M&P 380 Shield EZ

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Charles L. Cotton
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M&P 380 Shield EZ

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:24 pm

This gun was briefly discussed in February, but I must admit that I haven't looked at it until now. For many decades, fixed-barrel blow-back 380s proved they are not the gun for most women and older folks with weak or arthritic hands. Then came guns like the Bodyguard, SIG P238 and others with locking-breeches that allowed much lighter recoil springs, so I didn't see anything revolutionary about the 380 Shield. I was wrong.

I've watched a few videos reviewing the M&P 380 Shield EZ and I find it an impressive handgun for a specific market. The greatest feature is that it's not a striker-fired pistol! It has an internal hammer and that's why the trigger is so much better. It's also why Smith added a grip safety that I must admit is UGLY. I haven't handled one yet, but I'm buying one for students to try. If the videos are correct, the slide is easier to rack that the other current locking-breech 380s. This is a major advantage for a lot of folks with weak/arthritic hands. It also holds 8 rounds in a mag. that has reloading tabs like a .22LR semi-auto pistol. Again, this is a great feature for what I believe to be the target market. They also seem to be available for mid-$300 range compared to mid-$500 for the SIG P238.

I want to see more videos about it's appetite for various types and configurations of ammo. Below is a video testing different brands and types of 380 ammo, but he only fired three rounds of each.

I"ll buy one, test it and report back.

Chas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJITP9NRVUg
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#2

Post by JRG » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:32 pm

I am probably going to get one of these for my wife. She has problems racking the slide on my Shield and Mod 2, both models in 9 MM and .45 acp. I hope she likes it enough to start carrying again.

I am looking forward to your reports Charles.


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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#3

Post by Grundy1133 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:37 pm

my mom doesnt like racking a slide so she just carries a .38 special... i told her she needs more than 6 rounds... (which is why i have a 15 rd mag for my M&P .40
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#4

Post by Liberty » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:59 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:This gun was briefly discussed in February, but I must admit that I haven't looked at it until now. For many decades, fixed-barrel blow-back 380s proved they are not the gun for most women and older folks with weak or arthritic hands. Then came guns like the Bodyguard, SIG P238 and others with locking-breeches that allowed much lighter recoil springs, so I didn't see anything revolutionary about the 380 Shield. I was wrong.

I've watched a few videos reviewing the M&P 380 Shield EZ and I find it an impressive handgun for a specific market. The greatest feature is that it's not a striker-fired pistol! It has an internal hammer and that's why the trigger is so much better. It's also why Smith added a grip safety that I must admit is UGLY. I haven't handled one yet, but I'm buying one for students to try. If the videos are correct, the slide is easier to rack that the other current locking-breech 380s. This is a major advantage for a lot of folks with weak/arthritic hands. It also holds 8 rounds in a mag. that has reloading tabs like a .22LR semi-auto pistol. Again, this is a great feature for what I believe to be the target market. They also seem to be available for mid-$300 range compared to mid-$500 for the SIG P238.

I want to see more videos about it's appetite for various types and configurations of ammo. Below is a video testing different brands and types of 380 ammo, but he only fired three rounds of each.

I"ll buy one, test it and report back.
I have held .380s pretty much in disdain not so much for the power of the ammo, but for being high recoil, inaccurate, and hard to get a proper grip. The biggest issues I have with them though is that newbies are attracted to guns such as the LCP cause of price and concealability.

This gun though seems big enough to have a softer recoil, adequate magsize, and easier for smaller or arthritic hands to load. It's still small and thin enough for easy conceal. I look forward to a range report on how well this shoots.
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#5

Post by gtolbert09 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:51 am

I bought one just last week. I haven't had a chance to take it to the range yet. The slide does rack very easy. I've been teaching my 17YO daughter how to shoot and gun safety with a S&W M&P 22LR pistol and I think this will be a nice step up for her to learn with. Grab-A-Gun had it for $369.
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#6

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:39 am

I really hope the 380 Shield EZ turns out to be a good pistol. I have a lot of older people, especially older women, ask me about guns with slides that are easier to rack and mags. that are easier to load. The mag. part is easy, use a MagLuLa, but the slide is tough. I used to recommend a Beretta Model 86 Cheetah 380 with the tip-up barrel, but they aren't imported now and are impossible to find. That's a shame because they are a very good and reliable gun. They are large enough to get a good grip and reduce recoil.

