 

So if you are using a 124 grain bullet the energy at the muzzle will be around 360 ft/lbs and with an 8 round magazine it will have a modest score.  Again, this is what you sacrifice for having the thin size.  

Firepower = 6


Well with the barrel only being 3.1” it is surprisingly accurate.  The trigger is nice and crisp and the sights work very good,  at least when they stay on the gun.  I had no issues with hitting what I was aiming at,   in fact, I kept backing up until I was at about 15 yards and was still pegging the target with consistency.

My wife was often putting her shots in the same hole on the target,  which really stood out to me.  I also had good success with fast follow up shots, so I will give this gun high marks for accuracy.

Remember the M&P Shield 9 is a subcompact so a 7 is great for it's size.  

Accuracy = 7

Size & Weight

This is were Smith and Wesson tried to separate themselves with their competitors.  Most of the small subcompact handguns sacrifice shoot ability for weight, meaning they are rough to shoot given the fact that you are absorbing much of the recoil.  

The M&P Shield 9 tries to balance out size and shoot ability, and I must say they hit a home run!  If your carrying it you may find it on the upper limits of what you want for weight, but you also can practice often with this gun without your wrist hurting.

Wife had a blast shooting it!

Keep in mind, for the firepower you are getting the weight maybe a bit high, but again very manageable because of how thin it is, coming in less than an 1” for width.   If it’s to heavy than you won’t carry it, so I think S&W did a god job balancing everything out.  

Size & Weight = 8

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