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S&W Ported M&P Shield – from the Performance Center

Not too long ago Smith & Wesson released a Performance Center Ported version of its widely popular M&P Shield. The new S&W M&P Ported Shield is available in 9mm or .40 cal. and comes with a factory ported barrel and slide from S&W’s highly regarded Performance Center.

The M&P Shield has been around for quite a while. For a number of reasons, including ergonomics and concealability, it’s been extremely popular. While I’ve previously used both the standard M&P Shield and one of its bigger M&P brothers during training and range events, I’ve yet to have any interest in carrying either as my personal EDC.

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That sentiment changed recently while we worked on our mini red dot article for RECOIL’s Concealment 2. Although we spent most of our time shooting Trijicon RMR-equipped G26s, M&P Compacts and the like, we also did some work on the side comparing the Glock 43 and the M&P Shield. The intent there was to let #grandmaximus have the opportunity to try them both before deciding on her ultimate purchase, but it also gave me a chance to revisit both styles side by side.

Note: if you’re curious about that reference, see the WEB column in RECOIL Issue 22 — I’m going my best to bring some “everyman” content into our discussions and reviews.

In any case, based in large part on ergonomics and relative trigger performance, I decided to pick up an M&P Shield. As luck would have it, no sooner had I determined to do so than S&W told me about the new ported model.  Now, I’m not predisposed to favor ported barrels for a number of reasons, particularly in 9mm, I don’t harbor them any ill will and many shooters prefer them.

Rather than accept conjecture, range lore or even conventional wisdom, I reckon I’ll go out and see if I can set my shirt on fire (yes, people have claimed to have done so) while shooting from close retention. More realistically I’ll take it out at night and see just how bad (if at all) the ported muzzle flash ruins my night vision. Lastly I want to (very carefully) see if it will throw metal fragments or detritus out, though that may also require cycling through assorted brands of ammunition. This latter possibility seems the most likely and the most dangerous.

Of course, I’ll be running the ported M&P Shield alongside a non-ported M&P Shield to see how they compare.

Sometimes it’s better to rely on practical application and personal experience than conventional wisdom. I learned this quite dramatically last Summer when we started shooting around cars. I’ll share what I learn (and which model I decide on) in a few months.

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You can learn more about the ported M&P Shield here.

S&W Ported M&P Shield – what you need to know

Make sure to watch the video below.

Engineered on a high-strength polymer frame measuring .95-inches in width, the Performance Center M&P Shield is standard with a 3.1-inch factory-ported barrel. The new barrel along with the pistol’s three precision cut ports across the top of the stainless steel slide aid in reducing muzzle flip and improve the ability to remain on target after firing. The new M&P Shield pistols have been further updated with fiber optic sights and an enhanced trigger.

The Performance Center M&P Shield is standard with an 18-degree grip angle and a fixed, textured backstrap with additional texturing at the forward portion of the grip. An extended trigger guard allows for operation of the pistol with or without gloves. The new M&P Shield is also engineered with a Performance Center sear for a quick trigger reset and a Performance Center striker plunger for an enhanced trigger pull.

Internal features of the new M&P Shield mirror the standard M&P Series. Its stainless steel internal chassis reduces flex while providing a stable shooting platform and its low-bore axis helps maintain ease-of-use and a comfortable feel. A passive trigger safety prevents the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm. A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the barrel.

The Performance Center M&P Shield is shipped with both an extended and flat magazine offering consumers the ability to customize the length of the grip. The 9mm M&P Shield offers an 8+1 or 7+1 magazine capacity while the .40 S&W M&P Shield is standard with either a 7+1 or 6+1 magazine capacity. Both the 9mm and .40 S&W M&P Shield carry an MSRP of $490 and are backed by Smith & Wesson’s Lifetime Service policy.

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