SMITH & WESSON M&P SHIELD
While the Kahr is the new gun on the bloc, the M&P Shield has been dutifully protecting Americans for several years. In fact, more than a million S&W Shields have been sold, so it goes without saying that the shooting community has embraced this gun’s design. And what’s not to love? The trim striker-fired Shield measures just over 6 inches long and weighs about 21 ounces, making it easy and comfortable to carry all day long.
An Armornite black finish coats the slide, and the polymer frame has a comfortably textured grip that isn’t overly aggressive. Breaking down a Shield pistol for routine maintenance is fast and simple, and the dovetailed three-dot sights are solidly constructed and easy to see. If you want a production handgun with a lot of options, then this is a great choice. There are almost 30 different Shield models in various calibers with various sights, lasers and frame color options. There are also models with or without manual safeties, and state-compliant versions as well. There’s even a ported Performance Center offering.
Each Shield 9mm comes with two magazines, a flush-fit seven-round model and an eight-round mag with a finger extension. I’ve fired a handful of different Shield models, and I have found them all to be excellent, cycling a wide range of ammo and offering up all the amenities you need for concealed carry. No wonder these guns are so popular.