[FIREARM REVIEW] Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm


With this review, it’s a first of it’s kind on Concealed Nation. We have not one, but two reviewers of the same firearm. I know, it’s exciting! In the video above, Brandon shares his views on the firearm and in the article below, shellshocked will share his. It’s the best of both worlds!


We’d like to give a special thanks to Patriot Outfitters Guns for supplying us with the M&P Shield 9mm to test out! You can visit them here to see all the great stuff they have to offer.

Fast Breakdown Of Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield 9mm

A popular firearm amongst Concealed Carriers is the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield.  The M&P Shield is a single stack striker-fired handgun available in both 9mm and .40 caliber with a barrel length of 3.1 inches. The Shield is a polymer frame with an overall height of 4.6 inches and length of 6.1 inches.

In this review, we’ll be focusing on the 9mm version. For the 40S&W review, click here.

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Unloaded Weight: 20 ounces
  • Magazine Capacity: 7+1 (Standard), 8+1 (Extended)
  • Height: 4.6 inches
  • Length: 6.1 inches
  • Width: >1 inch

Its unloaded weight is just under 20 ounces and possesses a capacity of 8+1 with the extended magazine, and 7+1 for the standard magazine.  The width of the frame is a little less than an inch, making this firearm considerably compact and easy to conceal.
The firearm comes standard with optional thumb safety as well as standard trigger safety, along with traditional three white dot sights.

Out of the box it comes with two magazines.  The extended magazine holds 8 rounds and smaller only 7.  Magazine extenders are available for purchase separately for those that prefer additional grip for their pinky finger.  The sights can also be swapped out for night sights if one desires.

I had the privilege of purchasing this firearm a while back simply because I wanted something a little smaller and easier to conceal at work.  It was my first single stack firearm.  I was a little concerned with the grip, initially.  I’m accustomed to double stack firearms such as my Beretta PX4 Compact.

Technical Review Of The M&P Shield 9mm

Once I checked out the firearm and read over the instruction manual, I took it out to the range for a test fire.  Adjusting my grip took a little practice.  Overall, I was quite pleased with the stability and target acquisition of such a small and light firearm.  I did encounter a few failure to feeds – I believe this was a result of the ammunition and no fault of the firearm.

I did enjoy the smooth trigger pull along with the available thumb safety. The mechanical click is very apparent, leaving no question of the firearms condition when transitioning from safe to fire and back.


The stippled grip is comfortable.  Surprisingly, it was even comfortable for someone who is used to double stack firearms.  I did end up purchasing an additional magazine as well as Pearce grip extenders for the two 7 round magazines.  I did this to give myself a better grip for my pinky finger.  Leaving me with a magazine count of two 7 round magazines and the extended 8 round magazine, I chose to purchase a double mag pouch to carry the two 7 round magazines on my left hip.   I also invested in the ever reliable Alien Gear Cloak 2.0 IWB holster.

M&P Shield Breakdown Process Is Smooth And Streamlined

Breakdown of the firearm took a little research through the owner’s manual, as it wasn’t your typical take-down process.  With a little reading of the manual I was able to quickly and easily break the firearm down for its first cleaning.

The process was rather stream-line and painless, as was reassembly once I applied the desired amount of frog lube to the necessary parts.

Overall Opinion Of Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield 9mm

MSRP: $449

Let’s being with the pro’s: it’s compact and slim.  That makes it a useful tool when concealment is absolutely important to the carrier.  I chose this firearm for that very fact – because I’m an everyday carrier.  Its small size makes it easily concealable.  And that fact doesn’t remove the ability to draw the firearm quickly and effectively.

Fully concealed and holstered, it takes little effort to get a proper grip, draw and orient on target.

The cons are few but obvious.  The single stack limits the amount of ammunition you can carry in the firearm.  I’ve also noticed that if the grip spacer for the 8 count magazine creeps up along the magazine, it may not feed completely into the magazine well when loading.  This can cause a failure to feed.  I wasn’t too concerned with this issue, as that 8 count magazine is always in the firearm to start with.

Rating is based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 3 being the industry standard of what you would expect with a modern firearm.

  • Concealability: 4.5
  • Recoil: 4.8
  • Reliability: 3.6
  • Magazine Capacity: 3.9 (Standard) or 4.5 (Extended)
  • Breakdown: 4.7
  • Price: 5.0

Overall: 4.4/5.0 (A)

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the firearm. It certainly lives up to the high expectations of Smith and Wesson.  I will be adding night sights and a Crimson Trace laser attachment in the future.  The stock firearm is well suited out-of-the-box for any Concealed Carrier looking to downsize their EDC.

