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Old 23 May 2016, 10:54
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S&W 45ACP Shield

I visited the NRA convention and enjoyed seeing all the innovation and creativity on display.

As I was looking at the S&W offerings I noticed the new 45 Shield. This handgun is very slim and fits in the hand nicely. It holds 7 rounds of 45 ACP. Itís a bit larger than a 9mm shield but itís still very compact.

This should be a good choice for concealment.
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Old 5 June 2016, 08:02
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......Added to all of the other mini 45 ACP's. What's odd is that Glock has had a subcompact 45 ACP for decades and for a while was plagued with unreliability (Ask me how I know....) and then it took them FOREVER to make the 42 and 43. The G 36's seem to be OK now, at least mine is. They recently added the accessory rail to the G 36.

The other Shield pistols I have fired (very few, mind you) were not that accurate.

The Shield is a little narrower, a little higher and slightly thinner than the G 36. The weight with an empty mag is alsmost the same.

The SA XDS is still smaller than both of them, by less than 1/2 " in most dimensions, although the weights is nearly the same with an empty mag.

The Shield does come standard with 6+1 and 7+1 mags, whereby the XDS is 5+1 with a 6+1 mag extension and the Glock is 6+1. of course after market mag extensions are typically employed.

It should be an interesting development if it runs right. I would say that Glock is making a run at SA with the accessory rail as they lost a lot of market share due to unreliability. Time will tell.
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Last edited by The Fat Guy; 5 June 2016 at 08:13.
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Old 5 June 2016, 11:08
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The thing that struck me about the NRA show is the tremendous array of products to serve every possible niche. The firearms and gear industry is highly creative and energized. Some use a focused strategy and some like SIG blast out a tremendous proliferation of products. It’s interesting.
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Old 5 June 2016, 12:21
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My issue with the Shields I've handled is a lack of positive trigger reset...and a bit more " mushy" trigger than similar weapons. In all fairness, I haven't fired one so cannot speak to accuracy.
Desire the M&P line's popularity, I'll stick with Glocks and 1911s
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Old 15 September 2017, 13:06
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Deal too good to be true...

$325 Brand new in box 2 x Mags with a rebate for 2 more mags and a mag loader PLUS 2 x 20 rd boxes of carry ammo. The trigger reset on mine is pretty good as well. Range report to follow.
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Old 17 September 2017, 14:00
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Glock

My favorite Glock 45 is a highly customized 21 with frame reduction and slide work. The barrel is Storm Lake.
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Old 18 September 2017, 08:59
James Clifton James Clifton is offline
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I decided to get the Glock 30s instead of the SHIELD!I love it!
Jim
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  #8  
Old 18 September 2017, 15:23
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Love the ergo of the M&P line, but just couldn't get myself to like the trigger.

Really like the XDm, and maybe an XDs (to replace the tiny Ruger 380) is next unless I go back to the HK's. I do also like the small/thin .45 KAHRs for concealed carry. After being raised on a Browning HP, I never could get used to the glocks.

Looking forward to the range report on the trigger.

Last edited by Tycon; 18 September 2017 at 15:34.
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Old 20 September 2017, 23:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tycon View Post
Love the ergo of the M&P line, but just couldn't get myself to like the trigger.

Really like the XDm, and maybe an XDs (to replace the tiny Ruger 380) is next unless I go back to the HK's. I do also like the small/thin .45 KAHRs for concealed carry. After being raised on a Browning HP, I never could get used to the glocks.

Looking forward to the range report on the trigger.
I just put 100 rounds through my Shield in 45 ACP and the trigger is the best I have seen for a striker fired pistol. The grip already has the stippled effect but it has a few issues.

1. Accuracy is OK, I shot a ragged hole from 10m but POI is about 2' low and left of POA.

2. If you have a full mag inserted, the mag release is almost impossible to activate. I am hoping this will loosen up with use. Empty mags are launched out however.

