Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Pistol-The Smith & Wesson® M&P® Shield™ EZ™ is a purpose–built semi-auto pistol, that’s easy to operate by most anyone. When designing the Shield EZ, Smith & Wesson focused on making the slide easy to rack and the magazine easy to load; as well as making the pistol simple and safe to use. A lightened slide with reduced recoil-spring tension, an easily cocked internal hammer, and plenty to grip onto at the rear of the slide, allow shooters to pull the slide back with minimal strength for loading and clearing the weapon. The single-stack 8-round magazine utilizes a load-assist button to ease tension on the loader’s thumb. This model M&P Shield EZ semi-automatic pistol features a thumb safety, and the grip safety is standard on all models. The tactile loaded chamber indicator can be seen or felt. The single-piece, single-action trigger has a consistently crisp light pull, with an audible and highly tactile reset. A black Armornite® finished stainless steel slide and polymer frame make the M&P Shield EZ Semi-Auto Pistol extremely resistant to the corrosive effects of sweat and humidity when the gun is carried close to the body; and, the slim, trim design and rounded or beveled edges enhance concealability. An 18-degree grip angle and textured grip areas allow instinctive shooting, and superb control. Low-profile, 2-dot sights aid in rapid sight acquisition, and the rear sight adjusts for windage. The M&P Shield EZ fieldstrips easily without tools, or the need to pull the trigger first. Ships with 2 magazines.
Easy to rack slide
Easy to load magazine
Manual thumb safety & grip safety
18-degree grip angle
Armornite finished slide
Slim with beveled edges
2-dot front and rear sights
Comes with 2 magazines
Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 SHIELD EZ 9mm Pistol
By ALEX LUFFO FROM gunspatrol.com
I saw this handgun was on the shelf at South Carolina Gun Company before I knew Smith & Wesson was producing it. That beats the usual long wait for a newly introduced handgun.
Smith & Wesson anticipated the demand and is shipping the new model in great numbers which is a good thing because the M&P9 SHIELD EZ is going to be a very popular pistol.
The easy-racking M&P9 SHIELD EZ semi-automatic — a follow-on to their excellent M&P9 SHIELD EZ — is a far different pistol from their ultra-popular M&P9 SHIELD
M2.09mm with only a family resemblance.
What makes the M&P9 SHIELD EZ so easy?
The purpose of the original SHIELD EZ design was to offer a pistol that’s easier to use at every level for those who may have struggled with semi-automatic handguns before. That means easy to load magazines, easy racking of the Armornite-coated stainless steel slide, easy field stripping, and modest recoil. The EZ design is even touted as being easier to clean. The thing is, all of those claims are true.
Smith & Wesson achieved the ease of racking the new 9mm version SHIELD EZ by using an internal hammer design, rather than a striker-fired action. That means a lighter recoil spring that’s much easier to manipulate.
The EZ .380 is a very easy-handling, easily concealed handgun. The only drawback: many of us have serious reservations about the effectiveness of the .380 ACP round. Hence the new 9mm Luger version of the EZ pistol. This pistol offers a baseline for wound potential I am much more comfortable with.
The subcompact 9mm SHIELD EZ is a good size for concealed carry and control in firing. In fact, it’s almost exactly the same size as the earlier .380 model.
But that’s not the only EZ feature. There are serrations front and rear, though the front serrations are so minimal they might as well not be there. But Smith has included rear cocking “ears” machined into the rear of the slide of the type usually found on .22 caliber handguns . This gives the shooter an extra bit of hold on the slide.
Like many rimfire magazines, the semi-auto 9mm SHIELD EZ’s magazine load assist tabs allow you to easily compress the magazine spring, lowering the follower and making for easy insertion of all eight rounds. That’s something many new shooters (and plenty who aren’t so new) have trouble with.
The M&P9 SHIELD EZ pistol ships with two 8-round magazines.
The slide lock and reversible magazine release are positive in manipulation. The manual thumb safety is frame mounted and easily manipulated, locking in a positive manner.
Like the original .380 SHIELD EZ pistol, the semi-auto M&P9 SHIELD EZ has a grip safety. Unlike the M&P9 SHIELD M2.0, there is no trigger safety.
While a version without a frame mounted safety is available, a lot of people feel more comfortable carrying a pistol that has one. I believe it’s a big plus on this single action hammer fired handgun.
The 9mm SHIELD EZ has an excellent, crisp, light trigger as well. Trigger pull is smooth with modest take up and breaks at a clean 5.0 pounds with a rapid and audible reset.
Recoil is very light. While I don’t consider the 9mm a hard–kicking round there is some momentum when firing this pistol. The M&P9 SHIELD EZ’s action isn’t locked breech, but rather delayed blowback, so the jolt is more than the average compact 9mm. It isn’t severe but this isn’t the pistol for +P ammo (thought it is +P rated).
Shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P9 SHIELD EZ
I’ve fired hundred rounds of ammunition through the gun without a single failure to feed, chamber, fire or eject. Good quality ball ammunition such as the Black Hills Ammunition 115 grain FMJ is the ticket for practice and training. I fired the pistol at 7 to 15 yards in practice and have found the gun very accurate and controllable. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Pistol
Since we are in the winter months I like a load with greater penetration to cut through heavy material if need be. The Black Hills 124 grain JHP or the Black Hills Honey Badger 100 grain loading work for me.
Although the 100 grain Honey Badger is rated +P recoil is still very controllable. In absolute accuracy the pistol will place five rounds into 2.5 inches and sometimes less at 15 yards, firing from a solid barricade. I have fired the pistol with Fiocchi, Hornady, SIG SAUER Elite, and Winchester ammunition. The pistol has never failed to feed, chamber, fire or eject and exhibited good accuracy with all loads.
