Base plates. Base pads. Magazine extensions. It would be splitting hairs to claim a wild distinction among the various options on the market designed to make your Smith and Wesson M&P Shield magazines longer—or would it? Whether or not there’s a difference between the purpose of an aftermarket product of the same name tends to depend on the manufacturer’s naming preferences.
There’s a good reason for adding base plates (or base pads, or magazine extensions) to your personal handgun. Here’s why, along with a few of our suggestions of where to start to upgrade your mag game from the factory.
Base Plates, But Why?
The purpose of base plates tends to be three-fold: to provide a pinkie rest thereby firming your grip, to cushion the magazine in case it hits the ground, and to grant you the gift of a few extra rounds (or one).
Not all base plates/base pads/extensions do all these things, though. Despite the seemingly interchangeable names, you should never assume the product of your choosing does all these things or any one specific thing. Always check. Read product descriptions, scan some reviews, and peruse listicles such as this one.
XTech Tactical MTX M&P Shield Magazine Extension Adapter
As its name suggests the XTech Tactical MTX mag extension gives you some extra ammo space. If your M&P Shield is chambered in 9mm this extension grants you two extra rounds; if your gun is a 40 Smith and Wesson it lets you fit one more round into the magazine.
Installing the XTech Tactical MTX system is relatively simple although as with any time you disassemble your magazine we suggest being careful of flying springs. The base plate itself is in two pieces and fits factory magazines so there’s no concern over attempting to force oversized aftermarket parts into place.
This extension is made from polymer and designed to be impact resistant to withstand drops. It’s also textured for a positive grip and to facilitate smoother reloads.
Greater magazine capacity is always a win.
MAGFIX Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Extended Magazine Baseplate
The MAGFIX for the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield is both an enhanced base plate and a sleeve for the firearm in question. No special tools are required to install the MAGFIX and it’s made for use in factory magazines. There are, as the features suggest, two separate pieces to this product.
One of the great things about this particular item is that the sleeve locks into place with the baseplate. Factory M&P Shield magazine sleeves slip up and down the magazine unimpeded which can cause a variety of frustrations.
This polymer extension helps cushion your magazine from falls—think purposefully dropped mags during a mag change or even just butterfingers—which is a nice perk. If you’ve seen a magazine hit the ground and explode you’d probably like to avoid a repeat of that situation and the MAGFIX helps you get that done. In addition to cushioning benefits, the base plate and sleeve are textured for a better grip and easier mag changes.
Tyrant Designs Aluminum Magazine Extension
The purpose of this extension is to give you, the shooter, a little extra ammunition. For those who own a 9mm that means two extra rounds in a factory 7-round magazine; for 40 Smith and Wesson owners, that’s one extra round in addition to what your factory 6-round magazine holds. You never know when one—or two—more shots might be a game-changer or a lifesaver.
This extension is CNC-machined from aluminum to ensure precise dimensions. The manufacturer advertises it as being installed in under ten seconds (your mileage may vary). It’s colorful, too; the Tyrant Designs Aluminum Magazine Extension is made with a polished aluminum finish and also in red, blue, or gray.
Of course, it isn’t only a means to adding a round or two to your factory magazines. This extension gives your fingers a bit more to hang onto meaning a sure grip and a greater surface area to grab onto when loading or changing magazines. It’s quick, simple, and useful.
Hyve Technologies Mag Base Pad
If you’re looking for a brighter way to accessorize your factory magazines, Hyve has you covered. Their Mag Base Pads for the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield come in everything from purple to red to OD green and everything in between. With Hyve you can color-coordinate your gear or go for the full spectrum of the gun-loving rainbow. All colors are anodized and proprietary meaning they’re not made to specifically match outside brand colors.
This is a plus-two aluminum extension made to fit smoothly with the lines of your existing factory magazine. Hyve makes these base pads in a two-piece design—base pad extension and magazine stop—and you can select different colors for the two parts. Along with the two extra rounds, they allow you more surface area to hang onto while running your gun, whether at the range or in a competition.
These base pads are made to fit 8-round 9mm factory magazines and will not fit Smith and Wesson EZ models (but this is an M&P Shield list so that shouldn’t matter).
Strike Industries EMP
The Strike Industries EMP (Enhanced Magazine Plate) is made for functionality and fashion. It’s a polymer plate made in a molded design for flawless integration with your gun’s magazine, from texture to style to ergonomics. Strike Industries also says it is slim enough to remain concealable—which is fantastic.
This is a secure plate design thanks to a locking plate and locking plate set screw. It’s made for factory 7-round 9mm and 6-round 40 Smith and Wesson magazines but could be used on larger magazines if you’re cool with a gap existing between the EMP and grip.
The 9mm version allows for two extra rounds of ammunition and the 40 Smith and Wesson model gives you one extra round. The EMP is made from impact-resistant polymer and designed for durability.
Pearce Grip M&P Shield and Shield 2.0 Magazine Extension
When used with an M&P Shield chambered in 9mm it extends your round-count reach by 2 rounds and when used in a 40 Smith and Wesson model it gives you one additional round. It’s made from polymer, has a textured front strap area, and is held in place by the PEARCELOCK mechanism.
This magazine extension is a straight-forward design made for usefulness. The extension itself adds only approximately one inch of real estate to your grip length—that’s a good thing for concealed carry—but also boasts a slight lip at its base for a pinkie rest.
Pearce Grip extensions are easy to install and available in black. If you want a base plate extension for your Smith and Wesson M&P Shield with no frills that’s highly functional, check it out.