3. The slide release is impossible to release with one thumb, Better practice that Travis Haley slingshot.

4. S&W really got the spring weight down pat on this pistol. Full house factor 230 grn hardball ammo shot like a pellet gun.

That's it for now, just need to pick up a good kydex holster for it. I think I have a 2aholster for a shield, not sure if it will hold the 45 ACP.
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Old 20 September 2017, 23:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Guy View Post
I just put 100 rounds through my Shield in 45 ACP and the trigger is the best I have seen for a striker fired pistol. The grip already has the stippled effect but it has a few issues.

1. Accuracy is OK, I shot a ragged hole from 10m but POI is about 2' low and left of POA.

2. If you have a full mag inserted, the mag release is almost impossible to activate. I am hoping this will loosen up with use. Empty mags are launched out however.

3. The slide release is impossible to release with one thumb, Better practice that Travis Haley slingshot.

4. S&W really got the spring weight down pat on this pistol. Full house factor 230 grn hardball ammo shot like a pellet gun.

That's it for now, just need to pick up a good kydex holster for it. I think I have a 2aholster for a shield, not sure if it will hold the 45 ACP.
Shield in .45 is slightly larger framed. And I have that mold too.

Good report!

Mine in .40 is same on the slide release. It just won't budge.
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Old 21 September 2017, 07:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litepath View Post
Shield in .45 is slightly larger framed. And I have that mold too.

Good report!

Mine in .40 is same on the slide release. It just won't budge.
Maybe an Appendix Carry?
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Old 21 September 2017, 08:31
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Guy View Post
Maybe an Appendix Carry?
Sure thing.
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Old 21 September 2017, 12:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Guy View Post
I just put 100 rounds through my Shield in 45 ACP and the trigger is the best I have seen for a striker fired pistol.

4. S&W really got the spring weight down pat on this pistol. Full house factor 230 grn hardball ammo shot like a pellet gun.
I like that. I'll have to go do a rental before making the decision on the ccw.

I had standardized everything on 9mm except my little noismaker .380 which was for ease of carry while doing roadwork, mostly if a couple coyotes got brave in the quiet retirement community. Then a recent adventure with a big-ass knife-weilding idiot (most likely "off his meds") made it very clear that even a 9mm may be too light in those self-defense "mental case/PCP-type" circumstances. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but it terrorized the wife. And, it was a VERY good reminder that ANY neighborhood can have it's dangers. That .45/230 is looking like the best defensive ccw choice, and sounds like the shield is a must try.

Last edited by Tycon; 21 September 2017 at 12:40.
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Old 21 September 2017, 14:33
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I have not fired the Shield in any configuration. I do own a G26 and a G30 but cannot draw a comparison.
I like the G26 for size, love the G30 for the bullet size.

Is there any real benefit to the Shield that makes it worth the purchase?
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Old 21 September 2017, 14:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Box View Post
I have not fired the Shield in any configuration. I do own a G26 and a G30 but cannot draw a comparison.
I like the G26 for size, love the G30 for the bullet size.

Is there any real benefit to the Shield that makes it worth the purchase?
First, for me was the price. Next, it is much thinner and a smaller footprint than the Subcompact Glocks.
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Old 21 September 2017, 16:25
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I recently posted this somewhere else on the interweb...

Quote:
S&W Shield .45

Pros:

Single stack 7+1 .45 ACP that's smaller than a 1911 Officers' Model. Barely larger dimensions than a single stack 9mm Glock 43 actually. Excellent shooter, good trigger, very thin, superbly curved & stippled grip, same exact grip size as the slightly smaller 9mm/40 Shield versions, and recoil is completely manageable. Surprisingly pleasant to shoot. No problems putting a lot of rounds through it during a shooting session. It doesn't bite or wear out your hand. 22 ounces of Excellent CCW form factor. Perfect for belt carry, IWB, or AIWB. <$300 with rebate from S&W.

