By Shelley Sargent
I spent this past weekend at the #girlsgungetaway, which was sponsored in part by Smith & Wesson. Smith & Wesson Team Captain, Julie Golob, was kind enough to bring her Shield with her for all of us to try.
I consider myself familiar with single stack 9mms as a platform, something about being a small, female gun writer means I am asked to try a lot of them. Generally I am unimpressed, up until now the only one I’ve been comfortable carrying is the Kahr PM9.
The M&P Shield really surprised me. It may have been due to my familiarity with the M&P platform but I have never picked up a little 9mm like that and felt so comfortable shooting it. I was able to easily group under 4″ at 7 yards just shooting freestyle, a feat which often proves difficult for me when trying to control those snappy little single stacks.
The trigger on the Shield is not as long as many of its competitors, but it is a little strange. The break seems abrupt and the trigger itself is still rather heavy. I wouldn’t label it as “bad” but it did take some dry fire reps to adjust to. Once I adjusted the Shield trigger was almost preferable over the stock M&P base trigger which is known for being gritty and having an unpredictable reset.
The recoil on the Shield was snappy as expected but was not as uncontrollable as some of the little 9s. With a good grip and an aggressive stance the Shield is manageable and follow up shots land relatively easily on target.
Overall I’m impressed. The one question that remains for me on the Shield is the matter of reliability. I have notoriously high expectations for how well firearms should run and have little patience for malfunctions. The M&P platform has proven extremely reliable for me in the past and a few thousand rounds will show whether or not the Shield lives up to that name.