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I bought a M&P9 Shield on Friday, and took it to the range on Monday. I wanted something less snappy than my LCP, and lighter and more concealable than my Springfield Compact XDm.

The trigger is as crisp as anything I've shot in a striker-fired polymer pistol. No crunchy feel as my fullsize M&P9 still exhibits after over 500 rounds, just a short light take-up and clean break, with no discernible over travel. Waaay better than the M&P fullsize I have. The LCP takes a lot of squeeze to get to the break point, and sometimes I can't help but notice the hammer creeping back and anticipate the break, throwing my shots off. That's not going to be an issue if I'm squeezing off shots at 5 yards to save my life, but worth mentioning.

Accuracy was excellent at 7 yards, 21 of 23 shots (7 round mag, 8 round mag, extra 8 round mag) in a 3" spread, the two outliers being my own fault. I tried it at 10 yards and was even more accurate, everything in a 1.5" radius. Encouraged and somewhat surprised by this I tried some rapid shooting, and was just as accurate - no difference between this and when I was taking very careful aim. Maybe this gun points naturally in my hand, or maybe it's just very quick and easy to get back on target.

Compared to the LCP it's a little bigger all round, so it's almost but not quite a jeans pocket pistol. I guess it's a pocket pistol if you can hang a shirt or coat over the pocket and be sure not to show. Definitely works as a coat pocket pistol.

What it loses in being a larger size it gains in caliber (9mm vs .380), with one extra round in each magazine size (7 vs 6 in the short mag, 8 vs 7 in the extended mag). The Shield's size makes it a 3-finger pistol with the extended magazine, while the LCP is at best a 2-finger grip for me.

It has proper sights, which in part accounts for better accuracy vs the LCP in my hands. The LCP is good for emergency use and pocket carry, but the Shield feels and shoots more like a proper range gun.

The Shield's felt recoil is very comfortable and manageable. I shoot the LCP every range trip just for practise, but after 13 rounds (6 mag + 7 mag) I'm ready to put it down and move on. Even with a Hogue grip it is stingy in my hands.

Racking the slide is easier than on the LCP, and the slide lock is larger and easier to use. The slide locks back on an empty magazine, unlike the LCP. Takedown is easier and quicker, with no removable pin that might get lost, and needs a flat blade to ease out.

Overall, if this had been my first ever gun purchase and I wasn't a bit of a collector, it might have been all the handgun I ever needed.
 

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I tried to buy a Shield but they were not available. I bought another gun and am satisfied but I feel that a Shield is in my future.
 
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