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Smith & Wesson Shield Compact 9mm Review

Apr. 7th, 2014

Testing out the Smith and Wesson Shield Compact 9mm

       The new S&W Shield will be available for rental in the Concealed Carry Course offered in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was testing it out, because who doesn’t want to try out their new gun?

      The frame is super small and slim, which is really nice for concealed carry. Even though, it’s obviously not one of the smaller guns you could carry, it’s very capable. It came with two magazines, a flat-base magazine that can hold 7+ 1 in the chamber, and the second magazine holding 8 + 1 in the chamber. The extended base magazine (holding 8) also came with a nice little extension that makes it super easy for the shooter to grip the pistol, providing a place for the pinky finger. The benefit I could see with the 7 round magazine (flat-base magazine) would be for easier concealment, and/or a backup magazine to have on body or bag. Not an issue though, in a “have and not need” than “need and not have” situation.

     The Shield is striker fired and recoil operated, similar to the Glock families, and there is no magazine-disconnect meaning it can fire without a magazine inserted. This of course applies to certain models. (Always check which model you have). It’s light at 19 ounces, and the grip is a lightweight Zytel polymer frame and the slide is a satin black Melonite 68 HRc finish. The model has a dual captive recoil spring and guide rod, ideal for smaller handguns like this model.

Frame Dimensions:

Overall Length: 6 inches

Overall Height: 4.5 inches

Overall Width: Under 1 inch.

Barrel Length: 3.1 inches

        When I bought the pistol from Ventura Munitions, they had one of the best customer service in Las Vegas and dealt with my annoying demands. I asked one of the gentlemen to place his hand on the grip so I could see how it fit in his hands as well. He did, and the pistol fit really nicely in his hands with the extended magazine of course.

       I shot the gun at 3 yards, 7 yards and 23 yards an hour after I bought the gun. At 3 yards, I was throughly impressed by the accuracy and the lack of a serious muzzle flip that I had experience with the same S&W Shield .40 caliber that I had observed and experienced with a former student. The .40 caliber was extremely hard for a beginner shooter to handle, and seeing her attempt to hold it down and watch her frustration with the target, was not happening. So I let her use seven other full size 9mm and .40 caliber guns, to let her see how it was the gun’s intensity of the muzzle flip and combination of power behind the .40 and the small barrel, and not just her.

7 yard shot with Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm

7 yard shot with Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm

       Back to the S&W 9mm Shield compact, at 7 yards, the shield handled nicely as well. I still hit exactly what I was aiming for. At 23 yards, is where I was pretty impressed. With a 3.1″ barrel I could hit what I was aiming for at a “lengthy” distance for a concealed carry pistol. I decided to see how well I could control it with a one handed grip. Definitely do-able and controllable. The ammunition was a 115 grain FMJ, PMC 9MM Luger. It does require a nice firm closed grip on the pistol to hold for the perfect “bullseye” shot. It did have an exact trigger pull each time, around 6.5 pounds trigger pull. Making it easier than a normal, awkward concealed carry small handgun with a long and heavier trigger pull, placing it relatively closer to it’s full size counterpart M&P and the Glock handgun family’s trigger pull at 5.5 pounds.

23 yard shot with Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm. Top 2 are a set, and bottom two are a set.

23 yard shot with Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm. Top 2 are a set, and bottom two are a set.

     Under three hours after purchase, the Smith and Wesson 9mm Shield proved to be a wonderful addition to the concealed carry collection for Firearms For Life rentals and for any new shooter to be overly confident in their abilities to protect themselves and assuring their shot placement in a time of need. The beveled edges of the gun and low profile sights, make it nice to conceal and easy to work with, practice drawing and more.

      I would definitely recommend this gem to anyone for concealment. It’s rather thin, magazine holds “enough” and you can always carry back up. Take your concealed carry course, and if they have rentals like I do with Firearms For Life, definitely try this one out.

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