Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm First Impressions

Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm First Impressions

I’ve been keeping my eyes out for a decent concealed carry weapon for the past few months. A friend was in need of a defensive pistol so after 2 years of use I sold my Taurus Millennium G2… With that, a trip to Palmetto State Armory was in store for me.

Smith & Wesson has been doing a promotion on the pistols since April where you are given a certain amount off. In the case of the Shields, the amount is $75 off. After handling the weapon, I decided to pull the trigger so to speak and purchase the weapon after doing a little research.

Taken directly from the website of Smith and Wesson at

The weapon is a lot different than the Taurus I had. Overall quality is superior for one. It’s tight fitting, has a better finish, and overall seems to be a better-made weapon. The capacity is on par with 1911 style pistols so that had me thinking of a third magazine quickly. I believe in high capacity to improve the chance of survivability. Check out was quick and painless with PSA giving me a uniform discount. Since the weapon was already on sale and at discount, I received 10% off the extra mag, and 5% off of the box of Hornady 115gr Critical Duty ammunition. Just remember to have your ID ready to go when you checkout.

With a new pistol comes the need to shoot… PSA has an indoor range at the Fernandina Rd store so a quick walk through the store had me buying a box a range ammunition and a target. I make a point to keep hearing and eye protection in my vehicle just in case any need arises.

Top down view showcases the thin profile.

Once inside with the target set up at 10 yards, I started to load the new magazines. The were STIFF! Once I had them fully loaded I I started shooting. The gun shoots tight and accurately but printed slightly left by about 2″. I’ll be needing to adjust my sight a bit. The gun was slightly snappy but not overly so. Follow up shots are fast and positive. Double taps into the vital areas felt confident and were accurate. 50 rounds later left my thumbs sore from loading the stiff magazines.

Thinking of a concealed carry holster, I remembered that I still had my old DeSantis holster from my Taurus. Sure enough, the Shield fit perfectly. That holster can be found HERE. Carrying the weapon is effortless. The thin profile and short flush fitting magazine contribute to easy concealment. It feels light, and almost forgettable when worn IWB. Both 8 round magazines ride easily in the jean pocket, and with the baseplate, makes for an easy draw. Dinner at the local BBQ joint was easy going and comfortable.

Overall my first impressions of the Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm are very positive. It promotes a sure confidence in public while staying hidden from prying eyes. My wife didn’t even notice me wearing it when she came home. Further testing will reveal if the Shield becomes a permanent fixture on my hip.

Images featured can be found at Palmetto State Armory’s website

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