by Kate Kruger
The fit and finish are great. This is not so small that it feels like you can’t get a good grip on it and not so big that it doesn’t meet the needs of concealability. When I first ran this through its paces I utilized a group of testers; some were as tall as 6’5” with those great big paws and as short as … well me at 5’ on a good day. There were very experienced shooters to novices, male and female and everyone liked the feel, the weight and the overall shooting experience. I don’t think I’d ever met a gun that fit that well for everyone, granted my 6’5” shooter liked shooting it one handed better because he felt like he overwhelmed the gun with two hands on it but he shot it well.
The polymer frame and Black Melonite Slide and barrel are standard for M&P and hold up well. There are still NO removable back straps for this model and for me that was not an issue but might be nice going forward especially for my big pawed friend.
The shooting experiences that I’ve had with recoil on some of the other slim line 9mm have not been as thrilling as I would like. They took a little more control as they had greater recoil than the larger model 9mm’s. But size wise they fit the bill. The Shield had much less felt recoil and was just a pleasure to shoot. With a good grip there was no more felt recoil than when I was shooting the Sub Compact version of the M&P.
Right from the beginning this gun has never failed to fire, never jammed, fed everything from different manufacturers FMJ, JHP, reloads of varying weights… AND we had it out at one session for about 5 hours straight and that little gun was switched out from shooter to shooter and never got a break. It’s been fun sharing this little carry 9mm with others on the range. But the bottom line is it performs and performs well.
The price is right with an MSRP at $449 and over the past couple of years they have become more readily available from places like Gunbroker.com with pricing under $400. And now there are even some used ones s out there for less than $350.
But what’s made this my favorite carry gun is the whole package. It’s size, weight, ease of carry, reliability and accuracy. This particular Shield has had more than a few thousand rounds through it and it’s still going strong. As I said two years ago it’s a keeper and one that I highly recommend to those ladies out there looking for the perfect carry gun. Go out to your local indoor range and try one out… I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Kate has a strong firearms and martial arts background. She is an avid shooter, an NRA Instructor and a certified Arizona Concealed Carry instructor as well. Her thirst for knowledge has led her to training facilities around the country, Smith & Wesson, Lethal Force Institute (now Massad Ayoob Group), Chapman Academy, Gunsite to name a few. Kate is very passionate about the United States of America and all it stands for particularly the 2nd Amendment and our Constitution.