NEW Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD PLUS 9mm 13+1 Micro-Compact
Adam Scepaniak 03.15.21
The hottest thing on the market for handguns currently is the race within the micro-compact arena: the pursuit to make the smallest carry gun possible with the most capacity possible. The current front-runners are the Springfield Armory Hellcat and SIG Sauer P365 by a wide margin. A new contender has stepped into this space and they appear to have brought a knockout. Smith & Wesson has shocked their devoted fans by introducing a New M&P SHIELD PLUS that holds 13+1 rounds of 9mm in a micro-compact frame.
The news was broke this evening at 8pm EST and the internet is already on fire with the news! This model of Shield will utilize the same legacy holsters as all previous Smith & Wesson Shield models (both the M2.0 and original versions) and has the same sights so you have the option to deploy aftermarket sights if you so choose. There will be multiple SHIELD PLUS iterations including a standard (white dot sights), night sight version, and a couple Performance Center variants as well. The specifications listed below are for the NEW standard SHIELD PLUS 9mm:
- 9mm Luger
- 10+1, 13+1
- White Dot Front with White 2-Dot Rear
- Striker Fire
- Stainless Steel with Armornite® Finish
- Matte Black
- 17.9 Oz.
- Manual Thumb Safety
While some people might be inclined to say that Smith & Wesson is late to the micro-compact party, I would be inclined to counter that they are fashionably late because among the top three contenders for “King of the Micro-Compacts” – Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and SIG Sauer – the most affordable option for consumers is the newly unveiled SHIELD PLUS. The MSRP for the SHIELD PLUS starts at $549 which is anywhere from $50 – $100 cheaper than its competitors. The complete Press Release for this new offering can be read below as presented by Smith & Wesson:
“SPRINGFIELD, Mass., (March 15, 2021) – Smith & Wesson Inc. today announced that it has released the next evolution of the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield pistol – the M&P Shield Plus. Designed for concealed carry, the M&P Shield Plus is the most advanced M&P Shield pistol to date, featuring a magazine capacity up to 13 rounds in a slim, micro-compact frame. The M&P Shield Plus is available in 9mm in a variety of configurations, including Performance Center® models with optics cuts, upgraded sights, and more.
Kyle Tengwall, Vice President of Marketing, said, “We’re excited to announce the next evolution of the M&P Shield pistol – the M&P Shield Plus. Packed with popular features such as a flat-face trigger, large capacity magazine, optics cuts, and more, the M&P Shield Plus product line has been designed to meet the needs of today’s firearm consumer. With over three million M&P Shield pistols sold in the past decade, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is a proven, reliable platform with the ability to stand the test of time – and best of all, the new M&P Shield Plus pistols are rolling out to retailers across the country now.”
The new M&P Shield Plus comes in both standard and Performance Center models, each with a variety of enhancements. The M&P Shield Plus features the hallmark 18-degree grip angle of the M&P pistol series for a natural point of aim, helping to better manage recoil and get back on target quickly. Standard M&P Shield Plus pistols include a variety of features, including a flat-face trigger, a new, optimized grip texture designed for concealed carry, and two magazines: an extended 13+1 round magazine and a flush-fit 10+1 round magazine. Performance Center M&P Shield Plus pistols feature all of the enhancements of standard models, plus porting, fiber optic sights, longer slides, and optics cuts.“
Our very own James Reeves of our sister-site (TheFirearmBlog – TFB) and their associated YouTube channel – TFBTV – got an early got copy of the SHIELD PLUS to review so we all could get the complete lowdown at the time of release and his review is given above. Also, one of the lead writers for TFB in Luke Cuenco reviewed one in a written article HERE for those who would like to read his take on this new micro-compact pistol.
Aside from the obvious upgrade of improving the capacity of the SHIELD PLUS to contend with Springfield Armory and SIG Sauer, they also improved the trigger and the texturing of the frame as well. The trigger has transitioned from a strongly curved one to a version that is much more flat (flat triggers are all the rage these days). The trigger pull according to James Reeves is also 1 pound lighter on the SHIELD PLUS compared to an M2.0 Shield. All in all, the SHIELD PLUS looks like a stellar gun for something that looks to be so familiar. The final question that remains is what do you think? Is this something that you would be willing to purchase and potentially carry? As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.