The idea of proposing a compact semi-automatic pistol in .45 ACP for concealed carry is not new, since already in the 1950s Colt realized that five-inch barrels are perhaps too much if you want to carry the gun all day, and thus created the 1911 Commander version that featured a 4.25” barrel and an aluminum frame. In the mid-1980s, Colt marketed even shorter models, such as the Officer with a 3.5” barrel, but at the time in the USA the "wondernines" craze was about to begin – that is 9mm pistols with high-capacity double-stack magazines. Years later, the .45 ACP is starting to be used as a defensive caliber in compact 1911-based guns like the Kimbers and in new concept models like the striker-fired, polymer-framed HS Precision S3.
Smith & Wesson Military & Police Shield M2.0 Performance Center in .45 ACP
The .45 ACP caliber version of this carry pistol belongs to the second generation of the Military & Police series, hence the name 2.0 with a software flavor. It is a special version of the Shield model, developed by the Smith & Wesson Performance Center. It is defined by the manufacturer itself as a micro-compact gun, with a 3.3”/84 mm barrel and polymer frame deriving from the M2 Compact model, further reduced in the grip size, but still able to accommodate a single-stack magazine with 6- or 8-round capacity. The first and most significant difference compared to the basic model is the presence of a ported barrel – some compensation cuts are on its upper part, near the muzzle, with corresponding slots on the slide top.
Another rather striking detail are the sights, consisting of rear and a front sights with HiViz fiber optic inserts in green and vermilion red respectively. The slide, made of stainless steel, has a particular nitride finish called Armornite that protects the metal from scratches and abrasion. On the rear on the slide, which rides inside the frame, there are wave-like serrations. They are rather small but still offer an effective cocking grip.
The frame is polymer, at least for the most part, since it incorporates a steel chassis on which there are the slide rails. It also houses the trigger assembly, accurized by the Performance Center to make it lighter and crisper.
On the frame left side we find the slide stop lever, the reversible magazine release, and the take-down lever. There is no manual safety, but the combined action of the trigger and the automatic striker safety are enough to guarantee a safe gun. The Smith & Wesson Military & Police Shield M2.0 Performance Center comes with a standard 6+1-round magazine and an extended 8-round magazine, which inevitably makes the grip noticeably bulkier. Let's take a few measurements: the barrel length is 3.3”/8.4 centimeters, for an overall length of 6.5”/165 mm and an unloaded weight of 22.5 oz/640 grams. Definitely not feather-light, but it's still a .45 caliber gun with a remarkable firepower. The price of $567 is justified by the trigger quality and the additional workmanship, which is expertly done.
Smith & Wesson Military & Police M2.0 in .45 ACP specs
|Model:||Smith & Wesson Military & Police 45 M2.0|
|Safety:||Automatic on trigger and striker|
|Sights:||High visibility with fiber optic inserts|
|Barrel Length:||3.3”/84 mm|
|Overall Length: ||6.5”/165 mm|
|Magazine Capacity: ||6+1 / 8 rounds|
|Weight:||22.5 oz/640 g (unloaded)|