I personally don't see how anyone can accurately use a double action revolver, especially a snubby, if they don't have the strength to rack a slide on a mid-size semi-auto.

Smith should go to the internal hammer on all of their M&Ps, but I doubt they will make that change. There's no reason for a striker-fired pistol to exist. :thumbs2:

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Chas.
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#7

Post by Oldgringo » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:51 pm

Thanks for posting, I'm interested in this. My septuagenarian wrist and hands are starting to have too much difficulty racking the slides on my SA Compact 1911 or the Sig P230SL.
Last edited by Oldgringo on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#8

Post by MechAg94 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:13 pm

I saw one at a local gun store/ range yesterday. It did seem easier to rack the slide. I guess I should have asked them to pull out the Walther PK380 and see if it was as easy as that. Seems like it had enough size to make it easier to shoot also.

They had just received the pistol and hadn't priced it yet.

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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#9

Post by Grundy1133 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:19 pm

Oldgringo wrote:Thanks for posting, I'm interested in this. My septuagenarian wrist and hands are starting to have too much difficulty racking the slides on my SA Compact 1911 or the P230SL.
lookin to sell...? ;-)
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#10

Post by Liberty » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:10 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Smith should go to the internal hammer on all of their M&Ps, but I doubt they will make that change. There's no reason for a striker-fired pistol to exist. :thumbs2:

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Chas.
Whoaa! While I totally agree, but that there can be construed as fighting words amongst loyalist.
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#11

Post by Jusme » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:23 pm

We got some in our store. I haven't had a chance to shoot one yet, but I'm not sure why S&W added a grip safety to the gun. It seems unnecessary, given that it has a thumb safety. It gives the gun a different feel from the other ones in the shield line. The slide is extremely easy to manipulate, but the trigger is grittier, and heavier than the ones they put in their 2.0 models. I know the ones I held were brand new and the trigger may smooth out with use, but first impressions for me are not that good, so far. JMHO
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#12

Post by Oldgringo » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:43 pm

Jusme wrote:We got some in our store. I haven't had a chance to shoot one yet, but I'm not sure why S&W added a grip safety to the gun. It seems unnecessary, given that it has a thumb safety. It gives the gun a different feel from the other ones in the shield line. The slide is extremely easy to manipulate, but the trigger is grittier, and heavier than the ones they put in their 2.0 models. I know the ones I held were brand new and the trigger may smooth out with use, but first impressions for me are not that good, so far. JMHO
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#13

Post by The Annoyed Man » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:51 pm

Jusme wrote:We got some in our store. I haven't had a chance to shoot one yet, but I'm not sure why S&W added a grip safety to the gun. It seems unnecessary, given that it has a thumb safety. It gives the gun a different feel from the other ones in the shield line. The slide is extremely easy to manipulate, but the trigger is grittier, and heavier than the ones they put in their 2.0 models. I know the ones I held were brand new and the trigger may smooth out with use, but first impressions for me are not that good, so far. JMHO
OTH, I’ll bet APEX will come out with a trigger for it in a jiffy.
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#14

Post by Grundy1133 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:51 pm

Jusme wrote:We got some in our store. I haven't had a chance to shoot one yet, but I'm not sure why S&W added a grip safety to the gun. It seems unnecessary, given that it has a thumb safety. It gives the gun a different feel from the other ones in the shield line. The slide is extremely easy to manipulate, but the trigger is grittier, and heavier than the ones they put in their 2.0 models. I know the ones I held were brand new and the trigger may smooth out with use, but first impressions for me are not that good, so far. JMHO
I'll stick with my full size M1 M&P .40 i like it just the way it is. no thumb safety, no grip safety.
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Re: M&P 380 Shield EZ

#15

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:49 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Jusme wrote:We got some in our store. I haven't had a chance to shoot one yet, but I'm not sure why S&W added a grip safety to the gun. It seems unnecessary, given that it has a thumb safety. It gives the gun a different feel from the other ones in the shield line. The slide is extremely easy to manipulate, but the trigger is grittier, and heavier than the ones they put in their 2.0 models. I know the ones I held were brand new and the trigger may smooth out with use, but first impressions for me are not that good, so far. JMHO
OTH, I’ll bet APEX will come out with a trigger for it in a jiffy.
Yep. Since it's a hammer-fired pistol, I bet polishing will help a lot, as will changing springs.

Chas.
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