Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

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Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Greenhead_Slayer » Mon 30 Nov 2015 1:30 pm

I purchased a new Smith & Wesson M&P Shield on Black Friday for $319 plus tax from Smith and Edwards. They were nice and price matched an online offer and waived the FFL fee. However after waiting almost 2 hours to get through to BCI I'd almost rather wait and pay asking price on a normal day. I had my 3 year old and 5 month old with me, they were good but pretty restless. I really haven't carried it much outside the house since then (except for today at work) but it certainly does conceal nicer than the G19 and G26 I usually carry. Not really comparing apples to apples there, but as far as comfort while carrying it certainly is nicer than both the glocks. I can get away with carrying a bigger firearm in the summer as I'm out of the office regularly at job sites, but now that I'm back in the office I need something I can deep conceal.

During lunch I went to Impact and put down 200 rounds, 100 rounds of the tul-ammo brass maxx and 100 rounds of the Spirit Ammunition. First thing I noticed was I couldn't get full capacity in either the 7 round or 8 round mag. I assume they'll loosen up over time, I put 100 rounds through them each and still couldn't ever get full capacity in either at the end. Not too worried there, just an excuse to shoot them more.

What did worry me is I had 2 stove pipes, both from the tul ammo apart 20 rounds apart from each other, and 2 failure to fires both from the Spirit Ammunition about 75 rounds apart. Both primers were struck in the center. Both failure to fires were on the third shot. Didn't pay close enough attention on when both the stovepipes occurred.

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I'm a little sheepish to put up target pictures after seeing everyone's targets that require a micrometer to gauge the spacing between half a dozen shots, but I haven't shot consistently for a a good 6-7 months so I guess I can't expect too much. I certainly need to brush up and do some dry fire drills to get more comfortable with it. It shot nice, wasn't too snappy, and I really don't mind the trigger. May upgrade to an APEX kit at some point, but it didn't really bother me. These were all at 7 yards.
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Another issue was the slide lock would not lock back after the last shot was fired on any of the magazines at any point. First thought was stop limp wristing it and I really don't feel like I was. Next I made sure my thumb was clear and free of the slide catch lever but had the same results. It does lock back just fine if I pull it back with an empty mag so I'm sure I don't have my grip right. Tried both an isosceles and weaver stance with the same results.

Overall I'd say I was a tad disappointed due to the stove pipes, FTF, and my poor shooting, but certainly won't reach my conclusion after a measly 200 rounds.
Last edited by Greenhead_Slayer on Mon 14 Dec 2015 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Luv10mm » Mon 30 Nov 2015 2:49 pm

In my experience (Two Shields), Shields are a bit picky about ammo. The feed ramp can be polished up to help feeding problems, but some bullet designs and materials may still struggle.

Cast bullet loads need to be very clean with no excess lube. Jacketed bullets tend to be fairly reliable, although some aggressive hollow points may have some hang ups at the feed ramp (E.g., Golden Sabers). I haven't experimented with plated bullets like Rainiers or Berry's yet.

Another big thing with Shields is that they don't handle weak loads very well. This is most likely due to the stout recoil spring. This results in failure to feeds, stovepipes, and the slide not locking back on the last round. Having moderate to warm loads can really help to clean up a Shield's functionality. This shouldn't be an issue with self-defense loads since they tend to be fairly warm, but plinker loads can be a problem.

I haven't experienced any problems with magazines. Both the 7 round and 8 round carry their full amounts. I will say the final round in each does take some substantial finger strength.

That being said, once you know its quirks, it's a fun pistol that is very comfortable to conceal and easy to shoot.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Snurd » Mon 30 Nov 2015 7:55 pm

We had two Shields at one point. My best groups weren't much better than yours. For some reason I had a really hard time getting it to shoot accurately. I tried my friends XDS and it shot amazingly well. So I sold the Shield and bought the XDS.

That being said, I think the only time I had any stove pipe malfunctions, were when I was shooting one shot with the mag removed. It seemed that having the mag in helped get the case out faster and easier. Other than that, there wasn't really any issues that we had with them. They worked really well, except for not being as accurate as I wanted. My wife's shot better than mine did. :dunno:

You may want to snag an Uplula mag loader. They really help with getting the last rounds in the magazines. We have them for the pistols, and the AR. Very handy, and fast loading. Link-a-rooskie
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby jfwright1955 » Tue 01 Dec 2015 9:02 am

I've got two M&P Shields in both .40S&W & 9mm, both with over 5k rounds through them now. Neither is picky on ammo with the exception of Tulammo. I see the same thing you're experiencing. Actually, that's true regardless of pistol. I'm just not a big fan of Tulammo. They've never been renowned for quality, just cheap price.

I almost always shoot brass-cased ammo (typically Freedom Munitions), sometimes factory (PMC, Winchester, Blazer, etc) and sometimes some of my old stock Herters aluminum-cased ammo without any issues. I'm also able to load mags in both calibers to full capacity.

