OO… how timely.
Reader and friend Tim picked up an M&P Shield this morning. The store was near to my house, he had read my earlier posting, and on his way home he stopped by my house to let me check it out.
First, THANK YOU, TIM! 🙂
So how was it?
Wow. I’m impressed!
And I just realized, I should have taken some pictures, especially comparing it to a full-sized M&P9. Oh well.
It’s small, it’s slim. I still say a J-frame wins out in terms of “discrete”, but this still slipped into the large-ish pockets on my shorts just fine (with the flush magazine). Even with that “1.5 stack” magazine, it’s still very slim.
I had Youngest put his hands on it, since he’s got the smallest hands in the household (for now). He was able to get all fingers on there and get a good grip. Plus, his finger went into the trigger guard just fine. I do think this could be a winner for people with very small hands.
But the trigger… oh the trigger. It’s horrible! 🙂 Whereas the regular M&P’s trigger is typically described as spongy, this is not. In fact, it’s VERY hard. There’s some take-up, then you hit this “wall”… press harder, harder… and then it just breaks and slams all the way to the rear (a long distance, for a trigger, to travel). And yes, there’s a very tactile reset. The reset point and the “wall” are at the same place, so I can only assume the change in the trigger feel is because of whatever changes they made to give it a reset you can feel. Doing a bunch of dry work with it, the trigger started to feel less rough, but it still has that big “wall” to it. I do wonder what Apex Tactical will be doing. I’m sure the #1 most popular booth at the NRA Show will be S&W with people trying out the Shield, then immediately heading over to #2 Apex Tactical to ask about improving that trigger. 🙂
Field stripping, most of the internals look about the same or as you’d expect them to change. We tried to look at the trigger without a full disassembly but couldn’t see much that was different… tho in the return spring there seems to be some sort of column/shaft that runs up the spring. Not sure what that’s about.
Reloading was difficult, because it’s so small, so slim, there’s no magwell. But you can do it and with some practice I got better.
Sights… they’re the factory 3-dots, not great, but I still say some of the better factory sights out there. Comparing to the Dawson Precision sights on my full-size, a rough comparison looks like no, these sights would NOT just fit onto the Shield. But it seems similar enough that I can’t imagine Dawson couldn’t start with the CNC templates for the full-size M&P and just make some slight adjustments.
I’m totally impressed.
Sure the trigger isn’t awesome, but for most people I’m sure they’ll never know. It’s serviceable, just not awesome, and I would expect Apex to have a trigger kit sooner or later to help smooth it out and improve the feel. But other than that, changing the sights, wow… I’m impressed with it. Of course, I could only dry fire it and poke at it, I am very curious to know how it shoots, how controllable it is, and so on, before I’d recommend it to folks. But I will predict this is a HOT seller for S&W… tho I think that’s a pretty safe and easy prediction to make. I mean, all the features it has, it’s an M&P, it seems well-thought-out, seems to perform well given other reports I read online. And if it proves to be as reliable as the rest of the M&P line well… when you couple that with a $400-ish price point, how can you beat that?
Yes, I might actually buy one for myself.