Cons: No rail. Right on the ragged edge of "pocket" carry. You'll need a big pocket... because the striker-fired action requires a hard shell polymer or stiff leather holster to cover the trigger.

I've been waiting for this gun my whole adult shooting life. Really pleased with it.
And this on another forum...

Quote:
Sub-Compact .45 ACP - S&W Shield .45; duplicates 1911 .45 capacity (7+1 shots) in a (nearly) James Bond Walther PPK/S .380 sized package; my latest favorite thing for CCW. Amazingly compact, reliable, and accurate little .45. Very good trigger (better than the 9/40 versions) and very low recoil considering the caliber. Actually much more pleasant to shoot than a .380 PPK/S. After market night sights and holster choices abound. But no rail for a light. Although you can mount a Viridian trigger guard laser... or shave the polymer housing of a Streamlight TLR-6 (designed for Shield 9/40) to achieve the same trigger guard mount on the 45 Shield.
I've not been so enthused about a new handgun in quite a while. I think S&W got this one right in terms of making soft shooting .45 in such a small package. The trigger, the high grip ergos, the slim stippled grip itself, the springing... it all adds up to something easy to shoot. I was expecting something closer to 2.5 inch .357 magnum blast and recoil. Far from it.

Although the .45 is larger than the 9/40 versions, that dimensional increase is only in the slide. Slightly thicker and a fraction of an inch longer. Polymer grip is same size as the 9/40 versions. They just squeezed single stack .45 into that same space.

I haven't tested for accuracy beyond 10 meters, but it'll print 'em all on/around the "X" out to that distance. After 500 rounds, the gun has more or less replaced my J-frames for similar carry roles.

It feeds standard pressure HST 230s with zero issues. Also 230 Gold Dot JHPs & Winchester 230 JHP bulk white box.

The first time I fired it, I had two occasions of failure to lock back the slide on an empty magazine while running noticeably lower recoiling Federal 230 grain FMJ. Also one failure to completely go into battery. That one required a palm heel tap to run the slide forward the last quarter inch. That was with the first box of ammo through the gun. After that, the gun settled down and ran like a sewing machine.

My takeaways are that: 1) Those first 50-round stutters came out of a brand new gun with only the lube coating it was shipped with and 2) I believe the gun is sprung strongly to handle higher velocity premium 230 grain JHPs. Those hotter loads delivered a more authoritative cycling than the Federal FMJ. In any event, nearly 200 subsequent Federal ball loads functioned just fine. Every JHP I've put through it fired & cycled without fail. Regardless of brand. I've fired only 230 grain loads.

Putting some just arrived Ameriglo Tritium night sights on it next week. Carrying IWB in a BladeTech Klipt.

BTW: You need either a gorilla's grip, thumb, & forearms... or an UpLULA universal loader to top-off those little Shield 45 magazines. Stiffest, strongest pistol mag springs I have ever encountered. I was ready to turn-in my man card until several other laughing folks had the same difficulty. The last 2-3 rounds are just a bitch to insert.

Good gun. So far.
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Last edited by Astronomy; 21 September 2017 at 16:39.
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  #17  
Old 21 September 2017, 16:28
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If you compare the 45 Shield to a G30, yes it's considerably more narrow. Not enough to make the G30 something difficult to carry, but noticeable.

Compared to a G36? Negligible difference in width with the Shield then having a taller frame, a higher slide interface, and a more pronounced frame forward of the trigger guard.

The price is an advantage of the Shield. The problem I've had consistently with the Shield and many classic models of S&W that are recent production is the use of MIM parts at critical failure points. Ive deadlined 5 guns by today, and it's only Thursday this week. Round counts were all between 700-2000 rounds on each gun respectively. These are parts being so badly broken that it requires an armorer level effort just to recover the working parts from the now broken ones. Locking blocks shearing off takedown pins/levers, locking blocks separating from the barrels, etc.

