S&W Shield

[Ed. note:  Aaron got to put his hands on the new S&W Shield that is now for sale from Smith & Wesson.  Enjoy his hands on review from the NRA Show!]

The 141st NRA Annual meeting is in full swing, with thousands of visitors and vendors. One of the first booths I stopped by was the Smith & Wesson booth to check out the new M&P Shield. A lot of hype has been put out by Smith & Wesson and gun bloggers alike, especially since the Shield was not unveiled at SHOT Show, the traditional venue to show off new wares.

S&W Shield

What I learned at the S&W booth may make some readers happy that S&W took the extra time to unveil their newest M&P pistol. Not that the news about the Shield is earth shattering or ground breaking – most bloggers had already figured out that Smith & Wesson was going to unleash their version of a single stack, compact 9mm for the super hot concealed carry gun arena. Perhaps the only surprise in the firearm itself is that S&W is doing a joint release of the 9mm and .40 cal. versions.

But the way S&W has gone about business, might set a trend for the other big dogs in the release of new firearms. Instead of spotlighting a new product right away, Smith & Wesson remained patient and preferred to release a whole package and not just a firearm. Behind the scenes S&W worked with partners and vendors to ensure that the first day the Shield was on the shelves, the most highly sought after accessories would be ready to go out the store with the pistol.

S&W M&P Shield

Several holster companies have already produced a variety of holsters for the Shield, and there are several different options for sights.

Let us know what you think of the S&W Shield and Smith & Wesson’s “whole package” approach to releasing their newest product. Here are some of the key features of the Shield:

  • Striker-fired action
  • Frame width – 0.95 inches
  • Barrel length – 3.1 inches
  • Overall length – 6.1 inches
  • Overall height – 4.6 inches
  • Empty weight – 19.0 oz.
  • Trigger pull – 6.5 lbs.
  • 9mm comes with (1) 7 and (1) 8-round magazine
  • .40 caliber comes with (1) 6 and (1) 7-round magazines
  • White dot stainless steel front sight
  • White 2-dot, stainless steel rear sight
  • Melonite finish on the stainless steel slide and stainless steel barrel
  • Extended trigger guard
  • Simple take-down lever
  • Flat profile slide stop lever
  • M&P thumb safety (yes, they all come with them)
  • Fixed textured backstrap
  • Lightweight Zytel polymer frame

S&W M&P Shield Photo

All the other features of the S&W Shield are in the same concept as the other M&P series pistols. The Shield has already shipped and comes with a MSRP of $449 for both 9mm or .40 caliber pistols.  S&W employees told me that by summer 2012, S&W will have the Draconian ban States version ready for release.

Here is a list of the partner companies already providing accessories for the Shield:

  • Blackhawk
  • Crimson Trace
  • De Santis
  • Fobus
  • Galco
  • Hi-Viz sights
  • Laserlyte lasers (mounts to the front of the trigger guard)
  • Laser Max (same mounting position)
  • Pistol Wear
  • Uncle Mike’s Tactical
  • Williams Gun Sight Company (Fire Sights)
  • XS Sight Systems
  • Extra S&W Shield magazines ($37.95).

S&W M&P Shield Photos

S&W M&P Shield Picture

S&W M&P Shield Pictures

S&W M&P Shield

S&W M&P Shield

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About Aaron

Aaron is a sergeant with a midwestern police department, where he serves as a trainer, supervisor and SWAT sniper. In addition to his broad tactical knowledge, Aaron is an experienced hunter using bow and both modern and blackpowder firearms.


  1. Got my hands on one today. Went to the range with the Shield, Beretta Nano and Kahr CM9. I need to shoot it more of course, but I can tell you the Shield is a fantastic gun!

  2. Gary Watters says:

    Looks like a great pistol but at 19.5 Ozs. It is too heavy compared to Kel-Tec PF9.

  3. Brandon you lucky warrior you! I have not had the chance to shoot the Shield yet, but everything I saw looked good. I’m glad to hear my first impressions seem to be right on. Let us know how things go as you put more rounds down range.

