Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto


1st Generation Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols


S&W Shield

S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP


Early Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols:


Magazines For Early Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols:

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Smith & Wesson M&P:


Smith & Wesson M&P Essentials:


Smith & Wesson M&P Frame Sizes:


Smith & Wesson M&P Calibers Offered:

  • .22LR
  • 9mm NATO
  • .40 S&W
  • .45 ACP
  • .380 ACP (Bodyguard)


Smith &Wesson M&P, Mid and Full Size Frames:

Coming soon.


Glock vs. Smith & Wesson M&P:

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Smith & Wesson M&P Shield:

smith & wesson m&p shield

For a while these were highly sought after and nearly impossible to find. They are commonplace now.

They are available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.

The Shield uses single stack magazines to help create a much slim and easy to conceal frame. The magazines are not compatible with the other M&P pistols that use double stack magazines.

The trigger has a very distinct reset (like a Glock) that is missing on the factory triggers of the full-size and compact size M&P pistols.

Smith & Wesson recommends that you limit your use of +P ammunition as it will wear out the pistol much faster (unlike a Glock in which you can use +P ammunition all of the time). S&W says not to use +P+ ammunition at all.

The Shield is sold with two magazines.  In the 9mm versions, one is shorter and holds 7 rounds.  The second one is a little longer and holds 8 rounds. In my opinion, the 8-round magazine is just as easy to conceal as the 7-round.

The Shields are very easy to carry and conceal, and the 9mm version is very easy to shoot. It is a fantastic for small or medium frame shooters. It’s .40 S&W caliber twin is a little more snappy to shoot and may exclude the pistol from meeting the “shootability” criteria for many shooters.

The Shields are fantastic pistols in terms of the criteria discussed above except that magazine capacity is the absolute lowest that I would recommend for self-defense and prepping purposes. Plan on carrying a couple of extra 8-round magazines, and practice until you are very proficient at fast reloads.

Important:  The 8-round magazines have a polymer spacer at the base of the magazine that prohibit the magazine from being jammed too far into the magazine well and either damaging the magazine or jamming up the action of the pistol.  Do not remove the polymer spacer!

I recently bought a Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm. I don’t normally get giddy about guns, but I can’t believe how great it shoots, and how easily is conceals in a Kydex in-the-waistband holster. It won’t replace the Smith & Wesson 642 J-frame revolver that’s been in my pocket for 20 years, or the Glock 26 that also rides in a Kydex IWB holster, but it will definitely be a frequent part of my everyday carry. Just like when you have another baby, you don’t love your other children any less. Your heart creates more love for the new child. My heart has created new love for the Shield.


S&W Shield vs. S&W M&P Compact Frame:


S&W Shield vs. Glock 26:


S&W Shield – Manual Safety vs. No Manual Safety:


S&W Shield 8-Round Magazine — Do Not Use Without The Spacer:


How To Replace The Sights On The Smith & Wesson Shield Pistol:

Watch the following videos before attempting to remove and replace the factory sights.  There is a great trick using a soldering iron to release the red Loctite that holds the rear sight’s set screw.  Also, there is a spring and plunger under the rear sight.  If you are not careful then you may accidentally launch the spring out of the slide when you tap out rear sight.

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S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP:


Factory Installed Crimson Trace Laser:

You can purchase the S&W Bodyguard .380 ACP with or without a factory installed Crimson Trace laser built into the frame.  To the left is a photo of the front of the pistol without the laser.  Pictured right is the pistol with the Crimson Trace laser installed.  The red activation button can be seen just forward of the trigger.


.380 ACP Ammunition in the S&W Bodyguard:

critical-defense-380Most .380 ACP hollow-point ammunition performs very poorly in ballistic gellatin tests, especially after passing through denim or some other type of clothing.  The bullets barely have enough velocity to cause them to properly mushroom, and the little opening clogs up with material from the clothing and causes the bullet to behave like a full metal jacket round.

Hornady’s Critical Defense in .380 ACP works a little different than conventional hollow-point ammunition.  It feeds very reliably like a full metal jacket round, and it can’t clog up and fail to mushroom.  This ammunition will probably be your best option for self-defense purposes.  As always, shoot a couple of boxes through your pistol before you trust your life to it.


