Are you searching for the perfect concealed carry firearm? These days there are lots of different models to choose from, and many look quite similar. This can make choosing the best model quite tricky.
When checking out the different options, the M&P Shield and the XD-S both tend to rise to the top. In many ways, these models have a lot in common, although there are some important differences between them.
So which of these stack magazine pistols should you choose? Let’s make a full comparison of the different features to find out which one has the edge…
When Two Giants Collide
As those in the know will probably realize, the M&P Shield is created by Smith and Wesson, while Springfield makes the XD-S. Both of these leading manufacturers have a solid reputation for excellence. They are both established in the USA and have a history that goes back more than a century.
At First Glance
The first thing that most people will notice is that both of these models are quite thin. In fact, the Shield is just one inch wide. This is combined with an overall length of just over six inches and a height of 4.6 inches.
The Shield weighs in at 18 ounces. This makes it especially easy to carry and also makes it suitable for use as a concealed firearm.
Although there is very little to tell between the two models in terms of size, the XD-S is slightly smaller. It is also slightly over six inches long, while it is a little under 4.5 inches tall. The width is a little under an inch, although at 22 ounces, the XD-S is slightly heavier.
The Shield is made of solid stainless steel and has been encased in a matte black polymer frame. And anyone who doesn’t want a plain black weapon is provided with a couple of other options. The Flat Dark Earth finish is particularly attractive, while there is also an FDE finish.
The XD-S is made of very durable materials that make it feel especially high quality. It boasts a stainless steel slide with an attractive Melonite finish. While this increases the overall weight of the model slightly, it helps to make sure that it will go the distance.
In terms of the feel, the XD-S may well have a slight edge. This is mainly due to the fact that it is supplied with interchangeable backstraps. This allows users to change the make-up of the gun until they find a texture that they like.
The grip on the Shield is designed to be especially comfortable and secure. However, it has a slightly abrasive surface that some people may take issue with.
However, the small stature of both of these guns is likely to be a problem for some users. Those who have large hands may find that both models are a little small for perfect comfort.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the performance of these two models. After all, this is likely to be the main thing that most people are interested in.
The M&P Shield has a strong reputation for being very reliable. Users are sure to love the fact that the hinged trigger is especially smooth and responsive. This model is also designed to be very easy to disassemble.
While both models are very precise, the Smith and Wesson XD-S has a slight edge. This is due to the red fiber optic in the front that is designed to improve your aim. The color is so bright that it can even be seen in broad daylight.
Unfortunately, the XD-S loses points when it comes to its grip safety. This tends to be rather stubborn. However, this will not be an issue if users are holding the gun correctly.
The Shield comes with two magazines. One of these has a 7+1 capacity, while the other has an 8+1 capacity.
The XD-S also comes with two magazines of exactly the same capacity. The only difference is that the magazines of this model increase its overall height slightly. Some users may find this a little inconvenient.
The trigger pull of the Shield has been designed to be especially smooth. And many people are sure to appreciate the audible reset, which helps to improve accuracy. The Shield also allows users to fully take down the gun without pulling the trigger to help enhance safety.
Some people find that the hinged trigger of the Shield is one of its defining features. However, one complaint from some users is that this trigger has a rather soft reset. The XD-S boasts a split trigger that has been completed in the style of some popular Austrian models.
Some users may find that the palm safety of the XD-S is a little uncomfortable. It may actually interfere slightly with their grip. In order to use this pistol, it may be necessary to keep the grip button constantly pushed down.
All About The Features
While the two models are very similar in many ways, the features are one area where the Shield clearly excels. The grip on this model comes with an 18-degree cant, which is especially comfortable. This gun has been perfectly designed to fit comfortably in the hand.
The Shield also comes with a wide range of optional features that many people are sure to love. This helps users to customize the pistol to their exact preferences and needs. However, it should be noted that all these extra features come at a cost.
While the XD-S comes with fewer features, they are all included in the original price of the model. Users of the XD-S are treated to some additional cool features that help to provide excellent value for money. This model is ideal for those who don’t want to have to spend time and trouble over customization.
M&P Shield vs XD-S Pros & Cons
M&P Shield Pros
- Features a comfortable and secure grip.
- Weighs just 18 ounces.
- Available in several different versions.
- Boasts a smooth and responsive hinge trigger.
- Available with different finishes.
M & P Shield Cons
- Not ideal for people with larger hands.
- The grip has a slightly abrasive texture.
XD-S Max Pros
- Weighs just 22 ounces.
- Less than an inch thick.
- Under 4.5 inches high.
- Comes with interchangeable backstraps.
- Features a stainless steel slide.
- Delivers a red fiber optic in the front for enhanced aim.
XD-S Max Cons
- Not ideal for people with larger hands.
- The grip safety is rather stubborn.
M&P Shield vs XD-S Conclusion
In terms of the actual dimensions of these models, they are so similar that there is not really a significant difference. In the right hands, both the M&P Shield and the XD-S should be equally durable. They also have rather similar attributes when taken as a whole.
For many people, which model they choose will come down to personal preference. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to put both models through their paces. Some may find that the interchangeable backstraps and red fiber optic of the XD-S give it the edge. But it’s a close one!