Why is it so popular?
Key point: Smith & Wesson’s new handgun is compact and comes with a variety of aiming systems.
In 2017, Smith & Wesson refreshed its Military and Police Shield (M&P Shield) series of compact handguns. The result was the M&P Shield 2.0. The M&P Shield 2.0 has all the features of a full-sized pistol in a package small enough for concealed carry. Smith & Wesson also offers the pistol in a wide variety of configurations, from caliber to ergonomics and aiming devices, allowing prospective buyers to pick the version that’s right for them.
The M&P Shield 2.0 is 6.1 inches long with a 3.1-inch barrel. Although Smith & Wesson considers this a compact pistol dimensionally it’s more along the lines of subcompact pistols offered by industry competitors such as Glock and Sig Sauer. The pistol weighs 18.3 ounces unloaded, making it one of the lightest pistols of its kind of the market. Smith & Wesson achieves this by combining a polymer frame, which requires rigidly but not pressure-resistant strength, with an embedded steel chassis that encases the trigger group and action. The frame and barrel are made of stainless steel finished in a black Armornite finish to resist rust and corrosion.
Another key requirement for concealed carry users, a narrow pistol, is achieved by using single column magazines. Most full-size nine-millimeter handguns pack fifteen rounds or more by using a double stack column that greatly increases the number of rounds a handgun can store. The downside is a wider grip that, although perfectly fine for duty carry, makes it more difficult to conceal on a person under clothing. The use of a single column magazine allows the M&P Shield 2.0 to have a width of just .99 inches.