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S&W’s New M&P380 Shield EZ | Does It Have A Place?

27458873_10156212978478960_4072957386904167061_nIn a product introduction that baffled and surprised just about everyone, Smith & Wesson has introduced the new M&P 380 Shield EZ just after the madness that is SHOT Show. The introduction came as a surprise to me since the Smith lineup already has a pretty decent .380 as well as a gun chambered in 9mm that is about the same size as the new M&P 380 Shield EZ. What the hell market segment could they be targeting?

With more female and older concealed carriers snatching up just about every single stack 9, the M&P 380 Shield EZ is likely to be very popular and should make a decent addition to the gun case at your local gun emporium. Still confused as to why the M&P 380 Shield EZ has a place?

Not every gun buyer is a John Wick level gun-fu ninja. There is a staggeringly large segment of the market that settles for good enough .38 revolvers or whatever else their children, husbands, or other loved one pushed them towards. We have all been guilty of it, even I have fallen into that trap. The stark reality is, the buyer of the new .380 shield will shoot a couple hundred rounds a year and the gun will probably live in a sock/underwear drawer, in the bottom of a purse with no holster, or even under the driver’s seat of their car gathering lint, lost french fries, and other junk.

Are these the most optimal places for a gun? Hell no. But that is the reality of the situation.

Despite my plea for my wife to use a dang holster, it is often ignored. At least it has a thumb safety.

Despite my plea for my wife to use a dang holster, it is often ignored. At least it has a thumb safety.

The sooner that we as an industry come to grips that every gun doesn’t need to fit our particular role or need. When we recognize that there are people out there that might really appreciate a defensive pistol option that they don’t need to ask for help loading, can operate intuitively, and is safe to carry in a manner that would make most of us cringe, the better off we will all be. There is flat out nothing wrong with not wanting to adapt to a pistol, but to want one that fits your needs as an armed citizen.

The M&P 380 Shield EZ is being offered in two flavors initially, one with a thumb safety and one without. It appears that black is the only color that they will be offering initially, but knowing Smith, that will change in short order. The grip safety is an interesting choice that makes a whole lot more sense when you think about the intended audience. Since they are targeting buyers that might be more apt to shoot 50 rounds or so of their carry ammo and toss it in a backpack/purse or whatever, you start to see why a grip safety was included. The grip safety is something that I am sure many will criticise, but I pose a question, as long as it works in an intuitive manner, who cares? If they had just used a hinged trigger on the gun like the other pistols in the M&P lineup there is a real possibility of a pen or tube of lip gloss getting jammed in the trigger guard that could make for a very bad day.


MP380 Shield EZ MP380 Shield EZ - 4


Back on topic! The M&P 380 Shield EZ’s features really lend the pistol to someone who isn’t willing to spend the time drilling to be Jerry Miculek.


• Easy to rack slide.
• Crisp, light trigger with tactile and audible trigger reset.
• Includes (2) Easy to Load 8-Round M&P380 Shield magazines.
• Grip safety – grip pistol to fire.
• Windage adjustable, white dot rear sight (tool included).
• Can disassemble without pulling trigger.
• Grip texture optimized to size and recoil.
• Tactile loaded chamber indicator (TLCI) – can see and feel if there is
a round in the chamber.
• Available with or without ambidextrous, manual thumb safety.
• Picatinny-style equipment rail for lights or lasers.
• Perfect size for nightstand or carry, or a day at the range.
• Reversible magazine release.
• Thin and lightweight – can be comfortably carried all day.
• Optimal 18-degree grip angle for natural point of aim.
• Armornite® durable corrosion resistant finish.


SKU: 180023 & 11663
Model: M&P 380 SHIELD EZ or M&P 380 SHILD EZ Manual Thumb Safety
Caliber: .380 Auto
Capacity: 8+1
Barrel Length: 3.675″ / 9.3 cm
Overall Length: 6.7″
Front Sight: White Dot
Rear Sight: Adjustable White Dot
Action: Internal Hammer Fired
Grip: Polymer
Weight: 18.5 oz / 524.5g
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
Slide Material: Stainless Steel – Armornite® Finish
Frame Material: Polymer
Purpose: Concealed Carry, Home Protection, Personal Protection

MP380 Shield EZ - 3MP380 Shield EZ - 2

The new M&P 380 Shield EZ carries an MSRP of $399.00 and more information can be found on the Smith & Wesson website for the M&P380 Shield EZ with thumb safety and without thumb safety.

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