One of the most popular concealed carry guns on the market today is the Smith & Wesson Shield. Since its introduction, this line of single stack pistols has taken the shooting industry by storm. While Smith & Wesson does not release exact production numbers to the public, I would not be surprised to discover that the Shield is the company’s best-selling gun.
Recently announced by the company is that the Shield is getting a new look. Actually, it’s getting more than just a fresh coat of paint. It is also getting some new features and options that are likely to excite both current owners and potential new customers alike.
When Smith & Wesson launched the new M&P M2.0 line earlier this year, it signaled a change that would ripple across the line. The introduction of a M2.0 Shield model, which is part of the company’s M&P line, is not a surprise to me.
A quick examination of the gun shows it has been given a similar texture improvement as the larger guns received. The new texture is aggressive and provides a more positive grip. Yes, people with sensitive hands may not like it. However, for a gun that may be used to save your life, the texture does offer more secure purchase if your hands are wet from rain, sweat or blood.
Like the full size and compact M&P M2.0 pistols, the new Shield models have a new trigger. Smith & Wesson describes the new trigger as being crisper with a lighter pull. Also, the reset is easier to feel and hear.
Lasers & Night Sights
Out of the gate, Smith & Wesson is offer a number of sighting options for the M2.0 Shield. The standard model comes with 3-dot sights.
A buyer can upgrade to 3-dot night sights if he or she prefers. Considering that many self-defense encounters happen in reduced lighting conditions, night sights may appeal to you.
A third sighting option is a factory integrated laser aiming unit. Recently, Smith & Wesson’s parent company purchased Crimson Trace. I speculated then that we may see a range of new options in S&W firearms that included Crimson Trace products. This looks like one of them.
The new Integrated Crimson Trace Laser unit rides under the barrel of the pistol and is activated by a button on the side of the unit. It uses a red colored laser for aiming assistance.
As with the first-generation Shield pistols, these guns can be had with or without manual thumb safeties. I prefer a striker-fired pistol without a safety, but there are obviously a lot of people who disagree. S&W has options for both groups.
Also like the original pistols, the new Shield can be purchased in models chambered for the 9mm cartridge and for the .40 S&W cartridge.
Pricing varies depending on the options selected. For the base model gun in either caliber, the MSRP is $479. If you add tritium sights, the price increases to $579. For one of the models with the Crimson Trace laser, the price is a surprisingly affordable $499.