Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm review




The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is one of the many 9mm pistols on the market today. Unfortunately here in California, we are limited to the pistols that are available for the average citizen to purchase.  The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is an approved pistol on the California Handgun Roster. The approved handgun is the model #187021.


You will notice the “Loaded When Up” tab that is raised when the gun is loaded. This allows you to visually inspect the firearm and alerts you that a round is in the firing chamber.

There is also a manual safety toward the rear of the slide. These are the standard features on the California Compliant version. The Shield is easy to  assemble and reassemble.

Visible Loaded Tab

smith & wesson m&p shield 9mm


The tab is a nice feature. You can look down at the pistol and know if it’s loaded.  The tab is raised up when loaded. This enables you to actually feel the gun and know it’s loaded. That could be useful in low light conditions or darkness.


The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm come standard with a 7 and 8 round magazine. The 8 round magazine has the finger extension on it. This will add some length to the pistol. I recommend purchasing the 8 round magazines if you have large hands.

smith & wesson shield 9mm 8 round magazine

Manual Safety

smith & wesson m&p shield 9mm manual safety


The manual safety is engaged in the up position. The safety is a mechanical device. It shouldn’t be completely relied upon.


The trigger pull of the Shield is around 6.5 pounds. The reset of the trigger is surprisingly short with a crisp break. This makes the Shield easy to shoot and accurate.


smith & wesson m&p shield 9mm sights

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm comes standard with 3 dot sights.  The large white dot front sight and two large white dot rear sight make it easy to acquire your target. You could also purchase Trijicon self illuminating sights.

Law Enforcement Applications

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm is a small pistol that is being carried by off duty police officers everyday. Check with your department and make sure it’s authorized. The model 10035 doesn’t have the manual safety. The shield is  easily concealed in a waistband holster or ankle holster.

Civilian Applications

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm has a definite spot in the civilian market. The 9mm round has relatively little recoil. You can accurately put rounds on the target. If you are lucky and reside in a city that will issue a CCW, this is pistol is easily carried concealed.

The owner that is using the Shield strictly for home protection will appreciate the small size. The 9mm ammunition that is now available on the market rivals the ballistic numbers of the 40 and 45. (That is another article, soon to follow).

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Complaints

The slide is very stiff and hard to open. I find this is the biggest complaint with new owners. The spring will loosen up after firing a couple of hundred rounds through it. Make sure that you clean and lubricate the pistol after each session.

The Shield does have some muzzle lift when fired.  You need to use a correct shooting grip.  As long as you maintain your correct shooting grip, you will be able to have fast and accurate follow-up shots.

The grips are hard on the hands.  An in-expensive alternative are rubber grips. The Hogue rubber band slides over the pistol grip. It provides more comfort. It also allows a firm grip in wet conditions.

Hogue Rubber Grip

smith & wesson m&p shield 9mm hogue grip


Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm specs

  • Model: M&P9 Shield
  • Frame Size: Compact
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker Fire
  • Capacity: 7 and 8 Round Magazines
  • Barrel Length: 3.1 inches
  • Front Sight: White Dot
  • Rear Sight: White 2-Dot
  • Trigger Pull: 6.5 pounds
  • Overall Length: 6.1inches
  • Frame Width: 0.95 inches
  • Overall Height: 4.6 inches
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 19.0 oz.
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Finish: Black/Durable Corrosion Resistant

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm Conclusion

This is a compact pistol that is easily concealed. The Shield is affordable and accurate. As a law enforcement officer, I’ve shot and carried the Shield in a waistband holster.

I would recommend this firearm to the citizen protecting their home or to the off duty law enforcement officer protecting our streets. Purchase one today at Long Beach Guns.