How To Disassemble The S&W Bodyguard:

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4 comments on “Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto

  1. M&P 9 vs. Glock 17:

    OK, here is a little more info about day one with my M&P 9. As I said, I shot it side by side with my G17 to try and immediately evaluate the differences between the two guns. Next time out, I’ll use a slightly different approach, but there is more testing and evaluation to be done for sure. I will also take the M&P to an IDPA match to check out how it handles in a more dynamic shooting environment.

    I started on the 3 yard line with a few 5 round strings using Federal 115gr WalMart ammo. No real surprises here. Both of them shot equally well, with maybe a slight edge going to the M&P for having the groups slightly more on center. This can easily be accounted for due to my trigger technique. I have a tendency to shoot the Glock low and left when I don’t press the trigger properly.

    Next, I moved out to the 7 yard line for the remainder of the session. My ammo selection consisted of Federal 115gr. FMJ, Federal 9BPLE +P+ 115gr, Federal HST 115gr, Speer Gold Dot +P 124gr, and Winchester Ranger +P+ 127gr. I seem to shoot the G17 a little better at this range with the 115gr FMJ. I used 5 round strings alternating between guns. The M&P was a little more consistent with being on center, but proper technique on the Glock gave me tighter groups. Again, my technique and ability was certainly the greatest variable here, so this is only an evaluation of what MY hands did with the guns.

    The next step was to check out my performance with the self defense loads. I gave each gun 10 rounds of 9BPLE. The M&P favored this load above all others. I did not measure the group, but at 7 yards I was able to put 10 rounds in a space about the size of the palm of my hand. The G17 did a little worse with some low and left errors rearing their ugly head. During the entire shooting session, I never really had any tendency to shoot low and left with the M&P. Hmmm. I went through rest of the self defense ammo at 10 rounds per gun with some loads liking the Glock a little better, and some liking the M&P a little better. Again, proper trigger control gave tighter groups with the G17 in most cases, but the M&P was more on center. There were no jams or malfunctions with either gun.

    In all, I shot about 250 rounds divided equally between both pistols. The majority of the shooting was done two handed at a relaxed target firing pace. I did a few 10 round strings with the FMJ ammo to check out how each would handle a more accelerated firing pace. The advantage here went to the Glock, but I feel this was due to being far more comfortable and familiar with the G17.

    A quick word on the trigger: The reset on the M&P is absolutely softer and more vague than the Glock. However, this is only a consideration if you are a fan of using the trigger reset technique. Some in the LE/tactical world teach not to use this method because it can lead to firing an extra round or two when you don’t want to. In this instance, I find that I like the M&P trigger better because it is lighter and smoother from the full trigger stroke position.

    So, what’s the bottom line here? Well, as of now I can’t pick a clear favorite. They are both outstanding pistols, and with enough practice, I’m sure I could make them shoot equally well. When I first held my M&P, I was sure I was going to like it better. I like the ergonomics, metal mags, fit & finish, and sight picture. At the range, however, I could not shoot it any better than the G17 in most cases. I think that it is clear that I need more trigger time the M&P in a wider variety of shooting scenarios to decide if I would switch guns. I will continue evaluating the M&P at longer ranges and more tactically oriented situations.

    Hope this was some good info. Out.


    • Re: M&P 9 vs Glock 17:

      Here is a little background concerning the above post: It was an e-mail sent to the administrator after some discussion on the subject of the Glock 17 vs M&P9. I am just an average recreational shooter with some very limited LE training. Obviously, there are many more highly trained, skilled, and knowledgeable folks out there. Your constructive input is always welcome, as the whole point here is to share knowledge and learn something.


  2. S&W Shield:

    “It’s a good gun, I carry it all the time. It’s slim profile makes it very comfortable in the pocket, and the two magazine sizes give it flexibility between pocket and hip holsters. The difference between 7 and 8 rounds is clearly felt in the pocket making it a 7+1 pocket carry with 8 round spare mags. The 8 round mags have a tendency to lose the plastic adaptor the more it is used, and at the worst for it to wiggle down half way in your pocket requiring you to fix the adaptor before reloading your system. The way I solved this is by tossing the adaptor piece entirely. It looks a bit funky but it never jams up from the piece sliding up. It fits comfortably in my smaller hands but larger hands may have difficulty. The safety is an area of concern, usage will make the safety weak and more likely to flip on or off in your pocket. This is just something you need to take into your training. For $350 though it is a PERFECT first gun, carry or otherwise since you have the later option of carrying.”


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