Smith & Wesson M&P9 Performance Center
Ported Shield Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
June 5, 2016
Last year I reviewed the
Smith & Wesson
M&P®9 Performance Center® Ported Pistol and it has become
one of my favorite pistols due to it's ergonomics, trigger pull and
accuracy. This is why I was extremely interested when hearing
the news about the new Performance Center® Ported M&P®9 Shield™ that
S&W recently released. Although I don't own a Shield (yet), I
know they have proven to be reliable and comfortable to shoot based
on the times I have shot these pistols. My thoughts on this
new pistol go something like this... taking a (the proven, remove
"great shooting standard") great shooting standard Shield platform,
adding the Performance Center (PC)
trigger and barrel porting, upgrading with new high visibility sights, the new PC Ported Shield
should make an outstanding handgun.
Now some might argue that the trigger pull on the
original Shield is already good, and that porting is not needed and that original sights were good
enough, and honestly they have a good point. As S&W have shown
is always room for improvement. These three enhancements in
this new pistol offer the shooter quicker sight alignment with the
HI-VIZ® front and rear sights, greater opportunity to stay on target
when making the smoother/lighter trigger pull, and greater
opportunity for a faster follow-up shot with reduced muzzle flip.
Smith & Wesson are offering these enhancements for an
additional $70 compared to the standard version which brings the
MSRP to $519 for the new PC Ported Shield. After doing a quick
online search, it seems you can get this new pistol for somewhere
between $430 and $450.
During my reviews I like to compare my results
to the manufacturers claims where possible so the following text in
colored italics was taken directly from the
Smith & Wesson website
on 4/17/16 and gives the Key Features and Specifications
for the Performance Center® Ported M&P®9 Shield™. The
are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this
review with either photos, commentary or both.
Smith & Wesson’s new M&P SHIELD™ is a slim, concealable,
lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol.
Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the new M&P SHIELD features a slim
design combined with the proven and trusted features found in
the M&P Pistol Series.
From the pistol’s easily concealed one-inch profile to its
optimized 18-degree grip angle, the M&P SHIELD offers
professional-grade features that provide consumers with simple
operation and reliable performance.
Chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W for proven stopping power, the M&P
SHIELD features a high-strength polymer frame with a black,
durable, corrosion resistant finish, coated stainless steel
slide and barrel.
Both models are standard with a 3.1-inch barrel, which
contributes to an overall length of 6.1 inches and an unloaded
weight of 19 ounces.
For fast tracking and smooth target acquisition, the M&P SHIELD
is standard with a 5.3-inch sight radius and has been enhanced
with a short, consistent trigger pull measuring 6.5 pounds.
Featuring a quick and audible reset made possible by the
striker-fired action, the M&P SHIELD allows multiple rounds to
be placed on target both consistently and accurately.
Model: Performance Center® Ported M&P®9
Caliber: 9 mm
Capacity: 8 and 7 Rounds
Barrel Length: 3.1” (7.9 cm)
review pistol measured 3.12"
Front Sight: HI-VIZ® Fiber
Rear Sight: HI-VIZ® Fiber Optic Red
Weight: 18.2 oz. (515.9 g)
review pistol weighed in at 20.2 ounces
empty with the 7-round magazine installed, the 18.2 ounces
represents the pistol without a magazine installed
Overall Length: 6.1” (15.5 cm)
Overall Width: .95” (2.4 cm)
across the grip frame and 1.01" across
the takedown lever
Overall Height: 4.6” (11.7 cm)
4.65" with the 7-round magazine installed
and 5.12" with the 8-round magazine
Frame Material: Polymer
Barrel Finish: Black 68 HRc
Material: Stainless Steel
Sight Radius: 5.3” (13.3
review pistol measured 5.05"
This review is broken down into multiple
parts with this page providing links to each part along with an
overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom
comments. Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts
of the review because they contain many photos and
lots of commentary. Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those
parts which is not covered on this page.
As you read these Pros and Cons below,
keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the
equation. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to
look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on
items which may be more of a personal preference.
Very bright HI-VIZ® fiber optic front and rear sights
The 18 degree grip angle allows the sights to naturally align
with the shape of my hand when aiming the pistol
The pull weight on this pistol measured 5.4 lbs based on an
average of 6 pulls using my digital trigger pull scale and I
feel this is a good pull weight for a conceal and carry pistol
I feel my range testing proved that the trigger enhancements and
porting are features that the shooter can discern when comparing
the PC Ported Shield directly against the standard Shield
The pistol shot great and I was very please with my
range test results and my group average of 1.01" for this style of
pistol at 7 yards was great
Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:
No magazine disconnect
Manual Safety and Magazine Release can only be configured for a
right hand shooter
There is a drop in velocity due to the barrel ports, but I don't
consider the 1.16% drop (12 ft/sec) for the Critical Defense
ammunition to be significant and worth fretting over
At this point I have had the pistol for a
little over two months and I having a hard time finding a con
which I guess is really a pro, but I had to put something.
The Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported
Shield has quickly become one of my favorite carry handguns.
The pistol shoots great, has a great accuracy potential which was
proven at the range and is in a slim and relatively light weight
package. I'm still amazed at how well this pistol shot at my
steel target range while transitioning quickly between multiple
targets. If you are in the market for a single stack 9mm with
some enhanced performance features, make sure you
checkout the S&W PC Ported Shield. Also, S&W just released
their new PC Ported Shield with Tritium night sights, so this gives you
another option to ponder.
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