The biggest benefit people see in the Shield is the trigger. Well, the felt trigger pull anyway. What you're feeling is the way the trigger bar interfaces with the cruciform and the striker/striker tab. It will always feel like a better, cleaner trigger than the Glock because it's a full-tension striker where the Glock uses a partial tension. In the partial tension system, each trigger pull is pushing the striker through the final stage of spring tension and then to the point of the cruciform (think of it like a sear) letting the striker move forward freely.

As Sig has been forced to reconcile with lately, it's not always about making the cleanest trigger for a carry gun if the gun can't be carried safely as a result. There are tabbed triggers for the Shield that I highly recommend using over any flat-faced triggers. You'll feel very little difference in the length of travel and takeup, as well as the weight at the point that the trigger breaks. But it's worth knowing that it's one less way the fell tension striker will ruin your day in an appendix carry way.

I like the G36 and the G30S more. Personal preference being what it is. Compared to the S&Ws they'll last longer it would seem.
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Old 21 September 2017, 16:47
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SOW 0331: Thanks for that info. Forewarned is forearmed.

I'm very conservative with my personal weapon choices and I don't do Beta-Testing of new designs for serious use. Despite modern popularity with that mode of carry, I have always hated AWIB. So I don't.

Might just entertain that trigger upgrade. Specific recommended model/manufacturer?
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Old 21 September 2017, 18:42
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I don't have the .45 Shield, but I do have a .40 that I bought around the time they first came out. It constantly had FTF, both during firing and from inserting a fresh mag and pressing the slide release. It also broke a recoil spring and carrying it without the mag release covered in a holster, rusted the mag release button.

I sent it back to S&W three times. The third time they replaced the slide and the barrel and it's ran pretty much flawless for more than a few hundred rounds. I always order holsters to cover the mag release now as I'm a sweaty bastard, regardless of gun.

For me the .40 Shield is more accurate than my XDS in .45 but I'm not on the level as most on this board. The XDS seems more finicky for trigger finger placement for me. It likes the finger pad as opposed to closer to the first knuckle.
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Old 21 September 2017, 22:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astronomy View Post
SOW 0331: Thanks for that info. Forewarned is forearmed.

I'm very conservative with my personal weapon choices and I don't do Beta-Testing of new designs for serious use. Despite modern popularity with that mode of carry, I have always hated AWIB. So I don't.

Might just entertain that trigger upgrade. Specific recommended model/manufacturer?
I find AIWB to be, as effective as it can be as a carry method, somewhat of a fad reflecting training trends. Currently I run into a lot of folks who've paid good money to be taught the value of being able to draw on your back. ECQC concepts are trickling into he more practical training syllabus for some reason.

Of course, where you'd want your gun to be if drawing from the flat-on-your-ass position won't necessarily be where you want it...any other situation really. Except maybe driving all the time.

Having a good holster or holsters to carry for the occasion is my approach. No, you can't tell for sure in the morning how shit may go down by the time you're RTB. But most of us can make a pretty good assessment for the most likely situation, and many people in the training circuits need to be teaching the importance of controlling your environment over any specific holster or carry method. Just my opinion.

And to answer your question, the Apex Carry trigger kit for the Shield is the best I can recommend. There are a lot of options for trigger upgrades. In my opinion, Apex makes the best of them and are designed to be good for carry guns. You don't need a 2.5lb race gun trigger on your daily carry, and with any striker fired gun in particular, I strongly advise that anyone using aftermarket triggers avoid anything that bypasses or reduces a stage in the stock trigger assembly function.

For example, the Zev trigger kits with adjustable tension that reduce the takeup, putting the Glock trigger in a precarious position of the plunger block being lifted. And then the gun fires when drawn aggressively or jarred by an impact. Something that maybe some Grand Wizard Poobah Lord of IPSC needs to cut .015 seconds off his split times, probably not gonna cut it for daily carry.

I believe the Apex Carry Trigger upgrade is labeled as consistently being at 5.5lbs
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