Being an avid fan of history, every so often I go on an internet fact-finding mission to learn about something I see and/or use every day. Since I work for a firearm components manufacturer and love firearms so much I often find myself reading about the history of our beloved guns and the companies that help light the way.
A couple weeks ago I went into the history of the Glock, and it was very well received. This week I thought I would show some love for the platform that we used to make our very own first set of handgun components and accessories. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.
2012 was a weird year, to say the least. People thought the world was going to end because of some Mayan Calendar, Whitney Houston passed away, the U.S. consulate was attacked in Benghazi, and that Gagnam style video was VERY popular (Thank goodness that’s over). Maybe unknown to some, forgotten by most, 2012 was the year the Smith & Wesson Shield was introduced.
Smith & Wesson had been running ads that year with the tagline “Shield Yourself”. This cryptic marketing drew a lot of speculation and industry buzz, until its official unavailing. The Shield came off the M&P line of pistols. This line of pistols boost a polymer frame, short recoil, and are a locked breech semi-automatic. But, the Shield was designed to be concealed carry. At the time, it was one of the smallest and most concealable handguns to have ever been created. The Shield had the same outlining as the M&P compact but had a width of less than 1 inch!
It was also the first M&P to incorporate a different but improved trigger system that had positive reset capabilities. At the time the Shield was only chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W but in 2016, Smith and Wesson introduced a new variant chambered in .45 ACP. The only difference is the .45 ACP had a .2 inches longer barrel and overall had some general larger dimensions. It is still very concealable.
In October of 2017, Smith & Wesson came out with a new updated version of the Shield, the Shield M2.0. I like to think of it more as an evolution of the Shield than a redesign. They added some serrations to the slide for aesthetics, a more aggressive grip texture for handling, and a crisper trigger that had a lighter pull. Don’t forget for a few bucks more you could get a Crimson Trace laser which is seamlessly integrated with the frame.
I believe Smith & Wesson set quite a precedent when they created this line of pistols and I anticipate more improvements and updates to the platform in the future. Due to its popularity and functionality for concealed carry, this line of M&P pistols is here to stay for a very long time.
Do you own a Shield? What’s your favorite part about it?
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