    Gary you’re right about the weight. My father-in-law carries a Kel-Tec and I’ve handled it – it’s amazingly light. However, the Shield does offer a better overall package with accessories and such. I also love the feel of the M&P line of pistols. I was a little worried that a single stack might change that, but the Shield’s grip (although slightly different) was still a real pleasure to hold. The ergonomics are great on the M&P line.

    Perhaps as shooters begin running the Shield through the paces we’ll see if it’s accuracy and function out perform some of the lighter pistols. Maybe then the added weight won’t be such a burden.

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. John Casey says:

    Just pickedd up my M@P Shield from my dealer. As soon as I reached in the box and picked it up, it was like oh my God. The feel of it in my hand was like no other small pistol I have ever gripped. It was like this gun was made from a mold of my hand. Plan to shoot it today if the rain stops. S&W has done it again. Will write more after trip to range.

  5. John,

    Hope you’ve had a chance to get to the range with your new Shield. I agree with the comfort fit feel of the Shield (and a M&P handguns for that matter). I had the same impression that the gun was built from a mold of my hand. The full-size M&P handguns are probably the best fitting pistol for my hands, and even though the Shield is a single stack grip, it still feels very comfortable to hold. I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot one yet, but I’m confident that the feel will be good.

    Thanks for all the comments.

  6. John Casey says:

    I have and I was inpressed it shoots great and it is truly a point and shoot gun. I will be carrying my S&W Shield off duty with my Uncle Mikes Sidekick holster which makes a great package. I a m planning to make one change in my weapon and that is installing Tru Glow sights. Will let you know how the sights work out.

  7. Good to hear John. By the way, did you choose the Shield in 9mm or .40 cal.?

    Hope the Tru Glow sights work out – they are nice sights.

  8. I hope it is a fantastic gun but S&W stuck it to the buyers with all the hype and produced it in very limited quantities. I have had one ordered since the release date and my FFL still don’t know when it will come in, Great bit of advertising S&W but terrible service to your customers. Two thumbs down for production.

    • It’s worth the wait gunner. For what it’s worth, they have maxed out production. They are just that popular.

      • John Casey says:

        You are correct about it is worth the wait. It is a tack driver. Everybody wants mine. Have not shot the .40 yet will try and shoot it latter this week.

        All good things to say about this little gun. No negitives except these old eyes make it harder to shoot well. Not the guns falt.

        ps: got my gun back, sorry to a grown man cry.

  9. John Casey says:

    I agree with Brandon. It is worth the wait I loaned mine to my Boss, that was a week ago. He has made me several offers for my gun, no thank you. I want my gun back.

  10. Thanks guys, I guess I’ll have to keep enjoying my other pistols until it comes in. From all that I have read about it you are correct, it will be worth the wait. I just hope I wont be doing qualifications for back up pistol in the snow, Thanks again for the comments it was appreciated.

  11. If you can’t wait try a national retailer. Walked into Cabela’s today to see if they had one on hand. Walked out with a 40. Paid the full $449 msrp but got to handle it and give it a good go over AND take it home. Also got 5 boxes of shells, guess what I’m doing tomorrow???
    Gun feels great to point and handle. Hope it shoots as well as it looks and feels.

  12. Yep, I’m keeping up with this new toy. Have yet to see or hold one. And Yep there’s nothing like American Big box stores sticking it to us gun owners. This gun started out at 299 now its 449. Some discount stores are selling it for 399. 399 is prob-lly going to be the final price I would pay.
    Demand and supply….hold to your guns….don’t allow retailers to stick it to us gun owners.
    When its the “right” gun we all tend to go nuts and pay stupid prices for a plain old gun…new version ofcourse…..like software….new and inproved version. May be true, but lets not pay too much for a hand gun with limited mags.
    The real truth about a carry gun is to have quik hands on it at the time you need it….any gun will do….lots of small carry guns fit the ticket. And most are at or below that 399 price.