About Daniel | View all posts by Daniel

Shellshocked is a 13 year Active Duty Army Veteran with a broad experience and knowledge of all things firearms and ammunition related. A resident of Ohio, an Open Carry State…

Shellshocked is a 13 year Active Duty Army Veteran with a broad experience and knowledge of all things firearms and ammunition related. A resident of Ohio, an Open Carry State, but prefers to remain among the ranks of the Concealed Nation. Although you will occasionally find him Open Carrying his FN 5.7 in a BlackHawk! Kydex retention paddle holster. His every day carry is a Beretta Storm PX4 Compact 15+1 in a StealthGearUSA ventilated Kydex IWB Holster. Spare Magazine, flashlight, and knife always on hand.

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  • Kyle Guthrie

    My only complaint with the small single stack autos, Sig p238, Shield, etc, is that when you start dropping the ammo capacity to below 8 or 9, I really start to think I should just go with a compact .357 revolver. They never really fail, and the power level is awesome.

    • JoeCubano

      I would wonder about the ballistics of the .357 from a snubby. Is there an advantage over a .38+P? Also, Ruger now makes a .327 LCR.

      • Kyle Guthrie

        Only in ammo options. Most people, including me, train with 38+p in their .357 snubby simply to ease the pain in the hand after 10 minutes. I like to carry full power .357’s in it for defensive ammo though.

        Just remember to always run a few defensive rounds during each training cycle so you know what to expect when/if you really “need” it.

        • JoeCubano

          I run +Ps in mine when I practice and have +ps in my wife’s Ruger Speed Six…easier recovery. I also practice as I’d be in home situation,etc. I don’t wear my contacts and do rapid fire as the target is being wheeled toward me. Once per month, I do some reality drills at our local gun club…very realistic.
          My thought about the snubbies was that the barrel doesn’t seem to be long enough to burn off the powder from a .357 but I know that Hornady, Speer and a few others make rounds specifically for shorter barrels. The Ruger .327 is intriguing since it can chamber .32, .32 mag and .327..which has quite a punch.
          It’s hard to beat a .357 though for home, you have to make sure you hit your target. Drywall doesn’t slow them down at all.

  • Namtaf

    3.6 reliability? Based on what? My EDC is a Shield chambered in 40 S&W. I shoot it weekly to maintain proficiency and have had zero reliability issues. Sorry but I think you’re way off on that assessment. I resolved any issue with the magazine spacer moving by simply adding a couple drops of glue to it. I know some people don’t think that 7 + 1 rounds is enough. With a spare magazine I’m carrying 15 rounds of hard hitting 40 caliber. Realistically that is more than enough firepower for the world I live in (and most other people). The Shield is absolutely one of the best CCW on the market.

    • Juan F. Trevino

      Namtaf, I’m considering getting the Shield in .40 cal. You said you shoot it weekly, I’d like your opinion on the kick of this gun. Can you comfortably shoot 50 rounds on range day?

      • Namtaf

        Juan, yes I can but….. I shoot a lot and am a big guy so the recoil doesn’t bother me. I also added a rubber grip sleeve which helped with some of the felt recoil. I’d hesitate to recommend a Sheild 40 S&W to a casual shooter. Not because it’s hard to control, to the contrary, with good shooting mechanics, it’s very controllable and accurate. But someone who’s got weak wrist, poor mechanics, or is looking for recreational range gun, it’s not for them. My daughter, for example, is a small framed 125 pounder. She’s an experienced defensive shooter, who normally shoots a Sig P250, 9mm, but likes to put a few magazines through the Shield. She, however, wouldn’t want to shoot it on a regular basis. // hopes this helps.

        • Juan F. Trevino

          Thank you for the GREAT info! I appreciate it. I plan to pull the trigger on this Smitty some day soon. Peace, JT

          • Namtaf

            Glad to help. Let me know how it works out for you.

    • Kyle Guthrie

      dont know why they are listing a 3.6 reliability either. I also own a 40 shield and it’s one of the most accurate ccw guns you could ever hope to have.

      Its never even given me a failure to feed yet.

  • Dragan Blagojevic

    I just don’t like having a special tool to take apart a gun to clean.