Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm Pistol Review

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, an ultra-compact Military & Police 9mm pistol, is ready for deep cover carry!

Designed and developed specifically for concealed carry, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is easy to shoot, accurate and reliable.

Smith & Wesson has just released the Shield—a polymer frame sub-compact pistol in the M&P line that comes in 9mm or .40 S&W. The Shield was conceived to fill a growing segment in the concealed carry market for a sub-compact, single-stack pistol chambered in 9mm. Slim sub compacts (less than 1-inch thick) had been the province of the .380 caliber autos, but the market now wanted a similarly sized pistol in 9mm.

Smith & Wesson’s product launch of the Shield was well planned. The company did not want to announce a new product only to have inadequate supplies to meet demand, nor did it want to ship pistols but leave customers waiting to buy accessories for them. Therefore, S&W secretly built up a good supply of 9mm Shields and kept them in storage prior to the launch date of April 2012 at the NRA Convention, and under a confidentiality agreement sent actual-size plastic models months in advance to holster and sight makers to allow them to get their products ready to launch on the same date as the Shield. Because of this planning, molded holsters are now available from DeSantis, BlackHawk, Galco and others. Since the Shield is so slim, inside-the-waistband holsters are typically the best bet for most users.

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Gun Details

The Shield weighs 18.5 ounces and measures a compact 0.95 inches wide, 6.1 inches long and 4.6 inches high with the flush fitting magazine. Capacity of the 9mm and .40 caliber versions is 7+1 and 6+1 respectively, using the flush fit magazine while carrying one more round for each caliber using an extended magazine that comes with the pistol. Though it is classified as a single-stack, the Shield manages to fit one more round in its longer magazine by slightly staggering the cartridges compared to a pure single stack magazine. Because the Shield has a firing pin safely, the pistol can be safely carried with a round in the chamber. This device captures the firing pin, keeping it away from primer until the trigger is pulled—even of the pistol is dropped on the muzzle.

Load Comments
  • Joan Williames

    I found one right after Christmas, and when I was handed it It was Love at first touch, lightweight enough for a woman. To my husbands surprise I made it mine. 9mm and loving it.

  • Ed

    I have been on a waiting list for 2 months trying to purchase a SHIELD, the Dealer does not any anytime soon. I have been looking for one since May, and found only one.. NOT FOR SALE>
    What gives SnW???

  • Mark

    I love the accuracy, handling and concealment of my 9mm Shield. I carry it in a DeSantis TuckThis II IWB holster. The stock sites aren’t very good. So I replaced them with Tritiums. Now I’m looking for extra mags.

  • Lacey

    None of the dealerships in the Birmingham,Alabama area have the new S&W 9mm M&P Shield, and don’t know when to expect any shipments.They suggest selecting a different pistol.

  • Don

    I’ve been on the list for 2.5 months & the dealer still cannot give me an estimated time of delivery.

  • Jeff

    Curious about the recoil on both the 9mm and .40. Trying to decide which one to get but don’t want it to jump out of my hand. Interested in the power of the .40 but not sure if it’s worth the loss of one round and worried about the recoil. Also, how big a difference in cost and availability is there between these two shells? Any input is appreciated.

  • Norm DePlume

    At least they quit misleading folks about their pistols being double action only. I never understood why they would not be truthful about such a small thing.

  • Brad Robinson

    @John H from above – how do you like the 40? Did you get to shoot both? I am asking because I am debating on which one to wait to pick up (my GF wants me to get the 9 – but I am more ampt to get the 40).

  • Kelly

    I was lucky enough to run into both the 9mm & .40. I couldn’t make up my mind & knowing how hard it was to find these, I snagged onto both of them. I think the wife has claimed the 9mm for herself! Excellent guns!

  • Julio

    By the way I waited 6 month
    For MP
    PRO and after shooting it have to send it back
    For repairs

  • Julio

    I parchasesd THE SHIELD 9 AND twice lost THE front site white
    Site I
    Have to send it
    To be repair
    The mp pro shooting low have to
    Lolipopet to be on target
    No luck

  • Robert Carlin

    I love the feel and balance of this firearm, but I’m left handed and there is no reverseable magazine release and no right side slide lock like the other M&P’s. As there really is not much protruding on the slide lock and no big deal on the mag release why doesn’t this be a standard on this beautiful firearm?

  • John Heckman

    Good luck finding a 9mm Shield anywhere! I have been on a waiting list for 2 months here in VA. I did buy the 40 Cal with just a 2 week wait.

  • Chris

    love my shield 9mm, fits the hand perfectly, very accurate and easy to conceal