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Smith & Wesson Shield vs M&P Compact

Good day and welcome to you all. We hope you can take the time out to read our review today. The aim of which is to give you an insight into two of the best concealed carry weapons around.

Both of our chosen pistols today are offered from Smith and Wesson. A company that needs no introduction. They are the finest makers of American guns you will find, and their reputation beholds them.

The two guns in today’s head-to-head are the Smith & Wesson Shield vs M&P Compact, two very fine guns. Each one has its merits, and it would be hard to go wrong with either. However, there is no such thing as a perfect pistol. Instead, there are guns that are more suited to you than others.

We can’t say which is the best gun of the two in question today, but we can advise you as to which may be best suited to you. While specifications can only tell you so much, they are important facts that you need to know.

smith wesson shield vs mp compact comparison

So, Let Us Start By Giving You A Few…

Both these models are offered in .40 S&W, .45 ACP and in 9 x 19 formats. The .45 versions though are really rather different than the 9mm/.40 pistols. So, we are going to concentrate on just the 9mm .40 Shield and the M&P 9C/M&P 40C, as one or the other of these two pistols are the most likely new buyers will go for.

In both 9mm and .40 mode, the Shield has a 3.1-inch barrel, and overall it is 6.1 inches long. The body is 4.6 inches tall and is a very nice and slim 0.94 of an inch wide. Unloaded weight is 19 ounces.

On the base model, you have three white dot sights. This can quite easily be upgraded to take night sights if so desired.

smith wesson shield vs mp compact
Photo by Rezz Guns (AZ GUNS-R-US)

A Bit Bigger…

Now, the Compact is just that little bit heftier than the Shield. Barrel length is 3.5 inches, and the overall length increases to 6.7 inches. Width has increased too, up to 1.18 inches because on the Shield the magazine is double stacked. It stands at just 4.3 inches tall. Unloaded the weight has also increased up to 24.7 ounces.

In both versions of the Shield, you can place either a flush fit or an extended magazine. You can choose to load 7+1 or 8+1 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Using .40 you can fit 6+1 or 7+1 rounds.

As for the Compact, a flush-fit magazine and a pinky extension magazine come with this model but, it won’t change the gun’s capacity. For 9mm ammunition, it will load 12+1 or 10+1 of .40 rounds.

Safety First…

Trigger pull is the same on both guns at 6.5 pounds. They also each have Novak front and rear sights fitted. Tritium night sights are an optional upgrade that both will take if you so wish. Also common to both is the fact that they come with or without the manual safety, and magazine disconnect safety mechanism.

Some shooters feel that these safety features hinder rapid firing, so choose not to have them, while others prefer these to be installed for the obvious reasons they are fitted in the first place. Whether or not you choose to have these in place or not, is up to your own personal preference.

smith wesson shield vs mp compact review
Photo by Dara Holsters

The Strong Arm Of The Law…

The Compact is also available with the Massachusetts and Californian compliant magazines. This is the law in these two States that forbids pistol magazines from holding more than ten rounds. Not a ruling many of us agree with, we know, but hey, it is law, so we have to comply.

You will also find there are upgraded versions of each of these pistols available.

As regards to the Shield, one of the things that has made it so popular is that the recoil is so manageable in regards to its size. It won’t knock your hold so far back, that seconds can be lost finding and aiming at your target again, every time you let off a round.

So, Given The Size & Weight Differences, Which Is The Easier Gun To Shoot, We Wonder?

In the size and weight department the Compact fairs better than the Shield by quite a margin, especially those extra 5 ounces it holds.

However, the Sheild is the most comfortable gun to hold. It fits very well within the palm of your hand and is very pleasing to shoot. Recoil is surprisingly low; it is barely more than a .22, just a tad more lively. The one thing you may need to think about, however, is that the most common complaint with both of these guns is the trigger.

smith wesson hield mp compact
Photo by Drenaline

The Compact is a bit more lively in comparison and more noticeable. Recoil is definitely more forceful, though still quite moderate. Compared to the Shield, it is just an incremental increase. The use of .40 will give a bit more recoil, but by no means making either unshootable.

Shooting Hardball Is Still A Breeze!

If shooting +P ammunition, the Shield would produce some more bite, but shooting hardball is still a breeze! We will state that to novice shooters, or those with a frailer wrist, you may wish to refrain from long shooting sessions immediately upon purchase. We would suggest slowly building up to those long shoots out on the range.

Those of you who have larger John Wayne size hands would be best to use the extended magazine; the flush fit removes some extra length we feel you will need.

When it comes to accuracy, do not make that assumption that the shorter barrel length of the S&W Shield inherently impacts it. You will still be hitting your targets once familiar with the firing of this model. It does, however, impact velocity, though, with 9mm rounds, it will not make your shots ineffective. If this is a concern for you, however, there are plenty of short barrel rounds that are designed to take this into account.

One last point to make is that these are both CCW guns. They are easy to carry in both a belt, shoulder or the best cross draw holster. Tucked under your shirt or within your armpit. This will allow for discrete carrying while giving you that ‘peace of mind’ and should the case arise, you have quick draw access to a noble, reliable weapon that you can depend on.

Smith & Wesson Shield vs M&P Compact Conclusion

There we are then, a closer look at two of the most popular guns currently available. Both offered by a company that has been defending American citizens for over 160 years. Smith & Wesson are apart of US culture and its history. You can bear their arms with pride and satisfaction as to the quality and reliability of their weaponry.

As for the two guns from our review today, the M&P Compact or the S&W Shield. We hope to have helped and given enough information to aid with any decision making for purchase you may need.

Both are reliable and dependable weapons. So the choice really depends on your own opinions of each gun. Know yourself. Are you proportioned for the slightly wider, longer Compact? Or would you prefer to have a slightly smaller gun, the Shield?

Though both are CCW guns, the Compact won’t quite conceal as well as the slimmer single stack frame of the Shield. Again, those extra 5 ounces added to the chunkier Compact may cause a significant difference to your comfort. Especially if you carry all day, every day as many of you guys do.

Round Capacity…

The main swaying point for many is round capacity. Most of you like to have as many rounds as possible available. This is to the advantage of the Compact, being able to take 4-5 more. It is also more compatible with taking full-size magazines with a grip sleeve. If you feel that is more to your needs, then the Compact is more likely the one to go for.

If slimmer and lighter dimensions are what you’re after, then obviously, the Shield is just the ticket for you. It is a very popular gun that many users swear by.

To sum up then, the final choice is down to you and your feelings as to which has the best to offer you. The differences have been pointed out so, which way will you sway, M&P Compact or the S&W Shield? That is something that only you can decide.

Thanks for sticking with us on this comparison and stay safe.

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