If I were you I'd try running some decent brass-cased ammo through your Shield. You may find it resolves both the malfunctions you're seeing and also loading the mags to full capacity.
Last edited by jfwright1955 on Tue 01 Dec 2015 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby D-FIN » Tue 01 Dec 2015 3:57 pm

A while back I had a couple boxes of that BrassMaxx stuff as well and my wife a few similar issues around that time with her shield. I did not think much of and have not bought BrassMaxx since because it did not reload as well as other brass for me. So may be somewhat ammo related.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Greenhead_Slayer » Tue 01 Dec 2015 4:12 pm

Thanks for the feedback and advice. Hoping to get out tomorrow with some better ammo and see how it goes.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Greenhead_Slayer » Thu 10 Dec 2015 9:33 am

I've been able to put about 750 rounds through her over the last week and haven't had any failure to fire issues or stovepipes. I guess that's what happens when you buy $12 ammo. Over those 750 rounds 7 failure to eject occurred with American Eagle 124 grain FMJ, and 6 failure to eject with Winchester 115 grain FMJ. They all seemed to happen once the gun was pretty hot and had about 50 rounds through it. Stripped it down and made sure everything was free of carbon and lubed well, I really don't think I am limp wristing it or interfering with the slide, that seems like a pretty high rate of FTE to me. Any other suggestions on what to do to be able to put 100 rounds downrange with no FTE's? Other than that it has performed well, for the most part I can get rid of those couple fliers except for when I get sloppy on the trigger. Ran 80 rounds of Winchester PDX1 Defender 147 grain JHP through it with no issues. It sure does conceal nice.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Snurd » Thu 10 Dec 2015 10:58 am

That is more issues than it should have. We used a fair amount of Winchester in ours, and some Federal aluminum. Not many issues. The only way I can remember that we were able to get FTE's was to load a round, take the mag out, and fire a shot. Sometimes the case wouldn't make it out.

It's possible something is wrong with the gun. Normally it's human error, but it could be something to do with the extractor.



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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby jfwright1955 » Thu 10 Dec 2015 1:55 pm

I was going to say your grip given the failure-to-eject, in particular, is a fairly common grip-related malfunction. But, you mentioned you didn't think you were limp-wristing it. As long as your grip's good and solid and you're seeing that many malfunctions it's possible it may be the gun. It would be unusual as M&P's are typically solid and reliable performers.

Depending on where you live I'd be happy to meet you at a range so you can try mine and visa versa to see if the malfunctions can be replicated. I'm in Farmington but could meet in SLC.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Luv10mm » Thu 10 Dec 2015 4:08 pm

Yeah, it could be a result of quality control issues. Of the two Shields I have had, the second had better machining and less machine marks. The feed ramp also appeared to be smoother. That pistol is less picky with ammo. Although, after polishing the feed ramp of the first one, it became much more reliable with cast bullet loads. You still gotta load em up warm to overcome that recoil spring though.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Doctor Jenks » Sat 12 Dec 2015 4:09 pm

Interesting read. I just picked up a shield on black Friday as well. Purchased from the armory. So far, I've not had a single malfunction, but then I can't match your 750 rounds. Only about 100 federal FMJs, and about 25 federal HSTs. I'm actually heading to the armory in about 30 minutes if you want to try it.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Greenhead_Slayer » Sat 12 Dec 2015 4:27 pm

Doctor Jenks wrote:Interesting read. I just picked up a shield on black Friday as well. Purchased from the armory. So far, I've not had a single malfunction, but then I can't match your 750 rounds. Only about 100 federal FMJs, and about 25 federal HSTs. I'm actually heading to the armory in about 30 minutes if you want to try it.



Thank you for the invite, I'm actually sitting in the duck boat, tonight is a bad one. My old man has a shield I've shot a lot with no issues. Maybe I'll give their customer service a call on Monday and see if they have any ideas.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby J_dazzle23 » Sat 12 Dec 2015 4:46 pm

Greenhead_Slayer wrote:
Doctor Jenks wrote:Interesting read. I just picked up a shield on black Friday as well. Purchased from the armory. So far, I've not had a single malfunction, but then I can't match your 750 rounds. Only about 100 federal FMJs, and about 25 federal HSTs. I'm actually heading to the armory in about 30 minutes if you want to try it.



Thank you for the invite, I'm actually sitting in the duck boat, tonight is a bad one. My old man has a shield I've shot a lot with no issues. Maybe I'll give their customer service a call on Monday and see if they have any ideas.


I would. I've honestly never seen a shield, including mine, have these issues. Even as good a firearm as that, in mass production may have a bad egg every once in a while.

My experience with smith and Wesson customer service has been good.


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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby justBeth » Mon 04 Jan 2016 1:08 am

I actually had quite a few issues when I first got my 9mm shield, due to a combination of things. The first things I needed to correct were grip and flinch issues, but that was just the start. I discovered that I had a picky magazine that caused failure to feed issues, but only with certain types of ammo. Defense ammo or ammo with a rough joint where the bullet seats in the case would get hung up. I pulled it out of circulation for anything but target practice and the failure to feed issues went away. I also had several stove pipes, as D-Fin said I am pretty sure that they were Tulammo related but I also had a few issues with the Winchester white box ammo from Walmart. At this point I am pretty much only shooting what we reload and since D-Fin is super picky (it's a really good thing) I have not had any issues. I have actually noticed that I have better function and groupings from mid-power or slightly less ammo. Whenever we work up a new load I usually end up at or below the middle of the range.
It took quite a while for me and my baby to get comfortable with each other, even though I knew I wanted a shield from the first time I shot Snurds. I think it took somewhere over about 1000 rounds to really break in and get all the bugs worked out but I would be hard pressed to give her up now. One thing that I did that I think helped with ejection issues is that I cleaned the ejector really well with CLP and left a little bit on it. I know the users manual specifies where to lubricate and that is not one of the places but it really seemed to help. Don't use a lot but a little bit might do the trick for you.
Good Luck! Hopefully your issues will end up being simple fixes but if not S&W has a pretty good rep for customer service.
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Re: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm

Postby Doctor Jenks » Mon 04 Jan 2016 8:15 am

Did you ever send in your shield, or call customer service? Just wondering how the experience has been thus far. Inquiring minds, and all that. :)
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