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Preview – Defensive Shield M&P Shield

A recent trend developing in the handgun market is concealable polymer-framed single-stack pistols. Although they are designed to be small and lightweight for concealed carry, these little guns can also pack a fearsome punch, when called upon to do their duty in unexpected, dangerous situations. One of the newest models to hit the market is Smith & Wesson's M&P Shield. The striker-fire Shield is available chambered in both .40 S&W and 9mm; we focus on the latter. As shooters of the full-size M&P45, M&P9 and long-slide version M&P9L, we are already familiar with M&P pistol family. We were interested in seeing how the newest and smallest member of the lineup translated.

The Shield definitely looks like it's from the same lineage of the rest of the M&P pistol line. Its stainless steel slide is Melonite-coated and features beveled sides, as well as Smith & Wesson's distinctive scalloped cocking serrations at the rear. Contained within the slide is a 3.1-inch stainless steel barrel, which features the same finish and a guide rod with a captured dual-recoil spring. From personal experience, we've found Melonite to be very durable, after accidently dropping an M&P slide on a concrete floor, the finish was unscathed.

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