I’m a fan of the M&P9 Shield EZ. I liked the earlier .380 ACP pistol a lot (just not the cartridge it shoots). The new 9mm pistol with all the same shooter-friendly features takes care of my caliber concerns.
That said, many of our brothers and sisters have some form of ailment caused by age injury or infirmity. The M&P9 SHIELD EZ offers a handgun they will be able to control well in contrast to an underpowered handgun. I like that a lot.
Specifications: M&P9 SHIELD EZ
Action: Internal Hammer Fired
Capacity: 8+1 Rounds (2 magazine included)
Barrel Length: 3.675″
Front Sight: White Dot
Rear Sight: White Dot, Adjustable for Windage
Frame Width: 1.04”
Overall Height: 5.05”
Overall Length: 6.85”
Sight Radius: 5.875”
Weight: 23.2 ounces
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and appearance: * * * *
As polymer frame handguns go- this is a nice looking handgun.
Accuracy: * * * *
Compared to other compact 1911 9mms it’s in the same range for accuracy and handles quickly. While not a target gun, it’s more than accurate enough for personal defense use.
Versatility: * * * *
This is a good all-around choice for both every day concealed carry and home protection.
Overall * * * * 1/2
If you liked the original M&P SHIELD EZ, but had reservations about the effectiveness of .380 ACP, Smith & Wesson’s new model chambered in 9mm parabellum should put your mind at ease. It’s everything the .380 EZ pistol was — easy to load, easy to shoot, easy to disassemble and clean — but chambered in a more effective personal defense round.
Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield EZ – First Look
By FRED TOAST FROM gunsdiscreetsupplies.com
Smith & Wesson has boosted the power of its excellent M&P Shield EZ with a hot new version in 9mm.
One of the great new trends in semiauto pistols is manufacturers have recognized that these pistols can be hard to operate for some people. Smith & Wesson’s solution to this was the M&P380 Shield EZ, a hammer-fired .380 that’s super easy to rack and load. Now the company has made the logical leap to chambering this same pistol in 9mm. Meet the M&P9 Shield EZ.
One, it’s hammer–fired. This allows designers to use a lighter recoil spring than you’d find in a striker-fired pistol, which in turn makes the slide easier to rack. And it really is. I just received a sample of this new gun (we’ll have a full review in Handguns in an upcoming issue), and even without any break-in firing I can operate the slide with just my forefinger and thumb. Not that I would as a matter of course, but the fact that I can tells you how little racking force is required.
The gun’s rear serrations are nicely grippy, and a slight flare at the rear of the slide adds even more purchase.
Two other design features contribute to the ease of operation. One, Smith & Wesson’s “fish scale” serration pattern at the rear of the slide is nicely grippy. These serrations taper toward the back of the slide, and then the slide flares at the rear, creating almost a shelf for extra purchase. It’s a great setup.
Tabs on either side of the eight-round magazine make it easy to depress the magazine’s spring for loading.
The “easy” theme extends to the eight-round magazine. It has tabs at the sides, like you’d find on a .22 LR magazine, to aid in depressing the follower while loading. This might seem like a small thing, but I’ve shot with a number of people who have complained about how hard mags can be to load. And for people with compromised hand strength, arthritis, etc. this is a godsend.
The gun has a grip safety and is available with or without a manual thumb safety. The frame features excellent stippling and a small beavertail to aid control.
The M&P9 Shield EZ features a grip safety and is available with or without a thumb safety—another smart move on Smith & Wesson’s part. I don’t feel the need for a thumb safety on a gun with additional safeties, but my wife, for instance, prefers a thumb safety regardless of the presence of other safeties.
As thumb safeties go, this is a good one. It’s ambidextrous and just large enough for easy operation but not so big it could snag on clothing. The tension is just right. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Pistol
Speaking of safety, the Shield EZ has a legit loaded-chamber indicator. A lever just behind the ejection port atop the slide protrudes when a round is in the chamber. You can easily see it, and you can easily feel it.
he loaded-chamber indicator at the top of the slide is easily seen and easily felt to determine the gun’s status.
The rest of the controls are well done. The aforementioned grip safety works great, and the reversible magazine release is a sensible size and sticks out just the right amount so it’s simple to activate. The slide lock lever is on the small side—which is certainly what you want for carry—but I found I was able to use it as a release lever with my right/firing thumb fairly easily. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Pistol
The grip fits my medium-size hands really well. I haven’t had the chance to shoot this new 9mm version, but the combination of the frame’s slight beavertail and the stippling should make this a really controllable 9mm to shoot.
The front of the frame sports a three-slot Picatinny rail for adding a light or laser, and it’s worth noting the M&P9 Shield EZ is available with a red Crimson Trace laser as an option. Sights are white three-dot.
As a 2.0 version, the gun has an improved trigger over earlier M&P guns. The sample on my gun broke at four pounds, five ounces on average. It’s got about an 1/8-inch take-up and some overtravel, and I think it’s a perfectly adequate trigger for a home defense/concealed carry gun.
Overall length of the gun with its 3.675-inch barrel is just under seven inches, and it’s nicely slim at 1.15 inches wide measured at the slide-lock lever—1.46 inches across the ambidextrous safeties. Weight on my sample was 23.1 ounces with empty magazine. Those dimensions make it an excellent carry gun but still should prove a nice-shooting gun. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Pistol
Yes, the M&P9 Shield EZ has an eight-round capacity while pistols like the SIG P365 and Springfield Hellcat boast more rounds. But those latter guns don’t have the features that make the Shield EZ so easy to work with. Having a bunch of rounds at your disposal is great, but having a pistol that you feel confident operating is just as, if not more, important. At a suggested retail price of just $479, this new pistol is going to appeal to a lot of people.