At the Smith & Wesson booth at the SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas our eyes almost popped out of our head – we were surprised at what you can still get out of the "polymer guns" concept. For about half an hour we held the M&P 9 Shield EZ, the new compact pistol from Smith & Wesson, in our hands, checking its construction, testing the grip and handling it. Somehow the feeling of "everything is quite easy" arises – and this was probably the developers' goal. Smith & Wesson has sold more than 3 million guns of the Shield model series since 2012! These guns are available in 9mm, .40 and .45 calibers, and since 2018 also in a .380 version.
The new "M&P9 Shield EZ" model, which we are talking about, is a 9mm version – as the model name already says – and will be available in two versions in the USA at first:
- A standard-model for 479 USD
- A Crimsom Trace model for 575 USD (with a Crimson Trace red laser).
Sure, the workmanship is on the usual polymer-framed guns level, but the pistol comes with a very crisp trigger and can actually be cocked as easily as announced. So it's ideal for everyone who is on a war footing with strong recoil springs.
Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield EZ features
When re-assembling the M&P 9 Shield EZ, the author realized only at the third attempt that the grip safety should not be pressed – a personal issue, not a design flaw.
Thus, a corresponding element in the grip prevented the sled from being pushed open completely. If the hand stayed away from the grip safety, the Smith & Wesson slide went as "easy" on the grip as the proverbial knife slides through warm butter.
The 18-degree angle of the slim, but confortable grip looks S&W-style steep when viewed from the side, but only until you actually grab the gun - pointability is good, you can reach the target without much following, so you don't have to raise or lower the muzzle to get it right.
The comparison to the older S&W series M&P 380 Shield EZ showed that the new 9mm version is almost one centimeter longer. Its front sight is not fixed, but drift-adjustable (thanks to the dovetail groove): according to manufacturer's information, all Shield front sights fit here. The magazine button can be swapped thanks to the external screw. The rear sight can also be adjusted – pull the slide backwards, then you can reach the corresponding screw from below.
Our first impression
If the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield EZ just shoots as can be expected from such a compact gun, then S&W really did everything right. You'll find the test fire here on all4shooters.com as soon as available, of course. Stay tuned!