Smith & Wesson has officially introduced its M&P Shield M2.0. The new versions (yes, plural) have somehow upgraded what was already a noteworthy carry handgun.
Smith & Wesson introduced its single stack, subcompact Shield in 2012 and by 2015 announced that they had manufactured and shipped more than one million of the pistols, making it one of the most popular concealed carry guns in history. With a grip that is less than an inch thick and a slide just as thin, the little semi-auto is amazingly easy to conceal. And at just 19 ounces, the gun carries without effort yet boasts good sights and an easy to control trigger. Smith & Wesson blackens the stainless slide and barrel with its Armornite finish, which makes the parts nearly corrosion proof making the Shield a natural for deep concealment use.
But what made the Shield so attractive to so many was its price. Smith & Wesson’s Shield was and is one of the best values for the money in the concealed carry market and the company’s rebate program this past summer made the Shield nearly impossible to pass up. It seems that Smith & Wesson has created the perfect concealed carry pistol and you can’t improve on perfection, right?
At the recent Athlon Outdoor Rendezvous in Gateway, Colo., I discovered that Smith & Wesson did indeed improve on perfection and is now offering the M&P Shield M2.0 and M&P Shield M2.0 CT with an integral Crimson Trace laser. Thankfully the manufacturer didn’t change much of the Shield’s formula for popularity.
The Shield M2.0 still possesses the original and comfortable 18 degree grip angle and thin grip. However, it includes a new and finer texturing on the polymer grip. Feeling very much like fine emery cloth, the texture covers the front and rear straps, as well as the side panels and provides the shooter with a slip free shooting grip. But the texture is not coarse enough to catch on layering clothing.
Smith & Wesson machines forward cocking serrations on the new Shield M2.0 for those who like to chamber check their pistols. The company also engraves the legend, M2.0, on the left rear of the slide flat.
Smith & Wesson has improved the geometry of the Shield’s striker giving the gun a crisper and lighter trigger pull. The new M2.0 Shields have trigger pulls just over the 5-pound mark, as opposed to the 7-pound pull of the first generation Shields. The lighter and crisper pull along with its positive reset make the guns easy to shoot rapidly.
I had no problem hitting the steel targets at 15 yards with splits, or time between shots, of about .30 seconds. Not bad for a subcompact. Accuracy from the bench produced groups less than 1.25 inches at 15 yards.
Crimson Trace Addition For How Much?!?
Smith & Wesson purchased Crimson Trace in 2016. As a result, the new M&P Shield M2.0 CT has an integral laser built into its frame with bilateral activation buttons easily accessible to the trigger finger. Pushing the button once activates the laser. A second push will make the laser pulse or strobe. A third push will turn the laser off.
RELATED VIDEO: Smith & Wesson Introduces the M&P M2.0 Compact Pistol
Here’s the crazy thing: Smith & Wesson retails the laser equipped Shield for only $20 more than the standard Shield. I can think of many situations where the laser would be handy but I can’t think of a single scenario where having laser capability would be a liability.
Even if you already own a first generation Shield it might be time to take a hard look at the M&P Shield M2.0.
|M&P SHIELD M2.0
M&P SHIELD M2.0 CT
|9MM, 7 + 1, 8 + 1
|M&P SHIELD M2.0 = 20.2 OUNCES
M&P SHIELD M2.0 CT = 20.6 OUNCES
|3.1”, STAINLESS STEEL
|3-DOT LOW PROFILE, DRIFT ADJUSTABLE FOR WINDAGE
|BARREL AND SLIDE BLACKENED WITH ARMORNITE®
|BOTH GUNS COME WITH ONE 7 ROUND FLUSH FIT MAGAZINE AND ONE 8 ROUND EXTENDED MAGAZINE
|M&P SHIELD M2.0 $479
M&P SHIELD M2.0 CT $499