    Once I get my hands on it I may place this gun at the top of the ergonomics list for carry, however, I have no issues with the 3 I use for carry now.

  13. Just an update from my last post of 7-22. This gun is as sweet as I could ever imagine. Draws and comes to target like an extention of my arm. Extremely accurate if I do my part. I got the 40 and the recoils is a gentel push back with very little jump leaving it on target for the next shot. I like to carry it SOB inside my waistband and it’s slim profile makes it very comfortable for me and invisible to everyone else.

    Wayne: not sure where you got your info but I haven’t heard where the Shield started at $299? All I’ve read (as stated in the article an every where else) has been an MSRP of $449 since it was first available. Might have saved a few bucks by waiting for my local gunny to get me one, but that was a 6 to 9 month wait and he wasn’t sure what the price would be. Not sure the big boy retailers are “sticking it to us” gun owners. At least not any more than the big boy oil companies have been sticking it to us fuel buyers. Guns or gas, guess I look at it as suypply and demand. They supply the product and if you want what they supply you pay what they demand. If you don’t want what they’re sellin, then don’t buy it. If you do, pay the price. I wanted one now so I paid the price they asked… NO REGRETS…

  14. Got mine used today at LGS. Going to the range in the morning. Nice and clean with box and extra mag, etc. Would be nice if Smith used their standard plastic carry case in stead of the old cardboard box, but it’s the gun I’m after and not the wrappings.Chambered in .40 S&W (I was hoping to get a nine), but I’m not opposed to the extra “Oomph” on the receiving end and don’t think that the recoil will be much more than a nine, but depends upon loads. My defensive load of choice is Hydrashocks, so low recoil and good energy and expansion. Mainly, I’m looking for the load that’s most accurate in this pistol.

    For those still looking for a Shield, don’t overlook the used guns that people get bored of overnight. Their loss is our gain!

  15. John Casey says:

    Enjoyed reading all comments, kep it up. John

  16. Finally, after looking for one for about 6 months, I happened upon on a SW M&M Shield .40 at BassPro. With all the hoopla going on with discussions on “banning”, there was an incredible number of folks waiting in line but I was fortunate enough to get my name on it (put it on hold)…. before it got snapped up. I did have to wait 7 hours for my number to be called but after 6 months… no issue for me.

    Was able to pick it up on Friday (21 days to clear the State backlog) and took it to the range yesterday… 200 hundred rounds and I have to say it is WELL worth the wait! Great handling, well made (of course) and accurate. I highly recommend.

    Search begins for a 9mm.

  17. I too am now a proud owner of the S&W Shield in 9mm.

    Well, I got it for my wife, but I’ll be sending a few rounds downrange myself. She has seen the writing on the wall and wanted a better CCW handgun. The Shield fits her hands like a dream and has made her very happy.

    Can’t wait to get the Shield out on the range.

  18. Has any one confirmed that sights made for the M&P will fit and install on the Shield.
    Great piece but no fun in low light.
    Considering Metprolight Tru-Dot® Night Sight CAT # ML – 11766 sight set.
    Sure would like to know if all I have been reading is reliable regarding a fit.


  1. [...] S&W M&P Shield Surviving the Street: Guide to Concealed Carry of a Firearm Essential information on concealed carry. This book has just the basics – not a lot of fluff to get bogged down in. Easy to read, Surviving the Street introduces the reader to the important information you need as an armed citizen. The author presents frank information about self defense in a way that is easy to understand and use. Other articles that will amaze you: [...]

  2. [...] pistol can be had in 9mm and .40 S&W and is already shipping.  Click S&W Shield for more photos and information. Related [...]

  3. [...] Smith & Wesson stated that sales are up across all of their firearms lines, and specifically pointed the the M&P line of handguns and rifles with the Shield being mentioned by name. [...]

  4. […]  MSRP is $26.95 for either button.  The buttons will fit all of the M&P pistols except the Shield and Bodyguard […]

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